Hawaii Day Zero

20091218016As with most air travel to any distant destination, the first day is essentially spent on the plane or in the airport. So that’s basically how we spent day zero on our holiday trip to Hawaii. The flying time itself probably totaled not a lot more than 12 hours, but including the transit time, the early check-in at Changi Airport, it all adds up pretty quickly.

We were so early reaching Changi Airport that the check-in counters were actually not yet open. We were there only a little more than 3 hours before flight time. But it was good that we were early… we spent too much time checking in, even though we were first in line at our counter. That was party because we had to spend some time to reorganize our baggage on the spot. We didn’t know there was a weight limit per baggage, on top of the weight limit per passenger. The per-baggage limit was 23 kg, and one of our pieces was 25 kg.

Both sectors of our trip, from Singapore to Tokyo, then from Tokyo to Honolulu, were on 747-400 aircraft. An interesting thing with JAL is that they have a video camera showing that’s ahead of the aircraft, like the view from the cockpit, and the video feed is available on the in-flight entertainment system. So you can see what the pilot sees out of the window, like the taxiing, the take-off and the landing. I know United Airlines (I think, or perhaps it could be Northwest) lets you in on the radio communication between the pilot and the air traffic controller. But this video is something new for me.

The flight was quite comfortable and time passed quite quickly. The former is because we got the bulkhead, due to baby Ian traveling with us and thus requiring a basinet. The latter, well, because we were fully occupied taking care of Vanessa and Ian. They were quite a handful. The first sector, Vanessa became airsick as we landed. In the second sector, Ian cried incessantly.

Well, we eventually landed in Honolulu, and found ourselves a limousine waiting for us. Yes, a real limousine as in those super long cars. It’s my first time in such a vehicle and… well, it wasn’t totally an eye-opener because with TV and the Internet nowadays you pretty know a lot about things even before you experience them. Still, it is always nice to see and experience the real thing.

I’ll try to update more as we go along. The trip starts with day zero… because, well, as an IT person, number start from zero, and also considering the confusion after we cross the international dateline and such, the second day of our trip would technically still be the first day in terms of the actual calendar date.