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F.East'12-3: The Morning Calm, The Rising Sun!

 
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: F.East'12-3: The Morning Calm, The Rising Sun! Reply with quote

43. F.East'12-3: The Morning Calm, The Rising Sun!

http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13108.html

43.1 The Rising

This part describes the journey of the Lazy Clam (I am certainly
not a morning person!) from The Land of the Morning Calm, to the
Land of the Rising Sun. So much so for sobriquets, I was setting
out from Daejeon, the science city in Korea, to Tsukuba, another
science city, but in Japan. The night before, I had set the alarm
on the hotel room clock for 04:00 am, and on my Indian cellphone,
for 12:30 am. I had not changed the time on either my laptop, or
my Indian cell phone.

I woke up with a start as soon as the alarm went off,
at 04:00 am. A strong coffee (two sachets of a very tasty instant
three-in-one coffee) later, I was ready to face the day. I got
ready quickly, and rushed down to the hotel lobby, wanting to
check out as soon as possible. I was hoping my scratched credit
card would get swiped for the hotel dues.
It did not.
I told the puzzled man at the reception about it, but he asked
me not worry, as he would enter the details, and complete the
transaction. I was relieved.

43.2 The Bullet Train Again, On to Incheon Airport!

I rushed out into the 5 degree Celsius temperature, two strolley
bags in hand, and one backpack, behind me. This was a 10 minute
walk to the Yuseong Spa Station. Exit 6 was closest to Hotel
Interciti, as I rushed towards it. I was pleased at the exercise.
I was not pleased at the realisation that I was entering an exit.
The sign at the escalator asked me not to enter.
Was there another entrance, elsewhere? The streets were quite
empty at this time, and of course, language was an issue.
I rushed down the stairs, but was reassured on finding a sign
that would lead me to the ticket counter. Change in hand, I took
a token for KRW 1300 from the Yuseong Spa station, to Daejeon
Station. I was the first to reach the platform.

The subway train came in at 05:30 am, on the dot, and the
relatively full train got me to the Daejeon station at its
designed time. 06:00 am. Signs were easy to follow, and soon I
was at the KTX ticket counter. Ticket in hand, I went towards the
platform. It was dark outside, but the station was well-lit, and
very clean. This ticket cost me KRW 23,700 (which is about
Rs.1176, circa Nov'12), for the 06:20 am - 07:30 KTX train. Here
is a picture of the KTX coach entrance. The coaches are built by
Alstrom, the same German company which the new Indian railways
coaches trace their origin to.



The tables behind the KTX seats have a sliding unit which makes
an acute angle with the vertical, and when an acutely fidgety
passenger like me takes it out, it slides up, and comes towards
the passenger making it horizontal, and a guard comes on top of it:



There were three stops en route on the 06:20 am train from Daejeon
Station, to Seoul. I had boarded from platform number 10. The
train was slightly more than half-full at this hour.
I had been slightly apprehensive about the availability of a
ticket on the KTX, vis-a-vis the other option for me. The other
option was to take the subway to the Government Complex in
Daejeon, and an airport bus, straight to the Incheon airport.
These buses took between two-and-a-half to three hours, and were
relatively frequent (20 minutes between buses) even in the early
mornings (I had had a look at the schedules from 04:00 am
onwards, this information is circa November 2012). However, I did
not have a clue as to where I could catch the buses from, and
whether someone would be able to direct me to the bus stop, at
this early hour. More importantly, would I be able to get a seat
on the bus? Lastly, would I let go of an opportunity to be able
to experience a `bullet train', given that the fastest train in
India touched only half the maximum cruise speed of the KTX?

As I have written before in the previous part of this trip report,
India's fastest train is the Bhopal Shatabdi, which touches
150 kmph on a stretch between Gwalior and Agra. No, it is not
because of low-powered engines in India. The diesel and electric
locomotives can go much faster, but the track infrastructure is
not meant to support speeds greater than 150 kmph, something
which is true for all countries with old track infrastructure,
such as the USA. On the other hand, countries such as Japan (The
Shinkasen), France (the TGV), Germany, Korea and China have built
infrastructure for very fast trains, which can cruise at speeds
above 250 kmph, regularly.

