Review of Ibex Airlines flight Sendai Nagoya in Economy

Airline Ibex Airlines
Flight FW 48
Class Economy
Seat 16A
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 11 Jan 16, 16:40
Arrival at 11 Jan 16, 17:55
FW 1 reviews
NGO85
By 2448
Published on 6th February 2016
Background:

This series will cover a quick weekend trip on NH using UA miles. The goal of this series was to try several new products in the NH family while also going someplace new to me. This trip cost 10,000 UA miles (no tax/fees on NH award tickets) and I built a very non-direct routing to zig-zag my way to my final destination. I’ll reveal the segments as we go to add some suspense. So far we have…

Part 1 – NGO-HND [NH 86, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13010.html
Part 2 – HND-CTS [NH 59, Boeing B787-800, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13033.html
Part 3 – CTS-KUH [NH 4873, Bombardier DHC-8-400, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13079.html
Part 4 – KUH-CTS [NH 4872, Bombardier DHC-8-400, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13148.html
Part 5 – CTS-SDJ [HD 104, Boeing B737-700, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-13181.html
Part 6 – SDJ-NGO [FW 48, Bombardier CRJ-700NG, Economy] – You are here

This report will cover the final leg from SDJ to NGO aboard FW. Again, a brief background on Ibex Airlines before we start. The carrier’s home base is SDJ and operates a fleet of 9 CRJs, with 9 more CRJs on order. They operate a mix of CRJ-200s, 700s, and 900s. The carrier was originally an independent regional carrier before they joined the NH Group and operate flights for NH using their own planes and crews so their planes say “ANA Connection” on the side.




Pre-flight:

After eating some delicious gyūtan (牛タン) for lunch in Sendai (仙台), it was time to head back to the airport. Beef tongue is Sendai’s most famous food and a must eat if you are ever there. The train from Sendai Station takes 25 minutes and costs ¥650.

photo 2

Stained glass windows at the airport station.

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Since I already have my boarding pass in hand, I skip the NH counters.

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The security line and the FIDS above it.

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Upstairs there are lots of restaurants and shops.

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Fuji FA-200 Aero Subaru on display as part of the airport’s museum.

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They charge ¥100 to access the observation deck, but it’s free for kids.

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The observation deck is still themed from the holidays with lights and decorations.

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NH B735.



Taking off for FUK.

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FW CRJ-700NG leaving for ITM.

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JL ERJ-170 also leaving for ITM.

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I then head back inside and through security. The view of SDJ airside. There were a couple of shops and cafes.

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The ANA Lounge at SDJ. Entering, the agent initial looks confused by the EY card. She pulls out her big picture book that has images of all the cards. She eventually finds EY (showing the old card design). I explain that mine is the new card design; she records my information and lets me in.

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The offering as soon as you enter. Pretty sparse, about the same as NGO.

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All Japanese press offering.

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Seating area.

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I take a seat in some chairs in the back; they come with a pillow and some power outlets.

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My offering.

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At 5-minutes to boarding, I get up and leave. On my way to the gate, so more spotting. Another JL ERJ-170 leaving for FUK.

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Hey, it’s my plane from the last report back at SDJ again. This plane must be doing the CTS-SDJ service all day. She gets pushed back and heads off to CTS.

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Another JL ERJ-170 arrives from ITM. Surprisingly, all 3 of them have had the old livery.

photo 30




——————————-

Ibex Airlines, FW 48
Equipment: Bombardier CRJ-700NG [JA07RJ, delivered July 2011]
Departure: 16:40 (ATD: 16:52)
Arrival: 17:55 (ATA: 17:59)
Flight time: 1:07


Reaching my gate, I can see that my flight is now listed as “Delayed.” An agent makes an announcement that we will be boarding 10-minutes late due to a late-arriving aircraft.

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As promised, we board 10-minutes late.

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Another FW CRJ-700NG leaving for KMQ.

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Fuselage shot.

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Nose shot.

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A smiling FA greets me in Japanese. Getting to my row, the other FA is standing there so I didn’t take a seat shot. The pitch is decent on the CRJs.

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The antimacassar and tray table are FW themed complete with ibex mascot.

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The cabin is very clean.

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Seat control in the armrest.

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Blankets are distributed.

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Our neighbor taxing out for the departure to KMQ.

