Flight Date: 15JAN14—It had been four long months ‘stuck’ here in Honolulu since my last international flight so I was getting antsy for some friends, food and fun in Tokyo. Working my way through all the carriers flying the Honolulu-Tokyo route last year I had two left: All Nippon Airways and Hawaiian still left to try. ANA flies daily to both Tokyo area airports: Narita and Haneda while Hawaiian has a single daily flight to Haneda only. I would have preferred Haneda, but both HA and NH were fully booked so I settled for ANA’s 10:55am departure for Narita instead.
I was a little late getting to the airport and the check-in counters were virtually deserted. I was afraid I had missed the cut-off time for the flight when a smiling clerk popped up out of nowhere and said I had just made it.
Check-in was quick and easy and with the business class ticket I was allowed to bypass the large crowd at TSA via the ‘Gold Lane’. ANA uses United’s ‘Club’ lounge located in the Diamond Head Wing at HNL. Like the Diamond Head Wing itself, the UA ‘Club’ lounge has seen better days. I reviewed the lounge last year so please check out this trip report for photos and comments.
Due to my late arrival I didn’t have much time anyway so after a few emails I headed over to my gate for boarding. ANA uses their regional workhorse B767-300 on this route and according to the gate announcement today’s flight was fully booked.
ANA, like their rival JAL, have several different business class products in the air these days; however, for their Hawaii service only the old-style seats are available. The 35 business class seats are situated in a 2-1-2 configuration. As I was travelling alone, a middle aisle seat would have been ideal, but they had all been reserved so I settled for 11B.
At 194cm (6’4”) the B767-300 feels cramped and while making my way to 11B I had to be extra careful not to get knocked out by an open overhead bin. ANA uses a subdued color scheme of light blue, grey, and beige. The plane was clean; however, you could tell that this cabin has been around for a while. I flew with ANA from Osaka to Shanghai back in 2003 and this is the same product. ANA has recently introduced a new seat called Business Cradle on their 767s and 787s and I’m eager to try them out to compare.
Service-wise I’ve never really had a bad flight on any Japanese airline and today’s ANA flight was no exception. The check-in staff, gate staff and flight attendants were all quick to say hello and offer assistance. After stowing my bags a flight attendant came around with welcome drinks and soon followed with the lunch menu.
ANA did not distribute individual amenity kits and instead passed through the aisles with a large basket of various items: ear plugs, face masks, toothbrushes etc. Slippers and socks were pre-stocked in the seat back pocket.
The seat in the seated position was comfortable with ample hip and leg room. The angle of recline, however, left a lot to be desired and although perfectly suitable for ANA’s inter-Asia routes, a nine hour flight is too long for this type of seat. China, Delta, JAL (B777-200), Korean and United’s business class seats are all far superior to ANA’s offering on this route.
It was a daytime flight though so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to catch up on some movies. The video screen was adequate in size and I was pleasantly surprised at the comprehensive movie and music selections available.
Lunch orders were taken soon after we reached our cruising altitude and I (as always) chose the Japanese meal. My meal arrived about 20 minutes later. Everything was tasty but a tad on the skimpy side portion-wise. A Japanese lady seated next to me in 11A evidently thought the same thing and ordered a bowl of noodles in addition to her main meal. Dessert consisted of a small cup of ice cream only. On such a long flight, most airlines will offer a second meal prior to arrival; however, ANA only offered some light snacks on today’s flight which was disappointing. All-in-all the meal service was underwhelming and compared to JAL’s catering on the same route, left a lot to be desired.
Final Thoughts—I had some left over miles on my ANA account that were about to expire and I was able to confirm a business class at the last minute so in that respect I felt lucky. Checking fares for the HNL-TYO route though, ANA is one of the more expensive carriers and with the old-style cabin I would definitely go for Korean, Delta, United or JAL (in that order) with regards to seat comfort and price. The service was great though; and although not nearly enough portion-wise, the in-flight meal was tasty. ANA’s entertainment system had a nice selection of late run movies and I especially liked the comprehensive music selection. No major hiccups or issues on my ANA Honolulu-Narita flight today, but I probably wouldn’t be so kind if this was a paid fare vs the mileage award I was able to secure.
For More Information on ANA’s Business Class Service click here
ANA B767-300 Business Class Trip Report Honolulu-Narita Photo Gallery