--- FCO-NRT ---
Inside the terminal it looked like I had a walk of 10 minutes plus to my gate, but with more than 90 minutes until boarding time this was no hassle:
On my way to the G-gates I stopped at several shops selling electronic stuff for a travel charger, but they all claimed to be sold out or not having something like this in their portfolio. (Remember, I had forgotten my DSLR battery charger in the lounge at SIN
and stil had to use my little back-up cam.) At least I found a shop for sweets and got a box of Rocher. Passing through the shopping mall named FCO
Taking the airtrain to the G-gates:
A view of heavy AZ
metal at their apron parking-positions:
. You see the lady at the desk looking at me? Right after I took the picture she came running to me and told me not to take pictures of the counter.
Some views of the mighty tripple-seven which would take me to NRT
, I love the engines:
As I had a lot of time until boarding, more than one hour, I even took part in a survey about Italian airports. Don't know if I really took part, because I was bored or because of the beautiful Italian lady asking me to do so. Whatever, she got what she wanted. later I had "breakfast", a "little" box of Rocher:
Boarding time was 9:55, but nothing happened. Nearly 15 minutes later, at 10:09 boarding was called, stating with Business Class pax, Economy Plus, frequent fliers and Economy in two groups in the end. That was the plan, but it was not enforced, which is a thing I hate. So everyone stormed up to the gate agent and was let onboard, no matter which class or status they had. It took me about 10 minutes to board the aircraft, this really looked like a light load this day.
Date: 26 November 2012
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Aircraft Reg: EI
Departure Airport: FCO
/ Rom Fiumicino
Arrival Airport: NRT
/ Tokyo Narita
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:45 / 10:45 AM
Actual Departure Time: 10:45 / 10:45 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 07:00 / 07:00 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 07:00 / 07:00 AM
Seat: 27A (window)
We boarded through door 2L, this is my seat 27A for this long flight to Tokyo. Matter of fact, seats 27 A, B and C were my seats for this flight as it turned out very quickly that this flight had a load-factor of under 30 percent.
That is how my row looked for the first half hour of our flight until some other pax claimed the block of center seats and and block of starboard seats:
Massiv wing of this 777-200ER:
Thanks to the light load we had no problems pushing back right on time. When the flaps got extended to their take-off position after pushback I was amazed at the crust of oil and other substances on the wing. It seems like AZ
is learning a lot from AF
Lining up on runway 16R this time (it was 25 yesterday):
Take-off from FCO
, passing the airport terminals while lifting off:
After take-off we flow a nearly 90 degrees right turn out over the Mediterranean Sea, before doing a 180 degrees left turn to get on a Northeasternly course to Tokyo:
Passing the airport again while making landfall to its South:
Our departure route:
Legroom would have been an absolute disaster on a plane with a high load factor, me knees were pressed againt the backrest of the seat in front of my while taking off. The IFE box was huge, taking up a lot of legroom, too. I could have lived with 3-4-3, but not with this seat pitch of 30 to 31 inches. Shame on AZ
for this layout.
Acceptable sitting like this:
The seatback with the folding tray table, IFE control unit and IFE display. This is an older AVOD-system, but IMO acceptable, even for such long 12-hour-flights.
Movable headrests, I really like this feature a lot:
Wing after we had reached our initial cruise level:
My reading light was not working and when I touched it it fell out from the ceiling. I pushed it back in, but it was still not working. Good that I had two more of them.
Right after take-off the crew served drinks and a snack. They were super friendly and even made some jokes, apparently they were lucky, too, to have such a low load this day. I spent the next one and a half hour reading in my Tokyo guidebooks.
After the drink-run the crew came around handing out this cards, asking us to take part in a survey about the experience onboard. I took part the next day before going to sleep in Tokyo:
I used the time before dinner was served to explore the cabin and took this snapshots showing the light load this day:
Another wing-view while dinner was served:
The great crew handing out dinner:
9511 km to go, while flying into the arriving night:
IFE finally activated:
I took the japanese dinner option, baked chicken with rice and soya sauce, loved it, tasted fantastic:
After some time the crew picked up the trays again and asked everyone to close the window blinds. The cabin lights were turned off and it was time to go to sleep. I used the reading light to read one of guides for another 90 minutes and then went to sleep, too. I woke up a good hour later, because of one the flight attendants was chatting loudly to a female passenger one row behind me. That happened to me before on an AZ
flight in 2008, back then the chatting went on for the whole flight. This time I got up and just wanted to ask her to be quit as most people were trying to sleep, but when she saw me getting up she apologized without me having said a word and I went back to sleep after taking these photos of the inflight-map and and more or less dark cabin:
I had problems sleeping that night, probably because I had crossed to many time zones in the past three days. I still tried sleeping, but woke up multiple times. Heads up to the crew for doing multiple drink-runs and keeping us hydrated. At one point, somewhere over Russia, I went to the galley and picked up somehting to drink . I met the purser there and asked him about the load-factor. He told me that 140 persons were onboard today, which is not much on a 293 seat aircraft, but more than I thought. The next photos show some towns somewhere over central Siberia, but they can not show the beauty that met my eyes. I could see all stars on a cloud-free sky, the wing was lit up by the very bright moon and small towns were lighting up the clouds from below. That is one of the things why I love flying, the world looks beautiful from above.
I went back to sleep, but only slept in 30 minute intervals. A good hour before landing at NRT
breakfast was served. It was a cold, European breakfast, but very good.
While approaching the West coast of Japan the descend started and the sun was rising in the East.
We overflew Japan made a few turns to the right after we had overflown the East coast and turned back on a Westernly course to NRT
While making landfall Mount Fuji became visible in the South, lit up in the red and orange tones of the sunrise. Wonderful!
Final approach and landing at NRT
While taxiing to the gate I got a small glimpse of this DL
A330 on a gate to our left:
I waited again for most passengers to leave the aircraft and then asked if I could take a few shots of the flightdeck. Premium Economy:
And finally, the flightdeck of the mighty 77E:
Arriving in the Japan, my first visit to this country:
Welcome to Japan
After the last photo the battery of my backup-cam gave up, so this left we with the camera of my smartphone (Samsung S3) and the photo function of my video-camera. Good for me that the Samsung has quite a good camera as long as enough light is available. And my bag had made it:
After passing customs and immigration, landside at Japan:
Exchanging 120 Euro into 12500 Yen:
Afterwards I bought a train ticket for the Skyliner, one of two Express trains running into Tokyo city, and went to the train station. I had about 40 minutes until my train would arrive, but could spend the time using wifi thanks to my Boingo account:
The train arriving:
At 9:15, exactly on time the Skyliner arrived at Tokyo Ueno station, were I changed into the Ginza metro line into the city:
I left the train at Ginza station and went into a camera store (BIC Camera, found at multiple places in Tokyo) and bought a charger for my DSLR battery. But buying the charger was not an easy thing to do. No one in the shop spoke English or wanted to speak English (typical shyness). It took three attempts to find a young, female sales assitent who could help me. And despite her broken English, she could sell me the product I needed. FINALLY! From that store I took the Yurakucho line to Nagatacho and from there the Hanzomon line to the Hanzomon station. From there I had about 300 meters to my Hotel, the Grand Arc Hanzomon, directly on the Westernly end of the park surrounding the emperors palace. More about that later. I checked-in, dropped of my bags at the reception as the room was not ready at this time and left again.