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Exciting times: international flight reservation booked


railsquid

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railsquid

It's been over 4 years since I last left Japan. Basically this is the "avoid the 2020 Olympics" summer trip planned with the Squidlet, delayed by two years. Squidlet is super-excited about the whole idea, especially as last time he flew he was still drinking formula milk from a bottle.

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railsquid
Posted (edited)

Oh excellent - the stash of feudal paper currency I seem to still have will be (just about) valid for the duration of the stay. Next task: dig out the Rugged Three-Pronged Plug Adapter, as we will be heading into feudal Ring Main territory.

Edited by railsquid
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Kiha66

That's exciting news Squid!  I'm doing my first post-covid flight next week, only up the state to visit a rail museum but its nice to finally be traveling again.

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chadbag

We haven't done "post covid" flights but did a flight to Florida last year "mid-covid."  Didn't leave the country though so no weirdness like having to test etc.  Just wear masks (at the time).

 

Good luck Squid.  I've heard getting back into Japan is harder than leaving with the testing, MySOS app, etc.  No personal experience.

 

 

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railsquid
9 hours ago, chadbag said:

Good luck Squid.  I've heard getting back into Japan is harder than leaving with the testing, MySOS app, etc.  No personal experience.

 

As of today, there are no more checks on re-entry (from the "green" group of 98 countries), which is a great relief.  Just need a negative PCR test to be able to travel to Japan, so taking lots of masks etc.; will be visiting my parents in a mainly bracken-and-sheep infested corner of the Feudaldom, and the airline is still insisting on masks at all times, so hoping for the best.

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Tony Galiani

Enjoy your travels!

Just pack plenty of patience.  Just about every international trip we have done post-Covid has run into delays.  I was reading BBC this morning and it looks like there are flight cancellations for the holiday and, in the USA, there were quite a few this past weekend.  Our flight to Bonaire was delayed over three hours for somewhat silly reasons - though this stuff seems to be the norm lately.

We intend to keep at it - - but I make sure I have plenty of reading matter, crossword puzzles and snacks available for potential delays.  One nice thing about yesterday's mess was that people did not lose their cool about and were generally good about the issue.  On arrival, the lead flight attendant thanked everyone for their kindness and patience - I guess they have had not great experiences over the last few years.

Ciao,

Tony

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railsquid
8 minutes ago, Tony Galiani said:

Just pack plenty of patience.  Just about every international trip we have done post-Covid has run into delays.  I was reading BBC this morning and it looks like there are flight cancellations for the holiday and, in the USA, there were quite a few this past weekend.  Our flight to Bonaire was delayed over three hours for somewhat silly reasons - though this stuff seems to be the norm lately.

 

 

The flight records on Flightradar 24 for the flights in question show they've been pretty punctual, touch wood. Ironically part of the route is right over... Wuhan.

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cteno4
4 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

One nice thing about yesterday's mess was that people did not lose their cool about and were generally good about the issue.  On arrival, the lead flight attendant thanked everyone for their kindness and patience - I guess they have had not great experiences over the last few years.

 

Thats very nice to hear tony. Even way back I would continually be amazed at the short tempers at the airport and on planes. Really only does bad things does not help in any way except maybe for that person that is frustrated but their release/comfort comes at the cost to everyone else. One of the few times in my life where I consciously used my size to intimidate someone was in a line at the Phoenix airport to reschedule flights as there was a totally wild lightening storm going on (had been going on and off for over an hour and grounding all flights). This idiot was screaming at everyone they could take off in these conditions. There was a little olderlady between me and him and I could see she was starting to cry as she ranted and yelled so I said excuse me to her stepped around her and towered over the jerk and growled him in the most menacing voice I could come up with to shut his mouth or I’d find something to shut it with while trying to let as much spittle fly while saying this. He shut up and looked scared and I said thank you and went back Tom my place. Ive never been smiled at so big by so many people. Hated to do it but it was just unbearable. But sounds like nothing compared with what the flight attendants have had to deal with thru Covid.

 

have fun in you trip!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Tony Galiani

Good News for @railsquid - I am not likely to be on those flights so your chances of delays are greatly reduced!  Based on my post-Covid travels I have experienced delays on many of my flights and almost all my international flights.  Wondering if I could turn this to my benefit?  I could ask Forum members who post about their travel plans to send me Japanese trains to keep my from booking on their flights!  A new form of travel insurance!                                                                                         Tony

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Tony Galiani

Thought I might report on my recent flights and then see if anyone has suggestions about videos for travel.

 

We were delayed four hours out of Atlanta - no pilots and mechanical issues - then 30 minutes on the return out of Atlanta due to no flight attendants.  Never mind the huge delays in Customs, baggage claim and no taxis at RDU when we finally got in.

