ANA 787 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Tokyo Haneda! We just flew from Hanoi to Tokyo in ANA’s longhaul 787 business class product. While ANA has 787s configured for shorthaul flying, we lucked out by getting a gorgeous longhaul 787-9 for this short 4hr20min flight.

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I’m trying to sample as many new business class products as possible, and hadn’t yet tried ANA’s new longhaul business class seat, so I was excited to try it out. I’ve flown ANA’s first class, JAL’s business class, and JAL’s first class, so was curious to see where ANA’s business class product ranked.

ANA’s 787-9 aircraft have a massive business class cabin, consisting of 48 seats spread across two cabins in a staggered configuration. Seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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While this configuration is somewhat unique, it’s ultimately similar to what you’ll find in business class on airlines like airberlin, Etihad, etc. Perhaps most importantly, unlike other staggered configurations there’s plenty of room for your feet when the seat is fully reclined, so it’s a comfortable surface for sleeping, even if it’s a bit on the tight side.

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It’s a comfortable product for a longhaul flight, and I’d recommend it in a heartbeat. However, in terms of longhaul products I still prefer the Apex Suites that JAL offers, assuming you can snag a window seat.

Another great thing about ANA’s 787s is that they have wifi, and you can purchase a pass for the whole flight for ~$22 without any data caps. This is a much better system than what’s available on their 777s, as wifi on those planes is charged based on usage, meaning the cost can add up quickly.

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The entertainment selection was limited if you’re looking for Western options, though that’s not something I particularly care about when I have functioning wifi.

As you’d expect on a Japanese airline, service was top notch. The crew was so charming, friendly, attentive, and, well, Japanese. I was curious to compare ANA service to what I’m used to on JAL, though I’d say they’re roughly equal based on this flight.

The one aspect of the service that surprised me a little bit was the meal service. This flight had a lunch service, though everything was served on one tray, despite the fact that this was a 4hr20min flight.

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I realize the airlines can’t really win when it comes to the pace of a meal. I don’t like when meal services are too drawn out in business class, and at the same time I thought this was far too rushed. Serving the starter, main course, and dessert all on one tray seems unnecessary. Perhaps they could put the starter and main course on one tray if they wanted to expedite things, and then serve the dessert with coffee and tea afterwards. Just my two cents.

On the plus side, the food quality was excellent, in particular my main course consisting of seabass with an olive tapenade (I plan on having the Japanese option on the connecting flight out of Japan).

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I’ll have a more detailed report soon, and will also have a detailed review of our connecting flight, which is in ANA first class.

Bottom line

ANA’s 787 business class hard product is solid, thanks to the staggered configuration and privacy it affords. I still think JAL’s business class hard product is better, though.

The service was typical Japanese perfection, as I’ve come to expect from both ANA and JAL.

The meal service surprised me somewhat, however. The quality of the food was good, though the fact that everything was served at once seemed unnecessary. The fact that the meal was served with the foil on top almost made it feel like an economy meal service. Furthermore, it was over 30 minutes from when I finished my meal until the tray was actually cleared.

Overall I’d certainly recommend ANA business class, though, and would fly them again in a heartbeat.

If you’ve flown ANA business class lately, what was your experience like?

Comments

  1. I disagree a bit. I have had experience on both JAL and ANA recently on the same route (NRT-JFK) both classes first and business (Lucky me). My choice goes to ANA if you rather have a “real” Japanese experience. I felt the treatment on JAL suited to Westernese travelers where the way crew spoke and presented things are way different than ANA. I am more inclined to traditional culture than modernized one 🙂

  2. Don’t know why, but it seems ANA’s longhaul 787-8 have a different layout. There is one less seat per row. Are the seats narrower on 787-9?

  3. I just don’t like the color scheme that they use in it. Looks rather “laboratorial”, don’t you think?
    KLM with their new blue cabin makes it really appealing on the other hand.
    Delta cabin also looks better than ANA’s.

