Review of ANA flight Tokyo Los Angeles in First

Airline ANA
Flight NH6
Class First
Seat 2K
Flight time 09:45
Take-off 13 Nov 17, 17:00
Arrival at 14 Nov 17, 09:45
NH   #23 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 161 reviews
By GOLD 2333
Published on 9th February 2018
Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I am sharing an around the world (mostly) First Class series of trips in this series. I have a strong affection for Lufthansa First class so that was my motivation for the beginning of this trip. The product is well documented and, as a whole, one of the best First Class experiences obtainable on points. Also, I get an inordinate amount of enjoyment trying to secure the space. The windows for partner redemption in LH premium cabins opens approximately 2 weeks prior to departure so you have to operate in that window to secure seats. Additional flights/seats may open as departure nears. This is good fun! For the return I already has the second leg of a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club redemption on ANA so I would ideally use LH to get to Tokyo to complete the circle. It didn't end up that smooth but a lot of fun was had along the way.

Booking the LH legs is a little tricky because you may find a North America - FRA segment but then no FRA - Asia segment to pair with it. That was the case with me. While I initially saw BOS-FRA open there was nothing to pair with it. Then, a few days later FRA-SIN opened however I wasn't thrilled about a BOS departure so I waited, hoping for something further west as a departure point. About 3 days out JFK-FRA opened and I caved, booking JFK-FRA-SIN. At least JFK would give me the opportunity to try the only LH F lounge in North America, so that was something. I departed not knowing how I would get from Singapore to Tokyo but I did wait list for SQ F SIN-HND. Those normally clear, right?

Courtesy of

photo map

Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:

United Airlines - LAX-ORD - 757-300 - First - No Lounge - Cash (No Report)
United Airlines - ORD-LGA - A319 - First - No Lounge - Cash (No Report)
Lufthansa - JFK-FRA - 748-8i - First - Lufthansa Wining and Dining - United Mileageplus
Lufthansa - FRA-SIN - A380-800 - First - Lufthansa First Class Terminal - United Mileageplus
Thai Airways - SIN-BKK - 787-9 - Business - Silverkris Lounge T3 - Krisflyer Miles
Thai Airways - BKK-NHD - 747-400 - First - Thai Royal First Lounge - Krisflyer Miles
ANA - NRT-LAX - 777-300ER - First - ANA Suites Lounge / United Global First Lounge - Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (This Report)

Journey to Narita and Narita Terminal 1 Observation Deck

According to My Flight Memory I have 140 takeoffs and landings at Narita Airport, so 70 visits. I'm just as giddy today as I was when i first visited 2010. I know it's not the newest, biggest or busiest but it's just a special place to me.

I used to only use JR trains in Tokyo and I have no idea why. Perhaps unfamiliarity with the other operators? Anyhow now I seem to only use Keisei on the Tokyo -> Narita runs. Again, I don't know why. Probably because I stay in Ueno quite often and it's just too easy not to.

I leave the hotel around 9am for my 17:00 flight. Did I mention I really enjoy spending time in Nartia?

photo 20171112_150604

It's a 4 minute walk from the hotel to the station.
photo 20171112_150610

There's a bakery in the station that's quite nice but I'm saving my bakery appetite for my favorite in Narita proper.
photo 20171112_151652

The Keisei Skyliner is clean, fast, and relatively comfortable. There are two stops on my journey today one rather quickly at Nippori, and then again at Terminal 2 before I alight Terminal 1

A scant 45 minutes later I am inside the Terminal 1 train station where I store my roll aboard in a locker and take the Keisei Mainliner back a couple of stops to Narita. I'll post some of my walk around town in a bonus section below. It was a beautiful day and I spend several hours walking the Omotesando, Temple, and park.

Returning to the airport with about 4 hours to go to departure I decide to pick up my boarding pass at the ANA F check in lounge.

photo 20171112_162816
Suites is the branding.
photo 20171112_162827
Secret doors.
photo 20171112_162836
Swiss and United passengers traveling in First are welcome too. Not much longer for UA to be on this sign…
photo 20171112_162838

There's only 1 other passenger in the lounge at this hours so I am greeted immediately , offered a cold towel, and presented a boarding pass.
photo 20171112_195525photo 20171112_195924

There is a private security screening checkpoint accessed through the back of the Suites check in lounge but I was going to stay land side to enjoy some sunshine and breath some Jet A.

photo 20171112_192623photo 20171112_193912

Skyteam on the North Wing, Star on much larger South Wing.

photo 20171112_191953photo 20171112_193811

Not a ton of action at this time in the afternoon so after a half hour I retrace my steps to security and immigration.

