United Flight UA 803 experience review
General Travel,  Japan,  Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023

United Flight 803 Review – Arriving in Tokyo

This is day 2 of my Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023. Check out the previous day’s blog post My first diverted flight experience. I was heading to my summer job in Tokyo as a Travel counselor for Teens across High School. On my flight to Tokyo from Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the flight got diverted back to the origin city, and after a long day at the airport, United Airlines gave me a voucher to stay at the Westin Reston Heights Hotel for the night. As it was a travel day, most of this post will be a United Flight 803 Review.

My alarm went off at 7am. It definitely wasn’t enough sleep, but I had to take advantage of my meal voucher from United for the breakfast buffet at The Westin Reston Heights Hotel. I headed downstairs and gave the hotel staff my meal voucher and she directed me to the buffet. The breakfast buffet was actually really good with a lot of varieties. The highlights were the bacon, French toast, and potatoes. Most people in the lobby seemed to be Japanese and it made me wonder if they were on the same flight as me the previous day, or if it was just a coincidence.

The Westin Reston Heights Hotel Breakfast buffet
The Westin Reston Heights Hotel Breakfast buffet

After finishing breakfast, I took a little bit of extra time to look around the hotel, and peeped at their gym and pool. I then gathered my stuff and checked out. I ordered an uber and arrived at the Dulles International Airport at 8:30am, 4 hours before my flight. I usually go to the airport 3 hours before an international flight, but made sure to arrive earlier than usual to make sure that I had a seat on this flight and in case of any further problems. By 9:30 I was already past TSA and the only one at my gate. I was definitely too early, but it’s better to be safe then sorry.

The day prior, the United staff told me that my check in luggage was going to be redirected to this flight. When the boarding time came closer, an agent came to the gate counter, and I made my way to her to make sure that my luggage had transferred over. The agent looked up my bag and saw that it had not moved and was sitting at United’s luggage office. She then asked me what color my luggage was and this really reminded me the importance of having a luggage that stands out. I told her it is a bright teal wheeled luggage, and she let the people in the office know. I highly doubt that others has a similar color to mine, so I knew that it was going to be found rather quickly and put on the correct flight.

Boarding started, and everything was running smoothly and on time. As I got into my seat, it felt a little bit like deja vu since I was hearing the same announcements from the previous day, although this time, I was sitting in an aisle seat then a window seat. An hour and half after take off, they served us our meal, a choice between butter chicken and vegetable spaghetti. I had the spaghetti the previous day and it was quite a disappointment, so without hesitation I got the Butter Chicken, which was actually quite good and flavorful.

United 803 flight meal Butter Chicken
United flight meal – Halal Butter Chicken

After the meal, they dimmed the lights and it was time to relax. The onboard entertainment had a lot of variety, so it was enjoyable. I love using flights as a time to catch up on new movies. I was also surprised to see that had a K-pop concert as well.

United flight kpop onboard entertainment
k-pop onboard entertainment

I then took a long nap and woke up just in time for Breakfast. The main meal consisted of a sausage, potatoes, and eggs. It looked a little questionable when I first opened it, but it was actually pretty good- especially the sausage.

United 803 breakfast
Breakfast – sausage, potatoes, and eggs

The flight was enjoyable and it felt like it flew by fast, which this a positive United Flight 803 Review. We landed in Tokyo at 3:30pm, right on time. I went through immigration, picked up my luggage and through customs, and was finally out and about in Tokyo! I hopped on the Keikyu Airport line that conveniently midway changes to the Asakusa Line, which lead me directly to my hotel in Asakusa, Hotel Sunroute Asakusa.

I spent my afternoon exploring the Asakusa area at Seiyu Asakusa Rox picked some stuff from Daiso (my toothbrush somehow went missing) and took a look around GU, Uniqlo’s sister brand. GU is always a must visit when I’m in Tokyo since they cater to a younger audience and have many trendy fashion pieces at an affordable price. I then ate a delicious Taiyaki (Japanese fish-shaped cake usually filled with red beans) from Naruto Taiyaki.

Asakusa Naruto Taiyaki
Asakusa’s Naruto Taiyaki

My day ended with me meeting the group of teens for the Japan tour. They arrived in Tokyo pretty late and were exhausted from the flight. We introduced each other, set the ground rules, and set the tone for the upcoming days together.

Since it was a travel day and we crossed the international dateline, we skipped a whole day and didn’t have the chance to do much. Recently, I feel like I get more tired on travel days then when I was younger, but maybe that’s the reality of what happens as we get older. Follow my Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023 stories as I post my daily documentation of my 53 days on the road! I hope that this can inspire others who want to do something similar!

Previous Day: My first diverted flight experience (United Airlines)
Next Day: Ghibli Museum Tokyo Experience


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Email me at pennylesstravels@gmail.com if you have any questions or about this United Flight 803 Review post!


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