Review of ANA flight San Francisco Tokyo in Economy

Airline ANA
Flight NH 7
Class Economy
Seat 42D
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 11:15
Take-off 15 Feb 17, 11:00
Arrival at 15 Feb 17, 15:15
NH   #23 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 158 reviews
jetsetpanda
By SILVER 2648
Published on 26th February 2017
Hello and welcome to my first flight in 2017. This series also marks the first time that I will be flying with ANA, which has eluded me for so long until now. This series will include the following flights:

SFO-NRT on NH Y - you are here.
NRT-CGK on NH Y - click here.
CGK-NRT on NH Y - click here.
NRT-SFO on UA Y - click here.


A few months ago I wanted to take advantage of the President's weekend holiday (on Feb. 20) and was looking for a destination abroad. I tentatively booked a hotel in LIM and almost bought a trip on AV when I noticed a USD 670 (EUR 634.40) on NH to CGK for about the same price. The miles and allure of flying NH proved to be too hard to ignore and I settled for CGK instead of LIM. With the use of a guidebook and some online research I created a tentative itinerary of the places that I wanted to see and was all set for my trip.

The day of the trip I woke up early and arrived at the airport by 07:30 for my 11:00 flight. The counters were not open yet (until 3 hrs. before dept.) but I printed my boarding pass online and stayed at the lounge.

My boarding pass.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 1

NH counters.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 2 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 3 - copy

I have TSA Pre-check, but NH is not a participating airline so I had to go through the regular line. Thankfully there were not that many people and I passed through security in less than 10 min.

As you can see on the boarding pass, I had "United Club" printed as Lounge Invitation. Since I am *A Gold through TK, I opted to use the SQ SilverKris lounge instead which was also opened for the 09:25 SQ flight to SIN.


SQ SilverKris lounge.

I walked up to reception and presented my credentials to the agent who quickly wrote my information and welcomed me inside.

photo sq lounge  sfo 10 - copy


To the left of reception there is a coat room and luggage storage area followed by a seating area.

photo sq lounge  sfo 11 - copyphoto sq lounge  sfo 1 - copy


To the right is another seating area and a self serve bar with beverages.

photo sq lounge  sfo 23 - copy


Right behind the reception desk is the buffet and in the morning it is provisioned with breakfast pastries, bagels with cream cheese, muffin sandwiches, quiche, cheese board with cold cuts, salad and cereals. All items were cold but eventually hot dishes like roasted potatoes, dumplings, stir fried noodles and chicken porridge appeared.




Hot items.



Unfortunately laksa was not one of the items featured for breakfast today.


My selections.

Have you ever had a cold sausage muffin? One bite and I put it back on the plate. Bleh!

photo sq lounge  sfo 9 - copy


This was more comforting. ;)

photo sq lounge  sfo 19 - copyphoto sq lounge  sfo 21 - copy


There were 2 sets of WC's located at each side of the lounge and 1 shower if I remember correctly.

View from the lounge.

photo sq lounge  sfo - copy


Attendants were efficient in clearing dirty dishes and glasses quickly. At 09:30 the lounge closed but I still had some time before my 11:00 flight so I went to the UA Club. I was warmly greeted by a nice agent and allowed inside.

UA Club Intl. Term.

Due to recent renovations, almost half of the club has been closed off resulting in a very crowded experience. The plan is for this club to be expanded with a Polaris section. Eventually the SQ and BR lounges will be phased out. At one point an announcement was made inside asking guests not to place belongings or clothing on the seats so that others can occupy them.

photo ua club intl  sfo 7 - copyphoto ua club intl  sfo 1 - copy


Catering was basic consisting of hot oatmeal, pastries, yogurt, fruits and cereals.




I found an empty chair with a table by the stairs and sat there for a while.

photo ua club intl  sfo 8 - copy


When I saw the same people walking by twice, that was my clue to get out and go to the gate. ;)


On my way to the gate, the sight of these carry on bags made me pause and ask whether I should buy a new one or not. Maybe not.

photo nh 7 - luggage - copy


A few meters up front the "queen" of the skies greets me with her presence. How can I resist her allure and not take a shot of her majesty?

photo nh 7 - ua - copy


Upon reaching the gate, I was met with a semi open space. It didn't look like this flight was going to be full which I was praying for. A few days ago I checked the airplane map and every seat was taken. I had a panic moment and hoped that by the time the flight departed, the loads would be lighter. The gate next to us was a UA one bound for NRT that displayed its code share with NH, which made things a bit confusing for some people.

