ITYT Travel Forums  

Go Back   ITYT Travel Forums > General Travel Topics > General Travel > Trip Reports
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-17-2002, 04:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
ITYT Navigator
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
Posts: 610
Send a message via AIM to Nugget
AUS/IAH/NRT on 16 (and 17) March

My beloved IAH->CDG segment that I frequent during trips to Basel has been displaced as the longest flight I've ever taken.

The day began early on Saturday, Moonwick graciously offered to drive Leto and I to AUS to catch our 09:00 flight to IAH. We were on the road just as the sun as breaking loose from the horizon and were checking in at the CO ticketing counter at 07:00 on the nose. It seems in booking the flight I'd managed to choose the most popular, most crowded route to Tokyo and our seat assignments were awful for both legs.

There's no 10:15 flight to Houston on Saturdays, unlike the weekday schedule with three flights each morning. This results in much more competition for those elite seats and precious EUAs. Leto and I settled in to 24E and 24F for the short hop to Houston. I'd been awake since about 02:00, the victim of a terrible "I'll just lay down for a few minutes" napping mishap at 21:00 the evening before. I think I may have even managed to sleep through takeoff and napped for most of the flight.

Our 757 unusually (but convienently) arrived at gate D7 in the International terminal at IAH. We stopped by the book shop and picked up some magazines and just headed directly to D4a where our flight was already boarding.

41E is the absolute farthest back I've ever been on a 777-200. Heck, I didn't even realize that there were two more coach cabins back there. I think that an aft middle/middle seat for 14 hours is about as bad as it gets for international flight. The new plane with seatback entertainment was the only savign grace for me. (Thank CO for being the Joneses).

Despite all indicators pointing to a terrible flight, it was effortless. After two movies, two magazines, 200 pages or so of progress in the book I'd brought along, and completely draining the AA's in my mp3 player we arrived in NRT and I actually felt fairly refreshed. It was not a bad flight at all and certainly didn't feel all that much longer than the IAH->CDG segments I'm accustomed to. I slept a lot (the free wine helped).

I was quite surprised to discover how much louder and rumblier the noise is when sitting behind the engines on a 777. Sitting wing-forward is a much more peaceful experience.

Our landing in Tokyo was hampered by very strong winds. The 777 was tossed around like it was an ERJ and Leto remarked that it was the bumpiest landing he'd been in. Might have been for me, too. Unsure if this is common for NRT or not.

Passing through customs and passport control at NRT was orderly and calm, although a bit slow. I got a stamp in my passport (yay). Within forty minutes or so were were in country with our bags and trying to decypher the directions and signs to figure out how to get from Narita to Tokyo proper. According to our hotel's web page we knew we needed to find our way to the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T.C.A.T.) in downtown Tokyo.

This trip turned out to be a ~$20 and 60 minute bus ride during which we saw a frustratingly small amount of Japan. They're very fond of putting walls up around roadways and highways which I'm sure is popular with the people living on the other side of the walls but didn't do much for Leto and I who were both quite excited to be in Japan for the first time.

We arrived at the T.C.A.T. and found that the Royal Park Hotel was just across the street. success! We strolled across and made our way to the check-in counter.

I'd made the hotel reservations through AMEX travel services who were able to quote me a rate lower than that which was available from the Hotel's web site. Upon our arrival we immediately discovered a secondary benefit of having used AMEX. The gracious agent at the recption desk immediatly directed us to the executive level on the 16th floor of the hotel, explaining that we were not expected to check in down in the lobby. A bellhop with our bags led us to the lounge on the 16th floor where we were politely checked in seated in comfortable chairs with refreshements available. It was quite nice.

One point of collision between Japanese and Western culture is the confusion between family names and given names. In Japan it's apparantly uncommon to call someone by their given name, which indicates familiarity and isn't appropriate in many social settings. As a result, there's often ambiguity about what a person's name actually is. When encountering a name in print, for instance, it's unclear if the name is shown firstname, lastname or lastname, firstname. Has this person listed their name in the order dictated by their culture, of have they accomodated by swapping to the other ordering? Unless the name is common and obvious, there's just no way to know. One technique in common use is to capitalize one's family name, as in "David MCNETT" when writing in order to disambiguify the situation. I've tried to do that where possible in preparing for this trip, although I suspect that David is a common enough first name and "Mc" is a reliable family name hint that my name doesn't pose much confusion.

