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NW, ANA, and ANK: Kansas City - Okinawa - Wichita

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  • Aaron Kearney
    replied
    I agree; very good reading

    Great report

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Thanks for the nice report, N391DA, this is good reading. Hope to see more reports of your travels.

    AEgle 40, the blinds have to be pulled down in daylight so that others can watch the movie screens. With all the blinds up you could not really see much on the screen.

    Regards,
    Peter

    Leave a comment:


  • AEagle40
    replied
    Why did the FA make you close your window? When I flew to London, I never had to close my window at the seat I was in.

    Leave a comment:


  • N391DA
    started a topic NW, ANA, and ANK: Kansas City - Okinawa - Wichita

    NW, ANA, and ANK: Kansas City - Okinawa - Wichita

    Kansas City International Airport
    Early morning
    25JUN02
    -------
    We chose to take Kansas City International instead of Wichita due to flights not leaving Wichita early enough to make it to the hubs in time to get to my flight to Osaka. We left Wichita at 1AM and I fell asleep shortly after leaving. I woke up about a half hour out of KCI somewhere in Overland Park. After parking, we went to the terminal via the underground tunnel. It seems like our 6:40 flight would be one of the first for KCI today. As usual, check in at MCI is quick and easy. I took some time to look around A Concourse but there’s not much here. The place is messed up due to renovations. After that, I went into the gate area after a quick security check.

    Northwest Airlines Flight NW1780
    MCI-DTW
    N767NC
    DC-9-50
    -------
    Despite the DC-9 being an old plane, the plane looked new inside. This is the first time I've seen the "717-style interior". I was impressed. Soon, we pushed back and taxied. It was early and there wasn't much traffic around the airport, just a couple of other planes moving out there. We got onto the runway and then we started our takeoff and we had a fast liftoff. I remembered the DC-9 was loud when you sit next to the engine but it wasn't too loud where I was sitting (Row 9). After our ascent, peanuts and beverage service began. After that, I fell asleep. When I woke up, we were passing over DTW and turning for landing.

    Northwest Airlines WorldGateway (Detroit)
    0930-1230
    25JUN02
    -------
    I stepped off the plane and found myself in the WorldGateway for the first time. It is a wonderful terminal with high ceilings, open and airy spaces, and a lot to do during a layover. After looking at the massive 747s near my gate, A-16, I explored the terminal to kill some time on my 3 hour layover. I grabbed breakfast at Burger King first. I noticed the weird lights and music in the tunnel, very cool. I headed back to A-16 and saw our 747-400 pulling in and being prepared for my flight.

    Northwest Airlines Flight NW0069
    DTW-KIX
    747-400
    N667US
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    Boarding began at a crowded A-16 with groups of rows being called in at a time. Finally, my time came and I stepped aboard the massive jet. I sat down and after the jumbo was done boarding, we pushed back and waited in a long line for the runway. Finally, we got on the runway and the four engines powered up and we had a powerful takeoff. After leveling off, we had peanuts and beverages. Northwest Currents was being shown on the main screens with a short on the Gion Matsuri Festival starting after that. Things started to get calm after that. Movies were being shown were Monsters Inc., A Beautiful Mind, Good Advice, and Ocean’s Eleven. The first meal was dinner which was rotisserie chicken with potatoes and vegetables. The meat was bland and the vegetables weren’t full of flavor, either. Between the meals, I tried to make time pass by reading a book, watching the movie, or listening to CDs. I was thankful for my Bose noise canceling headphones which helped me keep my sanity on this long flight. It’s great that it works with the plane’s IFE. A mid-flight snack followed soon after which consisted of a ham and cheese sandwich and Oreos. It wasn’t too bad with the dijonaise. I finally grabbed an hour of sleep while we were nearing Japan. After that, breakfast was served. I used to love breakfast on Northwest but the scrambled eggs with sausage wasn’t anything to write home about. A descent started over mainland Japan and we broke through the clouds with a view of Osaka Bay with many ships in it. As we came very low over the ocean, a hangar passed by the wing and we touched down.

