Japan 2017 thread

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Donza, May 9, 2016.

  1.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    Just got hit with the bullshit 'computer says no' $100USD charge on checkin at JAL in Bangkok travelling business class for total bag dimensions over 203cm with our DB (total length is actually 203cm). All the check in staff are just Thai contract, they were fine. It was the Japanese station manager who pulled out the tape measure. Tried to argue and get reasoning on the charge from him but all he would do is smile and bow.

    Have flown TG, CX, IB, QR, QF, AB, UA, AA all around the world with the DB and never had to pay as long as within weight allowance and never come across the total dimension charge. Pretty ridiculous really, but this is Japan hey.

    Won't be flying JL again. Luckily flying TG home.
     
  2.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    You should write a letter to them not that it would do any good. It is a ridiculous restriction.
    Sounds like we probably have a similar sized db and we're flying JAL for the first time in 13 years this trip. Just hoping we don't fall foul of the same rule applied by an over zealous staffer.
     
  3.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    So you mean that even though that you come in at 203 cms, you're geting wacked for being OVER 203?? Am I reading you right?
    Have you just got skis in there or stuffed with other things as well?
     
  4.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    There seem to be two interpretations that are used:
    - Maximum length = 203cm
    - Total dimensions = 203cm. e.g. 160cm x 23cm x 20cm => A + B + C = 160 + 23 + 20 =203 Max

    JAL's policy is the second:
    https://www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/baggage/checked/

    I've seen a friend get hit with this one time with Qantas.
     
  5.  
    telenomore

    telenomore Well-Known Member

    The rule states the 3 dimensions of a piece of luggage, X, Y and Z, must add up to no more than 203 cm, so that TIL is over that dimension if the length alone is 203 cm (if Im reading that post right). You'd need pretty short skis and nothing else in the bag to get under it. But the issue is total lack of consistency. When JAL bought this new baggage allowance rule in, they doubled there weight allowance (up to 46 kg I think), but put size restrictions on, pretty much knowing they'd catch the ski boom. Guess what is exempt? Golf club bags? I guess JAL execs are golfers and not skiers. Then there were endless arguments at check in, particularly Sydney, about this, so a few years ago, I found them not applying the size rule on ski bags and so did many friends and customers, also coming out of Sydney, but the actual rule had not changed, they were just not enforcing it. I'd say if you contact JAL they'll stonewall and refer you to the rule. Maybe they have started enforcing it again everywhere, or maybe the contractor in Thailand didn't get the memo to lighten up on the dimension rule. Either way, if flying JAL, its would be worth a phone call to them before boarding to see what they say. Surprises and arguments at check in are not a fun part of travel.
     
  6.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    The last time I flew JAL, maybe 4 or 5 years ago I remember them measuring my ski bag at Narita (outbound to Syd). I don't recall any issues re. size. Was it still 203 cms back then? I don't remember.

    I'm flying JAL this time. However, the last couple of trips I've put skis in a DB Slim Jim. Less bulk than the regular DB ski bagand designed to only fit one pair of skis. It's essentially ONLY for skis and stocks. I find packing a ski bag with other things as well as skis makes it too heavy and awkward to move around the subways etc. The slim jim, together with a cabin size DB backpack (that has my boots) and a roller suitcase works really well for me. The suitcase glides onto the escalators easily and the (lightweight) slim jim ski bag can easily be held vertically OR I can roll it if I need/want to.

    The point being, though, if you have a ski bag with just skis and stocks, then you shouldn't end up going over the 203 cms threshold. I don't have my skis/stocks and slim jim handy to check, but I'll measure it up and check. My skis that I'll be taking are 176 cms long. Round that up to, say, 180 cms. That leaves 23 cms for width and breadth. Hmmm.o_O
     
  7.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    Yep it is the 203cm total. So with 180cm ski's you have only got 10cm x 10cm available which is nearly impossible even in a single ski bag!

    Luckily we take the one DB between two of us so is only $50USD each.

    But yea never fun having check in arguments. Such an arbitrary rule. He nearly couldn't believe it was ok on other airlines until the contracted Thai checkin agent (who would do many airlines) said to him, JAL only airline to do this.

    I will be contacting them. But now it's time to enjoy the trip!

    Just got out of the onsen/bathhouse at Nagoya airport. Bloody amazing, standing in the nud outside watching the planes take off and land! Great way to freshen up after a red eye flight.
     
