Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Joys of Flying with the Japanese

I've never flown on a holiday before.

If all goes well, I'll be in Columbus tonight in time for a late supper. If all goes badly, I'll be one of those stranded passengers bad-mouthing the airlines on the 11 o'clock news.

I'm nervous about the lines and delays, but I'm excited, too. I like to fly. And I especially like to fly Delta, which passes out delicious Biscoff cookies instead of puny bags of peanuts. Oh, and since it's just a puddle-jumper that flies from New York to Columbus, I get a window/aisle seat. The best.

I was not so lucky flying to and from Japan. On the way there, I had the middle seat in the middle section of the row, and Paul was three seats over and across the aisle. I'd never spent 14 hours being able to see but not speak to him. On the way back, we got to sit next to each other, but he was the one blessed with the aisle seat.

We flew a Japanese airline, ANA, which was a good choice. Vacation seemed to start as soon as we boarded the plane since the announcements were first in Japanese and then in English. And the flight attendants bowed, just as they did in Japan itself.

The food wasn't half bad (noodles, curry rice, scallops), and the green tea was plentiful. We got warm towels to wipe our hands before every meal. I'd like to see United match that.

I got called "madam" twice by a flight attendant on the way home.

Best of all, the immigration line when we got back to the States was extremely short since American citizens had a special line, and our full flight was almost all Japanese.

But ANA didn't have Biscoff cookies.

Merry Christmas!

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