    Osaka/Kansai International Airport
    1530-2000
    26JUN02
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    After deplaning, we went towards the escalator to the wing shuttle to the main terminal area and immigration/customs. The large group of people from the plane separated when most passengers headed back to the gate when a man told everyone in really broken English that passengers continuing to Taipei was to head back to the gate area. We went onto the escalator and the Wing Shuttle came shortly. On the wing shuttle, we got a good view of the planes at the gates. The shuttle stopped at customs/immigration and we got off and headed to the counters. The lady at the counter was quick and I gave my passport and the form I filled out on the flight. After clearing Immigration, we made our way down to baggage claim for Customs. As usual, our bags were among the last to get onto the belt. We made our way to the customs counter at the other side of the room and were asked a few questions and went out the doors to the 1st floor, which is International Arrivals. Many people were waiting there and we immediately headed for the elevators to the 2nd floor with our luggage. We went up there and checked in at the ANA ticket counter. We had to go through a security area in front of the counters for our checked bags. After that, we checked in and I was in row 7. After that, we had hours of free time where I went to the shops and restaurants in the 3rd floor and I looked around at Aeroplaza, a department store and row of restaurants. I got a bite to eat and then I sat down at the “waterfall” in the 2nd floor of Aeroplaza. There were big windows where I looked out and noticed construction for the second island. After looking around a bit, I went towards the Domestic Departures area in the 2nd floor of the terminal. After quickly passing security we headed for Gate 67 where the 767-300 awaits. It appeared that many people there were with the US Armed Forces. After sitting down for a while, boarding began.

    All Nippon Airways Flight NH0497
    KIX-OKA
    26JUN02
    B767-300
    -------
    After boarding, I flipped through the magazine until I just fell asleep. Next thing I knew, I was pulling into the gate at Okinawa.

    Okinawa/Naha Domestic Terminal
    Late Evening
    -------
    After deplaning, I was greeted by the tropical atmosphere of the domestic terminal. The concourse was decorated with various tropical flowers of the island, palm trees, and tropical fish tanks which I thought was a nice touch. A big jump from the old, smelly Domestic terminal from a few years ago. We picked up our luggage and met my aunt and went to the city.

    -------
    Instead of flying as usual, I took a ferry to Miyako. I was on board Arimura Sangyo’s Cruise Ferry Hiryu21 from Naha Shinko Wharf to Hirara Port.
    -------

    Miyako Airport
    Around Noon
    13JUL02
    -------
    After being dropped off the car into the terminal and saying our goodbyes, we went inside the small airport next to the check in counters. Miyako is a very small airport with only three or four jetways and some boarding from the ramp. The airport is only a few years old and the terminal is very clean and easy to use. After passing a small security check before checking in. I got a boarding pass for row 18. After that, we went upstairs where the gates and concessions are. I looked through some stores, got some chewing gum and then went to a restaurant. The restaurant was great, the soba was great and the service was great. The tropical atmosphere was nice with many big fish tanks around the place. After that, I went to the gates area and waited for my plane to leave gate 2C.

    Air Nippon Flight EL0174
    MMY-OKA
    13JUL02
    B737-500
    JA304K

    -------
    I sat at my seat at Row 18, making myself comfortable. As the 737-500 took off, I took a last chance to enjoy the views of Miyakojima. After passing Hirara City and a bunch of farms, we got over the ocean. I asked for a newspaper in English and I got a Daily Yomiuri. After I asked for that, I noticed they started to repeat announcements in English which was very nice. I got a great view of the small islands and coral reefs surrounding Okinawa before landing. After a nice landing, we taxied to the Domestic Terminal. There was a JAL 747 in the Pink Disneyland JAL 50th Anniversary scheme and two JAS A300s, one in the special scheme with the kids’ drawings on the side at Concourse A and an ANA 777-300 pushing back at Concourse B which is for ANA and ANK. We were waiting for the 777-300 to taxi out of its gate where we would deplane. It left and we pulled into the gate.

    Okinawa/Naha Airport
    Afternoon
    13JUL02
    -------
    I went to get my bags and went into the passenger terminal at the 2nd floor. Okinawa’s new terminal is excellent with high ceilings, airy spaces, and a warm tropical atmosphere. I noticed they just opened a “Welcome Hall” for people waiting for passengers. It has a very nice view of the ramp and they have Okinawan dancers and live folk music there. After looking around for a while, I went back to the city.

