I had nothing to say.
Which is why I have been keeping silent for the past months. Unlike some people I know who can summon their muse at the most mundane of topics, sadly I can not. But, I did go to NYC for my silver week holidays and with the help of Day One, the app I use to eternalize my thoughts, I finally have some content to blog about.
9/16, Friday, also known as the point of no return.
I’ve never had any problems using the boarding gate lounges provided for by the airports here in Japan. It’s sufficient enough to attend to my immediate needs while I wait for boarding. The stores are great, food selection is abundant, the male toilets are clean, there are even charging stations spread through out the waiting area if ever you forgot to bring your own mobile charger. It was enough and I was happy.
Until I was introduced to traveling non-economy, and the check-in crew informed me that I had access to Japan Airlines’ (JAL) Sakura Lounge, the weary traveller’s paradise. Once you enter, you will have access to the food bar, drink bar, really comfy couches, great view of the runway, massage chairs, immaculately clean male toilets and my personal favorite, the alcohol drink bar. Of course there’s beer but they also served champagnes, and red and white wines. And the best thing is that all of it is free. Well technically you did pay for it when you bought a non-economy ticket. My vacation just officially started.
Backtracking for a bit, I was surprised to learn about the automated immigration gates. With these gates, you don’t get the usual stamps in your passport that shows you’ve departed from or arrived in Tokyo. In exchange, you bypass the long lines by having the provided machines scan your passport and your finger prints, and thirty seconds later you are done and through to the gates. Very Convenient!
Going back to the lounge, I was about to fall asleep on the massage chair when my watch buzzed alerting me of my boarding time, 10 minutes before take off. I was a little bit hesitant to leave my walled paradise but in the end, it was just a pit stop. I went out of the lounge and straight thru to my boarding gate where most passengers have been waiting in earnest for their flights. A line was forming in front of the gate, but aside from the lounge perks my ticket also allowed me to bypass this line.
Inside the plane, I was greeted by courteous flight stewards, a staple on every JAL flights. They ushered me to my seat, offered some really fluffy in-flight slippers and a drink menu, just in case my trip from the lounge to my plane seat was enough to parch me. If this was any indication of how the next 13 hours was going to be, then I’m going to be really comfortable, and very hydrated.
– Fluffy room slippers
– Upper face moisture mask
– Lower face moisture mask
– Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones