But before getting to it let me introduce myself : my name's Kristof, half french and half japanese and I am part of the Flight-Report team as one of its Community Managers, although you English-speakers won't see me very often as I am in charge of the french part.
Here is the first leg of my journey back from Japan where I spent two weeks for my usual summer holidays. The Flight Reports covering all legs of the inbound journey are already posted in French : I had first booked a Royal Jordanian flight to get to Hong Kong via Amman, naturally, but also Bangkok where the flight makes a technical stop (but where several passengers board and deplane). Once I reached Hong Kong, I travelled with Singapore Airlines via its main and only hub, Singapore, to get to Tokyo .
The ANA flight that suited my needs in terms of schedule was operated by His Majesty the Fire-Breathing Boeing 787. As a few of you may already know, I was literally expelled two times from it. Actually, back in February, JAL was meant to open the Tokyo-Helsinki route. I booked it, but they cancelled the inauguration because of the grounding. In early April this time, I took advantage of my father's United miles to book the Warsaw-Chicago line sold by LOT Polish Airlines but the grounding order was still effective.
Thus I was very excited to finally fly with the Seven Eight Seven! Although a bit sad to leave Japan.
This first picture was taken when I was ready to leave home. I didn't forget to switch my stopwatch on. Let's see how many hours my journey home will last!
As always, I went to Haneda Airport using the very convenient and cheap bus service which makes a stop just in front of my pied-à-terre, in the Eastern part of Tokyo (Koto-Ku, for those who know the world's biggest city well).
It will take me to Haneda Airport Intl Terminal (by the way, I was the only passenger going overseas - we were the 12th of August, and most of the passengers were going to the four corners of Japan to join their families for the O-Bon festival) in less than 30 minutes. After seeing the Cancelled sign next to a flight to Beijing on the Flight Information Display Screen, I feared it was mine, but it was an earlier flight operated by CA. Hurray!
The check in area at Haneda feels very spacious and clean
I went direcly through check-in procedures at the ANA Counter. The employee was very nice to me and checked my luggage all the way to my final destination. However, he informed me that he will not be able to print out my second boarding pass here so I will have to pick it up in Beijing.
After this very quick stop at check in counter I will be hanging out a little bit around the airport.
An abandoned flight simulator next to the JAL counter
Raise your head, PIKACHU's HERE!
There is a nice observation deck here in HND with little open spaces on the fences to let your camera's zoom go through and take nicer photos.
An ANA 787 which is not mine
A 767 equipped with winglets
An overall view of the observation deck
A KE 747 probably going back to Seoul Gimpo this morning
What a nice poster!
Some flowers following HND's design standards
A part of Haneda Airport was designed into a reproduction of a Japanese village from the Edo Era. It is called Edo Village and is the ideal place to buy your last souvenirs or eat a snack (if you don't have lounge access, obviously!)
I am now heading towards immigration : there is not much time left before my flight and I want to spend some time in the lounge
After an extremely quick walk though security and immigration I am now outside Japan on the air side
The ANA lounge is in the right side of the terminal
On the way to the lounge I see my 787 which will take me to Beijing, this time I got it!
Okay, lounge spotting now!
The lounge is split into two parts : the regular part for Business class and Gold passengers as well as the Suite Lounge for First Class passenger. As ANA doesn't operates first class out of HND, I guess it is used by its partners which operate first class.
I am warmly welcomed and I have a nice first impression of this lounge
There are chairs in front of the windows which allow us to watch the traffic while eating or working
It is bright enough
A quick look at the buffet with :
- The selection of alcohols,
- Cold salty snacks and sandwiches
- Yakisoba (fried noodles)
- Crackers and sweety snacks
- The noodle bar
There was also miso soup and curry rice, YUMMMM!!!!!!!
Here is my selection : curry all the way even if it's early in the morning with tea
Some Fukujinzuke : japanese people will know about it
The home page at that time
Some other views of this nice lounge
A stand of magazines available in several languages
I ask the employee at the front desk if it is possible to take a shower. She will keep my boarding pass while I use it
The bathroom is very clean and looks nice
After that refreshing pause it is time to board : in fact it has already started and there is a crowd of people waiting in the Economy Line but the Business class line goes faster.
Alright, my 787 awaits me!