There must have been 5-6 gate agents helping out plus the station manager. Boarding was conducted with absolute precision with priorities observed diligently. There were two doors designated for J and *A Gold members and when I looked at both when making the queue, the station manager said that either one was fine with a smile without me uttering a word to ask.

Plane at the gate.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 4 - copy


Gate.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 5 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 7 - copy


So the time came to board and experience NH - the only 5* airline in Japan according to Skytrax. A couple of smiling FA's were at the door directing people. As I walked to the back, FA's greeted me along the way with a good morning and a slight bow.

My seat in the last row. A pillow and wrapped blanket were in each seat.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 8 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 10 - copy


Be warned that there is no overhead storage bin above the last row.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 15 - copy


The view across.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 12 - copy


Very decent pitch at 34" or 86.36 cm.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 11 - copy


Pocket contents including a menu. By the way, the menu is also featured on the IFE and online up to 3 months ahead.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 13 - copy


Cabin.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 9 - copy


When the last pax boarded and the announcement was made that the door was closed, I had a sigh of relief when the seat next to me was empty. I guess my seatmate on the other side felt the same thing.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 19 - copy


An announcement was made to welcome pax and at the end FA's bowed - a charming protocol that I experienced on all my flights with NH. Then the safety video was played. Do male FA's exist on NH? :P

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 23 - copy


We had a smooth and quick take off and service commenced with a wet unscented towel and a bottle of water. Good thing that NH takes allergic people into consideration.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 27 - copy


Rice crackers and beverages followed. I had "kabosu" which is a NH signature citrus drink with a hint of honey according to its description. I guess it is the equivalent of JL's Skytime. By the way, the glass was not that small. There is a clever design on the tray table with a hole to place to one's drinks. i think having a hole saves space instead of installing a drink holder.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 29 - copy

When the meal cart made its appearance through the aisle, one of the FA's distributed a visual menu and asked for everyone's choice. Even on the last row I had a choice which was remarkable. Choices were Spanish grilled mackerel OR beef/pork meatballs. I had the Japanese option. For those selecting the Western meal, bread is added, not so with the Japanese meals.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 31 - copy


Pic. taken during the second meal service to show the menu in its entirety.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 50 - copy


My Japanese meal. The tray was well presented and it had a lining that prevented the dishes from slipping. I thought that it was generous with so many different components.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 32 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 33 - copy


Appetizer - prosciutto, slice of melon, potato salad, asparagus and olive with a side of ratatouille.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 37 - copy


Soba noodles.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 35 - copy

Soba noodles dressed up.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 39 - copy

Main dish.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 34 - copy


Cheese and crackers - I thought that having a cucumber and dill flavored cheese was odd. I do not object to dill but not everyone would appreciate this flavor.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 36 - copy


After the meal ice cream was served. I had hot green tea which will also serve to warm the spoon but it was not necessary, the ice cream was soft.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 41 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 42 - copy


WC's were kept spotlessly clean but this particular one in the back did not have a bidet function. There was a bottle of lotion from "Red Flower" which was the brand that AA used to have for its F/J cabins.




Galley was stocked with drinks and snacks.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 44 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 43 - copy


I took a couple of snacks to my seat.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 45 - copy


IFE was decent with a couple of interesting movies. I settled with some reading materials as I often do and after a couple of hours the second service started. Once again, the visual menu was provided to each pax and choices were Creamy seafood over saffron rice OR Chinese style bbq chicken. I had the creamy seafood over rice.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 51 - copyphoto nh 7 sfo-nrt 55 - copy


Before arrival, a basket of candy was passed around.

photo nh 7 sfo-nrt 58 - copy


We arrived early at 14:26 instead of 15:15 giving me some extra time to enjoy the ANA Lounge in Satellite 5.

See more

Verdict

ANA

9.5/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering9.5

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge

8.4/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment7.5
Services9.0

San Francisco - SFO

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Tokyo - NRT

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It was great to be able to enjoy the SQ SilverKris lounge in SFO before my flight. The lounge was never crowded so it was very comfortable and the food selection was varied and enjoyable. However, the hot choices were not offered right away and were placed later on. It would have been better to serve the muffin sandwiches hot or not offer them at all.
Attendants were efficient and kept the place tidy and clean.

The UA Club was not enjoyable at all due to space constraints. The staff did its best according to the situation. Personally I wouldn't spend time there if I can help it.

I'm glad that I finally was able to experience ANA. It's a great airline and service is top notch. I saw FA's proactively helping customers get settled and every interaction was conducted with a smile. I especially appreciate the visual menu being offered to each passenger before the meal service. It is very informative and cuts down on repetition.

