Review of Japan Airlines flight Nagoya Chitose in Economy

Airline Japan Airlines
Flight JL 3105
Class Economy
Seat 17A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 20 Feb 16, 11:20
Arrival at 20 Feb 16, 13:00
JL   #13 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 141 reviews
NGO85
By 1193
Published on 13th October 2016
Background:

In honor of my 100th FR, I needed to do a report that was true to the identity of NGO85 and had some sentiment to me. So here we go on a series that takes me from NGO up to CTS. I went with JL instead of NH, namely because I really want to fly JL, but they only offer service to CTS/OKA/NRT/HND from NGO so it really isn't a useful carrier. NH is the largest domestic operator from NGO and therefore was my go to airline.

Knowing that I was leaving Japan at the end of February, I decided to maximize my time and booked trips every weekend in January and February. For my last travel weekend, I decided to go back to Hokkaido to visit Sapporo (札幌) and Otaru (小樽) since I had never been there before (only transited in CTS). I elected to use some AA miles to book a JL award ticket. At that time, domestic flights in Japan only cost 7,500 miles for a one-way ticket using AA miles. That sounds cheap, but UA offered 5,000 mile one-way tickets in Japan, which was a much better deal. Nevertheless, I wanted to try the JL domestic product so checked JL award space on BA’s website and then called up AA to book the ticket. AA’s agents can be hit or miss, and this one was closer to a miss. Fortunately, I had everything carefully recorded in front of me and could walk her through all the airport codes to get the flights I needed. Since award tickets in Japan aren’t subject to any fees or surcharges, I was charged 15,000 miles from my AAdvantage account and that was it. The result is:

photo 108

I love the old school JAL logo that AA uses for JL. The flights I selected were based on being able to spend an afternoon in Otaru on arrival and a full day in Sapporo before departure after dinner. The early morning flight from NGO had no award space so I had to take the lunchtime departure. Returning, I took the early night flight. There was a flight that left later at night, but I figured this one was the best option to ensure I got back to Nagoya at a reasonable hour since I had to work the next morning. Thus, the routing is:

Part 1 – NGO-CTS [JL 3105, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – You are here
Part 2 – CTS-NGO [JL 3118, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here

This report will cover the flight from NGO to CTS including a stop at Centrair Global Lounge. There will be a Sapporo tourist bonus at the end.



Pre-flight:

After a breakfast at home, I took the Meitetsu train to Centrair and arrived around 9:30am. The airport was pretty quiet on this cold and rainy Saturday morning. I went over to the JL check-in counters at the domestic side of the airport. I couldn’t get seat reservations online or over the phone, so I stopped by the priority counter to get a window seat. The agent quickly handed me my boarding pass and sent me on my way.

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With boarding pass in hand, I went upstairs to the shopping area to buy some onigiri for the plane to serve as my lunch.

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After buying some onigiri, I went out to the observation deck and tried to brave the weather. It was cold (~5C) and raining. The domestic side was quite light. My plane was sandwiched between the NH B763 to OKA and NH B735 to KMJ.

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The international side of the airport was busy as usual as all the 9-10am departures were getting ready to leave.

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TG B788 and DL B752.

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JL B788 to BKK.

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The only other people out on the observation deck where these two girls that stayed about 1 minute.

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KE B77W lifting off for ICN.

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CX A333 leaving for HKG.

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DL B752 lifting off for GUM.

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UA B738 arriving from GUM.

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NH B737 taxing out as a ZV A321 arrives from TPE (R.I.P. ZV who just ceased operations after less than 2 years).

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JL B738 leaving for NRT.

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NH B737 lifting off for HKG.

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IT A320 lifting off for TPE.

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CI A333 lifting off for TPE.

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After 45 minutes of the brutal weather outside, I went back inside and headed towards the domestic security checkpoint. There was no line when I went through, but the lines can be long depending on how many flights are about to depart.

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Domestic FIDS.

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Exiting security.

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With my OW Sapphire status, I went to use the Centrair Global Lounge, which is the shared domestic lounge for NH and JL. I scan my boarding pass as I enter and the agent greets me by name since she knows me well from my frequent visits.

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The lounge is a windowless room with a drinks stand on one end. Only Japanese newspapers and magazines are offered.

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A 10am pint of Yebisu in honor of Numero_2^^ Followed by a cup of coffee to warm up.

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At 5 minutes to boarding, I get up and head to my gate.

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As I walk, I catch the TG B788 leaving to head home to BKK.

