Unlike previous trip I did not leave SF immediately after the meeting because I did not want to make my trip too rush. Since next Monday was HK public holiday, I extended my stay and departed SF 1 day later (Sun) so that I would have a half day exploring SF.
For returning to HK, choosing flights were much simpler. I had completed my at-least-4-UA-flights requirement for UA Sliver status, so no more United from now (…on this series)! I had not tried the NH long haul before, I deservedly picked NH for my return.
Meanwhile, the head had a week-long family vacation in Japan following this business trip. He self-created a "stopover" in Japan for his return flight (my company allowed this) where he would join his family in Tokyo. Initially he would fly SFO-NRT on another creepy UA B747. Knowing his situation, I advised him that he would be 1000% regret and persuaded him to fly with me. Eventually we took the same flight together.
The day before departure I made my OLCI at ANA website. I was disheartened when seeing this: a reconfigured B77W which is 10 seats per row. No chance to try the 2-2-2-3 Y cabin :(
For seat choosing, only those in the rear cabin were available. I was struggling whether picking the aisle seat on the 2-seat rows or middle rows. In the end I chose 37G as I bet no people choosing my next seat. And I thought those windows rows would be more popular and filled up soon.
Besides, I encountered an issue during OLCI that my second leg NRT-HKG disappeared, which I was unable to check-in and choose seat.
At night the head and I had dinner together with another 2 colleagues departed SF on SQ in the midnight. Recommended by our colleagues in HK that the Cheesecake Factory was very popular and we decided to try it. But when we arrived the restaurant… we totally surrendered lol
The 2 SQ robbers uber to airport after the dinner. Only the Head and I were left in SF then. We puffed away and strolled through the streets.
We went to buy some famous SF chocolates.
The chocolate is very cheap in SF (about USD0.1/piece) while HK is 10x expensive!
Next day, I got up early and went to have a Starbucks breakfast and a morning recharge.
Our dear US colleague (who donated his UA Club pass to me before) drove the head and I to airport. He was so kind since it was Sunday and not his job duty! We were dropped off outside the NH check-in counters 2.5 hours before departure.
We went to check-in. ANA counter was located at Aisle 3.
Only few people in the line. The head directly headed to the J counter.
My turn. The friendly agent greeted me and I gave her my passport. I told her my problems during OLCI and she typed my reservation in the system. The agent found it no problems and explained there may be some backend schedule changes but mine was still a valid itinerary. She also helped me to change to a window seat for my NRT-HKG segment and checked my baggage through to HKG.
My boarding pass (I took it on the flight).
After check-in, having a smoke was necessary for us
And then we walked around inside the Terminal.
The FIDS. Our flight was showing a 12:20 departure at Gate G94 in the lower half of the right FIDS.
An exhibition near the security checkpoint of Terminal G.
The shops behind the check-in area.
The airport guide
Still having time, so we went outside again for the last smoke and wandering before departure.
An UA B789
We proceeded to the TSA checkpoint.
The security line was very long because for the time being several flights to Asian soon departed and many Asians were queuing. The process was very slow because a lot of passengers brought too many prohibited items on their hand carries such as Swiss Army knives, fruit, bottled juices, canned foods, Kimchi (!)… The TSA staffs nearly had to pat down everyone.
When we were queuing, the Head shared his American Horror Story: My United Nightmare on his ex-HKG flight to SF: This time he was on the aisle J seat. After the lunch his seatmate not feeling well and vomited on him. The FA blamed him not taking care of his seatmate… Nothing to say lol
After waiting about 35 minutes we finally entered the airside.
We parted ways again: the head directly headed to the Gate and sat down to murder some emails while I wandered around between Terminal 3 and G. Walking to Terminal 3.
Some plane spotting. An UA A320
The Centurion Lounge. It is one of my wish list for future lounge visiting.
The SF famous chocolate has a branch in SFO. But it is much expensive than downtown store.
The tarmac view with the House of United. The weather was superb today.
Backed to Terminal G. My Gate was on the right.
My Gate. The NH agents were preparing.
