Date: June 28, 2017
Flight No.: BC109
Route: Tokyo Haneda to Kobe
Airline: Skymark Airlines
Type: Boeing 737-800
To position myself for AirAsia X’s inaugural out of Osaka Kansai to Honolulu (trip overview here), I booked myself on Skymark’s flight from Tokyo Haneda to Kobe.
The short domestic hop was, at less than 65 USD, one of the cheapest options. At the same time, it gave me a chance to fly into Kobe airport for the first time, as well as try the ferry that connects Kobe and Kansai airports.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Checking In for Skymark Flight 109
I arrived at the airport around 1:45PM and headed to Terminal 1 where Skymark operates from. Majority of the terminal is occupied by JAL with Skymark’s check-in counters located at the very end of the terminal.
Once I found the Skymark check-in area, I printed my boarding pass at one of the yellow self check-in machines, and then dropped my suitcase off at one of the counters.
The whole process only took about five minutes, and so, I was on my way to security check in no time. Here, I should note that even though all of the airside section of Terminal 1 is interconnected, Skymark passengers can only use the security checkpoint next to their check-in desks.
Boarding the Flight at Gate 22
Once airside, I had a quick lunch, and then went to check out POWER LOUNGE SOUTH – a recently opened credit card lounge.
I left the lounge around 3PM and headed to gate 22. While there was still a barrier blocking the gate and a sign saying that the boarding would begin at 3:15PM, our aircraft was waiting patiently at the gate.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the Skymark logojets…
About fifteen minutes later, priority boarding started. Once priority boarding was finished, it was turn for me, and other passengers in window seats to board.
Departing Tokyo Haneda Airport
Onboard, I settled in my window seat – 7A. The seat pitch was decent – although for a one-hour flight, there is no need for anything extraordinary anyways. And the seat pocket contained an in-flight magazine (also serving as the menu), a safety card, and a waste bag.
Notably, there were also power outlets under the seats.
Soon, boarding was finished and the crew closed the aircraft door at 5:30PM. We pushed back three minutes later – a couple of minutes ahead of schedule, and in no time, we were on our way to runway 05.
Some minutes later, at 5:46PM, we took off followed by a couple of shakes.
Skymark Airlines In-Flight Service
At 3:53PM, the crew announced that it was now OK to recline and to use the power outlets. Then, three minutes later, the seat belt signs were switched off.
At that point, the cabin crew sprung into action.
First, blankets were offered. …on a one-hour domestic flight – definitely one of the “nice touches” that Japanese airlines offer.
Then, in-flight sales were done and Skymark co-branded Kit-Kat bars were distributed.
Since I bought a bottle of Coke in the terminal, I didn’t get anything from the in-flight sales menu. However, the prices are more than decent decent with less than one dollar for soft drinks and less than three dollars for a can of beer.
Arriving at Kobe Airport
Not long after the service was finished, around 4:20PM, we started our descent. By this time, we overflown over Nagoya – seeing Centrair airport in the distance – and were nearing Osaka.
As I had a very early morning, I dozed off at this point – and when I woke up, we were already over Osaka Bay, making a turn along the coastline to align with the runway.
The seat belt sign was switched on at 4:38PM, and the crew lowered the gear at 4:44PM.
Just two minutes after that, we landed, and another three minutes later – at 4:49PM, we reached our parking spot.
Given how compact Kobe airport is, it took just a minute to get to the baggage claim area. And the bags started coming out just five minutes after we parked. How efficient!
After picking up my bag, I went to check the airport’s observation deck before catching the ferry to Osaka Kansai airport.