I’m home from my week-long trip to China and Japan, and am excited to share some of the great experiences I had on my trip.
The week started off on Saturday morning with a flight from Atlanta to Detroit, then on to Hong Kong. I was actually on the same plan for both legs of the flight; one of Delta’s “long range” 777-200LR’s. These are equipped with these ultra-sweet lie-flat seats.
All laid down and ready for a nap. The nice blanket and pillow are excellent!
This is the last seat in the forward cabin (there are two business class cabins in front of coach). What’s cool about this seat is that there’s nobody behind me. That means I got an extra little “table” (see triangular spot by my left elbow, and there’s a coat closet to the side of me which provides some privacy. The photo was taken by Doug Sonders, a photographer who happened to be sitting in front of me on the DTW-HKG leg. Nice to meet you, Doug!
The flight from ATL-DTW was rather uneventful. Frankly I don’t remember anything interesting to say at all, but I suppose that can be good. :)
Then I had a short layover in Detroit; about an hour before re-boarding. I strolled around the terminal a bit to stretch my legs before the long flight, and then had a snack.
The dark spots on this window are from the terminal windows in Detroit. All of the glass is covered in these little polka dots. From about 10 feet away you don’t even notice them…they act almost like tint to lower the light level inside. But when you get close, it’s a bit uncomfortable to look through. In any case, the point of this photo is to show the MASSIVE engines on this 777. If one engine goes out, the other one has to keep 278 passengers + crew/luggage/supplies in the air for at least three hours.
Delta has the very nice charging stations throughout many of their terminals (these are in Detroit). You can get both 110V and USB (5V) power.
The long/straight McNamara Terminal has two trams that run back and forth down the length of the terminal. They use a single rail, and pass each other using a bypass at the center stop.
They didn’t serve any food on my 11:00 flight from ATL-DTW. :( I was on the plane from 10:30-13:15…yea, who’d want to eat then? But on the plus side, I had plenty of room to enjoy some yummy snacks in the Sky Club. :)
After a last minute update on the wifi and a couple phone calls, I was back on the plane.
These are the seat controls. Just super. It’s really an amazing seat. You can adjust the back-to-knee length and the head rest angle. There’s a lumbar support that can be raised/lowered and inflated/deflated. And there’s a “massage” mode where the lumbar automatically moves up/dn/in/out. A++
As soon as we leveled off on the way to Hong Kong they started meal service with a cocktail, while I enjoyed some light reading.
No peanut filler here.
For the appetizer course, we had tomato soup and seared tuna. Maybe an odd combination, but both were very good.
Clear skies above an icy Hudson Bay.
Since you’re flying with the sun, it’s daylight the whole flight. People pretty quickly pull the window shades down to keep glare off the TV screens, but I love to keep looking outside. After your eyes are acclimated to the dark cabin, opening a window to broad daylight and a snow/ice covered landscape is blinding…but well worth it! :)
Dinner was served next, which reminds me of something. While we were still on the ground, the purser came around taking dinner orders. She approached me and said “Mr. Garrett, I noticed that you’re a Diamond Medallion member and wanted to thank you for your business! We want to make sure you get your first choice for dinner tonight. What would you like?” While I don’t enjoy being singled-out in front of other passengers, it was a nice gesture and I appreciated it. She was very busy at the time, and she went out of her way for me…which was nice. This was in stark contrast to my flight home where the purser came by and without so much as a “hey, how y’all doin’?” simply looked at me and asked “chicken or beef?” Not “Could I bring you the parmesan chicken or the beef tenderloin?” Not “What can I bring you gentlemen for dinner?” I’m not joking when I say that this woman would have been fired from a TGI Friday’s on her first night. She was just that bad. But she’s a former Northwest flight attendant, so shot got where he is because of seniority. Sorry; rant off.
I chose the shrimp scampi, asparagus, and saffron rice. The shrimp were quite excellent and the asparagus was cooked just right, but the rice was paste. 2 out of 3 still beats the snot out of coach food! :)
For desert I had a little cheese (I turned down the strawberries and bleu cheese), a hot fudge sundae, and a glass of port. Mmmmm.
We flew way up north through the Arctic Circle, further north than I’ve ever been before.
The mid-flight snack was served about midnight. We were served cold grilled salmon and roasted chicken, with some brie, bread sticks, salad and a piece of chocolate. Light enough that you could go right to sleep, but filling enough to tide you over till breakfast.
For those of you Risk fans, these are the mountains of Yakutsk.
I stayed up till after 2:00 am Eastern time, then laid down and crashed. I slept right through breakfast; never had the first clue they were serving. I woke-up as we had begun our descent. The excellent crew brought me some orange juice in-lieu of breakfast, and the pilot made a memorably smooth landing. Well done, Delta! This was a great flight!!!
I had no reason to stay in Hong Kong this trip, so I took an airport “limousine” service (a 6 passenger mini-van). The service I use is called SkyLimo on the Hong Kong side and Trans-Island Limousine Service on the mainland side (with a W logo?). It costs $170 HK (about $22 US), which is more expensive than the train or big bus…but it’s a VERY convenient service. They take you through HK immigration without even getting out of the car. Then they drive you across the border and drop you off at mainland immigration/customs. You fill out your form, run through the line, and they have another van waiting for you on the other side and take you right to your hotel. After such a long trip, it’s well worth the extra few bucks.
The Panglin Hotel in Shenzhen is quite comfortable, so long as you enjoy sleeping on a pile of bricks. I could sleep on a Chinese sidewalk at rush hour, so this is no problem for me. :) Seriously, though, it’s very simple, but clean and comfortable, with free wired internet service. That reminds me that I need to post about my Lenovo laptop’s “MyWifi” feature, which allows me to create my own wifi hotspot from a wired connection. This is perfect for keeping my iPhone connected when I don’t otherwise have wifi. More later.
They even have a little sitting area. Too bad I don’t have anybody on these trips to sit and chat with.
Well, that about covers the trip over. The following day I visited the local botanical gardens, but that’s another post. Good night all!