The train was very fast, but the lack of vibrations meant that
passengers hardly felt anything. I was perhaps the only foreigner
on my coach (coach 11, seat 05 A - a window seat on the left of
the train - the port side). It was an exciting ride for me - I
was excitedly looking out of the window, and periodically
looking at the overhead monitors, checking out the speed.
Of course, I stood out in more ways than one.
This and more, in an uncomplimentary sense.
Most of my fellow passengers were either sleeping, or simply
going about their usual business.
I never seem to have this feeling when I am travelling - wherever
in the world I am. It is always a sense of anticipation which runs
deep inside me, a pulsating excitement, which makes me look
forward to even mundane journeys on stretches which I have done
many times. Of course, I write about many of these trips as well!
By now, I was getting a pulsating sensation in my head as well,
which certainly is not a symptom of excitement.
A headache.
The lack of sleep was getting to me.
Of course, the reader familiar with my scheme of things knows
that I sleep best in meetings, seminars, and conference sessions.
I had a presentation the next day, and did not want to risk it.
I looked at the morning calm on the faces of my fellow
passengers from the Land of the Morning Calm, and envied them.
There was indeed a yawning gap between us.
I was in no mood to work.
There was a programme on the TV channel which caught my
imagination, on my favourite subject. The objective reader should
have no objection to interject his or her thoughts which the
realisation about what it was.
Food.
This increased my misery, as the celebrity chef was going about
his actions with a panache, which was matched by two irritating
signals from two sections of my body, the headache, asking me to
switch off, and hunger pangs, asking me to switch on.
I had taken some biscuits along, but resisted the temptation to
attack them. The vacuous emptiness of temptation pre-empting
useful thoughts in an otherwise empty mind and contemptuously
emptier stomach vacuum, was something I could not easily stomach,
`s too much muck!

When I got off at the KTX station in Seoul,
I noticed a familiar face.
My hotel room neighbour,
with a big smile on his face.
So we meet again here, he boomed.
Thus, I had a companion on the Airport Express train, from the
Seoul station direct, to the Incheon airport. This was not a
commuter train, but an express train. I took a KRW 8000 ticket
(this is about Rs.397, circa the conversion rate in November,
2012). This was the 08:00 am - 08:45 am train. On getting down at
the airport, we discovered that our check-in areas were close-by.
He was taking a Finnair flight to Helsinki Vantaa, and then
another, onward to his destination, Brussels. He went to check-in
area J, while I went to the slack area K. Boards announced that
the counters would commence service at 09:15 am. This was three
hours before the flight would depart, I guess that this is the
official procedure for most airlines at airports other than their
home airports. However, the agents seem to have either the
Galapagos giant tortoise, or the common garden snail, as their
mascot. The check-in agents were all of far eastern origin, and
while nice, smiling and courteous, they took a bit too much time.
There were only three counters for Economy class passengers.
There was no denying the popularity of this flight. United are
cheap, as a friend put it, both literally, as well as
figuratively. This was the cheapest option between Seoul and
Tokyo. Shockingly enough, United also have a two free baggage
policy in the region, which Delta (which is priced a bit higher),
and other airlines such as Korean (1 free bag only) do not have.
Asiana, JAL, ANA and Korean were priced significantly higher.
When on a tight budget, unless I had the the average intelligence
of the common garden snail, I would not book anything else.
Moreover, I would get some frequent flyer points on my
JetPrivilege account. Or at least, I fervently hoped so.
It happened without a hitch, a few days later.

43.3 Incheon Airport: All roads lead to Roam!

I roamed about the very impressive Incheon airport. It is quite a
spotter's delight, with large glass windows, and ample spotting
opportunities, from the inside. After the security check and
immigration, I went leftwards, as far as I could. Here I saw an
Asiana A321 being pushed back, with an Asiana B744 some distance
behind it.



