Review of ANA flight San Francisco Tokyo in Economy

Airline ANA
Flight NH7
Class Economy
Seat 37G
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 11:00
Take-off 01 May 16, 12:20
Arrival at 01 May 16, 15:20
NH 208 reviews
By 3583
Published on 12th December 2016
Hi and welcome to my third installment of American Travel Story!

Return to San Francisco: Three Days in Business Trip

This series will cover my 2nd business trip to SF in Apr. In order to make the reports not so boring, I will reveal the itinerary as we go on.

The report is broken down as follows (all in Y):
1. NH860 HKG-HND B777-200ER []
2. UA876 HND-SFO B787-9 []
3. NH7 SFO-NRT B777-300ER [You are here!]
4. NH811 NRT-HKG B767-300ER []


Time flied and it was time to return HK.

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.

photo img_201605_07193

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

photo img_201604_20064

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.

photo dscf7645 copyphoto dscf7639 copyphoto dscf7641 copy

We went to buy some famous SF chocolates.

photo img_201604_21343

The chocolate is very cheap in SF (about USD0.1/piece) while HK is 10x expensive!

photo img_201604_21334

Next day, I got up early and went to have a Starbucks breakfast and a morning recharge.

photo img_201605_08271

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.

photo dscf7658 copy

We went to check-in. ANA counter was located at Aisle 3.

photo dscf7667 copy

Only few people in the line. The head directly headed to the J counter.

photo dscf7663 copy

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).

photo img_201605_15072

After check-in, having a smoke was necessary for us

photo img_201605_10204

And then we walked around inside the Terminal.

photo dscf7661 copy

The FIDS. Our flight was showing a 12:20 departure at Gate G94 in the lower half of the right FIDS.

photo dscf7666 copy

An exhibition near the security checkpoint of Terminal G.

photo dscf7668 copy

The shops behind the check-in area.

photo dscf7673 copy

The airport guide

photo dscf7675 copy

Still having time, so we went outside again for the last smoke and wandering before departure.

photo dscf7659 copy

An UA B789

photo dscf7656 copy

We proceeded to the TSA checkpoint.

photo dscf7676 copy

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.

photo dscf7697 copy

Some plane spotting. An UA A320

photo dscf7698 copy

The Centurion Lounge. It is one of my wish list for future lounge visiting.

photo dscf7704 copy

The SF famous chocolate has a branch in SFO. But it is much expensive than downtown store.

photo dscf7708 copy

The tarmac view with the House of United. The weather was superb today.

photo dscf7710 copy

Backed to Terminal G. My Gate was on the right.

photo img_201605_11153

My Gate. The NH agents were preparing.

photo dscf7693 copy

My bird today (JA781A) which was delivered in Sep 2007. My gate was at blind spot and this was the best I could shot.

photo dscf7678 copy

An AI B772

photo dscf7692 copy

To NGO85: The UA Queen was at SFO now^^ But sorry Her Majesty I could not go with you. I loved NH more…

photo dscf7688 copy

An UA B737 was taxiing

photo dscf7677 copy

A glimpse of UA GF Lounge

photo dscf7690 copy

I returned to my gate.

photo dscf7683 copy

An UA B772 on the adjacent gate

photo dscf7718 copy

The head was murdering emails and I joined him. The seating area.

photo dscf7716 copy

Passengers sat aside and waited

photo dscf7720 copy

Flight Report

Boarding started sharply 30 minutes before departure.

photo dscf7722 copy


photo dscf7723 copy

The FA welcomed me at the door and I replied withこんにちは.

photo dscf7725 copy

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^^

photo dscf7726 copy

The window rows in the front Y cabin

photo dscf7727 copy

My rear Y cabin on this B77W in the new 3-4-3 configuration.

photo dscf7728 copy

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.

photo dscf7729 copy

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!^^

photo dscf7730 copy

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.

photo dscf7734 copy

Ojisan's demonstration of seat pitch

photo img_201605_12184

The IFE along with coat hanger, USB plot and headphone jack.

photo dscf7731 copy

The IFE control

photo img_201605_21223

Our route today

photo img_201605_12315photo img_201605_12324

The airshow has several navigation modes for choosing.

photo img_201605_19523

The arm rest with seat recline control.