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  8.  
    M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Yes, this is great. Until my then 2yo ran out the doors completely butt naked with me chasing him in my boxers.
     
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  9.  
    LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I found trouble once with ski bag dimensions and it was a codeshare with JAL.
    They enforce for the sake of following the rules. Crazy really as the ski market is big in tourism sector for Japan. And JAL should be making it easier, not harder, to grab more of the market.
    But cest la vie.
     
  10.  
    PerthBoarder

    PerthBoarder Active Member

    I got through on JL Sydney to Narita with a total dimension of 214cm with no one batting an eye lid. I'm expecting the tape measure to make an appearance on my way out at Narita though.

    A few months ago I phoned them to see if I could get around the stupid rule. Conversation went round in circle, just kept telling me what the rule was
     
  11.  
    Bluebird

    Bluebird Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    We got stung at NRT about four years ago. Annoying at the time but we knew the rule before we went and took the chance with our ski bag anyway. We reasoned that $100 extra fee on the way home was much cheaper than the two of us hiring gear for 12 days.
     
  12.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Rules are rules, I guess. But really, what better way to discourage potential customers, than coming up with these stupid rules in the first place? Weight limits, I get. But this?!?
     
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  13.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Yeah got stung 3 years ago with JAL on this. Will never use them again
     
  14.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Going over or coming back?
     
  15.  
    seekingpow

    seekingpow Dedicated Member

    Talked my through it in Sydney departing, I even cleared it with their call centre months in advance. Got stung coming back from NRT for about $60
     
  16.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Bugger.
     
  17.  
    Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    I think the rule has been in for a few years with JAL, I remember worrying about it about four years ago. I used to always take a big coffin with 188 skis and all my stuff jammed in. Way over. The rule was never enforced.
    Now I' m down to the slim Jim etc as described by@Tonester above, so I can manage the gear in trains and cars.
    Interested to see if those who get slugged on international check in also cop it on internal flights in Japan.
     
  18.  
    ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Active Member

    looking for any recommendations for reasonably priced Tokyo accommodation that the Airport limousine service picks up from, got a recommendation from here 4 or 5 years a go and it was perfect but cant remember the details now
     
  19.  
    Crispy013

    Crispy013 Dedicated Member

    Not a bad first day intro to Kyoto for the +1. Felt warm though, and crowds almost unbearable. I can see why though with these views.

    [​IMG]
     
  20.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Here are the hotels that are on the Limousine bus route. http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/hotelguide/index.html

    It is not something I've looked at fro a very long time as these days if staying in Tokyo I just stay in a business hotel near Ueno station which are normally around Y6000-7000.

    The hotels on the bus route are normally the bigger western type hotels which are more expensive. The trick I remember was to find a cheaper hotel a few mins walk from one of the listed ones.
     
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  21.  
    ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    NYD at kyomizu temple... Not surprised with the crowds
     
  22.  
    oppositelock

    oppositelock Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Shizen! The place was basically empty when I went in early Feb.
     
  23.  
    ratherb@thesnow

    ratherb@thesnow Active Member

    Thanks Heinz, great info,found it - Shiba Park Hotel, actual has its own bus shuttle rather than the Limo service
     
  24.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    LOL Shiba Park Hotel sounded familiar - just checked my 1996 notes and that is where I stayed for a couple of nights. I caught the Limousine bus to the Tokyo Prince Hotel then walked around the corner to the Shiba Park Hotel. Subway close by as was of course Hamamatsucho station.
     
  25.  
    Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 Active Member

    JAL now off my list. Japan Tourism needs to take note as baggage dramas often leave a bad experience, 'helping' people to select alternatives destinations (USA, Canada, Europe to name a few).
     
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  26.  
    Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Yes from our point of view but from a Japanese point of view, this is the rule and why would anyone think to question it, let alone become upset? I'm surprised it was not enforced on me for numbers of flights. Maybe because it all starts with check in in Australia rather than Japan and the whole thing just flows through
     
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  27.  
    LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    It was the very first place we stayed in Tokyo EVER, was not a great experience initially but our room was moved eventually to match the booking description. It was one of the 3 offered in 'packages' for Tokyo - the middle level option, not budget, not luxury. Gotta admit the location was handy.
     