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The front door closes and the FAs do the safety demonstration in Japanese only as we start our taxi.

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Turning onto the runway.

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We take off to the west as we head past the terminal.

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We lift up over the outskirts of Sendai and turn left to head south.



Cabin shot during the climb.

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The seatback contents.

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FW information card complete with drink menu.

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On the back, is the fleet information and the route map.



The safety card for this CRJ-700NG. You can see the FA uniform on the safety card.



All of my neighbors are fast asleep as the sun sets outside.

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Drink service is done by cart. Coffee for me. It is served in the FW cup that is adorne with the ibex mascot (and friends^^). Reminds me a lot of Bambi…

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A trip back to the lavatory. It is very small, I could barely stand inside and had to arch my back against the wall. Definitely not user-friendly for tall people, but clean.

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The salary man next to me was very aggressive claiming the armrest. The flight was short so I didn’t fight back.

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I spent the rest of the flight just reading a book and looking around. I noticed that there is no Row 13 on the CRJs.

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As we began the descent into NGO, one of the FAs approached me and handed me this postcard complete with a handwritten note from the crew. They noticed that I was taking pictures during the flight so wanted me to have a souvenir from the flight. A very nice gesture from them and a fantastic keepsake.

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We landed a couple of minutes late into NGO. We taxied around and pulled into a remote stand.

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Some cabin shots as I deplane.

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Both FAs thank me again for flying and I thank them for their kindness. My plane tonight. The FA standing in the entrance waved goodbye as I got onto the bus.

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The bus dumped us off and we head towards arrivals.

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Entering the domestic baggage claim.

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Straight through and onto the train back to Nagoya.

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And that concludes this series of 6 domestic flights with NH.
See more

Verdict

Ibex Airlines

6.3/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Meal/catering5.0

Sendai - SDJ

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Nagoya - NGO

9.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

My first time flying with FW. I’ve always loved their CRJs at NGO so it was good to finally get to fly with them. As I mentioned before, the regional carriers have their own identity and it helps break up the monotony of NH. Good overall flight. The CRJs are moderately comfortable and the service was on par with NH.

Cabin comfort: A fairly new CRJ. The cabin was clean, but it feels much more compressed inside than the Dash8s. Seat pitch isn’t the greatest.

Crew: Two friendly FAs. They only did one drink service, but were walking back and forth through the cabin checking on people throughout the flight. Taking notice of me and offering me a postcard was a nice gesture.

Meal and catering: One drink pass is standard domestic catering.

Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No audio or overhead monitors. Just natural IFE, which in this case was blackness outside.

On-time performance: We left late and arrived slightly late.

Related

15 Comments

  • Comment 157100 by
    marathon GOLD 9336 Comments

    The terminal (airside) seems very plane spotter friendly - it seems that one can save the 100 yen (admittedly not much, and I wonder why they charge a fee at all).

    Were there power port available outside the lounge ?

    The picture of the runway just before aligning is great !

    Were there any memento of the damage caused by the tsunami at the airport ? It has been close to five years and I can see an area where the ground remains bare where buildings had been.

    Wow, no FA ever gave me such a friendly message after seeing me taking pictures of the flight !

    Thanks for sharing !

    • Comment 334343 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      I wonder why they charge a fee at all.
      - OKA also charges to access the observation deck, which is actually further from the runways than the concourses... At SDJ, there was a museum inside of the observation deck so I think that is why they charge to access it. For ¥100, I don't mind paying. There was actually no policing, so you could just walk through the children's entrance without paying anything at all^^

      Were there power port available outside the lounge ?
      - I didn't see any for general use. There might have been some at the counters at the cafe, but I don't think those were for general use. Given the price of electricity in Japan, maybe it's not surprising...

      Were there any memento of the damage caused by the tsunami at the airport ?
      - The airport structure all looked fine. In the previous report, during the landing at SDJ from the coast, you can see how barren it is along the coast where everything was ripped away by the tsunami.

      Wow, no FA ever gave me such a friendly message after seeing me taking pictures of the flight !
      - That's because they think you are a spy from the competitors when you start measuring things with a tape measure ;)

      Thank you for all your comments Marathon!

