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ANA Business class review: Tokyo Haneda to London

ANA Business class review: Tokyo Haneda to London

“A glass of champagne s’il vous plait Mademoiselle: it matches my complexion…”

The very sweet Japanese cabin crew girl onboard our ANA business class flight from Tokyo to London giggled at this proud Frenchman as he pouted fiercely, preparing to tuck into his beef steak fillet and Aomori black garlic confit.

Stefan also looked on in a fit of giggles as Sebastien so effortlessly settled into his ANA business class experience.

ANA business class review Seb with champagne

A proud Frenchman enjoying one of many glasses of champagne during our ANA business class flight from Tokyo to London

And wouldn’t you? All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, is not only recognised as one of the seven 5-star Airlines by Skytrax, its business class was rated as the fourth best in the world at the 2015 World Airline Awards. The accolades don’t stop there: in the same year, ANA’s business class was also highly rated for its seats, airline staff, catering and comfort amenities.

We flew business class on ANA Boeing 777-300 on our way back to London from Tokyo (12.5 hours) thanks to a very good deal we found on Momondo. We loved every second of it, and could not wait to write our review of flying business class with All Nippon Airways.

ANA Business class review highly rated seats and facilities

Travelling like a boss – Stefan in his pyjamas in ANA’s business class

#1 PRE-DEPARTURE

Business class check-in with ANA is very smooth and efficient. The airline has its own dedicated desk for business class passengers at Tokyo Haneda airport.

Once through security and immigration, a spacious lounge overlooking the runway awaits you. There, you can get some refreshments, food and also use the showers if you need to. Plane addicts (like our champagne hogging Frenchman) will have heaps of #planeporn fun here.

ANA business class lounge at Haneda airport

Plenty of #planeporn awaits you at the ANA business class lounge pre-departure

#2 STATE OF THE ART BUSINESS CLASS SEATS

The ANA business class seating arrangement has been carefully designed using a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring a sense of privacy for each passenger as you’re never directly next to anyone.

This also means that every passenger has direct aisle access, avoiding the unpopular middle seat dilemma.

ANA business class review staggered seating plan

ANA business class staggered seating ensures no one is directly next to you

The real fun starts from the moment you board the plane and take your seat. These are no ordinary seats. ANA’s business class seats were rated the 5th best in the world at the World Airline Awards and deservedly so.

The seating area is very spacious with a fully reclinable seat, large side table and your own personal over head luggage drawer.

ANA business class review large spacing seating area

Stefan’s private cubicle area with plenty of room to completely spread out

The seats have a width of 19.4 inches/ 49.3cm and fully recline to a length of 74.5 inches / 189cm, to become a very comfortable flat bed. For us this was more then enough space to sleep in a straight position (Stefan is 170 cm and Sebastien is 175cm).

A bed pad and a soft warm duvet are provided which makes for a very comfortable night’s sleep.

ANA Business class fully reclinable seat

Sebastien taking a break from the champagne for a quick nap in his bed

#3 THE INFLIGHT SERVICE

The standard of service on board ANA is extremely high, as you would expect from a Japanese airline. They were rated one of the world’s best cabin staff at the recent World Airline Awards and considered the #1 for best airline staff in Asia.

The staff are never short of smiles. And of course neither were we when greeted so warmly (with a glass of champagne to hand).

The ANA staff take a genuine interest in you without being intrusive. They make you feel like you have your own personal attendant throughout the flight. They are on hand whether you want to order a particular meal, want a copy of The Times newspaper, or just want to top up your champagne.

Throughout the duration of the flight they ask you if you want more drinks and always ensure you have plenty of water to keep you hydrated – and always with a smile.

ANA business class review flight attendants award winning service in Asia

Service with a smile – one of our friendly flight attendants

#4 FINE DINING AT 30,000 FEET

The meal service is high class. Menus have been selected by THE CONNOISSEURS, a group of master chefs and wine experts from outside and inside Japan.

The friendly cabin crew lay a white table cloth, provide you with a warm towel and present all passengers with a menu, listing the excellent culinary options.

For the first meal, you have a choice of the Washoku Japanese Cuisine or the International Cuisine.

ANA business class review menu for meal service

Sebastien browsing the ANA menu planning his next meal

The Amuse-Bouches

Prior to the first meal, everyone is served a delicious hors d’oeuvre. This consisted of sweet glazed walnuts, young bamboo shoots aspic with okra puree, uncured beef ham and artichoke, cornichon brochette and marinated herring, feta cheese and semi-dried tomato:

Our delicious amuse-bouches ANA business class starter

Part of the very yummy amuse-bouches

The Japanese Washoku 

If you choose the Japanese cuisine, you’ll be spoilt with a variety of culinary prizes like firefly squid with vegetables, chilled quick-poached beef with ponzu jelly, quick-seared seven band grouper, quick-poached diamond squid with nori and simmered mackerel in soy based rice.

Phew!

