Friday, 30 September 2011

Flying on the defunct Northwest Airlines flight 21 from NRT to SIN

Welcome to my return trip report on Northwest, NRT-SIN!

*Aircraft photos are credited to the respective photographers from

For part 1, please check out this link.

I had a great time at Tokyo, unfortunately my short stay ended too quickly. It was time to go home and I wasn't keen. I went to the airport quite early and checked in. Northwest was quite prominent at Narita Airport and you would see a good mix of Boeing 747s, DC-10s and Airbus A330s (DC-10 replacement). I think the airline's fleet was even more than Delta, American and United. Unfortunately, the airline was taken over by Delta as it couldn't cope to continue alone as it was making huge losses at that time. So this was my last flight with the airline, a sad affair it turned out to be.

I remembered at that time, the first thing I did after going through immigration was to head straight to the gate to check what registration of the aircraft I would be flying on. I wouldn't mind getting myself on a DC-10!
However when I reached the gate, I was disappointed to see N861NW, the same aircraft that took me to NRT, waiting at the gate, so no new registration for me.

My flight route: NRT-SIN

Carrier: Northwest
Flight number: NW21
Date: 29th March 2009
Routing: NRT-SIN
Seat number: 34L
Aircraft type: Airbus A330-223
My 2nd ride on NW861NW and 2nd ride on Northwest
4th airline flown with Airbus A330-200
Engines: PW4168A
Line number: 796
Registration: N861NW (Smacks his head)
Flight duration: 7 hours
Load factor for Y class: 80%

                    Meanwhile, I did some plane spotting at the air-side.

Northwest Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 747-400 (Right tail)

Delta Airlines Boeing 757-200 with winglets

Northwest Airlines Boeing 757-200 with winglets

Korean Air Boeing 777-300

ANA Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-300 (Right)

United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER (Tulip Livery)

Turkish Airlines Airbus A340-300

United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER (Grey Livery)

ANA Boeing 737-700

Delta Airlines Boeing 747-400

Continental Boeing 777-200ER

My biggest regret was checking in early, I could have spent more time plane spotting at the observation deck. However, I managed to spot some nice stuff at the air-side, so wasn't too disappointed in the end. Leaving Japan is always the hardest for me, up till today (July 2014), I appreciate a lot of the country's culture, food and tradition. I have to come back more often to visit other cities. As for now, aviation has changed quite a lot, we have the Low Cost Carriers now, newer aircraft and airport infrastructure has improved and grown bigger. Comparing now and then, flying in the past was more enjoyable even though the air tickets back then were more expensive. Flying the Japanese premium carriers are still expensive and if you want to book with them, its best to wait for promotion. Not worth paying about S$1K for them.

My ride home on N861NW

On board experience

I had the seat beside me free, my flight experience on this sector was similar to my previous one. Heading back to Singapore at this time was ideal but reaching there at almost midnight wasn't that good, but at least I got to spend half a day in Tokyo. The in-flight crew were mostly served by Asians - a good mix of Japanese and Singaporean crew. Service was average and the flight was a bit turbulent at some point of it. However, time went passed fast and soon I found myself back home.

Economy Class

Business Class


I am very happy to have gotten this airline into my flight logbook. It's a good thing that I made the decision to fly with the airline then. Not only the air ticket was cheap, I got to fly the airline before its legacy was over. This airline back then had a long history and it was depressing for aviation enthusiasts to see another the livery of another airline disappearing from the sky for good. American West, TWA, Pan Am, Braniff, Ozark, Northeast, Piedmont, Air Florida...are just a few that used to grace the American sky and some of them operated international flights which spotters from other parts of the world got to see. Unfortunately for me, I didn't start this hobby until in the late 90s and by then quite a number of these airlines had disappeared.

In-flight service, meal and seats were average, nothing much to shout about. Still better than United Airlines, I flew with this airline to SFO and back on the Boeing 747-400. I remembered that time, I emailed to UA asking whether was it possible to change my flight to Boeing 777 instead (It was quite new at that time), they did reply me and told me my flight required the capacity of the 747 and apologised to me for not able to change the aircraft type! I was pleasantly surprised with that.

Anyway, I miss you, Northwest Airlines!

My rating:

Website: 7/10
On ground service: 8/10
Tokyo Narita Airport experience: 7/10
In-flight service : 6/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Cleanliness : 10/10
Punctuality: 8/10
Seat Comfort: 7/10
IFE System: 6/10
In-flight meal: 6/10
Overall rating: 75/100

Thank you for reading my trip report!

Check out my Part 1.


No comments:

Post a Comment