• Introduction: Twice To Tokyo • Review: Delta SkyClub Miami Airport • Review: Delta A321 First Class • Review: Alaska Lounge New York JFK Airport • Review: British Airways Club Lounge New York JFK Airport • Review: NEW ANA 777 “The Room” Business Class • Review: Haneda Airport Transit Hotel • Review: ANA Business Lounge Tokyo Haneda Airport • Review: Lufthansa A350 Business Class • Review: Lufthansa Business Lounge Munich • Review: Lufthansa A320neo Business Class • Review: The Langley, Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel • Review: NEW ANA 777 “The Suite” First Class • Review: Andaz Tokyo, A Hyatt Hotel • Review: Delta One Business Class A330-900neo
In July 2019, All Nippon Airways introduced spectacular-looking new first & business class seats with barely any lead time, as their first plane with these seats entered service just weeks later.
I knew I had to try them, because both first and business class look industry leading. As of now ANA is offering their new cabins to London Heathrow and New York, and they’ll soon also be offering them on flights to Frankfurt.
While I had reviewed ANA’s new business class (“The Room”) from New York to Tokyo a couple of days prior, it was now time to review ANA’s new first class (“The Suite”) from London to Tokyo.
The reason I flew to Tokyo twice on this trip is because ANA has significantly more first & business class award availability to Tokyo than from Tokyo, so this was the only way I could redeem miles for both experiences on one trip.
All Nippon Airways is in the Star Alliance, so there are plenty of options for redeeming miles for them, assuming you can find award availability. Some of the best options for one-way first class tickets include the following:
The very best value for redeeming on All Nippon Airways is to book through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, as you can redeem just 120,000 miles for a roundtrip first class ticket from New York or London to Tokyo. Unfortunately they don’t allow one-way awards, so in this case that wasn’t an option for me.
I ended up redeeming 115,000 LifeMiles miles for this ticket, and paid a total of $303 in taxes and fees (there were no carrier imposed surcharges, but rather the fees were so high because I was originating in the UK, so had to pay the Air Passenger Duty).
LifeMiles is transfer partner with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou, and in this case I redeemed miles I already had in my account from having outright purchased them, given that LifeMiles often has sales on buying miles.
I got to Heathrow Airport at around 4PM for my 7PM flight to Tokyo. ANA departs from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, and ANA first class passengers have access to the Singapore Airlines first class lounge. I won’t be reviewing that this time around, since I’ve done so in detail in the past.
Boarding for the ANA flight was scheduled to start at 6:30PM at gate B46, so I headed to the gate at around 6PM. At 6:20PM they started to “open up” the queues, and then at 6:30PM on the dot boarding started, with first class and ANA Mileage Club Diamond members being invited to board first.
Before I start this flight review, for context check out my review of ANA’s “old” first class from a recent flight from Chicago to Tokyo, to see just how much has changed.
All Nippon Airways 212London (LHR) – Tokyo (HND)Friday, January 10Depart: 7:00PMArrive: 3:50PM (+1 day)Duration: 11hr50minAircraft: Boeing 777-300ERSeat: 2K (First Class)
This flight was boarding through two doors, though the forward door was being used exclusively for first class passengers, meaning I was one of only two passengers to use the door.
Upon entering the plane I was greeted by what can only be described as a rockstar team, including the first class flight attendant, the first class purser, and the chief purser.
WOW, ANA’s new first class is a massive improvement over their old product in every way — I was so impressed. As before, ANA’s first class cabin has eight seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.
As I was escorted to my seat, the first class flight attendant explained in the most adorable way that the right side of the cabin was all “mine,” as the only other first class passenger was in 1A.
The center seats in ANA’s new first class are ideal for those traveling together, and such an improvement over the old seats — in the old configuration they had partitions between center seats that made it impossible to enjoy the flight together, while now there’s a partition that can be moved up or down.
I had assigned myself seat 2K, the window seat on the right side in the second row. On the surface this might not look like a cutting edge first class product, but what sets it apart is the massive TV and well thought out design.
The first thing that stood out to me was the truly ginormous 42″ 4K TV at each seat, making this the biggest TV you’ll find at any first class seat.
To the side of that was a tray table, which could be pulled in or out, and could also be folded over in half. The ottoman could also double as a buddy seat, should you want to dine face-to-face with a travel companion.
To the right side of the seat were the entertainment controller, seat controls, outlets, and HDMI plug (which for whatever reason wasn’t working yet, but this will be an awesome feature when it’s functional). There was also some more storage in this area.
To the left side of the seat was a literature pocket, though this secretly doubled as a large mirror when you opened it up, which was pretty cool. I could see most people completely missing this feature.
There were individual air nozzles, which is such a welcome addition, as ANA’s old first class seats didn’t have this.
ANA’s new first class hard product is top notch. It addresses all of the complaints I had about the old seat — how they were “boxed in” (preventing you from talking to the person next to you, or even looking out the window), how there were no individual air nozzles, etc.
Already waiting at my seat upon boarding was a pillow and a blanket, which was in addition to the more substantial bedding available with turndown service.
Then there were a pair of pajamas, a cardigan, and slippers. I was proactively given large pajamas — these are definitely Japanese sized, because the top was basically the shirt equivalent of jorts (which is to say my arms weren’t fully covered).
There was also an amenity kit containing an eye mask, ear plugs, a dental kit, and some toiletries from “The Ginza.” I quite like the facial cleanser they have in there, especially since it’s in a convenient travel size container.
The amenity kit contents were pretty basic, but that was because a moment after settling in I was brought a basket with all kinds of other amenities, from lip balm to leg refreshing sheets (which I’ve still never tried on an ANA flight… what’s wrong with me?!).
At this point I was also presented with a wifi voucher for the flight, offering free wifi with no data caps for the entire flight… yay!
At this point the first class flight attendant, first class purser, and chief purser, all stopped by my seat one-by-one to welcome me onboard. The chief purser told me the flight time would be about 11 hours. I was then offered a pre-departure drink, and selected a glass of champagne.
By 6:45PM the cabin doors were closed, meaning the whole boarding process took just 15 minutes. That’s because of the light load — if I overheard the ground staff correctly in the gate area, there were two first class passengers, 61 business class passengers, 11 premium economy passengers, and 51 economy passengers.
At 7PM we began our taxi, at which point the safety video was screened. We had possibly the shortest Heathrow taxi ever, and by 7:05PM were cleared for takeoff on runway 27R.
10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the curtains between cabins and the galleys were closed.
Service got started quickly after takeoff. Just 15 minutes after takeoff I was presented with the menu for the flight, as well as a warm towel.
I was reminded that I could have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, though I followed the traditional format of the menu, and had dinner after takeoff and then a snack before landing.
Less than 20 minutes after takeoff I was presented with my first drink. I continued with champagne, as they were serving Krug Grande Cuvee. It’s interesting to note that they seem to load both 375ml and 750ml bottles.
On the surface that seems smart, since it’s potentially less wasteful. However, I think they may have gotten the wrong read on me.