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Going To Tokyo... Alitalia 777-200ER, MXP-NRT  
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 21030 times:

Going To Tokyo... Alitalia 777-200 to NRT

First, as usual, let me do the overall itinerary:

0B 111, OTP-BGY, 734, 29DEC
AZ 786, MXP-NRT, 772, 30 DEC
KE 2726, KIX-GMP, AB6, 04JAN
KE 1, ICN-NRT, 332, 06JAN
MH 92, NRT-LAX, 772, 06JAN
DL 2168, LAX-MSP, 752, 07JAN
DL 5778, MSP-MDW, E70, 07JAN

Part 1: Blue Err... To Bergamo And Milano (by dc9northwest Jan 8 2013 in Trip Reports)

Well, I'd left off the report in the Milano hotel. The next day, we decided to explore a bit more of the city. So, we were up before sunrise, had a sweet breakfast at the hotel's breakfast area (it was decent), and went out in the cold Milano weather. As we headed northwest on a street (indirectly) towards the center, we looked behind us and saw the sun rising. Surely not even Alitalia could ruin this day, right?

We crossed into what once was the largest medieval city in the world, “Mediolanum”, a city of over 50000 even in the 1200s. However, it was, if memory serves, the largest in terms of size, not population. Milan was partly destroyed in WWII so the historical nature of the city is less apparent than in other Italian cities.

Here are some pictures from an early morning stroll in Milan—my favorite time of day in Italian cities. We headed, more or less directly, towards the Palazzo Sforzesco. When we got close to that attraction, my heart fell. Early morning, but still full of tourist buses. I wanted to cry. Why? Why would they do this to me? Why? I don't understand why you'd want to travel in a pack of 50 and race everyone to the toilet.

Well, we didn't exactly have much time at our disposal, as our flight to Tokyo would leave at 14:35 local time. We had checked-in and gotten seats, and all we needed to do was to drop-off our bags. We wanted to head back to the hotel with enough time to spare to catch the Malpensa Express to our flight.

However, we didn't stop at the Palazzo Sforzesco. We headed on further, to the Cenacolo Vinciano. Well, we didn't enter, as I read you need tickets in advance, which was not featured in our discussed plan of a Milano visit. Afterwards, we also passed by the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio (although we didn't get to see much of it—and a pedestrian area was under construction, ruining the available views), before heading to the Cadorna metro/subway station. While we were buying tickets, some weird character came up to us asking questions. Funnily enough, this was not the only time this happened on our journeys.

Here's a helpful guide of what I'm thinking when someone approaches me while I'm conducting a transaction:

1) Someone approaches me.
2) I think: “What the hell?”
3) That someone who approached me starts babbling about something
4) I think: “Do you think I want to talk to you... NOW?”
5) Yes, or
6) No
7) 6) is correct.
8) He doesn't leave.
9) I think “Are you a pickpocket?... Yes.”
10) Still here?
11) I think: “Do you think I'm stupid?”
12) I tell the guy some variation on “Bugger off!”

So, in conclusion, here's another short guide.

1) Am I buying something? Yes?
2) Then don't approach me.

Since this particular individual did bugger off quickly, I do suspect number 9 was right.

We got the tickets and got on the Green Line (something I wouldn't do in Chicago) to Milano Centrale. Three stations later, there we were. I've got no real opinion of the Milan Metro, except M says the two stations looked exactly the same. Well, once we got to Centrale we decided to get tickets for the Malpensa Express. That went smooth and 20 Euros later, we had our tickets... not that anyone ever checked them! Still, I thought it would be best to timestamp them before we got to the train. In true Italian style, the machine was on its lunch break. It said “fuori servizio”... but it still worked.

But first, we had to collect our belongings from the hotel. We did so, and, upon checking-out, we realized that the front desk attendant was Romanian (no real surprise). She checked us out quickly and I asked her to print our boarding passes. An e-mail later and no problems. Same as in Bologna earlier this year.

Here are pictures from Milan taken that rather chilly morning:

Church (chiesa chiusa):


Apartment building in Milano:


Ah, this looks more Italian:


The Sun had barely risen:


My favorite picture from Milano:


That's a pretty big wall. Wonder if anyone ever got in:


Palazzo Sforzesco:


Another one of these ubiquitous arches:


Santa Maria delle Grazie:


The Cenacolo Vinciano is right there as well:


Milano Centrale:


In the Malpensa Express:


Later, later, alligator, we reached Malpensa and went to the top floor, where the check-in desks were located. At the priority desk, we found a middle-aged woman (she'd consider herself young... but isn't) who seemed as excited about her job as an alligator going into space without a pressure-suit. Bitch would be the right word, but at least AZ, unlike RO, trained them to shut up when ill-disposed. Anyway, we got our bags tagged and no awkward questions about our itinerary (that we wouldn't complete). We never checked-in for the return to FCO and BRI, so no hard feelings there. At first, I could see the screen and was looking at what she was doing—when she noticed this she turned her screen away... Yes, I'm here to steal AZ's IT secrets... No, seriously, how the hell is this airline so bad at it? I can't understand it!

Actually the top level of MXP affords some views of the apron. However, we were already in a bit of a rush... so we went down to the security check level... the queue was huge, but luckily we could use the priority queue. 3 minutes later, we were through. A short trek through immigration later, we were finally airside. We discovered we had to pass through the duty-free to get to the gates... Hmmm... The disease. It is spreading.

MXP—the darkest of all airports:


Boarding the 777 by bus—aye, that's Italian style:


We decided to grab a bite at the ubiquitous airport restaurants. I got a rather cheap veal meal... not bad and decent size portion for the price... at one of the airport eateries. M probably got some seafood. We also got a couple of gelatos but they were not good. Somehow, it was later than I thought, so we had to go to the Alitalia lounge to meet up with A.net member AYA333, who would also be travelling on the flight (and back to Rome afterwards, in his case). Having lost track of time while eating, we had only about 10-15' at the lounge, during which we had a nice talk; afterwards we headed to gate B27 to board the 777. Well, the bus. The plane would have to wait a while. Once the bus started... and stopped by the 777, it was still a few minutes until we were allowed on the apron. The aircraft today was EI-ISO, so “not big”, according to AYA333   A nice ironic registration, therefore.

Not really a big plane:


This guy is in a few of our pics, looking weirded out by the three crazy people taking photos (M):


Probably the best 777 shot we took (M):


People lining up to get on the 777. I think they're all Japanese as the Italians probably skipped queue and got on first:


That engine is massive:


Boarding from the back:


Flight: Alitalia, AZ786
Aircraft: B777-200ER
Registration: EI-ISO
STD/STA: 1435-1040+1
ATD/ATA: roughly on time
Seats: 40E and 40G

We took a few pictures of our machine before proceeding onboard. No one said anything... guess the people responsible for telling off passengers taking photos on the apron were on their lunch breaks (usually, from 12:00 to 16:00 in Italy—even churches close, as you can't worship Jesus on an empty stomach!). We used the back entrance, where we were met by an Italian and a Japanese F/A. A check of my boarding pass later and I was through. A small problem for M, since she wanted to use the other aisle than indicated by the F/A—her seat was in the middle so she could use either one. I think the F/As didn't know the configuration of the plane well enough to realize this, or only looking at G, and not at 40G. Then, why check boarding passes at all? Maybe we were going to Timbuktu instead of Tokyo.