photo dscf7751 copy

The seatback materials

photo img_201605_12484

Safety card

photo img_201605_12491

There is a plug under each seat.

photo dscf7746 copy

The headphone

photo img_201605_12523

The pillow

photo dscf7743 copy

The blanket

photo dscf7742 copy

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.

photo img_201605_12010

We pushed back at 12:15 and Safety video was played

photo img_201605_12183

We had a long taxi to Runway 28L. We took off at 12:35

photo img_201605_12352

Aperitif service began 30 minutes after took off.

photo img_201605_13154

Oshibori and a bottle water were distributed.

photo dscf7744 copy

Long haul version otsumami was provided.

photo dscf7752 copy

I ordered Kabosu.

photo img_201605_13195

Time to browse the IFE.

photo img_201605_13344

It was a surprise that NH uploaded today's menu into the IFE. A nice touch! Today’s lunch.

photo img_201605_12414photo img_201605_12415

Pre-arrival meal

photo img_201605_12421photo img_201605_12422

It also provides a selection of movies and music.

photo img_201605_13284

More importantly, it does have a full season of dramas!

photo img_201605_13325

It even has Chinese pop music collection

photo img_201605_13310

Lunch services started when we were outside the Oregon coast.

photo img_201605_13353

The food cart

photo img_201605_14021

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.

photo img_201605_13580

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.

photo img_201605_14034

The potato salad and tsukemono were tasty!

photo dscf7754 copy

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!

photo dscf7753 copy

I really appreciated it^^ I was so touching and wanted to cry lol

photo img_201605_14281

Haagen-Dazs ice cream was served after the entrée. It was a brick.

photo dscf7756 copy

NH provided a metal spoon, but it had a serious cleaning issue! OK I cleaned it myself!

photo img_201605_14104

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.

photo img_201605_14420

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.

photo img_201605_15151

On the other side, the J dessert was preparing

photo img_201605_15184

The bins

photo img_201605_15162

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).

photo img_201605_14474

Cabin shot from the rear galley. From my observation, 20% of Y passengers were watching the Revenant.

photo img_201605_15244

I returned to my seat. The 2nd stage of being stuffed was being sleepy… so I rested until our plane reached the IDL.

photo img_201605_18372

View of the dimmed cabin.

photo dscf7758 copy

Trip to the rear toilet. It was so-so.

photo img_201605_19430

Lotion was provided.

photo img_201605_19432

Our cabin was in the night mode.

photo img_201605_15250

The final stage of being stuffed was being hungry again^^ I went to the middle galley to help myself. My mid-flight snacks offering.

photo img_201605_19465

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.

photo img_201605_20195

It features an introduction of Wuhan for promoting its new Wuhan-NRT route.

photo img_201605_20314

The evolution of NH uniform. Interesting to know NH had the red & yellow color design before^^

photo img_201605_20260

Second meal service started around 1.5 hours before arrival.

photo img_201605_20532

Wake up mode of the lighting

photo img_201605_20103

Oshibori offered. No aperitif drinks.

photo dscf7761 copyphoto img_201605_20515

Again the FA passed the meal card with 2 options: seafood pasta or braised chicken pasta

photo img_201605_13581

Another side of the meal card. This should be for ex-NRT.

photo img_201605_20555

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.

photo img_201605_20583

Another delicious meal from NH. The pasta was al dente even it was the second meal.

photo dscf7763 copy

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.

photo img_201605_21293

Today our flight had a beautiful and symmetric arc route over the Pacific Ocean.

photo img_201605_21362

A pre-arrival candy was delivered before descending.

photo img_201605_21581

About to land. We landed from the West.

photo img_201605_22111

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.

photo img_201605_22140

Deplaning. Passengers were rushing to pick up their belongings.

photo dscf7766 copy

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.

photo dscf7769 copy

The J cabin. The FA gave warm goodbyes at the door.

photo dscf7770 copy

Passing the jet bridge

photo img_201605_22293

Jet bridge view of the new Terminal 1 extension (opened in March 2016).

photo dscf7772 copy

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.

photo dscf7773 copy

The departure level on the lower floor.

photo dscf7775 copy

A NH B77W just arrived.

photo dscf7778 copyphoto dscf7779 copy

We parted ways and I gave goodbye to the head.

photo dscf7780 copy

I arrived at the transfer security checkpoint.

photo dscf7781 copy

Tarmac shot before entering the checkpoint. A NH B77W

photo dscf7782 copy

The checkpoint opened all 4 counters for checking and it was very smooth.

photo img_201605_22440

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!

