As a reminder, this was a weekend trip up to Sapporo I took back in February on an AA award ticket; the routing was:
Part 1 – NGO-CTS [JL 3105, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here Part 2 – CTS-NGO [JL 3118, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – You are here
This report will cover the flight from CTS to NGO. The JL Sakura Lounge was closed for renovations, so no lounge stop in this report. There will be an Otaru(小樽) tourist bonus at the end.
After a ramen dinner, I walked to the JR Station to catch the train back to CTS. It’s JPY 1070 (~$10) and takes ~40 minutes. The trains leave every 15 minutes or so during the day so its an easy connection out to Chitose.
Arriving at CTS, I follow the signage to the JL side of the airport.
The JL check-in counters. Since this was an AA award ticket, I couldn’t do any sort of ticket manipulation on JL’s website so needed to speak to an agent to get a boarding pass and select my seat. The agent was very quick and gave me 15A at my request (you’ll see why I picked this seat later on). She also informed me that the JL Sakura Lounge was closed for renovation and that there was a meal voucher instead. She handed me a voucher for JPY 1000 (~$9) and a sheet of paper that lists all the places I could use it.
With boarding pass in hand, I went to go in search of a way to spend this voucher. I didn’t spend it on food, instead I found a special souvenir that I used it to buy, which will be revealed at the end of the FR.
The main lobby at CTS.
Smile Road :)
Boo, the observation deck is closed for the winter.
There was a small little museum at the airport that had some old JL uniforms and models of the old JL and NH liveries.
Not much to spot from the windows in the food court. Just a NH B738 and NH B773.
I went to security about an hour before my flight, and the lines were light.
My plane is listed as Gate 17.
I passed the closed JL Sakura Lounge on my way there.
Seating areas at CTS along with JL branded charging stations and massage chairs.
My JL B738 waiting outside.
Japan Airlines, JL 3118 Equipment: Boeing B737-800 [JA312J, delivered May 2008] Departure: 19:15 (ATD: 19:53) Arrival: 21:05 (ATA: 21:24) Flight time: 1:31
As this sign indicated, boarding was promptly started at 19:00 for our 19:15 departure.
JL and OW elites were called so I headed down the jetbridge.
BC B738 nextdoor.
3 FAs greeted me in the galley. I asked if I could take some cabin shots and they politely stepped aside and let me get some clean shots of the new cabin on this B738. You can see the rows of Class-J in the front in the 2-3 configuration followed by the standard 3-3.
My seat in Row 15, which is the first row of Economy.
I picked this seat since it has unlimited legroom (~60”)
The purser came by and handed me a blanket and a candy.
The other advantage of this seat is that there are no seatmates since these are blocked off seats since it is the first row of the 2-3 to 3-3 transition. Unlike most carriers, JL considers these seats unsafe since you’d be sitting right in the aisle and mark them as “do not sit here.”
The grand pitch as represented by this Japanese businessman.
The audio controls.
Safety card for this B738.
Skyward, which is highlighting Southern France.
The BC B738 is also getting ready to leave.
We finish boarding on time and the moodlighting comes on.
The safety video plays on the overhead screens as the FAs do the demonstrations.
Deicing our wings prior to pushback.
As we pushback, the snow starts to come down hard. The pilot immediately comes on and announces that the airport is shutdown due to inclement weather, but we will sit on the tarmac anticipating a reopening during a break in the snow.
As we sat there, the FAs quickly get up and come through the cabin offering candies from a tray to passengers.
After about 20 minutes, the snow lets up a little and we start to taxi out to the runway.
Approaching the runway, there is a fleet of plows clearing it off. I’m guessing the CTS ground crews are very accustomed to this type of weather.
After the caravan of plows pass us, we turn onto the runway to align for takeoff.
The turbines wind up and we are quickly lifting up over CTS.
The cabin during the ascent.
Service starts immediately. The drink offering is standard. What I should mention is that even on domestic flights, the FAs leave the “missed service” tags on seats for sleeping passengers, never seen this on a domestic flight before.
My tray table.
I request coffee.
As the cart made its way back to the galley after service, the FAs were offering refills so I took a second cup of coffee.
After the drink service, I saw the FAs handing out the toys to the kids. I asked the purser if I could have one and she quickly presented me with some gifts.
The flight was quiet, but around Matsumoto, the FAs did another drink run offering juices from a tray as well as more candies.
I had terrible shots of Nagoya on arrival, but I wasn’t alone in attempting to capture the moment.
We made up a lot of time caused by the delay and only touched down 15 minutes late. We pulled in next to this 7G A320.
The purser thanked me for flying as I deplaned.
Since this was my last arrival into NGO, I had to take a picture of the maneki-neko figurines in the baggage claim (they come from Tokoname, the city the airport is in).
Exiting towards the train.
As always, the Meitetsu service into the city is quick and efficient. How efficient? Well, we landed at 21:24 and I was able to catch the 21:37 train.
And, without further ado, my gift from CTS using the JL voucher. I found a store that sells airline merchandise so was torn between a stuffed animal and a model. The stuffed animal won: my AirDo (HD) bear, kawaii^^ The wooden train that they give kids on the JL flight is equally cute.
And that concludes this series, thanks for stopping by!
***BONUS***: Some shots of Otaru (小樽).
The views from the train ride out.
The famous canals of Otaru.
Mercure Hotel Sapporo.
Chitose - CTS
Nagoya - NGO
JL is right up there with NH in terms of service on domestic flights. Other than the lack of any sort of food, the soft-product on JL is top notch. They handled the delay departing perfectly. Weather is not their fault, but the pilots quickly updated us and the FAs quickly sprung to action to offer candies during the delay.
Cabin comfort: The new JL B738 cabins are comfortable. Plenty of seat pitch and with a light load, 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. Lacking English ability, but they make up for it with service.
Meal and catering: Candy handed out during boarding and a simple drink service of coffee/tea/water/juices after take-off. I was surprised to see a second drink run on a flight of this length. The only times I've seen second drink passes are on longer flights down to Okinawa.
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...).
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