The seat was comfortable with a 34" pitch, which is more than the U.S. competitors offer. I like the decent quality headphones but the blanket feels somewhat short.

Catering is great with good portions and tasty offerings. The only minor complaint is the distribution of bread only for Western meals, which in the big scheme of things is not a big deal, but it is not so "egalitarian".

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

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route San Francisco (SFO) → Tokyo (NRT).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 10.0 hours and 45.0 minutes.

  More informations

18 Comments

  • Comment 387529 by
    Razza_Pr 203 Comments

    Hello, Jetsetpanda, and thank you for this FR.

    I'm genuinely confused. Are those United 737s the MAX series? That can't be, right? If you can help me clarify this, please do :)

    US$670 for SFO-CGK.. If only SQ could be so generous ;)

    The SilverKris lounge at SFO looks fantastic in terms of food offering. What was their beverage offering like?

    ANA's rationing must've been bang on, given how you still had a choice despite being seated way in the back.

    Thanks again for this report!

    • Comment 387561 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Razza_Pr.

      My understanding is that the first 737 MAX will be delivered in May 2017 to Norwegian - the first operator for this aircraft. UA has placed orders for it but it's unlikely that it has received any. I think part of the confusion is the split-tip winglet design that is characteristic of the 737 MAX and that is available as a retrofit in 737-800/900's.

      SQ might offer very low fares like these from time to time, but it can be rare. However, when it does, the mileage accumulation ranges from none to very minimal. For a frequent flyer, that wouldn't make much sense. If SQ gives at least 50% of miles, I would jump in. ;)

      Sorry about the lack of pics for the beverage offerings. It was too early for alcohol and it didn't occur to me to take pics of the offerings. I vaguely remember Heineken beer, Grand Marnier, Cizano, Tanqueray, Chivas Regal, Absolut Vodka, Bailey's and a couple of Californian reds and whites.

      I did expect to have a choice sitting in the last row but was proven wrong. :P

      Thank you for your comments Razza_Pr.

  • Comment 387556 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8149 Comments

    Thanks Adan !

    I've only flown NH long haul in Y+ but on my experience I could say the crew is better than SQ !

    No miso soup served with the Japanese option ?

    • Comment 387563 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Clement.

      No soup with the Japanese option unfortunately. Perhaps they are available only on outbound flights from Japan.

      As you can see from my rating, I thought that the crew was phenomenal.

      Thanks for your visit.

  • Comment 387586 by
    indianocean SILVER 6022 Comments

    Even if the Silver Kris Lounge is not one of the best in the world, it still is one of the best in SFO.
    The bad news for Star Gold members is that it is scheduled to close when UA Polaris opens (as well as Eva Air lounge), unless United Club gets improved.

    "Unfortunately laksa was not one of the items featured for breakfast today"=> unless your palate is used and OK, not a recommended thing to eat spicy in the morning.

    "On my way to the gate, the sight of these carry on bags made me pause and ask whether I should buy a new one or not. Maybe not."=> definitely NOT ^^

    Although the 3-4-3 configuration is not to my likings in Y, pitch is more than decent.

    The white bechamel sauce on the seafood doesnt' look nice.

    Thank you Adan

    • Comment 387608 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Bernard.

      I think the pressure is on UA to improve its lounge offerings once the SQ and BR lounges close. So there will be UA Polaris club for those traveling on UA and *A First and Business cabins and UA Club for the regular club and *A Gold members flying in Y.

      "unless your palate is used and OK, not a recommended thing to eat spicy in the morning."
      - Good advice, but fortunately I can handle spicy food in the morning. In CGK I even had chili chicken for breakfast. ;)

      A generous pitch on a long flight can make a huge difference.

      I agree with you about the white creamy sauce on the seafood dish. it already has some tomato base, so why add a competing flavor?

      Thanks Bernard for passing by.

  • Comment 387587 by
    DiegoSS02 50 Comments

    Excellent report!! I'm amazed by the service provided by NH (wet towels before meal, choosing the menu visually, meal quality, the smiling FAs). Have you already flown in JL? Which service do you find best between those two? I know it's unpolite to ask about the personal life of authors, but since you said you wanted to take advantage of the President's holiday weekend (Mar-a-Lago), just for curiosity: Do you work in the US. government? (Don't feel obligated to answer that question).

    • Comment 387614 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi DiegoS502.

      Japanese excel at customer service and it's not surprising that this characteristic is also evident in its two airlines - NH and JL. For a Y product, NH provides a lot of nice extras that are really thoughtful and help make the flight more enjoyable for the pax.

