One of the benefits of world travel is plane spotting in different locations. Although spotting at Paine Field can be highly entertaining, it doesn’t compare to spotting at Tokyo’s Haneda airport which handles most of Tokyo’s domestic traffic. Sure, busy American airports like Atlanta sure see a lot of traffic, but it is mostly smaller aircraft like regional jets, MD-80’s and Boeing 767’s. At Haneda you are seeing much bigger aircraft like domestic Boeing 747-400’s with no winglets and plenty of 777s. Although Japan is only about the size of California, they fly very large aircraft on domestic routes due to demand and slots.
A few Boeing All Nippon Airways aircraft at Haneda Airport.
Haneda Airport had observation decks on all three terminals. During my recent trip to Haneda to check out the new International Terminal, I spent a good amount of my time enjoying the nice rainy outdoors (what a break from Seattle right?) and of course taking photos of aircraft I can’t always see in the US. I wanted to share some of my favorites and of course you can check out all 115 airline photos at Haneda via my Flickr page. I got onto the deck on Terminal 2 the very first thing in the morning at 6:30am local time when it opened. I had to wait for the guard to open the door and he looked at me oddly when I rushed out in the rain to check out the aircraft. It was great to see all the large All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Line large aircraft waiting to be pulled to their gates (photo).
All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-400 (JA8956) in Pokemon Livery
I knew that All Nippon Airways flies two Pokemon themed 747-400’s but seeing one in person is quite the scene. It was a little bit too much for me, but quite the interesting sight.
One of two observation decks at Terminal 2. Why can't the US have sweet decks like this?
Haneda treats spotters with a lot of treats. Almost the entire roof on all three terminals have spotting decks. One side of Terminal 2 had comfortable seating and even a few restaurants. I wish more American airports treated airline spotters with such goodies.
ANA Boeing 747, 777, 737 and Q400 with ships in the background.
Check out all the other fun photos.
Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANA) now out of the paint hangar at Paine Field. Photo from MoonM.
The newest livery on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner belongs to Air India and their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Found this fine photo (and there are a few others of this 787) on Jon Ostrower’s Flight Blogger website. Heck, this is a good time to take a look at all the current liveries seen on Boeing 787’s to date:
Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787 Dreamliner being stored next to the Future of Flight.
There are currently two JAL Boeing 787's also parked next to the Future of Flight.
This Boeing 787 has the ANA tail, but the rest is all white. People are guessing ANA might have a special livery planned.
This is ZA002 which has been in the news recently. It was the first in ANA livery, but there are quite a few now lined up at Paine Field.
ZA005 was the first to have GE engines, but the third to sport Boeing's livery-lite. Photo from Liz Matzelle
Ah, good 'ol ZA001 in full Boeing livery -- probably my favorite.
More should be on their way soon. If you cannot wait until then, check out Boeing’s website where you can preview what different liveries will look like on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. So looking at the liveries in the real and those on Boeing’s website, which one is our favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Mine? Well I have to say that Boeing’s full liver is my favorite and man, it is not easy to pick a least favorite, hmm…
The sitting area of ANA's Business Class Lounge at Haneda International Terminal. Click for larger.
Having one airline lounge is pretty sweet. However why only have one when you can have three all located in one terminal? All Nippon Airways (ANA) has three different lounges in the new International Terminal at Haneda Airport (HND) and each one is a bit different.
The first lounge I explored was their Business Class Lounge located after security. The lounge was quite large, very clean and futuristic looking and great views of planes.
Next door to the Business Class Lounge you will find the First Class Lounge. While walking over I joked with the ANA folks that the Business Class Lounge would be hard to beat, but I think they did it. The first class lounge feels a bit darker with a lot of black being used, but makes up for it with having a lot of personal space. The lounge is quite a bit smaller, but has cooler seating. You have the ability to sit in some futuristic looking chairs or in your own little cubical-like space (photo).
ANA's First Class Lounge at the Haneda International Terminal is very impressive with their fancy seating.
The third lounge is the smallest and has the smallest “wow” factor. It is located outside of security and is the arrival lounge (photo). It is a good place to take a quick shower, check your email or even charge your phone with their nifty free phone charging machine (photo). Actually all three lounges have access to showers (photo), which can be very helpful if you had a long day of travel and you are heading right to your meeting.
