What a nightmare of a day, we woke up and got in our very punctual taxi to the airport (you can always rely on Berlin taxis to be punctual), check in at Tegel, got a very nice coffee and muffin and waited for our flight.
We borded only a little after the time we were meant to (got shuffled out of our aisle seat by some posh totty who felt a bit hippy) then on came the Captain and informed us we were to sit on the tarmac for about 40 minutes until we could get a slot to land in London, Uh oh we thought we already had a bit of a tight transfer this could be a problem. We took off and we started doing our calculations and came to the conclusion we should still be alright. Then the Captain came back on and stated again the due to the “adverse” weather conditions in London we were to go into a holding pattern before landing. Oh noes! this was going to me it really tight, we called the cabin crew and explained our situation, she said she wasn’t promising anything but since we had sat ourselves right at the front of the plane we should be able to nip off quick and stood a good chance of making it.
We landed, hurrah we though. We droves round the airport for several miles until we finally got to the furthest stand from the terminal and then the Captain advised us that the parking assistance hadn’t been switched on and instead of getting a jetty we would now be bussed into the terminal we just have to wait 5 minutes for ground staff to sort their act out.
We waited 5 minutes busses arrived and we were told that we would now be disembarking from the rear of the plain and we had to get to the C gates which was a train ride away, we had 25 minutes, no more oh noes, this was an oh fuck!
We got to the terminal legged it through fast track security relying on the kindness of others (I hope the bloke going to Seoul got his flight, he was on our flight from Berlin and his flight left 30 minutes after ours. He was a true gentleman letting us go first and I hope the karma gods smiled on him). Legged it to the train and then huffed and puffed the last little bit making it to the plane with 2 minutes to spare, it hung around about half an hour after departure times because others were late but that is beside the point.
We made it HURRAH!
We had a very nice uneventful flight looked after by Russ another belligerent Scot and I started to relax. We landed and I had a small cry being back in Japan after the last time was a bit emotional and I was looking forward to being back. Then Steve our Captain, we liked Steve and his announcements, came on to give us an announcement we didn’t really want to hear. Would passengers from Berlin, Milan, Paris and Barcelona please make their selves known to ground staff when they leave the plane. Me and Russ exchanged glances and his departing words to me were “make sure you get some cash”.
Right enough our luggage had not made the flight so after a short wait in a queue a very animated and apologetic Japanese man told us they would be delivered to our hotel tomorrow and we got given a visa card with about €70 on and we were on our way to Tokyo. Assuring ourselves this was not the worst thing that could happen, I had packed some basics and a change of clothes in the carry on, we arrived at the hotel tired but excited.
We were then met with the last problem of the day, they had allocated us a smoking room even though we had specifically booked a non smoking. It was also a holiday weekend and they were fully booked. Luckily they found us a room and assured us they could move us to the proper room tomorrow which was fine. We napped for 3 hours then I chucked myself in the bath, stuck on some clean clothes and we headed out to explore the local area and find some food.
We found a lovely little Yakatori place just down from Shinjuku station and I drank a very well deserved beer and filled my belly with lots of lovely Kawa and edemame. We stopped at Mr Donut on the way back and picked up desert ready to finally get some sleep. The day certainly could have gone better but we made it to Japan and we ate good food so all in all not the worst day in the world.