Forgive me for the poor quality of pictures. I decided to do a trip report late in the flight, so they were taken in haste. Thanks.
I got the call just abit past 3am. It was an automated message from crew scheduling informing me that was assigned a 4 day trip with 2 layovers in NRT with a SPN midnight turn. I would be working flight NW11, DTW-NRT. When I got up 5 hours later, I went online to the employee site to look up the crew, and see who I would be flying with.
Later on, I left for the airport around 1:30 for my 2:05pm check-in. After check-in, I head over to the briefing room where the preflight brief is taking place. There 13 of us on the crew this afternoon. Diana, who was our purser for this leg of the trip, began the brief shortly after 2, The captain in the first crew gave us the cockpit crew brief. He told us about the expected turbulance enroute(code 2 when leaving the Northern west coast of Alaska), and smooth the rest of the. Then Diana came in with the cabin crew brief. The load was 64C, and 334Y, so almost a full load. My girlfriend was accompanying me on the flight and I was worried that she wouldn’t get on, but luckily she did. She was booked in coach, but the purser said it was fine to bring up to WBC. Our aircraft for today’s flight would be 6313(N673US), named City of Tokyo. Our gate was A34. Departure time was 3:35pm. After I bid for my positon, which was UD2(upper-deck), a rare occassion at my seniority(wondering what i'm in for, if you're stuck on the upper deck with the most senior, it's usually because no one want to work with him/her). I'm usually working the 2A, 3A,B, or D. I'll be working with Karen an 37 year flight attendant from ATL. I head off to the gate after a quick stop at the ATM.
I decide to walk to A34 instead of taking the tram, and meet my girlfriend by the Cap Hub. I walk past flt 25 which was delayed for an equipment swap for a pressurization problem. I'm the first one to the gate and go on board to stow my bags, check my equipment, and pick at my crew meal. I go upstairs to put my small bag behind my jumpseat by the midcabin exit doors. I go into the galley to prep the carts for the predeparture service. Boarding begins at 2:45, and the WBC passengers start coming up the stairs and get seated. I hang coats , and fill glasses of champers, OJ, La Croix water, and beer to take out onto the floor for pre-departure beverages. The upper deck fills up and door 2L is closed shortly before 2. We board a full 747 in less than 25 minutes. Karen and myself pick the glasses and last minute coats prior to pushback. The announcement for departure is made by the purser, I arm the upper deck doors, drop the retractable monitors for the demo, and go back to the galley to secure carts and loose items before we push back.
The aircraft starts rolling backwards as the safety video starts. We roll towards the taxiway out of the terminal area. I’m not sure which runway we took off from as it’s hard to very much from the upper deck j/s. The video ends, and we approach the threshold of the runway as the cockpit crew announces “Flight attendants, be seated for take-off”. We turn onto the runway, and fullstop. The engines spool-up and we’re rolling. We start down the runway, the bumps in the runway are barely noticeable from upstairs which is nice. We lift off from the runway shortly before the time we were supposed to pushback.
We cruise through 10,000ft and the green light goes on signaling sterile flightdeck is over for cruise. Portable electronic devices are now permitted for use. We begin our preps in the galley for the first service. Karen goes out with the oshiburis which is Japanese for hot towel. I pullout the carts and retieve the cart toppers with the same steel ice buckets left over from the old post merger Northwest Orient days. I put the glides with the nuts and appetizers in the top shelf spot. The appetizers are cold smoked scallops on a lemongrass stalk, with a crab puff . Carts ready to go, Karen and I go out on the floor. We serve in a converging fashion or a “squeeze” as we call it. Drinks served, the ovens cooking away, Karen goes through with 2nds while I prepare the meal trolleys for the salad and main course. This is what we call 3 step service, we serve the tray with a salad on it. The salad is an iceberg variety with a choice of dressing, a Japanese oriental sesame, or a Litehouse country ranch. The Ranch is the popular choice because most of the customers are American anyway. Karen and I finish the salad portion of the meal, and I load the hot entrees in the trolleys, 1st choice is a beef shank encrusted with cheese, spicy glazed chicken with white wine sauce(which no one ordered) and baked salmon in a shrimp sauce. We also have Bento(Japanese meals) that are offered, but I had none in my section. We serve 2nd on rolls to those who want them on or way back to the galley. Karen and myself prepare the trolleys for the pick-up/dessert portion of the service. We unload the residual items from the glides of each cart and remove the the cart tops and replace them with one tray of ice cream/biscuits, and one of fruit and cheese/crackers. Plates and cutlery are placed in the cart glides. All items are offered along with coffee/tea/green tea. At this point, i’m relieved from my duties to start on duty-free sales on the main deck. My trolley is already sent down and David, (the other FA assigned to my trolley) is already started on the inventory. We have new hand-held computers to handle duty-free sales. Not new thing in the industry, but new thing at NWA. We go through each drawer going through the items. Inventory completed, we start out in the aisle with another team on the left side of the aircraft. We go all the way to that back of the aircraft with the trolley, keeping pace with our other team. Aisle sales are completed, we bring the trolleys back up front to place them back in the galley areas. We close with dummy seal because the sales are available until 1:30 mins from landing. The crew break times are posted for 1st and 2nd breaks. 1st break people eat their crew meals, and get their bunks ready for break. I’m on 2nd break, so go back upstairs to the upper deck because Karen is going on break and I’m her relief.
