ANA’s First Class “Super Style” Washington DC to Tokyo

Friday, April 14


Washington-Dulles to Tokyo

NH Flight 1: Scheduled Departure 12:20pm / Scheduled Arrival 3:20pm

Seats 2A, 2C


Left home at 9:45 and we were at Dulles at 10:30am. There was one person at each of the coach, business, and first class lines. Ironically, everyone waiting in the business and coach lines were checking in before us. The woman who began checking us in stopped in the middle to take care of the crew and then left the business class CSR to handle us.


ANA leaves out of B41, and the B concourse no longer requires the people mover. The underground concourse is fine, but a couple of the moving walkways weren’t functioning. That place is sure deserted a bit before 11am! And it’s such a dreary walk, you’d think they’d spice it up a bit or at least sell more ad space. Not every underground walkway has to be 70s futuristic like ORD but something would be nice.


Lounge is just past gate B41, with the business class side to the left and the first class (signet lounge) to the right. They check your boarding pass on the way in and direct you to the appropriate lounge, but you could easily go to whichever one you wish – the bathrooms are shared between the two lounges, and you could enter from one side and exit into the other lounge with impunity. Not that there’s any reason why you would: the first class side was crowded with Star Golds not flying in First, and there’s nothing special about the First Class lounge in any case. In terms of furnishings and food it would be a poor excuse for a United Red Carpet Club with its lone saving grace being self-serve mid-shelf liquor. Snacks were scarce, although the Japanese flavor to them was nice – there was some kind of trout item which was quite tasty.


Boarding is done directly from the lounge, and we were called up about halfway through the boarding process. First Class boards from the forward door of the 777 so very little traffic passed us by – just a few of the business class folks who were in the F lounge.


First load was 9/12, business was half full, and coach couldn’t have been more than 1/3 full. Mostly Japanese. Very light load for a Friday. No wonder there have been persistent rumors of ANA dropping this flight, they must not be getting much feed from United. (Informal polling showed that very few folks that I know here in DC were even aware that it was possible to fly non-stop to NRT.)


No pre-departure drinks were offered, but FAs offered pajama bottoms and sweaters which I declined since I was already in my own traveling gear and it wasn’t nice “take home” stuff.


Amenity bags are passed out empty and a basket is brought to you from which to choose your amenities. Previous reports were that FAs left the baskets out for people to take what they wished throughout the flight, but this wasn’t done today.


Meal was outstanding, this was probably the best airline catering I’ve ever experienced. There are both Western and Japanese menus, you’re welcome to mix and match at will, and then there’s a set of a la carte items to order from throughout the flight. Everything was boarded in sufficient quantity.


I found the Old (“SuperStyle”) seats to be hard and uncomfortable to sleep on. Pillow wasn’t all that big or fluffy and the blankets weren’t comfortable either. A duvet would be nice. It’s a good thing these are being phased out on long-haul (Dulles is the last US market I believe to get new style, and by the date of our return was running new style every other day — just not on the day I was flying back). The old seats are really just a mid-tier business class product and not reasonable for first.


Entertainment was a mix of video on demand (just a handful of movies and shows) and programming that cycles. There were games but none really to my taste.


Bathroom was stocked with towels similar to the hot ones that are generally passed out, and those were covered with flower petals. There were amenity items such as mouthwash and toothbrushes and toothpaste (all in sealed packets) as well. One of the two F bathrooms was oversized, which is nice to facilitate changing.


I have to give serious kudos to the ANA FAs. While much has been said about their ‘formal’ service, and it’s true that they’re not chatty (at least they weren’t with me), they are incredibly efficient at providing every possible comfort.


I never reached bottom on a drink. My glass was never empty for 14 hours. When I fell asleep, a FA came over and brought a comforter and covered me up without waking me. I hadn’t had any dessert with my lunch, though I mentioned that I might want tiramisu (off the a la carte menu, rather than the lunch menu). A couple hours before landing the same FA came over and asked whether I wanted a tiramisu before landing. Just a little thing, but it felt meaningful.


Landing was very hard and we came into a gate in the mid-80s, taxiing across the entire airport. We were out to baggage claim quickly as they deplaned from both the forward door and the one behind F. Only moments after we were through passport control our bags came out, the F class priority tags make all the difference. No delay at customs and we walked up to the desk in the arrivals hall for the Airport limousine bus.

Menus and photos after the jump…



Kaiseki course

Savor the refinement of classical Japanese cuisine. Our master chef selects nature’s finest, freshest ingredients to create a menu the evokes the essence of the season. A choice of hand-crafted sake perfectly complements this special dining experience.


Zensai

Prawn and yam cake

Simmered bonito

Cured hotaru-kia (firefly squid)

Sakura-perfumed duck breast

Sake-steamed fava bean

Honeyed sweet potatoes


Nomonowan

Yuba (tofu crepe)-wrapped shirauo (icefish) and seasonal vegetables in hot seafood stock


Oshinogi

Our selection of sushi


Kobachi

Shinshu-soba (buckwheat noodles)


Takiawase

Clam, sakura-fu (gluten cake), bamboo shoot and green seaweed simmered in light soy sauce


Shusai

Salmon simmered in special soy sauce

Assortment of simmered seasonal vegetables


Steamed rice, miso soup and assorted pickles


Dessert

Your choice of one of the following:

Ice cream and sorbet medly

Mango mousse and cookies

Warm pear pecan crumble tart with vanilla ice cream


Selection of fresh seasonal fruit


Green tea, roasted tea


Wagashi

Toraya “Shin midori” (white azuki bean and green tea jelly)


A la carte

Light, easy, uncomplicated dining. Choose the dishes that catch your imagination and each will be plated on board, producing a freshness and taste not unlike a fine restaurant dining experience. Naturally, we also offer a tempting range of fine wine and sake for your consideration.


Oscietra caviar with traditional garnish

Crab rillettes with petit fruit salad and garlic toast

Warm prawn and veal sweetbread ragout in raspberry sauce


Fresh garden salad with Japanese dressing

Maine lobster and scallop salad exotic with herb balsamic vinaigrette


Grilled beef tenderloin with basil perfumed tomato sauce (339 kcal)

Pan-roasted sea bass with red pimiento coulis (248 kcal)

Roast duck breast with honeyed grapefruit sauce (328 kcal)

Asparagus duo filled in cannelloni with tomato marinara (301 kcal)


Selection of breads with a choice of dairy butter or extra-virgin olive oil


Ice cream and sorbet medly

Mango mousse and cookies

Warm pear pecan crumble tart with vanilla ice cream

Selection of fresh seasonal fruit


Delights

For those who prefer lighter dining we invite you to choose from our extensive selection of snack dishes. For additional options, may our crew recommend one of the chef’s short tasting menus.


Sake accompaniment

Sansho peppered baby fish

Grilled oyster with special sake marinade

Yakitori (skewer grilled free-range chicken and vegetables)

Seafood and bamboo shoot braised in Chinese oyster sauce

Oden (hot pot with fishcakes and vegetables)

Assorted Japanese pickles


With wine

Chaumes

Roquefort

Three Sisters Farmstead Cheese


Light dishes

Kamonanban-udon (hot white wheat noodles with duck and leek)

Cantonese-style noodles in shark’s fine soup

Fresh uni (sea urchin roe) and Ikura (marinated salmon roe), served over rice

Japanese tea poured over rice, garnished with tai (sea bram) sashimi

Cantonese-style congee (rice porridge)

Chef’s special free-range chicken and mushroom curry

Super cheeseburger

Classic Calzone

Minestrone soup


Sweet treats

Tiramisu

Fruit tart


Post-nap comfort

Fresh garden salad

Cornflakes with milk

Selection of fresh seasonal fruit


Petite Japanese course

Baby potatoes braised in amber chicken sauce

Salt-grilled masu (salmon trout) with Japanese herb vinegar

Steamed rice or okayu (creamy rice porridge)

