The entire itinerary for my trip ended up being SFO-NRT-GUM-NRT-LAX. The point of the trip?? To some people who ask me, I'll come up with an excuse...."wanted to see Asia", or something like that. But, on here, I'll be honest and say...the entire point of the trip was to get on one of the last NWA 747-200's!! Planning the trip took quite awhile though, since I nonrev'ed the whole trip. So, without any further delay, here it is!!
20 May 2007
A330-223, N860NW, Fleet# 3360
Seat: 5G, World Business Class
World Business Class: 90% (3 seats open)
Photo © Stefan Welsch
I arrived into SFO from DEN at about 800am, for the 145pm flight to NRT on NW27. So, with nearly 6 hours to kill, I aimlessly walked around the SFO terminals for awhile. Although I didn't see much, I really liked SFO, especially the international terminal.
After what seemed like an eternity, the flight finally began boarding about 45 minutes prior to departure. The gate agents then called the few standbys for seats, and I was given 5G in World Business Class. The NWA A332's have two seperate C cabins, the main one between doors 1 and 2, and a smaller "mini-cabin" just aft of door 2, which is where I was seated. The "mini-cabin" only had two rows, which made for a nice and more private feel to the cabin. Once seated, the FA's immediately came by with menus, amenity kits, drinks, and snacks. I almost always travel in economy, so this was a pretty impressive experience for me!! A menu, was not something I thought I'd ever see on an airplane!!
Departure was right on time, and so began my first ever trip to Asia. Takeoff was actually pretty slow. Then again, considering the payload and fuel on board, I suppose it would have been considered "normal". Once we got in the air, the FA's immediately began the dinner service, which started with several rounds of drinks and appetizers:
Appetizers served before dinner
After dinner (sorry, no pics of the meal), I enjoyed some songs and a movie off of NWA's pretty cool AVOD system.
NWA's AVOD system "World Entertainment Network"
After watching a movie, I fell asleep for nearly the rest of the flight. For as much grief as some people on A.net give NWA, their World Business Class seats are still really nice!!! The lumbar supports can be automatically and continuously cycled, which really helped to avoid getting the back and muscle cramps.
Upon arriving in NRT, I asked the FA's if I could have a couple "souvenirs" from the flight, to which they very generously responded giving me a menu, playing cards, and a couple safety cards. Thanks!!
N860NW at the gate in NRT.
21 May 2007
757-251 (Extended Overwater), unknown tail number
Seat: 6B, World Business Class
World Business Class: 75% (5 seats open)
Photo © Mario Aurich
Even though I had a relatively short layover, NRT was a very nice airport. Since I was connecting internationally, I didn't have to go through customs, only a very short security line and checkpoint. After playing a good few pages in my Sudoku book, the agents began boarding the flight to GUM.
The 757 pulling into the gate at NRT. Sorry about the blur....
On the small sub-fleet of 757's operating out of NRT, NWA markets the first class as World Business Class, even though it's near identical to the domestic first class on all their other 757's. I wasn't complaining in the least though, because I was dead-tired and there was no one in the seat next to me, so I had some space to spread out and go to sleep. I was able to keep my eyes open long enough to make it through dinner, but as soon as I finished I was out cold for the rest of the flight.
The GUM airport is very nice, although very simple. Customs went incredibly fast, and I was able to get to my hotel in no time.
GUM, after arriving at 100am
22 May 2007
747-251B, N623US, Fleet# 6623
Seat: 87A, Top Deck World Business Class
World Business Class: 25% (22 seats open)
Photo © Alex Pan
This was the big day....the point of the entire trip!!! After walking around Guam for awhile, I went to the airport nearly three hours early.
I think I was the only person there, haha.
Check-in was, of course, very quick!!! Since the flight was so incredibly wide-open, the CSA's gave me a seat at check-in, instead of at the gate. I requested the top deck, and was given 87A. Little did I know though, that there would only be one other person besides myself on the top deck!! The rest of the C class pax were on the main deck.
And there it sat....... the old Pacific workhorse!! Sorry about the horrible glare, it was unavoidable
Boarding went incredibly quickly, as there were barely over 100 people booked on the flight, for a plane configured to hold 430. Walking up the spiral staircase of the 747-200 for my first, and I'm sure only time....was incredibly cool.
Top deck World Business Class on board one of the last NWA 747-200's.
Even though I slept near the entire flight on the 752 to GUM, I made sure to stay awake for every moment of the 742 flight back to NRT. The service was fantastic, as there were only two of us on the top deck. The old 742's still have PTV's in C class, just not AVOD. I watched "The Good Shephard", which I thought was very good despite being somewhat confusing in parts.
View from my seat 87A, enroute to NRT.
On descent into NRT. I will forever miss that view out the window!!
Landing in NRT was perfect, a fitting end to an amazing flight. After taxiing back to the gate, we actually had to hold short of the gate for a few minutes...which was very nice, giving me some time to absorb the last few moments of the flight into memory. Upon arrival, I again asked the FA's for any souvenirs off the flight. I explained how far I'd gone, to be there for this plane, and they seemed to understand, giving me a menu and 5 safety cards.
Even though they are just machines, it is still difficult to say 'goodbye'!!
23 May 2007
747-451, N676NW, Fleet# 6316
Seat: 12A, Main Deck World Business Class
World Business Class: 100%
Photo © Mario Aurich
Tokyo was an incredibly cool city, for what little I saw of it. As quickly as the trip started, it was begining to wind down....time to head home. I arrived relatively early to NRT, as I didn't know what to expect for security lines and such. The lines went very quickly, and I had quite a few hours to burn in the airport. Soon enough though, the CSA's began boarding for the flight 1 hour ahead. The flight was expected to be totally full, as economy was boooked to capacity, and there was a very long list of standbys for World Business Class. There were only 5 seats open in WBC, and I was number 4 on the standby list, which was about 25 names long. I got seat 12A though, which actually turned out to be quite a good seat on the main deck. Excellent view of the wing and engines, and a very private feel as it was all the way in the rear of the business class cabin. Takeoff on this flight was incredibly cool, although very long!!!
Just about to takeoff. Those PW4056's have the coolest sound!!
The coast of Japan below
For having 41 pax on the main deck C-cabin, the FA's were very fast and efficient with the dinner service. I listened to some of the on-demand music for awhile, then promptly fell asleep. I intended to wakeup in time for the breakfast service, but instead woke up to the captain giving a PA: "Ladies and gentleman, we are now on our initial descent into Los Angeles......"
So, I slept through the ENTIRE flight, including breakfast!! Bravo, to whoever did the landing....incredibly smooth!!
My seat, 12A...and B.
Arrival in LAX
Even though I'd really like to go back to GUM and NRT, and spend quite a few more days, the trip was WELL worth it to get on the old 742. Thanks to all for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!!!! Look for another one in late September, for LAX-SYD-LAX in United Business.