After being dropped off from the CGK flight at the terminal by the bus, I went through security and hurried up to the ANA Lounge located in Satellite 4. I want to bring to the attention of the moderators that this lounge is not an option in the drop down menu above so i used the Satellite 5 one to describe it.
My flight would depart from gate 33 and the UA Club was the closest one to the gate, but I still wanted to go all the way to the NH one. Upon arrival I presented my credentials and was welcomed inside. I went to the shower desk to inquire if there was any availability and was given a pager. In the meantime I went back to the lounge and explored a bit.
The lounge was much smaller than the one at Satellite 5 but the catering was the same. It was very crowded and I saw a lot of Westerners inside, probably from the UA flight who shared the same desire to avoid the UA Club and use the NH one instead. From what I have read I don't think that there is hot food at the UA Club. At least at the NH one there is a counter where you can order hot noodle and curry rice in addition to the buffet items.
Within 10 min. my pager was calling and I returned to the shower desk. I was shown to a room near the entrance and although it was slightly smaller than the one that I had in Sat. 5, it was equally well appointed with all the amenities.
I quickly stepped out of the shower and grabbed some curry rice before i went to the gate.
Agents were ready at the gate to start the boarding service. Judging by the crowd sitting down, today's flight was going to be light. Passengers in wheelchairs were grouped at the entrance of the jetbridge and soon an announcement was made inviting passengers who required extra time and families with children to board. Then passengers boarded according to the group numbers.
744 at the gate.
An enthusiastic FA greeted pax and directed them to their seats.
Walking to the rear of the airplane.
I still remember those phones.
A 787 that was next to us was taxiing out.
Eventually the last few passengers boarded and the door closed. Here is a view across my seat. Needless to say, i had an empty seat next to me and was able to stretch out comfortably.
A unique view of the curvature of the 747 from the back seats.
The safety video was played and we taxied out. Bye NRT.
Service started after 1 hr. due to turbulence. FA's were friendly and the service was quick due to the emptiness of the cabin. A snack mix was served with your beverage.
I ordered a special Hindu meal and it was brought to me before the actual meal service started. It had a bottle of water, a regular corn salad, the main dish, plain yogurt and sugarless cookie.
Japanese plain yogurt had a slight sweetness that was very different from Western brands.
The main dish was a vegetarian combination of corn, rice, root vegetables and green beans that were nicely spiced
The dessert was utterly tasteless.
I set the tray aside and when the regular meal cart came by the FA asked me if I wanted chicken or pasta. I did not refuse a second serving for the sake of objective reporting and chose the chicken in cream sauce. The chicken seemed to be breaded under a in a thick gravy sauce. The salad was the same that I had for my special meal.
After the meal trays were picked up, bottles of water and ice cream were served. The FA offered me a double portion of both which was nice. I gladly took a second bottle of water. Tea and coffee followed the ice cream service.
Lights were turned off and I tried to catch some sleep but could only take a nap for about 1 hr. The galley only had a bin with bottles of water. I didn't see any snacks available, not even leftover ice cream or snack mixes.
Another discovery was the elimination of mid-flight snack. I asked one of the FA's in the galley and she told me that UA no longer does that service. She offered me a snack mix that she found in a hidden bin but I declined.
A few interesting features of this 747.
Soon it was morning outside.
Lights were turned on to wake up passengers for the breakfast service. A FA delivered my Hindu meal which consisted of some spicy petit pois with bread, plain yogurt, a piece of bread and a bottle of water.
After I finished the FA on the other side who was serving the meals from a cart came up to me and asked if I wanted the "omelette or chicken" i said "surprise me" and we both had a laugh. She ended up giving me both dishes so in the end I had 3 breakfasts. :P
Chicken with rice.
Omelette with sausage and hash brown. it was fluffy and tasty.
I must say that UA seemed to have made cuts in the second service. Last year when I flew PEK-SFO there was a small fresh fruit dish along with the main dish. This time there was only a package of 2 tiny butter cookies.
We soon arrived in SFO and this is one last look at my seat and cabin.
Scenic descent around the Bay Area passing by SFO Airport.
Downtown SFO with the Financial District and Oakland Bridge.
U. of California - Berkeley to the left of the stadium .
Crossing the San Francisco Bay back to SFO.
Soon to be history.
Taxiing to the gate.
Parked at the gate next to this 787, just like in NRT.
I used Global Entry and was through in less than 10 min.
ANA Suite Lounge Satellite No. 5
Tokyo - NRT
San Francisco - SFO
The ANA Lounge in Satellite 4 was much smaller than the one in Sat. 5 and it was very crowded. Catering is the same as the other lounge except for the sushi stand. The counter where you can order fresh noodles and curry rice is a nice feature that is appreciated.
It is always a treat to fly on the iconic 747 and I really cherished my ride in it. The emptiness of the flight made it extremely comfortable with plenty of space to stretch. Those who took the middle row ended up with a "flat" bed to sleep. Service was courteous and attentive.
Catering was OK but cost cutting is evident. There was no midflight snack service unlike the PEK-SFO flight that I took last year. Also, only water was available in the galleys this time around. The pre-arrival meal used to have a side of fresh fruit but now it only has a package of 2 small butter cookies.
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