No one was working at the Enterprise Rent a Car return center upon returning the rental car to Newark International Airport.
So, I simply collected my belongings and dropped the keys off at the drop box. I usually like to get a receipt or know the total all in cost billed to my credit card, but in this case, I’m confident if there are any discrepancies a phone call to Nick, the guy I rented from will clear any issues.
I was really early for my Newark to Chicago flight so there was no line at check-in or at security.
The flight itself was operated by an 757 and was pretty empty where I had an entire row to myself as did everyone else on the flight.
In Chicago, I had about 3 hours before my connecting to Tokyo. So made my way over to the United Club lounge and entertained myself with their very limited snack options by the way of a bagel and yogurt.
While in the lounge, I put travel notifications on the pertinent ATM and credit cards. Additionally, I cancelled my auto insurance since I won’t be needing it for the next several months.
I was surprised to receive a phone call from Enda Mode(not her real name), a former colleague to say her farewells and wish me safe travels. We chatted for a bit about the work I put in and her impending retirement plans. It was a real nice gesture for her to call and I really did appreciate that.
Boarding time came and headed to my gate and was directed towards the first class door of the aircraft.
Upon sitting, I was greeted by the head purser and offered a departure drink. Out of the 8 seats in first class, there was one other person in the cabin who was sitting on the opposite side of the plane from me. This meant I had the entire right side of the plane in first class myself.
In fact, the flight attendant offered the adjacent seat to make my bed so I had a seat and a bed.
The flight attendant also came around with a basket full of amenities where I took a toothbrush and some lip balm.
THE $50 AIRLINE GIFT
The amenity kit offered by the airline was the Rimowa box with various moisturizers, eye mask, ear plugs, and other stuff. If you look on eBay, these Rimowa branded ones fetch about $50. It’s my first time receiving one despite flying first class a handful of times.
The flight attendant came around and took my drink order and asked if I wanted any champagne. It was Krug, the 1986 vintage. I’m not much of a champagne connoisseur, but sine the opportunity came about, I tried some.
I went with the western appetizer and the Japanese main dish. The amuse bouche for both options was the same.
The appetizer from the western menu was caviar and lobster salad.
The main course was the rock fish in some kind of soy-based sauce, served with steamed white rice, miso soup, and egg custard.
For desert, I opted for the mixed fruit.
After finishing the meal, I finished watching the movie I started and changed into the pajama pants offered by the airline. I much rather sleep in my t-shirt than a long sleeve shirt that came with the pajama kit.
I made my way into the seat next to me where the flight attendant made it into a bed after the meal service.
I didn’t realize how tired I was because I slept for nearly the entire flight. About an hour and half before we were scheduled to land, I slowly woke up and made my way back to my seat.
The flight attendant came around and asked me if I wanted anything to drink and if I wanted anything off their snack menu.
I choose the standby drink, the sparkling water with lemon. For the snack, I went with the udon noodles.
I was feeling a bit hungry after the noodles so I asked for some ice cream. They only had two flavors, vanilla and coffee. I went with the vanilla flavor.
We landed at Narita airport about an hour or so after the snack service.
Since I had about 3.5 hours before my connecting flight to Incheon, I had plenty of time and headed towards the ANA first class suite lounge.
I could have entered the Global First Lounge since I had a United Global First seat on my way to Incheon Airport in Korea.
Given the two options, I went with the ANA lounge partly because I find the Asian and European carriers tend to be far superior compared to the U.S. domestic carriers.
Upon entering the ANA suite lounge, I didn’t notice much difference between the ANA lounge for business and ANA suite lounge for first class passengers in terms of aesthetics. There was certainly a lot less people in the ANA Suite Lounge, which I prefer this because I can leave my stuff unattended and walk around.
UNITED GLOBAL FIRST TO SEOUL
The cabin in the United Global First was half full with exactly 4 of the 8 seats occupied.
I fell asleep shortly after push back and woke up while we were in the air. At that point, the flight attendant was taking orders for the light meal service offered.
I had the choice of two options: roast beef sandwich or a sushi type platter. Given that United isn’t known for their food options, I went with the roast beef sandwich.
We landed early of our intended arrival time. Line at passport control was longer than I had seen it in previous trips.
After clearing, I made my way to the AREX line to Seoul Station, the main train station in Seoul. From there I transferred to the subway where I made my way to meet up with my cousin where we’re renting an AirBnB rental together.