I recently flew ANA for the first time in several years, from Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita in economy class.
At the Airport
I arrived at the checkin desk a little over an hour before takeoff and there was no queue. The checkin agent seemed to struggle to understand me, as I requested multiple times to input an ANA Mileage Club number and he did not understand. I got a proper paper ticket and proceeded to the gate.
The departure gate was 22. Upon arrival there was an ANA plane at the gate on either side, but not 22. The inbound plane arrived, but as it had apparently arrived late our own boarding was slightly delayed on its inbound flight from Narita.
The flight was operated by a Boeing 767-300 (registration number JA619A).
The seats were somewhat boxy looking and not very flexible. They did not recline, but the inside of the seat could be moved forward slightly within the frame, similarly to the horrible clam seats Cathay tried some years ago. The seat pitch was narrow and felt a bit uncomfortable. Perhaps to ameliorate this, the seatback pocket was fairly small so it was hard to store much in it. At the seat upon boarding was a decent sized blanket.
The tray table was a good size and sturdy, and there was a USB point under the screen and a plug socket beneath the seat which took Hong Kong plugs.
The seatback screen was fairly small. The entertainment selection was middling in terms of range.
Economy was half full at best. This and the passenger mix gave the flight a pleasingly restrained, quiet air.
We were about twenty minutes late pushing back and there was then a slight air traffic control delay.
This was a gorgeous daytime departure with great visibility. We headed west from the airport, circled around Lantau and headed up, with great views over Lantau, Cheung Chau, Lamma, Hong Kong Island and in the distance Kowloon side all at once. Similarly, we flew over Taiwan’s islands and hen up the main island’s spine, later also crossing over some of the Okinawan islands. It was suddenly dark by the time we reached Honshu.
The pilot was British, which struck me as a bit odd (I’d prefer a Japanese pilot on a Japanese carrier) but with an old school cut glass accent. It was a flawless flight, arriving about a quarter of an hour after schedule.
The service started with the distribution of wet paper towels. There was then a drinks service with Japanese snacks. Following that the crew did the meal service.
The crew were throughout the cabin very regularly, sometimes offering tea or water. I was impressed at how available they were.
ANA introduced a new uniform several years back designed by a foreign designer. I used to fly ANA a lot but have rarely been onboard after I was dissatisfied with their Osaka ground agents a couple of times, so am still adjusting to the new uniform. It looks neither elegant nor very Japanese, in my view, and I would prefer the airline to change to a better uniform.
Throughout the flight announcements were made in English, Japanese and Cantonese by cabin crew members.
Food and Drink
The cabin crew had a large menu to show passengers the option, which was between beef and rice, and seafood and noodles. However, as I was in the penultimate row, only the Japanese option was available.
The starter was an apple salad which was decent. The main course was good, with the rice very well cooked compared to the rice one normally receives in economy class meals. Seafood and curry are a bit of an odd combination for my textural preferences though the curry was tasty enough. The dessert was a simple coconut mousse cake.
I thought that the presentation, though fairly simple, showed a restrained elegance. The light colour hue used worked very well. I also liked the proper cup, although the glass was very small.
This was an enjoyable flight characterised by excellent service. The lack of a meal choice is always irritating but as the available meal was good I did not mind too much.