sr117
Posts: 681
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DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:52 am

Delta 635: Inaugural Flight from Los Angeles International to Tokyo-Haneda

Background

Tokyo-Haneda, the forbidden jewel of Asia. At least that's what it seemed to be since 1978 when international airlines were kicked out of cozy Haneda and sent out to the boonies at Narita, roughly halfway between Tokyo and San Francisco.

Fast forward 30 years: The transportation situation at Narita has improved greatly and now with options like the Keisei Skyliner (36 minutes to Ueno Station), getting to Tokyo isn't quite as terrible as it used to be, but let's face it, it's still a drag !

What will Tokyo ever do with increasing demand and limited expansion options? Well, there may be no room for expansion at Narita, but Tokyo Bay is another story.

Since a few years back there have been limited international operations at Haneda that operated out of a run down trailer like terminal; but now there's a full fledged International Terminal with all the sparkle one expects of a major international hub.

HND was again opened to limited intercontinental flights, albeit at very restricted time slots.

DL was awarded 2 out of 4 slots given to US airlines and consequently scheduled inaugural flights from LAX and DTW on February 19th, February 19th you say? That means arrival at HND would be on February 20th 2011, the day of my 29th birthday   .Now there's an offer I cannot refuse.

As cabin service by Delta has been covered extensively in other trip reports, I shall focus more on aspects regarding differences between the operations at Haneda and Narita.

DL635
747-400
19 Feb 2011
00:10-05:00+1
J Class


Originally, the plan was to fly SAN-LAX-HND, unfortunately things didn't quite pan out and we had to drive up to LAX during one of those very very rare stormy Southern California days. Despite the bad weather we arrived at the LAX lobby at around 9pm with ample time to spare.


Bag Drop Off Area


Self Check-in Contraptions


Delta's Terminal 5

As is the case with Delta's afternoon flight to Narita, the nighttime flight to Haneda operates out of T6. Terminal 6 at LAX is undergoing renovation and looks even crappier than usual, still, as the airport wasn't really crowded in the late evening there were plenty of seats for everyone.


The sterile yet practical tunnel from T5 to T6, they went for the mental institution look


Luxurious T6 at LAX

Before boarding I could see employees gathering behind the gate area preparing gifts for passengers, everyone seemed to be in good spirits snapping pictures. Our crew arrived on time and some of the FA's were wearing a funny red robe (sort of like the ones boxers wear when going to the ring) with the Japanese characters for "number one" (一番). Even saw a few of them taking pictures in front of the airplane. It was nice to see some enthusiasm.




Tis been a long time since departure boards in the USA have had that destination listed

Before boarding, there was a small announcement and a ribbon cutting ceremony.





Boarding started and we were handed out a tiny gift box with red bean filled pastries. There's not much of a chance to take good pictures out of this gate but I managed to snap a shot of our big jet.



The upper deck on the 747 is a comfy place to be, although I kinda like the lower deck cause of the wide body feel, but you really can't beat those side bins.


Storage galore


Recently upholstered seats





Our crew tonight was quite senior, the LAX-HND-LAX route is very sought after by crews since they only have a short layover in Tokyo before heading back home, lots of work but lots of hours too. The 2 ladies taking care of the upper deck were both excellent.


Starting off my birthday celebration on the right foot

With a departure time past midnight, you really do get a bit tired by pushback. We had a bit of a delay while offloading some bags but finally headed out with about a 45 minute delay, since scheduled arrival time was 5:00am, I did not mind the delay one bit.

LAX was pretty much deserted at this time and we took off without further delay into the cloudy night sky.


Lining up on the runway


Off into the night sky


Santa Monica and Playa del Rey


Climbout from Los Angeles



Service tonight consisted of a full dinner service (with an express dine option), followed by breakfast before landing.

Originally I had planned on doing the express dine thing, but all of this inaugural flight excitement and the delay got my stomach growling, so I went for the full meal  

The Japanese meal had always intrigued me and it never seems to be available, but I lucked out this time around it was available and it didn't sound too offensive (No eel or bonito crusted chicken in sight). Beef Sukiyaki is harmless enough as a main no?



The starter wasn't bad at all even though I couldn't identify half of it. It really hit the spot.


Appetizer: Tiger prawn with ginko skewer, fish cake and marinated salmon

The sukiyaki itself was a bit too overcooked but I ate it all up anyways, hey, I'm a hungry guy ! The miso soup excellent.


