ANA 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

Shortly after midnight yesterday we departed Tokyo Haneda for Los Angeles in ANA’s 777-300ER first class. This was after our flight from Hanoi to Tokyo in ANA business class.

As usual I’ll have a much more detailed trip report shortly, but in the meantime I figured I’d share my initial impressions in another “10 pictures” installment. I’ve only flown ANA’s new first class product once before, so was curious to try them again, given that it has been a few years.

ANA’s first class cabin consists of a total of eight seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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The seats are fully flat and all have direct aisle access, so they have that going for them. That being said, I like these seats less than other comparable seats. Why? Because you can’t easily look out of the window when seated. The seat is “boxed in” so that there are “walls” for about two feet on each side of your head. Even more puzzling is that they box the seats in that much without making them fully private, as there’s not a door.

Ford and I were seated in the center section, and they have the same barrier at the side of the seats, so we had to lean way forward in order to talk. That’s a very poor design, in my opinion.

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I know these are all first world problems, but if traveling with someone else then don’t expect you’ll be able to enjoy the flight together, even if seated together in the center section.

On a more positive note, service was typical Japanese perfection. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have near perfect service on a Japanese carrier, and this flight was no exception. The crew was charming, engaging, and so attentive. Japanese carriers just set the bar so high on that front.

This flight from Tokyo Haneda to Los Angeles is an odd one, as it departs Tokyo shortly after midnight and lands in Los Angeles the previous evening at 6PM, so it’s a redeye where the focus is on sleep.

The drink selection was impressive. ANA serves Krug in first class, and several types of sake.

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Unfortunately the accompanying food wasn’t as impressive. There was a “set” breakfast before landing, but otherwise just a “dine on demand” menu. A selection of canapés was served after takeoff.

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Then you could choose between things like salad, curry, sandwiches, etc. I had a garden salad and chicken curry, both of which were good, though both of which I’d also expect to be served in business class.

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Fortunately the meal service was quick, so I managed to get nearly six hours of sleep. ANA’s beds are excellent, so I slept very well.

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Then for breakfast there was the option between a Japanese set menu…

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…and salmon eggs benedict.

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As far as amenities go, ANA now offers Samsonite amenity kits in first class. I don’t like them quite as much as the Rimowa kits they used to offer in first class, but they’re still decent.

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Bottom line

This was probably the worst flight on which to review ANA first class, given that the meal service is much more limited than what they otherwise offer. So I don’t want to make too many judgments of the airline based on this flight. At the same time, I flew JAL first class last year from Jakarta to Tokyo (an even shorter redeye), and I preferred their menu, as they had fresh sushi, caviar, etc.

On the plus side, the service was impeccable, as I’ve come to expect from both ANA and JAL.

However, I think I prefer JAL to ANA, all things considered. There are two main things I prefer about JAL:

  • The seats aren’t as restrictive, and you can actually look out the window if in the window seats or talk to your companion if in the center seats; on top of that you can actually dine face-to-face using the buddy seat on JAL, which ANA doesn’t offer
  • JAL doesn’t have caps on wifi data usage, so for $20 you can use wifi for the whole flight, while ANA caps you at 100MB, which isn’t a lot if you’re trying to work.

To sum it up, ANA first class is a great way to fly, though if you care about the soft product, try to take a daytime flight instead. I still think I prefer JAL to ANA, all things considered.

Comments

  1. Lucky,
    It is nice to see that now when you are travelling with a companion, you are starting to realize that all of these pods, enclosed suites and similar private seats are less than ideal. Privacy is great for travelling alone or for business, but when traveling for leisure with a companion, it is nice to have seats where you can interact. In those cases, forward facing business class seats with no partition are often better than reverse herringbone.

  2. that Krug looks a bit flat? the canapes look amazing…not something I would expect in business class (as you say the food was worthy of business class vs first)- unless i read that wrong? i’d say the overall decor of ANA’s first cabin is a bit sterile tho, thoughts?

  3. All things considered, would you prefer NH F HND-LHR or TG F BKK-LHR? I am actually starting to think that TG will offer a better experience, what with the ground experience at BKK plus TG offers caviar (NH nixed that in F) and a pre-order meal option with lobster thermidor!

  4. Lucky,

    Any opinion on the ideal place to sit in ANA J 773 traveling with a companion on the 11:30 AM out of IAH to NRT? Thanks!

  5. Lucky, I just flew NH F LAX-NRT about three weeks ago and you’re right, the daytime flight had a more extensive dinner service. Although the meals offered before landing were like you mentioned, a choice from the dining on demand menu. The seat design does make it hard to look out the window. But hey, those are first world problems. Safe travels!

  6. What do you do with all of the amenity kits? You must have received hundreds of them. Do you end up throwing most of them away?

  7. > I don’t like them quite as much as the Rimowa kits they used to offer in first class, but they’re still decent.

    I’m confused here. It looks like the size and contents are identical between the old Rimowa kits and the new Samsonite kits.

    Is this really just because you prefer the Rimowa brand to the Samsonite brand?

  8. Samsonite is not the same level of Rimowa..what are they thinking about? I would rather they chokse a less known but good quality Japanese brand… Bummer!

  9. I agree with Tom, as I had the same thoughts on that. I woul bet that if you would have been done the flight by yourself, seated in the center, your judgement would have been completely different 😉 you would love this seat and appreciate the privacy.

    Anyway, thx for your review 🙂 keep on going

  10. I wish you had flown the return in business, just for a review of their business class in long haul.

    Since you and Ford travel together quite a bit now, and since you’re pimping…er, added Ford as a contributor to this site, maybe in the future one of you could fly the route in the first, and the other in business? This way we could get two reviews for the same flight.

  11. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who just want to be horrible. Seems bullying is still alive and well and I just hope #dr bongo doesn’t have children he/she is raising to have the same qualities as they do…

  12. I’m a bit confused with the consistency between reviews. This looks fine but the decor isn’t a patch on BA’s, the set up with the windows is better on BA and the first class amenity kit is better equipped in BA yet flying with BA is akin to a romantic weekend is Basra?!

  13. Ha, I missed you by one day. Just took this exact flight last night. Was scheduled to fly HND-HKG-LAX in CX F but the typhoon fubar’ed things and got rebooked. The Ippudo ramen was really tasty with Krug. 🙂

  14. An additional note regarding Wi-Fi on JAL: Starting August 2016, JAL now gives free uncapped 24-hour Wi-Fi vouchers to F passengers.

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