Flying in Style: What to expect on a flight to Japan

August 4, 2007 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Most people don’t count flying among their favorite things to do. The cramped legroom, the sub par food (if there is any food besides a tiny bag of peanuts!), and the costly headphones for so-so movies are just a few of the uncomfortable realities of air travel.

So when I flew to Japan for my honeymoon, I didn’t expect the 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Narita to be particularly pleasant. First off, I knew we were losing more than a full day to travel, which is bound to make anyone groggy and jetlagged; and second, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep during the flight, which would make boredom inevitable.


To my surprise and delight, however, every passenger had a personal, 14-channel TV on the seat-back in front of them, showing both old and new movies (Bull Durham from 1989, Singing in the Rain from 1952, plus recent releases like Kung Fu Hustle and Van Helsing); unlimited games like Go, Backgammon and 3-D Pacman; and last but not least, a “bird’s eye view” camera located on the bottom of the plane! During take-off, we watched the city get smaller and smaller below us.

For our meals (three of them, plus snacks) we could choose between Western and Eastern style food, and we were always given plenty of tea. Several times throughout the flight we were presented with warm, damp towels to clean our faces with, too. Okay, our legs were still a bit cramped, but other than that, we were fed, entertained, and well taken care of.

Because of my good experience flying to Japan, I wasn’t shocked to hear about the latest efforts in comfort: All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s second-largest airline, will be offering “warm-water toilets”(toilets that gently spray you clean) in 2008. In Japan, more than 50% of households are equipped with these helpful devices, so for Japanese travelers this will be an added familiar benefit. For American businessman and women traveling to Japan, this should prove a pleasant new experience!

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Culture, Japanese Foods.

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August 2007
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