Main course: Beef sukiyaki with steamed rice, picles and miso soup


Dessert

After the meal and a couple of GTs I was pretty much ready to crash and I did. In fact, I did not wake up until around 9:30PST, about 8 hours into the flight. While the sun was shining back home, we were still deep in the murk.

The old NW World Business Class seats are the angled type of recliner, they recently were reupholstered in the trademark DL blue leather and look a bit spiffier now, but I think the leather makes these angled seats even more slippery. Still, I slept a solid 6 hours in it, so I can't really argue with that.

Didn't fiddle too much with the IFE and just listened to music instead.


Almost there

Just as my stomach was starting to ask for more food, FA's came around with breakfast service. Breakfast was served around 1 hour prior to landing, giving us the most resting time possible.


Breakfast: Vanilla french toast with syrup, scrambled eggs and chicken sausage

Trays were cleared out about 30 minutes prior to landing and we descended into a dark and cloudy Tokyo. During landing the purser and one of our flight attendants both came by and thanked us for flying Delta, a very nice touch.


Break in the clouds somewhere near Kisarazu ina Boso Peninsula


TOKYO International Airport (Not boonies International  )


Historic Lineup at HND




Our big jet awaiting a quick turnaround to Detroit

We touched down at Haneda around 5:30am, we weren't the only ones doing an inaugural flight, the AA flight from JFK had arrived the night before and BA's flight from LHR had arrived about an hour before us, I was actually worried there would be a big line at immigration but it didn't take more than 10 minutes. Customs was a bit more lively since there were a couple of arrivals from Bangkok and Singapore too, but it was pretty fast too.

The new terminal at Haneda is small but very nice, there's shower rooms for pay and also domestic check in counters for connecting passengers, although given the queues I saw it might be best to just check in at the regular domestic terminal.


Arrivals area


Domestic check-in


International check in


DL check-in counters

Catching the train to Tokyo is such a breath of fresh air compared to Narita, for less than 500yen you can catch the monorail and a transfer for the JR Line, easy as pie ! For similar prices you an also take the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa or Yokohama Station. And for slightly more you also have multiple Limousine Bus routes. All of these options take around 30 minutes.


How that's for frequency eh? Try to get that on the N'EX


Waiting for the monorail

We hopped on the monorail and were in central Tokyo in less than 30 minutes, you really cannot beat that.


Spaaaace

I really enjoyed the new flight to Haneda, on paper, a 5am arrival time sounds tough but the flight really minimized jetlag and I arrived in Tokyo feeling quite refreshed, getting downtown was very convenient, the only complaint one might have is waiting for a hotel room until the afternoon, but that's something one must deal with on most European early morning arrivals as well.

A few shots from Tokyo…


Sunday morning antique market


Tokyo Forum


Imperial Palace


Shiodome


Plum blossom: The harbinger of spring


Zojoji temple grounds


Tokyo Tower


Harajuku


Dooooom


Glitzy Ginza


Golden Gai in Shinjuku


Shinjuku nights


Subway iconography


Mori Tower


I do love this city…

Continued...
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:53 am

Sidetrip to Hong Kong

The long haul to Narita

I wanted to head to Hong Kong to visit some friends for a few days so after 3 nights at the lavish and onsen equipped Dormy Inn at Hatchobbori, it was time to say goodbye to Tokyo.

Schlepped my way to Narita one night before so I could take advantage of the cheaper hotel rates in Narita town (80 bucks for a nice hotel, peanuts !).

Heading to Narita always sounds easier on paper than in practice, especially if you're taking heavy bags and using the Metro, after splurging a bit too much on shopping (curse you UNIQLO !!) I had a few extra pounds in my baggage which was not fun on the crowded Tokyo Metro.

Caught the Keisei Eveningliner from Ueno station , a nice bargain actually (1400 yen or so??) as it includes nice seating and baggage racks, the toughest part of the whole thing was actually buying a ticket, the counter was already closed at around 6pm when we got there, and you had to use one of the handy machines, sounds easy enough no? Well apparently you have to buy a regular Limited Express ticket in machine A, and then go to machine B and get the Eveningliner supplement. The machine didn't give much indication of this rarity and it took much friendly gesticulation with a nice Keisei employee to finally get the tickets, I'm used to Japanese ticket machines but these ones were just plain confusing.

While in Narita it's always nice to check out Narita-San temple and the adjacent park, this time around was no exception since plum trees were blossoming.


Narita san Temple


Plum blossom at Narita park





Headed to NRT early in order to do some spotting at the viewing terrace, unfortunately mother nature had other plans and the weather didn't cooperate, oh well, time to drown the sorrows with a Gin and Tonic at the Skyclub !