Natto (fermented soybeans) Dried seaweed

Miso soup Assorted pickles


Petite international course

Chicken piccata and creamy sweet corn stew with buttered rice

Bread roll

Fresh seasonal fruit

Wine & Beverage

Champagne

Krug Grande Cuvee



“Grande Cuvee” is an exquisite blend of exceptional vintages. This Krug has a fragrantly rich and elegant bouquet with hints of apple blossom, honey and roasted nutes. Its fine mousse, balance and length are the ultimate seduction. A truly elegant Champagne from a great master. Pinot Noirt/ Pinot Meunier/ Chardonnay


White

Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillions Vieilles Vignes 2000

Domaine Laroche, Bourgogne



Unripe apples and minerals meet lemon and lime zest. Fresh, crisp, and bone-dry. A rare white that benefits from aging, from one of most distinguished Domaine in the Chablis area. Chardonnay


Vine Cliff Winery Chardonnay 2004

Napa Valley, California



Hints of bananas and peaches progress into a rich, creamy palate buoyed by a fine tannic structure. From Carneros, the Napa Valley’s premier chardonnay appellation. Chardonnay


Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling 2002

The Cave of Kientzheim Kayserberg, Alsace



Muskmelon comes on strong on the nose, followed by the charming aromas of cherry leaves and linden tea. Gorgeous acidity marries with the wine’s natural density to produce stunning mouthfeel and texture. Another hand-crafted winner from Schlossberg. Riesling


Babich Winemakers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Marlborough, New Zealand



Freshly cut grapefruit fills the nose. Assertive acidity and “juicy fruit” taste really get the senses moving in this aromatic and spirited wine from one of New Zealand’s oldest and most distinguished wineries. Sauvignon Blanc


Red

Chateau Giscours 1998

Margaux, Bordeaux



From one of Margaux’s most crtically acclaimed chateaux. Expansive flavors augmented by strikingly smooth, well-blended tannins. Its fine, graceful finish remains on the palate like an enduring echo. Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Cabernet Franc


Chateau Petit Village 2002

Pomerol, Bordeaux



Plum and ripe blackberry lead the fruit of this Pomerol Chateau, whose young vines were replaced in 1956. The mouthfeel couldn’t be softer, like elegant velvet. Merlot/ Cabernet Sauvignon/ Cabernet Franc


Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2002

Napa Valley, California



The inky ruby color foreshadows the exhilarating prune jam and cassis aromas to come. Fruit-packed sweetness marries well with the relatively high alcohol, producing a long, lingering finish that doesn’t seen to quit. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot


Montana Terraces Estate Pinot Noir 2003

Marlborough, New Zealand



Black tea and withered leaves add an aging, smoky accent to the classic aromas of dark cherry and raspberry. Very soft, with a gentle mouthfeel. Just the right amount of acidity refreshes the palate. Pinot Noir


Prestige Sake

Ichinokura

Junmai daiginjo SHOZANTEN (Miyagi)


Hakurei

Daiginjo KOUDEN 35 MIGAKI (Kyoto)


SATASOUJI-SHOUTEN

Kakutama Plum Wine (Kagoshima)


KAWAGOE

Genuin Imo-jochu (Distilled Spirit) (Miyazaki)


TEMPAI Hakata Dontaku

Shochu made from barley, aged three years (Fukuoka)


Tea Selection

Champagne Rose

Assam

Darjeeling

Earl Grey

Jasmin Tea

Rooibos Tea

ANA’s Original Flavored Tea: Gentle Breeze

ANA’s Original Falvored Tea: Sunny Spot


Japanese Tea

Green tea

Roasted green tea

Japanese konbu-plum tea


Coffee

Columbian Blend

Mocha Blend

Kilimanjaro Blend

Blue Mountain Blend

Charcoal-roast coffee



About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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