Sunday, November 18, 2012

ANA 777-300 Business Class Flight Tokyo to LAX

After my amazing stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, it was time to return home.  The Narita Express was on time and check in was a breeze.  Narita airport (NRT) has some great duty free stores and I was excited to check them out.  Unfortunately, the strong Yen took all the fun out of duty shopping in Tokyo.  If it were 100:1, the prices would be great, but at 80:1 I didn’t find any deals.  I did spend my leftover money on some Hello Kitty stuff for my niece, she liked it.  
ANA 777-300 NRT-LAX
After shopping, I went lounge hopping.  First stop was the United Club.  The lounge is huge, bigger than any in the USA.  They had lots of yummy sushi (for a westerner) and a draught beer machine that pours a perfect pint.  Next up, thanks to Priority Pass form the Palladium Card, was the Korean Air lounge.  It was small and nicely decorated, good liquor, but limited food items.  Finally I visited the ANA business class lounge.  I might have been the only westerner in the place.  The lounge is large and had some good views of the field.  The snacks were more Japanese in focus, but I still enjoyed a few sushi rolls and beer.
ANA Business Class Lounge Tokyo - NRT
United Club Tokyo - NRT
I left the lounge in time to make it to the gate before boarding started.  I was really excited to fly the 777-300 (my first trip on the stretched model), fly with ANA (first time in their care), and experience a new business class (new to me and the world).  I was such an excited nerd; I even wore a Boeing t-shirt.  The seats are great.  They are in an offset staggered layout, so no one is next to you.  It feels very private and is exceptionally quiet.  The seat is a little narrow and maybe 5’10’’ long when flat.  I’m 5’10’’ so it felt a little cramped.  I was also the tallest person I saw, so I guess these were designed with the home market in mind.  The TV is large and had a good selection of movies, more than enough to keep me entertained over the Pacific.  ANA doesn’t hand out amenity kits, but has slippers waiting at your seat.  There is a basket of goodies at the small lounge in the read of business class with eye masks, ear plugs, lotions, and a few other items.  A fun observation is the lavatories have a built in bidet system like on Japanese toilets (I didn’t try it out).  Every seat in business class was booked, but it didn't feel crowded.
ANA 777-300 Business Class Seat
ANA 777-300 business Class Flat Seat
Forward Business Class Cabin ANA 777-300
ANA 777 Business Class Leg Room
ANA Business Class Seat Storage Area
The meal and drink service started shortly after takeoff.  I opted for the western meal and a martini.  The meal was very good, but the steak was outstanding.   After the meal service ends, flight attendants won’t come by unless you ring the call button (a different method than US carriers), but they are quick to respond and friendly (again, different from US carriers).  There is a list of meals and snacks available any time on demand.  I went for a breakfast cheese burger instead of the omelet.  I also got a cheese plate to add some Roquefort cheese to the burger and try to replicate the best burger ever at The Spotted Pig in New York.  It still didn’t compare, but was still good.
ANA Business Class Western Appetizers
Delightful Steak Tender and Tasty 
Fun and Tasty Parfait Dessert 
Roquefort Cheese Snack - ANA Business Class
ANA Cheese Burger Snack, Add Some Roquefort
Once on the ground at LAX, it was a lengthy taxi to the gate, then a breeze through customs (the American citizen line was fast at least).  An earlier flight to Denver was boarding, so added my name to standby and grabbed a quick bourbon and Coke at the United Club.  I went back to the gate and waited.  I was the only standby to clear and got an exit row seat.  I was happy to trade first class for 3 fewer hours at LAX.

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