    Okinawa/Naha Airport
    Early Morning
    17JUL02
    -------
    I took my last chance to watch Naha City before I leave as we drove to the airport. We went on Route 58 over the Tomari Port bridge giving me a great view of the port and over the Naminoue Bridge. We parked at the domestic terminal parking complex and went on our way to the terminal with my aunt. I noticed that the monorail tracks for the Okinawa Monorail are in place and the Airport Station looked nearly finished. I’ll probably be using the monorail a lot when it’s open. I checked in at the desk for passengers connecting to the US where a lot of people with the Armed Forces were. After that, I looked around the terminal at the many shops and bought some souvenirs. Then I went to the Royal Café where I go every time I fly out of Okinawa. I sat down next to the window and got a great view of the runway. I noticed an ANA 777 with no titles in Japanese on it, the new international livery. I watched it taxi and take off. The 777 is an amazing plane, I hope to go on it soon. Also, 10 JASDF (Japanese Air Force) jets taxied to the runway, a mix of F-4EJ Kais and Kawasaki T-4s. They lined up in groups of four on the runway and each one started its takeoff roll when the previous one rotates except for the last two which took off simultaneously. A couple more JASDF planes, a military version of the Electra and YS-11 took off. After breakfast, I went from the 4th Floor to the 2nd and cleared security. Then I went down to Gate 35 where the 767-300 was waiting.

    All Nippon Airways flight NH0492
    OKA-KIX
    17JUL02
    B767-300
    -------
    I took my seat at row 10. F/As were greeting passengers at the gate or around the cabin helping passengers put luggage into the overhead bins. As the usual safety demo was going on after the doors were closed, I spent the whole time getting a last view of Okinawa as we took off. Camera views from the landing gear looking forward and down after we passed over the clouds were shown, then some short programs were shown on the screens. I listened to some music for most of the flight. I had some Tropicana and this nasty bread with some purple bean paste in it which I passed. Our descent took us over a cloudy Osaka and passed over a lot of ships in Osaka Bay.

    Osaka/Kansai International Airport
    1220-1625
    17JUL02
    -------
    Got off the plane at the terminal, proceeded to the Domestic Arrivals area where I got my bags and left. I went upstairs to the 4th floor to check-in. I was looking forward to quickly checking in and exploring Kansai’s magnificent terminal and maybe go to the observation deck to do some spotting. Unfortunately, Northwest’s check-in counters weren’t open, but there was a long line forming in front of it so we had to join in and keep our spot. Finally, it opened but it took a very long time to get through. And that was just to get to security which opened all of our bags, and looked through them. We got back in another line for the counters. The line was long and moving slowly. After finally getting through, they told us that the flight may be overbooked and they wanted us to volunteer to get on an Air Canada flight if it was overbooked. We declined and had a seat in the 4th floor before heading over to our gate. The 4th floor is where Kansai’s international check in counters were. The ceiling arched high above us with kites on top. After that, we went to pass immigration to get to our gates which was to show our forms we filled out when we arrived which didn’t take too long. After that, I was on the 3rd floor. I ate some soba at Air Delica before heading to the Wing Shuttle which would take us to our gate. I got some really nice views of the ramp and runway while eating. We got on the wing shuttle which is a tram that goes down to the ends of the long terminal. Northwest’s gates are at the North tip of the “wing”. I got to our gate 19 where our 747-400 was waiting next to another Northwest 747, a 747-200 going to Honolulu. I walked around the terminal for a few minutes looking at the planes at the gates. I remembered an Air Canada and United 747-400. Boarding began for a 10-minutes early departure.

    Northwest Airlines Flight NW0070
    KIX-DTW
    17JUL02
    N675NW ”Spirit of the Northwest People”
    B747-400
    -------
    We boarded and I sat down at row 38. Right on the wing this time and near the screens so it shouldn’t be too difficult to see the screens. I flipped through the current issue of WorldTraveler, which was Northwest’s 75th anniversary “commerative issue”. The programming for the main cabin screens for this flight were Currents with an episode of Frasier and The West Wing, E! Behind the Scenes – John Q., and VH1 Storytellers – Dave Matthews Band, I Am Sam, High Crimes, and Big Fat Liar. I read the articles on Northwest’s 75 years of service as the safety demonstration was shown as we pushed back. Then a baby behind me started to cry and crawl all over the back of my seat. This was going to be a long flight. With a roar, I was pushed back into my seat as we rolled down the runway and the massive jet took off. After takeoff, I-94 info was shown on the screens and we had beverage/peanuts served. Soon after, dinner was served which consisted of sliced barbeque beef which was very rough and hard. The plastic silverware could not cut it, so I stuck a fork on it and bit chunks off of it. For a while after I ate that, I had an upset stomach. I switched between the movie, music channels, reading, and listening to CDs. Halfway though the flight, an ice cream chocolate and nut bar was served which was pretty good. We were over Alaska and the Northwest Territories now and the scenery was beautiful. I admired the untouched mountain and lakes until a FA requested me to shut the window, so from then I just watched the movies. Breakfast was served, we had a choice of Asian fried noodles or quiche, I was going for the quiche but the person before me took the last one so I had to settle for the nasty Asian noodles which I pretty much left untouched. I ate the croissant and hoped my tight connection in DTW would allow me to grab a bite to eat. until movies were finished and we switched to Airshow which showed us over Thunder Bay. I got my stuff together and ready for landing. Up until landing I just looked out the window watching us descend.