This is apparently the norm nowadays - every single person I talked to who has flown recently has had a similar tale to tell.

 

However, since I am a professional worrier - yes, I actually made a career out of worrying - we were generally prepared.  I packed plenty of snacks, had books to read on my iPad and even had real books - those things with pages you have to manually turn to read!  (I usually go to the thrift shop and pick up a few small paperbacks for travel).  Also plenty of chargers and a power bar.  And a New York Times puzzle book with the required pencils and extra erasers!  (I wish I was one of those people who could do the puzzles in ink.)

 

What I would have liked, and have not figured out if it is possible, is to have had some train videos to watch.  My wife loaded some movies from Netflix on her iPad and also indulged in a Downton Abbey binge.  Since I tend not to want to pay for inflight WiFi I could not indulge in train videos - it anyone has suggestions as to where I might find some to download, I would certainly like to hear them.

 

Ciao,

Tony

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disturbman

Doesn’t YouTube offers a “download” service these days? Iirc you have to pay a small amount to the content creator to be able to download the video. It’s part of their push for monetisation. I definitely have seen full route videos with that option.

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katoftw

Pay for the premium service on any steaming service and you can download to watch later without internet.

 

Or any of the train cruise or railway journal episodes we all had that you can download using google drive.

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I've travelled UK to Colorado this week for work via United Airlines and they had an episode from a tv show on the in-flight entertainment called '100 views of Japan' with a picture of a train on the preview (not sure what type). Didn't watch it on the outbound flight but will probably watch it on the return.

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chadbag
5 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

 

 

However, since I am a professional worrier - yes, I actually made a career out of worrying - we were generally prepared.  I packed plenty of snacks, had books to read on my iPad and even had real books - those things with pages you have to manually turn to read!  (I usually go to the thrift shop and pick up a few small paperbacks for travel).  Also plenty of chargers and a power bar.  And a New York Times puzzle book with the required pencils and extra erasers!  (I wish I was one of those people who could do the puzzles in ink.)

 

You don't have one of these or similar to help pass the time during delays?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Shredneck-Bassneck-Billy-Sheehan-Signature/dp/B01C6JJRC4/ref=asc_df_B01C6JJRC4/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=242014660953&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4557193076075746566&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9029738&hvtargid=pla-636007776699&psc=1

 

🙂😂😉

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I haven't done any traveling during Covid yet, but I do love watching train videos for whenever I have some downtime like that. NHK's Youtube channel and Youtube in general are easy to get videos from. I'm not sure about an official means to download Youtube videos, but they do have a lot of easy to use tools and sites you can use specifically for Youtube. There's plenty of sites where you can input a Youtube URL and get a download link, which is probably the easiest way to do it for most people.

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railsquid
  • Squidlet's international vaccination certificate thingy acquired; need to send off for mine (at the moment neither are required, but the more paperwork the better as You Never Know What Might Suddenly Change)
  • copies of long movies the Squidlet has only watched about 200 times so far loaded onto the laptop (note to self: check if in-flight entertainment system can accept input from an HDMI cable)
  • Imperial Ring Main plug adapter (3! Massive! Chunky! Prongs! Has its own fuse!) located and stored safely

As the first flight leaves late in the evening local time, I like to check it has taken off on Flightradar 24, then check on its progress next morning... It keeps me amused, I guess...

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Tony Galiani

@chadbag - I actually used to have something like that to take for travel.  But lately I have settled on doing more mental practice when I travel.  That has helped me a lot - though I now miss out on the conversations I would get into when I would pull out my travel bass to practice - it was great way to have conversations with random strangers.

 

@railsquid - we all know you can never have too much paperwork!  Just having paper is magic - on one entry we went to hand in our sheets and the agent didn't even look at them and just waved us on.  All I think was I could have taken some folded blank pieces of paper and held them in my hand and that might have worked for entry - and saved me the testing costs.  Though I haven't had the nerve to actually try that.

 

Cheers,

Tony

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railsquid
Posted (edited)

In further exciting news, I have fixed the partially stuck telescopic handle on the Big Suitcase! Which has been a bone of contention in the Squid household for the better part of a decade, as Mrs. Squid is unable to get her head around the fact that there is such a thing as a suitcase which can be repaired by the manufacturer and why don't I throw it away and buy a new one, while I insist it can and is far too good to throw away, just need sufficient round-tuits to make it happen. So finally worked out how much it would cost to fix (ca. 15,000 yen) and took one final look just in case (hah), and lo-and-behold it turned out that it was not in fact slightly twisted/bent out of shape as I'd always assumed, it was just that a retaining screw on the inner tube of one side of the handle had worked its way loose while inside the outer tube and was causing it to stick. Some lubrication and carefully applied force extracted the handle fully, and once the offending screws were tightened up (the one on the other side was loose as well) it is as good as new.

