Review of ANA flight Chicago Tokyo in Economy

Airline ANA
Flight NH 11
Class Economy
Seat 36C
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 12:45
Take-off 30 Sep 15, 11:00
Arrival at 30 Sep 15, 13:45
NH   #13 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 228 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 11055
Published on 28th November 2015
Background:

This series will cover a quickie to Chicago aboard All Nippon Airways (NH) or ??? as it is colloquially called here.

Part 1 – NGO-NRT [NH 338, Boeing B737-700, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12166.html
Part 2 – NRT-ORD [NH 12, Boeing B777-300ER, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12188.html
Part 3 – ORD-NRT [NH 11, Boeing B777-300ER, Economy] – You are here
Part 4 – NRT-NGO [NH 337, Boeing B737-500, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12391.html

This report will cover the longer westbound flight from O’Hare to Narita. There are 5 flights per day non-stop between these two airports (AA x1, JL x1, NH x2, and UA x1). NH also operates an afternoon flight that leaves the same time as the UA plane, but I opted for the earlier of the two flights in order to catch the earlier NRT-NGO flight home.


Pre-flight:

My driver dropped me off at the curb in front of the NH check-in area 2 hours before departure. NH and LH share a check-in area.

photo 1photo 2

Inside the terminal, the check-in area was not crowded and I was immediately helped by a very friendly UA agent. When she saw the EY card, she freaked out since she had never seen an EY card before. I showed her a printout I carry of the NH/EY benefits agreement. She immediately picked up the phone and called the NH office to get the information she needed. She tagged my bag priority, but told me I would not be able to get lounge access since there is no ANA operated lounge in ORD (I already knew this detail). A guy in a NH uniform (not of Japanese decent) comes up and sees what is going on. He looks at the priority tag on my suitcase and asks the UA agent why I have it since I don’t have *A on my Y boarding pass. The UA agent explained the EY benefits and he just scoffed and walked away. Disgusting behavior to not only a customer, but also a coworker. That really upset me. Anyways, the UA agent hands me my boarding passes.

photo 3

The UA agent then asks me if I know where the Premier Access lane is for security. I haven’t been to O’Hare since the update so I said no. She quickly pulls out a map and explains to me how to get to the Premier Access lane. She then gives me directions to the gate by telling me to turn left at the dinosaur and then taking another left once I leave the underground tunnel. She gave very detailed instructions and was the best check-in agent I have met this year and she wasn’t even an employee of the airline I was using. I submitted a letter to UA praising her after I got back to Nagoya. People like that deserve to be recognized for their work.

photo 4

The new UA Premier Access check-in area at ORD.

photo 5

I kept walking all the way to the other Premier Access security line at the far end of Terminal 1. Right after I took this picture, a TSA officer walked out from inside and saw me taking the picture. As I showed my documents, he said “Why don’t you take another one, I’ll pose for you.” And there goes my awkward moment of this report.

photo 6

Not sure what was so “premier” about this line, it still took 25-minutes to clear because they only had one body scanner working. The NH crew was in the line next to me and they also took a long time to clear security even though they only had to use the metal detectors. After security, there is this classy area sponsored by Springhill Suites where you can “relax” after the stress of TSA.

photo 7

Walking towards the dinosaur, I stop for some spotting. I was taking a picture of the scimitar winglets, but I later noticed something else in this photo. You can see a NH tail poking up in the distance. My plane is getting towed to Terminal 1 from Terminal 5 where it arrived earlier this morning.

photo 8

The Uninental livery gets some crap, but I think I can make it look good in my photos. This B737-900ER, for example, looks pretty good.

photo 9

As promised, the dinosaur at ORD.

photo 10

As instructed by the check-in agent, I take a left and head underground. Shameless advertisements for EconomyPlus.

photo 11

Not as fancy as the lightshow in the DTW tunnel, but ORD has its own flair.

photo 12

After taking the escalators up to the concourse, the FIDS. My flight is still showing on-time.

photo 13

With 30 minutes to kill before boarding, I do some spotting.