I am greeted by the FA before heading to my seat. 787 operated by NH are configured with either the intercontinental full flat seat or this regional seat, it is nonetheless very comfortable although it's a cradle seat
A nice pitch we've got here
CX is parked next to us, and while pushing back, a BR 330 wearing Hello Kitty livery appears
Then comes the security demonstration: I looked attentively at the in case of fire part of the video XD
While an ANA 777-200 is back…
Some others are taxiing like us
The IFE shows we will be flying over North Korea, but this is technically impossible. We will be bypassing it by flying over South Korea then step by step going up to China.
We will let another ANA airplane take off before reaching the air
9:55. We're a bit late. Off we go!
A nice view of technical areas
The weather was cloudy this day in Tokyo so I won't really have a nice view of my native city
We will first fly over Tokyo Bay.
We are logically flying over Odaiba, which is one of these huge man-made islands in Tokyo bay and its amusement park, we might see the Rainbow Bridge in the foreground as well.
Here is Disneyland, where dreams come true!
So sad to leave my favorite city.
Japan is a very skinny country. You might need 30 minutes to reach Niigata, lying on the sea of Japan, by the air. We made an U-turn to head towards China, but while we were still climbing, after 10 minutes, our Fuji-San was clearly visible from my window. I have no word to describe that! WOOOOOOW! So proud my country has this so beautiful landmarks :)
A few minutes later the background has already changed : we are leaving the Kanto area and now a mountainous Japan is depicted
It seems that some passengers are already enjoying their flight
The seat control panel is very straight forward :
Menus were already in the seat pocket at boarding : I didn't take a look at it because it would have made me hungry!
The meal part of the menu is divided up in three parts : one for what was served in June, July each and now one for what is served in August.
As in Japan the law does not allow pre-departure drinks the first drink service comes with a snack shortly before the meal comes.
My neighbor, who is a Chinese national residing in Japan according to his passport (Chinese passport with a Japanese re-entry form stapled in it) speaks Japanese well, but when our FA comes to take orders for drinks, he just says NIHON SHU (sake) without any greeting such as Thank you. Yuk!
Farewell Japan, here we are close to the city of Tottori
I chose the Westerndish, although I usually have a preference for the Japanese course. But I was yearning for the jalapeno pork, and I also wanted to taste the Yaourt Satine made by Pierre Herme.
The meal is served by a very good-looking and gentle female FA with whom I could speak japanese.
The appetizer tasted very fresh and good, especially the salmon mousse on the left.
The pork was cooked well and the salsa sauce was excellent, however it is regrettable to use an aluminum jar and that is comparable with the AF long-haul service… Although we are now on a flight lasting less than three hours, so it's fine.
The yoghurt by Pierre Herme was tasty.
The meal is now over! Let's play a bit with the opacity button, which is the main innovation for passengers on this Seven Eight Seven.
I woke up at 5 this morning, and I am a bit tired. Full recline from now on! There is a possibility to sleep well, even if it's a cradle seat.
These are bad quality headphones
Guess what's in the seatpocket?
Let's take a look at the IFE : here is the airshow
The main screen with all apps
There is a chat screen as a friend of mine flying ANA told me : it works like a real e-mail box
Toilets are clean with ANA branded soap in it
The cabin is still resting, although we are approaching Beijing
Arrival forms are distributed without pens : I will request one of those
We are now roughly 100 kilometers away from Beijing and FAs prepare the cabin for landing
The power supply is still working
57 kilometers to go
The engine is still there and not on fire
It is cloudy here in Beijing
Typical communist architecture out there
A big rural roundabout
Could it be the domestic terminal with all these mid-size Air China airplanes?
We're parking next to this JAL 787 also coming from Tokyo
Seat-belts signs off, everybody is ready to deplane, last pic of my seat
Dear Mister 787, it's probably the first and the last time I'm flying with you, it was nonetheless a pleasure!!
The livery is beautiful
Is this Lufthansa airplane coming from Frankfurt or Munchen?
I'm now heading towards passport control. Thanks for reading guys!
ANA Domestic Lounge
Tokyo - HND
Beijing - PEK
It was a really nice flight with Japan's largest carrier. We arrived on time, and priorities at boarding were successfully applied. The cabin is modern and the seat is comfortable for this three hour flight. The IFE is exhaustive, but there are not many known Western singers or bands in the musical selection. The meal service is great for three hours, but a more refined appetizer could be offered. It would also be great to get rid of the aluminum jar.
Thanks for reading!
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