  4. I don’t have any personal experience with NH, but flew JL a few years ago NRT – PVG in J class on an old 767 and service was quite similar. With food that was less appetizing. A little bit shocking after connecting in F from JFK to NRT, where the food and service were spectacular.

  5. Just flew out of Hanoi the other day on OZ and was watching the NH plane taxi. Flying NH F HND – LAX in 3 weeks and look forward to your review!

  6. @Lucky:

    Are you aware of any change as to how to book ANA one-way awards? The old trick of a “round trip” that’s simply two one ways with initial origin and final destination in the same country/airport doesn’t seem to be working for me anymore.

  7. @eponymous coward

    he’s definitely not a first-class writer (pun intended 😉 ) and although I would advise him to possibly take some writing lessons or read more, his reports attract many viewers to his sites mostly due to the photo content. But, I do believe more people would be interested in his reports if they were written better. Enjoyed the report.

  8. While I like the privacy, I find these seats a bit hard to the point that I actually use the mattress pad while sitting. Their final dessert course is usually ice cream provided after the tray (or any other time).

  9. “Furthermore, it was over 30 minutes from when I finished my meal until the tray was actually cleared.”

    Flew ANA from NRT to SFO a couple months ago in economy – while I thought the food/service/seat comfort were quite good (for economy), it took them FOREVER to serve the food. Granted I was sitting in the third-to-last row, but it took nearly two hours for them to reach me, much longer than on other transpacific flights.

  10. Did HND-TSA in J on their 788 (unfortunately not the long haul config) earlier this summer. Service was basically as you described, although my meal was cleared a bit quicker than you experienced. No real complaints and would definitely fly them again.

  11. I fly ANA biz class 787 between SEA – NRT several times a year. I enjoy the on-board flight service but I am a large size and I find the small foot space very difficult. Although the seat reclines, it is very difficult for me to get my feet into the small foot hole. I was recently on QR and found the foot space to be very comfortable. Therefore my assumption is ANA order seating with a smaller foot space than other carriers operating the 787. I am interested if others have found the foot space to be small on ANA 787 flights.

  12. Good (pre-)report! Two thoughts:

    – A Japanese friend who flies internationally a lot recently told me that in Japan, conventional wisdom is that Japanese prefer ANA and Westerners prefer JAL. I don’t know how widespread this notion is, but I thought it was interesting.

    – Maybe the all-at-once meal was related to the Japanese “box lunch” concept? I.e. maybe there’s a cultural norm that that’s how lunch is served? I love Japanese cuisine though I’m not an expert on this at all – just crossed my mind. Especially since ANA is SOOOO attentive to detail. 🙂

  13. I will be flying from SYD to HND in the 787 business class seat in July. Was only 40,000 United Mileage Award points for 10 hours of flight time. Looking forward to your full review!

  14. @Rand

    Are people now not even allowed to critique Lucky’s writing style? eponymous coward was correct in what they said.

  15. Some interesting comments. Being married to an NH CA (international Purser), we always get a kick reading your reviews. Ask me how many times we’ve flown her airlines in her 20 year career? 5. Why? Cause the service is very hit or miss. We actually fly JL alot more with purchased tickets in business. Japanese (myself included) prefer to fly JL while Westerners fly ANA. I think someone wrote the opposite above. The big shift happened with the shift in govt when the LDP started using NH for official business travel after using JL for 40+ years. Hence the unequal parity of landing slots at HND betwen NH and JL. But politics aside, we always say and tend to agree on this. NH is a Japanese airlines that tries to be western. JL is a Japanese airline that is proud to be Japanese. And oops, forgot to mention I serve in Senior mgmt for a US based carrier. (star alliance) but we both love to fly JL.

  16. “Japanese (myself included) prefer to fly JL while Westerners fly ANA”

    Any statistics to back this up?

  17. @Lucky: Did you ever post this review? I tried looking for it but couldn’t find it? I guess you must have a massive backlog now 🙂

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