  • Comment 157101 by
    st7515 221 Comments

    It is a real pleasure to read your FRs, very nice spotting pics at SDJ, well all the pics in fact!
    There are so many airlines and subsidiaries in Japan I don't think I'm getting all of it, but that Ibex has quite a domestic network ! And they seem to be very kind with pax, despite the 10 minutes late (which suprised me for Japan).
    The lounge access is definitely a plus for the flight duration but the terminal was empty and the lounge offering seemed low, as well as its brightness so I guess it has its advantages when the (beautiful) terminal is full of pax!
    Shame for the barbed wire on the observ deck which you have furthermore to pay, not very practical for pictures.
    Thanks for this FR !

    • Comment 334344 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      Thank you for compliments and comments!

      There are so many airlines and subsidiaries in Japan I don't think I'm getting all of it
      - There are a lot of small airlines that try and pop up due to the airline deregulation in Japan (similar to China). A lot of these carriers can't quite make it on their own, so fall into bankruptcy where JL or NH will become large stakeholders and then claim them as their own. Since gates at HND and NRT are now given to new carriers, these become valuable assets to JL and NH.

      which suprised me for Japan.
      - In the previous report, you could see that when I landed it was starting rain so I think the previous flight was delayed departure and had a trickle down affect. Since our plane arrived 10-minutes late, we left 10-minutes late.

      I guess it has its advantages when the (beautiful) terminal is full of pax!
      - I can't imagine a time when SDJ is at full capacity^^ There are not that many flights to SDJ because it is too close to Tokyo, so only a couple NRT/HND flights daily.

      Shame for the barbed wire on the observ deck which you have furthermore to pay, not very practical for pictures.
      - I actually prefer the wire barriers compared to the glass barriers. The glass always gives a blueish tint to the photos.

    • Comment 334345 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      Merci Clement^^

      the first IBEX report on FR.com. ^^
      - The first and best ;) (or maybe the first and worst...)

      All Japanese flights seem to be the same when it comes to onboard service
      - Is that good or bad? Some would say bad since there is little competition. All carriers (non-LCC) charge the same fares and offer the same services.

  • Comment 157148 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8856 Comments

    Thank you for posting the first IBEX report on FR.com. ^^

    All Japanese flights seem to be the same when it comes to onboard service, but the different aircrafts in use make a slight difference between the Airlines.

  • Comment 157149 by
    KL651 TEAM 4414 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    I was always curious at this airline whose name should have been adopted by Iberia regional back then!

    Typical domestic Japanese flight experience, though the FAs really seem to have been nice and done what they could to make sure you remember that short flight.

    • Comment 334347 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      Merci^^

      should have been adopted by Iberia regional back then!
      - LOL, Iberia Express should have been IBEX^^ Fortunately, FW has better in-flight service than I2 in Y^^

      though the FAs really seem to have been nice and done what they could to make sure you remember that short flight.
      - The sign of a good crew: not being robotic and taking care of their passengers.

  • Comment 157161 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4764 Comments

    I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover pic, and stayed for the planespotting :-)
    This is a FR of firsts, with the first report on IBEX and the first report departing Sendai. And the only other FR to Sendai was yours. I remember telling you I was surprised that there were never any reports in or out of Sendai considering considering how many Japanese FRs are in the database. Perhaps it has something to do with the damage Sendai airport suffered in the devastating Tōhoku Earthquake. I don't know how long it took to get back to full operations, but I assume that traffic was down for a good year or two.

    The pitch looks good for a CR7. I never really have problems with seat pitch at 5'10 what I hate about CRJs in Y is how small and tight the seats are to fit 2-2 into such a skinny fuselage. Much prefer E-jets.

    Wow, what a sunset! It just keeps on giving.

    The salary man next to me was very aggressive claiming the armrest. The flight was short so I didn’t fight back.
    - Armrest war avoided! I find armrests on RJs too low to really put my elbows on, so I would have probably given up too.

    A very nice gesture from them and a fantastic keepsake.
    - How sweet! That's like the kind of thing I used to get as a kid, haha. I would still be totally excited if that happened to me as an adult!

    That's a great shot of your plane on arrival. The area must have been well lit, otherwise it's hard taking a crisp night pic when standing without a tripod or something to rest your camera on.

    Thanks for this discovery of a new carrier and airport!

