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Travel Tips for Nara | #travelkansai

Oh the attention i'm getting! Stop it ya'll *blush*  Can't believe i'm actually sharing this post but yeah..think dee...

Thank You ANA (All Nippon Airways)

The stewardess was so sweet, she gave Mariko a gift; an inflatable ANA plane model which
she didn't get to play with it, but it's kept beside her now.


This long overdue gratitude post to ANA that i've promised myself to write it out when i am ready. My first time flying with ANA as i found their pricing not much difference compared to our local Malaysian airlines in fact it was much more worth it flying with ANA as they upgraded their check-in baggage policy to x2 (23kg) luggages with in flight entertainment and food included as well which is exactly almost the same price with our local airlines except ours you gotta pay extra for baggage allowance upgrade, food, selected seats and entertainment which can easily cost more than what ANA has to offer.

This was Mariko's first flight was well, spent so many sleepless night reading up on babies who take fights, how to make her first experience as pleasant as possible. Got to know about breastfeeding her during take off and landing which worked very well because she didn't let out a single cry throughout the 7 hour journey and we landed at Haneda first to wait for our early morning transit at 7am.

Because this was my first time flying with a Japanese airline, i wasn't too sure about how their system works for people traveling with infant and i opt to carry Mariko on my lap because i was worried she might not like sleeping in the bassinet and in our online receipt there wasn't any seat stated, so that left me rather puzzled but i didn't call ANA up to verify lol also it's because it stated all i need to do is check in at the counter to get my seating info. On the day itself when i checked in, the counter did ask me if i wanted the bassinet seating because so happened Mariko was the only infant on flight, for those of you who don't know seating with bassinets are usually the front row as they need the space to attach the bassinet infront of your seat.
So i took that seating because why not right since i never tried before might as well give it a shot or i'll never know if she's comfortable with it or not and plus there are no additional charges for this as well.


The bassinet


Best part about ANA is how they give first class priority to mothers traveling with infants/ young children, expecting mothers and elderly people.


The minute i checked in, they readily offered a baby stroller for me to use which i politely decline as Mariko prefers to be carried instead and they had someone assigned to help me with my hand carry luggage too.
Seriously couldn't believe my eyes, all my life flying various airlines i never had any of the staffs helping me with my luggage EVER.


You'll get to board and disembark the plane first before everyone else and upon arriving there will  be an ANA staff assigned to you at the airport to help you around with your luggage too until you leave the airport premises.




Mariko slept exactly like a baby (well, technically she is) throughout the flight, i even got to go to the bathroom when she was sleeping in the bassinet while one of the stewardess helped me keep watch. Though i have mastered the art of going to toilet with the baby in my pittari wrap but it's always nice to put her down for a mama breather (60s will do) and she's heavy too.
So proud of my baby girl for adapting well on the flight, honestly i was kinda worried she might cry down the entire plane with her overly developed lungs and never underestimate a baby's wail, can be quite scary. When the couple beside me came to sit down, i have to apologize to them in advance in case Mariko disturb them with her cries, thankfully non of that happened, blessed indeed to have a well behaved baby.




Had delicious meal served and i finally got to watch Death Note 3, kinda like the OST by Amuro Namie!

Well, since she slept and woke up only once during the flight, her internal clock was naturally haywired when nightfall came so i was kinda grouchy with the airport announcement speakers in the the nursing room that gave both of us a horrid jump. That moment when you finally got your baby to calm down and the loud noise startled them, so there goes your efforts. Only mothers would understand how difficult it is to put their baby to sleep, think some would have even tore out the speaker and dump it outside lel, so that was pretty much our layover in Haneda airport. Sadly i couldn't drink coffee due to breastfeeding so cold  milktea and oden to keep me awake.

Silly me went to the wrong departure hall and even lined up at the counter before it was opened, just to find out that i was supposed to go to the domestic departure hall on G floor, not the international one on the 1st floor where i was standing (even feeling so proud of myself for being there on time) =_= 
By the time i found out about my mistake at the counter, it was too tight for me to catch my 7am flight already as i need to take the shuttle bus over to the other terminal as well and the next bus was at 8.45am. Cilaka indeed.
In the midst of panicking and all, they somehow managed to get me on the next flight at 10am without any extra charges, couldn't believe my ears! In Malaysia, if you missed your flight, the only solution you have is buy another ticket but over here is not the case, almost cried man. Thank you!
I'm glad one of the ANA staff escorted us all the way to the shuttle bus area and even help us checked- in our luggages. ANA you guys are awesome, really deserve the best service award.