My bird today (JA781A) which was delivered in Sep 2007. My gate was at blind spot and this was the best I could shot.
An AI B772
To NGO85: The UA Queen was at SFO now^^ But sorry Her Majesty I could not go with you. I loved NH more…
An UA B737 was taxiing
A glimpse of UA GF Lounge
I returned to my gate.
An UA B772 on the adjacent gate
The head was murdering emails and I joined him. The seating area.
Passengers sat aside and waited
Boarding started sharply 30 minutes before departure.
The FA welcomed me at the door and I replied withこんにちは.
Passing the famous NH J class. The Head was on a right-hand side window seat. We spotted each other. The Head seemed very happy and shown me “I would be alright!!!” expression^^
The window rows in the front Y cabin
My rear Y cabin on this B77W in the new 3-4-3 configuration.
I found my seat 37G but a businessman was sitting on it. I politely told him that was my seat. Initially he did not believe and insist I was wrong lol He later took out his BP and found out he should be 36G, my front seat. I finally got my seat
View of the rear Y cabin during the businessman was changing back to his seat. The FA on the left was assisting an ojisan (uncle) to find his seat, who turned out to be my seatmate.
My row. The ojisan was on the other end of the row and the FA helped him to stow his duty-free items. It was very lucky that the two middle seats in our row remained empty!^^
My seat. It has a footrest and double seatback pockets. Although the new configured Y seat has a tighter seat width and pitch, it still looks spacious and I found comfortable with it.
Ojisan's demonstration of seat pitch
The IFE along with coat hanger, USB plot and headphone jack.
The IFE control
Our route today
The airshow has several navigation modes for choosing.
The arm rest with seat recline control.
The seatback materials
There is a plug under each seat.
Passengers were settling down. Today the Y cabin was just 65% full with many middle seats were empty. A lot of Southeast Asians on this flight.
We pushed back at 12:15 and Safety video was played
We had a long taxi to Runway 28L. We took off at 12:35
Aperitif service began 30 minutes after took off.
Oshibori and a bottle water were distributed.
Long haul version otsumami was provided.
I ordered Kabosu.
Time to browse the IFE.
It was a surprise that NH uploaded today's menu into the IFE. A nice touch! Today’s lunch.
It also provides a selection of movies and music.
More importantly, it does have a full season of dramas!
It even has Chinese pop music collection
Lunch services started when we were outside the Oregon coast.
The food cart
The FA gave me the meal card and she apologized that the grilled mackerel was changed to the shrimp tempura. Another option was beef meat ball.
As a no-beef person, only one choice for me. I opted for shrimp tempura and requested another Kabosu for drinks. My tray. Size was generous.
The potato salad and tsukemono were tasty!
Contrary to its outlook, the entrée was very good! It was ex-SFO food, but the shrimp and vegetables were still fresh and tender!!! They used Japanese rice and it was flurry!
I really appreciated it^^ I was so touching and wanted to cry lol
Haagen-Dazs ice cream was served after the entrée. It was a brick.
NH provided a metal spoon, but it had a serious cleaning issue! OK I cleaned it myself!
After lunch the FA dimmed the lightening for resting. I was stuffed (never happened on UA lol). So it was the time to left something in the toilet after lunch.
I headed to the middle toilet. It was tidy and clean.
The middle galley between the two Y cabins. It was filled with snacks, drinks and Sarah Paulson-s (Lana!). You could help yourself once needed.
On the other side, the J dessert was preparing
When I was taking photos, a FA accidently ran into the camera. I immediately said sorry since I was afraid my photos would be forced to delete. Fortunately the FA neverminded otherwise this report could not be here lol
After the toilet I circled around the cabin to help with digestion. The 2 otakus entertained themselves with Hatsune Miku (初音ミク).
Cabin shot from the rear galley. From my observation, 20% of Y passengers were watching the Revenant.
I returned to my seat. The 2nd stage of being stuffed was being sleepy… so I rested until our plane reached the IDL.
View of the dimmed cabin.