    Northwest Airlines WorldGateway(Detroit)
    1510-1714
    17JUL02
    -------
    We pulled up to the wonderful new WorldGateway terminal and I went down the long escalator to immigration. I cleared that quickly and the lines moved though fast. I waited for a long time to get my bags for Customs, near the last on the belt as usual. After that, I gave my bags to Northwest Transfer after not having to declare anything and putting my customs form on a pile. The transfer guy took our luggage and slammed them on the belt. After all that was quickly finished, we went though the long hallway to the terminal. After checking the FIDS which showed our flight to Minneapolis leaving on time from A36, I took the short walk to A36 which was adjacent to the central terminal area to make sure everything was going as planned. Then I got a bite to eat at Taco Bell.

    Northwest Airlines Flight NW0753
    DTW-MSP
    17JUL02
    N530US
    B757-200
    -------
    After having a seat at row 27 it felt like an awfully long time before we pushed back but we finally made it. After that, my jet lag caught up to me and a fell asleep for most of the flight. We had a bag of Spinzels which was really good for a snack and I made the mistake of choosing the watered-down ginger ale. The interior was in an awful condition like nearly all Northwest 757s I’ve been on. The duct tape on the overheads next to the lights made an elegant touch. After a smooth landing, we parked at the G concourse.

    Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
    1810-1930
    17JUL02
    -------
    It turns out we were delayed for about 15 minutes so my tight connection became worse. Plus, I was all the way at F concourse and had to make my way to the new A concourse for RJs. After taking the new connecting hallway with moving walkways over the roads and parking lots, I made it to the other side of the airport. I had to go down a couple of escalators and found myself at a dead end at a construction area. A 5-minute bus ride which took us close to Avros, Saabs, and CRJs took us to B. IIRC, we had to go downstairs at B past a food court and down the hall which took us to A. This was in the new regional aircraft gates area which was very nice. Our flight was soon ready to board at A6 which was a jetway that could handle CRJs.

    Northwest Airlines Flight 5878(Operated By Pinnacle Airlines)
    MSP-ICT
    17JUL02
    CRJ
    -------
    Upon getting on board my first CRJ which will be of many, I understood what people meant when they say that RJs have a noticeable shrink in size from mainline jets with packed seats and lower ceilings. I took my seat and noticed that the window was awfully low. On our taxi, many red tails followed us from Saabs to Airbusses to DC-10s. With the CRJ, I was lower to the ground instead of being on top of a cargo hold on mainline jets so it gives you the idea that you seem to be going much faster on takeoff. Our takeoff paralleled a United 737 shortly until it broke away from us and we turned away as well and went on to our separate ways. The flight was pretty uneventful. After watching the sun hover over the horizon of the flat Kansas prarie, familiar sights appeared as I passed over Wichita such as the Kansas Coliseum, downtown, and Towne West Mall which then lead us to our landing.

    Wichita Mid-Continent Airport
    2115 Local Time
    17JUL02
    -------
    We pulled up to Northwest’s only gate in Wichita, Gate 2 which is next to the terminal areas. We deplaned by the jetway but the jetway was not connected to the door. A platform of some sort bridged the jet and the end of the jetway. The gate lead to a dark hall with the half the of the lights shut off. We followed a dim and quiet hall illuminated by advertisements on each side of the narrow hall. This airport is rather drab. We passed into the main terminal which is only one story as is the whole airport. The baggage claim didn’t have our flight number on the info display, instead it had an American and United flight on it instead, but it appeared that we were the only flight that recently arrived here so I followed the rest of the passengers on my flight and waited for my bags. I stepped out of the terminal heading for the car wrapping up a 3-week trip to and from the other side of the world.
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