Star Alliance Lounge Hopping, Narita Style

My first stop is the United Club and Global First Lounge. It's a rather sad relic of a different Chapter in United's history but it has the best views of any Narita Lounge I have visited.

The elevator up from the United Club to the GF Lounge.

photo 20171112_201215photo 20171112_201342

Much of the seating in this lounge faces the ramp and the 16/34 runway complex.

photo 20171112_201830photo 20171112_202009

It's a great place to stop for a Perrier.

It's a First Class lounge so of course there are food and beverage on offer.

There are also a variety of other seating and work areas.

Refreshed from the iced sparking water I bid the pleasant lounge attendants adieu and continue the walk to the smaller, but usually less crowded, ANA Suite Lounge above gate 47.

photo 20171112_205237photo 20171112_205246

After the gracious and charming greeting I am directed to choose a seat and offered a beverage. I will start this party officially with some Champagne. Ayala Champagne, to be specific. I've only seen this label in the ANA Suite lounges. It's a perfectly enjoyable wine.

photo 20171112_205520photo 20171112_205806

A look around the lounge reveals that I and the few F passengers from SQ11 are the only inhabitants.

There is a buffet and a noodle bar for nourishment.

I help myself to a couple of tastes from the buffet first, to enjoy with the Champagne. Nothing really stands out but I have a taste of each item.

photo 20171112_211612photo 20171112_211617

Let's try something from the menu.

photo 20171112_210128

Noodle dishes.

photo 20171112_205717

Other dishes.

photo 20171112_205722

Having tired almost all of htem overt he last several years I opt for something new to me, the gratin.

I am given a buzzer that will alert me when the dish is ready.

photo 20171112_210229

The buzz indicates it's time to return tot he noodle bar to retrieve my dish. The gratin is quite nice but very rich. It's also molten hot so it must rest for several minutes before enjoying. I have few bites and am pleased with the dish. Some shichimi togarashi helps liven up a few bites.

photo 20171112_211601photo 20171112_211604

My flight is departing in the 50 gates so I decide to relocate to the Suites lounge in the vicinity of my departure gate.

I spy some window cleaning on the walk over.

photo 20171112_214812

The South Wing Suites Lounge overlooks gates 53-55 and is a larger version of the North Suites Lounge. It's not nearly large enough as i have witnessed lines of people waiting to get in and only allowed to do so as someone leaves. Staggering for a "First Class" lounge. Anyhow I'm early enough for that not to be an issue.

photo 20171112_215537

Plant art.
photo 20171112_215540

The Business Class lounge is tot he left and Suites Lounge is to the right.

photo 20171112_232811

The same greeting and beverage offer ritual takes place here, as it did in the North Lounge. My responses to the queries are identical as well.

photo 20171112_220051

I pop over the Noodle Bar and request a bowl of the kakiage soba, on of my favorite dishes available here.

There's a nice bar along the window where you can sit and enjoy your noodles with ramp views. My kind of restaurant.

photo 20171112_221445photo 20171112_221449

My ride to LA, JA732A, arrives.
photo 20171112_222523photo 20171112_222531

The buffet contents are the same so I won't subject you to that again. Here's a look at the adult beverage selection. There was some Hibiki but it went fast.

photo 20171112_222814

The setting sun indicates that the time has come to mount the 700,000 lb engineering marvel that will deliver me across the pacific ocean in lavish style.

photo 20171112_231658photo 20171112_232429


We're leaving from gate 55 this evening. The sadness of leaving Japan is certainly tempered by the excitement of an international long haul flight in first class.

photo 20171112_232949

Left turn on the jet bridge.

photo 20171112_233724

Seat 2K, a familiar perch.

photo 20171112_234049photo 20171112_234108

This cabin would be 4 of 8 tonight. Always a treat to have a bedroom and a living room.

photo 20171112_234806photo 20171112_234810

The seat is laden with the AMA F amenities including cardigan, sleep suit, amenity kit, headphones and slippers.

photo 20171112_233914photo 20171112_233916

One of the welcoming and beaming flight attendants unwraps the slippers and positions them on the floor.

photo 20171112_233922

The constant reminders of the crisis at home.

photo 20171112_234427

I start of with some Champagne as I am settling in. It's not the same label that is offered in flight.

photo bpwine

I didn't document all of the seat functions, compartments and controls but can show you the touchscreen seat position adjuster.

photo 20171112_234939

Asked if i would like to change before we depart I agree this is a good idea. I am escorted tot he lavatory and presented a hanger for my street clothes. The larger F lav is spacious enough to change comfortably. There is a fold down platform to stand on while you are bare foot or in socks.

