ANA 767 Business Class Introduction
There’s something about the Boeing 767 that I really love. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but I’m willing to say it’s my favourite aircraft. It may not be as large as a Boeing 777, or as quiet as the Airbus A350, but I still like it. I wouldn’t necessarily want to fly it on a long flight, like I did from Paris to Chicago on United in their Polaris first class (where there was quite a bit of light and sound pollution from the galley), but for shorter flights I always find it perfectly acceptable and certainly better than most narrow-body aircrafts. I was really excited to try the ANA 767 business class product, given it’s slowly being replaced by their newer cradle seat featured on some of their other aircraft.
I booked this flight as part of an Aeroplan redemption for 150,000 miles roundtrip from Vancouver to Shanghai. The toughest part of booking award travel to Asia is usually the transpacific segment, but luckily I found availability on United’s Boeing 777-300ER with their brand new Polaris seat! from San Francisco to Tokyo. Canadians can earn enough points for a one-way flight to Asia in business class from North America with the 75,000 point welcome bonus on the American Express Business Platinum Card!
Unfortunately, due to the timing, I wasn’t able to get a flight to Shanghai until 6:45pm (5 hour layover), but it meant I was able to spend some extra time in the ANA business class lounge at Narita Airport and get the opportunity to try a new business class product on my favourite plane!
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I left the lounge with plenty of time to spare since I was on the other side of the airport and I wanted to check out a couple of shops on the way. I was in the lounge near the 50 gates, and my flight was departing from gate 27 – which wasn’t actually that long of a walk.
I arrived at the gate shortly before our scheduled boarding time and found a large group of people already waiting in line. Just as I took my place, the gate agents made an announcement that the flight would be delayed by 20 minutes due to a late arrival.
I really didn’t feel like walking all the way to either of the ANA lounges, so I stopped in the United lounge for a quick drink to wait out the delay. The lounge was surprisingly nice and was practically deserted. I was too tired at this point to take pictures, with exception to this charming selfie to highlight my exhaustion.
After about 20 minutes I made my way back to the gate, where boarding began in an orderly fashion, beginning with the gate agents bowing, in typical Japanese service.
ANA 767 Business Class Flight Details
ANA All Nippon Airways 921
Tokyo (NRT) – Shanghai (PVG)
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 10A (Business Class)
I was greeted at the door by the super friendly cabin crew and walked to my seat. The crew on this flight were all well-intentioned, though there was a bit of a language barrier (to be expected on a flight between Japan and China I suppose). This ANA 767 business class cabin was configured in a unique 2-1-2 layout over 7 rows for a total of 35 seats, and felt a bit passed it’s prime..
Sometimes I love a good time warp, and this cabin was definitely that. The seats were uncompetitive as far as international business class products go, with extra-recling seats that featured 50 inches of pitch and 20 inches of width (still beats basically anything that would be offered on a 3 hour flight in North America).
This configuration offers a unique opportunity for solo travellers that don’t like to be seated next to anyone, with middle seats offering direct aisle access on both sides!
All passengers boarded through the front door, and it seemed as though the economy cabin was fully-booked. Business class was hardly occupied, with maybe half a dozen other passengers all seated up near the front. There was no pre-departure beverage offered during boarding, which I found a bit surprising.
The legroom was great for the short flight, and I was able to store my bag under the seat without taking away any comfort.
Given the age of the aircraft, I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it had been maintained. Everything looked new (despite being dated) and the cleanliness was beyond acceptable. North American carriers could take note…
SeatGuru said row 10 had a misaligned window, but I didn’t notice anything wrong with it…
By the time we pushed back at 7:40 it was completely dark, and I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures of taxi/takeoff.
The climb out was bumpy, but the seatbelt sign was turned off fairly quickly. I opted to use the washroom prior to the meal service, and wasn’t surprised to find a very basic space. Unlike Japan Airline business class and All Nippon Airways first class, this lavatory didn’t feature the built-in bidet. Similar to any Japanese flight I’ve been on, the washroom was kept spotlessly clean from takeoff to landing.
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Menu’s were in the seat-back at boarding, as were slippers, which were really appreciated after a long day!
There was also a pair of Panasonic headphone (not great quality) and a pillow and blanket at each seat.
The menu was impressive for such a short flight, with a good wine selection and both international and Japanese options for dinner.
I started with a glass of champagne, which was served with some packaged Japanese snacks.
For my main I was really torn between the options. On one hand, I’m not an adventurous eater. At all. Also, Brad and I both had an….interesting.. experience with the Japanese menu on our All Nippon Airways first class flight last year, and I wasn’t sure I was quite ready for another cultural experience. On the other hand, nothing about deep-fried chicken on a plane seemed like a good idea, so I went with the Japanese option. Upon taking my order, the crew asked more than once if I was sure, and asked if I would like the western option instead….I was feeling fairly insecure at this point, but stuck with my original decision. I’m still not sure exactly what I ate, but it all tasted great!
The entire meal came out on one tray (no surprise given the length of the flight) and I had to reference the menu more than once to know what I was eating. Even with the menu, I could probably only identify about 80% of the items!
After the meal I decided to watch a movie. Wait… where was the in-flight entertainment? After a couple minutes of contemplation I realized the screens were stowed inside the centre armrest between the two seats.
The release button was located on the armrest, next to a large TV sticker, and I realized I was more tired than I though that it took me so long to figure out…
The quality of the screen was… how to I put this gently… awful. I don’t know why, but I decided to watch the most recent James Bond movie, Spectre, and I could hardly tell what was going on. Matched with some lower than average headphones and it was quite the enjoyable experience (hint: I fell asleep).
The controls were equally as dated, with about a 2 second delay between each press of the button. As you’ve probably guessed by now, there was no touchscreen option to bypass using the remote.
Near the remote was also where the seat controls were located. While not cutting edge, I found the recline decent for a short-haul flight and had no trouble finding a comfortable seating position.
I woke up just before we began our initial descent into Shanghai, and unfortunately wasn’t able to finish my movie (or maybe it was finished, I really couldn’t tell). The cabin crew came around and asked everyone to store their monitors, and handed out immigration cards for China.
We touched down at 9:24pm, about 40 minutes behind schedule, and after a 20 minute taxi we were at the gate!
ANA 767 Business Class Bottom Line
Overall, I really enjoyed this flight. There’s something nostalgic in flying on an older aircraft with a dated business class product that I actually kind of like. While I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much on a longer flight, this was a perfectly good product for the short 3-hour trip from Tokyo to Shanghai, and so much better than what North American carriers offer. The service and food quality were standouts, while the in-flight entertainment was brutal. If you find yourself booked on one of these older birds, do yourself a favour and plan ahead by downloading a movie to watch.
Other than the dated entertainment, I was thoroughly impressed yet again by ANA, and am happy I was able to try this configuration before it’s retired.
Have you ever flown in the ANA 767 Business Class cabin? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!