Here goes my first trip report on the A.net forums!
HKG-NRT-HNL on Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines (JAL)
Boeing 747-446 (JA8072)
Flight time: Approx 3 hours 10 minutes
07 July 2004
Got to Hong Kong Chep Lok Kok International Airport at around 13:30, checked in, walked through security, and headed for gate 40 (would need to take train). Had a few minutes to spot some planes—mostly CX aircraft though. Other aircraft I spotted were Dragonair A333s, A321s, and A320s, All Nippon Airlines B772, B763, Japan Airlines B767-300, and B747-400, a South African Airlines A340-600, a Singapore Airlines B777-200, two China Airlines A300s, Star Alliance A340s of Lufthansa and Air Canada, plus the usual cargo aircraft in the back. Also saw Chinese airliners like Air China, China Southern, and China Eastern.
Boarding took place at 16:00, and push back commenced not too long after. The safety video was played as the mighty B744 started its engines. We continued to wait, minutes after all four engines were started. I stared at the Magic II PTV screen (front camera) and watched the tow truck pull away from the aircraft’s nose gear. A few minutes after, we started to taxi toward runway 25L (I thought we were at least), but to my surprise, we pulled into one of the hardstands (parked next to a CX B744 B-HOO and a Canadair CL-600 Regional Jet CRJ-200ER of CR Airways (B-KBJ). We had a fuel leak (I believe, since the PA announcement was way too soft and that I couldn’t understand the captain), so we ended up sitting in that spot for almost an hour. What I ended up doing was watching traffic go by, like another Japan Airlines B767-300, two Orient Thai B747-200s, Chinese airliners, and the usual CX aircraft.Until around 17:00, pushback commenced again. After a quick start up, we were on our way.
The departure was a little bumpy, as we shook left to right quite a few times after liftoff (pretty hard to take photos from the window). I only had a view of the ocean—instead of any land. Soon after we were above the clouds, made a sharp left turn and headed for NRT. As soon as the seat belt sign turned off, the flight attendants started preparing the drink service, followed by the meal service.
Menu for HKG-NRT:
Eel Teriyaki on Seasoned Rice or Black Bean Chicken with E-Fu Noodle
Cold Japanese Noodles “Udon”
Coffee, Tea, Green Tea, Soft Drinks, Alcoholic Beverages
We flew over Tainan and Taipei on the island of Taiwan. Pretty nice view, and also got a view of some mountain range, and some storms.
The flight continued uneventful, and the sun set, leaving nice sunset photo ops. Will post photos later.
The flight continued through the dark skies, as we reached Japan. We had a northeast track so we flew over Kagoshima, and headed up toward Tokyo. Meals were collected, and JAL’s blood circulation video was played (on all flights they play a video to get your blood circulating about half way through the flight. Not too long after, the Captain announced the decent to NRT airport. The weather was clear, so the decent was smooth.
We landed on 16R, smooth touchdown, and turned off the runway before taxiing to Terminal 2. We passed some ANA aircraft, including the Pokemon livery B744, and some B763s. We pulled into Gate ** (forgot which number—it was the 2nd gate from the skytrain tracks that connect the two parts of Terminal 2 that faces straight, not diagonal. It is also closer to runway 34L side).
I had 10 minutes to get to Gate ** (again I forgot—it was the 3rd gate from the skytrain on the diagonal parking stalls, one the side that is toward runway 34L.)
After a run, I reached the gate on time, thank goodness! People started to board the aircraft as I got out my boarding pass.
Japan Airlines (JAL)
Boeing 747-346 (JA8179)
Flight time: Approx 6 hours
07 July 2004
We boarded the aircraft—boarding was not smooth though. So it took me a while to get to my seat. After a few minutes, push back commenced. I spotted the usual JAL aircraft, plus a Middle Eastern airline (unidentified), a MH B772, and an OZ B763. Soon after, we taxied to runway 16R for departure. A KZ B747-200F and a NW B747-200F took off before us.
Takeoff was pretty bumpy—so the aircraft kept shaking left and right just after liftoff. And so we headed into the clear night sky toward HNL.
As soon as the seatbelt sign turned off, the flight attendants passed out hot towels, and started drink service. About half an hour later, the meals were served.
Menu for NRT-HNL:
Cream Spaghetti with Spinach
Marinated Smoked Trout & Shrimp
Fried Chicken & Grilled Vegetables
Fresh Salad (Non Oil Japanese Dressing)
Chocolate Mousse & Mini Fruit Tart
Simmered Beef & Potato in Sweet Soy Sauce with Steamed Rice
Sauteed Burdock in Soy Sauce
Sweet Potato Cake & Sesame Tart
Coffee, Tea, Green Tea, Soft Drinks, and Alcoholic Drinks
The food was superb, not surprised that the food is so good on JAL. I also had some of JAL’s Sky Time drink (Sky Time is like an ordinary fruit juice, only served on JAL), which in the past was kiwi flavor. But this time, citrus flavored Sky Time was served—and it was good as usual.
The flight continued through the night as they dimmed the cabin. I decided to get some rest.
When I woke up, the sky was still dark—a few minutes to sunrise since the eastern horizon was already lighter blue. Somehow I fell back asleep (I guess I was too impatient in waiting for the sun to rise) for a good 45 minutes. When I awoke again, the sun was up way past the horizon . . . so much for the sunrise photo ops. Oh well.
Breakfast (well not really a breakfast but a small snack prior to arrival) was served—a strawberry Danish, fruit & vegetable mixed juice, plus coffee and tea. I helped myself to the strawberry Danish but passed on the juice—I’m not a big fan of fruit & vegetable mixed juice. The strawberry Danish and the packet of juice came in a nice Reso’cha bag—which has a nice tropical design. With a Hibiscus in the center, all kinds of tropical and exotic plants surround it, plus one or two birds are included in the design. I decided to keep that since you only get that on JALways flights which serve Hawaii and Australia I believe.
Less than an hour later, the plane finally reached the Hawaiian archipelago, after nothing but ocean. We started to descend. We flew over the islands of Ni`ihau and Kauai, as we continued to descend. 10 minutes after we flew over Kauai, the west coast of O`ahu appeared in the distance. Got a pretty clear view of Makapu`u, Ewa, Pearl Harbor, and Hickam Air Force Base, before touching down on runway 08L at Honolulu International Airport. Descent was smooth with very little turbulence.
Touchdown was also very smooth. We slowed down and turned off the runway. Spotted a bunch of other JAL aircraft, like a B742 and some DC-10s. We taxied on Alpha, turned into the Ewa Bay, and pulled into gate 28.
Overall, I would fly JAL again. The food was superb, and the FAs are very friendly plus the service is excellent.
Hope you enjoyed reading it!