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Our plane is leaving from Gate 4.

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My boarding pass for this flight.

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My JL B738 waiting below.

photo 34



————————-

Japan Airlines, JL 3105
Equipment: Boeing B737-800 [JA310J, delivered February 2008]
Departure: 11:20 (ATD: 11:26)
Arrival: 13:00 (ATA: 12:58)
Flight time: 1:32


Right on time, they call for boarding 15 minutes prior to the departure time. Special assistance is followed by JL/OW elites. I scan my boarding pass and head down towards the jetbridge.

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FW CRJ700 with a JL B738 arriving from HND in the background.

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Fuselage shot.

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Entering the cabin, 2 FAs greet me in Japanese and offer me a candy from a bowl and a blanket. The new JL cabin.

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My seat back in Row 17, which is actually the 7th row of the plane since Y starts in Row 15. There are 4 rows of J-Class in 2-3 seating configuration serving as the their “premium” domestic product.

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A look down the row and details of these new seats.

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Seat pitch is quite good, much better than on NH.

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If you don’t believe me, here is the seat pitch of the guy in the aisle seat taken mid-flight.

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The candy offered while boarding the plane.

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The JL domestic blanket.

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Seatback.

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Left armrest.

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Right armrest containing the headphone jack and the audio controls.

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The burgundy seatbelt.

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Seatback contents.

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Safety card for this B738.

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In-flight entertainment guide.

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JAL Shop.

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Skyward.

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Route map and the mileage table. NGO-CTS is 988km (~615miles).

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The FA stood in my aisle greeting passengers mid-cabin during boarding. Provides a glimpse of the JL FA uniforms. I prefer the new NH uniforms with greys. The dark blue doesn’t really fit with any of JL’s cabins.

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GK A320 next door.

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Boarding was quickly complete and we prepare to push back.

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The safety video plays on the overhead monitors during the push back.

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Goodbye NGO.

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Taxing by the international terminal, only the Koreans are there at lunch time. A surprising visit from an OZ A330 and a KE B737 in the distance.

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The original B787 rotting away in the corner of NGO.

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No wait for us and we quickly launch down the runway to the north.

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Our beautiful CFM turbines as we launch up and over Ise Bay.

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We disappear into the clouds on this rainy morning.

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The monitors drop down and play the moving map and news.

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SkyMall has nothing on the ridiculous offerings in JAL Shop^^

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The FAs came down the aisle and handed out ハピリカ, which had a bunch of information on transportation in downtown Sapporo and a listing of restaurants.

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Blue skies above the cloudy mainland.

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The non-movable tray table. It’s just a solid piece of plastic that folds down.

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My onigiri that I bought at NGO.

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The FAs start drink service.

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A cup of coffee for me.

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A video played talking about JAL policies. This slide was addressing alcohol consumption and how passengers should not interfere with the FAs.

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明日の空へ, 日本の翼: “To tomorrow’s sky, Japan’s wings”

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When the FA was cleaning up the trash, she asked if I wanted anything else to drink. I requested another cup of coffee so she returned with a second cup.

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The snowy landscape of Hokkaido is now below our CFM turbines.

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Looping into CTS over rural Hokkaido.



自衛隊陸上自衛隊東千歳駐屯地 (JGSDF Camp Higashi-Chitose).

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Crossing the 36 as we land from the north.

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We touch down right on time.

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Taxing back to the terminal.

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We pull in next to this cute little J-Air CRJ-200.

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The view of J-Class as I deplane. The FAs are in the galley to thank passengers as we deplane.

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Follow the signs down to the baggage claim.

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I didn't check any bags so went straight out and followed the signs to the JR station attached to the airport.



The train from CTS to JR-Sapporo Station costs JPY 1070 (~$10) and takes ~40 minutes.



And with that, I leave of this series as I begin my short stay in Sapporo and Otaru.





***BONUS***

Downtown Sapporo from my hotel.

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Maruyama Park (円山公園).

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Minor shine at Hokkaido-jingu (北海道神宮).

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Hokkaido-jingu (北海道神宮).

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Statue at Hokkaido-jingu.

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Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷神社).

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View of downtown Sapporo from Fushimi Inari Shrine.

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Trams in Sapporo (they also have a subway system).

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Sapporo City Museum (札幌市資料館).

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I'm a little jealous no one pulled me around town in a sled…

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Former Hokkaido Government Office (北海道庁旧本庁舎).

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Ducks swimming in the frozen pond.

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Pigeons picking through the snow looking for food.

