Good Day Everyone!
This is my 2nd TR
covering another journey of mine to Japan. I was scheduled to fly in Late March but due to the disaster that Japan encountered, I cancelled my flight. Since I go to Japan quite often to see my lovely girlfriend and her family, I felt helpless from so far away and decided to help out with fund raising. 2 other individuals and I raised over 10,000$ CAD in 1 week after the disaster (all donated to the Red Cross). I wanted to be there with them at that time but I simply couldn't. With that being said, I had her and the family come to Canada for over a month after the disaster in order to get their mind off things, and get them out of that mess. Now with things getting somewhat better over there, I booked some time off in August to go visit. This trip report covers my travels from Calgary to Japan and back. Although this seems like an odd way to start a TR
, I just wanted to express my feelings towards those who may have been effected or lost loved ones during that difficult time. Life sure is fragile!
Now on with the TR
! With time booked off work, I started searching for fares online. If some of you remember my last TR
to Japan, I flew AC
and JAL. This time I wanted to switch it up a bit and try a different Japanese carrier, NH
. I noticed some time ago that ANA started their LAX
service. This interested me the most out of all the other flights. This would allow me to work a full day before leaving in the evening and would allow me to arrive in Japan early morning. Jet Lag does not bother me too much so arriving early would be a benefit to getting a head start in Tokyo! Expedia.ca had a good price and before I knew it, the flight was booked.
August 24th, 2011
The trip started from my office located in downtown Calgary. I took a taxi to the airport which is now 20 minutes longer due to Barlow Tr being closed. Construction has already begun on the new runway and new terminal buildings Project. Expected to be completed by 2016. For anyone who will be traveling to or from YYC
, please be advised that taxi fares are not on the cheap side. It cost me around 55$ from downtown.
The taxi conveniently dropped me off in front of the AC
entrance. I quickly made my way to the self check-in kiosk. After some time fooling around with the machine, it advised me to see an AC
agent in order to print my boarding passes. So, off I went to the normal check-in area. It was a Wednesday, so the line up this time of day was next to nothing. I was greeted by gentleman who promptly asked me my last name and issued me my boarding pass. Unfortunately, I would have to check-in once again in LAX
but that wasn't too much of a concern for me. The good thing was that my bags were checked in all the way to HND
Outside the terminal:
After dropping off my bag, I made my way to the food court. I was craving to grab some ribs at the Montana's but I didn't have enough time to do so. Oh well, I decided on some A&W instead. I ate fast and made my way over to the US customs and security screening.
US Customs was not busy at all. I went through both Customs and security in a matter of 15 minutes. I guess I didn't really have to shove that burger down my throat. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry!
I made my way to the gate area, which was C26 at the time. I lounged around for a while and took a number of photos from where I was sitting.
Air Canada Jazz CR2 off to SEA
Nice clear blue sky today!:
Horizon DH84 coming in from SEA
Air Canada Jazz CR7 from IAH
The CR2 pushing back
Nice Calgary summer weather!
About 30 minutes before departure, they announced boarding. The loads today were around 60%. Not very many on this route. Especially for a E190. I handed over my boarding pass and made my way to the aircraft. The FA
greeting me at the door looked like to be in a good mood. Especially after arriving from YOW
earlier before this flight. It was a nice change from what I usually see. I took my seat at 24A. Most seats were empty but I happened to get someone beside me. After departure I switched to the seats across from me. That way we can both have 2 seats to ourselves. I should have asked the FA
first but the flight was empty! Not too long after, we taxied all the way over to RW34 for an on time departure.
Wing view at the Gate:
Holding short of RW34:
Departure, you can see the airport and part of downtown YYC
Once I switched seats, I got a chance to see a beautiful sunset!:
Service on board consisted of beverage service and a light snack. AC
offers the BOB service within north American flights. Pretty expensive if you ask me. 8$ for a sandwich? No thanks! This is why I had a bite to eat prior to the flight. The FA
's did a great job. Very professional. About 30 minutes before arrival, the Captain come on and noted that we would start our initial decent into LAX
. The weather was nice and clear with a temperature of around 17c.
Joining the approach. You can see LAX
below. Very large airport!:
After turning final to LAX
The landing was smooth. We arrived 2 minutes early. Taxi to the gate was a little longer than I expected. A Qantas A380 was in front of us on the taxi way. I guess this bird doesn't like to move too fast? We arrived at Terminal 2 and made my way towards the exit. I walked all the way to the new Tom Bradley International Terminal, where my NH
flight would be departing. I know there may be a better way to get there, but I didn't mind as I could get a glimpse of what LAX
is like. I took a couple shots along the way!
Famous structure at LAX
August 25th, 2011
All Nippon Airways
4:30am + 1 day
After making the 10 minute walk to the International terminal, I found myself at the entrance. I was surprised to see that there weren't so many people. I guess travelling on a Wednesday was a good idea? The terminal itself was beautiful! very nice to see compared to the old terminal we have at YYC
. I'm a geek when it comes to Architecture and Aviation of course! Not too long after, I found myself at the ANA check-in for my flight to Tokyo. NH
has their check-in area VERY organized. Very efficient procedure which only took me around 5 minutes. I walked up to the counter and the gentleman kindly acknowledged me by name! I was a bit shocked. He had my boarding pass already printed out and I was on my way to security.