North Wing Check-In Area




Delta tails

The Delta Skyclub at Narita has an excellent view of the runway and ramp, hence it's easy to pass the time checking out planes and having a snack.







A bar with a view


View from the Sky Club

DL639
747-400
24 Feb 2011
NRT-HKG
19:00-23:25


Load in Business Elite was around 60% and 80% in the back. Crews for these intra-asia flights are usually a mix of US, Japan and China based flight attendants. We were very lucky to get an excellent SEA based FA in our section who was very kind, funny and attentive, the rest of the crew was also nice but this lady was extra special.


Pre-departure

Pushback was a bit delayed because of evening traffic at Narita, but due to weak headwinds, we'd still arrive in Hong Kong before schedule.


Pushback from Narita

Departing Narita to the south is always a treat as weather permitting, you get beautiful views of Tokyo. Tonight was no exception.


Tokyo and Yokohama in one shot  

Service consisted of 2 hot options and 1 cold dish, the cold dish sounded tempting (prosciutto sandwich) but I couldn't resist the Gorgonzola stuffed chicken, it's one of my favorite dishes from the DL menu  
A glass of Chardonnay over Kansai


Excellent meal


Mushroom sauce to top it off…


Light load tonight

Dozed off after the meal and woke up right on time to snap this quick shot of Hong Kong Island, too bad I didn't have a chance to get a better shot.


Hong Kong Island

As always with HKG there was a bit of a queue at Immigration but it moved quickly, made it to the HK Express in no time.

Hong Kong was great as always, all too soon it was time to head back.


View of Hong Kong from the Lantau Cable Car




HK haircut




Never gets old


Continued...
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:58 am

HKG-NRT
747-400
February 27th 2011
8:00-13:10



Was actually planning on taking CX to Haneda but things didn't pan out, so trusty ol DL came through.


Our good looking 747 this morning


Pushback



Flight back was rather uneventful, breakfast flight, nice crew who was attentive to requests throughout the flight, unfortunately it was cloudy so I didn't get much in the way of views.


Mushroom frittata with veggies, bacon, fruit and yogurt


Somewhere south of Shikoku


Enjoying the flight


Fuji-San


Lining up for the runway at NRT


Almost there


Sunny day at Narita


Skyteam

Landed in Narita right on time, but was actually in a bit of a hurry so we could catch the 13:45 N'EX to Yokohama. I would usually avoid the ripoff express (3000 yen for a 1 hour train ride to Tokyo Station?? the faster Keisei Skyliner is 2400 and puts you in Nippori/Yamanote Line in merely 34 minutes) but for all you foreigners, there's an ultra cheap Narita Express/Suica Card combo for only 3500 yen, it includes the N'EX to anywhere (Shinagawa, Tokyo, Yokohama, any of em for the same price !) and a Suica card with 1500yen plus 500yen deposit. you get 5000 yen worth of goodies for only 3500, a steal !


Buy a N'EX ticket, you almost get a 1500yen suica card for free ! With a suica card you can pay for your train tickets, convenience store shopping streets, and even assorted carnal favors

So, feeling snug with my thriftiness we boarded the slightly delayed N'EX to Yokohama, there were some electrical problems on the track so we ended up taking almost 2 hours to Yokohama.


Narita Express on the cheap


Long way to go

Fortunately most Japanese train stations have a wide selection of lockers where you can dump your bags and the kitchen sink for a modical price, for 400yen I managed to store all of this  
Will all of this fit?


In HERE? Well, it did, hehe

The flight to LAX did not leave until 1am so there was plenty of time to hang around Yokohama, even some time for a quick dip at the very nice Manyo Spa at Minato Mirai.


Yamate area in Yokohama, where foreigners used to live back in the early 1900s


Green tea and watercolors


Foreigner cemetery in Yamate




Motomachi


Yokohama's Chinatown


Landmark Tower and Minato Mirai



After a very relaxing few hours in Yokohama it was time to head back to the airport. Here's where the bounties of Haneda truly shone brightly.

Departed Yokohama station on the Keikyu Line and we were at Haneda airport less than 30 minutes later (and that's considering we had one short transfer en route). Really, I'm no spokesperson for HND, but the numbers just speak for themselves, less than 30 minutes vs 90 minutes plus? not to mention cost and more frequent departures.


Riding the Keikyu Line


Airport station


Check in at Haneda

It's not all good of course, after checking in it was not even 11pm and most shops upstairs had already closed shop for the night, only a couple of cafes still open.