ANA business class review Japanese washoku meal

Part of the Japanese washoku feast

The International Cuisine

This option included smoked shrimp, soft-dried beef and marinated turnip starter with a main of fillet of beef steak, Aomori black garlic confit with teriyaki sauce and sautéed tilefish and cereal risotto with slaty cherry blossom-flavoured sauce.

Everything is so beautifully presented, making it hard to put the camera down and tuck in.

ANA business class international cuisine started

The delicious smoked shrimp, soft-dried beef and marinated turnip starter for the international cuisine option

Drinks

There’s everything you could possibly imagine on offer, whether it’s whisky, sake, wine or beer. They have a great choice of white and red wines which have been carefully selected to compliment their menu. The champagne Henriot Brut Souverain on offer was enough to satisfy even this demanding Frenchman’s taste buds.

A La Carte light dishes

For the remainder of the flight, a selection of Light Dishes are available for order at any time, like salads, soups, croque-monsieur and also including some of our Japanese favourites like udon noodles, ramen and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake).

ANA business class review a la carte Japanese food options

Sebastien with some of his a la carte prizes (champagne on its way of course…)

#5 ENTERTAINMENT

Each cubicle has its own large 17 inches touch screen with the ANA Sky channel entertainment system, which includes some of the latest blockbusters, games, music and documentaries. Sony noise cancelling headphones are provided, which are so effective, they make you forget you’re flying.

Underneath each screen is your own personal USB dock and power connectors to charge your phone and laptop.

ANA business class charging station plug and USB

The charging station underneath the entertainment system with plug and USB

#6 AMENITIES

ANA gives all business class travellers a plush flannel toiletries bag filled with L’Occitane products including lip balm to soothe dry lips, a revitalising serum, ear plugs, an eye mask and more.

The bathrooms are equipped with Japanese style bidet toilets, and in addition, toothbrushes, mouthwash and wet face towels are provided.

ANA business class amenities during flight

A beautiful gift in ANA business class: toiletries L’Occitane bag with prizes inside

SO IS IT WORTH FLYING BUSINESS CLASS WITH ANA?

YES!

We had a fabulous experience from start to finish. The service was outstanding, the food, delicious, and the seats… well, you’ll never want to fly economy on long haul flights ever again.

ANA has now become one of our favourite airlines and definitely the one we will choose to fly to Japan with again.

ANA business class boarding passes Nomadic Boys

Our ANA business class boarding pass selfie

ANA business class fares from UK to Tokyo start from £2,912 return. Check ANA’s website for more information or use Momondo to find the best business class deals from London to Tokyo with ANA.

To find out more about the gay life in Japan, check out our LGBT gay travel guide to Tokyo and for first timers, read our 10 days itinerary.

Travel recommendations to Japan

Train saving tips: Depending on how many trains you plan to take in Japan, it may be worth investing in a 7 days JR Pass ($250), which allows you unlimited travel throughout the country for 7 consecutive days. But you must buy it from an agent before you go.

We personally used Japan Rail Pass. They offered the best prices and would definitely recommend them.

Tour operator: We travelled independently to Japan but we’re often asked if we can recommend a good tour company. We’ve partnered up with Out Asia travel who offer luxury private tours and tailored itineraries to Japan. These guys are locals, passionate travellers and have a real insight of Japanese culture. They are offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount for bookings of 7 days or more when you quote NOMADIC5 in your enquiry.

Fill out this form to enjoy your 5% discount to your holiday to Japan

Enjoy a 5% DISCOUNT on your holiday in Japan for bookings of 7 days or more

Fill out this form to start planning your dream holiday in the Land of the Rising Sun. Remember to quote NOMADIC5 to claim your exclusive 5% discount:

Is it your first time visiting Japan?

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Travel insurance: Whether you go diving, hiking or just lay on the beach all day long, you need travel insurance. We use World Nomads because they offer considerable coverage especially for adventurous travellers. They also make it easy to make a claim as it’s all done online.

Flights: We used Momondo to research our flights to Japan and within. Their website is very easy to use and we’ve found some very good deals in Economy and Business class.

Hotels: Japan has a huge diversity of accommodation options. It is not the cheapest country to travel in but we found that quality is consistent with the price you pay. When we plan a holiday, we use Tripadvisor to research about the best places to stay and activities to do. We also use Booking.com to find the best deals and to book accommodation online.

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39 Comments

  1. Vanessa

    There is one concrete danger in flying business class – it will spoil you from ever wanting to tolerate economy again! I’ve done one trip in business class and now I never want to go back!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Oh my god I know right? This is what we kept saying to each other afterwards….!

      Reply
  2. Carol Colborn

    Yes, I don;t want to get spoiled like this! I might not be able to go to more places!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      lol

      Reply
  3. Mellissa Williams

    I am so envious. I haven’t long come back from a trip to the US and I flew Virgin Atlantic upper, it was amazing but this looks even better. You had me at ‘amuse bouche’…..

