Greetings from Tokyo’s Haneda airport. It is a beautiful facility and, for wholly international itineraries, it is a very easy connection point. And for me, right now, it is home to the worst three hours of travel.
I’m en route from New York City to Bangkok for work. That’s a minimum one connect itinerary no matter what and the connections are generally well timed. The three hour layover here in Tokyo really isn’t all that bad. But I just spent 13 hours intermittently dozing on a plane and I’m not even half way to my destination. All I really want is to lay down in a bed and sleep for real and that will not happen for quite a while yet. In the meantime I have to keep myself sufficiently engaged these next three hours so that I don’t fall asleep in the terminal and miss my flight.
And so I engage in my typical distractions to get through the connection. I can play with the beer machine in the lounge, for example. Though too many plays is not good either.
There’s a noodle bar in the lounge as well, though I’ll eventually almost certainly go out into the terminal for a more substantive snack.
And with a decent wifi signal and a need to catch up on the past 13ish hours of what happened in the world I can pass the time just fine, I’m sure.
I should also note that I added a second connection in my trip – I fly JFK-HND-KUL-BKK – to save a few hundred dollars. It also adds a few hours to the total trip time. Even without the extra hop I’d still be a 7 hour flight from getting there. And the 5:30a arrival wouldn’t be much fun, either.
I’ll also suggest that this would be pretty awful, even had I been in a premium cabin to get to Tokyo. I actually managed to sleep a decent bit through the 13 hour flight, even without a flat bed on board. That wouldn’t change the fact that I’m still only half way to my destination.
That said, I’m banking on the total exhaustion to work in my favor. It is 8am NYC time in my brain right now but 8pm in Bangkok. I need to make that shift and quickly so that I’m coherent come time for my presentations next week. Maybe these few hours of semi-delusional wandering through the terminal will keep me in a sufficiently tired state such that I continue to sleep through the rest of the journey. That leaves me “awake” at 10a local time when I finally get to Thailand.
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