The Flight Attendant Is Out to Get Me

I am now 17 hours into this trip, and we still haven’t landed in Tokyo. We connect from there to an 8-hour flight on ANA that will take us to Jakarta.

This flight is on United, which is a new thing for me. Usually I fly Delta or one of their partners, but this really was a spectacular deal (even including cost to upgrade to business). I’ve made incessant comparisons between the two, but really the differences in flight are relatively small and picky. If I would have a preference it goes to Delta simply based on cabin configuration, but this is all very much a first-world problem.


On the other hand, Delta doesn’t fly the 787. This is mostly a wonderful plane with carbon-fiber wings that sweep gracefully upward into the sky. It has higher cabin pressure and humidity than other planes, which makes for less ear-popping and overall a more comfortable flight.

The 787 also eschews traditional window shades, instead using really cool larger windows that darken on command. They seem like a great idea, but in the end are a bit of a disaster. They are really nice when it’s bright out and need sunglasses. As we were on the starboard side of the plane, away from the sun, they seemed to work really well. But, they don’t block out direct sunlight very effectively, and even at their darkest setting the sun is blinding when it is on your side of the plane.

I think the flight attendant knows I fly Delta – she keeps forgetting me. She asked if I wanted my appetizer of sesame coated tuna and California roll, then forgot to bring it to me. Following this was the salad. It’s a green salad. I can’t make a green salad interesting, except that the flight attendant asked whether I wanted balsamic vinaigrette or honey peppercorn dressing. I asked for the honey peppercorn. I got balsamic, and it wasn’t particularly good. I guess I could have asked her again for the other dressing but I felt like I was already being difficult in asking for the appetizer and such.

For dinner P chose the short ribs. They looked good. I feel like its a sign of insanity to order the same thing as the person next to you, so I ordered the tamale-stuffed chicken. 

Then there was a cheese course and dessert. I feel like Delta makes you choose between cheese and dessert. I don’t like having to choose. I prefer this option.

After this I slept for a while. I had started the day with a low-grade headache, and headaches just seem to persist on the plane. I was hoping sleep would help, but after about 4 hours I woke up and still had the headache. This wasn’t going well. I commenced with aggressive hydration, and eventually had a moment of sanity and took some ibuprofen and zofran. I can feel these headaches breaking, and was reassured when I started feeling cold and flushed – that’s what happens. So I slept for two more hours and woke up feeling much better.

The flight itself was great. An hour and a half from Tokyo they brought breakfast of Chicken Katsu. By this point in the flight I’d been eating for hours, so didn’t eat much. And there isn’t much to say about a breaded chicken cutlet on a bed of rice.

We were late leaving Denver due to a faulty ice sensor on the wing, but have made up some of the time. Still we will have a little over an hour to make our connection in Tokyo, and as long as the airport isn’t set up like CDG we should be ok.

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