This is my first trip report, so please go easy on me. If you have any comments, suggestions, etc. please let me know.
Nagoya to Boston is a long distance, and since the 2 cities are not major hubs, there are no direct flights. I’m also a nervous flier, so I don’t like having to fly so many times. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures from the trip.
Anyway, on to the first leg:
(Centrair to Narita) - JAL
Flight time: 45mins
We got to the airport at 6:30am. The taxi-limo thing picked us up at 5:45, which meant we had to be up at 5am. Not a good start to so much flying.
The check-in line was long, but not as long as I’ve seen in the States, and it moved rather swiftly. Our bags checked all the way to Boston, we were set to go. My wife had a look through Duty Free, then we went through security.
After security we had to go through immigration, which in Japan is a bunch of balding middle-aged men who always point out that I forgot to sign my embarkation (disembarkation? who uses that word??) card. While standing in line, I found 3 other foreigners who’d either started on the bottle that morning, or just hadn’t bothered going to sleep that night. Talk about red faces, and I could smell the booze 3 lines over. The best was when one of them shouted “NAHH, DON
’T FILL THAT S*IT
OUT - IT
’S NO BIG DEAL. THEY NEVER CHECK IT
ANYWAY” (then he almost fell over.) I was sooo hoping that they wouldn’t be on my flight, but luck is always against me for these things.
Off to the gate. The flight was pretty full, but boarding was rather smooth and I don’t think we were delayed pushing by any more than 10 minutes (coming from the US, I’m always impressed by that.) The NGO
leg is only 45 minutes, so just my luck we got Business Class seats. My wife almost immediately fell asleep. I can’t sleep until I watch one of the boring movies at least once and have had a good bottle of wine first. Taxiing was quick- there usually aren’t any stack-ups at Centrair, and with a roar and lots of shuddering, we thundered down the runway and were Tokyo-bound.
About 15 minutes out of Tokyo, I leaned forward to pull out the in-flight magazine when there was a loud BANG and the airplane shook. I remember my wife saying “What was that?” (or the Japanese equivalent) and I was reminded once again that I’m a nervous flier. On a side note, whenever I fly into Narita from Nagoya I always hit some bad turbulence or an air pocket or CAT or something- I could bet money on it.
20 minutes later we were on the ground, moving on to the next gate.
- JAL - Code share with AA
flight somethingorother (forgot)
Flight time: 12 hours, 30 minutes (I think)
So we exit the plane, walk down a really long hallway with moving walkways, go through security AGAIN, then go the gate for the next flight. Our next plane just happened to be the same one we had just gotten off of!
The departure lounge was full of people, and seating space was pretty full. I just sat around looking at all the people who would be on the flight, wondering where they were from. Who would be on the connecting flight to Boston? I wondered.
The line to board was REALLY long, but it moved quickly and we were onboard in a few minutes. We had upper deck seats, just in front of the exit row. I had no room for my knees, so I wasn’t expecting a nice flight at all. I sat in the isle, my wife in the middle, and some fat guy from New York sat at the window seat. Bonus: he only went to the bathroom once during the whole flight.
Taxi again, takeoff and we were New York bound. I just sat back and waited until we reached cruising altitude so I could start watching the movies. On a side note: I hate the NRT
route. I really do. The only route I hate more, is the return trip. The only thing that keeps me sane is the movies (and sometimes the food.)
The flight was quite uneventful, and for the most part almost exceptionally smooth. We had very little turbulence en route, and we eventually made it to New York and landed with some small bumps on the way down.
Third, and final, Leg
- Delta Connection operated by ComAir
CRJ450 (or 460? I can’t tell the difference.)
Flight time: 35 minutes (nice!)
The other reason why I hate doing JFK
, is because WE
ARE ALWAYS DELAYED. ALWAYS. Even if it’s a sunny day, no winds, no other planes on the ground and none within a 50 miles radius, something always delays us. Granted, Logan isn’t the easiest airport to get into, but still. In summer frequently there are delays because of haze or thunderstorms, in winter there are delays because of snow storms (Nor’Easters - bonus points if you know what one is, or have been through one.)
We went through immigration and were greeted by typically rude immigration officers. My wife had to “take a walk” with the woman, and of course they didn’t say anything to me other than “you can wait in the baggage area.” Everything turned out okay, but there’s always the fantastic lack of information, then when you have the audacity to ask a question, the inevitable rude answer.
I was expecting to sit around and get a few hours of sleep, but I was pleasantly disappointed. We got to the Delta terminal, and were the only ones to go through security (after checking in with the one desk open. I felt sorry for the guy, but he was rather nice.) Another thing I hate about New York is the people, especially at the airport. I’m sorry, but I’ve been to NY city about 20 times, and through JFK
at least 10, and I’ve never, ever had a warm feeling about it (unless you count anger and frustration.)
In the waiting gate there weren’t that many people, but a bunch of sparrows and a pigeon. Also arcade games for $1.50 a game, token only *sigh*
Down the stairs we went, onto the bus to be taken to our chariot. Our bird was this last flight was a CRJ450 (I think, but just go with me.)
Boarding was quick, and as expected, the plane wasn’t full. The flight attendant was nice (“Welcome to flight uhh.. 7532 to ... Boston”) and after she had finished, the pilot came out and addressed us.
“Welcome aboard flight 7532 to Key West.” and when everyone looked up in surprise (me too) he did the eyebrows up and down thing and said “Wanna go?” “Haha, just kidding. We’ll be going to Boston today- don’t worry.” and then the usual bits about taxiing, altitude, etc.