We did run into this problem exactly with Leto's reservation. They got quite distressed at being unable to find any reservation for a Mr. Janssen in the system. It didn't take long, however, for them to find the reservation for "Mr. Ivo" and the situation was resolved quite rapidly after that.

After checking in we quickly settled into our rooms and headed to the in-hotel japanese restaurant for a quite tasty traditional japanese dinner. Many small dishes, nearly all of which were completely unidentifiable to me. Good flavors and odd (and sometimes off-putting) textures. Plenty of wasabi. We sat at the table, served by no less than a half-dozen kimono'd waitresses and enjoyed the view of the colorfully-lit japanese garden on the other side of the window by our table. It was absolutely delightful.

Still hasn't really sunk in that we're in Japan and I'm looing forward to the more extensive explorations we'll be able to make tomorrow unhindered by fatigue and darkness.

A small (but soon to be larger) selection of pictures are posted in my personal gallery. I'll be migrating the travel-specific pics to the appropriate ITYT gallery spots when we return to the States.

:bow:
__________________

Nugget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2002, 04:09 PM   #2
Senior Member
ITYT Navigator
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
Posts: 610
Send a message via AIM to Nugget
AUS/IAH/NRT on 16 (and 17) March

My beloved IAH->CDG segment that I frequent during trips to Basel has been displaced as the longest flight I've ever taken.

The day began early on Saturday, Moonwick graciously offered to drive Leto and I to AUS to catch our 09:00 flight to IAH. We were on the road just as the sun as breaking loose from the horizon and were checking in at the CO ticketing counter at 07:00 on the nose. It seems in booking the flight I'd managed to choose the most popular, most crowded route to Tokyo and our seat assignments were awful for both legs.

There's no 10:15 flight to Houston on Saturdays, unlike the weekday schedule with three flights each morning. This results in much more competition for those elite seats and precious EUAs. Leto and I settled in to 24E and 24F for the short hop to Houston. I'd been awake since about 02:00, the victim of a terrible "I'll just lay down for a few minutes" napping mishap at 21:00 the evening before. I think I may have even managed to sleep through takeoff and napped for most of the flight.

Our 757 unusually (but convienently) arrived at gate D7 in the International terminal at IAH. We stopped by the book shop and picked up some magazines and just headed directly to D4a where our flight was already boarding.

41E is the absolute farthest back I've ever been on a 777-200. Heck, I didn't even realize that there were two more coach cabins back there. I think that an aft middle/middle seat for 14 hours is about as bad as it gets for international flight. The new plane with seatback entertainment was the only savign grace for me. (Thank CO for being the Joneses).

Despite all indicators pointing to a terrible flight, it was effortless. After two movies, two magazines, 200 pages or so of progress in the book I'd brought along, and completely draining the AA's in my mp3 player we arrived in NRT and I actually felt fairly refreshed. It was not a bad flight at all and certainly didn't feel all that much longer than the IAH->CDG segments I'm accustomed to. I slept a lot (the free wine helped).

I was quite surprised to discover how much louder and rumblier the noise is when sitting behind the engines on a 777. Sitting wing-forward is a much more peaceful experience.

Our landing in Tokyo was hampered by very strong winds. The 777 was tossed around like it was an ERJ and Leto remarked that it was the bumpiest landing he'd been in. Might have been for me, too. Unsure if this is common for NRT or not.

Passing through customs and passport control at NRT was orderly and calm, although a bit slow. I got a stamp in my passport (yay). Within forty minutes or so were were in country with our bags and trying to decypher the directions and signs to figure out how to get from Narita to Tokyo proper. According to our hotel's web page we knew we needed to find our way to the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T.C.A.T.) in downtown Tokyo.

This trip turned out to be a ~$20 and 60 minute bus ride during which we saw a frustratingly small amount of Japan. They're very fond of putting walls up around roadways and highways which I'm sure is popular with the people living on the other side of the walls but didn't do much for Leto and I who were both quite excited to be in Japan for the first time.

We arrived at the T.C.A.T. and found that the Royal Park Hotel was just across the street. success! We strolled across and made our way to the check-in counter.

