Perfect service: ANA NH873 Kansai to Hong Kong in Business Class

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Ticketing

This was the return leg of an open jaw Hong Kong – Japan award ticket booked several months in advance for 35,000 ANA Mileage Club miles and 7,540 yen ($544).

Equipment

This flight was operated by a Boeing 767.

The seat reclined and was wide, but it was not especially premium.

 

Part of one arm was dangling from it and could not be properly reattached, which looked bad.

Upon boarding, there was a good-sized blanket and pillow on the seat, and slippers in the seatback pocket. There were also headphones, although no screen was visible and I was not sufficiently motivated to hunt beneath the seat for one – it was a gorgeous, clear day and I was happy to pass the flight watching the scenery through the window.

The (U.S. style) plug point was in a nook in my armrest. Not only could I not find it on my own, its weird location made it awkward to plug into. Overall, this was hardly a great business class hard product for a regional flight, but unfortunately it is not substantially worse than that offered by other carriers. On a daytime flight this bothers me less but if I had wanted some solid sleep this would not have been the best product on which to get it.

Flight

I had been assigned seat 8A and the seat beside me was empty. The cabin was slightly less than half full with what looked like predominantly leisure travellers.

Before boarding it was announced that boarding would be delayed for half an hour due to air traffic flow control in Hong Kong. Boarding started on the dot at the new time, and we pushed back from gate 1 half an hour exactly after the original scheduled departure time. We were further delayed outside Hong Kong but still made it to our low numbered gate a couple of minutes ahead of schedule.

It was a smooth flight except for some turbulence next to Mount Shinmoedake. It has been volcanically active lately so I wondered if that was the reason. (This was the volcano in You Only Live Twice, interestingly).

Food and Drink

The menu and drinks list was in the seatback upon boarding and was as below.

Before the meal the tablecloth is set, but it is a thin, artificial looking thing and detracts from the airline’s otherwise premium meal presentation.

As a pre-meal beverage I chose the champagne. I was served a non-vintage Lombardi Axiome rather than the Collet on the menu. It was pleasant and I had no complaint but I did wonder why the selection differed to that shown on the menu. When I asked a flight attendant this, she came back with a digital tablet to show a whole page on the wine, including tasting notes from a Master of Wine.

I had a champagne and some rice snacks after takeoff (there was no beverage offered prior to departure). I then had the Japanese meal. The starter was excellent and the main, although it was good, was a bit much for me at that point. Overall the food quality was very high, not only in terms of flavour but also presentation.

Service

The cabin crew was friendly, attentive, professional and poised. The service was flawless. It also felt warm not mechanical.

After the first beverage and snack, and another round offered, the meal service commenced. It was followed by a tea service and later by a basket of amenities such as eye masks. The crew came through the cabin frequently and responded to all requests rapidly.

The toilets were spotless, with some amenities such as mouthwash and toothbrushes.

Conclusion

This was a relaxed, enjoyable daytime flight with a good cabin crew – a pleasant way to pass a few hours.

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