FLIGHT REVIEW: ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS 841
Aircraft | Boeing 787-9 (JA885A)
Flight | NH841
Route | HND TO SIN
Class | Premium Economy Class
2-3-2 Configuration, 14 Seats.
Recently, my company organised a marketing event at our Tokyo office, and it was decided to send myself and 2 other colleagues up to Japan for a fast 4 day work trip. After comparing prices, miles accrual, and timing of flights, we chose to fly with All Nippon Airways' (ANA) Economy Class. We arrived in Japan on Thursday afternoon, and by Monday it was time to return home to Singapore. For the return leg of the trip, I decided to fork out about S$260 to upgrade to Premium Economy class. I have never flown on All Nippon Airway’s Premium Economy class before, hence it was a nice self indulgence to end off a very rushed 4 day work trip to Japan.
Flight boarding at Haneda Airport was timely, and doors were closed on time as we prepare for push back. The one thing I love about Japan is how orderly and timely things are in terms of procedures and service. My flight today is onboard ANA’s Boeing 787-9, Reg: JA885A, a 6 year old B787-9 in ANA’s fleet. This aircraft has a 3 class configuration, with 40 in Business, 14 in Premium Economy and 192 in Economy class, giving a total of 246 pax capacity.
Let’s start with the Premium Economy cabin, which is not very big in this particular 787-9 configuration. With a total of 14 Premium economy seats, this Premium Economy Cabin is one of the smallest I have flown on. Decked with dark blue carpets and seat upholstery, the cabin offers a nice ambience representative of ANA’s brand image. As with all 787s with Boeing’s Sky Interior, the cabin lightings are all LEDs, with different colours used during boarding, flight and de-boarding. Also, ANA's Boarding music was played and added to the overall ambience of flying with the airline. Being seated next to the large engines might worry some passengers due to the noise, but this is not the case with the Dreamliner. The 787 is indeed, a quieter comparison to other aircraft in the skies.
For the flight to Singapore, I selected seat 16K on the right side of the aircraft. ANA’s Premium Eco product is quite comfortable, offering good seat pitch of 38-inches and width of 19.3-inches. It is visually similar to EVA Air’s current Premium Economy product on their 777s, with universal power port & USB port charging and personal reading light.
In Premium Economy, we are given a blanket, a soft comfy pillow, a pair of slippers, and offered Face Masks, eye mask, ear plugs as additional creature comforts for the flight. Head phones are also provided, kept neatly in a plastic covering inside the small upper right seat pocket.
The Inflight Entertainment System is intuitive, with a very responsive touch screen system, though a bit on the small side at only 11-inches. The Airline’s database on international movies is quite well rounded, fill with many popular Hollywood New Releases, Hits, and Japanese Productions as well. Inflight Duty Free Shopping Can be done via the IFE system as well, along with an inflight map, E-books and ANA Original Content available for passengers. Sadly, there are no games in their IFE system, so kids would have to make do with cartoons and colouring books to pass the time.
The seat controls and IFE controller are located on the sides of the middle arm rest of the seat. This makes it difficult to access the controls when the tray table is out. The controller unit is removable though, so remember to remove it before you fold out the tray table.
The tray table is stowed in the armrest, and is easily pulled out from its kept position. When open, the 2-fold design I can get quite wobbly, especially when typing on a laptop like I am doing so now. Yes, this is being written in flight. Ok, meal time has arrived, so let’s see how the food is onboard ANA’s Premium Economy flight.
Inflight Meal (Lunch)
Lunch was served promptly not long after take off. For this flight, 2 options were available: Omelette Rice with Eel or Omelette Rice with beef stew. To choose our desired meal, the flight attendant showed us a menu with English translations, as most Japanese might not be too fluent in other foreign languages. All we had to do is point at the set we'd like and done. The meal itself is quite delightful, with a good selection of appetisers and entrees. The Omelette Rice was tasty, and perfectly balanced in flavour. The rice was not overly soggy, nor was it too dry. Though no salt and peppers were provided, I felt they weren’t necessary as it might spoil the flavours anyway. The Crab Meat and Macaroni Salad was interesting, I didn’t finish it as I’m not a big fan of cream, but I did finish off the crab meat toppings. The bread was cold though, which might be ok for some, but I prefer the bread served on Singapore Airlines’ flights. The meal came with a bottle of water, and an additional drink, beer in my case. And to end off, we were given a small tub of Haagen Das Ice Cream for desert.
After lunch, we were given another packet of rice crackers and a drink.
Before landing, a simple snack and tea was served, with Cream bun & Green Tea as the only offering. One point I would like to mention is with regards to ANA's main course packaging. The airline has also opted for a more sustainable option for their main course , it it looks simple but elegant. The material used felt solid, and not cheap in anyway. While there are still some uses of plastic for the appetisers and side dishes, it is a good first step into a more sustainable aviation industry.
ANA’s service has always been one of the best in the world. And this flight does not fall short of my personal expectations. The crew are attentive, and friendly, with a welcoming demeanour that truly represents the spirit of Japan. Every request is met with a warm smile and a small bow, adding to an incredible inflight experience.
My last flight with ANA was back in 2016, and after 7 years, even after COVID19, the airline is still able to maintain excellent service and provide such attention to detail for passengers to enjoy. The cabin crew were awesome, meals were delicious, and lots of programs to help the time pass faster on the IFE. Though ANA is considered pricier compared to its rival airline, and the seat design in PE is simpler and less extravagant as well, I find it more comfortable, spacious and allows me to enjoy my flight more. So, if I were to fly to Japan again, ANA would be on my top choice of airlines to fly with.
P/S: Our Holiday trip in December is an exemption as my travel party voted on. “Cheapest goes”. Sorry ANA. Next Year :)