One of the aircraft that ANA All Nippon Airways uses on its regional flights within Asia is the Boeing 787.
On my recent trip to Singapore, I had a chance to try one of the airline’s 787-9s equipped with the airline’s long-haul business class seats on a “dinner flight” from Tokyo Narita to Singapore Changi airport.
In this review, you’ll see what it was like – and what you can expect when taking a dinner (or lunch) time medium-haul ANA flight.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Getting Onboard ANA Flight 801
I arrived at Narita airport around 4:30PM with more than enough time to spare before my flight’s 6:05PM departure.
After getting my boarding pass from one of the automated machines at Terminal 1 South Wing, I headed through priority security check and then through one of the automated immigration kiosks.
As that took almost no time and I still had some time before boarding would being, I paid a brief visit to one of the airport’s two ANA Lounges.
I left the lounge at 5:25PM, ten minutes before the scheduled boarding time, and headed to gate 58A where the flight was departing from.
By the time I got there, the Boeing 787-9 was more or less ready for departure, and the boarding started just a couple of minutes later.
First, ANA Diamond status were invited to board, and then, business class passengers followed.
Onboard, I passed through the galley where some magazines and newspapers were available for business class passengers, and headed to my window seat, 2K.
ANA All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class Cabin
While ANA has 787-9s equipped with both recliner seats (for regional flights) as well as staggered seats (for longer flights) in business class. Luckily, the Singapore flight is operated by aircraft with the staggered seats.
Upon boarding, headset, mattress, blanket, slippers, and a pillow were waiting at the seat. It’s worth noting here that the Tokyo – Singapore route is the only intra-Asian route where the mattress is offered.
As for the seat itself, there was a console with a counter large enough for a laptop, etc. on the left side. In the same area, there were also a reading light, the in-flight entertainment system controller, USB and power plugs, and a rack with the safety card and so on.
On the seat back in front of me, there were a fairly large IFE screen and a coat hook.
Departing Tokyo Narita Bound for Singapore
As I stowed my bag in the overhead compartment, one of the cabin crew members came to ask if I needed any help. With the bag in stored, she also asked if there was anything else she could do – and so I asked for a cup of water.
Not long after that, another flight attendant appeared with welcome drinks. The choice was either sparkling wine or orange juice, and so I went with the latter.
I received a bottle of water (and an immigration form) not long after that.
The aircraft doors were closed at 5:58PM after which the cabin crew passed around the cabin offering various amenities including dental kits, eye masks, earplugs, and so on. There were no actual amenity kits.
A couple of minutes after that, newspapers were offered, and once that was done, ANA’s fairly new kabuki-themed safety video was played.
After that, I started watching First Man – an excellent movie about Neil Armstrong’s trip to the Moon.
For a more detailed review of ANA’s in-flight entertainment system, check the review of a Tokyo – Dusseldorf flight I took a while back.
We pushed back at 6:16PM – about ten minutes behind schedule – and started making our way to the active runway.
Ten minutes later, the cabin crew announced that business class passengers should make sure to hold their cellphones and so on since they could fall and get stuck under the seat – reminding me of my “laptop incident” onboard Finnair a while back.
Another ten or so minutes later, at 6:38PM, we took off.
ANA Business Class Dinner
At 6:45PM, one of the flight attendants made an announcement saying that Singapore was one hour behind Tokyo, and that we expected to land on time, at 12:40AM local time. She also mentioned that seats could be reclined and tray tables used, but that seatbelt signs would stay on for a bit longer due to possible turbulence.
Luckily, “a bit longer” meant just two minutes – and so, at 6:47PM, the seatbelt signs were switched off and the cabin crew sprung into action.
Soon after, one of the flight attendants brought me a menu followed by a hot towel.
Then, she came around to take my dinner order.
Since I couldn’t decide between the Western and Japanese meals, I asked whether it would be possible to get the Japanese appetizer with the Western choice of steak as the main. And, indeed, it was.
Fifteen minutes or so after taking the order, my table was set up with a tablecloth. And, I received a cup of orange juice that I ordered earlier.
Then, amuse-bouche was served. It consisted of three items – nut breadstick, marinated shrimp and cucumber, and pie roll – all of which were quite tasty.
Next up, it was time for the appetizer.
It was served on a tray with three plates containing all the different items. And, separately from that, I asked for a cup of Japanese tea.
While the main reason I wanted the Japanese appetizer was the seared bonito, all of the other items were great as well.
Shortly before 8PM, the friendly flight attendant came to clear my appetizer tray and asked how it was. I mentioned that it was excellent and that I was glad I went with the Japanese option – to which she nodded and said that she was glad to hear that.
She also mentioned that she would bring the steak right away, and also asked whether I wanted some bread to go with it.
Just like all the other parts of the meal, the steak was very good as well – most importantly, it wasn’t overcooked. And, eating it while cruising at 36,000 feet and watching a movie about the Apollo 11 mission was an unforgettable experience.
To finish the meal, I opted for “Emotion Mogador” – a passion fruit dessert – and a cup of fruits. And, I had a cup of peppermint tea to go with it.
When the flight attendant brought the tea, she also offered me a chocolate – which I couldn’t resist.
At the very end of the meal service, everyone received a water bottle.
Before continuing with the rest of the flight, below is the flight’s drink menu.
A Bit of Sleep in ANA’s Flat Bed
With the meal service done, I worked on a KLM review a bit before paying a brief visit to one of the lavatories and turning my seat into a bed.
As for the lavatory, besides being equipped with a state-of-the-art toilet with touchless flushing and a bidet function, there were also some amenities – same as those that the cabin crew handed out at the beginning of the flight – available.
The seat – when converted into bed – was quite comfortable. And, since it was a window seat in a staggered configuration, it offered a lot of privacy.
I should also note here that the Singapore flight is the only ANA flight within Asia (I believe) where mattress pads are offered. That said, they are quite thin, and so don’t increase the comfort that much.
I fell asleep around 10PM Japan time, and woke up about three hours later – just before 12AM Singapore time. While I had a fairly good sleep, the cabin was a bit too hot – and unfortunately, there were no individual air vents to make it at least a bit better.
Arrival at Singapore Changi Airport
Shortly after I woke up, the cabin crew passed around the cabin offering candies and chocolate followed by drinks.
Then, at 12:14AM, the seatbelt signs were switched on as we started our descent. We landed at Changi airport at 12:29AM and reached our parking spot at 12:38AM – two minutes ahead of schedule.
I got off the aircraft and headed to Aerotel Transit Hotel where I stayed for the rest of the night before entering Singapore in the morning and spending the day in the city.
ANA Boeing 787-9 Medium-Haul Business Class Summary
With the flight departing in the evening, just in time for dinner – and being long enough to also allow for a quick sleep – the flight is likely one of the best ways to try ANA business class service.
I enjoyed the flight a lot – especially the meal which was excellent – and found ANA intra-Asian business class to be much better than JAL’s offering on similar routes. (At least based on this flight, and my JAL flights from Jakarta to Tokyo and from Tokyo to Delhi.)
As such, if you have the chance, I can only recommend taking ANA business class on medium-haul intra-Asia flights. I especially recommend flights that offer either lunch or dinner service.