The Asiana B744 was a magnificent sight!



There were a few Korean Air A330s parked there:



I have always been interested in cars, especially those models,
which can be easily seen in India. Here at the Incheon airport,
I saw a line of such cars. From the left, there are two Chevrolet
Beats, two Hyundai Eons, one Hyundai Getz, and one Hyundai
Santro. Or at least, these are the names by which these models
are better known, in India.



When Daewoo motors had gone bankrupt, we had heard that their car
manufacturing unit had been taken over by General Motors, which
had re-branded the products under the Chevrolet brand. The bus
manufacturing unit had been bought over by the Tatas, so we had
heard.

Here is another picture of airport vehicles:



From the left, the cars in this picture are a Chevrolet Beat
(which is a poorly done-up Daewoo Matiz, in my opinion), a
Hyundai van, a Hyundai Eon, a Chevrolet Beat, and an original
Daewoo Matiz.

After having rushed through the first terminal, I hurried along
to the other one, using the connecting train, lest I get late for
boarding. One of the first sights that greeted me on landing at
the other terminal, was a beautiful Aeroflot A333:



Adjacent to our gate, was an exotic airline, SAT. Here is one of
their B735s in an interesting all-red colour scheme.



The airline also had a fleet of B732 classics at the time of my
trip (Nov'12), albeit in a different colour scheme. I really like
the Thai new colour scheme:



43.4 UA 890, ICN-NRT, Tight Pitch, and the Bonsai Sandwich

Set out 10 Nov (Sat) for Tokyo from Seoul
UA 890: United Airlines (B77E) [Seat 40K; PNR: BXSXMW, Class H]
Seoul Incheon IA, Seoul - Tokyo Narita T1 South Wing, Tokyo
Incheon (ICN) - Narita (NRT)
[12:15 pm - 02:25 pm] {02:10 hrs}

The boarding was on time, and we pushed back on time. Captain
White was in command, and Captain Jones was the First Officer.
The latter had announced his presence with a cryptic announcement
about the temperature and other conditions in Narita, in a single
sentence, some half-an-hour before landing. He had been silent
most of this while. The Captain would be silent throughout the
flight. Most of the cabin crew were of far-eastern origin. As we
sat down, the cabin crew came around with newspapers, saying
``Korean newspapers''. A lady in her seat asked her a question in
Korean, to which the lady distributing the newspapers put up a
sheepish expression on her face, and said, ``Sorry, I do not
speak or understand Korean.'' No, while not having
Korean-speaking crew on board was fine, the announcements were
made in English, Korean and Japanese, or at least, given that I
do not speak or understand two of the above languages, was what I
guessed.

We had boarded through a door which first passed through the
Business class section, followed by the Premium Economy. The
latter was of some interest to me, as I had not seen such a class
before - I am not a regular international traveller. It was a bit
of a let-down, as the only feature which seemed to distinguish
the premium economy section from the Plebeian cattle class Economy,
was perhaps the leg room, which looked a bit more. How much would
that matter, I wondered.

This would be a full flight, at least, in Economy. There was not
a seat vacant. In fact, there were very few inches vacant
throughout the Economy section. The seat pitch was tight for a
six footer like me. The seating arrangement was not the obnoxious
2-5-2, but the much better 3-3-3. However, the seat pitch left a
lot to be desired, but had no room for improvement.
Or stretching my legs, for that matter.