I'd made the hotel reservations through AMEX travel services who were able to quote me a rate lower than that which was available from the Hotel's web site. Upon our arrival we immediately discovered a secondary benefit of having used AMEX. The gracious agent at the recption desk immediatly directed us to the executive level on the 16th floor of the hotel, explaining that we were not expected to check in down in the lobby. A bellhop with our bags led us to the lounge on the 16th floor where we were politely checked in seated in comfortable chairs with refreshements available. It was quite nice.

One point of collision between Japanese and Western culture is the confusion between family names and given names. In Japan it's apparantly uncommon to call someone by their given name, which indicates familiarity and isn't appropriate in many social settings. As a result, there's often ambiguity about what a person's name actually is. When encountering a name in print, for instance, it's unclear if the name is shown firstname, lastname or lastname, firstname. Has this person listed their name in the order dictated by their culture, of have they accomodated by swapping to the other ordering? Unless the name is common and obvious, there's just no way to know. One technique in common use is to capitalize one's family name, as in "David MCNETT" when writing in order to disambiguify the situation. I've tried to do that where possible in preparing for this trip, although I suspect that David is a common enough first name and "Mc" is a reliable family name hint that my name doesn't pose much confusion.

We did run into this problem exactly with Leto's reservation. They got quite distressed at being unable to find any reservation for a Mr. Janssen in the system. It didn't take long, however, for them to find the reservation for "Mr. Ivo" and the situation was resolved quite rapidly after that.

After checking in we quickly settled into our rooms and headed to the in-hotel japanese restaurant for a quite tasty traditional japanese dinner. Many small dishes, nearly all of which were completely unidentifiable to me. Good flavors and odd (and sometimes off-putting) textures. Plenty of wasabi. We sat at the table, served by no less than a half-dozen kimono'd waitresses and enjoyed the view of the colorfully-lit japanese garden on the other side of the window by our table. It was absolutely delightful.

Still hasn't really sunk in that we're in Japan and I'm looing forward to the more extensive explorations we'll be able to make tomorrow unhindered by fatigue and darkness.

A small (but soon to be larger) selection of pictures are posted in my personal gallery. I'll be migrating the travel-specific pics to the appropriate ITYT gallery spots when we return to the States.

:bow:
__________________

Nugget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2002, 04:26 PM   #3
Member
ITYT Cabin Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS
Posts: 34
My trip report AUS-IAH-NRT

me too.
Leto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2002, 04:26 PM   #4
Member
ITYT Cabin Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS
Posts: 34
My trip report AUS-IAH-NRT

me too.
Leto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2002, 08:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
ITYT Navigator
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
Posts: 610
Send a message via AIM to Nugget
home again, home again, quick as a... well,ok, not too quick

Posted some pics of NRT and such in the ITYT Gallery.

Our trip back was pretty much the mirror image of our trip there. Japan was very kind to us, providing us with a gloomy and rainy sky that made us at least a small bit less sad about leaving.

Ivo and I both awoke early on Friday and did a bit of shopping in the morning. We grabbed lunch at a random sushi place in the Ginza district (business) right at lunchtime. It was quite an adventure, we were without our Japanese hosts and had to pantomime our way through ordering and paying for our meals. After lunch we headed back to the hotel, checked out, and walked over to the T-CAT terminal to catch a bus to NRT.

I napped on the 60 minute bus ride, so it felt quick. Security check was done prior to flight check-in, which was a bit odd. We stood in a large, single, common line feeding into a small gated area where the 10 or so Continental check-in desks were situated. Officers checked the inside of my suitcase, but let Ivo pass through unmolested. Must have been my goatee.

We checked in, once again verified that there was no chance for a reward upgrade to BF (front cabin was full of revenue pax). The whole check-in process took right around 40 minutes, lines and all.

After receiving our boarding passes we headed off to our gate. Drank a few cans of beer and Ivo called his folks. 16:00 Friday in .jp meant breakfast-time in Europe.

Although skeptical of the value at first, Ivo was relieved when we were able to skirt around the CDG-caliber blob of humanity which had congealed at the boarding agent's kiosk and pre-board during the BF and Elite call. It easily saved us 20 minutes of jostling and shifting from foot to foot. We had also been able to get much better seats this time around, and settled in to 19A and 19B for the flight back. The cabin was full with nearly every seat trio at capacity with three pax.