The sleep suit is rather plain and lacks branding however it is very comfortable.

photo 20171112_235226photo 20171112_235230

Back at 2K I am presented a portfolio containing both the food and beverage menus. I won't bore you (any further) with the details other than to say that the food consists of a Japanese path and a Western path and then a very good selection of a la carte items for any time in the flight. The wine list is highlighted by 2 prestige Champagne labels in Krug Grand Cuvee and Cuvee 740 from Jacquesson. You could close your eyes and point to something on this menu and probably not be disappointed. It's truly First Class.

photo 20171113_003926

Our departure and push back occurs on time. It is in this phase of the trip that I am reminded how much I dislike the Suite design that blocks the easiest viewing window. To enjoy the traffic and takeoff becomes a very difficult contortion act. The taxi today to 34L was fairly brief.

Service starts with my beverage of choice. Served in a standard wine glass to allow a more full appreciation of the aromas…or something like that.

photo 20171113_0045220photo 20171113_004554

Of course taking drink without food would be uncivilized so ANA have beautiful bites to pair with your aperitif. The amuse isn't spelled out on the menu so I'm not totally certain of the components. Anyhow they're gorgeous and a lovely accompaniment to the wine.

Shall we browse the IFE? Why this sounds like an interesting film… And no, you may not. I'm going to need it for the sumptuous meal in my immediate future.

photo 20171113_003605

After a couple of top offs of the Krug I finally surrender my amuse and get on with the show. The table is laid and the bread is selected.

The appetizer plate I selected would feature "gateau style of snow crab meat and Jerusalem artichoke, Iwate dried tomato vinaigrette with caviar." I wasn't expecting the caviar to be in a jar on the side but much appreciate this presentation versus being a dollop or two pre-plated. This was a very lovely dish with excellent texture. Applying a portion of the caviar to a bite of the crab was divine.

In one of many strokes of excellent service the flight attendant asked if i would enjoy some red wine with my beef main and offered to open and pour the glass at this time so that it might be more optimal in breathing and temperature when the main was served. She didn't exactly use those words in her proposal but that was the intent of her message.

photo 20171113_013036

While we're discussing the optimal enjoyment of fermented grape beverages how about we have a go at the Jacquesson Cuvee 740 with these beautiful appetizers. I was familiar wiht this wine from a previous ANA flight and was happy to have occasion to enjoy it again.

photo 20171113_014054photo 20171113_014521

I inquired as to whether she had another portion of the "Uncured Kyo-gamo duck ham and persimmon composition style with herb sauce" and, as luck would have it the answer was yes. This is essentially duck prosciutto and the combination with persimmon was excellent.

photo 20171113_013254photo 20171113_013302

Some salad greens are offered next.

photo 20171113_013855photo 20171113_013907

The corn soup is always a tasty treat. So sweet and just the essential flavor of corn.

photo 20171113_015111

May I please present the "Grilled fillet of wagyu beef with Iwate "Aki Queen" raisin sauce flavored with brandy." It's cooked as close to medium rare as you can on an airplane and it's extraordinary. Unfortunately the first courses are so appealing that I broke my "just a taste" rule and ate to much before even arriving at this beef nirvana. The robust Rhone GSM was a lovely companion to this fine expression of bovine brilliance.

I will forge onward as I am a professional. I skip cheese for no reason. Fromager D'affinois 5 Poivres, Cesar Regalis, Mattonella di capra and Grana Padano DOP Cravero are represented here. Three sheeps milk cheeses and one cow, all beautiful. Baa, baa, baa, moo, as they say. No, no one says that.

photo 20171113_021945photo 20171113_021913

We've made it this far, might as well see the sweet. Hiraizumi golden baumkuchen with vanilla ice cream. Wisely served in a delicate portion.

photo 20171113_022934photo 20171113_022938

This was really a very memorable airborne culinary journey and I was very impressed with all aspects of this decadent feast.

I can't leave without my 21. The Hibiki 21 is a lovely dram and this is the only place I will get an opportunity to quaff such a special whiskey.

photo 20171113_023430photo 20171113_023856

An offer to prepare the bed next door is graciously extended and accepted so that it will be there when I fall.

photo 20171113_041828photo 20171113_041838

I tapped out in the mid-pacific and had a necessary snooze, a couple of hours in duration.

photo 20171113_041745

Upon regaining consciousness I return to my set and am quickly offered service. Some water seems appropriate now.

photo 20171113_080459

I would like to taste my way through many of the "Dine Anytime" menu items but it's not really possible. I settle on the Ippudo 'Soration' tonkotsu ramen. Ippudo is one of my all time favorite ramen shops so I cannot resist. It's a deeply flavorful bowl for something that is probably reconstituted on board.