A few minutes later door closed, we taxied off and were in the air shortly. Our flight time was 35 minutes, which surprised me. Usually it’s 45 minutes or more, but this time they cut over Connecticut and Rhode Island and we were there in no time. Very smooth, very quick flight. When my wife couldn’t decide what kind of candy bar she wanted, the FA
said “Don’t worry, you can take more than one.” with a smile.
Soon after we were finally in Boston, after 14+ hours of flying. Being on Delta, we went through Terminal A (which is all new.) We were in and out in about 20 minutes, found a cab, and were through the Big Dig in almost no time.
- Delta Connection operated by ComAir
Flight time: 45 minutes
Now came the return trip, which I always dread. I mean, who likes to go home from vacation, you know?
We left home at 6:30, at were at Logan before 7am. We even went through the Big Dig again! How’s that for fast?
The line at Delta check-in was long, but moved reasonably fast enough. We were done by about 7:15 so we sat around talking to my Dad until 8:30 when we decided to go through security and go to the gate.
The lines for security were miles long as they always are, we went through smoothly enough. Off to the gate, where we boarded on time.
Once on board, we took our seats. This time the flight was pretty full, which surprised me. Before we could taxi, we sat for a quick de-icing. After that we taxied, and were off. CRJs always liftoff pretty fast, so we were airborne in no time, JFK
Strangely enough there was no drink service- at all. The FA
said “due to the short duration of todays flight, there will be no drink service.” Uhh, then why did we get drinks on the 10 minute shorter flight when coming over? No matter, as I probably would’ve spilled it in a few minutes ...
About 20 minutes prior to landing in NY, the plane dipped a little, then rocked hard to the right, then hard to the left. My introduction to vortex turbulence! Being a nervous flier you can probably guess that it scared the s*it out of me, but I didn’t freak out like I thought I might. Upon landing I told the pilot “Wow, fun flight” and he said “Yeah sorry, big plane in front of us.” When I asked what it was, he said “A 7-4.”
What a way to start 2 days of traveling.
- JAL - Code share with American Airlines uhhIforgetthenumber
Flying time: 13 hours and 15 minutes (ugh)
We had to get our boarding passes so we stood in line at the JAL counter. Even with 3 windows open it took a good 15 minutes of waiting before it was our turn. Boarding passes in hand, we went through security. A TSA
said “Please wait to take a bin. Wait. WAIT
- oh my god!!” to an Asian gentleman who was reaching for a bin. He took it in stride though. I wish the other TSAs could’ve been nice, but they weren’t: “LARGE BAGS OUTSIDE THE BINS. COME ON
PEOPLE, WHAT DID I JUST SAY? HELLOOOOO?” We were through quickly though, then off to the gate.
This flight was PACKED, with I’m guessing no seats open. A call went out asking if there was anyone who was willing to give up their seat and take the same flight the next day. I don’t know if there were any takers or not.
Boarding was quick and we were in our seats, row 58 in the back. We pushed, taxied off, and were airborne within 20 minutes. Takeoff was bumpy, but otherwise uneventful.
After settling down and reaching cruising altitude, the JEN system came on, so I spent most of the flight just watching movies. When the drink cart came, I ordered myself some wine to go with my motion sickness medicine. I know they’re not supposed to be mixed, but they help me sleep.
For the most part, the flight was uneventful. Mostly light turbulence along the way, and the movies were sufficiently interesting enough to keep me entertained almost the while way there.
During landing the forward facing camera was switched on, so we could watch the entire final approach. It must’ve been windy over Narita since we came in at a really weird angle. I almost thought we weren’t going to make it, but these JAL jumbo pilots really know their stuff (;
Flight time: 45minutes
What is it with JAL flying 747s on these short hops? I think after NGO
the plane goes on to China or somewhere like that.
Since JAL counts NRT
as an international flight, we go through immigration and customs in Nagoya, not Tokyo. Weird.
We reached the departure gate and I almost immediately fell asleep. 30 minutes later, it was time to board. Usually this final leg is rather empty, and my seat is almost always the very last row. This time it was pretty full, and we had row 60 (different 747 from the JFK
bit, though.) Taxiing at Narita always seems to take forever since the terminals and active runway are like 50 miles part from each other. A FA
came on the PA saying that we were 7th in line and we’d be leaving in about 20 minutes.
We actually took off only 10 minutes later, after watching a number of heavies in front of us. That’s the fun thing about Narita: there’re heavies all over the place.
Takeoff was bumpy as was initial climb, but things smoothed out by the time we hit cruising altitude. Drinks were served, everyone read their newspapers (or slept - what is it with the Japanese sleeping all the time?) and soon we were over Shizuoka, ready to decent into Centrair.
Landing was pretty bumpy, with lots of dips and drops which always make me nervous. Again the forward facing camera was turned on, so we could see the final approach. Right over the water, bang onto the runway. For such cold, windy weather, we actually put down rather smoothly.
So that was my whole trip (minus the 1 hour bus ride home.) In the beginning I was expecting the worst (again, I hate the NRT
route, I much more prefer NRT
) but all in all it was quite pleasant, minus the waiting, security, etc. JAL has always been excellent to fly with, and I will continue to use them as long as I live here. I just wish they’d fly to Boston, or skip Narita and just do a NGO
thing sometime, like AA
did until October last year (hint hint.)
My next trip will either be to Boston again this summer, or Guam (also on JAL) or possible Switzerland, with ANA & Lufthansa.
Thanks for reading, hope you had a good nap (;