Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Hawaii Day Thirteen – Returning Home

After twelve days in Honolulu, it’s time for us to return home. Our flight is at 8am in the morning, which means we’ve to get to the airport pretty early that morning, and that means getting up and starting the day even earlier to get to the airport on time. Traveling with kids means everything takes a lot more than time than adults alone would have taken. What more, with the “enhanced security” measures being introduced after the NW253 bomb scare, we were a little apprehensive about additional delays that might occur at the airport.

I still had to return our rental car. It was too early in the morning to return to the regular rental office. The after-hours return location was at a hotel near the airport. It’s fortunate that I researched the route to get to the hotel myself, because I got played out by the GPS navigation. What happened was that the GPS navigation directed me to a lower level of a two-tier road. That means no clear view of the sky, so there was no GPS signal, and without GPS signal, the navigation stopped working. I suppose it isn’t really the fault of the GPS navigation system… this was in fact the way to get to the hotel drop off. But it was so early in the morning, the streets are not as well lit as in Singapore, it was difficult to make out the street names. Nevertheless, I found the hotel without too much hassle.

Check-in took a really long time. I think checking-in in several smaller groups will probably work out faster than doing it in a single large group.

We did encounter something interesting on our flight segment from Tokyo Narita Airport to Singapore. We were upgraded to Business Class! Actually, I’m not sure if it was truly a class upgrade, because they never told us it was (wouldn’t they want you to know if they upgraded your seat?), and the boarding ticket did not reflect the business class either. But the seats we had was clearly of a business class configuration. Yet, there were curtains separating us from the real business class in front of our section, but no curtains between us and the real economy class behind. It’s sort of like the business class seats had been re-designated as economy.

The seats were so comfortable that all the kids slept practically all the way home to Singapore. Including most of the adults, and at least for most of the way too. Except for me. It’s the first time I’m flying in a business class seat that I kept awake to watch the in-flight movies. Finally, the movies were on-demand, something that I had not enjoyed on any of the other JAL flights.

We arrived back in Singapore early on New Year’s Day. Midnight of 1 Jan 2010 was on the plane. I was kind of expecting some sort of New Year’s Day special on the flight, but we didn’t even get so much as a simple greeting.

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