    • Comment 334354 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover pic
      - Not sure why this photo came out so well, the remote stands aren't that well lit, but I think I got lucky because the spotlight was right behind me so everything I was taking a picture of was lit up. Kind of like your BA covershot.

      I was surprised that there were never any reports in or out of Sendai considering considering how many Japanese FRs are in the database.
      - It's a fairly large airport with frequent international service so it is surprising. Not much to see in this area for tourism so that may be a reason (also, it's pretty close to NRT so most people would just arrive at NRT and take the train).

      tight the seats are to fit 2-2 into such a skinny fuselage. Much prefer E-jets.
      - 100% true. These seats are narrow. The Dash-8s even have larger fuselages.

      Armrest war avoided!
      - For a 60-minute-flight, I'll take the moral high ground ;)

      How sweet! That's like the kind of thing I used to get as a kid, haha. I would still be totally excited if that happened to me as an adult!
      - I was super excited, it's just like on OC when the FA gave me the gift. I always have to ask NH FAs for free stuff, this was completely unsolicited which makes it a very genuine gift from the crew.

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin, seems we are dueling comments right now^^

  • Comment 157293 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Beef tongue is Sendai’s most famous food and a must eat if you are ever there.
    - Thanks for that culinary tip. It would be interesting to experience that dish Japanese-style.

    Another FW CRJ-700NG leaving for KMQ.-
    - Livery is so 90's, but in a good nostalgic way.

    The antimacassar and tray table are FW themed complete with ibex mascot.
    - The cuteness factor is strong with this one.

    You can see the FA uniform on the safety card.
    - Does this mean that if they change uniforms they will have to print out a new set of safety cards? :P

    It is served in the FW cup that is adorne with the ibex mascot (and friends^^). Reminds me a lot of Bambi…
    - Cute! All you need is a wolf to complete the ensemble.

    As we began the descent into NGO, one of the FAs approached me and handed me this postcard complete with a handwritten note from the crew.
    - Makes for a great lasting impression and a very memorable experience.

    Thank you for another great FR with lots of quality images. You should be the official Japanese aviation expert on this site. ;)

    • Comment 334809 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      Thank you for your comments Adan!

      It would be interesting to experience that dish Japanese-style.
      - It is grilled (yakiniku) so is quite succulent. Since it is offal, it is never ridiculously priced like other Japanese beef.

      Livery is so 90's, but in a good nostalgic way.
      - It is very 90s with those different tone blue stripes, but I like it. Then again, I also like the CA livery, so that should say something about my livery tastes. It has a little bit of that old DL flair.

      Does this mean that if they change uniforms they will have to print out a new set of safety cards? :P
      - Yes. NH changed its safety cards to make sure the FA uniforms were updated to grey if you look closely. I've always found the FA uniforms to be accurate on safety cards in Japan, they have keen eyes for details like that.

      Cute! All you need is a wolf to complete the ensemble.
      - A big, bad wolf?

      Makes for a great lasting impression and a very memorable experience.
      - Unsolicited gifts are the best, that shares genuine care.

      You should be the official Japanese aviation expert on this site. ;)
      - Does that title come with a paycheck?

    • Comment 334812 by
      marathon GOLD 9336 Comments

      @NGO85
      You should be the official Japanese aviation expert on this site. ;)
      - Does that title come with a paycheck?

      As former Chinese and Taiwanese aviation expert on this site, I have bad news for you ;)

  • Comment 157391 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this interesting FR on IBEX from SDJ with us!

    Nice spotting shots from SDJ!

    The cabin looks to be in very good condition, you did mention it was delivered in 2011 though.

    Seat pitch seems to be perfectly fine for short hops.

    It was really nice of the crew to hand you a postcard without even asking.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 334810 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1623 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Nice spotting shots from SDJ!
      - Pretty standard domestic offerings with no LCCs going to SDJ.

      The cabin looks to be in very good condition, you did mention it was delivered in 2011 though.
      - Most of the 700s are really new. The 900s will be delivered soon as well. I didn't think CRJs were particularly efficient compared to other regional jets, but I guess they want to keep their all CRJ identity. The problem with CRJs is that they are really narrow and the cabin is very cramped (I can barely stand without hitting my head on the ceiling).

      It was really nice of the crew to hand you a postcard without even asking.
      - And handwritten! I have gotten souvenir before, but never a handwritten note. A very nice touch from their crew.

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