Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Pleasant Way to Leave the Country

As requested, we got over to the airport more than three hours early. Flying World Business Class means we get the priority check-in area, and only the minimum necessary wait time. Here at Narita, there are procedures that I'd never encountered before. To enter the airport complex, you must show your passport, whether coming by road (like in a shuttle bus) or by train. Good thing I realized that before storing my luggage containing my passport; I made sure to take it with me on our day trip to Chiba yesterday. At check-in, they do an initial x-ray screening of luggage before the check-in desk, as well as an additional one later.

After the usual formalities at check-in -- minor confusion due to the odd-looking list of flights on this reservation number that includes the three legs from which we were bumped and the new flight today -- we went to secondary screening. Being so early and coming at a time when there were no banks of flights immediately due, we had no big rush or pressure, which I appreciate greatly. Then it was downstairs to immigration, where Lisa turned in the slip for the one item of duty-free electronics we purchased. (Pity that Kato doesn't do duty-free sales; it would have saved a fair bit of yen.) Then Immigration processed our departure cards and we could put away our passports until Portland.

We briefly looked at the duty free shops full of stuff we would never want to buy, like liquor, cigarettes, and perfume. And for that matter, why are there luggage stores post-check-in, where they will do you no good at all? Instead, we fell victim to a gewgaw shop, where I bought yet more souvenirs, with the hope that I can get something for everyone, even if it's relatively minor. I bought a nice sake serving set for my VP in appreciation for him letting me take so much time off at once.

Then it was into the NWA WorldClub. As advertised, this is a pretty nice club, with lots of food -- and not just crackers and pretzels -- a lot of space, plenty of computer connections, and even showers if we needed them, which we did not because of the pleasant timing. We settled in for a while. Our flight is at 1520, and boarding apparently begins around an hour before the flight itself, with last call at 1450, so we have around another hour here on the ground at Narita before we leave.
Tags: airlines, airports, japan, travel
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