Vanilla Air Flight Report
Tokyo Narita - Hong Kong

5 July 2015

With a devalued yen and proliferation of LCCs in the region, I found the cheapest summer flight from Tokyo back to Hong Kong on this airline. Vanilla is a Japanese LCC that charges for otherwise basic facilities. I paid 17,000 yen for the base fare, then a 500 yen processing fee and a standard checked bag for 4000 yen. This one-way wasn't particularly cheap, but still reasonable for summer holiday season.

My entire visit was marred by grey and wet weather. However, that didn't dampen my spirits to try a new airline.

Vanilla uses the basic but new Terminal 3 at Narita. From the train station, the walk is well sign-posted although a bit far. I liked how they paved the route in bright colours so it is nearly impossible to lose your bearings.

There wasn't a huge line at the international check-in area, although I arrived quite tight to departure.

Other budget airlines occupied the warehouse-like terminal.

There aren't that many flights departing from this terminal.

Yet there was still duty-free shopping available.

Boarding and departure was uneventful, and we roared into the rainy skies as usual. The seat was comfortable enough although I'm not a fan of narrowbodies and their 3-3 configurations.

I turned my attention to the shopping menu. LCCs don't give free meals, but I was surprised this Japanese carrier sold cheaper food than Hong Kong Express!

The flight was uneventful. The cabin was clean, staff were friendly, and I took a good rest until we started our descent. The weather in Hong Kong was beautiful and summer winds meant crispy clear skies. I was on the right side of the plane so I wouldn't be able to see the skyline on landing, but the views were nevertheless great.

Sai Kung is Hong Kong's untamed backyard.

Ma On Shan

Beyond the villages in the New Territories' Yuen Long, Shenzhen rises in the background.

Tuen Mun is another new town built quite far from the city.

Vanilla is gaining more familiarity in the Hong Kong market. Among the LCCs, the Tokyo route has been dominated by Hong Kong Express, but Vanilla offers a good product with cheaper in-flight catering. They are definitely worth a try if at the right price. The only down-side is how far Narita is compared to Haneda.

To re-use these photos or notify of errors, please email me. Thank you.

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