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Sapporo Clock Tower (札幌市時計台).

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Sapporo TV Tower (さっぽろテレビ塔).

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Sapporo Brewery (サッポロビール).

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JR Sapporo Station (札幌駅).

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Soup curry for dinner.

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See more

Verdict

Japan Airlines

6.9/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering3.0

Centrair Global Lounge

5.8/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services6.0

Nagoya - NGO

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Chitose - CTS

8.5/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

JL offers a good performance on this flight. The plane was comfortable, the flight was on time, and the crews were friendly. You aren't going to find great in-flight catering/amenities, but for a 90 minute flight, it's good enough. Not too much differentiates JL and NH on domestic flights, it's merely a personal preference of which carrier offers the routes you need. At NGO, NH is king since JL only flies limited routes.

Cabin comfort: Pretty good seat comfort on this B738. Plenty of seat pitch and with an empty middle seat, there was plenty of room to spread out. The JL cabins are clean and well maintained as one expects in Japan.

Crew: Solid JL crew. Mainline JL seems to have more senior crew members and that leads to a very professional performance. They are smiling and friendly throughout the flight, but lack English ability.

Meal and catering: Candy handed out during boarding and a simple drink service of coffee/tea/water/juices after take-off. Bare bones and what can be expected by any Japan domestic carrier.

Entertainment: No newspaper offered. standard seatback literature. The overhead monitors played the moving map and news headlines, same as what NH does (unless they show variety programming or infomercials...).

Information on the route Nagoya (NGO) Chitose (CTS)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Nagoya (NGO) → Chitose (CTS).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Japan Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 40 minutes.

  More information

18 Comments

  • Comment 370125 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 707 Comments

    Happy report anniversary, NGO85!!! Thanks for taking us to interesting places with your detailed reports!

    Quite a lot of sickness bags in the seat pocket!! Are the Japanese prone to getting sick on planes? :O

    Lovely pics of snow covered Sapporo!

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

    • Comment 370736 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Quite a lot of sickness bags in the seat pocket!! Are the Japanese prone to getting sick on planes? :O"
      - Central Japan is notorious for lots of turbulence. That and they probably got a discount on them^^

      "Lovely pics of snow covered Sapporo!"
      - Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by Nechus!

  • Comment 370143 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9859 Comments

    Thank you Michael.

    Congrats for the 100th one !

    "A 10am pint of Yebisu in honor of Numero_2^^ Followed by a cup of coffee to warm up." -> It looks like half a pint. :P

    A pretty nice flight with JL.
    I guess the drinks service is the same as ANA offers ?

    • Comment 370737 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Congrats for the 100th one !"
      - I'll never catch you ;) Thanks for stopping by Clement^^

      "It looks like half a pint. :P"
      - I had to pace myself ;)

      "I guess the drinks service is the same as ANA offers ?"
      - It's the same: water, cold/hot tea, coffee, apple juice, or consume.

  • Comment 370163 by
    aussenrist 224 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this nice report and congratulated for the 100th report!

    The refurbished cabin looks good. The seat color would be better match with Peach Air^^ Very good seat pitch and it is much better than your previous NH 787 domestic flight. It is nice to have a blanket for this short domestic flight.

    Fantastic winter shots of Hokkaido! The photo of Torii in the snow is stunning! Look forward to your future reports!

    • Comment 370738 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "The seat color would be better match with Peach Air^^ Very good seat pitch and it is much better than your previous NH 787 domestic flight."
      - The seat pitch is not fleet uniform. As I've experienced on other JL domestic flights on B763, the seat pitch can be very bad^^

      "Fantastic winter shots of Hokkaido! The photo of Torii in the snow is stunning!"
      - Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the comments!

  • Comment 370213 by
    757Fan 584 Comments

    Congratulations on the 100th report, Michael! Very cool!

    Thanks for sharing your latest report. I'd love to visit Japan one of these days. Great photos from your flight, and of Sapporo!

    • Comment 370739 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "I'd love to visit Japan one of these days. Great photos from your flight, and of Sapporo!"
      - You missed the best time to go, now that the JPY is strong again it will be much more expensive. And as a ST person, Japan is not so friendly since KE's your best north Asia option.

      Thanks for stopping by Matthew!

  • Comment 370277 by
    Razza_Pr 214 Comments

    Thank you, NGO 85 for the FR!

    And congratulations are also in order for your 100th report.

    Absolutely marvellous photos, there. Especially the KE 777 lifting off, the original 787, and of Hokkaido too!

