In flight: New York to Tokyo and progressively smaller seats

Tokyo for the weekend seemed like a good idea. Actually, it still does seem like a good idea and I’m considering booking more similar trips, but I’m also somewhat hopeful that the trend I experienced on my last trip reverses itself. I managed to book a somewhat creative routing, passing through Hawaii on the way. As the travel progressed through the three flights the flight duration got longer and the seats got smaller. That’s not the way you really want to fly.

LaGuardia to Denver was the first hop and it was a pretty reasonable flight once we got past the part where the originally assigned aircraft had a "major fuel leak" and we got underway. Fortunately flights out of LaGuardia are generally quite well padded on the schedule and we weren’t all that delayed into Denver in the end. The United Airlines 757-200 was pretty much as expected. Nothing special in the seat nor the service, though being called aside during the delay for a personal briefing from the agent managing the delay was a nice touch for Global Services members. As it was a breakfast flight the choices were eggs or cereal. I chose the eggs for some strange reason.


Despite the interesting texture imprint on top the eggs were actually pretty good. The sausage and potatoes were very flavorful; the fruit pretty bland.

Once in Denver I chose to buy my own meal for the onward flight. Yes, my upgrade had cleared for the Denver – Honolulu flight, but something in me decided that was the right move. In the end I actually gave away my seat so a couple could sit together, in large part because I had that food, so it worked out well for everyone in question. Also, I had a much better meal for lunch than would have otherwise been the case. As I mentioned in the full post on that flight the crew was exceptional, perhaps to a fault, once they realized I had downgraded myself. Had it not been for the downgrade, however, I’m not so convinced. Either way, the seat was definitely smaller, though Economy Plus certainly doesn’t suck.


The last flight of the day, from Honolulu to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, was the longest and also involved the smallest seat, a regular economy assignment on an Air Japan d/b/a ANA 767-300. The interior was pretty similar to a Continental 767 so that was at least familiar to me, if not especially comfortable. The seats were fine, but nothing special. They do have a footrest under the seat in front but that was less than useful for a passenger taller than 5′ 7" or so.

The bulkhead in the mini-cabin actually looks quite comfortable but I was not so lucky to secure such a seat assignment.


I was rather impressed with the initial meal service on the flight. In economy we had a choice of a pork curry or scallops and asparagus main. Side included noodles as well as salmon and some veggies. One of the better coach meals I can remember recently.


Combined with the snack I picked up at the L&L just outside the airport it was sufficient to make for a pretty good dinner overall.

The flight also includes an arrival meal which wasn’t nearly as good as the first meal, but more than nothing. There were some pickled veggies, a fruit cup and a wrap that had some sort of meat-ish flavoring inside.


The best part of the flight for me was picking up a new carrier and a fun new line. The service was good, as is generally expected from the Asian carriers.


That the seats got progressively smaller during the trip as I got progressively more tired didn’t matter all that much; it turns out that I’ll sleep anywhere if I’m tired enough. Sure, I’d rather the trend was the other direction but I’ll take what I can get. Besides, I can claim it was prep for my pod hotel experience.

Just another day of living the dream.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. What would you guess your seat pitch was on the 763 to HND? That coach dinner certainly does look pretty good.

    1. The seat pitch is listed at 31″ and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that number. It was a little tight.

      I guess all my years of training on CO metal has me able to do that for 8 hours without hating myself upon arrival. 😉

  2. Are you in nihnbashi villa now? I am sitting in the lobby!
    (we met on the bos San run.)

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