Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 290,939
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,212,540


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Flying a Thai Airways A380 in Royal First Class

Thai Airways Airbus A380 - Photo: Aero Icarus

Thai Airways Airbus A380 – Photo: Aero Icarus | FlickrCC

Airline: Thai Airways International
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Departed: Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Arrived: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
Class: First Class
Seats: 1E & 1F
Length: About 6 hours

My wife and I recently embarked on a major bucket list trip to Thailand.  Since this was a rare sans-toddler trip, we decided to go all-out and burn pretty much all the miles and points we could get our hands on to fly some premium cabins.  We were fortunate enough to be able to scrape together just enough points (mostly thanks to being new homeowners) to fly to Bangkok in first class.  Our final leg of the inbound journey was on a Thai Airways A380 from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK).

Thai Airways' A380 First Class Cabin - Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter.com

Thai Airways’ A380 Royal First Class cabin – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter

We arrived at Tokyo Narita on ANA’s new Houston to Tokyo service in first class which, in and of itself, was an amazing experience.  Our layover at Narita was about three hours long, during which time we availed ourselves of ANA’s First Class suite lounge.

Shortly after taking our seats in the lounge, a representative from Thai Airways found us, introduced herself, and asked if we needed anything.  We asked if she could look into the status of our checked bags, as we’d had a little bit of difficulty getting them checked all the way through to Bangkok.  She left with our passports, boarding passes, and bag claim tickets.  When she returned she had new boarding passes printed on Thai stock and she informed us that they had located our bags and they were all set to be loaded on the aircraft.  She also informed us that due to a late inbound aircraft, the flight would be about fifteen minutes late, and she would get us when it was time to board.  No problem, I needed a shower anyway. Is there any greater feeling than showering in the lounge between long-haul flights?

Continue reading Flying a Thai Airways A380 in Royal First Class

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

JAL Operates First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Passenger Flight to the US

On Saturday April 22nd, Japan Airline (JAL) started their first flight using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Flight JAL008 lifted off from Narita, Tokyo (NRT) and then were met with a crowd at Boston Logan (BOS). Not only is this the first route, using the 787 Dreamliner, to the US, it is also the first time the aircraft has been put on a brand new route.

JAL’s first Boston flight was 100% booked and about 98% filled for the rest of April, showing positive demand for the new route.

JAL's 787 at Boston. Image from JAL.

JAL's 787 at Boston. Image from JAL.

“We are honored to see the 787 Dreamliner begin its first commercial service to the U.S. with the launch of JAL’s Tokyo to Boston route,” said Boeing Japan president Mike Denton, who was on the flight. “The 787 brings new levels of flexibility to airlines in their network development, and this is exactly the kind of long-haul point-to-point route the 787 was designed to fly. Congratulations to JAL and all their passengers participating in this exciting, pioneering flight.”

JAL took delivery of their first two 787 Dreamliners on March 26th and have announced their plans to operate the aircraft also from Narita to San Diego.

According to Bloomberg, the airline is also looking at using the Dreamliner on flights to Madrid, Berlin and Dusseldorf. JAL is also considering the possibility of re-opening routes using the 787 that were not profitable with the larger Boeing 777 from Nagoya and Osaka’s Kansai airports.