    The new JL cabin looks really pretty. Though I'm confused by their "premium" product's configuration of 2-3. They look pretty identical to the economy class seats to me, maybe they block the middle seat like European airlines do?

    Thanks again, and happy flying!

    • Comment 370740 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Absolutely marvellous photos, there. Especially the KE 777 lifting off, the original 787, and of Hokkaido too!"
      - The observation decks of Japan are the spotter friendliest around^^ At NGO, you can get less than 100m from the runway.

      "Though I'm confused by their "premium" product's configuration of 2-3. They look pretty identical to the economy class seats to me, maybe they block the middle seat like European airlines do?"
      - You are opening up a can of worms with that question. NH and JL have opted for different premium models on domestic flights. NH has installed a real cabin featuring 2-2 seating with catering (similar to US F or Asian J). JL has opted to install a comfort seating product (like Y+ on US carriers), where for as low as $10 more, you can get a seat in J-Class. There is no catering or service improvements. It's weird for the 2 carriers to offer such drastically different products. If you want to reports to reference, here is a look at both the NH and JL products:
      NH Premium Class: [url=http://flight-report.com/en/report/10089/ANA_NH497_Nagoya_NGO_Hakodate_HKD]Here[/url]
      JL J-Class: [url=http://flight-report.com/en/report/12225/Japan_Airlines_JL_3084_Nagoya_NGO_Tokyo_NRT]Here[/url]

      Thanks for stopping by an commenting!

  • Comment 370282 by
    KL651 TEAM 4472 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Mileage Plus rewards for Japanese domestic are such a bargain, bu it seems that JL does offer a tiny bit more glamour than NH.
    I didn't know there were more than one Fushim Inari in Japan.

    • Comment 370741 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by KL651^^

      "Mileage Plus rewards for Japanese domestic are such a bargain"
      - Especially since you can get build as many legs as you want as long as the layover is less than 24h.

      "I didn't know there were more than one Fushim Inari in Japan."
      - This is the one that no one goes to ;) The one in Kyoto is a little bit more famous^^

  • Comment 370543 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Wow! 100 reports? Haven't even had that many flights in my lifetime, congratulations :).

    Wooow, absolutely fantastic spotting shots! Breathtaking with the rainy effect. Sad to see V-Air gone, interesting livery they had.

    The new cabin looks really interesting, pitch looks really good. Extremely clean.

    I'm glad you had a nice crew.

    Absolutely fantastic aerial shots, landscape is stunning prior to arrival.

    Beautiful bonus at the end, really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a good one, see you later.

    • Comment 370742 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "Wow! 100 reports? Haven't even had that many flights in my lifetime, congratulations :)."
      - I've been a busy little boy over the past 18 months. I probably was close to 80 segments in 2015, lots of back and forths to the US.

      "Wooow, absolutely fantastic spotting shots! Breathtaking with the rainy effect."
      - Keeping my lens dry was the hard part^^ The spray from the GE90s was quite impressive, stretched over 300m long.

      "The new cabin looks really interesting, pitch looks really good. Extremely clean."
      - Normally the domestic fleets are older planes with tighter pitches, so this was nice to see more legroom. The leather seats are more comfortable than the older fabric ones that NH uses.

      "I'm glad you had a nice crew."
      - Do you expect anything less in a service oriented country? I can't ever recall having a "bad" crew in Japan ;)

      "Beautiful bonus at the end, really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!"
      - No problem, glad you enjoyed it. It's nice to see snow once in a while. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 370731 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Hi Michael.

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone and thank you for sharing another excellent FR.

  • Comment 370937 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5224 Comments

    Oh how I've missed that beautiful NGO spotting! Welcome to the 100+ Club! How appropriate that your 100th report should be on a flight ex-NGO.

    I like the look of the cabin and those fun purple headrests. Seat pitch looks above average. Aside from that, pretty standard basic domestic Japan service.

    On top of the beautiful spotting, an awesome tourist bonus. There's something magical about Japan in the snow.

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on 100!

    • Comment 371270 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1622 Comments

      "How appropriate that your 100th report should be on a flight ex-NGO."
      - It's an old and random report, but I needed something from NGO to post^^

      "I like the look of the cabin and those fun purple headrests."
      - Yeah, part of the random color JL collection. Which is why I don't understand why their FA uniforms are still so old and boring.

      "There's something magical about Japan in the snow."
      - All that is missing is some snow monkeys from Nagano ;)

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

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