The 23 hour journey to Tokyo Japan from Maine began with a 5:00AM pre-flight check-in at Bangor International Airport for the first leg of thre trip, a one hour flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Despite some rain and heavy clouds the Delta flight was quick and uneventful. A short 15 minute charter van ride to John F. Kennedy International Airport and checking into Delta’s non-stop New York-Tokyo flight #173. Being 5 hours early on a quiet Sunday morning meant no stress or long delayed ticketing and security screening at one of the world’s busiest airport.
The UMaine crew was in high spirits and used the waiting hours to eat, relax and become better acquainted with one another. The time went by much faster than anyone imagined. At 1:30PM we joined the 500 hundred other passengers boarding a stretch Boeing 747 jet aircraft bound for Tokyo Japan with continuing service to Manila.
What to do as you fly the famed Artic Circle route expected to take a mere 12-13 hours from take-off to touch down is quite a challenge. Everyone seemed well prepared and at ease. As I write this part of the blog posting approaching midnight, I am the only one awake. Having made this trip on more occasions than I can remember, I transitioned to Tokyo time (+13 hours) over the days before departure. With roughly four hours remaining in the flight, and feeling well rested from three solid hours of sleep, I am pretty much adjusted to it being early afternoon at our destination. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the crew adapts to the longest day journey.