I didn't intend to post a report but the refurbishment of the TU lounge in Tunis has convinced me to publish.
My final destination is Hokkaidō island (北海道), the most northerly of the four main islands of the archipelago of Japan, and second novelty to me it will happen during the Kōyō(紅葉) period , the autumn equivalent of cherry blossom.
The choice of the company has met several criteria / constraints. TK's fares, the company I used most frequently, became unaffordable from TUN and with booking classes providing very few miles.
So I opted for MS for a trip to Japan in June. The experience was very satisfying and I had two long haul flights that were among the best that I had in eco: recognition of the status on board, correct catering, amenity kit, hotel provided (with a buffet dinner) during a long transit, and so on … The bad side is security check at the gate in the CAI bazaar. Unfortunately for this trip the only availabilities were in booking classes Y and B at prohibitive prices.
These two eliminated, the * A possibilities from TUN are limited to … LH. I take a look without complacency but I immediately find an advantage: unlike MS or TK that would have forced me to buy additional NH tickets costing between 170 and 200 € return to get from TYO to Hokkaido, LH rates are the same whatever Japanese cities you are flying to and open jaws are possible without restrictions. Only constraint the stop overs more than 24 hours at TYO are increasing the fare. No problem for this trip the 24 hours are enough for me.
I avoid the 2 am redeye flight to stall me on the late morning one. Then I have the choice between a LH flight and a NH codehare flight. The LH flight will allow me to try an aircraft that I probably would not have the opportunity to try later, the 748-i. Moreover it arrives around 12 o'clock at HND which suits me. I will take the codeshare NH for my inbound flight: with all the "benefits" of a codeshare, no reservation seat, meals… Communications with NH is a nightmare, as often with Korean or Japanese companies. After many emails and phone calls I was able to book my seats on the domestic flights but not for the NH flight(LH codeshare) "because it is in a LH booking" I was told. But domestic flights too …
NH4783 - Economy - Tokyo Haneda → Asahikawa Boeing 763You are here
NH58 - Economy - Sapporo New Chitose → Tokyo Haneda Boeing 777Coming soon
NH223 - Economy - Tokyo Haneda → Frankfurt Boeing 777-300ERComing soon
LH1326 - Economy - Frankfurt → Tunis Airbus A321Coming soon
Let's go ahead for the description of the third flight of this routing entirely ***** Skyhoax:
After a good evening strolling through the narrow streets of Shinjuku and overnight in Yokohama, the next day I'm coming back to Haneda but this time to the domestic terminal. My flight is a NH codeshare on Air Do (HD) which is a subsidiary of NH. I'm looking for HD check-in counters. They are located at the end of the terminal.
My flight is already displayed so I head to the counter
I think I can guess by watching the agent typing on the keyboard if it will lead to something or not;) So the (charming) agent types and types again on the keyboard until I say "Is there anything wrong ?" She immediatly answers "It's better to go to NH check-in!" I had already searched in vain for premium NH check-in without finding it so I head to the domestic check-in when I see one check-in for international flights with two counters. and both are free of pax. When I approach the counters, one of the two agents quits (see no malice)! I hand my passport to the agent, give my NH flight number then the HD flight number. He is typing nervously on the keyboard! "Do you need anything else ?" He types again and suddenly a gleam in his eyes: "You come from Frankfurt!" "Yes I arrived yesterday!" Relief for both of us! Everything goes fast and I get my boarding pass
Security checkpoint is right next door. I present my boarding pass at a barcode reader and I receive a receipt.
The security process takes less than 5 minutes because there are a lot of opened lanes. Let's go to the lounge.
For once a NH livery is not too ugly !
THE Nh domestic Lounge
The lounge is already very crowded but it is very large so easy anyway to find a seat.
Not a really food offer only (good) rice crackers.
And it's the same offer all day long
On the other hand you can make you happy with adult beverages from early morning
The famous draught beer-tapping machines and their chilled glasses.