See more



Cabin crew9.0

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.

Information on the route San Francisco (SFO) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route San Francisco (SFO) → Tokyo (NRT).


The airline with the best average rating is ANA with 8.0/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 377819 by
    KL651 TEAM 4523 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Once again a great service on a japanese international flight.
    I clearly find the soft product better than the ME3.

  • Comment 377829 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 815 Comments

    Wow! A very complete and interesting report.
    The ANA service is fantastic, and the legroom... amazing!!
    Thanks for sharing!! :)

    • Comment 378013 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Nechus! Your reports are also awesome with great pictures and comprehensive reviews always^^

      I indeed think this B77W’s legroom is not as good as their old 2-2-2-3 cabin. I googled NH’s pitch pre-flight and found that this flight is 31” while the old version is 34”. Yet it is comfortable and compared with CX and UA, NH is still better.

  • Comment 377861 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 9114 Comments

    Thanks for this very comprehensive report. Ana seems to do a very good job in economy. The first meal looks really great and tasty and the second meal is more common but yet good. There is also a good choice of snacks available throughout the flight. I am not a big fan of the business cabin : it is certainly very comfortable but the looks need some improvement compared to some carriers. Thanks again for sharing your trip with us.

    • Comment 378014 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment SKYTEAMCHC!

      I always believe the catering is one of NH’s advantages. Agreed with you that their J cabin need improvements. If looking back the disembark photo spotted in J cabin, there is a gap between the 2 J seats in those middle rows. Thus the J seats are not 100% private where the back seatmate might aware what the front seatmate is doing. Nevertheless it is still a very good J product with a lie flat seat.

  • Comment 377880 by
    757Fan 612 Comments

    Great report! Thanks for sharing it with us. It looks like you had a great flight with ANA in Y, and the food looked really good! I would love to fly ANA sometime. What a beautiful day at SFO too - Wow!

    • Comment 378015 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment 757Fan!

      Totally agreed! Maybe I usually fly with UA (lol), so I was quite joyful on this ANA flight^^ I was lucky that SF weather was very good for this trip. The sky is so blue that it is very difficult to be seen in HK!

  • Comment 377888 by
    NGO85 1648 Comments

    Thanks for sharing^^ I was a little sad not to see the B747 again ;)

    "After the lunch his seatmate not feeling well and vomited on him” <== UA catering has that effect on people^^

    The 3-4-3 B77Ws are regulars at LAX too, which is why I have avoided flying NH to Asia. The 2-2-2-3 cabins were too good to be true^^ The pitch is still 34”, which is one thing NH does right. I care more about pitch than width so it is one of the reasons why I would take a 10-abreast NH flight over a 9-abreast UA flight. Pitch looks similar to OZ's,

    For an Asian carrier, I always thought NH had a good selection of Western content. They only good thing about UA is their extensive 007 collection^^

    One thing that has eroded on NH in the last year is the oshibori, they used to give out cotton oshibori in Y, now it looks like they only give out the packaged ones. The NH catering, on the other hand, looks just as strong as it used to be. I agree that the OZ meals are a little more generous in quantity, but the NH quality is probably higher (and more consistent). Also, they used to wrap the bananas individually with a napkin, it was so kawaii^^

    Now that you have your 4 UA segments out of the way, you are free to fly what you want^^

    • Comment 378016 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment NGO85!

      “I was a little sad not to see the B747 again ;)”
      - I was also a little sad not to fly UA B747 to SF anymore :P My next SF trip was changed to B77W

      “The pitch is still 34” ”
      - Really??? As per my reply to Nechus above, I googled it and found that it is 31”… BTW this 3-4-3 seats are still comfort and agreed with you that 10-seated NH is still better than 9-seated UA anytime in every aspects^^ I should have the chance of flying 2-2-2-3 cabin next year and would find out the results ;)

      “For an Asian carrier, I always thought NH had a good selection of Western content.”
      - IMO both NH and CX are good in Western selections. I was surprised by my UA33 flight last time that it has HK-specific music collection @@ (HK TVB Drama theme song)

      “they used to give out cotton oshibori in Y, now it looks like they only give out the packaged ones.”
      - Sad to hear that NH does not provide cotton oshibori anymore. Previously I thought the cotton one is only available in long haul, so I was curious when I saw the packaged one distributed.