Since international flights will only be allowed to arrive at HND between midnight and 5am, the arrival lounge is also handy if you won’t get access to your hotel until later in the day.
Unlike some other airline lounges you need a Business or First Class ticket to get access; you can’t buy a day pass. But you don’t need just an ANA ticket, any Star Alliance premium ticket can get you access.
If you don’t have a premium ticket, you still can get access to the international terminal’s public lounge which is not connected to any airline (photo). You are able to buy a pass for only about $12. It is not nearly as fancy as ANA’s lounges, but for $12, you can’t go wrong!
CHECK OUT ALL 35 PHOTOS OF ANA’S LOUNGE
Disclaimer: ANA gave me and other invited guests free access to all three lounges to check them out.
An All Nippon Airways Boeing 767 on the Taxiway at Haneda. The new international terminal is in the background.
Let me introduce you to Tokyo’s two airports: Narita Airport and Haneda Airport.
Historically Haneda has handled domestic flights and Narita has handled international flights. Haneda is located just outside of downtown Tokyo, where Narita is about 50 miles east of Tokyo.
If passengers flew into Haneda to make a connection for an international flight, they would have had to take an hour long bus or train ride to Narita to get their connecting international flight.
But things are changing. On October 21st Haneda opened their new International Terminal and commenced their first scheduled international flights in 32 years. Some short-haul international flights have already started, and long-haul will start on October 31st.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) will start two flights from Haneda on the 31st: one from Los Angeles using a Boeing 777-200ER and the other to Honolulu using a Boeing 767-300ER. ANA will also start code-share flights from Haneda with Air Canada, Air China, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International, all members of Star Alliance, as well as with Eva Airways and Malaysia Airlines.
Air Canada will fly a Haneda-Vancouver route and Malaysia Airlines will start a Haneda-Kota Kinabalu route. ANA will also start code-shares on four flights to Singapore with Singapore Airlines, two flights to Bangkok with Thai Airways International, two flights to Seoul (Gimpo) with Asiana Airlines, two flights to Beijing with Air China, and four flights to Taipei (Songshan) with Eva Airways.
So what does this mean for you? Convenience. If you are in the US and looking to visit Tokyo or fly into Tokyo to transfer to another domestic flight, it will now be much easier. Yes, tickets will cost a bit more to Haneda, but you will save the bus or train fare and of course time. Saving time can be worth the money if you are travelling on business or even on vacation.
During a press conference Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines and ANA were all asked if they have seen their booking to Narita decline due to the new competition from Haneda and all three stated at this point they have not.
Competition never seems to hurt passengers and hopefully this will be the case of Haneda initiating international flights. Currently the long haul flights won’t directly compete with the ones from Narita due to time restrictions at Haneda. Long-haul flights can only take off or land at Haneda from midnight to 5am, times which Narita is closed.
Not only does Haneda increase the diversity of passengers and aircraft, they also got a brand spanking new international terminal that is quite amazing. On my next blog I will take you on a little tour of that new terminal.
My aircraft from LAX to Narita in Tokyo should be a Boeing 777-200ER
Today is my birthday. What better way to celebrate than a trip to Tokyo? I am once again at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) ready for a new adventure. This one will take me many miles during a short period of time.
Currently I am waiting for my Alaska Airlines flight from SEA down to Los Angeles (LAX). I will have a little layover there, then on to Tokyo via All Nippon Airways (ANA) to take a look at Haneda Airport’s new international terminal (HND).
This is going to be a long process. I leave today at about 7am. Fly to LAX, then to Tokyo and back to Seattle by Friday evening. A short trip via time, but long trip via experience. I am excited since this trip will be a few firsts: I have never flown ANA, on a Boeing
777-200ER 777-300ER (it has been changed, but still haven’t flown on one) or traveled so far in such a short amount of time. As an airline geek, I am totally pumped.
This also means I might be a little out of touch and a bit slow on my e-communications for the next few days. Even though this will be a whirl-wind trip, I will be back and pumped for the Aviation Geek Fest on Saturday.
A trip like this is one reason why I love the airline business. I wake up in one part of the world and I will go to sleep half way across the globe. Try doing that 100 years ago.
Disclaimer: ANA is covering my flight from LAX to NRT plus hotel. I am covering my flight from SEA to LAX and back.
Image: David McKevley