UA B767-300.

photo 14

UA B777-200.

photo 15

UA B747-400.

photo 16

UA B757-200.

photo 18photo 17

UA CRJ-200.

photo 19

I’m getting closer to my bird, but my gate is blind so I can only see the tail poking up.

photo 20

UA A320.

photo 21

UA B737-900ER with UA B747-400 in the distance.

photo 22

Waiting for the scimitar winglets to arrive in Asia.

photo 23

UA B737-800.

photo 24

View of my plane from the adjacent gate. We have a “We Support UNESCO” decal on my plane.

photo 25

My gate, C10. There is essentially no seating area at my gate. There aren’t even enough seats for a CRJ-200, much less a B77W. The line for boarding ended up wrapping down this hallway because of the construction in the center of the terminal

photo 26

I casually go into the restaurant next to my gate, walk up to the windows, and snag a couple of shots before anyone has the chance to stop me. This was the only way to actually get a picture of my plane because of the orientation of the gates in Concourse C.

photo 27photo 28




——————————-

All Nippon Airways, NH 11
Equipment: Boeing B777-300ER [JA734A, delivered March 2006]
Departure: 11:00 (ATD: 11:26)
Arrival: 13:45 (ATA: 13:46)
Flight time: 12:20


I board with business class. The same rude NH agent from the check-in area was there during boarding. I stayed clear of him, still a bad taste in my mouth. Down the jetbridge.

photo 29

Boarding, a FA welcomes me on board (she turns out to be one of the FAs working my row in the Y cabin).

photo 30

After the long walk through J and Y+, we reach the first Y cabin. This is where I sat on the NRT-ORD segment.

photo 31

The larger rear Y cabin. Again, we will be in the 3-4-2 configuration on this flight. The FA was helping an elderly gentleman into his seat. I was sitting right in front of him, so I didn’t take a picture of my seat, but I’m in an aisle seat in the 2-seater section about mid-cabin.

photo 32

The view down my row.

photo 33

The generous 34” seat pitch is more than adequate for a long-haul flight.

photo 34

A peek out the window before my seatmate arrives. UA B747-400 next door.

photo 35

Our route today. They predict 12:11, but it was actually 12:20, so not too bad of a prediction.

photo 36photo 37

My seatmate arrives, a Filipino guy heading home to Manila. The boarding finishes on time and we get pushed back. The GPS is way off, our gate is not located in the grass.

photo 38

As we turn onto the runway, my seatmate lets me lean over to snap a shot of the Chicago skyline in the horizon. He kept the shades down the rest of the flight so no more photos of the outside world in this report.

photo 39

We effortlessly lift up, head towards Lake Michigan before turning north to Wisconsin.

photo 40

After we level off, the FAs are released and get to work. Distribution of oshibori.

photo 41

This was followed by aperitif service. I took a Suntory, water, and otsumami.

photo 42

No menu cards today :( The FA took a verbal order. The option was chicken with pasta or vegetable curry. My Filipino seatmate was continually mistaken for Japanese throughout the flight, which was comical since he couldn’t understand a word they were saying to him, so I had to translate for him until the FAs finally picked up that he wasn't Japanese. (To Numero_2: even the Japanese can’t tell if someone is Japanese or not^^) Anyways, I took the vegetable curry. The tray as received.

photo 43

The tray revealed. I also have a cup of miso soup in the back corner now.

photo 44

The curry wasn’t spicy, but I thought it tasted fine. Not as good as the JL business class curry, but for Y it was good.

photo 45

Soba noodles, seaweed, edamame and egg, and fruit. Maybe the seaweed is a bold choice by NH, I personally like it, but others might find it a bit aggressive. The fruit was a weird inclusion. It is normally a “dessert” type food, but we still had dessert coming.

photo 46

Another drink service was also done when the meal trays were delivered. After I finished, my tray was cleared and I was offered ice cream. Standard Asian carrier dessert: Haagen-Dazs.

photo 47

Dessert service was followed by coffee and tea service as the cabin lights were dimmed.

photo 48

Just like meal service started at Saskatoon on the last flight, on this flight we ended meal service around Saskatoon. It’s the 2-hour mark.

photo 49

Again, the FAs came through the cabin almost hourly offering water and tea from pitchers. There was also a full non-alcoholic drink selection in the rear galley along with various snacks and fruit laid out for self-service. As on the previous flight, we had a Chinese FA in our cabin that was there for her English ability.

photo 50

I just spent the next several hours watching movies on Sky Channel. Decent selection. Better than some, worse than some. Enough to keep me occupied on this flight even though I already had the same selection a couple of days before.

photo 51

Around Anchorage, I decided to use the restroom before taking a nap.

photo 52

The lavatories in the back were so-so at this point in the flight. At least they have the same lotion that AA puts in their J amenity kits ;)

photo 64photo 65photo 66

Cabin shot from the rear lavatories.

photo 67

I had a nice chat with the FA that worked my aisle. She looked sleepy so I asked if she was tired, she said she just finished her rest break. They each get 3 hours of sleep mid-flight. She was an 8-year veteran of NH. Retreating to my seat, I slept until the next meal service started.

photo 53photo 61

Oshibori were distributed.

photo 54

Verbal meal offering again. The options were beef or fish. I went with the fish. My tray as received.

