Read This If you plan to fly from Malaysia to Haneda with ANA or AirAsiaX
The main reason I write this story as this happened to me on my trip to Tokyo in June. I flew to Haneda Tokyo from KLIA2 Malaysia with AirAsiaX, the flight delayed and I was stranded in Tokyo alone.
I flew with AirAsiaX and why is it related to ANA? For flights from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to Haneda Tokyo, there are only two airlines available. It is AirAsiaX and ANA (All Nippon Airways). For the record, ANA and Malaysia Airlines also fly to Narita Tokyo.
For ANA flights to Haneda Tokyo, you will reach around 10.15pm and for AirAsiaX flights to Haneda Tokyo, you will reach around 10.30pm. If you have no luggage, the clearance will take around 20 to 30 mins depending how fast you can walk and probably longer if you have check in any luggage.
So how did I get stranded in Tokyo?
In 2015, I took the AirAsiaX flight from Haneda back to Malaysia. The flight was delayed as the plane reached Tokyo after midnight. As you may know, the trains stopped at 12.15 am so everyone on board had to stay in the airport or nearby. I learn that lesson so I know that there is a possibility the flights from Kuala Lumpur to Haneda might delay. It happens to AirAsiaX and it might happen to ANA depending on situation.
I took a risk by booking an Airbnb accommodation near Ikebukuro. I calculated that I need to hop on to the last train at 12 am to reach my destination. Thus, if the flight delayed for an hour, I still manage to get to my Airbnb.
Well, I miscalculated the connecting time and my nightmare started when the flight delayed for an hour in Kuala Lumpur due to busy traffic airspace in Singapore. To me its mere bad luck so I had to believe in my plan.
I got my Pocket WIFI with Klook.com in KLIA2, power banks and also Google Map app ready. This is not my first time traveling in Japan so I know to travel around solo. Thus, I only carry one hand carry luggage so I don’t need to waste time to wait for my luggage. I only purchase check in luggage when I return from Tokyo if I wanted to shop for food or clothes for my kids. I thought I have plan it well.
AirAsiaX did all they can to chase the time we wasted. I reached Haneda International Airport at 11.15 pm. I opened my Google Map app and keep on checking on available trains. I walked fast with the other passengers as we knew we are running out of time.
It was a long walk and I started to google the best option to do at that time. Should I stay in the capsule hotel in Haneda International Airport or I take a huge risk by taking the train to my Airbnb accommodation. By the time with the clearance, I reach the train station at around 11.45pm. I took the gamble and switched train and reached Ikebukuro at 12.15 am. The train station is closed and I was stranded in Ikebukuro.
Luckily, I had the pocket wifi with me so I checked the cheapest accommodation available in Ikebukuro. I stayed at Book and Bed capsule hotel in Ikebukuro and I spent 3,800 Yen (excluding tax) for a bed for the night. It cost more than my Airbnb accommodation but I have no choice.
So if you plan to travel to Tokyo Haneda with ANA or AirAsiaX, there is a possibility of flight delay. Remember to get the pocket WIFI in Malaysia first and always have the Google Map app. Don’t be too ambitious and book a hotel far from the airport like me. Find a hotel within the first train line from Haneda International Airport. I was stranded in Ikebukuro Tokyo but I learned my lesson and I shared my experiences to everyone.
Flight delays are common in anywhere in the world. I won’t blame AirAsiaX for the flight delay but pure bad luck. I hope my experience helps in your next trip to Haneda Tokyo.
*Updated: I could have stay in the airport, sleep on the chair. However, what if you travel in a group or family? what if you travel with your children or your parents?
Read all my stories and experiences in Tokyo here.