Leaving a comfy but unspectacular Lufthansa lounge in the wonderful Munich airport, my expectations were high and the greeting on boarding was lovely. Star Wars music, smiles and a warm welcome to a cabin on the left side of the plane with a glass of champagne.
Mixed initial impressions
As expected the hospitality and food and drink options were plentiful although there was a definite language barrier. The seat was wide and comfortable with lots of storage space and a nice toiletries bag. As it was a 787 there was no window shutter and no air blower, personal dislikes of mine.
Food and drink
The meal selection was straightforward choice between western and Japanese. I chose Japanese. A few minutes later the hostess returned to apologise. Apparently too many people had requested it so I wasn’t to be allowed to have it. Not a great start to the flight, but there wasn’t anything to be done.
It was a nice evening meal of steak and potatoes but seeing my fellow Japanese passengers tucking into their first choice meal was a little galling. One point of comparison with some of the world’s best business class experiences is the non-existent refill of drinks and coffee unless you specifically ask. In fact I asked for brandy after the meal, which seemed to mean I didn’t get any coffee. I asked four times for coffee before it was brought, during which time another hostess kept trying to clean my empty cup away. They serve Johnny Walker Blue Label though, which was impressive.
Then the cabin lights went off and it was only here that I discovered ANA have the worst movie selection of any long haul flight I have ever been on. A small handful of English language films, mostly bargain basement rom-coms starring Hollywood teens I didn't know.
Great bed, terrible ventilation
The lie-flat bed and cabin were great however. But then came another problem. ANA has the hottest cabin I’ve been in. I had slipped into their pyjamas but still couldn’t sleep. I was sweating rivulets of water. In the end I had to strip to my underwear just to get a few hours sleep and my requests for some ice to put on my body brought grin but no comprehension from the staff.
The washbag was filled with good quality products including some very good moisturising cream.
12 hours later we were in Tokyo. The breakfast was tasty and I was allowed my first choice this time. I was feeling somewhat refreshed but a little let down. This certainly wasn’t a bad experience but I was expecting one of the best flight experiences. Instead I got a great cabin and some tasty food but did not feel this was the best in the business. Certainly Singapore Business and Virgin upper totally surpass ANA as, I was to discover a week later, does Asiana. Perhaps the best part was landing in Tokyo Haneda instead of Narita, which meant my journey into the city was far less arduous.
- Food and drinks 8/10
- Service 7/10
- Cabin comfort 5/10
- Seat pod 9/10
- Entertainment 2/10