We got settled and indeed, our choice of seats was pretty good... no trolley-bumping during the night, that's for sure. AZ did well to put the remote for the PTVs on the seatback. I always wake up with the light on or having called the F/A while sleeping if the remote is on the armrest.

Empty rows... still (M):


Looking back, where the 3-4-3 becomes 3-3-3 (M):


3-4-3 ahead (M):


PTV and remote in the seatback—well done here, AZ (M):


Covered seatback:


Naked seatback:


The mini safety card:


Timisoara's the most important of all those:


Well, we had a 12-hr flight ahead of us. It would indeed prove to be my longest flight. The route would take us over Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, China and South Korea, before reaching Japan. Yes, Russia is a decently-sized country, indeed. Also, according to the in-flight map, some Russian cities still had their Soviet names, as AYA333 pointed out to me. What technology is this? The first 777 was built way after the fall of the USSR...

The service on AZ was pretty good in the beginning and declined as time progressed. However, the Japanese F/A did a good job all-around. This flight was much better than my previous long-haul journey with them, on a 767 held together with duct tape, from ORD to FCO.

How was the actual service, you say? Well, it was not bad. We were first offered a drink, with lots of options—three unusual fruit juices (perhaps my favorite thing about AZ), peach-mango, apricot and blood orange. We also had a pre-meal snack, in the form of some savory bites of some kind, “made specially for Alitalia”.

Pre-meal snack:


Pesca-Mango juice:


Soon after, the main course was served—a choice between Italian and Japanese meals. Well, that doesn't tell me anything. M had received the Japanese meal so I knew it was chicken but what about the other thing? Well, I asked and was told it was crepes. For a main course? Hmmm, I don't know about that, let's go for the Japanese option also. It was of decent quality, decently tasty for an airline meal—nothing special, but certainly eatable. Green tea, regular tea, and coffee were offered alongside the usual juice options.

Japanese Chicken option (M):


Green tea and Apricot juice:


After the meal, the lights were switched off and we were left to enjoy perfect darkness until Tokyo. Well, not really. The chorus of turning-on lights started as soon as the main cabin lights went off. I drifted in and out of sleep for a few hours. AZ has some snacks and drinks at the galley in the back of the 777, which you can get in case you're hungry or thirsty. Quite useful, since it's recommended to drink a lot while on-board. But only if you're not stuck in one of the double excuse me window seats. 3-4-3 means thumbs-down. I even got an aisle seat, which I never do...

Dark cabin:


A bit past halfway through the flight, approaching Lake Baikal, I went up to say hello to AYA333, and he joined me in the rear galley for some aviation-themed communication, which lasted for a good period of time, before the seatbelt sign went on and we went back to our seats.

Not long after, since I slept a bit, breakfast was served. The main portion was the dessert raisin (?) roll, served on a “plate” five times as big as the roll, making it look puny. Along some yogurt and other breakfasty stuff, it was decent enough. Nothing special but not horrible either. You know, much better than what McDonald's looking thing DL offers for breakfast on their TATLs out of America...

Breakfast:


Well, probably an hour and a half later we were on the ground in Tokyo, landing on runway 34R, and taxiing along the curved taxiway that makes NRT world famous. Some people did not wanna give up their properties when NRT was built, so there are some strange features, especially on the NE side of the airport, AFAIK.

Once we got to the gate and disembarked from this 777, we were met by an AZ agent with our names (and AYA333's... and 2 other names as well), going back to Rome. It seems that quite a few people had heard of the AZ mistake fare... and 2% of passengers on that flight actually bought such tickets. Well, a 99 Euro (in my case) ticket for a one-way to Japan isn't bad. Or you can use it to gather miles, as the fare bucket even allows for that...

Welcome to NRT (M):


Japanese immigration was quick, and no silly interrogation like in the US. That said, the agent seemed unsure of what to do with my Romanian passport. He checked some tables and stamped me in once he saw I indeed didn't need a visa, and once my picture and fingerprints were taken (standard procedure, it would seem).

We proceeded to buy Skyliner tickets to Ueno (a ward of Tokyo metro area). Then we headed downstairs, towards the tracks, and the JR ticketing office, whence we got our Shinkansen tickets to Kyoto, leaving Tokyo at 8:00 am 3 days later. Ironically this was Nozomi 207, familiar for those who've read sloair's report: www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/232361/
I will cover the Shinkansen journey briefly in the next trip report. Afterwards, we proceeded to the track, to wait for our Skyliner. It arrived, the seats swiveled from facing right to facing left, the train was cleaned, and only then were we allowed onboard. 43 minutes later, we were in Ueno.

Narita T1 station (M):


Skyliner (M):


We dropped off our bags at our hotel, and, seeing as how check-in wasn't until 15:00 (and they are quite strict about this), we proceeded to walk to Ueno Park and in the immediate surroundings of the hotel. We saw a couple of shrines in Ueno Park (one under construction), and one further north-east, Kanei-ji Temple. We looked around Ueno Park a little bit, and, albeit not interesting for a Park IMO (although I'm sure it's nice during Sakura season), it features a large number of tourist attractions huddled together. We didn't stop by any museum, though, since Tokyo was the attraction, and not museums, and because we were quite tired at that time. Being close to 15:00, we headed back to the hotel, looking for food on the way there, although we couldn't find anything suiting both of us. I wanted meat and M seafood. The few places we knew offered both didn't strike our fancy or were full. Furthermore, only a small proportion of places offered an English menu (indeed, it is Tokyo after all!). However, some offer a Korean menu, and a familiarity with the Korean script and some Korean cuisine would probably allow me to find something eatable at one of those places. Alas, I wasn't that hungry. Tiredness prevailed. We checked-in, internetted a bit, and then slept... planned as 1.5hrs, it went on for 3. Zzzzzz.

Shopping street in Ueno (M):


City from the entrance to Ueno Park (M):


Ueno Park (M):


First temple we saw in Japan:


Interesting shape for a tree:


Walkway:


Overexposed Temple:


Towards one of the temples (M):


Five-storied Pagoda (M):


And another view of the pagoda:


Lanterns (M):


Park Exit (M):


-Wake up. Where are we?
-Tokyo. Hotel Sardonyx Ueno.
-What's that out the window?
-Must be the Tokyo Skytree, the 2nd tallest building in the world!
-What time is it?
-Around 8 pm.
-We have to explore. Let's go to Akihabara.

Second tallest building in the world from our hotel room (M):


And so we did. The walk from Ueno to Akihabara isn't long—probably not longer than 20 minutes or so. It was chilly outside, but not too bad. Akihabara is a haven for geeks of all kinds, it seems. It seems better suited for a night visits, with its blaring neon lights and its young people roaming around. New Year's Eve made it even better. The place was full of young adults and teenagers enjoying specialites such as Octopus Balls (it might not be what you think depending on just how perverted you are).

