Air Canada In the Dirt-What Happened at NRT

I know this is a little bit late but I wanted to let coverage of the incident disseminate, and fact-finding commence…sadly, there wasn’t really much that was covered about this incident. On July 30, 2018, an Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner operating as AC-5 landed on the B-runway (16 L) at Narita Airport (NRT) without incident. The tower controller instructed the crew to exit via taxiway B7 (at the end of 16L before the threshold of 34R), and then switch to ground controller upon entering the K taxiway. There is a taxiway under construction just before the B7 taxiway as...Read more

Rising Gas Prices – How to Avoid Getting Stiffed on Holiday Flights

Fuel Prices have shot up this summer, and are projected to only get higher as the year goes on. As expected, airlines have had to raise prices due to the higher expenditures associated with a rise in fuel prices. I did a search of 4 airlines for my annual Christmas flights between TYO (the code denoting the airports in the Tokyo metro area) and CVG, and found the price of flights ranged between US$1,100 and $1,800…that’s between 1.7 and 3 times the price of the flights I paid last year for Christmas. I’m afraid this is probably as cheap as...Read more

Korean Air’s NutGate Incident Revisited

Korean Air is one of the best known airlines on the planet. Its safety record is impeccable, the service is highly reviewed, and those bright blue planes are quite the treat to plane spot. However, KAL is not so well liked at home, at times. Not for their service, but for who runs them. The parent company of KAL is the Hanjin Group, known in Korea as an archetypal “Chaebol.” I’m not so well-versed in the inner-workings of Korean Economy, but from everything I’ve read, it sounds a lot like the Zaibatsu or Keiretsu of Japanese fame, entities I’m well-educated...Read more

When to Arrive: Morning Arrivals vs Evening Arrivals

One key aspect of planning a flight itinerary, especially for business trips, is scheduling, and often times this is overlooked in favor of price. However, if you’re trying to make a good impression to your hosts in a faraway land, making sure you’re not exhausted or that you’re not looking like you’ve skipped 3 days of showers is absolutely key. One way to do avoid the flying zombie look is scheduling your itineraries around your preferred landing time in your final destination. This scheduling is a lot easier when flying domestic, be it in the USA or in Japan. If...Read more

What To Do When Mech Issues Cause You To Miss A Flight or Connection

When flying with a tight layover at a connecting airport, there’s always a dread of the plane landing late and you not making your connection. Sometimes, the connecting gate will hold the flight if there’s a lot of passengers from a delayed connecting flight arriving, but in some cases, it’s too much of a delay, and the connecting flight leaves for its journey with a sizable amount of passengers missing, leaving the stranded passengers wondering what to do next, usually at their first airport. This is exactly what happened to me in May when I flew back to Japan, as...Read more

ARMCHAIR NTSB: Squawk Codes Gone Wrong

Squawk codes are transponder settings used to identify aircraft in flight. When operating in controlled airspace, every aircraft uses a squawk code assigned to them by ATC. There are 3 codes that are universally used to signal a problem onboard an aircraft: 7500 for hijacking, 7600 for loss of radio communications, and 7700 for an emergency onboard. A jetBlue flight from JFK recently had some communications failure and, unable to use the radio to contact the tower to alert them of the problem, attempted to switch the transponder code to 7600. When ATC sees that an aircraft is having comms...Read more

BAD AIRLINE FOOD: The Importance of a Preflight Meal

The ‘airline food’ jokes are a cliche of bad comedians for ages, but these days, with the penny pinching increasing more and more in Economy class, it’s not just a meme…it’s a practical reality. In Economy class, you’re served prepackaged meals microwaved en masse. You don’t usually have many options, and if you have allergies or don’t like certain types of food, you’re just out of luck, most of the time. Sometimes, you get lucky. Whenever I fly ANA or JAL, I’m always satisfied with the meal service. To avoid the coin-flip of your meal being delicious or not, it’s...Read more

What Happens to Airports During an Earthquake?

Recently, there was a strong magnitude 6 earthquake in Osaka, the second largest city in Japan. Osaka has two main airports-Kansai International (KIX) which handles both international and domestic flights, and Itami Airport (ITM) which handles domestic flights. The epicenter of the quake this week was fairly close to ITM airport. However, the shaking was strong enough throughout the Kansai region that the transportation system was effectively crippled. Many train lines throughout Osaka were cancelled for the day and the bullet train here also suffered power outages. The airports did not report much damage. The runways at KIX and ITM...Read more

Nippon Cargo Grounding: What Happened? (Armchair NTSB)

Nippon Cargo is a argo airline whose main base is out of Narita Airport near Tokyo. In the past the airline was partly owned by All Nippon Airways and Nippon Yusen, Japan’s leading shipping company (commonly known as NYK), however, ANA sold their stake to NYK and NYK fully owns the company. The airline operates a fleet of 11 Boeing 747s and operates around the world. Their airline codes are KZ and NCA, and in this article, Nippon Cargo will be abbreviated as NCA. What Happened to NCA? On June 17, 2018, NCA announced the airline had grounded their entire...Read more

How I Flew Home-Transpacific-for Christmas for $600

Flying home for the holidays is one of the most stressful, hair-pulling chores one can do, especially if they live abroad. It’s the same for me. I fly home twice a year – once during the spring, and once during the holiday season, and each holiday season it’s always a big chore simply flying home to visit the family. To minimize this stress and to keep your wallet from screaming at you, it is very important to plan these trips in advance. I asked my other friends that flew home for the Christmas season last year what they did to...Read more