Upstairs


Nice style


Closed? I wanted to go shopping :S


Someone is camping outside of Hello Kitty

The viewing terrace is awesome, we managed to see our 747 while it arrived from DTW at.. a remote gate? :S It seems that at night the international terminal at HND is quite swamped, AA, TG, HA and others were also stuck at remote gates.


Viewing terrace


Hawaiian at Haneda


Our 747 after arriving from DTW


JAL at Haneda


Full house


Tokyo International Airport

I saw quite a few people who seemed to be camping out at the airport, with the early departures it was easy to see how some people had no choice, If you have a 6am departure or earlier, there's no way you can make it in time as trains to Haneda don't start until almost 5am. What a drag :S


Arrivals


Departures


Fly to the World


Slumber Party at Haneda!! Who's gonna start the pillow fight??

The airside part of Haneda is very nice, unfortunately didn't have much time to check it out as the flight was almost boarding by the time we got through security.


Airside


Shops here all still look open


Gate areas

The airstairs may be a drag but they make for a great photo opportunity, I actually regret not going further back to snap a shot of the wing and tail, quite a few were going crazy with their cameras.


Face to face

Once again we had a very senior but very nice crew. At 1am you really don't have too much in the way of traffic so takeoff was pretty quick.


Goodbye Haneda, Goodbye Tokyo

Weather was cloudy so I didn't get a nice view of Tokyo on departure, the departure from HND took us on a loop over Tokyo bay but all I saw were clouds.


Note the crazy loop on departure

Service on this night flight is a bit abbreviated as they are all one tray meals. There was one hot japanese choice (fish), one hot western dish (pork), and another cold deli plate option.

I went for the cold plate option so I could head to bed quickly. It was OK but I couldn't help but miss an option for the full meal course.


Snacks


Sleeping aid


Cold dish with salad and hot soup


Dessert



Tried to get some shut eye but only slept for a few hours. Since I couldn't sleep much I had a chance to chat with the crew, they were a very nice bunch, all very happy to be working on a 747 as they were all pre-merger DL people and not very familiar with the airplane.

Breakfast was served 90 minutes out of LA, the meal was good but airplane breakfasts never seem terribly exciting if you ask me.


Scrambled eggs with chives and ricotta cheese, chicken sausage, potatoes and fruit. Great brownie on the side too !

We descended into LAX just as the sun was setting, it was now one day before our departure.


California sunset




LAX on downwind


Los Angeles basin

Touched down about 30 minutes early at 6:10 and fortunately cleared immigration/customs at T6, was worried we'd have to be bussed to TBIT.

Thus ended my little adventure to try out the new service to Tokyo-Haneda. While I agree that timings for most US-Haneda-US are less than optimal, particularly JFK and DTW, the timing for LAX-HND-LAX is much more civilized.

LAX-HND is by far my favorite of the bunch, it really works perfectly wether you're staying in Tokyo or catching a connection somewhere else in Asia or in Japan.

HND-LAX is also nice since you have the full day before departing and you can also connect from Asia easily, I was only a bit underwhelmed by the service schedule since it feels that for a 9 hour flight you don't really get anything too substantial in the catering front.

The new International terminal at Haneda is beautiful and even with its space limitations, is very convenient and attractive. I definitely look forward to the government opening up better access to it in the future.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading, questions and comments are always welcome.

Ricardo

Previous trip reports

Adventures in Kyushu: Japan with NH and DL
Mexican LCC Extravaganzza from TIJ to OAX
Aeromexico from Tijuana to Paris in Clase Premier
Not Quite Hell: LH Economy from FRA to HKG
Mexicana Long Haul to EZE
Asiana Y Class from JFK to ICN
ANA from LAX to NRT

[Edited 2011-03-15 18:31:17]
 
keagkid101
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:21 am

Great TR. How were the loads on LAX-HND-LAX?
 
767747
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:16 am

Another great trip report, SR117!

Great photos! Looks like you had a nice flight with Delta. The food looks good; I'm impressed! Some of the other meals I've seen with Delta in Business Elite don't look as fresh and appetizing as on your flights ... maybe its just the picture quality?  
Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Our crew tonight was quite senior, the LAX-HND-LAX route is very sought after by crews since they only have a short layover in Tokyo before heading back home, lots of work but lots of hours too.

I'm surprised by this! I would have thought it wouldn't as more senior crews would like to have some more time on the layover .... Interesting.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
VC10DC10
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:56 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:52 am

Absolutely beautiful photography!!

Sounds like a fantastic trip -- and, insofar as you were aboard the LAX-HND inaugural, something of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, too! You sound very familiar with Japan and Asia generally -- I take it you've visited often?