Oh, have I mentioned the vending machines? They're great and they're everywhere. Hot and cold drinks, without the language barrier. Awesome.

Akihabara on New Year's Eve (M):


Akihabara again (M):


More Akihabara:


Just walking around (M):


JR Station:


One of our favorite things about Japan—and there were many favorite things (M):


Around 10:30 or so we decided to stop to grab a bite to eat soon. We found a chain restaurant serving what looked like eatable food, according to their plastic food displayed outside. We went in, ordered some Gyoza, what turned out to be Salted Beans, what turned out to be Pork livers (I guess... Who knows.), and something... completely different, which “wasn't very good”. Afterwards, we headed to a shrine/temple for midnight celebrations—if there were any. Unfortunately the language barrier played a part here, as we didn't understand what the person at the entrance to the temple was saying. Though I think I heard “tomorrow”. Anyway, I took a couple of pictures and we wondered the streets a bit more. People were coming and going, but we didn't see any fireworks, not knowing where we'd have to go for these. We did see a lot of drunk-ish gaijin, though. Particularly loud-speaking Americans. And Japanese people seemingly returning from somewhere and going home or perhaps to one of the ubiquitous karaoke places or video game arcades. We then returned to our room.

Next day, we decided to visit Shinjuku, Harajuku (wasn't me) and Shibuya neighborhoods in West Tokyo. We took the Toei Asakusa Line to Shinjuku, the busiest railway station in the world... apparently. Wasn't that busy on this free day, however.

Toei Subway (M):


Toei Subway once more (M):


Shinjuku, the busiest railway station in the world, seemingly empty on January 1st (M):


Shinjuku Station:


Shinjuku seems to play the role of a central business district (though not the only one). Therefore, the part away from the station towards the West seems to lack a bit of soul. You could be anywhere. The more populated area with shorter buildings, shops and restaurants was more animated. You could usually even find English menus here.

Shinjuku ward (M):


Lots of Skyscrapers:


Peaceful neighborhood on January 1st:


We decided to go up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, to the North Side (free) observation deck. Free, although, to look East, you needed to buy something from the mediterranean-styled terrace/cafe. Anyway, we could see some of Tokyo and Fuji-san in all its glory. Pictures below.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government building (M):


Different angle on the TMG:


Looking towards the northwest:


By the Shinjuku Park (M):


Fuji-san from the TMG observation deck (M):


Fuji-San detail (M):


East towards the Skytree (M):


Close-up:


Afterwards, we went to the park just across the street, and to a temple where people were doing their New Year's prayers.

Shinjuku Park and a Temple (M):


Temple and People doing Hatsumode (M):


Lower Shinjuku (M):


The non-skyscraper part of Shinjuku. English seemed more “represented” around here:


There's not much to say about Shinjuku. It isn't my favorite part of Tokyo, as it seems less Japanese than other neighborhoods around the city. We took the Yamanote line to Harajuku, which M wanted to see live since forever. We got off the train and onto the very, very crowded Takeshita Street. Yes, I know, the name is a bit unfortunate. Not my favorite place in the world, again. Lots of pink, and lots of teenagers here. We wandered around some more streets (these were very nice for a stoll), before heading to Yoyogi Park, which was full of people. Because, no doubt, there was a temple there. Yes, indeed, there was. Hatsumode in action. We joined the procession, although we didn't go all the way to the shrine, due to the massive wall of people in our way. We eventually returned, saw a bit more of the Yoyogi Park and went back out, proceeding towards Shibuya, more or less directly. We were getting hangry at the point.

Train info in Shinjuku (M):


Yama(no)te Line (M):


Takeshita Street in Harajuku (M)--a rather unfortunate name...


Harajuku end:


Exploring (M):


More walking around:


Towards Omotesando:


This might be Cat Street—no idea why it's called that:


Harajuku Station (M):


Close-up:


Huge line for a temple in Yoyogi Park:


Walking towards Shibuya:


All the restaurants on the street seemed to either be fast-foods or closed. We went to the Shibuya station exit, saw the busiest crossing in the world, before heading to a department store. Why? For food, obviously. We finally found a place suiting us both. I got a beef shabu-shabu, a dish where you cook your own food in a pot of heated oil/soup/something liquid. The dipping sauce, along with “seven spices” mix in it, and some sort of vinegar and hot/chili peppers was really quite delicious. The beef was very good as well. M had a pork meal, with a lot of weird plates... “some fish, some soup, some pickles, some rice. and something creamy and gross”. Anyway, I really enjoyed the shabu-shabu, although the collagen bowl (where you cook your meat) didn't look like something I'd want to eat at first. Shibuya was quite nice to walk around, though still a lot of foreign tongues, Spanish, English... you name it. M even heard some Romanian here, I think. I didn't catch it. After a few pictures with the famous dog statue at Shibuya station, we went to get some credit on the PASMO card. Again, while we were attempting to conduct a transaction, a Japanese guy approached us. Now, I don't know of his intentions... maybe he just wanted to practice English, but I will refer you to what happens when I'm attempting to conduct a transaction and you approach me. I will assume you're up to no good. No “bugger off” this time since we're in Japan and that would be impolite. Soon, we were on the Ginza line train, back to Ueno. We finally then back to the hotel and had an epic struggle for the internet. Since our hotel had only one wired internet access point and no wi-fi.

Busiest Pedestrian Crossing in the World—Shibuya (M):


Shabu-shabu meal in Shibuya:


Lofty goal:


Shibuya at night:


Walking around:


Shibuya again:


Still a fair number of people around:


And on the third day, God created... Wait, no, that's not it.

And on the third day, we went to Asakusa... Ginza, Maru/Imperial Palace and Nihonbashi.

Asakusa was great—a more traditional neighborhood, but with signs of modernity all over the place. First stop, the famous and beautiful temple complex. It wasn't so crowded yet, so we were afforded a nice view, being so early in the morning. A delightfully relaxing place (at least at that pretty early hour). I'm gonna show you some pictures below.

Asakusa right before the crowds got there (M):


But... it's still crowded (M):


Entrance to the Temple's Courtyard:


Looks pretty Japanese to me:


Modern and Traditional:


Asakusa Temple (M):


Pagoda (M):


Temple with lots of people there for New Year prayers (M):


Peaceful Place:


Close-up:


In the Temple Complex (M):


Yes, perhaps my favorite place in Tokyo. Then we decided to have a stroll around the neighborhood.

Asakusa Shopping Street (M):
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Asakusa neighborhood:


Residential Area:


Just walking around Asakusa:


A big attraction around here is the Asahi Brewery, which we didn't visit. However, we did see the famous Golden turd on the roof.

The SkyTree and the Golden Turd:


Then, after realizing that sometimes, even knowing what you want, you have to go the other way, we proceeded on to Ginza via the Ginza line (again). A shopping street—not my favorite thing, but once of it, the neighborhood seems nice and interesting. Oh well, we had another stroll, some pictures, you know. I like how empty this place was (aside from the main street) being in a city of 30 million people. Eerily calm, but not overly so. We got ourselves some green tea ice cream snacks; I received an accusation of not eating my ice cream properly for maximum enjoyment, and then we headed to Tokyo Station itself.

