Monday, March 17, 2014

Tokyo's Narita Airport finally gets rid of its train in favor of a moving walkway

View of Tokyo from the Yama-no-ue tempura restaurant

The other day, in Tokyo living a Travelife, I flew out of Narita Airport on a perfectly beautiful day.

It had been largely cold and rainy for the most part of my stay in Japan, so I was quite sorry that the first inkling of spring just happened to be on the day I was leaving.

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NO MORE TRAINS

At Narita Airport, however, I was quite happy to note that they've finally eliminated that pesky automated train they used until recently, to ferry arriving and departing passengers from the satellite terminal to the main building.


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It was always hard to fathom how one of the most efficient countries in the world could even think of using a train to ferry people back and forth.

Lots of other countries use it at their airports, too, but Japan is supposed to be good at managing and maximizing efficiency.


FIRST OUT OF THE PLANE,
BUT STILL WAITING IN LINE

First course on business class yesterday,
Tokyo - Manila

If you were a business class passenger landing at Narita's satellite terminal and in a rush (one of the main reasons people choose business class or first class, after all, is so that they can be ahead of everyone else for disembarking and luggage collection), you indeed got out of the plane ahead of everyone, but you nevertheless had to wait for the train.

THOSE CRUCIAL FEW MINUTES

The great new moving walkway at Narita Airport

The train was the great equalizer because it always meant a delay of several minutes, renderring that "ahead advantage" of business class practically useless.

But yesterday, for the first time, I saw that Narita had closed their train operations and replaced this with a moving walkway that spanned the entire corridor between the satellite terminal and main building.

Finally, there's no waiting for slow trains, and I'm quicker to head out of the airport and on to the next  adventure in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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