We arrived safely in Osaka at 11am, but camped there for awhile to feed her and collect our pocketWiFi from NinjaWifi counter before taking the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport (KIX) to Kyoto central 

I thought we had the whole trip planned out, enjoy ourselves for 8 days and come back home, go about our lives like normal again because none of us saw what was coming.
It was difficult for me who was still in shock at that point of time to settle my flight changes and accommodation because i had to extend my stay, plus i had to go up to Tokyo because i need to go to the Malaysian Embassy in Shibuya to get the official documents and permit settled to bring Mariko's ashes home so it's only logical to request ANA to change my flight departure from KIX to HND (skip the transit).

Calling them up was a challenge for me as i was relying on my pocket WiFi throughout this whole trip so i don't have any telco service line while i was in Japan, i couldn't receive nor make any calls unless i am using whatsapp or facebook messenger to call. Guess that was one of the pros and cons of not activating your service provider while overseas, when emergencies like this happen you are unable to contact anyone or they can't contact you at all unless you can borrow a local's phone or access to those coin phone booths.
I was told by the police initially to just extend my stay because we do not know how long the autopsy was going to take and the final ruling after that and worst case i could be ask to stay behind for a month till everything is settled.

But i got the report on Tuesday noon after anxiously waiting for the results over the weekend + Monday and i was briefed of the whole procedure from getting all the official statements & documents, to cremation and the final permit in Tokyo. When i had all this information that's when i could finally call up ANA to reschedule my flight, but i couldn't call them because as i mentioned above my phone was useless without an active service provider.
Thank goodness one of the kind staff (God bless you!) in the place i stayed at lent me her phone to call ANA up, this whole process took almost 3 hours in total just trying to switch and confirm my flight home to Malaysia. Nerve wrecking indeed because I had to hold on the line for 45 minutes at one point and afterwards they told me they will call back but only did so after an hour because they had to check on the availability. I was scheduling to fly back on the same date & time as Mariko's Godparents who were with us throughout this whole ordeal.


I told them about my situation so they can advise me on the necessary procedure, that's when i found out that for cases of an existing customer's passing (my daughter) before their flight they make an exemption of additional charges of my flight changes and even refunded the 10% infant charges (within 3-4 months) which i was grateful for. But you'll need to email them a copy of the official death certificate for them to verify, process & issue out a new ticket.


It's something i didn't know about and couldn't find any info about it on the site was even ready to pay for the extra charges. Their operator spoke decent English though there were some hiccups along the way, i'm glad everything was settled with just a couple of phone calls. I forgot the name of the Japanese phone operator that helped me out that night (6th feb), but if you are reading this post, thank you so much.


A new ticket was issued out almost immediately upon them verifying the document that was sent via email (within 24 hours).
They are really efficient in handling various situations.

When it was finally time to board the plane to go home, one of the stewardess came up to me to offer her condolences and asked if there was any assistance needed, i'm truly amazed that they informed the crew on that flight as well. You have provided one of the best services ever ANA, from being a baby friendly airline to being helpful in every single way possible; I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for us.
Definitely rated as top service in my books and if any parents looking to travel to Japan near future with their children i would recommend to fly with ANA.


I bought this for Mariko when we first landed in Haneda in memory of her first flight 



Forever Grateful,

CONVERSATION

11 comments :

huey ling chan said...

I can understand that you are moving forward. Write more about your little darling girl. Wold love to read about her.

Arisa Chow said...

I will, thank you for supporting huey ling!

Kelly Lee said...

Mariko is so cute!The flight meal look delicious~Have fun for your japan trip

Ana Suhana said...

having a baby with you in flight can put you in very uncomfortable situation. but after reading this entry i can say that both of you enjoy your time on board and Mariko was well behaved. Looking forward to survey with Ana because I plan to visit japan in future.

tenku butang said...

I have no experience of carrying a baby on an airplane.. maybe this entri can guide me.. =)

Em said...

This is such a bittersweet post. ANA really did they best for travelling with a baby and as a grieving parent.

Miera Nadhirah Tan said...

This is such a nice post... remember the good time and hope I can get to travel on Ana airlines one day and experience their hospitality

Rawlins GLAM said...

There's a well-behaved baby Mariko. And you get to travel now - lucky you baby Mariko!

Zayani Zulkiffli said...

I love your daughter name, so kawaii! I always adore people take care of their baby on flight. I can't imagine one day when I have a baby. haha

GengQian said...

my friend complained about ANA but glad to read another story which tells the otherwise. Mariko was such a good girl, will be sending my good thoughts to her. take care dear. :)

Pen My Blog said...

Awh babe, Mariko behaved so well on the flight. Can see that ANA did their best to ease the trip and to providing the best for you and her. All my love to you both always <3

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