Ginza:


Shopping Street—my least favorite kind of street:


A nicer and quieter kind of street:


Peaceful Tokyo:


Modernity:


Nice looking “clock tower”:


Close to Tokyo Station:


Tokyo Station:


Once here we proceeded to the Imperial Palace/Gardens. We found out that the Main Entrance would be closing at soon. We still went in to the public part of the Imperial complex and walked around some perfectly manicured fields and trees. Again, pleasant, in the middle of a bustling metropolis. One place Tokyo didn't remind me of, though I'd've expected it might, was New York. Nope, no real similarities IMO. After this, we headed back to the station, and found a curry restaurant, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Eating in Japan is not too cheap, though not as expensive in Norway either. Beef, however, is expensive for the size IMO. While I was wrong in fearing food in Norway, I was right in fearing food in Japan. It was difficult choosing a place to eat, every time. Don't get me wrong, the food was to the highest standards in these places, but for me, it's difficult. Also, thumbs down in allowing smoking inside—but Japan is not as bad as they say regarding this—definitely much better than Romania. After a decently filling meal, we headed northeast toward Nihonbashi, though there wasn't anything of much interest in the main part of this neighborhood. We did see a temple towards the south, Suitengu Shrine, which seemed to be recently built. Afterwards, we took the Hibiya line back to Ueno. Soon, we were back in our hotel, ending our Tokyo adventure.

Better view:


Nearing the Imperial Palace:


The Imperial moat:


The Imperial Park:


Nice looking trees:


Central Tokyo:


Nihonbashi at night (M):


Another take:


Another temple (M):


Details of buildings (M):


Or lanterns (M):


I will continue with the departure to Kyoto, Kyoto sights, the A300 flight to GMP and Seoul in my next part.

Overall, Tokyo was great, even though it's hard if not impossible to say something about Tokyo globally—each neighborhood seems different, some resembling “Western” places and others not at all. Ueno and Asakusa were nice because of their traditional nature. Shibuya seemed quite vibrant. I enjoyed most places I've seen here. I still think in Tokyo you shouldn't go to Museums but just walk around in as many different neighborhoods as possible. Definitely a place good for a return in the not-so-far future.

AZ? For 99 Euros to Japan. Hell, at that price, the best flight I've ever taken and no complaints whatsoever. Much better service to Japan than from the USA by them. No surprise, really, as the Japanese are used to far, far, far better service standards compared to the USA.

Malpensa—I think it's a weird little airport. I don't much like what I've seen. It's ok, though.

Narita—Hadn't yet seen much of it, but as you'll see later—it's very nice.

Thanks for reading my report, everyone, and comments are always appreciated.

Previous Trip Reports:
Blue Err... To Bergamo And Milano (by dc9northwest Jan 8 2013 in Trip Reports)
First Time To Canada: RO 733, KL M11, Porter DH4 (by dc9northwest Dec 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
Austrian To VIE, Plus Bratislava And A Schnitzel (by dc9northwest Dec 22 2012 in Trip Reports)
SFO-JFK On AA, 762, And LGA-MDW On WN, 738 (by dc9northwest Dec 19 2012 in Trip Reports)
California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO (by dc9northwest Dec 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Moldovan Adventure: Chisinau And 9U From VCE To OT (by dc9northwest Aug 27 2012 in Trip Reports)
AZ, MLA-FCO-BLQ, And San Marino (by dc9northwest Aug 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
To Malta On Emirates' A330-200 (LCA-MLA) (by dc9northwest Aug 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
TAROM, OTP-LCA, B737-300, And Nicosia (by dc9northwest Aug 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part V: LYR-OTP, SK/OS, 73G/100 (by dc9northwest Aug 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part IV: Tromsø Og Svalbard (by dc9northwest Aug 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part III: Bodø, And A Widerøe Dash 8 To Tromsø

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 20490 times:

Thanks for sharing your Alitalia experience with us. It seems you had a nice flight. Was it full?
So, if I understood correctly, they basically want you to close shades all the flight, right? So it isn't worth to get a window seat (only for the approach) and rather keep an aisle seat to get some snacks in the back?

By the way, what kind of snacks were on offer there? Only chips and bretzels and things like that, or also more filling things like Sandwiches? It's quite a long flight after all. I was a little surprised they boarded by bus. I know this is pretty common in FCO due to missing gates, but I thought it would be better in MXP...


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1960 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 20491 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really nice report, dc9northwest!

Looks like you had a really good flight with Alitalia. 99 Euros? That's incredible! Food looks pretty good as well. I love your photos from Tokyo as well; its definitely a place I'd love to visit sometime!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently onlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 760 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 19377 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Some lovely pictures of Tokyo. You were there during Oshogatsu (New Year) and it is probably the quietest time of year, as most stores are closed for 2 or 3 days. Even the supermarket near where I lived (Soka) was closed. People go to the shrines on New Year's day, and most stores and places of business are closed.
If you go at another time, places you visited (especially Shinjuku and Shibuya) are bustling with people. Still it is very orderly.
Your pictures of Japan brought back many happy memories of the time I lived there. Thank you for posting.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineplaniac787 From India, joined May 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 18232 times:

Good trip report!

Lovely photos the 777 and Japan.
From what I read about al italia these days is that they have really gotten there act together and are doing much better than before..There service has really improved..

Cheers

Pradat



Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 18211 times:

Hey Alex,

Great report. Nice to see so many familiar places. I'm glad you guys took advantage of this "special" fare and made the most of it.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
At first, I could see the screen and was looking at what she was doing—when she noticed this she turned her screen away... Yes, I'm here to steal AZ's IT secrets... No, seriously, how the hell is this airline so bad at it? I can't understand it!

Lol, I can imagine the scene. Well, as you know we Bulgarians and Romanians are experts at hacking. She didn't want you to see stuff that may have enhanced your chances of organizing some kind of cyber-scam. Can't blame her  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Yes, Russia is a decently-sized country, indeed. Also, according to the in-flight map, some Russian cities still had their Soviet names, as AYA333 pointed out to me. What technology is this? The first 777 was built way after the fall of the USSR..

Yeah, this is ridiculous. Same goes for ex-Yugoslavia. Podgorica is still featured as Titograd in some of those maps.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Once we got to the gate and disembarked from this 777, we were met by an AZ agent with our names (and AYA333's... and 2 other names as well), going back to Rome. It seems that quite a few people had heard of the AZ mistake fare... and 2% of passengers on that flight actually bought such tickets. Well, a 99 Euro (in my case) ticket for a one-way to Japan isn't bad. Or you can use it to gather miles, as the fare bucket even allows for that...