      - For the catering, maybe this is ex-West Coast flight, so the NH 2nd meal size is smaller. I think the ex-Midwestern and ex-East Coast flights would have a more completed portion (as shown in your ORD reports).

      “Now that you have your 4 UA segments out of the way, you are free to fly what you want^^”
      - In fact I am just free to fly any *A I want^^ I am now a *A person with UA Sliver Status and *A is my priority for travel because I want to keep *A status. Therefore flying on UA is unavoidable every year lol

      • Comment 378082 by
        NGO85 1648 Comments

        "My next SF trip was changed to B77W"
        - I was actually surprised to hear that UA is putting its first B77Ws on SFO-HKG. I was expecting them to be based out of EWR initially. I guess SFO makes sense if UA's plan is to get the B744s out of service ASAP since most operate ex-SFO.

        • Comment 378370 by
          aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

          - Contrary to you, I am not surprised when they announced putting B77Ws in SFO because the B744s are too crappy. HKG-SFO is a high yield route because SF has a large Chinese population came from HK/Guangdong. This route is usually served for family travel and people are quite willing to pay for premium seats on it.

  • Comment 378160 by
    marvin150892 42 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this great FR!
    I especially like those many photos of the cabin interior and catering, you've shown more or less everything that could be worth to be shown :D
    ANA Catering looks really delicious.
    Looking forward for your next report :)

    • Comment 378371 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Marvin150892! Agreed with you the catering on this long haul is very good!

      “you've shown more or less everything that could be worth to be shown :D”
      - It is somehow boring on a long haul, so I take a lot of photos for entertain myself^^ I always want to give FR readers a full picture of my airport and flight experiences, and hope that it would be helpful to their future travels.

  • Comment 378243 by
    BombieFlyer 93 Comments

    Hi Ashleyyau!

    THanks for sharing yet another trip across the pacific. Man... I was laughing so hard when I read this:
    "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"

    That was epic at unprecedented level hahahahaaha

    Anyway, glad that you had a great flight with ANA. The meal looks delicious and the portion is satisfying. You know what... thanks to you, I will be ordering Kabosu on my upcoming flight with ANA to Tokyo. I hope they will have it so I can taste your favourite ANA drink :)

    Keep reporting! Cuz I am always waiting for your next adventure!

    • Comment 378372 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment BombieFlyer!

      “That was epic at unprecedented level hahahahaaha”
      - I had flown on it before (SFO-HKG: my own United nightmare), so I know that feeling lol

      “I hope they will have it so I can taste your favorite ANA drink :)”
      - Don’t worry Kabosu is on every NH flight ;) The only concern is whether it would be quickly running out due to its popularity^^

      “Keep reporting! Cuz I am always waiting for your next adventure!”
      Besides the last segment for this series, I still have several flight reports this year. I had had a target of finishing them all before 2017, but now it seems 100% impossible lol

      And not related to this post, the forthcoming HX Lounge in HKG Midfield Concourse, which I mentioned in your HX flight report, would delay its opening because last night the construction site was in big fire… (you can google it)

  • Comment 382093 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    I'm late in my comments but thank you Ashley for sharing this complete and informative FR.

    I will be taking this flight next month when I go to CGK and your report was very useful in giving me an idea of what to expect. If anything, I am assured that I made the right choice to fly NH.

    I guess the kabosu is the NH equivalent of JL's Skytime.

    Nice bonus of my city. Next time you are in town we should try to meet.

    • Comment 382752 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Adan!
      Glad to know you found my FR useful to your coming travel on NH^^ Maybe we could have a comparison on this route!

      “kabosu is the NH equivalent of JL's Skytime”
      - Agreed, both are citrus drinks. I always believe that JL & NH provide the same level of inflight product and services but in a very different approach.

      Now I travel to SF at least once per year due to business need. So maybe one day we could meet there^^

Login to post a comment.