|Busy waiting area LAX|
I knew that the start of this trip would be the longest since it involved a full work day on top of an evening drive from San Diego to LAX. Normally rush hour traffic makes things pretty unbearable, but I chose to wait until later evening and was glad I did. It took me about 2.5 hours to drive up via the 5 and 105 - thankfully getting into LAX Lot C was easy (my chosen lot when I have to fly out from there). The shuttle ride in, though, took a long time - I guess I've never flown out of LAX so late (1:00am) but traffic was at a standstill between terminals. And lines to check in were long - when I finally got to the desk it took 15 minutes to check me in. I started to get a bit worried since my itinerary was unique with so many segments, but after a bit I was off and ready to go to the gate. Security was ok - lines were long (and I still don't understand why PreCheck was closed...maybe due to the late hour?). Upon getting to the gate I also missed out on $500 vouchers due to the flight being oversold - couldn't change up my complicated itinerary as it was. I was upgraded to first class for the initial flight to DFW and after boarding promptly fell asleep.
We arrived to DFW about 30 minutes early - I had time to take a quick walk before heading to the gate to check in. I inquired about upgrading but passed on the 25,000 mile/$350 co-pay to get to Business Class. I could make it in Main Cabin Extra. :)
|In-flight needs an upgrade!|
The flight to Narita went without any incident - service was smooth and fast, and the flight overall was smooth with little turbulence. I was a bit surprised that American uses an older aging 777 for this flight - hopefully they upgrade it to a newer plane soon. The entertainment option made me chuckle at how ancient it was. I slept about 6-7 hours of the 13 hour flight, which for me was a record. My seatmate was an active US military member (Navy) who was on his way back to Tokyo for another tour - found out he was part of the PR team (he didn't specify which area). He was impressed by what he called my "power sleeping" in economy...I had a good chuckle about that. I was a bit worried though when we took off - he got out a mask and cleaning equipment and used it liberally throughout the flight. I've been teased in the past about how I am not afraid to use hand sanitizer on planes, but this guy...he was meticulous. Besides the mask and sanitizer, he also had wipes and wiped down everything
. All his utensils, the seat, the tray, the top of each can of drink...I found myself watching and guessing to myself to see what he would handi-wipe next. We talked for a bit about his service, my trip, etc - he was a great seatmate for the flight and we shared mutual best wishes upon landing to NRT.
|Shakura Lounge NRT|
Transiting in NRT was easy. A quick right turn into a bag scanner and I was on an through to my transit gate. Since I had some time before the next flight, I quickly asked about lounge access and was directed to try the Shakura Lounge near my departure gate. I was pretty happy overall with the options - no shower, but great food choices and very quiet.
My next flight was to Bangkok on a new airline and plane type for me: Japan Airlines and the 787! I was very excited to try out the 787 - for all the hype we read about, I wanted to see for myself whether it was warranted. Right away I noticed the cabin pressure changes - the air was much more humidified and not as dry. Plus I really liked the seats and new windows - when taxiing you can see the entire travel path and runway lineup. I had a seatmate at the window who kept falling asleep near/on my shoulder - otherwise, it was a relatively quick 7 hour segment to BKK. I took the opportunity to get another 3.5 hour nap in as we flew.
Upon arrival it was late (11:15pm), so I needed to find my place of stay: The Louis Tavern Transit Hotel and Dayrooms
. I booked this via Kayak.com and admittedly was a bit nervous when I did. Reviews were mixed online from most people about noise levels and privacy, but the cost point was good so I gave it a try. I'm happy to report that it was a very pleasant stay - no noise issues, a clean bed, and the shower was adequate. Finding the hotel wasn't too difficult either - upon arrival to BKK, don't go into the formal arrival/customs area - just transfer via a short escalator and bag check point to the 4th level in Concourse G.
Time for sleep!
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