Wait, what? You were met by an AZ agent for what reason? Were you supposed to be returning on the same aircraft right away? So did you ignore the agent or did you explain to him/her that you were not intending to use the return segment of your ticket?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
the seats swiveled from facing right to facing left,

Ah yes, I have seen this feature even in old-school Japanese trains like the ones JR Hokkaido uses in some routes. I saw quite a few people rotating them so they could socialize with their friends. At the end of the route the conductors would turn them all to face forward again. Clever concept.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
The walk from Ueno to Akihabara isn't long—probably not longer than 20 minutes or so. It was chilly outside, but not too bad. Akihabara is a haven for geeks of all kinds, it seems. It seems better suited for a night visits, with its blaring neon lights and its young people roaming around

Akihabara is super fun! Many of the photos I've used in my TRs over the years have been stored in a memory card purchased in Akihabara.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Tokyo Station:

Sweet. I wanted to check out the exterior of the station when we were there in March but the entire facade was covered in some kind of tarp because it was being renovated. Nice to see the renovation complete.

Waiting now for the rest  .

Stojan



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 17840 times:

Alitalia looks great. Unfortunately i no longer have the opportunity to fly with them to Europe.

User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 17794 times:

Hi guys, thanks for all your comments so far!

Quoting reifel (Reply 1):
Thanks for sharing your Alitalia experience with us. It seems you had a nice flight. Was it full?
So, if I understood correctly, they basically want you to close shades all the flight, right? So it isn't worth to get a window seat (only for the approach) and rather keep an aisle seat to get some snacks in the back?

Reifel, the flight was almost full but not quite. I'd say about a 90% LF in economy. They insisted on shades closed starting after dinner. In effect, this was almost the entire flight, until the approach, yes. On a 12-hr night flight like this one, I don't think a window is necessary. Furthermore, I hear window seats have huge IFE boxes under them.

Quoting reifel (Reply 1):
By the way, what kind of snacks were on offer there? Only chips and bretzels and things like that, or also more filling things like Sandwiches? It's quite a long flight after all. I was a little surprised they boarded by bus. I know this is pretty common in FCO due to missing gates, but I thought it would be better in MXP...

Just the usual AZ snacks--like in the meal pics. Don't remember any sandwiches there, no.

Italy seems to like bus boardings a lot. I don't mind  

Thanks for your comments!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 2):
Really nice report, dc9northwest!

Looks like you had a really good flight with Alitalia. 99 Euros? That's incredible! Food looks pretty good as well. I love your photos from Tokyo as well; its definitely a place I'd love to visit sometime!

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Matthew!

Yes, for the price, a great flight. Yes, incredible, unless you know how "good" AZ is at working with computers... Food was ok. And yes, I highly recommend Tokyo.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 3):
Some lovely pictures of Tokyo. You were there during Oshogatsu (New Year) and it is probably the quietest time of year, as most stores are closed for 2 or 3 days. Even the supermarket near where I lived (Soka) was closed. People go to the shrines on New Year's day, and most stores and places of business are closed.

Hi triple7man,

The fact that it's the quietest time of year doesn't bother me--in fact it's quite nice. I thought finding open restaurants would be harder than it was. I suppose it's more difficult for people living there, with lots of stores closing...

Quoting triple7man (Reply 3):
If you go at another time, places you visited (especially Shinjuku and Shibuya) are bustling with people. Still it is very orderly.

Yes, the only place that didn't seem orderly while busy was Harajuku. Still, the part of Shinjuku towards the park is quite generic. Shibuya was crowded enough as is.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 3):
Your pictures of Japan brought back many happy memories of the time I lived there. Thank you for posting.

Thanks for reading and commenting! Glad to have brought back memories  
Quoting planiac787 (Reply 4):
Lovely photos the 777 and Japan.
From what I read about al italia these days is that they have really gotten there act together and are doing much better than before..There service has really improved..

Cheers

Pradat

Hi Pradat, and thanks!

AZ is alright now (service-wise)... and I'm sure the service to Japan is better than service to other destinations. It's hit and miss with them, really.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Hey Alex,

Great report. Nice to see so many familiar places. I'm glad you guys took advantage of this "special" fare and made the most of it.

Hey Stojan,

Thanks a lot! Indeed, as I said before, AZ might just become A.net's favorite airline if they keep this up! Japan is a very special place indeed, btw...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Lol, I can imagine the scene. Well, as you know we Bulgarians and Romanians are experts at hacking. She didn't want you to see stuff that may have enhanced your chances of organizing some kind of cyber-scam. Can't blame her  .

Ah, yes, and Ramnicu Valcea is the world's hacking capital or something. She couldn't have taken a chance... maybe I'd've hacked in to AZ's system and made everything better--can't have that, now, can you?  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Yeah, this is ridiculous. Same goes for ex-Yugoslavia. Podgorica is still featured as Titograd in some of those maps.

Yeah... It's strange. I can't explain it, really.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Wait, what? You were met by an AZ agent for what reason? Were you supposed to be returning on the same aircraft right away? So did you ignore the agent or did you explain to him/her that you were not intending to use the return segment of your ticket?

Not sure. According to AYA333, to check our passports and because the return flight was overbooked. I... erm... ignored the agent, yes. Just acted confused and said, no, that's not me. 

No, there were 3.5 hrs in Narita IIRC. I'm not entirely sure why the agent was there, though. We hadn't checked-in for the return journey. I think they realized most weren't going back to Italy.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Ah yes, I have seen this feature even in old-school Japanese trains like the ones JR Hokkaido uses in some routes. I saw quite a few people rotating them so they could socialize with their friends. At the end of the route the conductors would turn them all to face forward again. Clever concept.

It's nice. At times, I wondered why not everyone does the same. I think it's the same for Norwegian trains, though.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Akihabara is super fun! Many of the photos I've used in my TRs over the years have been stored in a memory card purchased in Akihabara.

Stojan, I had fun once... It was awful!   But yeah, Akihabara is nice and geeky. Not "American fun" or "British fun". So that's good.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Sweet. I wanted to check out the exterior of the station when we were there in March but the entire facade was covered in some kind of tarp because it was being renovated. Nice to see the renovation complete.

Ah, I see. Cool to know. It looked very "fresh". I was wondering if it always looked that way or it they'd renovated it recently. Neither would've surprised me.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Waiting now for the rest  .

Good   It might be a while... My lab report is due in a week and I have my 2nd 4-hr section today... and motivational problems in trying to complete it early.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):

Alitalia looks great. Unfortunately i no longer have the opportunity to fly with them to Europe.

That's a shame. Their food is way above-average, usually.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6647 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 17386 times:

Hi Alex !

Thanks for another great installment in this RTW series!

AZ looks nice and food looks good too. I was pleasantly surprised when I took them in late May LAX-FCO on their 777.

Tokyo looks great as always. One of my favorite places in the world. I'm also picky with food but have never had any problem finding great food there. I also had no problem getting around not speaking Japanese, commuting or eating.

I was also exactly a year before you and returned on New Year's Day. It was a trip with my 12 year old son and we had a great time. We also took the Keisei Skyliner which is great.