We rolled towards runway 15R-33L, as we took
off from runway 15R, just after an Air France Cargo B777F had
landed. One look at the interior of the plane made it clear that
all wasn't that clear. While the cloth surfaces looked relatively
clean, the windows were badly scratched from the outside (it
looked like an old plane), and the plastic surfaces were `rough
around the edges' - more literally so, since the grime was
visible, to smooth out the rough edges. I was flying a US
airline, in his case, a United (ex-Continental Airlines) flight,
after quite some time. After the seat belt signs went off with
the plane at 39,000 feet, the snack service was announced.
As a person who looks forward to such food for thought, I did not
expect much, and therefore, was not disappointed, either.
From a corner of my eye, I sighted the drinks cart being taken up
the aisle. I was a bit surprised when a lady came up,
with the typical American exaggerated artificial enthusiasm,
and asked me if I wanted a sandwich.
My situation was but understandable.
No guesses as to what I did.
It was a Bonsai sandwich.
Bonsai is the art of generating miniature versions of the
original, by either torturing the item in question, or one who
wishes to partake of the item.
In this case, the Bonsai in question traces its origins not to
Japan, the land I was heading for, but America.
It had miniature slices of (white) bread, the size of a large
biscuit. Between each pair of slices, were four fillings, one
after the other. Two were chicken and shredded turkey in
coleslaw, and one was a soft mozzarella with shredded unidentified
tasteless salad offerings, and the other, a slightly orange-yellow
Cheddar. It is not as if the Americans are clueless when it
comes to food. After all, it was they who popularised pizza, and
chopsuey, for instance. It is just that with the airlines, their
chefs strive to seek ingredients, while missing out on what is
perhaps the most important one namely, taste.
Needless to say, there was no choice. In 40G was a person of
Indian origin, who was clearly a vegetarian.
I felt sorry for him, as not just was he going to Japan, he was
coming from Korea, where he was at the same conference as I was.
The sandwich zipped through my alimentary canal in no time, much
before the digestive juices got a clue that something was coming
down. They did not know what hit them, but obviously, they did
their job well, since I did not get any evidence to the contrary.
Alimentary, my Dear Watson.
The beverage I chose was what had always been the US rage, `OJ'.
Orange Juice.
There were no offers for second helpings, or yelpings.
The service which was quite tardy to start with (I got my `snack'
quite late), ended with a relatively prompt garbage collection
service. The cabin crew looked eager to go back to their
stations, and take rest.
So did I.
I fell asleep while typing this report.
How will the reader know this?
No, I have long deleted the gibberish that was filling up the
screen. However, what would I do the gibberish that has always
accompanied my trip reports?
What cannot be cured, must be endured.

The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system had some old PTVs, with
a very slow operating system. The response was quite poor, but
the selection was quite interesting. I looked up the `Movies'
part, specifically, the international selection. There were four
Hindi movies, `Ferrari ki Sawari', `Ishaqzaade', `Kahani', and
`Monsoon Wedding'.

The Captain made a feather-touch landing on the runway.
We had come in with the Narita aviation museum to the starboard
side (I was happy to get a glimpse of the NAMC YS-11, the
Japanese-built twin-engined turboprop airliner, on display there).
As we came in towards our parking gate, I spied an ANA B788
Dream)liner at a gate close-by:



As I was getting out of the plane, I saw Captain Jones the First
Officer, standing close to the exit, waiting for Captain White. I
guessed so, as I would later see the duo walking out of the
Narita airport, together. I thanked Captain Jones for a very
smooth landing. He smiled back at me, in acknowledgement.

As we got out of the aero-bridge into the terminal, I caught
sight of our plane, with a cubicle going up to the port side front
door. I guessed that this would be for First class passengers. Or
was it for the flight deck crew?



In the next picture, this had moved away, and another aero-bridge
finger had come in.