I enjoy a film and drop in and out of nap. I'm told we are nearing our destination and it will be the last call from the kitchen. I opt to have a look at the western breakfast set and a cappuccino. While the eggs are beautifully poached I'm not able to get into the dish and only manage a bite or two.

The cabin undergoes the arrival routine of stowing beds, clearing dishes, and changing back into street clothes. I enjoy the views into LAX although with considerable discomfort from contortion.

photo 20171113_094358photo 20171113_095552

Hi spotters.
photo 20171113_095738

These east-bound T-pac flights are just too short.

Bread, and other Narita stuff.

Bonus : Click here to display
See more



Cabin crew9.0

All Nippon Airways First Class Lounge


Tokyo - NRT


Los Angeles - LAX



The Ground Service: I enjoy the exclusivity of the private check in lounge and security screening.

The Lounge: Lacking in wow factor but adequate in other amenities including food, showers, and beverage. The crowding is an issue.

The Cabin: Free my window! Otherwise I'm comfortable here.

The Crew: Japanese grace and precision personified.

The Food and Beverage: I'm not sure I've enjoyed the food more on any flight I've taken. The quality and variety are exceptional. Two beautiful Champagnes to enjoy. There's very little room for criticism.

Overall: ANA excels in the food and beverage program as well as gracious and genuine service delivery. They are perhaps not as strong in lounge and ground service. That said I am already anticipating my next opportunity to enjoy time in the pointy end of one of their mighty 777-300ERs again.

Thank you for reading and happy flying.

Information on the route Tokyo (NRT) Los Angeles (LAX)


  • Comment 431334 by
    Rewardflying SILVER 437 Comments

    >I will forge onward as I am a professional.
    -That's the understatement of the day.

    Nice report Christian. 70 transits through Narita! I'm anxious to learn the points game from you.

    • Comment 431436 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 825 Comments

      Greetings Mark and thank you for the kind words.

      "70 transits through Narita! I'm anxious to learn the points game from you."
      -I will confess the overwhelming majority of these have been of the NRSA variety. That said, they have all been in J. I know how to play that game fairly well too.

      Take care Mark and happy flying.

  • Comment 431421 by
    Razza_Pr 205 Comments

    Hi Socalnow, and thank you for this FR.

    “It's a rather sad relic of a different Chapter in United's history but it has the best views of any Narita Lounge I have visited.”
    - That sign should’ve been replaced by the Polaris lounge since they started “introducing” it awhile back. How long until they open the NRT Polaris lounge again?

    “Noodle dishes.”
    - No cold soba noodles on offer? I’m quite a big fan of those..

    “Seat 2K, a familiar perch.”
    - Wonder if this particular Skytrax 5-star airline will update their F product in the future, taking into consideration their upcoming 777-9?

    “Applying a portion of the caviar to a bite of the crab was divine.”
    - House Kaviari de Paris don’t play around..

    “While we're discussing the optimal enjoyment of fermented grape beverages how about we have a go at the Jacquesson Cuvee 740 with these beautiful appetizers.”
    - And it was poured into a white wine glass. Always preferable when you want to celebrate the aromas of a good harvest, thus enhancing the taste. NH knows what’s up

    “The robust Rhone GSM was a lovely companion to this fine expression of bovine brilliance.”
    - Double thumbs up for the marbling on the fat.

    About every meal presented on board looked very much inviting! Especially the Ippudo ramen.

    “That said I am already anticipating my next opportunity to enjoy time in the pointy end of one of their mighty 777-300ERs again.”
    - Perhaps on a longer journey next time, to/from New York?

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

    • Comment 431437 by
      socalnow GOLD AUTHOR 825 Comments

      Greetings Razza and thank you for the note.

      "That sign should’ve been replaced by the Polaris lounge since they started “introducing” it awhile back. How long until they open the NRT Polaris lounge again?"
      -Polaris has become a bit of a joke. There have been 2 on board service cutbacks (with another coming) before they even make a dent in the roll out. I read this week that the NRT Polaris lounge will be designed in 2019...

      "No cold soba noodles on offer? I’m quite a big fan of those.."
      -Indeed. I wonder if an off menu request could be made assuming a bit of language research...

      "Wonder if this particular Skytrax 5-star airline will update their F product in the future, taking into consideration their upcoming 777-9?"
      -It's going to have 4 seats, I just know it. I'm bracing.

      "Perhaps on a longer journey next time, to/from New York?"
      -OK! Maybe to JFK as the BA lounge in T7 used by ANA on departure is a terribly bad joke. Inferior to even the AF lounge JAL uses at JFK.

      Take care Razza and happy flying.

Login to post a comment.