Trip to the rear toilet. It was so-so.
Lotion was provided.
Our cabin was in the night mode.
The final stage of being stuffed was being hungry again^^ I went to the middle galley to help myself. My mid-flight snacks offering.
Then I took out my Surface and watched the popular The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The FAs passed through the cabin hourly offering water to the needs.
I flipped through the ANA magazine (翼の王国). The NH global network.
It features an introduction of Wuhan for promoting its new Wuhan-NRT route.
The evolution of NH uniform. Interesting to know NH had the red & yellow color design before^^
Second meal service started around 1.5 hours before arrival.
Wake up mode of the lighting
Oshibori offered. No aperitif drinks.
Again the FA passed the meal card with 2 options: seafood pasta or braised chicken pasta
Another side of the meal card. This should be for ex-NRT.
I went for the seafood pasta. My tray. Portion was smaller than the first one. It contained a fruit plate and a yogurt. And I requested another Kabosu.
Another delicious meal from NH. The pasta was al dente even it was the second meal.
Overall the catering on this flight was fantastic. It becomes one of my best in-flight meals up to now (another one is KE’s Bibimbap)
Another round of stretching after the meal. View of the wing from the rear door.
Today our flight had a beautiful and symmetric arc route over the Pacific Ocean.
A pre-arrival candy was delivered before descending.
About to land. We landed from the West.
Eventually our plane landed on the North runway 5 minutes ahead of schedule. We parked at the Gate 58B which is the end of new extension of Terminal 1.
Deplaning. Passengers were rushing to pick up their belongings.
Since I had a 3.5-hour layover in NRT, I remained seated. Both my front seatmate and ojisan acted in same way and we chatted. The businessman would have a connecting flight to BKK which had a similar timing to my next flight while the ojisan was just returning home. We were the last three disembarked. Passing the premium economy cabin.
The J cabin. The FA gave warm goodbyes at the door.
Passing the jet bridge
Jet bridge view of the new Terminal 1 extension (opened in March 2016).
The Head was waiting for me at the gate and we walked to security. His family also just arrived NRT (they took NH812).
We followed the signs and proceeded to the security.
The departure level on the lower floor.
A NH B77W just arrived.
We parted ways and I gave goodbye to the head.
I arrived at the transfer security checkpoint.
Tarmac shot before entering the checkpoint. A NH B77W
The checkpoint opened all 4 counters for checking and it was very smooth.
When I was queuing in the transfer checkpoint, suddenly I heard a fierce quarrel behind me. I turned around and saw a couple started fighting…
This is the third part of flight report and please stop by the end of this series.
Thank you for your reading!
San Francisco - SFO
Tokyo - NRT
ANA is a solid carrier and perform very well on this TPAC. I had flown CX, NH and UA on TPAC up to now, NH has the best soft product. The NH inflight services on this long haul are noticeably better than its regional flights I took before. It is a very satisfying flight on ANA with professional crews and excellent catering.
Cabin: Good. A B77W with a 3-4-3 reconfigured Y seats. Fortunately the seat is still comfort and has a foot rest which I can sleep well. Plenty of space as no seatmate. Toilets are clean throughout the flight. The Wi-Fi seems not work as I cannot connect.
Cabin Crew: Good. The FAs are friendly and attentive with good teamwork. As expected their English are not very proficient, but they have good attitudes and smile towards passengers.
Entertainment: Good. Standard seatback materials. The IFE is the same model with CX and UA B787s which is responsive and functional. Nice to have different navigation modes for the airshow. It has adequate programs (more Asian options) and language choices.
Meal and catering: Very good. Surprisingly NH uploads the menu into the IFE! Sizes are full enough on this TPAC. Consider it is ex-SFO food, quality is superb which CX and UA totally cannot compare with. Snacks are provided in the galley throughout the flight and a pre-arrival candy is provided. Water services provided hourly. The only criticism is the not hygienic tableware and therefore I cannot rate it a 10.
For SFO, time for clearing security is long. The International Terminal is spacious and has clear signs for passengers.
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