Monday, May 27, 2019

To Japan on board the flag carrier

SAVE yourself from the hassle of finding a connecting flight, moving from one terminal to another to catch it, long waiting time in between flights, paying for extra luggage, a grumbling stomach on a long flight by choosing your airline well.

Fresh, enthusiastic and stress-free, that’s how you always want to arrive to your destination. You wouldn’t want the immigrations officer doubting if the good-looking person on the passport is indeed you.

Coming from Davao, just about every international destination I take has to be on board the flag carrier. Its connectivity and amenities make all trips very convenient.

The most recent one to Japan though was special. In fact, it was quite indulgent.

Thanks to the big guy, I traveled to Japan on business class. With the upgrade were these perks—check in was a breeze, Mabuhay Lounge access in the Davao and Manila terminals, board at your convenience, fine meal offerings, and not forget, a most comfortable seat with generous legroom, which double as a bed in the sky.

The surprises kept coming. I was handed the PAL Roam in the plane. With the pocket Wifi, there would be no need for a Japanese SIM card. The gadget would be my reliable travel companion that will connect me to the internet 24/7. Surfing, searching for tips and information, posting on social media will not be problem wherever I go. (And it served me well in all the 10 days I was in the country).

Having experienced the cold of Japanese winter and its stirring beauty of spring, I was chasing the gold and red hues of autumn. Kyoto was the pinpointed area. Along with the numerous World Heritage Sites to explore, the Jidai Matsuri, one of the biggest festivals of the city, will be celebrated on the season.

Tokyo International Airport or Haneda Airport would be the point of entry this time. Compared to the Narita International Airport, Haneda is a lot closer to the city center. On board the train, it only takes 58 minutes from Haneda to Shinjuku while Narita to Shinjuku is 1 hour and 48-minute ride.

PAL flights are growing in its Cebu hub. Although it serves the Cebu-Narita route, I look forward to the day it flies to Haneda. A flight from Davao to Haneda via Cebu will cut the travel time shorter. The faster the trip, the more time to enjoy the destination.

But on the rare times I get to sit on the forward section of a PAL jet, I just want to extend travel time a bit longer. After all, how often do I get to enjoy this luxury, no matter how exciting my destination may be.

The hours to Japan flew by too quickly, but I was able to enjoy the minutes of slumber above the clouds. Rested, I was.

Seamless connection, smooth flight and everything good in between, I reached the Land of the Rising Sun.

And like how I should be arriving at the destination, I was fresh, enthusiastic and stress-free. The Japanese immigrations office didn’t need a second glance. I looked exactly like the handsome man in the passport photo (grin).

Tokyo, Kyoto (and wherever my feet takes me), konnichiwa!

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