      I have flown JL before but my last Y experience with them was a long time ago. It's hard to say which is best as I find that both are equally great. I can tell you that one thing that I still remember from that trip - when I went to the WC and the meal service has already started and passed my row, the FA came back to me apologizing for skipping me and asked me for my choice. I thought that was top notch service.

      JAL has always been the most renowned of the two carriers and ANA was mainly a domestic carrier until its intl. expansion in the mid 1980's. NH is now the largest airline in Japan.

      I do not work for the U.S. government but I have flexibility at my job which is a big plus.

      Thanks for commenting Diego.

  • Comment 387622 by
    NGO85 1624 Comments

    "Eventually the SQ and BR lounges will be phased out."
    - Bad news. The roll-out of the new UA Lounge at LAX was very poor. The lounge is large and open feeling, but the catering is the same. The lies about improved catering in the "Polaris-era" are pretty bad. UA has yet to back-up its talk. I don't trust UA to even match what SQ has in its lounge at SFO. I would have expected SQ to keep their lounge to appease the J passengers on the nonstop SFO-SIN flight.

    Standard top notch service by NH, proof that I don't exaggerate the night and day difference between NH and UA on these routes. My guess is that since you booked this ticket through UA, you were forced into at least one UA leg (wise choose picking the shorter TPAC leg^^). What was the mileage earning for this? If I recall correctly, NH earning is very poor in Y discount economy fare classes (at least with OZ FFP, these fares fall into 10% earning).

    Two strong meals for both services and the number/frequency of drink runs is unmatched on NH (I think it is almost every 30 minutes they pass through with the alternating water/tea/coffee runs). Presentation is much better than on OZ for the food as well. No bread/roll/pastry with the second meal? I feel like the meal tray is looking more sparse than it used to for the second meal, but it's still better than what UA offers. As Clement mentioned, where is the soup with the Japanese option?

    The only thing I don't like these seats in the 3-4-3 versus the 3-4-2 are the lack of a gap in the middle of the 4 section. The double armrest in the 4-section in the 2-4-3 makes it almost a 2-2-2-3, whereas these look more cramped. I find legroom to be more important than seat-width so NH at least still has that going for it.

    Thanks for sharing Adan!

    • Comment 387656 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Michael.

      Time will tell, but I think that with so many *A flights out of SFO, there should be a *A lounge. You have SQ/BR/NH/OZ/CA/AI/NZ/TK/LH/LX/SK/AC/CM and AV.

      "Standard top notch service by NH, proof that I don't exaggerate the night and day difference between NH and UA on these routes."
      - How can someone ever doubt such a credible contributor? ;)

      "My guess is that since you booked this ticket through UA, you were forced into at least one UA leg (wise choose picking the shorter TPAC leg^^). "
      - Don't you love codeshares?

      "What was the mileage earning for this? "
      - 50% on "K " fares in TK's program, whether booked on NH or UA. I used UA because it allowed me to pay with PayPal Credit which gives me 6 mo. to pay the amount without interest.

      "As Clement mentioned, where is the soup with the Japanese option?"
      - Must be something ex-Japan.

      "I find legroom to be more important than seat-width so NH at least still has that going for it."
      - For sure.

      Thanks Michael for commenting.

  • Comment 387636 by
    757Fan 461 Comments

    Great report, Adan. I've seen a few reports recently of ANA's Economy Class service and it always looks really nice. The food looks tasty and plentiful - definitely better than other airlines for sure.

    Thank you for sharing! I'd love to visit Japan some day.

  • Comment 387957 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 9204 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    And your first flight in 2017 and as usual a nice and comprehensive report with a bunch of beautiful pictures

    Decent food offer for a US lounge and certainly United Club will never be able to reach the same level

    "Have you ever had a cold sausage muffin?"
    It looks like a croissant (but not a vietnamese one ;) )

    "Unfortunately laksa was not one of the items featured for breakfast today."
    Laksa is so yummy :)

    "I should buy a new one or not. Maybe not."
    Of course you must buy the one on the left even if IndianOcean would tell you the Hello Kitty's is way more beautiful ;)

    "Plane at the gate"
    IMO NH has one of the ugliest livery (and the Stars War's is even worst)

    "I had a sigh of relief when the seat next to me was empty"
    You're very lucky

    "Choices were Spanish grilled mackerel OR beef/pork meatballs"
    No special meal ? ;)

    "For those selecting the Western meal, bread is added, not so with the Japanese meals."
    Didn't you ask for a bread even having the Japanese meal ?