43.5 Narita Airport and Onward, to Tsukuba

Immigration and Customs at Narita were a breeze.
Narita is an old airport, but looked reasonably clean, and
well-maintained. Yes, language was an issue again, as while
people were reasonably enthusiastic to help, their limited
diction of English hampered some meaningful two-way
communication. We had missed one of the buses to Tsukuba.
We?
Member stealthpilot commented that I must be a popular person, as
I seemed to meet an acquaintance at almost every airport.
This sounded ominously (omen-ously?) like the saying that a
sailor had a wife in every port.
Not quite, but many of my trips are for conferences, and I have
got acquainted with many regulars, over the years.
There was a Singaporean gentleman who had also attended the
conference in Daejeon, Korea, and was going to the same one I was
headed to, at Tsukuba, Japan. The above communication gap
somewhat put paid to my ideas of a train adventure. The train
route to Tsukuba would again have involved three trains:
Narita airport to the Tokyo station, Tokyo station to Akihabara,
and Akihabara to Tsukuba. My companion was also not very
forthcoming to the idea, so I decided to go in for the bus alone.
We bought tickets for the 04:20 pm - 06:10 pm bus. My dishevelled
state with three bags adding to the effect,
had attracted stares while on the stairs. I am obviously not a
friendly (-looking, or otherwise) person, but that is a different
matter altogether.
I stood outside in the 14.7 degrees Celcius temperature, with two
minutes for the bus to start. People had started boarding the bus
by then.



The bus moved along narrow lanes, and at times, at an
excruciatingly slow speed. I guess there must be strict speed
limits in certain areas, and the Japanese are known for their
discipline. I simply dozed off. We reached around 06:40 pm. I had
missed the 06:30 pm - 06:35 pm train from the Tsukuba Station to
the Kenkyugakuen station. It was dark by now. The Tsukuba station
was very close to the bus stand. The distance from Tsukuba to
Kenkyugakuen is not `walkable', the high speed train does it in 5
minutes flat. The Kenkyugakuen station was supposed to be close
to the hotel where I was to stay, Hotel Toyoko Inn. This is a
cost-effective chain of hotels, for which the conference had
negotiated an even better deal. However, this was nowhere to be
seen around, and in the darkness, I did not know where to go.
I was lucky to meet a very friendly young couple with a bubbly
two-year old - they spoke some English, and they directed me to the
right place. The Hotel reception was `manned' by a nice lady, who
gave me the required directions in good English.

A description of the hotel, the famous `shower toilet', my
travels in Japan, and the return trip, I will cover all of these
in Part 4 of my report,
F.East'12-4: Arigato Nippon, Sayonara!
Stay tuned!
---
Links to my 43 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/


Last edited by sumantra on Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the TR, Sumantra jee.
The KTX seat tray design is interesting. I am wondering if the same can be used by the airlines. Would be difficult to clean and maintain though.
The description of Bonsai is interesting !

Hope the next one comes soon and all the ones after that !
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now the paragraph titles are better. Very Happy
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Hope the next one comes soon and all the ones after that !
Thank you, Sir! You have been one of the inspirations behind my trying to conquer my laziness in writing reports!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Now the paragraph titles are better. Very Happy
Mr. Ganguly, I have been working on it since you pointed it out. I hope this meets your approval. Please send in your comments!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare in these parts, a TR featuring Seoul, Japan et al. Thanks for sharing! Smile
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Rare in these parts, a TR featuring Seoul, Japan et al.
Thanks, Varun! On a different note, I am quite incorrigible, given that I report on the most mundane of legs as well. Each trip is different from the other, even the bland instant coffee may be a bit different!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
sabya99 wrote:
Now the paragraph titles are better. Very Happy
Mr. Ganguly, I have been working on it since you pointed it out. I hope this meets your approval. Please send in your comments!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Your numbering system for paragraphs is also good. Since you post so many trip reports this will make someone to locate an event quickly.
The pictures of Incheon airport show it to be very big. I learnt it is one of the top five airports of the world.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Your numbering system for paragraphs is also good.
Much like a book/technical report chapter, and sections, but more like a shameless self-advertisement Smile
sabya99 wrote:
Since you post so many trip reports this will make someone to locate an event quickly.
Quantity over quality!
sabya99 wrote:
The pictures of Incheon airport show it to be very big. I learnt it is one of the top five airports of the world.
Yes, it is quite big, and very nice and efficient.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Theairplaneguy4ever
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one!