ANA check-in area:
Security was not busy. Although it seemed as though people didn't really know how to follow instructions. Because of this, I ended up waiting 30 minutes. only 5 people in front of me. I'm guessing a family as they were speaking to each other. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if it was packed! Made my way over to the gate which was 104. This flight was about 80% full. There were alto of people at the gate area when I arrived, Including the flight crew. Our Aircraft was not at the gate for another 10-15min or so. Finally I saw the aircraft get towed in and the flight crew boarded. Shortly after, they announced general boarding. The boarding procedure was efficient. With two separated lines. 1 for business class and 1 for Economy. Business was about 90% full on this flight so It took some time before we could start boarding. While making my way into the aircraft, I was greeted by the Japanese FA
. with a huge smile and a "Welcome", I knew this was going to be a good flight!
I found myself at seat 26K and made myself comfortable for the 10+ hour flight. The seats were very comfortable although someone with a bigger build may find it a little tight. One of the first things I noticed was that the seat width was smaller than average. Besides that, I was very comfortable. The remaining passengers boarded and we initiated the push back. It took about 15 minutes before lining up with the runway. The departure was smooth and we were 1 minute ahead of schedule. About 10 minutes after de[arture the Captain came on the intercom and advised that he will be turing off the seat belt sign. He mentioned that our flight to Tokyo was going to be mostly clear and smooth. The FA
's started preparing the meal service. They came around with hot towels and a cup of warm tea. I was a little tired so I decided to catch some sleep for a couple hours. Another thing that I wanted to mention was the fact that our flight would be following the night sky. By the end of this trip I would encounter a total of 16 hours of Darkness. Pretty weird!
Map showing the night over our planet:
Rear view of cabin:
I woke up somewhere near Hawaii, we were already about 5 hours into our flight. I was hungry, so I asked the FA
if she had some warm food left over from the service. She politely acknowledged "Yes Sir, we have lots left. Would you like me to get you a meal?". She came back about 5 minutes later with a tray. I was amazed how they served the food in a real bowl! not a plastic container! The food was Chicken Katsu. (Fried chicken with white steamed rice and pickled garlic) Very tasty!
IFE showing our position:
Food tray with a Pepsi:
The IFE system was one of the best that Iv'e seen. The actually size of the screen could be a little bigger but the content this thing had was outstanding! over 100 video games, recent new Hollywood movies, Japanese and US news etc. Lots to go through! I was most amazed by the flight map. shown in normal 2D
and 3D views. Best of all, I came across on of my all time favorite games. TETRIS! I must have played that for over 3 hours! Alot of fun indeed.
Doing some work on the Ipad:
TETRIS! Oh yes!:
After entertaining myself with the tetris game, the FA
's started to prepare the last meal. This was about 1:30min before arrival. I was astonished by the amount of food that was presented! They came around once again with warm towels before hand. My choice consisted of, Fried Beef Curry with fried rice, Salad with Italian dressing, fruit cup (which was really fresh!), and italian coffee with a rice cracker. Everything tasted really good and was totally satisfied with the amount of food given. After the meal service clean-up began with a serving of cold wet towel and a cup of tea or water. The Captain came on the intercom once again and stated that we would start our initial decent into the Tokyo area. Weather was good but still quite dark outside. Couldn't really see anything unfortunately. We flew right over Disney land to join a left base for runway 06R. Landing was smooth as silk but the only thing was that the taxi to the new international terminal was a little long. After our arrival at the gate, the time was 10 minutes earlier than expected. Which was great! I guess we made up some good time.
Wing shot at the gate:
After getting off the plane, I stood to the side in order to take some pictures of this beautiful aircraft. I couldn't be happier to fly with ANA. My favorite airline!
This was my first time in the new International terminal. The architecture was amazing! very well laid out terminal. Very organized and designed to move people fast! I made my way over to the immigration where It only took about 10 minutes to wait as we were the only flight that arrived at that time. 4:20am! The baggage area was empty as expected and I was able to head outside the terminal 15 minutes later. I thought that 25min from plane to outside is great timing! Since I had to wait for my girlfriend to come pick me up, I wondered around the airport for a while. I was really excited to see the viewing Deck! All I can say is that this is probably the best spot I have ever been to watch aircraft movements. Really interesting!
Walkway to Immigration:
ready for departure to LHR
. Fuji (I was told this is a rare sight from Tokyo, as haze usually prevents you from seeing it. Awesome!:
Inside the departure terminal (upper level):
Awesome lighting coming through:
I had an amazing experience with NH
. Crew were fantastic, seats were comfortable, food was amazing. I couldn't complain about anything. I will be posting Part 2 and Part 3 of my trip in the next couple days. Part 2 will cover my travels inside Japan and Part 3 will cover the return flight back to YYC
. Stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this report.
Thank you, any comments are welcome!