Looking forward to part 3.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 17254 times:

Hi Alex

Thanks for the interesting report and the lovely pictures of Tokyo. As for Alitalia, what can I say? I guess for the price you paid there really isn't anything much you can say - and the even let you board the mighty Triple Seven using stairs! I'd love to do that some day!

Just out of curiosity, in the picture with the first meal on the flight to Tokyo, what on earth is that in the left side dish. It's some salad but what is that on it?

Anyway, thanks for posting!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 16819 times:

Hi, great report, not sure if you would use a better camera or better setting, seems most of the shots in Japan are over-exposed. Pardon my ignorance but I count 3-4-3 on economy class, that is way too crowded! I thought most 777 has 3-3-3 or 2-4-2. The worst I have been on was AA from Narita to Chicago, that is 2-5-2, still short of 3-4-3! 3-4-3 is for B747, it must feel very uncomfortable on this 12 hours flight?

User currently offlineSR117 From Mexico, joined Jun 2000, 799 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 16756 times:

Hey there dc9northwest !

Many thanks for the great report and most of all, for all of the additional pics from your Tokyo trip   Pics at the destination are as fun as the pics one takes getting there.

Alitalia doesn't look bad at all, especially when one considers the fare paid! The catering looked pretty decent for Y.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Again, while we were attempting to conduct a transaction, a Japanese guy approached us. Now, I don't know of his intentions... maybe he just wanted to practice English, but I will refer you to what happens when I'm attempting to conduct a transaction and you approach me. I will assume you're up to no good. No “bugger off” this time since we're in Japan and that would be impolite.

If there's one country where you can let your guard down in that sense it's Japan... My first time there was back in November 2005, and I was just a confused guy in front of the subway ticket machine in Osaka around 7pm. I had just gotten off of the airport train and some random person approached me and gave me his subway day card, at first I was puzzled and suspicious, but I soon realized he was making my life much easier by giving me a ticket for the rest of the night, I thanked him profusely and proceeded to milk that day card for all i was worth : ) Had I been unnecessarily dismissive I might have missed out on a very kind gesture...

Thanks again for posting, look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Ricardo

[Edited 2013-01-14 20:17:32]

User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16705 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):

Hi Alex !

Hi, L..!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
hanks for another great installment in this RTW series!

AZ looks nice and food looks good too. I was pleasantly surprised when I took them in late May LAX-FCO on their 777.

Thanks for reading! Yes, AZ seems to have tremendously improved in the past few years, although they have a ways to go before being perfect.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Tokyo looks great as always. One of my favorite places in the world. I'm also picky with food but have never had any problem finding great food there. I also had no problem getting around not speaking Japanese, commuting or eating.

I can only agree with you-I like Tokyo very much (but Kyoto is even more special). The food I had at Tokyo was generally quite high-quality (except the cheap chain restaurant). You can't really get lost in the Tokyo subway system--it's designed so every can get around--even if not experts in orientation.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
I was also exactly a year before you and returned on New Year's Day. It was a trip with my 12 year old son and we had a great time. We also took the Keisei Skyliner which is great.

Good to know--I think the fun part is after New Year's though   The Skyliner is a good way to reach NRT.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9):

Hi Alex

Thanks for the interesting report and the lovely pictures of Tokyo. As for Alitalia, what can I say? I guess for the price you paid there really isn't anything much you can say - and the even let you board the mighty Triple Seven using stairs! I'd love to do that some day!

Hi William,

First of all, thanks!

I can only concur--a positive twist given the circumstances.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9):
Just out of curiosity, in the picture with the first meal on the flight to Tokyo, what on earth is that in the left side dish. It's some salad but what is that on it?

Yup, it's a sort of fish. Salmon, I believe, though I'm not 100% sure--I didn't eat it  
Quoting celestar (Reply 10):

Hi, great report, not sure if you would use a better camera or better setting, seems most of the shots in Japan are over-exposed. Pardon my ignorance but I count 3-4-3 on economy class, that is way too crowded! I thought most 777 has 3-3-3 or 2-4-2. The worst I have been on was AA from Narita to Chicago, that is 2-5-2, still short of 3-4-3! 3-4-3 is for B747, it must feel very uncomfortable on this 12 hours flight?

Hi celestar--yes, I need a new camera. This is why I'm looking for a better quality one to buy in the next few months.

3-4-3 it is, indeed. In fact, not horribly worse than a 3-3-3 and about the same level of (dis)comfort as on any 737/A320. Not that uncomfortable, but I'm not tall (or wide).

777 is usually 2-5-2 (which singlehandedly made me book on Malaysia Airlines to LAX--love that config!) or 3-3-3, but lately more and more airlines switched to 3-4-3. It's the standard configuration going forward except for Asian airlines (except Scoot and similar).

Quoting SR117 (Reply 11):
Hey there dc9northwest !

Many thanks for the great report and most of all, for all of the additional pics from your Tokyo trip   Pics at the destination are as fun as the pics one takes getting there.

Hey Ricardo!

Thanks very much for reading and commenting. Yes, I like to include destination pics--aviation is only half the battle  
Quoting SR117 (Reply 11):
Alitalia doesn't look bad at all, especially when one considers the fare paid! The catering looked pretty decent for Y.

Was one of my better long-haul flights, really. But maybe that had to do with the excitement of going to Japan?  
Quoting SR117 (Reply 11):
If there's one country where you can let your guard down in that sense it's Japan... My first time there was back in November 2005, and I was just a confused guy in front of the subway ticket machine in Osaka around 7pm.

No, I agree with you. Japanese people are awfully nice and helpful, in general. Our first day in Ueno, this older guy saw us confused at a map and stopped to help--we were only tired, but I appreciated the gesture; oh, and quite good English.

This guy in Shibuya seemed drunk. I feel that you never know in these cases, even though Japan has a very, very, very low crime rate. Again, I don't know. In the States and in my home country, it's not wise to let your guard down...

Quoting SR117 (Reply 11):
I had just gotten off of the airport train and some random person approached me and gave me his subway day card, at first I was puzzled and suspicious, but I soon realized he was making my life much easier by giving me a ticket for the rest of the night, I thanked him profusely and proceeded to milk that day card for all i was worth : ) Had I been unnecessarily dismissive I might have missed out on a very kind gesture...

I've had some similar experiences in the Seoul metro--I'll talk about them in detail in the Korean-themed report when I get the chance!

Quoting SR117 (Reply 11):
Thanks again for posting, look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Thanks very much, Ricardo!

And thanks again, everyone  


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1014 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 16202 times:

Hi Alex,

Great report, an enjoyable read as always! Seems like a decent experience on AZ (especially considering the price...   ) and some nice pictures of Tokyo as well! Looking forward to the next parts!


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27248 posts, RR: 60
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 16038 times:

Great report Alex  

AZ much better than I expected and their cabins look quite clean and tidy . Food not bad too.

Nice pics of Tokyo .

Glad you got your monies worth  

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinemanny From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 15674 times:

Loved it. great TR. Thanks for the awesome effort.

User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 15556 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Always love when the trip reports have more pics of the cities being travelled between....Awesome pics of the cities but the shots boarding the 777 makes one wish,, it was always like that by the stairs.