No choices for meals were offered on this flight, huh? Must have been due to the short length of the flight.

Speaking of which, how long was the flight?

It must have been a treat to travel to so many countries over such a short span. Japan, in my opinion, is a great place, even though I've never been there.

I do hope you did sample some Japanese cuisine of which we can hear in the next part Very Happy

For which, I look foward.

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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
No choices for meals were offered on this flight, huh? Must have been due to the short length of the flight.
Speaking of which, how long was the flight?

Thannks a lot Adi, for your kind words. I forgot this one:
Set out 10 Nov (Sat) for Tokyo from Seoul
UA 890: United Airlines (B77E) [Seat 40K; PNR: BXSXMW, Class H]
Seoul Incheon IA, Seoul - Tokyo Narita T1 South Wing, Tokyo
Incheon (ICN) - Narita (NRT)
[12:15 pm - 02:25 pm] {02:10 hrs}

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
I do hope you did sample some Japanese cuisine of which we can hear in the next part Very Happy
For which, I look foward.
Yes, Adi - there will be talk about input, as well as output: the famous shower toilet Razz
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra - nice report - kind of odd to be flying UA on ICN-NRT type sectors - but then there are a number of such routes throughout Asia - esp at the "liberal" hubs like BKK/ KUL/ SIN etc.

Quote:
We had boarded through a door which first passed through the
Business class section, followed by the Premium Economy. The
latter was of some interest to me, as I had not seen such a class
before - I am not a regular international traveller. It was a bit
of a let-down, as the only feature which seemed to distinguish
the premium economy section from the Plebeian cattle class Economy,
was perhaps the leg room, which looked a bit more. How much would
that matter, I wondered.

UA's Premium Economy is not a different product, it's the same Y product but with up to 5 inches extra leg room. It's available for free to UA FFPs (gold and higher - immediate on booking, and Silver - 24 hours before flight), and sold to the regular junta who want more leg room.

UA's Y+ used to be available to *A Gold members until a couple of years ago, but then UA decided to tighten down and reserve it exclusively for it's own FFP program members.

It's the exact same seat/ IFE and food/drink options in Y+.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
UA's Premium Economy is not a different product
Thanks a lot, Nimish - for going through the report, as well as pointing out features which would be completely foreign for an occassional international traveller like me, and that too, someone without any airline status whatsoever. Thanks for the UA history, this is an PMUA flight, and comes with its own legacy. I have enjoyed the Silver Edge club status on AI for a couple of months, and utilised an upgrade voucher for my only Dream)liner trip - in J!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you are right. In order to have high speed train the track infra. has to be good. When France introduced TGV, they had to set up new dedicated track for this type of train. These tracks must not have any bend and as close to straight line as possible. No level crossing are allowed also. These high speed tracks are fenced to prevent cattle roaming here. The trains also should have special shock absorbers and unique tilting mechanism. Above all soil must be strong enough to withstand the vibration. Very Happy
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Last edited by sabya99 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
...soil must be strong enough to withstand the vibration
...and the economy, strong enough to withstand the economic shock Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part 4 is up, which includes the `shower toilet':
F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13135.html
Part 4 was getting too long, so I split it up into two parts. The final part of this trip report will come up, hopefully soon.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was an amazing & informative report!
Amazing stuff!

5th freedom flights are something I always am interested in. They can either be amazing or a disgrace or a normal flight.
Most airlines have their out-of-country check in open 3 hours before departure, not CX though. 2.5 hours for them.
I also loved the pictures from the tarmac, along with the car descriptions.

About UA's Y+, as Nimish sir mentioned, depends from airline to airline. I think CX's is much different from Y.

Regards
Jishnu
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for going through my report in this level of detail!
jbalonso777 wrote:
5th freedom flights are something I always am interested in. They can either be amazing or a disgrace or a normal flight.
In JRD's time, AI was perhaps the best way to get from LHR to JFK and back. On the other hand, United have been lousy on routes from the US, and intra-US, too.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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