Does DL give out printed menus in international business class?

Cheers,
VC10DC10
 
bps3458
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:25 pm

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:07 am

Ricardo,

thanks for sharing your pictures. Especially the pictures from Tokyo and Yokohama brought back so many great memories of my stay in Tokyo from 1996 until 2001. I lived very close to HND and still very much remember the "long hauls" from my home in Nakamagome to NRT. I actually enjoyed the long trips to NRT as this was always a wonderful lead up to holiday trips back home to Europe to see friends and family.

My usual pre-holiday procedure was to work very late in to the early morning hours making sure my desk was cleaned up, take a taxi home, pack and get an hour or two sleep before leaving for the airport (Believe flights for Europe usually left around noontime. My mother would usually call from Germany to wake me up and after a quick shower I was on my way to NRT. Great memories.

Let's hope and keep our fingers crossed that Japan will recover quickly from the current natural disaster so we can read many more wonderful trip reports of people traveling to/from Japan.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
OP3000
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:44 am

Hi Ricardo,

Fantastic trip report. The quality photography with the glimpse into HND and Tokyo was particularly enjoyable. I love that "town" as well.

As for DL, looks like scoring the LAX-HND route will end up being a big hit. The timing of the HND-LAX looks particularly attractive. And while old and not the most economical of arrangements, getting the 744 on all four segments is quite unique for flying on a US airline. The meals on J didn't stand out much other than the chicken gorgonzola which looked great, so along with modernizing the seats they should also look into sprucing up premium catering up on transpac.

Thanks again for putting this together.
 
nethkt
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:14 am

Superb 7 stars trip report. Thank very much for sharing.
What a nice way to celebrate your 29th birthday! I'll reach mine on the upcoming 15th APR!
I shall figure something to do to celebrate my last 20s!  

Love all the photos, onboard, airport scenes, Tokyo city! Amazing! May I ask what kind is your camera?

The trans-pacific ride on the 744 is still one of the coolest thing for me. I was lucky to have done that in all 3 classes with multiple airlines. The ride on 77W/772ER is pretty boring and so common nowadays.

I feel sorry with the current tragic that happened to the country. But being hard workers themselves, I'm sure Japan will recover soon. All the best to Japan!
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
triple7man
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:36 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:15 am

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
I do love this city…

I lived just outside Tokyo for 4 years and I loved it...your pictures brought back many pleasant memories.

I've seen many trip reports out of Haneda but they were for domestic so it was really great to see on on an international flight. I flew HND-BKK in March, and the hours of operation for international flights is a bit incoveniencing, the international terminal at HND is really nice. I want to try the AA flight between HND and JFK sometime.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:49 am

Thanks for the kind words and replies !

Quoting keagkid101 (Reply 3):
Great TR. How were the loads on LAX-HND-LAX?

LAX-HND was about 50% in J and Y. HND-LAX was about 60% in J and 80% in Y.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
I'm surprised by this! I would have thought it wouldn't as more senior crews would like to have some more time on the layover .... Interesting.

Indeed, lots of crews like getting lots of flying hours as quickly as possible. Similar to Argentina/Brazil flights where some airlines have a quick 12 hour or so turnaround for crews, you'd think nobody would like it but they are very coveted.

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 5):
Absolutely beautiful photography!!

Sounds like a fantastic trip -- and, insofar as you were aboard the LAX-HND inaugural, something of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, too! You sound very familiar with Japan and Asia generally -- I take it you've visited often?

Does DL give out printed menus in international business class?

Thanks a lot   Yeah I love visiting Asia, especially Japan, it really is a wonderful country, heading back as soon as possible for my pocketbook, can't help of a better way to help out in these tough times.

DL does indeed give out menus for the long hauls, I only took the menu for the LAX-HND flight, since the menu for HND-LAX was rather ho-hum I left it on the plane.

Quoting OP3000 (Reply 7):
As for DL, looks like scoring the LAX-HND route will end up being a big hit. The timing of the HND-LAX looks particularly attractive. And while old and not the most economical of arrangements, getting the 744 on all four segments is quite unique for flying on a US airline.

Indeed, the loads are a bit slow right now, and the current situation surely cannot help, but once things normalize it will do better eventually I hope, switching to a 777 and adding a codeshare partner in Japan should make this route much more viable in the long run.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 8):
Love all the photos, onboard, airport scenes, Tokyo city! Amazing! May I ask what kind is your camera?