User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 15518 times:

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 13):
Hi Alex,

Great report, an enjoyable read as always! Seems like a decent experience on AZ (especially considering the price...   ) and some nice pictures of Tokyo as well! Looking forward to the next parts!

Hi Robert,

Thanks very much for reading and commenting! Yeah, the AZ price was great--wasn't it?  
Quoting OA260 (Reply 14):
Great report Alex  

Thanks a bunch, Philip!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 14):
AZ much better than I expected and their cabins look quite clean and tidy . Food not bad too.

Nice pics of Tokyo .

Glad you got your monies worth  

Yeah, everything was quite nice overall! Thanks again!

Quoting manny (Reply 15):
Loved it. great TR. Thanks for the awesome effort.

Thanks very much, Manny! I really appreciate it!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 16):
Always love when the trip reports have more pics of the cities being travelled between....Awesome pics of the cities but the shots boarding the 777 makes one wish,, it was always like that by the stairs.

Hi flightsimboy,

Yeah, the cities visited can be as important, even though we're on an aviation site. Yes, sure boarding by stairs has its disadvantages in bad weather... But it's the way to go when not   Thanks for reading!


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1771 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 14753 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Alex,

Interesting eport with - by now - quite some déjà-vu's for me. Yes, by now I’ve already succeeded succesfully in travelling this almost legendary routing. Alitalia didn’t perform bad at all, au contraire. Much better than expected and a quite pleasant journey in total.
Excellent footage of your stay in Tokyo, too bad I had no chance to stay their longer and sample some real Japanse life. Wel, next time!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
We also got a couple of gelatos but they were not good.

Gelatos at an airport: those are destined to be ‘not good’!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Not really a big plane

Hey come on, it’s a 777. Although not a -300 but still it is big   

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I think they're all Japanese as the Italians probably skipped queue and got on first

Were there any Italians on the flight? Our flight was 99% Japanese (apart from us).

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Maybe we were going to Timbuktu instead of Tokyo.

Highly unlikely. Alitalia doesn’t go there 

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Looking back, where the 3-4-3 becomes 3-3-3

That’s the section where we were in, at the right of the pic. I guess we must’ve annoyed quite some other people by standing there, chatting and having a ‘occasional’ drink  

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
three unusual fruit juices (perhaps my favorite thing about AZ), peach-mango, apricot and blood orange.

The blood orange one was particularly tasty.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Japanese immigration was quick

And oh so efficient. But why the hell do they want a mug shot, fingerprints?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Malpensa—I think it's a weird little airport.

It’s not little but weird, yes, a bit.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 14245 times:

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Hello Alex,

Interesting eport with - by now - quite some déjà-vu's for me. Yes, by now I’ve already succeeded succesfully in travelling this almost legendary routing. Alitalia didn’t perform bad at all, au contraire. Much better than expected and a quite pleasant journey in total.

Hello, Nils,

indeed, you've also used such a ticket quite recently. How fast did you recover from that mega-trip?  

Yes, AZ didn't do bad at all on this segment  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Excellent footage of your stay in Tokyo, too bad I had no chance to stay their longer and sample some real Japanse life. Wel, next time!

Dank je wel, Nils! Yes, you should enjoy Japan more in detail next time, and not just NRT. But you might not wanna leave  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Hey come on, it’s a 777. Although not a -300 but still it is big   

Here's a link: http://translate.google.com/#fi/en/ei%20iso  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Were there any Italians on the flight? Our flight was 99% Japanese (apart from us).

Hmm, yes, at least 2, who were moved to seats across the aisle from us.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
That’s the section where we were in, at the right of the pic. I guess we must’ve annoyed quite some other people by standing there, chatting and having a ‘occasional’ drink  

'Occasional', eh? :p

AYA333 and I talked at the left of that pic, by the TV screen you can see, for a while. No drinks for me though!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Highly unlikely. Alitalia doesn’t go there 

Toronto? Torino?.. Tonga?  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
And oh so efficient. But why the hell do they want a mug shot, fingerprints?

Ask the Americans! Likely they got the idea from the US!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
It’s not little but weird, yes, a bit.

Hmm... "little" is more of a term of endearment. I'd call small airports "small"  

Dank u wel, Nils!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13854 times:

Hi dc9northwest,

very good report with nice pictures from Tokyo!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Looking back, where the 3-4-3 becomes 3-3-3 (M):

That's quite bad. When I flew on EI-DBK a few years ago, it still had 3-3-3.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
But only if you're not stuck in one of the double excuse me window seats. 3-4-3 means thumbs-down.

2-5-2 is still the best 777 configuration.


PH

[Edited 2013-01-19 07:43:47]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13816 times:

Nice report... I like your way to fly from Romania to Chicago... the very long way.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 19):
Hmm, yes, at least 2, who were moved to seats across the aisle from us.

I took advantage of this special fare   last year and in my return flight (KIX-FCO), I was the only gaijin in my 100% full rear economy section (and that is +100 seats). I think there were some other gaijins in the front economy and Business class section, but not many. What I noticed in both FCO-NRT and in the return flight, most Japanese were in groups. So I assumed this likely works almost like a scheduled charter where AZ already has the majority of seats pre-sold to Japanese tour operators, and whatever they can sell for individual travelers is just fine for them... otherwise those seats might remain empty. I still wonder if the other Westerners were also in this fare... seen how many people seems that have had advantage of it.

I know it sounds like a cliche for Japanese quietness, but what amazed me about this flight is how quiet it was... no babies crying, no kids running over the aisles, no adults stretching anywhere, no pillows or blankets on the floor... I can't imagine how madly crews might like this flight... they basically don't need to do anything other than serve food! (I mean, don't get me wrong, I am probably one of those lousy persons moving around in the plane... but it was just awkward such a q-u-i-e-t environment in a full B777 cabin).


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 13398 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Hi dc9northwest,

very good report with nice pictures from Tokyo!

Hi PlaneHunter,

Thank you very much!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
That's quite bad. When I flew on EI-DBK a few years ago, it still had 3-3-3.

It wasn't as bad as I feared...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
2-5-2 is still the best 777 configuration.

  

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 21):
Nice report... I like your way to fly from Romania to Chicago... the very long way.

Hi SCQ83,

Thanks! I like it too!  
Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 21):
I took advantage of this special fare   last year and in my return flight (KIX-FCO), I was the only gaijin in my 100% full rear economy section (and that is +100 seats). I think there were some other gaijins in the front economy and Business class section, but not many.

Good to know. Yes, mostly Japanese on my flight; but there were quite a number of white people too.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 21):
most Japanese were in groups. So I assumed this likely works almost like a scheduled charter where AZ already has the majority of seats pre-sold to Japanese tour operators, and whatever they can sell for individual travelers is just fine for them... otherwise those seats might remain empty. I still wonder if the other Westerners were also in this fare... seen how many people seems that have had advantage of it.

Hmmm, interesting. That sounds fairly accurate. I think most Japanese were in larger groups on my flight too, although not everyone.

