I checked in with Malaysia Airlines for a whopping 39-minute flight to Singapore. (It's such a short flight because KLIA is already so far south of KL, it's nearly halfway to Singapore already.) After landing, we were taxiing to the terminal and I got to see my first and second Airbus A380s. One was a Singapore Airlines plane, the other was flown by Qantas. Now the world's largest passenger airplane, it really just looked like a regular big plane... until I saw it in relation to a Boeing 777, itself a huge jet. The A380 is mammoth... not so much because of its length (it's barely longer than a 747), but because its double-decker fuselage makes it just look so fat and massive. I can't wait for the day I fly on it. There are only 19 of these planes in passenger-carrying service in the world right now, so to see two in a span of a couple of minutes was pretty cool. I'm kind of an aviation nut, so I'm always fascinated by airplanes... my 7.5-hour flight from Singapore to Tokyo is on an Airbus A330, a twin-aisle medium-range jet. Despite being operated by Northwest Airlines, that flight should be okay since we at least have personal TVs in the seatbacks. Not sure if it's on-demand audio and video or not, though. However, in Tokyo, I change over to a Boeing 747-400 whose cabin clearly hasn't been dragged into the 21st century as it has only overhead TV screens. That should be a fun 11-hour flight, shouldn't it?
And for the first time, I'm not arriving in the U.S. at either of my normal gateway cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Instead, we'll be flying over Alaska and Canada into Northwest's main hub at Minneapolis. It's one of the few semi-major cities in America that I've not been to, so I'll at least get to cross that off my list as payment for the misery I'm sure to endure on this flight. (I figure if I just assume it's going to be sheer hell, even if it's mediocre, it'll seem great.)
Okay, it's about 1:15 a.m. now, so I'm going to take a nap for awhile and then freshen up for my 5:40 a.m. flight to Tokyo... more later!