Tokyo is an awesome place, it's easy to snap good stuff there   I'm using a Nikon D90 with a 16-85mm lens, some of the shots from the plane are from a smaller Canon S90 though, I like having something discrete sometimes.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 9):
I lived just outside Tokyo for 4 years and I loved it...your pictures brought back many pleasant memories.

I've seen many trip reports out of Haneda but they were for domestic so it was really great to see on on an international flight. I flew HND-BKK in March, and the hours of operation for international flights is a bit incoveniencing, the international terminal at HND is really nice. I want to try the AA flight between HND and JFK sometime.

Thanks for the comments, you're lucky you got to live in Japan, I'd love to one day, not sure if I could ever get all of those trash sorting rules in my head though  

The AA flight to JFK should be interesting, only inconvenient part is that the early morning departure out of HND, but you should have enough time if you're staying in the Tokyo area.
 
ardian
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:10 pm

Wow what a stunning pictures! Excellent report. Did you visit the Uniqlo shop? I absolutely love it (went to the one in Paris). Thanks for sharing!
 
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fxramper
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:41 pm

Great report and fantastic photos. Pretty pathetic showing for DL and the 'inaugural' flight LAX-HND. Having two people hold a small paper banner?   
 
Transpac787
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:04 pm

Loved reading this!! I was thinking about going to HND for spring break next week, but.... the whole Japan crisis thing is putting a bit of a damper on that idea, haha.

Did you happen to get the N-numbers of the four DL 744's you were on?? Us 747 fanatics gotta know  

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
Our crew tonight was quite senior, the LAX-HND-LAX route is very sought after by crews since they only have a short layover in Tokyo before heading back home, lots of work but lots of hours too.

Hmm, interesting. Makes sense though, with an LAX base, the HND flight is just a turn: LAX-HND-LAX. On the pilot side, the HND flight is remarkably junior given the brutal dep/arr times. Since the 744 only has DTW base they fly DTW-HND-LAX-HND-DTW. Several days of living on the back side of the clock mixed with jetlag does not make for a senior trip.   
 
LondonCity
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks for writing such a fascinating trip report. And it's good you mention one of the drawbacks in using HND, namely the international flight departures/arrivals at unsocial hours. It's a particular problem for European airlines flying into HND as they must depart Europe quite early.. Look at BA's timings ex-LHR to HND and you will see what I mean.
 
lychemsa
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Lucky you went before the earthquake.
 
Carfield
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:27 pm

Thanks for an excellent trip report!
Well Delta can throw a bigger party to inaugural this flight, but at least there is some form of ribbon cutting ceremony and gifts passing out. But I always think Delta should have invited a few local papers and/or travel journalists, and use it as a major PR event to get the news out. The timing for the LAX flights are actually not too bad. But I guess DTW is a bigger deal with Delta! It is sad that Delta has to suspend this service but knowing the Japanese spirit, they will recover sooner than everyone thinks.

Haneda international terminal looks amazing and I hope in a few months, the routes can happen again, and I can give it a try!

Given the poor loading, I wonder why Delta does not offer some discounted fares especially in business class. If it can launch some $1500RT business class fares between MIA/BOS and LHR to promote the new routes. If it has some $2000-2500 RT "I" fares, I will definitely give it a try. Maybe some afterthoughts for Delta when the routes will be re-launched later in summer!

Thanks again for sharing,
Carfield

[Edited 2011-03-16 15:32:10]
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:19 pm

Quoting ardian (Reply 11):
Wow what a stunning pictures! Excellent report. Did you visit the Uniqlo shop? I absolutely love it (went to the one in Paris). Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the comments ; ) Yeah Uniqlo's are everywhere in Japan, the flaghship store was bigger though, and yes, it's hard to go in and leave empty handed. Affordable stuff, and it fits !! (as long as you go one or two sizes larger though).

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
Loved reading this!! I was thinking about going to HND for spring break next week, but.... the whole Japan crisis thing is putting a bit of a damper on that idea, haha.

Did you happen to get the N-numbers of the four DL 744's you were on?? Us 747 fanatics gotta know

Indeed, right now Tokyo is feeling some of the hurt from up North so things just aren't in the best shape(power outages, rail disruptions). I was planning on flying into HND next month and connecting south to Okinawa but with the suspension of HND flights that shall have to wait for another time.

LAX-HND was on N665US and HND-LAX was N670US. After next week, no more DL 747s at Haneda for the foreseeable future.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
Since the 744 only has DTW base they fly DTW-HND-LAX-HND-DTW. Several days of living on the back side of the clock mixed with jetlag does not make for a senior trip.