photo 55

The tray revealed. Drink service was also conducted: hot tea and water for me.

photo 56

The main was cod with potato wedges and vegetables. The sauce was tomato based. The vegetables are never great in Y, so these were the letdown of this meal since they had that steamed frozen vegetables taste. The bread was standard packaged bread. Yogurt and fruit were also standard.

photo 57

Even though I didn’t use the cutlery, there was a serious issue with NH’s cleaning!

photo 58

Meal service concluded with coffee and tea service.

photo 59

Meal service ended around here as we approached Hokkaido.

photo 60

After watching some more Sky Channel, we did the uncommon landing from the west into NRT.

photo 62

After a shocking late arrival into NRT (only 1 minute late, so I’ll let it slide), we taxi around to Terminal 1 and take our spot at a gate. Deplaning, the Y FAs give a warm departure while the J FAs mumble bye. The long walk to immigration.

photo 63

Immigration was quick and it was a 20-minute wait for bags. I collected my bag, cleared customs, and headed out towards the domestic check-in counters. I’ll leave off this series here as I recheck my bag and head into the ANA Arrivals Lounge (my way to force you to read the boring domestic report that will follow).
See more

Verdict

ANA

8.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

Chicago - ORD

7.2/10
Efficiency5.0
Access8.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

Tokyo - NRT

8.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Another strong performance by NH on this TPAC. The seats aren't as comfortable as other carriers, but a 34” pitch is rare in Y these days. Good catering and crews. Left a little bit late due to US style boarding. When compared to what the US carriers offer on these routes, there really is little comparison. For *A people, NH beats UA any day of the week if you can deal with the language problems.

Cabin comfort: Fairly old B77W in the 2-4-3 configuration with a 34” seat pitch. Seat comfort isn't the greatest, very hard, so you'll want to roam for a bit to rest your butt. This flight was close to 100% load in Y and I had a seatmate, who was well behaved (he went to the bathroom when I did and only asked one other time to get out).

Crew: The 3 FAs that were in my row were great. No bad interactions with any of them, friendly enough to chat in the galley and talk about their work (you always get interesting insights from the FAs about carriers). Language is always a problem (if you are an English-only speaker).

Meal and catering: I thought the meal trays were a little less exciting than on the NRT-ORD route. This may be NRT catering (NH's hub) versus ORD catering (UA's hub, yuck). The food all tasted good, but the menu options weren't as enticing. That said, the catering on both of these NH flights was far superior to the UA flights, there is no comparison. Drinks were offered almost hourly mid-flight by FAs in the aisles. The galley had a full selection of drinks and snacks.

Entertainment: Newspapers offered and standard seatback literature. The IFE is a little bit on the older side, but a good selection overall.

On-time performance: We left the gate a little late due to slow boarding (I blame ORD for construction and inadequate gate space) so we landed slightly late (1 min).

Information on the route Chicago (ORD) Tokyo (NRT)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 9 avis concernant 3 compagnies sur la ligne Chicago (ORD) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Japan Airlines avec 8.1/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 13 heures et 13 minutes.

  More information

14 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 151468 by
    Jetset 52 Comments
    I recognize your reports just by the look of the first picture. Again well done!
    I like ORD, great airport. Looking forward being there next time.
    I had to give a lough when I read that the checkin agent freaked out when she saw your Etihad Guest card. Fun to imagine.
    I heard that airline tray tables are even more unhygienic than the toilets, but your dirty fork looks scabby too.
    • Comment 329412 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thanks for the comments, I'm glad that I have a trademark to my reports!

      EY serves ORD, so she must have at least been aware of the airline, but she has probably never had to deal with an EY passenger before since there is no codeshare agreement between EY/UA.

      I heard that airline tray tables are even more unhygienic than the toilets, but your dirty fork looks scabby too.
      - I'll be sure not to lick my tray table next time. It always grosses me out seeing people sleeping on the tray tables...

      Your return to VIE is in my queue to read...
  • Comment 151487 by
    Mikhil 23 Comments
    Having read your reports, one very remarkable feature that strikes is the generous 34 pitch which many airlines fail to offer. I prefer a 2x4x3 configuration for a 77W than a 3x3x3-Always better for couples travelling.
    • Comment 329413 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you very much for your comment.