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha – thanks 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    I’ve wanted to fly ANA for a while because of its well-known excellence. As a miles and points collector, business class flights become for more attainable than paying out of pocket. There is the danger, though, of not wanting to go back to economy! I definitely plan on giving ANA business class a try to surprise my hubby for a special trip!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      What an amazing surprise that would be!

      Reply
  5. LeAnna

    As travel hackers, we often fly business or first class for free on points. However, after many flights in luxury, I never feel like I belong (could it be my dirty hiking pants? my ragged old backpack??) and I always feel so spoiled…but oh to have steak, a bed and to be pampered on long haul flights! It’s a traveler’s dream!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Right? And then to go back to economy – that’s the hard part!! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Alana

    I’ve flown business several times on points or in the good old days when my husband’s status would get us upgraded. It does make it difficult to walk back to economy after a business class experience. Most recently, we flew Air France Business Joburg>Paris. I couldn’t believe the amount of food and drinks they tried to stuff us with on that 10 hour flight!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      That’s hilarious (and amazing – ha ha ha!) But so so true – how do you go back to economy after flying in business?

      Reply
  7. Brianna Simmons

    Lie flat beds, stellar service and gourmet food? Sign me up!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Right? 🙂

      Reply
  8. mark wyld

    looks fantastic what a way to fly, don’t think i will ever the coin o fly business well not why we are dragging our kids around the with us anyway. The seats look great i would love to be able to lie flat on many flights from Australia to Europe that we have done

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Phwoooar – Auz to Europe’s a long flight eh?

      Reply
  9. Melanie

    You guys rock. I wasn’t lucky enough yet to try out business class. I would love to. How did it feel afterwards to be in an ecomony class again? Did you guys laughed about it or were shocked?
    😉 Great review!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha – thanks 🙂 So true – we have our first economy trip coming up soon and boy that’s gonna be tough!

      Reply
  10. Carly

    I’m considering travel hacking just to start saving up for an experience like this. I’ve flown ANA once before and didn’t find them to be superior to any other airline – but then again, economy is all the same 😛 That food looks to die for.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Right?

      Reply
  11. Katja

    Oh to turn left when you get on the plane! I have never flown ANA and now I really want to…but only if I can sit in the big seats with a glass of champagne (or two, or three..) in hand. What a way to travel!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha – the turning left…. So true 🙂

      Reply
  12. Brenda Tolentino

    Well, you two look very comfortable in business class. I’m sure it will not be the last time you travel in such luxury! My favorite part of course, is that wonderful food! My daughter would go mad with all the delicious food offerings, sssshhhhh, don’t tell her about it.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha – thanks Brenda! Secret’s with us 🙂

      Reply
  13. Natasha

    I have never traveled business class but it’s certainly on my list. I love the photo of you guys sleeping, looks like pure relaxation, all you need is a face mask! For some reason, this post made me think of the airplane scene in Bridesmaids. 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Natasha you just made us BURST out laughing, cause we were thinking the same thing the entire flight (THAT Bridesmaids scene!!)

      Reply
  14. Jenna

    I’ve yet to fly first class, but I’d be worried I’d never want to go back to economy!! This looks amazing 🙂 I especially love that they give you a glass of champagne when you board and that you ramen is included in the variety of snacks offered–I would definitely order up a bowl of ramen! The seats and amenities look wonderful as well–what a wonderful experience!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Jenna 🙂

      Reply
  15. Jen Joslin

    Living the dream, guys!! First class sounds so freaking elegant. All that gourmet food! Endless champagne! The L’Occitane goodies! This is a dream for one day 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Jen 🙂

      Reply
  16. AcrossCities

    I’ve only flown business class twice, but I have to say YES I NEVER WANTED TO GO BACK TO BEING IN ECONOMY AGAIN! Hahaha. But of course I had to, because that was just a business trip that I didn’t pay for. Always a diff story when you’re the one to pay. Haha.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Amazing isn’t it? 🙂

      Reply
  17. anna

    Ahh loved reading this. Looks like a fab experience. The food looks amazing too. I had the pleasure of being upgraded to business and first class via Philippine airlines and that was pretty sweet too.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Niiiiiiice!!! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Jennifer Melroy

    I lovw getting to fly business class. It is so much more relaxing during travel and makes landing feel so much better. Jet lag is so much better after business class.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Now there’s a statement I love: “jet lag is so much better after business class” – too true 🙂

      Reply
  19. NOM NOM Boris

    ah now this is how I need to fly, I think that would be the first time I have no pains for a tall person. I am 6″4 (almost 2 m).

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      WOW!! ANA’s perfect for you 🙂

      Reply
  20. Vassilis

    I have done business class trips on compnay’s expenses and it is ture the experience of travel is in another level. For my personal trips I prefer exonomy, firstly to be next to my friend and secondly to save money to spend on destination rather on air

    Reply

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Hello and welcome to our on-line ramblings of our fun and discoveries around the world. We love diving, eating, cooking, keeping fit and general (mis)adventures.

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