(Flown on March 7, 2017)
This is the final report covering my trip to Miami back in March. This report covers the last flight of the trip, from Detroit to Tokyo with Delta Air Lines. Just like my flight from Tokyo to Detroit, it was operated by a 747-400.
Small Hick-up with Seat Selection Before Leaving Miami
A couple of days before this flight, I was upgraded into an Economy Comfort seat – a seat with increased seat pitch. The only problem was that it was a middle seat, as there were no more aisle or window seats left in Economy Comfort.
When I tried to change it back to my initial economy aisle seat, it was gone. The regular economy cabin only had middle seats available as well. At least according to the online seat map.
Luckily, one call to Delta Air Lines solved it, and I was reassigned an aisle seat in the main economy cabin, 31G – the same seat I had on the flight to Detroit a couple of days before.
Boarding the Flight in Detroit
After arriving in Detroit from Miami on an MD-88 at 11:06AM, I had just enough time to peek into one of the Sky Clubs before having to catch the flight to Tokyo which was scheduled to board at 11:39AM for a 12:34PM departure.
I left the lounge around 11:40AM, and headed to gate A50. It was just a three minute walk away.
Soon after I got there, boarding announcements started to be made.
“We would like to invite passengers taking flight 275 to Tokyo with a continuing service to Manila…”
Now, the 747 flies to Tokyo and there passengers change onto a 767 to Manila. Until a couple of months ago, though, the extension to Manila was operated by the 747 as well.
First, passengers requiring assistance were invited, followed by business class passengers. Then, it was turn for Sky Priority passengers, and so I got in the line, and in no time, I was stepping onboard N670US – the same 747 that brought me in from Tokyo some days ago.
I settled into my seat where blanket and pillow was prepared for the long flight, and waited for the boarding to finish.
While transiting, I saw a husky in the terminal. It turned out that the dog was traveling to Tokyo with us, and it was seated in front of me. It was incredible how well behaved it was – not a single bark throughout the 12 hour flight. I wish all passengers were like that!
Around 12:20, the captain addressed the passengers, mentioning that we would be taking off from runway 22L, and that the flight time would be 12 hours and 23 minutes. Following that, the cabin crew distributed earbuds, eyeshades, menus, and slippers.
At 12:34, the doors were closed, and a minute later we pushed back. At that time, one of the cabin crew members approached the passenger with the dog handing her a note addressed to her dog from one of the ground staff, telling how the dog was well behaved and wishing it a good flight – how nice!
Ten minutes after the aircraft doors were closed, they were disarmed again, as we had some minor technical issue that required the maintenance staff to come onboard. Thankfully, the issue was resolved, and at 12:54 the doors were armed again and we got on our way to the active runway.
Ten minutes later, we started our long take-off roll on runway 22L, and at 13:15 we lifted off into the cloudy Detroit skies.
Some minutes after take-off, an announcement was made that the meal service would commence soon, and that peanuts would not be served on the flight due to a passenger with peanut allergy being onboard.
First, the crew handed out warm wet tissues. Japanese immigration forms followed.
At the same time, there was another announcement from the flight deck mentioning that the skies were a bit bumpy, and so it would take another 20 minutes or so for the seat belt sign to be switched off.
Before the meal was served, a drink (in my case, cranberry juice) and pretzels were served. While waiting for the meal, I watched an episode of the Big Bang Theory.
Once the seat belt signs were switched off at 2:06PM, I also went to take a look at the wing through the R2 door window.
The meal itself got to me about an hour and a half after take-off. There were three choices. Chicken with ratatouille, fish with rice, and vegetarian pasta. I went with the chicken which turned out to be a fairly good choice.
The Rest of the Flight
After the meal trays were cleared, in preparation for sleeping, the crew distributed 0.5l bottles of water. I watched some more episodes of TBBT, and fell asleep.
I slept for almost five hours before I was woken up by my neighbor, as the mid-flight snack service was being done. It consisted of a piece of pizza and a Magnum ice cream. While I did not mind it at all, I can imagine some passengers being irritated if they were woken up by their neighbor because of a light snack being served.
By this time, it was about 10:00AM Japan time, and so I decided not to go back to sleep, and instead do some writing. At this point, the cabin was freezing.
Another hour or so later, I was getting tired again, and so I slept for about two hours again before waking up just as the breakfast service was starting.
There were two options to select from for breakfast. Cheese omelet with sausage and potatoes or omurice (Japanese style rice covered with egg). I chose the omelet and went with cranberry juice for drink.
After the breakfast, I started working on this report and went to take a look at the wing once again. I will really miss the distinctive 747-400 wing and the view from door number 2 once the Jumbos are retired!
Landing in Tokyo
At 2:55PM, the crew passed through the cabin collecting any remaining garbage. Then, they offered the immigration forms once again.
By this time, we were already flying along the Japanese coast. This time, unlike on the east-bound flight, we did not fly over Hokkaido and Honshu.
An announcement was made by the flight deck crew at 3:23PM. At that point, we were 22 minutes away from touchdown. The temperature of nine degrees Celsius in Tokyo was mentioned as well. At the same time, the cabin crew was asked to prepare the cabin for landing
A slightly bumpy descent followed before the landing gear came down at 3:49PM. Just five minutes later, we touched down on runway 34L. A four minute taxi followed before the aircraft was parked at the arrival gate at 3:58PM.
Once most of the passengers got off, I took some photos of the economy class cabin.
Then, I headed up the stairs to see the cockpit and upper deck cabin.
Finally, I quickly peeked into the lower deck nose section.
With all this taking quite some time, I was the last passenger to get off.
When I cleared immigration, there was one of the airport staff holding a Sky Priority sign. And waiting next to him was my bag. How smooth – no need to wait at the carousel for the bag to arrive!