I booked my return flight back to the USA while I was in New Zealand. I’m not sure why I thought a red eye would be a good idea. Maybe one less night at a hotel or better use of time? I’m not really sure, I tend to not make the best decisions when I’m fatigued.
If you fly a red eye it’s best you get on a good airline. I booked my return using my United miles so I needed to stay within Star Alliance and luckily most everything with the exception of United is nice.
I had a 9 hour flight from Melbourne to Bangkok and then another 6 hour flight to Tokyo on Thai Airways. I used to fly Thai Airways when I lived in Beijing and would travel to Bangkok. I remembered it was nice and I can confirm it’s still nice. The plane was not full so I got a window seat and an empty middle seat next to me. I normally can’t sleep on planes but I managed to pass out for a good 5-6 hours. Thai Airways has a nice recline similar to Cathay Airways where the seat slides out as you recline.
When I eventually woke up I watched a few movies but it’s coming to the point I’ve already seen all the good movies so the entertainment doesn’t interest me as much. If I can get sleep I’ll take it.
I thought I had slept enough on the first flight to Bangkok I was surprised when I passed out again on my flight to Tokyo. They served us breakfast and then right after while watching Fantastic Four I couldn’t keep my eyes open and had to sleep immediately. This time I was in the middle section in a middle seat with an open seat to my right and to my left. I’m not sure why they put me in the middle and not the aisle but I didn’t mind since I had full use of two armrests.
They woke us up for snack time. When we were about 40 minutes to landing the captain announced Mt. Fuji would be visible on the left. Since I wasn’t in a window seat I stood up and tried to peer into the window. Everyone in my section was trying to check it out, even the flight attendants got in on the action. I did get a chance to sit by the window and grab a photo. It is an amazing sight to see a mountain top rising above the clouds.
When I hiked in New Zealand they informed us the Mt. Fuji they filmed for the movie, ‘The Last Samurai’ is actually in New Zealand. Having now seen both I can see they look similar from far away.
By the time I finally landed in Narita I was exhausted.