There is also soft drinks but it is a limited offer
Aojiru juice made with barley grass
Between the two draught beer-tapping machines a little flyer catches my eye
And here is an exclusive of this FR! NH has a B.O.L(Buy on Lounge) offer
Like in some US salons (AA at least) it is possible to buy food in the NH domestic lounge
I find a seat near the windows
But it's not easy to take pictures
I'm nevertheless able to photograph a piece of the horrible Star Wars yellowish livery as well as the Japanese Prime Minister's plane bound for Europe
My flight is on time
One of my selections. There will be a variation with the drinks but always with crackers
A trolley allows you to get rid of your own waste. It's a good initiative.
But to know in which trash you have to throw garbage you must first try to burn them ;)
Passage in the spotless toilets where there is a competition hook for the GRMY moment
A motivation for the most loyal NH pax
But all good things must end and it is time to leave for the gate.
After the pre boarding for families with children and people who needs assistance, it is the call of the different groups. Finally in theory because there are a lot of old people in this flight and they do not seem really involved in this groups boarding ;)
I join the "crowd" and I enter among the first on board. Another document is printed when boarding, which means that three documents are issued
THE NH4783 flight
I'm taking pictures WITHOUT blocking the aisle so I don't have to suffer the(justified) wrath of other pax by causing a slowdown
The legroom : decent
Some external views before the arrival of my neighbor: a businessman who counted the rows before sitting but who did not see that the first row was missing at this side and that the rank 6 is in fact the fifth row. So he was sitting in the row 7 before being asked to quit. When setting next to me, he recounts incredulously the rows !
Safety instructions in Japanese and English
As usual in Japan, the boarding is very quick and ordered
Pushing back and take off. The trolleys came out as soon as we are airborne
Some has brought their supplies
Only a limited choice of drinks is offered. If you want more your friend BOB is here
There is a blanket distribution for the most sensitive to cold pax
The trolley is coming
I'm feeling that the FA a little anxious so I make my request in Japanese. As I have noticed many times the Japanese are often surprised that a foreigner is trying to speak Japanese. They try to understand the words as if it was a foreign language, hence a misunderstanding. I repeat my request with my best smile and I get a wonderful smile in return … and my green tea.
Served in a cute cup
The company celebrates its 20th anniversary
The little neighbor girl who is a few rows in front of me has received a personalized cup : a butterfly drawn by the FA
The company has only two types of aircraft
And here is its network
We land early and arrive at the gate way ahead of schedule. I am among the first off the plane so I'm able to take the 12:50 bus, scheduled arrival time of the flight.
bonus : shirogane onsen
Bonus : Click here display hide
First of all for those who have only taken buses in big cities, this is how it happens sometimes on some inter-city lines in Japan. You have to get on the bus by the middle door and take a numbered ticket (the number of the bus stop).
In the front of the bus you can see the name of the next stop and the amount to be paid depending on the stop (ticket number) you get on the bus.
At each seat a button allows to resquest to stop at the next bus stop.
This bus took me from Biei to Shirogane Onsen. Shirogane means platinum! Onsen: the term refers to both the source, the baths but also the spa built around the baths. The bath is a hot thermal bath, indoor or outdoor, whose water comes from volcanic sources and may have therapeutic properties.
So I took advantage of these baths, especially the outdoor bath that I prefer for the contrast that provides the feeling of heat compared to the cold air (it was -1 ° C / 30.2 °F in the morning). Of course I liked to walk a lot in the surroundings of Shirogane Onsen, forests, waterfalls and ponds.
The hotel provided guests with a very nice tea set
Finally here is the traditional breakfast that was served every morning
I usually love salmon, but the mackerel was really delicious
ANA Domestic Lounge
Tokyo - HND
Asahikawa - AKJ
A check-in a bit laborious.
A domestic lounge that has not improved at all and remains mediocre: offering miso soup and rice and/or onigiris would not lead NH to bankruptcy
An excellent flight with this "bear" company. Even if the on board offer is very limited we remain close to what is offered in Europe on a similar flight.
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