  28.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    I don't recall anything particular about the hotel itself, so was probably ok, but location was the main thing. Easy walk to the monorail station to get to Haneda. Do recall that it was a 15-20 walk to Roppongi where I went to a cool Reggae bar with some band playing including a Japanese reggae version of Hey Joe.
     
  29.  
    LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    It's going back a while to recall all the details (plus I have a few memory recall issues from when I was sick)....but IIRC it was undergoing refurbishment and some rooms/areas had been done, some hadn't. Our initial rooms had broken furniture and mould growing up the walls in the bathroom and bedroom and inside the bar fridge. The mould was a significant issue due to a couple of asthmatics in the family who react to mould, dust and pollen.

    Room we were moved to was larger, spotlessly clean, nothing broken, as advertised. So it was all good. It was just the process of expressing disappointment/dissatisfaction with the room and requesting to be moved that was difficult (- because Japan.)
     
  30.  
    Hyst

    Hyst Active Member Season Pass Gold

    Any information on the fatal avi today in Hakuba?
     
  31.  
    Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Season Pass Gold

    Skier triggered, Happo North face?
     
  32.  
    Hyst

    Hyst Active Member Season Pass Gold

    Might be that - only briefly heard about it on NHK, but could not find definite information.
     
  33.  
    smitty484

    smitty484 Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Was it fatal? - but yes apparently skier triggered in north faces
     
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  34.  
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Has anyone stored luggage at Tokyo for an extended period of time (about a week)?
     
  35.  
    shabu_shabu

    shabu_shabu Active Member Season Pass Gold

    Rail Go Service at Tokyo Station. 15 day max. Around ¥400 per day for the first 5 days and then doubles after that. There is one of those groovy YouTube videos that shows you the location. It is just outside the actual station.
     
  36.  
    Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Are you heading out of Tokyo and coming back? If you stay at the same hotel before and after chances are they will store your gear in the meantime without charge.
     
  37.  
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Yes we are doing just that, good idea and I'll look into it.
    Awesome I'll Youtube them now!
     
  38.  
    BammBamm

    BammBamm Active Member

    Dumb question but I've forgotten which terminal at Narita the row of taqbin are for sending stuff on to my accomodation?
     
  39.  
    Tonester

    Tonester Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Look like there's baggage services at either terminal
    http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/en/tourist/airport/
    I used black cat in Terminal 2 a few years ago. Google narita airport map to find exact location
     
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  40.  
    BammBamm

    BammBamm Active Member

    Yeah that's what I thought but last year I went to one and then got sent to another. But looking at the link maybe it just got lost in translation! Cheers
     
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  41.  
    ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

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  42.  
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Lowest temp tonight will be 29.5 degrees here in Melbourne... counting down the days until a cold Japan!
     
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  43.  
    Ajmit321

    Ajmit321 Member

    Is it ok just to use my commonwealth bank MasterCard on savings in Japan or am i going to get screwed with fees and exchange rate ?

    Going to take heaps out here ...
     
  44.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    When do you leave? I would apply for the following account and card if you have time. Excellent exchange rate and no fees. Just transfer your funds to the new account before you leave. You can access money at 7 elevens and post office ATMs in Japan. I would make sure you have enough funds in the account for the whole trip because transferring money from your CBA account to Citibank can be problematic sometimes in Japan without mobile coverage.
    https://www.citibank.com.au/aus/banking/everyday_banking/citibank_plus.htm
     
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  45.  
    travelislife

    travelislife Dedicated Member

    Short answer. Yes. You will get screwed by the Commonwealth Bank.

    Get a Citibank Plus card. Fee free. Sits in my draw at home gathering dust when not overseas.
     
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  46.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Also great for paying for overseas domestic flights, overseas online purchases etc.
     
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  47.  
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Yeah don't do that, you're right that Com bank will screw you with exchange rates, but also on ATM fees. If you have the time (5 business days) apply for the Citibank visa debit card.
     
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  48.  
    smitty484

    smitty484 Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Is commbank really that bad? ANZ exchange rate Is great on their regular visa debit card and the fees to withdraw are negligible
     
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  49.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    They're not great. I'm with CBA as well and I know which card I would use overseas. Especially if you're not taking any cash.
     
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  50.  
    john_kr

    john_kr Active Member Season Pass Silver

    I'm also a (mostly happy) CBA customer, but I still have a Citibank card for overseas use, with Amex and CBA Visa as backup. Knowing the fee difference, I've never used the CBA card outside Australia.