Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tokyo-Narita Airport

Last May 26, 2010 or more than a year ago, I set foot on Tokyo-Narita Airport Terminal 2 for the first time. I've been to Terminal 1 (mostly US airlines) since 2004, I even thought that the Narita airport was "small" then. Not until I set foot on terminal 2, mostly for Asian airlines.

The reason why I came here was that my original flight, Tokyo-Manila (Delta Air, from the US) the day before, was given to passengers whose flight the day before was cancelled. Delta was forced to bring us to a hotel in Chiba, near the airport, the previous night, and booked us to Philippine Airlines (PAL) the next day as the Delta flight to Manila that day was also fully booked.

I was fascinated by its hugeness and modernity, glass and steel structure. There were so many passengers, mostly fellow Asians.

This huge billboard tells departing passengers all the scheduled flights within the next six hours or more, including their status (on time, delayed, cancelled). The info are posted in Japanese then English and vice versa.

After the airline check in area, passengers go to the various shops or the immigration area, then to their boarding gates. Very clean and modern airport indeed.

It is impossible to get lost as there are proper directions to all boarding gates. There are more than a hundred gates there, am not sure if gates for domestic travel are already included here.

Walkalator to some far gates. The main duty free area are behind this area. Only a few small food shops are posted in these areas.

Finally, the departure lounge at the gate where passengers will take their plane. Spacious, natural lighting. That's one beauty of glass and steel structures. There is ample sunlight to come in, reducing electricity consumption.

May 10, 2010, I wrote this:

This coming Saturday, I will go back to the US again. I will go to Chicago to attend the 4th International Conference on Climate Change (4th ICCC), May 16 to 18, sponsored by the Heartland Institute. I will talk about the conference in another note. And since I am accumulating air mileage, I will take again Delta Airlines. I started getting mileage with Northwest airlines before, now merged with Delta.

A Delta air flight to the US always stops at Narita-Tokyo International Airport, whether going to California or the Mid-west. Since I’m going to Chicago, I can choose to land either in Detroit or Minneapolis international airports, Delta’s 2 big hubs close to Chicago.

 Narita airport is not really big if compared to other Asian international airports, say those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. It is sort of circular in shape, the walkalators are not very long. But it is very modern, typical glass and steel structure.

The escalators are very quite and produce very little noise when moving. This walkalator is cool: short but with live “twig” like flowers on both sides.

The duty free shops are not that plenty, but they are very neat.

The toilets are also very clean, like this one.

Some art works on glass in one of the several passengers waiting areas.

And if people bring along their kids, there is a small and well-padded children’s play area.

I haven’t gotten out of this airport though. I always pass by here only as a transit passenger. Delta Air cleans, re-fuels and re-supply with passenger food and drinks all airplanes going to the US. Normally about 12 to 13 hours from Narita to Minneapolis or Detroit.

I hope to visit Tokyo someday so I can get out of Narita airport too.

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