Greetings Flight Reporters and thank you for stopping by this report.
This trip was a RTW that came about as an excuse to enjoy some quality Lufthansa lounge and airplane time and pop in on the Swiss First Class Lounge on the E gates in Zurich. A recent Aeroplan promo had a bonus for moving Starpoints to Aeroplan. When combined with the bonus Starpoints that SPG provides on airline transfer partners is was not a terrible value.
Some of the reports will be a little light (this one!) but I think with the lounge additions they will be sufficient to interest someone. They did me.
The routing and procurement method were as follows:
Delta Air Lines LAX-MSP 737-900ER First (Cash- No Report) Delta Air Lines MSP-LGA MD-88 Economy Comfort (NRSA - No Report) Lufthansa JFK-FRA B747-8i Business (United Miles - Here) Swiss FRA-ZRH A320 Business and Lufthansa Business Lounge (United Miles - Here) Swiss ZRH-FRA CS100 Business and Swiss First Class Lounge E (Aeroplan - Here) Lufthansa FRA-PVG A380-800 First and LH First Class Lounge and Terminal (Aeroplan - Here) ANA PVG-NRT B787-9 Business and Air China Business Class Lounge (Aeroplan -Here) Delta Air Lines NRT-PVG B767-300ER Business and Delta Sky Club (NRSA - This Report) Delta Air Lines PVG-LAX B777-200ER Business (NRSA - Coming Soon)
My apologies as this FR and next will be two of the lighter reports in the series. Both of the flights were very last minute options so I was somewhat out of sorts while experiencing them and therefore not as focused on the tasks of a flight reporter.
After a restful night at the APA Hotel Keisei Narita-Ekimae and a delightful stroll around Narita it was time to head to the airport. I went quite early as i enjoy, well, just being there. The observation deck, shopping, and dining are all a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
As the name of my hotel implies it was very near the Keisei Narita station so this is how I made my way tot the airport. The hotel provided a free bus shuttle but the timing of the trains suited me better.
Check in was was easily accomplished via kiosk. I did not check in for the NRT-PVG flight however as at this time I was still counting on flying NRT-PDX.
It was a lovely day so a visit to the observation deck was in order. It was a fairly slow time of day but it's still a treat to spend time up there. I really like the new-ish paint on Alitalia. The pearl white is rather fetching when the sun hits it just so.
Having inhaled enough Jet A to satisfy my addiction I decided to head inside pop in on the Sky Club. The entry way was adorned with a promotion form the State of Oregon tourism board. I sense that they are uneasy about the long term viability of the PDX-NRT flight as a result of the Delta draw down of NRT-Asia flying. Their concern is warranted as Delta has gone from having SIN, BKK, SGN, HKG, PUS, ICN, PEK, PVG, MNL, ROR, SPN, GUM, and HNL to only SIN, MNL, PVG, SPN, ROR, GUM, and HNL. It was fun while it lasted.
I like this lounge but I realize my connections are probably more emotional than fact based. Many of my favorite memories of exploring this part of the world for the first time involve a stop in this room. There is ample seating and still some iMac work stations to found.
The food and beverage selection is rather sparse when compared to the home airline lounges at this airport yet superior to anything you'll find in a Delta lounge in ATL, JFK, or SEA.
I managed to find a nice snack of karrage and yakitori and a seat facing roughly the same direction as the observation deck. I can pass the time in this manner any day.
The wifi in the lounge was completely adequate and unfortunately my computer was telling me that the chances of going to PDX was getting more and more remote. I decided to go down tot he PDX gate but as a backup I listed for the PVG flight as nothing form NRT the following day looked promising. My problem was PVG departed something like 10 min before PDX so if it was going to be my backup I had to make the call somewhat prematurely. I finally lost hope on PDX and walked over to the PVG flight and asked for mercy as they were nearing the end of boarding. There were many seats left so it was no problem to accommodate me and off I went.
I enjoyed a nice cold Asahi before departure.
The view from 6B.
Meal service is a singe tray affair on this +/- 2 hour flight down to Shanghai and started off with a hot towel.
The table is set and a drink service comes next. I enjoyed some water and a G&T. A Japanese rice cracker snack mix (otsumami) is served with the drinks.
For dinner I chose the chicken. I was remiss in capturing the menu but a paper menu was provided to each passenger in J (and we got to keep it the whole flight ;). The chicken does not look at all apitising but the (overcooked?) crust on top hid a very tender and juicy chicken breast beneath. The garlic bread was also over-toasted so perhaps it was the on-board chef (ha!) that was somewhat off their game tonight.
The meal service ended as we left Japan and thanks for the on-board wifi I got to work planning my next move. I am aware of the PVG-LAX flight that departs roughly an hour and change after this flight lands in PVG. Of course this is by no means a legal connection, and would not or could not be sold but if everything was to go perfectly I could have a chance…
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Sky Club - 1, Sat 1
Tokyo - NRT
Shanghai - PVG
The commotion and calculations going on in my head that led me to this flight probably didn't allow me to enjoy it as much as usual.
The Ground Service: Well there really isn't any of that. I will say that there was no wait at security of immigration as I entered airside after the big rush.
The Lounge: It's my home from home and reminds me of a bygone era in my travel carear so i will always have a special place in my heart for the Skyclub(s) at NRT.
The Cabin: Flat bed and direct aisle access are pros. So is the large work table. The cons are narrow width, lack of storage, and confined footwell. I prefer all of the other fleets to the 767.
The Crew: Excellent crew and especially the purser. She was asking me about my travels and I explained how I ended up with her and what I was attempting next. She cheered me on as I deplaned in PVG.
The Food and Beverage: A little heavy on the browning of the chicken and garlic bread but still a very flavorful meal and surprisingly not dried out.
Overall: A nice ride on the short hop to Shanghai with genuine kind service and an early arrival that proved most helpful.
Thank you very much for reading, stay tuned for the next segment, and happy flying.
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