      Yes, the 3-2-2-2 arrangement makes so much more sense from a practicality perspective although the unsymmetrical cabin may upset the purists. It's a very spacious Y seat, some of the Asian carriers (JL, OZ) have 34 pitches floating around some of their fleets, but it's not always standard.
  • Comment 151496 by
    aussenrist 225 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this report with us!
    Same with member Jetset I immediately recognized that is yours when I saw the Header picture :D You are so efficient in publishing FRs!
    Nice weather and spotting in ORD. I had only been to T3 & 5, so no chances to say hello to Mr. Dinosaur :P BTW I was also continually mistaken for Japanese throughout my last US trip LOL
    Although the tableware is not very hygienic, foods looks good (really like the Soba noodles) and much better than mine in CX return flight from ORD to HK!
    Looking forward to your next trip/report!
    • Comment 329415 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you very much for stopping by, still waiting for your ORD-HKG :)

      You are so efficient in publishing FRs!
      - Not really, I'm still slowly finishing my CX reports from July. But right now I'm trying to finish up as many trips as I can so that I can start 2016 with a blank slate :)

      BTW I was also continually mistaken for Japanese throughout my last US trip LOL
      - It's not always easy to tell someone's nationality visually.

      Although the tableware is not very hygienic, foods looks good (really like the Soba noodles)
      - Not as good as on NRT-ORD, but still a good offering. I'm used to eating Japanese food so the catering matches well to my tastes. The cleanliness of the fork is probably why most carriers just opt for disposable cutlery.
  • Comment 151497 by
    Numero_2 TEAM BRONZE 10435 Comments
    Thanks for sharing again !

    My driver dropped me off at the curb in front of the NH check-in area 2 hours before departure. NH and LH share a check-in area. -> Then I guess you've had a fancy ride in that black stretch limousine ! Lol

    I think that ground staff working for NH outside Japan have a special training to be as helpful as Japanese NH agents could be.
    I noticed that detail in FRA and MUC, too.

    Shameless advertisements for EconomyPlus. -> UA indeed doesn't lie, all the benefits written are true, but it doesn't notice that those are almost the only ones the pax will get on board. Lol

    Not as fancy as the lightshow in the DTW tunnel, but ORD has its own flair. -> What could we say about the tunnel in FRA ?!?!

    To Numero_2: even the Japanese can’t tell if someone is Japanese or not^^ -> Well, I know there are quite a few Filipinos expats in Japan, and most can speak basic Japanese. ^^

    Maybe the seaweed is a bold choice by NH, I personally like it, but others might find it a bit aggressive. -> The Japanese meal is supposed to be served to Japanese pax ! Lol

    The first meal looks very basic... Just a small amount of curry and a lot of rice and soba !
    Options ex-Japan seem to be more elaborate.

    Overall I find the meals slightly disappointing coming from NH.

    The seats aren't as comfortable as other carriers, but a 34” pitch is rare in Y these days. -> As well as a 9 abreast Y cabin in a 777 !

    For *A people, NH beats UA any day of the week if you can deal with the language problems. -> From my experiences from and to Europe I can say that NH FAs' English skills are better that TK's ones. Lol
    • Comment 329448 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you for all of your continued support Clement^^

      Then I guess you've had a fancy ride in that black stretch limousine ! Lol
      - No, I was in the black Escalade right behind the limo^^ The company would hire drivers, but put me in Y.

      A indeed doesn't lie, all the benefits written are true, but it doesn't notice that those are almost the only ones the pax will get on board. Lol
      - ALL? You mean the one benefit listed: stay charged^^

      What could we say about the tunnel in FRA ?!?!
      - I still like DTW the best because of the music. Does FRA's have music?

      Well, I know there are quite a few Filipinos expats in Japan, and most can speak basic Japanese. ^^
      - And I know many Korean ex-Pats that are fluent in Japanese^^ Agree to disagree?

      The Japanese meal is supposed to be served to Japanese pax ! Lol
      - Or at least those passengers that look Japanese ;)

      The first meal looks very basic... Just a small amount of curry and a lot of rice and soba ! Options ex-Japan seem to be more elaborate.
      - A lot of the curry melted under the rice during reheating. If you look closely, you can see where the original line was before it thawed out. So the picture is a little misleading on quantity, but I agree completely that the meal was very basic compared to what is offered ex-NRT.

      Overall I find the meals slightly disappointing coming from NH.
      - That's because you aren't Japanese ;)

      As well as a 9 abreast Y cabin in a 777 !
      - UA still has 9 abreast in their B772s, I would have expected them to be the first penny-pinch, but it was AA to make the first move for the US carriers. NH's B77Ws that they fly on shorter routes (LAX/SFO) are in 3-4-3 configuration.
  • Comment 151507 by
    Rl 777 802 Comments
    Thank you for sharing another FR with us! You've been killing it with the FR's recently!

    Very unprofessional behaviour from that NH agent at ORD, boring to hear but unfortunately these things happen every now and then.

    Great spotting shots from ORD! You really made that UA 739 look good :).

