Date: July 23, 2017
Flight No.: NH1230
Route: Sapporo New Chitose to Sendai
Airline: ANA Wings
Type: Bombardier Dash 8 Q400
Since I had to be in Minami-Sanriku in the Tohoku region of Japan the day after the Chitose Air Festival back in July, I flew from Sapporo to Sendai instead of flying back to Tokyo. The short hop was operated by an ANA Wings Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.
An Early Check-In for the Flight
While the flight was not scheduled to depart until 5:55PM, the first thing in the morning of, I headed to check-in and drop my bag off. That way, I could avoid the stress of having to hurry back from the airshow into the terminal in order to catch my flight.
Since there were plenty automated check-in machines, I had a boarding pass in no time, and the baggage drop off didn’t take much longer either.
With the formalities done, I headed to the airshow for the day.
Boarding the ANA Wings Flight
With the airshow over, I headed back to the airport. Since I had some time to spare, I visited the observation deck quickly to take a photo of a Hawaiian Airlines 767. Then, around one hour before the departure time, I headed through the security.
I got a “bento” for dinner in one of the airside stores, and headed to Gate 0. Thinking back, in the hundreds of flights I’ve taken, that must’ve been the first time my flight was departing from “0.”
Shortly after I finished my dinner, an announcement was made that boarding would start around 5:40PM. And, indeed, at 5:44PM, passengers were called to board.
Once my boarding pass was scanned, I walked down the long hallway. Then, I headed through the jetway and through a special attachment into the ANA Dash 8. Similarly to boarding through Gate 0, it was my first time boarding an aircraft that small through a jetway.
Departing Sapporo Onboard the ANA Wings Dash 8
Onboard, I settled in my seat – 12A – and waited for departure.
At 5:59PM, a couple of minutes behind schedule, the jetway was pulled away from the aircraft and the crew closed the door. Simultaneously, the other flight attendant passed through the aircraft offering blankets. …on a one hour flight in a turboprop…
A manual safety demonstration and pushback followed at 6:01PM, and the engines were started just a minute or two later.
We started taxiing at 6:06PM, and at 6:13PM we took off from runway 01L at its A7 intersection. A 180-degree right turn followed before we set our course towards Sendai.
Cruising from Sapporo to Sendai
Within a couple of minutes from take-off, we reached the coastline. The seatbelt sign was switched off a bit more than 10 minutes after take-off, and a welcome announcement by the crew followed.
Among other things, our estimated arrival time of 7:20PM was mentioned, together with the weather in Sendai – 25 degrees and rain.
Next up was the service. Since it was just a short domestic hop, only drinks were provided. I asked for apple juice. Since I was using my laptop, I was offered a lid and a straw so that I wouldn’t spill the drink on it – a nice little touch as usual with ANA and JAL.
Around 6:50PM, the Captain addressed us over the PA. Among other things, he confirmed the ETA of 7:25PM. He also mentioned that we were flying over Morioka at that point, and that we could expect a bit of a bumpy descent.
At the same time, the person sitting next to me woke up – and noticing that, the crew immediately approached him asking if he wanted any drink.
I had a quick look into the seat pocket, and soon, it was time to descend.
Arriving at Sendai Airport
The descent started at 6:58PM, and a couple of minutes later, the seatbelt signs were switched back on.
Once again, this time by the cabin crew, passengers were reminded of the possible turbulences. They were also reminded to, in case they felt unwell, “use the bags in the seat pocket sooner rather than later.” I had never heard such an explicit announcement before, but I guess it was a nice reminder for the people that did not know about the waste bags in the seat pockets.
After about fifteen minutes of descending, at 19:12, the landing gear was lowered. At that point, photos were impossible to take due to the darkness outside. And due to the reflections of the lights inside the aircraft. Interestingly, ANA never switches off its lights on descend.
We landed on runway 27 of Sendai airport at 7:14PM, and – following a very hard braking – we taxied to our arrival spot which we reached at 7:18PM.
I got off the aircraft, got on the bus that was waiting, and a couple of minutes later was dropped off at the terminal. After getting my bag, I left the luggage claim area and caught the train that connects the airport with Sendai station in the city.