A Travellerspoint blog

From Nice to Narita - Part 1

The most stressful trip so far this year

overcast 26 °C

I've traveled to several different places since I was born with family, friends and on my own. Therefore, I managed to acquire essential travel information, guidance and precautions to take whiles flighting. This is especially true for long distance flights.

The worst experience I had with traveling, before going to Tokyo, was when I accidently missed my flight going to Nice from Hong Kong whiles visiting family. As I was having such a good time in Hong Kong, I only briefly checked my departure time, which happened to be my arrival time, therefore I was off by one day. I received a text message from my mum wishing me good luck on my flight back, to which I replied "thanks, but it's not until tomorrow", to which she said "no, your flight was two hours ago", or something similar. After realising my mistake, I felt worried, embarrassed and sad, but the next day relieved to find out I'll be staying a few more days in Hong Kong and that my parents had arranged a new flight (I was 16 at the time).

Usually everything turns out fine, and that was the worst episode I had with flights and traveling, before I ventured to Tokyo. The initial plan was to take a flight from Nice to Manchester, which would land at 12:10 UK time, then travel to Narita the next day. On the 1st of September I arrived in Nice at 8:30, checked-in my luggage, where the lady at the counter informed us that my flight was delayed by 1 hour and 30 minutes due to problems with the air traffic control system. In the end I had to wait 6 hours at the airport with no lunch, boarded at 15:00, landed in Manchester at 16:16 UK time. I met Antonia's family who kindly let me stay in their wonderful cottage like house, eat plenty of Chinese food and set off to Manchester airport the next day at around 7:00. Antonia and I are from the same university and we both chose to do a year abroad in Tokyo, so we decided to travel together.
The next hurdle we encountered was with luggage allowance. Upon arriving at Manchester airport, before even entering the queue to go to check-in, a person who works for Etihad took our hand luggage to check the size. They inserted my small suitcase into an ever so slightly smaller measuring compartment, and announced it was too big to take as hand luggage, even though I had no problems with British Airways. If I was to check it in as baggage, I would have to pay £300 extra, which was out of the question. In the end, we waisted 20 minutes fiddling around with our luggage trying to match the correct weightage. Luckily, Antonia's dad took 20kg of our stuff and promised to return it to us as he was coming to visit Tokyo in a few weeks.
After that, we had an hour before the plane was to depart. Security took a very long time and the queues were endless. Of course, my blue rucksack had to be checked as I forgot to put my lip balm in a plastic bag and I forgot to take out my empty water bottle (which I never had to do before). After waiting and getting increasingly anxious by the minute, we had only 20 minutes to get to our gate number. We ran, it had probably been 3 months since I had done any running, but this was the time to do it. It took around 5 to 10 minutes to get past all of the unnecessary and strong smelling duty free items, which I had come to detest during this ordeal. Of course, our gate number had to be at one of the extremities of the airport and with 5 or so minutes to spare, we finally made it on the plane.
This was not the end of our worries, and the rest will be explained later.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures:

Nice Airport
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Antonia and I finally on the plane
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Antonia's house 1
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Antonia's house 2
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Antonia's house 3
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Up early in the morning
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Plane view from Nice
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Posted by Louise - ルイーズ 14:59 Archived in Japan

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