During this point, I’m responsible for the mid-movie snack, and cooking the 2nd FD crew’s meals.
It’s pretty slow part of the flight, with not much happening, with the odd passenger getting up to use the bogs. During this time, i'm chatting with my girlfriend. I go up to the flight deck when one of the pilots needs to stretch his legs. At one point as I’m walking out of the flight deck, this quite attractive young girl comes out of the lav closest to the FD door, and the smell was overpowering. I wasn’t sure if it was her, or the person who went in before her, but the aroma was righteous. I never smelled anything that bad before. Whoa. At about the time we cross the Bering Straits, is when I serve the mid-movie snacks, which consists of a choice of a mini-pizza, a cup of raman noodles, or a bowl of fruit served with juice, soda, beer/liquor/cordial. At this point, I’m about 1 hour away from my break period. The 2nd FD crew comes on duty about this time. I start putting things away to wrap things up for to Karen to come back on duty. I start to put my stuff away in bag, and take my contacts out. Go on break for 3hrs, 30 mins. I get the smallest bunk it the crew rest area. 6’2 and squeeze into a 5’9 bunk designed for the old ladies who usually fly these trips. We’re scheduled to be back on the floor at 3pm Tokyo time. I go off to sleep.
2:45pm rolls around giving us 15 minutes to get ready. I get back into my uniform, go down to the crew-shitter to brush my teeth, clean up my appearance abit for the last 2 hours of the flight. I walk back up to the aisle to back up to the UD to start the breakfast service. Karen already has the trolleys ready to go. I go out to pass out the oshies(hot towels) to the few that are awake. The cabin is completely dark with the window shade
still down. A few people wake as i’m passing the towels over to people seated in by the windows. After passing all rows, I go back up the front and pick up the used towels and then discard them in the garbage. Karen and I proceed with the meal trolleys.
I wonder what Karen would think of this picture on the net?
3rd service trolley
The breakfast service is a one-step service with beverages given off the top of the meal trolley. The choices are are a cold shrimp and artichoke salad, a bowl of cereal, or a hot western omelette. All is served on a full length tray with fruit, biscuit, and a mint. Coffee/tea/green tea is served from stainless steel kettle servers. A few decline the service, and prefer to sleep until landing. We’re scheduled in 1 hour early, which pisses off a few people. Can’t please everyone, I suppose. Karen and I start the pick-up, and prepare the galley. Due the fact that I neglected drink much water during the flight, I’m starting fade quickly. My legs start stiffening up, which is a good indication of dehydration. We I start sealing up the liquor carriers, wine carts, and beverage trolleys. I also take this time to close out the duty free trolley and bring the inventory sheet to the deposit envelope. Karen and I start to distribute the customers coats before landing.
I turn off the lights in the galley, and ask the remaining passengers to open their window shade for landing. Around 4:15pm, the landing chime form the FD sounds and the purser announces for passengers to raise seatbacks, traytables, for landing. Foot rests and PVS monitors in WBC need to be stowed also. I go downstairs to tell my girlfriend to meet me outside customs hall to catch the bus with me over to the hotel. I take my j/s for landing, and assume my modified brace position. I look out the window just aft of the exit door, and spot an NWA Cargo 747, and a UAL 747-400 waiting in line to take-off. We flare for landing and smooth touch-down(where it’s always a smooth touch upstairs), thrust reversers deployed, we come to a rolling exit on the turn off. Since we’re an hour early, NAA assigns us a busgate, stand# 2907. We beat the early DTW-NRT(NW25) in by 30 mins, but because our planned gate is occupied, we go to the remote area, and NW25 gets it gate at the terminal. Deplaning goes expeditiously. I check the upstairs bogs, grab my bags, take a quick cockpit snap,
,and head downstairs to say goodbye to the remaining passengers as they go off. The crew gathers their bags, I follw my girlfriend off as I carry her bag down the stairs. I go back up to retrieve luggage. We then wait for th last passengers to be bussed over to Terminal 1, and wait for our crew bus.
The big PW4000's of 747-400.
AA777 at the adjacent remote stand
The mainmounts of the 747.
The author after the flight A few rampshots of NRT
We clear customs and head through immigration. The immigration officers allow my girlfriend to go through the Crew/Diplomat line with me which was nice of them. With nothing declare, we walk out to the bus to the hotel. The DTW-NRT of my 4 day trip ends. Tomorrow(today) my girlfriend will take NW8 to SEA. I’ll go on to Saipan to do the all-nighter turn tomorrow night(tonight).
Comments, questions, tips on a better report?
Alaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 900 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10505 times:
wOw, I love it when crew write reports!
I always seem to be out of it when they come around with the duty free things... do they put everything in a cart on the Upper deck?
