First of all, for Qantas: I'm an aircraft maintenance officer by trade, but currently commanding a transportation squadron.
Now, for my trip report. It started off bad and got worse from there. Here it is, in detail:
Wednesday, 20 Dec
1100- Depart from our USAF base in Tokyo by bus for Narita
1330- Arrive at Narita Terminal 2. Grabbed a FREE luggage cart and loaded up. Free carts, what a concept!
1350- Completed check in at Delta desk D. Found out Flight 56 delayed takeoff from 1800 to 1820 for "late arrival of aircraft"
1400-1440- Went up to Terminal 2 North observation deck for some planespotting:
AIRLINE/AC TYPE/TAIL NUMBER
EGYPT AIR/772/?? couldnt read the number
Qantas appeared to be undergoing minor maintenance and was eventually towed away.
1440-1630- Explored Narita Terminal 2. My wife reports that the bathrooms offer BOTH "western" and japanese toilets. I.E. Japanese toilets are the "hole in the floor", you have to have good aim and good balance. We were impressed by the women on the cleaning carts with dust mops dragged behind, sort of like a ride-on lawnmower. Also, Narita offers childrens play areas in each terminal. We love the "big board" that shows all arrivals/departures for the airport.
1632- DELTA MD-11 N805DE arrives at Gate C88
We don't like the layout of gate C-88, all the way at the end of the terminal with not enough seating for awaiting passengers.
1745- Gate attendants (japanese) announce boarding will be delayed until 1825
1830- Boarding starts. gate attendants make announcements in japanese but hold up signs in English. People in the back can't see, it is confusing.
1845- Finally get aboard aircraft. We are seated in Coach class, Seats 38A/38B, exit row. Over top of left wing.
1903- Pushback from gate C88
1915- Waiting on the taxiway for runway clearance.
1945- FInally take off. (Originally 1800 scheduled takeoff!!!)
2000-2010- Encounter terrible turbulence climbing through FL15-FL20. I can see the fuselage twisting and the wings flapping madly. Definitely white knuckle time for a bit.
2010- We break out of the turbulence. Flight is OK after that.
DINNER: Choice of Roasted chicken breast, Seafood medley, or 4-cheese tortellini. I have tortellini, my wife has seafood, both are very tasty, hot and not bland.
SNACK: Yogurt/Muffin. I am sleeping at this point, my wife has the snack.
LUNCH: Kishimen noodles with Salmon or Teriyaki chicken breast. I have the chicken, it is a little tough but OK.
Looked to be standard Delta medium blue overall. Aircraft was clean and in good working order. No personal TV devices at each seat, though. JAL had them on a flight I was on, I really like them.
1730/20 Dec (EST)- Landing at Atlanta Hartsfiield Intl. Great approach, very smooth. Nice touchdown.
Flight Time: 11:45
1745- CLear customs. Our connecting flight, Delta 1945 to Orlando, is scheduled for 1750 takeoff, so we arent going to make it.
1750- At baggage claim, and the fun begins. The entire airport loses power twice as we wait at Belt #3.
1810- Turntable belt #3 is working, but lower belt (takes luggage up from below) is not working.
1815- I suggest to Delta employee that they switch our luggage to Belt #4,5,or 6, which are all working.
1825- Our flight passengers are getting belligerent.
1830- Finally switch our luggage to Belt #4. I get a standing ovation from our passengers for my suggestion.
1900- FInally get our luggage and clear immigrations.
1910- We are told by Delta attendant outside immigrations that "Alll Delta flights to Orlando that night were fully booked and we would have be on standby all night." I asked about other airlines and she said there weren't any other flights.
1915- We put our checked bags back into the Delta system, for Flight 1975, Takeoff 2015.
1925- We get to the Gate for FLight 1975 and are told that the flight (Looks like a 767-400) is fully booked with 60 PEOPLE on standby.
1930- We leave the gate area and go back to Delta main ticket desk.
1945- We get up to the desk and are told: "DID YOU KNOW YOU ARE ALREADY BOOKED ON AIR TRAN FLIGHT 745, TAKEOFF 2015, TO ORLANDO?" I said no, not one Delta employee told us that until now. Our bags, however, are already on the way to Orlando on Delta flight 1975.
2000-We get to Air Tran gate and check in.
2015- We take off on time, Air Tran flight 745. 737-200, older jet but a screamer. I love those old JT9D's. Air Tran flight crew is a blast, they have fun together, we talk to the Captain who is very nice. The F/A's have fun with each other. We enjoy ourselves for the first time on our trip.
2130- Arrive at Orlando. We go to Delta baggage claim and our luggage is there. Our rental car from Avis was held for us, and our trip is over.
Biggest disappointment for us was not being told we were rebooked by Delta. If we hadn't gone back to the ticket desk, we would've been in Atlanta all night trying to fly standby.
I'll post our return to Narita in Mid January, we are scheduled on United......