I was quite restless for the flight back, really only sleeping for about 20 minutes during the very beginning. Ivo was out like a light for nearly the whole trip, even managing to sleep through our later sandwich service. I grabbed and saved a few pairs of cute Continental chopsticks. It felt long to me. Quite long.

Touchdown in Houston was uneventful. We had a layover which was comfortably long enough for us to make it through customs (which was unusually deserted) and relax for a bit at the President's Club. The P-Club staff was able to secure us first class seats for the AUS segment, which was nice.

At board time we strolled off to our gate and the flight to AUS was completely typical.

Takeoff from NRT, Friday at 17:10. Touchdown at AUS, Friday at 16:45. We'd been through an entire day in the middle of that and I spent the whole weekend thinking it was a day later than it really was. The jetlag hasn't been bad, although in a confusing twist it's hit us in opposite ways. I've been waking up each day between 04:00 and 05:00 and haven't been in to the office later than 07:30 yet. Ivo's been having a miserable time dragging himself out of bed each morning. Quite strange.

In all, the trip was an amazing experience. It's kinda freaky to be getting nearly 15,000 miles for a single segment. Between my plat bonus, the IAH XFER promotion, and the actual air miles of the segment it's a pretty massive addition to my onepass account.
Nugget is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2002, 08:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
ITYT Navigator
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
Posts: 610
Send a message via AIM to Nugget
home again, home again, quick as a... well,ok, not too quick

Posted some pics of NRT and such in the ITYT Gallery.

Our trip back was pretty much the mirror image of our trip there. Japan was very kind to us, providing us with a gloomy and rainy sky that made us at least a small bit less sad about leaving.

Ivo and I both awoke early on Friday and did a bit of shopping in the morning. We grabbed lunch at a random sushi place in the Ginza district (business) right at lunchtime. It was quite an adventure, we were without our Japanese hosts and had to pantomime our way through ordering and paying for our meals. After lunch we headed back to the hotel, checked out, and walked over to the T-CAT terminal to catch a bus to NRT.

I napped on the 60 minute bus ride, so it felt quick. Security check was done prior to flight check-in, which was a bit odd. We stood in a large, single, common line feeding into a small gated area where the 10 or so Continental check-in desks were situated. Officers checked the inside of my suitcase, but let Ivo pass through unmolested. Must have been my goatee.

We checked in, once again verified that there was no chance for a reward upgrade to BF (front cabin was full of revenue pax). The whole check-in process took right around 40 minutes, lines and all.

After receiving our boarding passes we headed off to our gate. Drank a few cans of beer and Ivo called his folks. 16:00 Friday in .jp meant breakfast-time in Europe.

Although skeptical of the value at first, Ivo was relieved when we were able to skirt around the CDG-caliber blob of humanity which had congealed at the boarding agent's kiosk and pre-board during the BF and Elite call. It easily saved us 20 minutes of jostling and shifting from foot to foot. We had also been able to get much better seats this time around, and settled in to 19A and 19B for the flight back. The cabin was full with nearly every seat trio at capacity with three pax.

I was quite restless for the flight back, really only sleeping for about 20 minutes during the very beginning. Ivo was out like a light for nearly the whole trip, even managing to sleep through our later sandwich service. I grabbed and saved a few pairs of cute Continental chopsticks. It felt long to me. Quite long.

Touchdown in Houston was uneventful. We had a layover which was comfortably long enough for us to make it through customs (which was unusually deserted) and relax for a bit at the President's Club. The P-Club staff was able to secure us first class seats for the AUS segment, which was nice.

At board time we strolled off to our gate and the flight to AUS was completely typical.

Takeoff from NRT, Friday at 17:10. Touchdown at AUS, Friday at 16:45. We'd been through an entire day in the middle of that and I spent the whole weekend thinking it was a day later than it really was. The jetlag hasn't been bad, although in a confusing twist it's hit us in opposite ways. I've been waking up each day between 04:00 and 05:00 and haven't been in to the office later than 07:30 yet. Ivo's been having a miserable time dragging himself out of bed each morning. Quite strange.

In all, the trip was an amazing experience. It's kinda freaky to be getting nearly 15,000 miles for a single segment. Between my plat bonus, the IAH XFER promotion, and the actual air miles of the segment it's a pretty massive addition to my onepass account.
__________________

Nugget is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:08 PM.



Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0