How many people actually buys stuff from the Duty Free?
When I was a bit younger I wanted to be a pilot... when I was at the airport I always wore my pilot hat, with my leather jacket, with my yellow tiger plane scarf... then for a while I wan't to be a Flight Attendant because I could walk around and interact with people. then I went back to wanting to be a pilot. But now that I've really started to get into school who knows?!?!?!
Anyways sorry to rattle off with my own story, but I must say your Trip Report was great!
You'll have to write a return report if you get a chance... and if you could take a picture of the WBC seat, even if you don't write a report i would be interested in seeing some more pictures of the seat!
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
Jetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7338 posts, RR: 52 Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10372 times:
Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 2): and if you could take a picture of the WBC seat, even if you don't write a report i would be interested in seeing some more pictures of the seat!
See what I can do, i'm flying on 747-200 tonite down to SPN, so they only have the old style WBC seats. I'm going to try and put some vids up on the way back.
Quoting Tsaord (Reply 3): Nice report! i dont hear too much about NWA flights around these parts. F/A's get calls at 3am?? Wow lol...How long have you been a F/A?
11 years next December. I was the most junior on the way over, but I have 5 FA's junior to me tonight. 1 from PEK, 2 from PVG, and 2 from MNL
Quoting Delta732FF (Reply 4): Great report. I did enjoy reading it. I do like to read FA reports alot more than normal passanger reports for some reason. Hope you write the rest of your duty out. Thanks.
I'll write something, either add something on this trip report or on a new thread.
Tbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 5 Reply 11, posted (7 years 18 hours ago) and read 9520 times:
Your report is great, as usual. I especially enjoyed the photos. At least we all know what the author looks like - in uniform after an ugodly-long flight! Quite seriously, thorough report and job well done. I hadn't thought of the NW hub at NRT. I've flown through MSP, but NRT looks like NW jumbo-land! And I didn't know NW was still flying the -200's. May the rest of your journeys be un-eventful and safe!
Jetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7338 posts, RR: 52 Reply 13, posted (7 years 15 hours ago) and read 9348 times:
Quoting Alaskaqantas (Reply 2): I always seem to be out of it when they come around with the duty free things... do they put everything in a cart on the Upper deck?
We have 2 duty-free trolleys in the upper deck that are moved to main deck when we begin duty free sales. Everything we sell is on the carts except for the cigarettes. We keep those in a carrier in one of the galleys.
Out from the US, is where sell the most and from Japan down to MNL. Because people sell the stuff there. But we sell quite alot of items. The cosmetics, cigarettes, and booze is what goes the fastest. We don't have duty-free sales on transatlantic
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10): Thanks for the report . . . gotta love the upper deck on a 747 . . . my favorite place to relax . . .
Me too, it's where myself and others on the crew slept on our 4hr sit in SPN last night.
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 10): So, your g/f just hopped over to Japan for a day with you and hopped back? That sucks, eh?
She spent the night here with me. I went over to the airport early with her to see her flight off. A buddy of mine was the purser on the SEA flight, and he upgraded her after the boarding door was closed.
Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 11): Your report is great, as usual. I especially enjoyed the photos. At least we all know what the author looks like - in uniform after an ugodly-long flight! Quite seriously, thorough report and job well done. I hadn't thought of the NW hub at NRT. I've flown through MSP, but NRT looks like NW jumbo-land! And I didn't know NW was still flying the -200's. May the rest of your journeys be un-eventful and safe!
Thanks. Yeah we still fly the generic whales out of HNL-NRT, and they go on to GUM/SPN. LAX was the last mainland route for the pax -200. it's gone to a 400. Just for all of you 747 nuts out there, here's our take-off roll., This is aboard NW17 from SPN-NRT. It's ship# 6623(N623US). A 747-251B, manufactured in 4/79. She's still plugging away. I'll film the tomorrows take-off/climbout descent and landing of the NRT-DTW leg. I'll maybe do a tour of the aircraft and post the videos as well. Put some good headphones on, crank up the volume, and enjoy. You'll feel like you're there. Enjoy the sound. Jack
A few pics of the oldest lady.
Me in the high-density/Beach Market configured cabin of the 747. You can see a clear, and unobstructed view of the cabin all the way to the back. Holds 30J, and 400Y
The past and present in this picture. The pax 747-251B will soon be a thing of the past.
Very nice report. My editorial suggestion is to try using shorter paragraphs
to make it a little easier to read.
I am not suggesting that you delete anything, but breaking it up might make
it more readable.
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1702 posts, RR: 42 Reply 18, posted (6 years 12 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8696 times:
Great report. As a some-what regular NW International flyer I appreciated the view from a flight attendant.
Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 13): Yeah we still fly the generic whales out of HNL-NRT, and they go on to GUM/SPN.
I actually enjoyed the WBC seats on the upper deck. They seats were roomy and very comfortable. Of course the PTV's had more glitches up there than I can remember but somehow things always worked out. If you ask me, I personally much prefer the 742 to the D10.