    The meal looks good with good portions, especially the appetizer

    "Galley was stocked with drinks and snacks."
    Not enough choices compare to your all time favorite choice of snacks company, KL ;)

    "I had the creamy seafood over rice."
    The cream looks weird lol

    "but it is not so "egalitarian"."
    You're right it's not terrific, nor marvelous, nor tremendous ;)

    Anyway it's obvious that you had a really good flight with NH

    See you soon for the next leg

    • Comment 388003 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Gilbert.

      "Decent food offer for a US lounge and certainly United Club will never be able to reach the same level"
      - Not for long, all good things must come to an end. ;)

      "It looks like a croissant (but not a vietnamese one ;) )"
      - You mean a crossant on steroids. :P

      "Laksa is so yummy :)"
      - Oh but I had my share of Indonesian laksa in CGK. ;) Do you think that I was going to miss it?

      "Of course you must buy the one on the left .."
      - Nah, it's not me. :P

      "IMO NH has one of the ugliest livery (and the Stars War's is even worst)"
      - It's very plain and stuck in the past if you ask me. Now the Stars War's one is not so bad.

      "No special meal ? "
      - Only when I have to. ;)

      "Didn't you ask for a bread even having the Japanese meal ?"
      - I take it easy on the carbs. :P

      "Not enough choices compare to your all time favorite choice of snacks company, KL ;)"
      - I like Dutch treats. ;)

      "The cream looks weird lol"
      - It didn't bother me. ;)

      "You're right it's not terrific, nor marvelous, nor tremendous ;)"
      - Glad you agree with me. Bread is a basic right that everyone should be entitled to. ;)

      Merci Gilbert.

  • Comment 388177 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice pictures from the lounges.

    Great spotting pictures at SFO!

    “Be warned that there is no overhead storage bin above the last row.“
    - Thanks for the information, good to know.

    It is great to have two empty seats in the middle section, glad to know you got some space in this 3-4-3 cabin.

    “with a hole to place to one's drinks.“
    - Smart move, it also makes it more stable with light turbulence.

    An outstanding move from NH to show pictures of the meals, it is not uncommon to exaggerate the description but with pictures it becomes easier to get a understanding of what you're about to get.

    The meals look good, the IFE has a sleek look and I would guess the content is improved after the upgrade in 2015. Not bad at all, plus the two empty seats making it even more comfortable combined with a good seat pitch.

    Nice weather upon arrival at NRT.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 388330 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi RI 777.

      "It is great to have two empty seats in the middle section, glad to know you got some space in this 3-4-3 cabin."
      - It would have been better if I had the whole row for myself and turn it into a nice "bed". ;)

      "- Smart move, it also makes it more stable with light turbulence."
      - Also, FA's do not really fill up the glasses. They tend to top it halfway.

      "it is not uncommon to exaggerate the description but with pictures it becomes easier to get a understanding of what you're about to get."
      - A pic. is worth a thousand words. ;)

      Thanks for your comments.

  • Comment 388185 by
    ashleyyau 200 Comments

    Thanks Adan for sharing this FR with us! I am late for replay since I just returned from your home state^^

    “I noticed a USD 670 (EUR 634.40) on NH to CGK for about the same price.”
    - You should have bought your ticket on UA (also using the $100 credit?). Otherwise the NH ticket could not be so cheap IME. BTW it is a good deal :)

    Sad to hear the SQ lounge will be closed. The food offering is much better than United Club. The renovation of UC in IntI Terminal seems to be a negative sign that the shower will be cut in the future.

    “I had a sigh of relief when the seat next to me was empty.”
    I know that feeling :P I also just had my NH TPAC flight back to HK and my middle seats were empty again!^^ Based on the boarding gate picture, I think that your flight load is lighter than mine.

    The food looks very good. I exactly had the same entrée with you for my return flight which is very tasty. The second meal looks better than mine last time.

    “For those selecting the Western meal, bread is added, not so with the Japanese meals.”
    - IMO NH gives bread to the Western meal because the Western entrée is usually smaller and the bread is used to compensate the portion.

    Look forward to your next report!

    • Comment 388331 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Ashley.

      I bought the ticket on the UA website. However, I couldn't apply the USD 100 credit because it is only for UA flights, not codeshares. Too bad. I'm sure that I can find a use for it in the future.

      "The renovation of UC in IntI Terminal seems to be a negative sign that the shower will be cut in the future."
      - I hope that the new UA Club will include showers, but that might be asking too much.

      "The food looks very good. I exactly had the same entrée with you for my return flight which is very tasty."
      - I think the cycle runs every 3 months.

      " IMO NH gives bread to the Western meal because the Western entrée is usually smaller and the bread is used to compensate the portion."
      - Nice observation.

      Thanks.

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