 

No doubt it will end up being run over by a baggage truck at the first opportunity, but until then I will bask in the glory of a job well done money well saved.

Edited by railsquid
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Giugiaro

150€ to fix a bag, OMG

I don't know how much it cost initially, but that's just ridiculous!

 

I already cringe when paying 75€ for the car's annual AC maintenance, eheheh.

 

Well, that's one more point for the Right to Repair movement! (And one more life given to the suitcase!)

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railsquid

A little over EUR 100 at the current exchange rate, and yes that is still less than half the original price. OTOH I don't own a car so can afford to splash out on quality suitcases (which IMHO are better value over time than buying cheap ones which fail irreparably after a couple of flights) :D.

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Giugiaro

I don't usually do conversions on these kind of situations. I do what I call a "reference value" comparison, where I convert directly from the basic unit of said country to mine.

 

Like 1€ is for me what 100¥ is for a Japanese, 1£ for a Brit, and 1$ for a North American.

 

Doing exchange rates skews the perspective. At current exchange rates 15000¥ and 150£ would be two completely different values in Euros, but both are equally painful to pay for each respective person.

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chadbag
On 6/11/2022 at 4:45 AM, Tony Galiani said:

@chadbag - I actually used to have something like that to take for travel.  But lately I have settled on doing more mental practice when I travel.  That has helped me a lot - though I now miss out on the conversations I would get into when I would pull out my travel bass to practice - it was great way to have conversations with random strangers.

 

I need to practice at home first, before I think about practicing on the road.   I do gently and not so gently "encourage" the kids in their bass and guitar practice.

 

Though when my son was first in a band (around 11) we went to Japan and his semester concert was right after we were to get back.  He wouldn't be practicing at all during the 3 weeks away.  I looked into buying another Ibanez Mikro bass for him to use in Japan to practice but ended up not doing it (too hard to find at the time and too expensive once found).

 

On 6/11/2022 at 7:17 AM, railsquid said:

In further exciting news, I have fixed the partially stuck telescopic handle on the Big Suitcase! Which has been a bone of contention in the Squid household for the better part of a decade, as Mrs. Squid is unable to get her head around the fact that there is such a thing as a suitcase which can be repaired by the manufacturer and why don't I throw it away and buy a new one, while I insist it can and is far too good to throw away, just need sufficient round-tuits to make it happen. So finally worked out how much it would cost to fix (ca. 15,000 yen) and took one final look just in case (hah), and lo-and-behold it turned out that it was not in fact slightly twisted/bent out of shape as I'd always assumed, it was just that a retaining screw on the inner tube of one side of the handle had worked its way loose while inside the outer tube and was causing it to stick. Some lubrication and carefully applied force extracted the handle fully, and once the offending screws were tightened up (the one on the other side was loose as well) it is as good as new.

 

That is awesome. I have a whole stack of things to be fixed in at some point in the future, that the wife has been trying to throw out.  I firmly believe in fixing stuff even if it takes me 10 years to get around to it. 


Sounds like the big adventure will be exciting.

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Tony Galiani

Just made it back from another international trip.  Only one flight cancellation this time so I guess that is an improvement.  I was on United for this trip and they do not send out an e-mail to alert you to flight changes but I tend to check my flight info periodically to play it safe.  Fortunately, I was able to manage my reservation and get a good option to return home.  And wonder of wonders - my return flight from Athens arrived early so it actually worked out better than expected.

 

I do recommend keeping an eye on any reservations.  The taxi driver who took us to the airport in Athens told us about one family that had its domestic flight cancelled so then the airline somehow cancelled all their return flights leaving them stuck in Athens.  They did manage to get a return flight but not without a hassle and stress.

 

Based on my track record this year - 6 international trips all with delays and flight changes plus one trip cancelled at the airport and one cancelled a few days before we were to leave, I have decided to alert forum members to my travels as a public service.  So - Germany in early October on Delta or United - exercise caution if planning flights from the US at that time as I may be on the flight along with my record of delays!

 

Ciao,

Tony

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railsquid

The only time I'm likely to transit US airspace in the foreseeable future is if I end up on one of those fun 14 hour flights from Japan to Europe which have to go the long way round over Alaska because Putin.

 

Fortunately so far the booked flight combination (going the other way over S. Asia / Middle East) has only shown one delay of ca. 2 hours on one segment since I've been tracking it.

 

Meanwhile I am giving the Squidlet some theoretical instruction on the art of air travel, with particular emphasis on the fact that it will involve an awful lot of Waiting Around For Things To Happen. Fortunately he's now at the age (7) where he will be able to make full use of the IFE, which I understand has a sophisticated flight tracking system with 3D views and outside cameras and whatnot which should keep him entertained for hours.

 

 

 

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