ANA Regional Business Class Introduction
I booked this trip to Beijing primarily around flying ANA first class from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Air China first class from Beijing to Los Angeles. As such, I needed a connecting flight from Tokyo, and decided to try yet another ANA regional business class product – the cradle type seat on the Boeing 767. I’ve been flying ANA a lot lately, having recently tried three different products on my trip to Shanghai:
- ANA Boeing 787 business class with fully-flat, staggered seating
- ANA Boeing 787 business class with cradle seating
- ANA Boeing 767 business class with recliner seats
I’ve yet to have a bad flight with ANA, and had reasonably high expectations based on my previous experiences. I knew the cradle seat would be similar to the 787, but was curious to see how it felt on the uniquely configured 767.
My flight from Los Angeles arrived shortly after 3pm in Tokyo, and after a couple of enjoyable hours in the ANA first class lounge, it was time to head to the gate. ANA has really efficient gate procedures, though I was surprised to see lots of people crowding when I arrived about 5 minutes prior to scheduled boarding.
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Boarding began right on time at 6pm, beginning with passengers requiring special assistance, followed by business class and ANA Diamond members.
The Flight: ANA Regional Business Class Boeing 767
All Nippon Airways 955
Tokyo Narita (NRT) – Beijing (PEK)
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Arrive: 9:53pm (same day)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 5A (Business Class)
I was greeted at the door by the cabin crew and directed towards my seat, 5A. The business class cabin consists of 7 rows in a 2-1-2 configuration, for a total of 35 seats.
I’m normally pretty good about checking seat maps before choosing a seat, though this time I didn’t, and as it turns out, row 5 has misaligned windows. Whoops.
I actually quite like the layout of the cabin on the ANA Boeing 767. If you’re a solo traveler and don’t prefer a window seat, there’s nothing better than one of the centre seats with aisle access from both sides!
The seats are roughly 21.5 inches wide and offer almost 60 inches of pitch. Due to the shell design of the seat, reclining passengers don’t take away from legroom, which is much more ideal than the old seats found on some of ANA’s regional planes.
Amenities for this short flight included a day blanket, slippers, and some decent Panasonic headphones for the in-flight entertainment.
The boarding process was busy, with all passengers boarding through the forward door. In the end nearly all seats were taken, though thankfully 5C remained unoccupied.
Seat storage is fairly limited, with the cradle design not allowing for under-seat storage during taxi, takeoff, and landing, though the flight attendant had a creative solution for my backpack….
Other storage included a small space for literature, and a cubby located beside the seat next to the remote for the in-flight entertainment.
Seat controls are super basic, with two buttons: reclined and not reclined. A lot of people complain about not being able to find a comfortable position, and I somewhat agree. While the cradle seat does recline a good amount, I can’t imagine actually sleeping in that position for long (similar to a La-Z-Boy recliner).
Boarding took about 20 minutes, and we pushed back at approximately 6:35pm. After a 30 minute taxi, we were cleared for takeoff.
The climb out of Tokyo was very bumpy, and the seatbelt sign remained on for about 25 minutes, which felt long for an Asian carrier. Meal service began promptly once we levelled out, beginning with beverage service and a package of Japanese rice crackers.
The menu was limited, and offered a choice between a Japanese option and an international dish. Having eaten my fair share of Japanese food on my first class flight from Los Angeles, I opted for the halibut.
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The entire meal came out on one tray, and everything tasted great. ANA has really solid catering on their long-haul flights, and I was happy to see the same quality on this short flight to Beijing. The appetizer of roasted beef and snow crab was one of the best I’ve had, and the halibut main was perfectly cooked and seasoned well.
Dessert was a chocolate and raspberry dish, which was good, but a bit too sweet for me!
Everyone ate quick, and meal service was done about an hour after it started, at which point the cabin lights were dimmed. I was exhausted having been travelling for about 15 hours, and fell asleep shortly after visiting the lavatory.
Despite the awkward angles of the seat, I was able to nap for most of the flight, and didn’t get a chance to watch any of the in-flight entertainment, though the options seemed very similar to my first class flight from Los Angeles. I woke up about 20 minutes prior to our arrival in Beijing, with the cabin crew asking for seats to be returned upright for landing.
We touched down at approximtely 9:45pm and made a short 10 minute taxi to our gate.
ANA Regional Business Class Bottom Line
Yet another good flight on ANA! While the seat isn’t the most competitive (EVA has started to install fully-flat seats on their regional A330’s), it’s a perfectly good product for the relatively short flights within Asia. What really stands out though is the service. ANA has consistently good crews, and I’ve yet to encounter a member who wasn’t professional and courteous.
Redeeming Aeroplan miles for travel on ANA is good value, especially when combining with other flights for an Aeroplan Mini-Round-The-World trip, which will cost 155,000 in business class from North America to Asia, and can include 2 stopovers in addition to your destination, and several layovers of less than 24 hours. You can earn enough miles for one of these around the world trips easily by applying for two credit cards strategically:
- Apply for the American Express Business Platinum Card and earn 40,000 Membership Reward points
- Refer yourself for an American Express Business Gold Rewards Card from your Business Platinum Card and earn a 15,000 point referral bonus and 30,000 point welcome bonus for the Business Gold card.
ANA continues to be one of my favourite airlines, and I’m happy to see them updating their regional planes for flights within Asia. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a solid hard product paired with industry-leading service.
Have you flown ANA regional business class? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!