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Old May 28, 07, 7:19 pm
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 3,364
Ams-icn-ngo: Kl + Jal


Here is a short TR on my trip to Nagoya, Japan. I did not plan to make a TR, but did it anyway in the end during my train ride. :P

I am now currently based in Japan, near Nagoya city for a few weeks. My trip here started about 3 weeks ago, when I flew the following route: AMS-ICN-NGO, which was changed to AMS-ICN-NRT-NGO. There are not many pictures as I did not plan to write a TR.

Aircraft: B747-400 KLM Asia: City of Hong Kong
Seat: 9A (Upgraded to WBC, 78B)
Dept. time: 18.30 (delayed until 19.00)
Duration: 9h15 mins

Here are a few snapshot of the aircraft, did not bother to take any inflight shots as I did not plan to write any trip report.

Anyway, it was the old WBC seats. I was on the upperdeck, served by two FA, one Dutch and one Korean. Load in Y was overbooked, and J, was light, I noticed that they did a few upgrade, even my seat mate next to me was upgraded. Although there were a few upgrades, I noticed that WBC was not full. Our flight departed about 30 mins late due to some documentation issue. Service was ok, though nothing special at all. Since the flight was rather short, about 9h10m, I just managed about 4h of not so deep sleep. Breakfast was ok, again nothing special. I found the service even from the Korean FA mediocre. Inflight entertainment was ok. Anyway, landed just with 10 mins delay.

This is my first time visitng the ICN airport. Deboarding was OK, I was one of the last to leave the upperdeck, and when I reached the bottom of the staircase, there was no holding back of Y passengers, though the Korean FA tried to stop some passengers for me, but she did not manage too. Well, not her fault since I was late deboarding.

I had some troubles looking for the Japan Airlines transfer counter, and it turned out that they don’t have one. Was directed to their office, which was hidden behind some shops, but no one was there. By the time I found a JAL agent, my original direct flight to NGO was already closed. Luckily I had checked out earlier my other option, which was ICN-NRT-NGO and I was on. It was actually quite a task due to language issue. Was nice since I was now able to earn miles within the OneWorld alliance. Both legs were on the 747-400. My first time flying JAL. Due to this change, I had some time. I wanted to get a shower, so I tried my luck going to the see if I could use the NWA World Club, and was lucky to be able to get in, not based on my WBC arrival, but my ST+ status, weird but true. It was a typical NW Worldclub. Sadly, they did not have a shower, but just hanged around and checked my mails with the free WiFi service (a incentive now being launched by NW). Here are a few photos of the Worldclub.

JL 952
Time: 13.45
Seat: 44K
Duration: 2h +

Soon, it was time to for me to go to the gate. JAL was very organized and all perks for OW was already in place. Just arrived in time when they started boarding status passengers of OW. I got a window seat at the rear section. The flight seemed to be about full. My first impression, was positive. Friendly FA, nice clean interior and the entertainment system looks good. It was the a regional configured aircraft, so the Business section was not the JAL Shell Flat seats. Anyway, did not matter to me since I was not in that section. Economy seat was ok, but I did find it a bit cramp, maybe because I just arrived from WBC :P Soon, passengers started to fill up. I noticed that the Japanese FA’s all were very very helpful and service oriented. They helped passenger load their baggage’s in the overhead compartment and tried to satisfy everyone’s wishes. If they could not, they were very apologetic. They also distributed the toys and plays tuff to the children, and I noticed that one of it was a cute JAL airplane keychain. Soon, everything was ready and the aircraft was prepared for departure. The Japanese are very safe with this, I was sitting opposite the galley, and I noticed that at 3-4 FA’s checked that everything was in lock position, not once or twice, but sometimes 3 times, with a pointing and verbal action to themselves. Very amusing, but shows that they are really serious about safety. Here are some photos of the interior and exterior.

Also, some shots from ICN with a Air China B747 departing back to Beijing.

