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Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 6:21 am

Exploring Japan By Plane:

Sun Jun 08, 2003 1:18 pm

This is my first trip report, so please bear with me. I will post more of my previous flights as soon as I turn my notes into trip reports…

Sendai (SDJ) – Osaka Itami (ITM)
7 JUN 2003 (SAT)
Boeing 767-300

After a night of drinking with some teachers from my school, I was surprised to wake up at about 5:00AM. However, I usually rise with the sunrise, and in the summertime, the sun rises at around 4:30AM in Japan (since there is no daylight savings time here).

Anyways, after making the usual preparations, my hired car arrived at my house at 7:00AM, and we made it to Sendai Airport at around 7:45AM. I was looking around for my friend, but I couldn’t find her. So, while waiting for her to show up, I decided to check both of us in (for Japan domestic flights, you can check in all the people in your party at once without them or their IDs being present). Usually most people on Japan domestic flights use the auto check-in machines. But that only works if your tickets were printed on the special Japan domestic flights paper (which is smaller than the usual airline ticket stock). Since our ANA tickets were printed on United Airlines paper (since I got them as frequent flyer awards) I could not use the auto check-in machines, and had to go to the desk. Check-in was no problem, and the misspelling on my friend’s ticket was corrected with no trouble. I ended up reserving seats 1A and 1B – the 767-300 used today is configured in an all-economy class configuration.

I met my friend a short time later, and we went through the security check. I had a notebook computer, but I didn’t have to turn it on. Since there was time to kill, we went to the ANA-signet lounge. It was quiet, and not too many people were there. We loaded up on coffee, but free beers were also yours for the taking at 8:00AM. They were in cans, so one could easily take them with them (on a previous flight the attendant did say I could take a few on the plane with me).

Boarding was called at 8:30, and we quickly boarded. Unlike most flights I have taken lately, this flight had a decent load. About 1-2 empty seats per row, so you were looking at about 80-90% load factor. This was unlike some flights I have taken earlier this year, where there were only about 25 passengers on planes of about 150 seats (ANA A320) or about 220 (United B767-300ER). Newspapers and blankets were offered.

Pushback was on time, and the safety demonstrations were given both manually and by video. However, announcements were only spoken in Japanese (though the English words could be seen on the safety video). Takeoff was to the east today out of Sendai Airport, and we then turned right over the Pacific. I was in the aisle seat so I could not see much of the scenery, but it was a cloudy day so not much could be seen. However, before takeoff and shortly before landing one could see the scenery from the video screen. It is especially neat when approaching the Osaka Itami Airport, as you could actually see the view of the landing the same way the pilots view it.

For a flight of about 1:10, refreshments were your choice of drink. Beer was on offer for 500 yen if anyone wished to partake of drinking that early. I had an orange juice, and my friend had hot tea.

We arrived in Osaka on time, and quickly left the plane (as we were next to the door). The ground staff opened the door, and everyone left quickly. Looking back, I could see that the plane was to head to Kumamoto (in southern Kyushu) for its next flight. I was very surprised to see a fellow teacher at the elementary school as I was looking back. She was also surprised that I was on the plane, but with almost 260 passengers on the plane, it was a bit hard to see.

Soon I will post the next leg!
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 6:47 am

RE: Exploring Japan By Plane:

Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:41 pm

Very interesting - a rare look at internal flights in Japan. Despite having flown to Japan numerous times, I've only taken one domestic flight - from NRT to NGO.

As it left Narita, it was much more formal than the situation you described.

I look forward to receiving further updates.

Posts: 2302
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

RE: Exploring Japan By Plane:

Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:55 am

Great report. I've always been fascinated by the high-frequency widebody domestic schedules in Japan, and I'd love to visit Haneda Airport someday. Hope to read another report on this topic soon.
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 2:14 am

RE: Exploring Japan By Plane:

Tue Jun 10, 2003 4:25 am

Very good report... Keep up the good work, I'm waiting for your next report...

Mike Steffen

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