Well, many, but not too many. The fare was relatively well known for us, but likely not as much for the general population.

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 21):
I know it sounds like a cliche for Japanese quietness, but what amazed me about this flight is how quiet it was... no babies crying, no kids running over the aisles, no adults stretching anywhere, no pillows or blankets on the floor...

Hah. Agree more than 100%. Yes, it was quiet and nice. I like how the Japanese people care about others' comfort.

Thanks, SCQ83, your reply is much appreciated!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12237 times:

Hello Alex

Great report featuring the famous AZ flight! High quality pics and great writing.
AZ looks to have gotten better.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11947 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 23):
Hello Alex

Great report featuring the famous AZ flight! High quality pics and great writing.
AZ looks to have gotten better.

Greetings
Marc

Hi Marc, and thanks for your comments; I appreciate it!

AZ looked OK on this journey. I'm now expecting reports from people going to the USA on their other mistake fares to see if indeed their service is better on flights to Japan!


User currently offlineNDiesel From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11843 times:

I feel like I've just visited Tokyo! Definitely a place to go. Looking forward to the next report. Thanks!


Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 21 hours ago) and read 11140 times:

Quoting NDiesel (Reply 25):
I feel like I've just visited Tokyo! Definitely a place to go. Looking forward to the next report. Thanks!

Hi NDiesel, thanks for your comments--much appreciated.

Hopefully the next report is coming soon.

Thanks again!


User currently offlineflanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1658 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 10795 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Also, according to the in-flight map, some Russian cities still had their Soviet names, as AYA333 pointed out to me. What technology is this? The first 777 was built way after the fall of the USSR...

Most airlines I have been on use this OLD live display map that is from the 90's. It hasn't changed much since the first time I saw it on a LOT 762 in 1996.



Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 28, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 10063 times:

Quoting flanker (Reply 27):
Most airlines I have been on use this OLD live display map that is from the 90's. It hasn't changed much since the first time I saw it on a LOT 762 in 1996.

Well, they don't necessarily have to change their display.

But I don't think it's unfair to expect them to update their database once every 10 years at least...  


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 29, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9984 times:

Great report on AZ, not much to complain about this airline, apart from their ground handling people lol. I think crew on board is mostly fine. The meals can be hit or miss, I think. I wasn't overly impressed either, I rate the catering just average.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
The mini safety card:

Have you ever flown AF? They have mini safety cards. Not AZ  

Good to see some downtown pics of Tokyo again, it's a lovely city, both quiet and vibrant. I has all. You noticed that yourself. Great to have a clear day on January 1st, with the view on Fuji-san. Must have been given such a calm feeling that morning, me thinks.

Regards
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineCARST From Germany, joined Jul 2006, 835 posts, RR: 2
Reply 30, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9922 times:

Hey great report there! And so familiar. Have been there about 5 weeks before your trip, used an AZ fuel-dump-fare, too. I loved Tokyo, a wonderful city and wonderful people. It just takes a few days and you are bowing down while thanking the waitress in a restaurant just like the natives. Very special and interesting culture.

And you are fast with your TR, I haven't even started sorting photos. Haha. And was that AZ check-in agent really that bad to be called such names? ^^

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Afterwards, we proceeded to the track, to wait for our Skyliner. It arrived, the seats swiveled from facing right to facing left, the train was cleaned, and only then were we allowed onboard.

Very good feature, I think everyone prefers sitting in the direction the train is driving. On the other hand I don't know if it is worth the money installing such a system just for people to get in their preferred seating direction.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Shinjuku, the busiest railway station in the world

Is it really that busy? I found Tokyo Station to be the busiest place I have ever been to. It was fun, but very busy, especially on the tracks of the Yamanote Line.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Fuji-san from the TMG observation deck (M):

Great to see you had so much luck with the weather!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Boarding the 777 by bus—aye, that's Italian style:

While it is a bit annoying to board a widebody jet by bus/stairs, even with two stairs attached, it gives you some great views if the weather is good and you get a free airside-tour of the airport. And AZ is not the only airline doing that. It happened to me, too, in China recently and many years ago in FRA and DUS (albeit that was after the big fire).


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 31, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 9636 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 29):
Great report on AZ, not much to complain about this airline, apart from their ground handling people lol. I think crew on board is mostly fine. The meals can be hit or miss, I think. I wasn't overly impressed either, I rate the catering just average.

Thanks, Eric!

Unfortunately I am very well used to poor customer service on the ground--in many places. Not everywhere is the same and certainly Japan outranks probably any country in the customer service department. They're brilliant!

Crew on board is fine if not on any power trip! The Japanese F/As did a better job, not surprisingly.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 29):
Have you ever flown AF? They have mini safety cards. Not AZ  

Good to see some downtown pics of Tokyo again, it's a lovely city, both quiet and vibrant. I has all. You noticed that yourself. Great to have a clear day on January 1st, with the view on Fuji-san. Must have been given such a calm feeling that morning, me thinks.

Ah yes, the AF safety cards, I remember those 

I agree with everything you said. And yes, January 1st was pretty calm, at least in the morning. Nice weather to see Fuji-san, too.

Thanks again, Eric!

Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
Hey great report there! And so familiar. Have been there about 5 weeks before your trip, used an AZ fuel-dump-fare, too. I loved Tokyo, a wonderful city and wonderful people. It just takes a few days and you are bowing down while thanking the waitress in a restaurant just like the natives. Very special and interesting culture.

Thanks Carsten!

Good to hear you took advantage of AZ, as well!

5 days? It took less than a day for me to get used to bowing!   I think it's a nice way to do things.

Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
And you are fast with your TR, I haven't even started sorting photos. Haha. And was that AZ check-in agent really that bad to be called such names? ^^

Not as fast as Nils or Stojan!  But thanks!

Check-in agent... it seems she wanted to be a good Italian and go on her 3 hour lunch break  
Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
Very good feature, I think everyone prefers sitting in the direction the train is driving. On the other hand I don't know if it is worth the money installing such a system just for people to get in their preferred seating direction.

Given how huge train travel is in Japan, I think it's very nice that they do it, cost notwithstanding  
Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
Is it really that busy? I found Tokyo Station to be the busiest place I have ever been to. It was fun, but very busy, especially on the tracks of the Yamanote Line.

Hah, well, in my experience, Tokyo Station was busier--but maybe just because everyone went to wave to the Emperor that day. Shinjuku seemed not too busy on January 1st. Other days, no guarantee...  
Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
Great to see you had so much luck with the weather!

Thanks, Carsten. Yeah, the weather in Japan was quite good. Wait till I upload the Korea report though! Brrr...

Quoting CARST (Reply 30):
While it is a bit annoying to board a widebody jet by bus/stairs, even with two stairs attached, it gives you some great views if the weather is good and you get a free airside-tour of the airport. And AZ is not the only airline doing that. It happened to me, too, in China recently and many years ago in FRA

It's nice and gives you a break from all the jetways, haha. Of course it was sunny so no problems there. In rainy FRA, however, maybe it's not that pleasant  

Thanks for reading and replying, guys!


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