Wow, I didn't know that, so for flights like NRT-LAX and NRT-HNL they also have to send in pilots from DTW?

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 14):
It's a particular problem for European airlines flying into HND as they must depart Europe quite early.. Look at BA's timings ex-LHR to HND and you will see what I mean.

Indeed, for european airlines the timings are pretty odd both ways, early morning departures for both flights. It's no wonder that LH didn't even taken up the frequencies awarded to Germany.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 16):
Well Delta can throw a bigger party to inaugural this flight, but at least there is some form of ribbon cutting ceremony and gifts passing out. But I always think Delta should have invited a few local papers and/or travel journalists, and use it as a major PR event to get the news out.

Thanks a lot Carfield! I agree, it wasn't too spectacular but at least it was something, I remember someone reported on the inaugural DTW-HKG flight and that they didn't do anything out of the ordinary? Was it you perhaps? I guess a ribbon and red bean balls are better tan nothing  

Indeed I think it would have been good to explain the virtues of Haneda a bit more to the traveling public. Reporters could have helped too. But at this point even with better promotion the flights would have taken a big hit. Let's see how it goes in June once it restarts.
 
airjamaica
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Great TR. Interesting read.
greenheart
 
onlywaytofly
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:03 pm

Ricardo –
Thank you for the brilliant trip report. I especially enjoyed the truly exquisite photos and commentary. It is especially poignant in light of the tragic natural disasters that have befallen the extraordinary county of Japan. From reading the previous comments it appears many in this thread have a special place for Tokyo and Japan in our hearts.
I was also drawn to your report because I was also on the LAXHND inaugural. I was in 78K. I will echo your sentiments regarding the excellent (senior) crew. I got a chuckle when you mentioned your crew on the return was “pre-merger” as the two ladies upstairs on our flight to HND came to Delta by way of Western Airlines. Perhaps that makes them “pre-pre-merger.”
I was also underwhelmed with the fanfare for the inaugural flight. There were Taiko drummers performing in the Terminal 5 rotunda, pre-security, and additional banners. That said; it still felt special to me being on the first flight.
Again, thank you for taking the time and care to put together this trip report.

Safe Travels - Christian
 
toobz
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:11 am

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
I'm surprised by this! I would have thought it wouldn't as more senior crews would like to have some more time on the layover .... Interesting.

It's true. most senior crew have seen the world 3000 times and just wanna get their hours in and go home. I don't think I'll ever get to that point  

Awesome TR though. very good reading!
 
757dab
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:01 pm

Nice TR

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
The sterile yet practical tunnel from T5 to T6, they went for the mental institution look

  
If it ain't Boeing, I'M NOT GOING!!!!!
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:41 pm

Quoting Reply 19):
Thank you for the brilliant trip report. I especially enjoyed the truly exquisite photos and commentary. It is especially poignant in light of the tragic natural disasters that have befallen the extraordinary county of Japan. From reading the previous comments it appears many in this thread have a special place for Tokyo and Japan in our hearts.

Hey Christian, thanks for the comments. Ha, so I wasn't the only a.netter on board then. We were right behind you, I was in 79K and my buddy in 79J. The top of your head makes a special appearance in one of the pictures in the report  

Indeed it's sad to think all that happened so soon after being there. When it comes to spending a happy and relaxing time, Japan really is my favorite spot, people, the culture, the food, it's a special place.

Quoting Reply 19):
I got a chuckle when you mentioned your crew on the return was “pre-merger” as the two ladies upstairs on our flight to HND came to Delta by way of Western Airlines. Perhaps that makes them “pre-pre-merger.”

Western eh? Wow, that's a lot of history. It's nice to see they still enjoy flying a lot. It's too bad the flight is getting suspended so quickly. If the bad loads weren't enough, the downturn in demand didn't help.

I really hope they get a codeshare partner out of HND, even if feed doesn't help the DTW flight, at the very least LAX can get plenty of connections on both ends.

Quoting Reply 19):
There were Taiko drummers performing in the Terminal 5 rotunda, pre-security, and additional banners.

Too bad I didn't catch them, it was pretty quiet at 9pm when I went through  

But hey, we got red bean balls !! It's better than nothing ; ) I think people on the inaugural All Nippon LAX-HND flight got some slippers, If I had to choose between slippers and bean balls, I go for the edible option  .



Quoting toobz (Reply 20):

Awesome TR though. very good reading!

Thanks for reading !

