KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
As I mentioned in the photo titles, we were more that a little concerned about flying through Japan on our way home to Canada now that the COVID-19 virus had been declared an international pandemic. We wanted to fly home with using as few flights as possible, and the route from Delhi – Narita – Vancouver – Victoria was as quick as we could find using our Aeroplan points to be able to fly business class. For some reason, the direct flights from Delhi to Vancouver don’t seem to be offered to those who wish to use points for travel.
We weren’t keen to travel west through Europe and Toronto because it would add more transfers though airports and there was always the possibility of early spring storms shutting down airports and causing unforeseen delays.
We were thrilled when we boarded the plane and found only three other passengers in the business class section; they were seated on the opposite side of the plane from us. We were boarding well after midnight so we were tired and ready to have a light meal with a glass of wine and then settle down and see if we could get some sleep during the almost eight-hour flight.
On our way home from India the previous November, our Japan Airlines flight took us through the relatively new Haneda airport and we were delighted with the awesome facilities there. This time, the ANA flight was landing in the older Narita airport and I wasn’t looking forward to spending seven hours there because, when we’d flown through it in the past, it was really run-down.
Surprise, surprise, the concourse where the ANA flight landed had recently been remodelled, and the ANA business class lounge was world-class. We were greeted by attendants who wore surgical masks and we were making sure to wear similar masks that we’d picked up in India. We settled into comfy chairs and discovered that when we wanted to go and pick up something to eat, another two attendants were waiting at each entrance to the food and beverage area with bottles of hand sanitizers for travellers to use before touching anything on offer.
You can only imagine the relief that we felt in not only finding the lounge almost empty for the entire time that we were there, but that the airline was taking the threat of transmission of the virus seriously. The time between flights went rather quickly, especially after Anil discovered the incredible automatic beer pouring machine in the beverage area. We’d never seen anything like it.
You take a chilled glass from the cooler beside the machine, place the glass on the tray and then push a button to get things started. Here is a video I shot to show you how it works, it has to be seen to be believed:
It wasn’t until the last couple of hours or so that I happened to see another traveller getting a hot meal from a kitchen area to the far-right side of the lounge. When I went over to investigate, I discovered that the we could order bowls of ramen noodle soup, customized to our own tastes. What a great discovery! Anil and I immediately ordered up some soup and after using the showering facilities to freshen up, we had the audacity to go back and have another bowl of the delicious soup before it was time to head to the boarding gate for our flight to Vancouver. When in Japan, eat like the Japanese!