Hello America

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Well, this is a little awkward. This entry was supposed to go up last week but only today did I remember that this is still a draft. Gotta work on remembering things in 2016. But back to the story…

After a not so bad 28 hour flight with both Japan Airlines and American Airlines, I am now in the US and the feeling is pretty surreal. Flying with Japan Airlines was good, the plane was comfortable, the food was great and the service was excellent. Typical Japanese culture. But after I transferred to the American Airlines flight in Narita Airport, the experience was a whole different ball game.

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The plane which is a Boeing 777-200 was like really old. American Airlines did however get this paint with their new livery but I don’t think they have changed the interior. The galley walls was covered with a material something like felt and carpet, there was not modern power plug or USB port (just a old cigarette styled charger typically found in cars) and the onboard entertainment screen had those old low res displays and is controlled with a remote.

But overall, the 10 hour flight from Tokyo to Dallas was bearable because I was mostly sleeping through the flight. My fitbit told me I got about 3 hours of sleep on the plane. I got a pretty good seat on the front row, the emergency exit right in-front of me wasn’t as bothersome as I thought it would be but the seat not having a window really bugged me. I was staring at the wall the whole time

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After this flight,  I had one last flight from DFW to Phoenix airport. It was a 3 hour layover at the airport and surprisingly, passing through immigration went pretty well. It was just bag carousel took a while to pump out my two luggages. CBP didn’t actually check my luggages, so I felt that taking my bag and checking it in again later is a little useless.

Soon after, I was out at the departure hall at DFW to go through security. I can tell you that TSA is very strict. Had to take out basically everything all down to my shoes. Even the immigration in China wasn’t that strict when you compare to the security by TSA. After getting my backpack scanned, my body scanned, I still had about 2 hours left before my flight to phoenix.

So, I did what anyone at the airport would do which is to wander of aimlessly looking out for cool stuff. Dallas Fort Worth Airport has 5 terminals and it is all interconnected with a light rail system, it is possible to walk between the terminals but I didn’t do that. I sat through half the round from terminal C all the way to terminal E. From the SkyTrain, you can do quite a bit of plane spotting from the route of terminal D to termina E as there is a big gap between the two terminals. It was mostly American Airlines and US Airway planes all around the airport because DFW is the main hub for American Airlines.

However, I did manage to see some international airlines like Emirates and Japan Airlines at terminal D. This terminal is also the only one which has free wi-fi as all international flights to and from DFW lands here. Other terminals mainly serve the other US airports and thus there is no free wi-fi there.

The time passed by pretty quick and then I was on my American Airlines flight bound for Phoenix. Interestingly enough, the American Airlines flight was served by a US Airways plane. I was surprised at first but then I read the news that American Airlines have just completed their merger with US Airways.

2 hours later, the plane landed at Phoenix Skyharbor International airport and this airport was filled with travellers. Exiting the terminal wasn’t that hard but the baggage reclaim was the hard part. There was bags from 7 flights all in the same carousel. That’s how busy this airport is. Two of my bags finally came out after 30 minutes of waiting and after that I went to the hotel that I booked to have some rest.

Airplane Food

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The first snack service shortly after the plane took off.
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Breakfast onboard Japan Airlines, everything tasted good except for the pudding / yoghurt and the pineapple
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The first meal onboard the American Airlines flight from Tokyo to Dallas was lunch. It was chicken and rice with a side of salad topped off with japanese salad dressing. The rice doesn’t look that appetizing but it does taste pretty decent
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A snack midway on the flight which included a ham sandwich with a kitkat and some (not-seedless) grapes.
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Finally, the last meal which was breakfast is salmon and rice. Again, it doesn’t look too pleasing to the eyes but it tasted pretty good.

Tokyo Narita Airport

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The Japan Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur was the first plane to land there and it was about 6:30 when I landed and there was literally nobody in the terminals.
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After wandering around the terminal, I found a nice sport to sit down and enjoy some videos while waiting for my flight to dallas.

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Plane Spotting

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In the distance is a Malaysia Airlines plane which has just landed in Tokyo
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These three planes were all bound for the US and the middle American Airlines plane was the on I was on.
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The Thai Air Asia X plane in Narita Airport
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Talk about old school, the old American Airlines livery is still on quite a number of their planes.
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There she is, the Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Emirates Airbus A380 in the distance at DFW terminal D

Hello Arizona

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My hotel room for the first night
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Some ASU building, not sure what is this for.
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And, this is just one of the many cactus in Arizona. Wonder if there’s a cactus farm here.
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The Phoenix Valley Metro Light Rail system
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Some nice art
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