Flight Review: Skymark Airlines Economy Class 737-800 from Tokyo HND to Kobe

Flight Report: Skymark Airlines 737-800 from Tokyo HND to Kobe

Flight Information
Date
: June 28, 2017
Flight No.: BC109
Route: Tokyo Haneda to Kobe
Airline: Skymark Airlines
Type: Boeing 737-800
Registration: JA73ND

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.

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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.

Haneda Airport Train Station

Tokyo Haneda airport train station.
Haneda Airport Terminal

Tokyo Haneda airport terminal 1.

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.

Skymark Airlines Self Check-In Machines

Skymark Airlines self check-in area.
Skymark Airlines Baggage Counter

Baggage drop-off area.
Skymark Airlines Security Check

Skymark Airlines dedicated security check.

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.

Haneda Airport Food Court

Food court area.
Ramen at Food Court

Ramen noodles.

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…

Skymark Airlines 737-800

The Skymark Airlines 737-800 that would take me to Kobe.
Skymark Airlines Boarding Pass

Boarding pass.
Boarding Gate at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Gate 22, boarding time 15:15.

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.

Boarding in Progress

Boarding in progress.
View of the Skymark 737-800 through the Jetway

A view of the Skymark Airlines 737-800 through the jetway window.

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.

Skymark Airlines 737-800 Cabin

Skymark Airlines cabin.
Wingview

View out of the window while at the gate.
Skymark Airlines Legroom

Leg room.
Skymark Airlines In-Seat Power

In-seat power.
Skymark Airlines In-Flight Magazine

Contents of the seat pocket.

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.

Haneda Apron

A view of the apron as we were being pushed back.
Tokyo Haneda Runway 05

Lining up on 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.

Climbing

Climbing out of Tokyo Haneda.

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.

Skymark Airlines In-Flight Service

In-flight service.
Skymark Airlines Kit-Kat

Skymark co-branded KitKat.

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.

Free Menu

KitKat and Nescafe.
Skymark Airlines In-Flight Menu

Rest of the in-flight menu.

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.

Nagoya

Overflying Nagoya.
Nagoya

…and one more.
Nagoya Centrair Airport from the Air

Nagoya Centrair airport.

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.

Bridge

Getting close to Kobe.
Islands

Some small islets in Osaka Bay.

The seat belt sign was switched on at 4:38PM, and the crew lowered the gear at 4:44PM.

Approaching Kobe

Flying along the Osaka Bay coastline.
Bridge

It felt like we could almost touch the top of the bridge posts.
Kobe

Kobe.

Just two minutes after that, we landed, and another three minutes later – at 4:49PM, we reached our parking spot.

Breaking

Braking.
Taxiing

Taxiing to the terminal at Kobe airport.

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.

Gate

Parking.
Welcome to Kobe

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No, I am not going to tell you how to fly in first class and sip Dom Perignon for free…

But, I am going to introduce you to a couple of ways you can experiment with to try a business class flight without having to spend thousands of dollars.

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