Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

Denver, Dreamliner, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong & Back in 77 Hours

A view from the Singapore Flyer. Photo by Blaine Nickeson.

A view from the Singapore Flyer. Photo by Blaine Nickeson.

INTRODUCTION

Maybe it’s not to the extent of the regular contributors to this site, but I’m an #AvGeek.  I love planes, airlines, and miles.  But given my busy career, two toddlers, and a wife who thinks I’m crazy, I don’t get to participate in nearly as many adventures as I would like.  My wife’s come a long way in supporting my habit; I think it may have had something to do with flying her to Europe this spring in Lufthansa First Class on miles.  Maybe that helped lead to the amazing adventure I had recently.

I live in Denver, and I fly United Airlines (UA).  There has been lots of local media coverage about the introduction of UA’s DEN-NRT flight, operated by the 787 Dreamliner, which started on June 10th (unfortunately that flight had an issue after having to divert back to Seattle).

This is a big deal for DEN, not so much because of the Dreamliner, but rather it’s our first nonstop to Asia.  A few weeks ago my wife casually opened a can of worms, stating, “I looked at booking you on that Dreamliner flight for Father’s Day, but it was just too expensive.  I know you really want to fly on a 787, and also need to re-qualify for your status-thingy.”  I, of course, sprung in to action trying to take advantage of this moment that was sure to be fleeting.

Long story short, I scored a ride on the (re)inaugural ANA 787 Dreamliner flight from San Jose (SJC) to Narita (NRT).  To make the ticket cheaper (this logic fails me) I continued on to Singapore.  Final routing was 19,000 miles; DEN-SJC-NRT-SIN-HKG-SFO-DEN, or about 39 hours in the air during a 77 hour period.  Yes, I’m crazy, but it was worth it.

Continue reading Denver, Dreamliner, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong & Back in 77 Hours

ANA Ambassador Report 3: Tokyo to Hong Kong & Back Again

An ANA (Air Japan) Boeing 767-300ER awaiting the morning flight from Hong Kong back to Tokyo - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

An ANA (Air Japan) Boeing 767-300ER awaiting the morning flight from Hong Kong back to Tokyo – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

This is the continuation of a multi-part series covering my trip from Seattle to San Jose to Narita to Hong Kong and back as a ANA Ambassador. My flight was provided by ANA, but all opinions are my own. Part1: San Jose to Tokyo on the 787 Dreamliner – Part2: Connecting in Tokyo’s Narita Airport.

After a nice long flight over the Pacific Ocean onboard the 787 and a brief stop in the All Nippon Airways (ANA) Lounge in Narita, it was time for me to make my connecting flight to Hong Kong.  The last part of my journey that “day” was on-board an ANA Boeing 767-300ER.  At the other end of the four hour flight lay a bed for me to finally get some rest.

Continue reading ANA Ambassador Report 3: Tokyo to Hong Kong & Back Again

ANA Ambassador Report 2: Connecting in Tokyo’s Narita Airport

It is not hard to tell just where you are, and if the sign doesn't help, perhaps all the ANA & JAL aircraft around are a clue - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

It is not hard to tell just where you are, and if the sign doesn’t help, perhaps all the ANA & JAL aircraft around are a clue – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

This is the continuation of a multi-part series covering my trip from Seattle to San Jose to Narita to Hong Kong and back as a ANA Ambassador. My flight was provided by ANA, but all opinions are my own. First read: ANA Ambassador Report 1: San Jose to Tokyo on the 787 Dreamliner.

A majority of flights to Asia from the westcoast, require a connection through an intermediary stop.  Cathay Pacific has their hub in Hong Kong, Asiana and Korean have their hubs at Incheon. However, four airlines have their hubs in Tokyo: Delta, United, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL).

This means that on a good day you can see a variety of aircraft and flights in and out of Narita International Airport (NRT).  This makes the airport not only nice for the general traveler, but also for the AvGeek. I recently was able to take a closer look at transitioning in NRT while on my way to Hong Kong (HKG).

Continue reading ANA Ambassador Report 2: Connecting in Tokyo’s Narita Airport

ANA Ambassador Report 1: San Jose to Tokyo on the 787 Dreamliner

The All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner Arrives back to San Jose Airport, ready to turn around for it's flight back to Tokyo Narita - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

The All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner Arrives back to San Jose Airport, ready to turn around for it’s flight back to Tokyo Narita – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

This is the first in a multi-part series covering my trip from Seattle to San Jose to Narita to Hong Kong and back home as a ANA Ambassador. Note that my flight was provided by ANA, but all opinions are my own. 

Departing from San Jose’s Norman Y Mineta Airport (SJC) could not have been more of a breeze.  The weather was perfect, the check in area was quiet and security lines were nonexistent.  It was a great way to start off my flight to Tokyo.

I was about to embark on All Nippon Airway’s (ANA), first 787 service out of the US since the infamous grounding .  With boarding passes in hand, I was escorted to the gate by a member of the airport staff  where we could photograph the arrival of the 787 Dreamliner.

After being joined by other media, we grabbed the arrival photos from the sterile corridor and then headed up to the lounge.  The “Club at SJC” is the new lounge that opened the day prior to the first service that ANA operated out of San Jose back in January.  Unless you’re a business class guest (or Star Alliance Gold member) flying the one and only ANA flight out of SJC, the lounge will cost you an entry fee.

Continue reading ANA Ambassador Report 1: San Jose to Tokyo on the 787 Dreamliner

ANA Resumes 787 Dreamliner Service to North America

JA806A pulling into Gate 15 at San Jose Airport - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

JA806A pulling into Gate 15 at San Jose Airport (SJC) – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A beautiful, clear, sunny day awaited guests as they checked in at San Jose’s Norman Y Mineta International Airport (SJC).  Saturday was the day a lot of people have been waiting for:  All Nippon Airways (ANA) is resuming their Tokyo flights into the Silicon Valley, providing a direct link from the bay area to northern Asia. I was lucky enough to be invited on this flight by ANA to help celebrate this re-introduction [ANA only flew the 787 for only a few days into SJC before the aircraft was grounded].

This flight into San Jose also sees the reintroduction of the 787 to international skies for ANA, who operate the world’s largest fleet of Dreamliners.  As NH1076 touched down at San Jose a few minutes ahead of schedule, the gate area was quiet, the staff scurried around preparing for the flights arrival.  This could’ve been any flight on any other day, but it wasn’t.

Continue reading ANA Resumes 787 Dreamliner Service to North America