As I got on to the van for my trip to SFO, I started to get really excited about my upcoming trip to Asia. It has now been four years since I left my life back in Japan, and going to Singapore, I made sure that my transfer was through Tokyo. Also, I had some upgrade certificates that I was hoping so much that would come through to ensure that I got to fly business class. As I called a few days prior to get my seat confirmed, they noted that only my flight from Tokyo to Singapore was confirmed in business. I was quite disappointed, thinking, well, the flight from Tokyo to Singapore is really the shorter half of this long journey. So, I hoped for the best even though they said that there were 73/73 seats completely full. Once I arrived at the booking area to check in my luggage, I put on the southern charm I tried my best to sweet talk my way into getting higher on the priority list, but the best she could do was economy plus. Which was better than nothing. So, as I get to the gate, I spoke to the agent in Japanese and told them that I was really hoping to get a business class sea for the upcoming trip, and impressed as she was, I don’t know what happened, but I got miraculously bumped to business class! Once on board, and seeing another colleague back in coach, I realized that really going business class on a flight like this is truly a savior, and I was grateful for the upgrade.
The hag service from SFO – TOK
So, Joi had informed me that there were two crews doing this route-the nice Asia centric, service-providing crew, or the US underpaid hag crew. Well, we got the hag crew, and the rudeness was absolutely hilarious. Not only were they rude, but also they looked like such hags! Tons of makeup, fat, Rosanne bar talking type ladies were what greeted me to my business class seat. Quite interesting. At least I could stretch out while I was being provided with low service!
Nine and half hours later, we arrived in Tokyo. Being in Japan again was completely exciting and I was eager to use my Japanese to get around the airport. I found out that I could use the executive lounge in the terminal for United, as I was a business class passenger. I took my shower, got a snack, and got ready to embark on the last leg of my journey.
Once on board again, I flew up on the second level of the plane. It’s a smaller more spacious area with only about 10 rows of business class. It’s quieter as well since you’re farther removed from the engines. This is the level of the cockpit as well, and during the flight, the door opened for just a second while the pilot went to the restroom. They had two stewards at the door, and you should have seen the eyes moving. They were completely attentive, looked like robots scanning and looking for any type of movement. The door behind that ‘scanner’ was completely blocked and ready for opening and closing by the steward. The protection that was going into this door was quite a scene. I guess it does make you feel a little safer knowing how much attentiveness they’re paying to the security of the plane. Since my body was ready for bed at this point, I got under my blanket and got some music from my ipod to put me to sleep. Seven hours later, we arrived in Singapore, and I actually felt pretty good. Usually after a transpacific flight, especially intra Asia, I would be completely knackered, but I really did feel refreshed. Once through customs and passport control, I made my way out the doors to see someone standing with my name on a placard. We went to his car and I was driven to my housing for my stay in Singapore.
Once I arrived, I saw some of my friends in the lobby, and they e pushed me to go straight to my room to put my bags up and to go out to a bar down the street with all the others. Well, I did, and seeing all the other trainees was so great. Meeting other trainees from all parts of the world and hanging out with them was really a lot of fun. Seeing other trainees that I hadn’t seen in a while was great fun as well. After a couple of hours I retired to my room for a nice sleep.