Quoting 757dab (Reply 21):
Nice TR

Thanks, that tunnel is pretty crazy, and then they have these secure lockdown doors that look like they came straight out of a Dr Evil's lair, it's a must transit area for the experience.
 
palmjet
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:12 pm

**WOW** - what a lovely report and some fantastic pics of your travels to Japan and HK. Thanks very much for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it. Interesting to read about the new international services to HND. I am sure they will do well, given HND's close proximity to downtown Tokyo. Look forward to more reports - where are you off to next?

Thanks again - Palmjet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:25 pm

Great report, with some stunning pics! Which camera do you use?

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:51 am

A W E S O M E. I think this is such a great tribute to Japan and her people. HND is awesome and your report has inspired me to go to Japan within the next few months. Thanks for sharing the report. It will be interesting however to see if airlines can truly command a HND premium.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
ba319-131
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:14 pm

Nice report and pictures Ricardo, really enjoyed.

Quoting SR117 (Thread starter):
The sterile yet practical tunnel from T5 to T6, they went for the mental institution look

- I used to love walking these tunnels doing the late night plane spotting run, pre 911 of course.

The DL J service looks good as always, I think they have a pretty solid product, even more so when the seating is all identical in J, I like them, shame they are, for me, in the wrong alliance.

Great pix of Tokyo, fantastic place, shame about the troubles there at the moment.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
LGWflyer
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:05 pm

A brilliant TR, this has to be one of my favourites! Loved the pics also, well done!
        
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
 
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airbuseric
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:41 pm

Hi Ricardo,
a great report, fantastic pics from Tokyo (and HK), brings me back lots of good memories. Regarding the pros and cons for HND vs. NRT, I think the travel time can be quite similar in reality also, especially with the new K'sei line. Monorail is easy indeed from HND, but Keikyu lines can be difficult for foreigners since some trains will force a change of trains halfway. It's the cheapest and only direct option to Shinagawa Stn. though, from where it's easy to hop on the Yamanote circle line. It seems ticket prices to NRT are more competitive and for most travellers the first choice. We'll see what and how the future will be, I think it depends also on the ongoing bad situation after the recent earthquake and the nuclear trouble. I feel that tourism will drop dramatically for the coming period, aviation in/to Japan will suffer a lot.

I am pleasantly surprised with the DL product, since I didn't expect them to be like this. In a positive way though, I think I like these shell seats and the food seems fine too.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Great trip report. Hands down one of my favorite TRs on this site... Amazing pictures. You seem to have a great eye for photography   May I ask what type of equipment you are using?
Thanks for writing this report and sharing it with us...
Cheers  
 
sr117
Posts: 681
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RE: DL Inaugural To Haneda And Back, NRT-HKG RT Bonus!

Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:39 am

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 26):
Nice report and pictures Ricardo, really enjoyed.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 25):
HND is awesome and your report has inspired me to go to Japan within the next few months. Thanks for sharing the report. It will be interesting however to see if airlines can truly command a HND premium.

Thanks for the comments Alex, you should definitely visit Japan as soon as you can. I'd love to hear your take on a Japanese Airline  

I think that premium for HND might take time to develop as the convenience in location is overshadowed by the odd departure/arrival times. I would hope that the Japanese government would be more lenient and provide better timings but I wouldn't hold my breath. The times wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the non-existent transportation options between 00:00 and 05:00.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 26):
Great pix of Tokyo, fantastic place, shame about the troubles there at the moment.

Thanks for the reply Mark, it is indeed a fantastic place, as far as I hear, things are almost back to normal, save for some power rationing measures in surrounding areas (central Tokyo is mostly unaffected), people are eager to get things going again.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 28):
Regarding the pros and cons for HND vs. NRT, I think the travel time can be quite similar in reality also, especially with the new K'sei line. Monorail is easy indeed from HND, but Keikyu lines can be difficult for foreigners since some trains will force a change of trains halfway. It's the cheapest and only direct option to Shinagawa Stn. though, from where it's easy to hop on the Yamanote circle line.

I took the Keikyu from Yokohama and indeed there was a transfer involved at Kamata station, but it was pretty easy, the train actually left from the same track about 3 minutes later.

The Keisei is indeed making things more even, but pricewise it's still much more expensive, and even more so if you have lots of bags and want to take a limousine bus straight to your hotel. Buses from Narita are 3000 yen while buses from Haneda are around 1200 yen if I recall correctly.

As for the Delta product, things should improve once they have the 777 with lie flats on the route.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 29):
You seem to have a great eye for photography May I ask what type of equipment you are using?

Thanks for the comments, I'm mostly using a Nikon D90 with a 16-85mm lens and a more discrete Canon S90 for some airplane shots.

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