We pushed back and I saw that the KLM aircraft was also pushing back for her flight back to AMS. It was a powerful takeoff. The pilot came on air and gave some info of our destination. Soon we were served a small Japanese snack box, which was quite an amount. It was actually very good food. At this stage the battery of my camera was dead and my charger in my checked luggage. Flight time was about 2 hours. The entertainment programs were actually rather similar to the KLM choices. Did not watch much since I was really tired, so I tried to have some shut eye. Soon, we landed into a very wet Narita. Landing was spectacular due to the rain. The taxiing to the gate was long, passing by a whole bunch of JAL planes including some MD-80, Fokkers and Jets.
My first experience with Japanese/Korean style of deboarding, is everyone is not as polite as I expected. They just did not bother to let you get out if you are at the window. Only way was to push yourself out to the aisle. The FA was again helping passengers get their luggage down from the overhead and bowed when at passengers. My first flight and impression, very positive.

My next flight was also at the international side, but I had to move to Terminal 2. Went through security check again, and managed to find the sky train to the next terminal. The skytrain was actually quite a weird system, not all train goes and returns to Teminal 2, so after waiting for about 10 mins and 3 trains, finally there was a train heading towards Terminal 2. No idea of this system. I had planned to ask if I could try and upgrade my seat for 1000 Yen to the J class. Found a ticketing/transfer desk counter and enquired about this. I was told that my flight would be an all economy flight. So I asked if I could get a seat further to the front or upperdeck. I managed to snap a seat in the front. Did not think much about it. Went looking for an ATM, but sadly there was none within the departure area. So I just went directly to my gate since I was very tired at this point. I had about 1 ½ hour to wait. Managed to get some short close eyes every now and than.

JL 53 (International Flight- One class service)
Seat: 8K
Dept. time: 18.30 (delayed 18.50)
Durtaion: 1h

Boarding time arrived and when I approached the gate, they had an announcement in Japanese and at the same time I saw that boarding was delayed for about 15 mins. After this short delay, boarding started and they began again with status passengers. Noticed that there are lots of them. Anyway I boarded the aircraft and what a surprised, it was an international configuration. So my seat turned out to be the JAL Shell sleeper seat.

I noticed that the F section was the new seats. I was happy with the seat. Had some nice time checking it out. The front section was filled, not sure about the back section. It was still pouring out there and for the first time, after pushback was complete, I saw the famous Japanese bow from the ground crew. Very nice since it was pouring outside and yet they are still so dedicated to it. Flight time was about 1h. We taxied to the runway, and was tailed by Singapore Airlines B777 and a Air Canada. The captain came on and told us that there was delay due to the congestion. It was not too long, but I did not care since I was in the sleeper seat. Waited just about 5 mins and we had a powerful take off. After take off, I put my seat down to flat bed (angled) position (lots of other passengers did so to). Managed to sleep for the entire flight until the announcement for cabin preparation. I had a good short nap. We landed at NGO about 10 mins late. Landing was smooth, but noticed that it had rained too in NGO. A Qantas, Philippine Airlines and Continental Micronesia plane was the only foreign aircraft on the ground, with the rest being JAL or ANA planes. This time I managed to get out of the plane fast and again greeted very friendly by the FA and ground staff.

I was very impressed with the new airport. Immigration was fast, with nearly no lines at the foreigner counters. When I was done and arrived to collect my luggage, I did not wait long, and was one of the first bag to come out. From airplane to the information counter at the arrival hall was about 20 mins which I think it great for someone arriving at a new airport. There was bus within 20 mins departing directly to my hotel in a small city near Nagoya.

Overall, I was very impressed with the service onboard JAL. FA were very friendly and planes were well kept. They even had staff at the arrival hall before you left to again show their appreciation. In fact upon arrival in Narita, they had a staff waiting for me and apologizing for my rerouting and was told exactly where to go. I find such service really exceptional even for an Asian airline. I would no doubt fly them again in the future.

KLM, was very glad for the upgrade, but I think as many people have noticed, value wise, it was not really worth the money for flying WBC if it was from my own pocket. The seats were ok, but I think catering wise, not up to standard for Business class.

My next flights are internal ones from NGO-FUK and back. This will be with ANA. (The return was on the day the ANA computers went KO'ed)

Last edited by nldogbert; May 28, 07 at 8:16 pm
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