In transit, with bike

I flagged the first taxi I saw, and then the driver and I spent the next five minutes struggling to get the bike in. The bag was too wide for the trunk, so in the end we got it in the rear seat on a slant, with one window open.

On my return I’ll have to try and get one of those taxis that looks like a London cab.

At Shinjuku Bus Terminal I discovered my bus was leaving from 3F (instead of 4F as expected). It was a direct to Haneda International Terminal, without stopping at the domestic terminals. There were two of us aboard.

At Haneda I wasted 10 minutes struggling with the check-in kiosk. At first I had the wrong airline, and then it wasn’t reading my passport. When I finally entered all the info, it simply said it couldn’t check me in.

I sighed and got in line.

Once I got to the counter, everything went smoothly. The clerk measured the bike bag and said it was just within the limit. I was able to check my duffel bag as well, after removing the batteries, and there was no charge.

I followed a worker with my bike bag to the oversize luggage security check. There the workers cooperated to lift the rubber curtain on the X-ray machine to get the bag inside. It went through with about 1cm to spare.

If they put me on a 737, I’m bailing…

Welcome to Beijing

International transfer is still a question of finding some rather hidden signs. Parts of the process have been automated, and a very nice man helped me when the machine didn’t like my boarding pass.

After that it was still the line snaking behind a stairwell that I remember from three years ago. And then at security, a shock: they confiscated one of my batteries because the capacity was not shown. After I basically asked ‘Really?’ for the third time, I was led to a polite person who simply repeated the policy to me in English.

Bye-bye, battery. It wasn’t a cheap one, either. But I think I’ll be OK without it.

The signs before security did not say a thing about removing batteries from your bag, with the result that most bags had to be scanned repeatedly.

Air China airplane at gate with control tower and rising sun in background
Welcome to Beijing

All good things must come to an end, even nine-hour layovers in Beijing. Boarding for London next.

Oh, boy. Another A330. No elbow room.

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