With a lunch time departure, I could sleep in and rest a bit before taking the train to the airport. There are several train options on JR and Nankai. The regular Nankai train takes only slightly longer than the Limited Express, so I decided to save some money today and not take this one.
At the check-in counter, I noticed an upgrade sheet displayed in front of me. While I wasn't interested in paying an extra 35000 yen to Hong Kong, the 50000 yen add-on all the way to India seemed a bit more value for money for the much longer distance flown. However, looking at the fine print, lounge access and additional bag allowance were not included.
Kansai's terminal is large and spacious. As with the rest of Japan, it is kept very clean.
I'm not typically a big fan of shopping at airports, but Kansai is a big exception. There is even a discount Daiso store land-side! Stock up on cheap 100 yen goodies before you drop your bags off for the flight!
Visitors from Asia also love to shop at the pharmacy. Why haul everything from the city when you can do it more conveniently here?
Air-side, there was more shopping, and more crowds making their last rounds before leaving Japan.
At this hour, most international flights were heading to regional destinations and not really long-haul.
Did you buy your travel insurance yet?
I liked these long working desks with a view. There weren't many flights departing around my gate today, so there were plenty of seats available.
It seems several gates are specifically reserved for Cathay. Their signs were still here despite no imminent departure.
My Dreamliner was already at the gate, with the long bridge to the city in the background.
For passengers flying low-cost carriers, the Family Mart air-side offers a good array of lunch options at very reasonable prices, and last-minute souvenirs, if you haven't shopped til you dropped already.
As I lined up at the boarding gate, Air India's mascot was ready to greet me, moustache and hair dress on hand. Looked like a stereotype though but the character is cute nevertheless.
I was back on the Dreamliner. It looked a bit beaten up even though it is not really such an old aircraft.
The aerials after take-off were quite good. We headed north then turned west, so my right window had a view of the city.
Kobe's airport is also on an island offshore.
The first round of service was drinks and nuts, which is typical on legacy carriers.
Then a decent lunch was served. I chose the Japanese option.
By now, the crew had dimmed all the cabin lights and the photos had a weird tint of blue. With no physical shades, this is the most unique element of the Dreamliner's interior.
Paying a visit to the bathroom, it had the standard amenities. I liked the shallower but wider basin.
Who in his or her right mind would flush a night suit or blanket down the toilet?
From Hong Kong, Air India operates 5th freedoms to Seoul and Osaka.
The flight passed by uneventfully and 3.5 hours later, I was back in Hong Kong.
Low-cost carriers are not always the cheapest when flying regional from Hong Kong. With so many airlines serving these 2 cities, it pays to do more research. Air India can offer a very affordable full-service option with decent departure and return times to waste less of your day in the air. While their planes are not well-maintained and show bad signs of aging, at least you can brag you flew on a Dreamliner, right? But given all the bits and pieces falling apart in the cabin, I hope these birds are still safe to fly.
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