HND: Hello Haneda!

Seating Area at the Sakura Business Class LoungeSakura Lounge EntranceFirst Class LoungeBusiness Class Desk by the WindowBusiness Class Lounge

HND: JAL Sakura Lounge, a set on Flickr.

During the six years that I lived in Tokyo, I have gone through the Haneda Airport only three times, on regional flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong. The experiences then were mostly positive, with the exception of boarding and disembarkation not through jetways but by bus; although two of those flights were with Japan Airlines. (I would understand a foreign airline like Cathay Pacific not getting a preferential treatment; but this was JAL, one of the nation’s main two airlines.)

The rest of my trips originated and ended at Narita. You can blindfold me, and I can still find my way to and from and around the airport: Any trips from home to the Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Tokyo stations, and then with the N’ex (Narita Express) to T1 or T2; Continue reading

Advertisements

No Fly List for Certain Canine Breeds

This pug may be adorable, but unfortunately, its family has joined some other flat-nosed canine breeds that are now banned by Cathay Pacific and other airlines.

Cathay Pacific has banned the so-called brachycephalic breeds due to concerns that certain types of short-nosed animals have an increased risk of breathing problems and overheating due to the stress of flying.

Click HERE for Cathay Pacific’s complete list of canine and feline breeds that are banned from flying.

The US Department of Transport released figures, based on reporting by US-based airlines, that showed the short-faced dog breeds contribute to about half of in-flight canine fatalities. Because the short face restricts breathing, it is more difficult for such breeds to cool itself down by panting.

For a complete report on this story, read it HERE at CNN.

HND: Dreamliner at Haneda

Soon enough Bloompy will try the New York-Haneda (JFK-HND) route, a roundabout way for someone who resides in California; but after years of landing at Narita (NRT), it will be great to land inside the city of Tokyo.

Below is a recent late-night testing of Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Haneda: Between 23:00 – 04:00 when the airport is not open commercially, Boeing and Haneda conduct a “dress rehearsal” for the eventual landing, taxiing, and parking of Dreamliners in the near future. This one belongs to All Nippon Airways (ANA).

And below is ANA’s Dreamliner Interior Shot. Minute 01:50 is what matters to Bloompy: Washlet (Smart Toilet: Bidet function built into the commode)! How I wish all airlines in the world would install this. (There is no audio for this video; don’t adjust your volume.)

NRT: Narita Express vs. Airport Limousine

You’ve made it through the long dash to the immigration, and then through the long queue there; customs are behind you, and now you are at the Narita Arrival Hall, and given the options of how to reach the city. There are actually at least 5 ways of which I can think: Private limousine or taxi; pick-up by a friend or company car; take the slow train; take the fast train; or take the airport-city bus.

I have experienced three of these methods, but one of them, the taxi ride, can cost upward Continue reading

NRT: JAL’s Sakura First Class Lounge

There are two sections of the Sakura Lounge at the Main Terminal 2 of Narita International Airport (there is an additional Sakura Lounge at the Satellite Terminal): The First Class and the Business Class lounges. At the main entrance, guests either make a left turn to head for the FC section or a right turn for the BC section.

Immediately behind the check-in counter at the First Class lounge, one could find another counter, this one for Spa treatment. Each guest is allowed a 15-minute massage, courtesy of JAL: Full body massage, Head massage, or Foot massage (reflexology). But really, a 15- Continue reading

HKG: The [temporary] Wing Business Class Lounge

Corridor to the Shower AreaMain Seating AreaMain Seating AreaMen's Restroom: CorridorPC Computer Work AreaMen's Restroom: Urinals
Men's Restroom: Commode, with Small & Big Flush ButtonsMen's Restroom: Basin

Cathay Pacific’s the Wing’s Business Class Lounge at the Hong Kong International Airport is gearing to close its lounge for a renovation. The Lounge, located on the 7th floor near the Immigration and Customs area, and adjacent to the Wing’s First Class Lounge will temporarily be located on the lower floor (6th floor), closer to the boarding gates 1-4.

For LAX and SFO-bound passengers, this temporary Lounge will be convenient, especially if Cathay Pacific continues to use Gates 2 & 3 for LAX and SFO.

The renovation is slated to run this early summer of 2011. Afterwards, the Wing’s First Class Lounge will have its turn. Why they decide not to take care of the First Class Lounge first, I am not sure; but let’s hope that the result will be a welcome change. After almost a decade of using the Wing’s FC facilities, some elements start to deteriorate. Plumbing on the shower at the Cabanas causes so much rattling noises that it almost feels as if there were an earthquake.

HKG: Still One of the Friendliest Airports

HKG Frequent Visitor ChannelIf you travel a lot through Hong Kong (HKG), make sure to apply for the Hong Kong Frequent Visitor Card (HKG-FVC). The card, which allows you a separate (read SPEEDY) lane at immigration (both coming and going), is very easy and very quick to obtain. The initial requirement is for you to travel at least three times into HKG in the past 12 months. After approval and issuance of the card, you will have to travel at least 6 times within a two-year period. I have had the card for a while now, and when you see the serpentine lines at immigration at any time during the day, you will be grateful to have this Frequent Visitor Card in your possession. As mentioned earlier, the card allows you speedy lane both on the way out and on the way in.

Application can be done either online or submitted via regular mail. Your card will arrive through regular mail. In terms of card renewals, here is what the website says, “Qualified Continue reading