Browsing Tag: Inspiration of Japan

Entering the ANA 777-300ER Inspiration of Japan first class cabin - Photo: David Delagarza | Airline Reporter

Entering the ANA 777-300ER Inspiration of Japan first class cabin – Photo: David Delagarza | AirlineReporter

Airline: All Nippon Airways (NH)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Departed: Houston Intercontinental (IAH)
Arrived: Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Class: First Class
Seats: 1D & 1G
Length: About 14 hours

It seemed to happen every day for two weeks –  I’d glance out my office window in Denver at about noon, just in time to see the contrail of a high-altitude wide-body fly by.  Being the diligent AvGeek I am, I would check out my flight tracker phone app to find out what I just saw.  The answer was the same every time: ANA Flight 173 – from Houston to Tokyo.  It felt like I was being teased — I had first class tickets booked on that very flight for our upcoming trip.  Seeing that plane in the sky, day after day, was just rubbing it in — today’s not the day.  But that day would soon come.

An ANA Inspiration of Japan Boeing 777-300ER - Photo: Aero Icarus | FlickrCC

An ANA Inspiration of Japan Boeing 777-300ER – Photo: Aero Icarus | FlickrCC

Flying this route was actually somewhat of a last-minute change to our itinerary, in which Bangkok was our final destination.  We had initially been booked trans-Pacific on United’s Global First service from Chicago to Beijing; however, a very short layover in Beijing combined with United’s poor on-time performance on the 747-400 was making me nervous. I had been keeping an eye on alternate routing when I found first class award availability on ANA and Thai Airways via Houston and Tokyo about three weeks prior to the trip.  Yes, please!  The Houston-to-Tokyo route is a new addition to ANA’s North American offerings, having just kicked off service in June.

The ANA Business Staggered Seat.  This is the "C" seat with the storage window side giving true Aisle access.  Chose "A" if you love a true window seat - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

The ANA Business Staggered Seat. This is the “C” seat with the storage window side giving true Aisle access. Chose “A” if you love a true window seat.

During my ANA Ambassador trip, I was given the chance to fly three different types of All Nippon Airways (ANA) Business Class seats and I wanted to share my thoughts on them. For my story, I will be concentrating mostly on the hard product (the seat) vs the “soft” product (meals, service, amenities), which is common across all the aircraft.

The current generation of Business Class seats are fitted to ANA’s 787 as part of the Inspiration of Japan series. There are two different versions: international and domestic. The long haul (international) 787 seats are called “Business Staggered” and are similar to a small pod. This is currently the airline’s premium product. The seats lie fully flat and, with a length of over 6ft, allows passengers to easily get some rest. The Business Staggered seats can also be found in some of ANA’s 777s (though the 777 version is slightly larger).

JA806A pulling into Gate 15 at San Jose Airport - Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

JA806A pulling into Gate 15 at San Jose Airport (SJC) – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com

A beautiful, clear, sunny day awaited guests as they checked in at San Jose’s Norman Y Mineta International Airport (SJC).  Saturday was the day a lot of people have been waiting for:  All Nippon Airways (ANA) is resuming their Tokyo flights into the Silicon Valley, providing a direct link from the bay area to northern Asia. I was lucky enough to be invited on this flight by ANA to help celebrate this re-introduction [ANA only flew the 787 for only a few days into SJC before the aircraft was grounded].

This flight into San Jose also sees the reintroduction of the 787 to international skies for ANA, who operate the world’s largest fleet of Dreamliners.  As NH1076 touched down at San Jose a few minutes ahead of schedule, the gate area was quiet, the staff scurried around preparing for the flights arrival.  This could’ve been any flight on any other day, but it wasn’t.