A few minutes prior to boarding time, I left the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge and made my way to gate 94 where my ANA “Inspiration of Japan” Boeing 777-300ER was waiting. Boarding was delayed approximately 30 minutes due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft so I just hung out at the gate area and took some pictures.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (77W)
San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (NRT)
Depart: 11:10 AM on Friday (11:40 AM actual)
Arrive: 3:20 PM next day (3:40 PM actual)
Duration: 11hr 30mn
Seat: 26A Economy Class
Boarding started with first class passengers, followed by business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members and then everyone else. First class passengers boarded through door 1L and everyone else boarded through door 2L.
On this trip, I was seated in seat 26A, a window seat on the left side of the plane located in the forward, mini-economy class cabin.
On this version of ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER (version 4 on Seat Guru), there are two economy class cabins in a higher-density 3 X 4 X 3 layout. The forward economy class cabin is smaller and more private with only 6 rows of seats whereas the rear cabin is much larger with 13 rows of seats. All economy class seats are 17’’ wide and have 31 inches of pitch. It’s a tight squeeze. And keep in mind, bulkhead and emergency exit row seats will have their IFE monitor and tray tables located within the fixed armrests so seat width in those rows will be further reduced slightly.
My personal opinion is the seats in the forward mini-cabin are more ideal than the larger, more crowded rear cabin. However, if you are traveling with another person, try to get the seats on the left or right sides of rows 39 or 40. They are in sets of two and offer more space in between the window seat and the wall.
Waiting at my seat was a pillow, day blanket and set of plastic headphones. Storage-wise, you can store you items in the large overhead bins or under the seat in front of you and your electronic devices such as iPads and laptops can be stored in the seatback pocket. In addition to the main seatback pocket, there is a secondary mesh seatback pocket for items like your wallet, glasses and cell phone. I like the mesh pocket as you can see what’s in them reducing the chances that you will leave your valuables behind.
Each economy class seat is equipped with a personal entertainment system with audio/video, on demand entertainment, a foot rest, coat hook, USB port, universal electrical outlet (located under the seat) and personal reading lamp.
The HD in-flight entertainment monitor is clear and crisp and has a privacy tint that darkens the screen when viewed from an angle. The monitor was great for watching movies during flight without disturbing your neighbors but the entertainment selection itself was very weak. For their “new releases”, there was only a selection of about 8 new movies including titles such as Jurassic Park, Minions, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Train Wreck. As for their “Hollywood Hits” section, add on a handful of movies such as the other Mission Impossible movies, Edward Scissor Hands and Minority Report.
If movies aren’t your thing, there are audio channels, video games, a moving map, forward facing camera and seat-to-seat chat functions to keep you entertained. Lucky for me, I haven’t seen any movies lately so I was able to keep myself entertained with the mediocre selection of movie titles.
On this flight, economy class was nearly full with only a handful of seats empty in the rear cabin. After all the passengers were boarded, we pushed back from the gate and made our 11 hr 30 mn journey to Tokyo.
Once we reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendants prepared for our lunch service. I’m usually not a fan of ANA’s catering but I must admit, the two meals I had on this flight were not bad. They were weird but somehow the flavors worked well together and were quite delicious.
Lunch service started with drinks and a package of rice crackers. Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine and spirits) were complimentary but it was a very limited selection.
For lunch, we had an option of a Japanese set meal or an international option. I went with the international option, which consisted of a cold cuts starter, potato salad, bread roll and the meatball with vegetables (hash browns) main dish. I know. It totally sounds random right? Meatballs and hash browns? But surprisingly, it tasted really good and I ate it all.
After I was done eating, my tray was taken away and the flight attendants came by with Hagaan Dazs vanilla ice cream.
After lunch, I reclined my seat back and settled in for a movie (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and yes, it was a good flick). Seat comfort was really nice. Unlike the fake seat recline on ANA’s 787 (where the seat pan just moves forward but the seatback is fixed), this seat had a real recline and it was pretty decent too. Halfway through the movie, I fell asleep and was able to actually get about 3 hours of rest. That’s pretty good for an economy seat.
When I woke up, I walked around looking for more food and was glad to see some stuff laid out in the galleys. In addition to water, juices and bottles of wine, there were snacks such as rice crackers, bananas and chocolates laid out. I grabbed a banana, some rice cracker packs and a piece of chocolate, made my way back to my seat and settled in for the rest of the flight.
About two and a half hours before arrival into Tokyo, the cabin lights were turned on and the cabin crew came by to prepare for our pre-arrival meal service. Hot towels and beverages were distributed followed by our meals. Our two options were shrimp and scallop pasta or port wine braised chicken and pasta. I went with the chicken and pasta, served with a side of fruit, yogurt and a bread roll. Again, it was a weird combination of items and flavors but I was pleasantly surprised with how good it tasted.
Service-wise, the flight attendants were great. They walked the cabin frequently during meal services and throughout the flight. They were friendly and tried to engage you in conversation even if their English wasn’t that great. Drinks were refilled often and everything was said with a smile. But in all fairness, drinks had to be refilled often as ANA has the tiniest beverage cups and cups were never filled more than halfway.
Overall, I was happy with this ANA flight. The seat was a bit narrow but I was happy to see an actual reclining seat. I was also glad to see they have improved their catering since my last flight with them. Their food used to be one of my biggest complaints but it looks like they have stepped up their game a bit. So now my only complaint with ANA is their mediocre movie selection. If you’re into Japanese movies and Anime, you will be happy but everyone else will long for a bit more entertainment.
Other related reviews include:
- SilverKris Lounge at SFO
- ANA (Air Japan) Boeing 767 economy class, Tokyo to Taipei
- ANA Boeing 787 economy class, San Jose to Tokyo
- United Airlines Boeing 787 economy class, Los Angeles to Tokyo
- United Airlines Boeing 787 BusinessFirst, Los Angles to Tokyo
- Japan Airlines Boeing 777 first class, Tokyo to Los Angeles
- Hilton Tokyo
- ANA Lounge at Tokyo Narita
- Korean Airlines Lounge at Tokyo Narita
- United Club at Tokyo Narita