ANA Business class review: Tokyo Haneda to London

Sebastien Chaneac

“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 I pouted back at her fiercely, preparing to tuck into a very tasty beef steak fillet and Aomori black garlic confit.

Stefan also looked on in a fit of giggles at me as I so effortlessly settled into my 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, the ANA business class always ranks amongst the top of the World Airline Awards. The accolades don't stop there. ANA's business class is 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). We loved every second of it and couldn't wait to write our review of flying business class with All Nippon Airways.

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ANA Business class review highly rated seats and facilities
Travelling like a boss – Stefan in his pyjamas in ANA's business class

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

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 overhead 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 flatbed. For us, this was more than enough space to sleep in a straight position: Stefan is 170cm (5ft 7″) and Sebastien is 175cm (5ft 9″).

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

The inflight service

The standard of service onboard 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

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 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 sautΓ©ed 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 complement 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 is 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 culinary prizes (champagne on its way of course!)

Entertainment

Each cubicle has its own large 17-inch 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

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, earplugs, 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?

Hell yeah!

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 again.

ANA business class boarding passes Nomadic Boys
Our ANA business class boarding pass selfie
Travel advice for LGTBQ community

Advice for LGBTQ travellers to Japan

We found Japan to be very gay friendly for LGBTQ travellers. Whilst society is very conservative, the Japanese are one of the most respectful and polite people we've ever met. They welcome all foreigners with a charming smile and bow. As a gay couple travelling in Japan, booking a double bed was never an issue in any of the hotels or guesthouses we stayed at.

For more, check out our gay guide to Tokyo and our Japan itinerary for LGBTQ travellers.


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An honest review of flying business class with All Nippon Airways from Japan to London

Happy travels are safe travels

We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

Sebastien Chaneac

Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of nomadicboys.com. He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

48 thoughts on “ANA Business class review: Tokyo Haneda to London”

  1. I have not yet had the opportunity to travel in business class, the tourist difference is quite high, I think that one day, when the stock market rings, I will treat myself. Very good article guys, keep it up! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. Hey guys. I loved this service myself when I flew JFK-NRT. My own personal preference is for the onboard sake. Champagne is a, of course, a pleasure, but it’s quite difficult to find the premium sakes on board outside of Japan (at any price).

    Reply
  3. 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
  4. 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
    • Now there’s a statement I love: “jet lag is so much better after business class” – too true πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. I’ve yet to fly first class, but I’d be worried I’d never want to go back to economy!! This looks amazing πŸ™‚ 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
  9. 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. πŸ™‚

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

      Reply
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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 πŸ˜› That food looks to die for.

    Reply
  13. 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?
    πŸ˜‰ Great review!

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

      Reply
  14. 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
  15. 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
    • That’s hilarious (and amazing – ha ha ha!) But so so true – how do you go back to economy after flying in business?

      Reply
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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

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