    The seat comfort may not be on top but the seat pitch is fantastic. Overall the cabin looks clean with a decent IFE system.

    The meals look good in general, the presentation is decent and the portions look acceptable. Did you complain about the fork?

    See you on the next one!

    • Comment 329449 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you very much for all your comments!

      You've been killing it with the FR's recently!
      - I'm trying to finish all of my 2015 FRs before 2016 starts so that I can start with a clean slate :)

      Very unprofessional behaviour from that NH agent at ORD, boring to hear but unfortunately these things happen every now and then.
      - One bad apple spoils the bunch :(

      Great spotting shots from ORD!
      - The sunrise cracking through the clouds really helped with some of the effects. Unfortunately, ORD Terminal 1 is only UA so not very much variety of carriers, so I tried my best to find as many different UA planes. ORD is fairly spotter friendly with floor-to-ceiling windows, but not all gates have windows (mine didn't).

      The seat comfort may not be on top but the seat pitch is fantastic. Overall the cabin looks clean with a decent IFE system.
      - A little yellowish looking, I think blue mood-lighting would look good in NH cabins, but they keep their planes very plain.

      The meals look good in general, the presentation is decent and the portions look acceptable. Did you complain about the fork?
      - I didn't comment on the fork. If I made a comment to a FA, they would get all apologetic and make a big fuss. I didn't use the cutlery so I just left it alone. If I had to use the fork to eat, then I would have made a comment. Catering ex-ORD is not as strong as catering ex-NRT, but still good.
  • Comment 151517 by
    Benoit75008 7191 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this report,

    ORD terminal is a bit similar to DUS in Europe^^

    NH is offering a good catering for this flight,
    Seats seem to be ok, but i'm dreaming when i see this pitch, as AF or BA are so far from this :( :(

    I'm waiting for your next domestic flight :)

    See you
    • Comment 329611 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Merci pour vos commentaires

      ORD terminal is a bit similar to DUS in Europe^^
      - I have never been to DUS before, I don't really care for how dated ORD is. It is not as nice visually as DCA.

      Seats seem to be ok, but i'm dreaming when i see this pitch, as AF or BA are so far from this :( :(
      - We will never see these pitches on any other carriers :( Maybe if AF moves to a 4-4-4 cabin, they can make room for a 34 pitch ;)
  • Comment 151518 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    The UA agent explained the EY benefits and he just scoffed and walked away. Disgusting behavior to not only a customer, but also a coworker. That really upset me.
    - You should have written a second letter to complain about this guy and send it to NH and EY. Appalling behavior to say the least.

    She gave very detailed instructions and was the best check-in agent I have met this year and she wasn’t even an employee of the airline I was using. I submitted a letter to UA praising her after I got back to Nagoya.
    - A true gem and that letter was well deserved.

    As I showed my documents, he said “Why don’t you take another one, I’ll pose for you.” And there goes my awkward moment of this report.
    - I think you made a new friend. :P ha ha.

    Walking towards the dinosaur, I stop for some spotting.
    - Her name is Sue and she is a brachiosaurus. ;)

    The Uninental livery gets some crap, but I think I can make it look good in my photos.
    - You got the Midas touch.

    The generous 34” seat pitch is more than adequate for a long-haul flight.
    - Quite generous indeed. I guess you can pretend that you were in Y+. I think OZ has that same amount of pitch on some of its planes.

    Food is definitely better than UA.

    Thanks for sharing another fabulous FR with great pics.
    • Comment 329612 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you Adan!

      You should have written a second letter to complain about this guy and send it to NH and EY. Appalling behavior to say the least.
      - A letter to EY would probably not do any good. They seem to quickly wipe their hands clean of anything that is no directly related to them. That's the game they play since they are not-allianced. I will not complain about EY though, they do have some nice perks (who gives status for 3-years anymore?).

      A true gem and that letter was well deserved.
      - I believe in recognizing those who deserve to be recognized. Their efforts do not go unnoticed.

      I think you made a new friend. :P ha ha.
      - I'll pass ;) I think it was a harmless comment, but it still was kind of awkward since it completely came out of left field. I don't find many TSA agents that joke (or not joke in this case?) with passengers.

      You got the Midas touch.
      - So does Auric Goldfinger ;)

      Quite generous indeed. I guess you can pretend that you were in Y+. I think OZ has that same amount of pitch on some of its planes.
      - It's almost the same pitch as those $200 Y+ seats in UA! JL has some 34 pitch B77Ws too. It's just not standard so you have to go looking for these planes.

      Food is definitely better than UA.
      - That was quite the obvious statement ;)

Login to post a comment.