After a short flight across the rockies from Calgary, it was time to connect onto ANA for the 10-hour flight to Haneda.
While waiting for boarding, I went to go spot some planes at YVR for a little bit.
Air New Zealand B777-200ER operating to Auckland later in the evening.
Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 operating back to Frankfurt.
Here is the Dreamliner that I will be flying to Tokyo/Haneda. Registration# JA897A
超過手荷物料金 Over-Allowance Baggage Charge
Now here is where the horrible surprise came in. ANA was trying to page my family to come to the gate in order to verify a baggage issue. According to the gate agent, the check-in baggage allowance is 8 bags (there were four of us travelling in total and each person is allowed two free bags) weighing no more than 23kg each. However, she found out that we checked in three of our carry-ons back in Calgary. That made a total of 11 checked bags with three of them being over the free allowance. She also stated that ANA's baggage policy applies to the entire itinerary. We tried to explain to her that Air Canada forced us to check-in the carry-ons, but she wouldn't budge and wouldn't let us board the flight until we pay the excess fee. We had no other choice but to just go with what she said as escalating the situation was not gonna get us anywhere. So all in all, we had to pay CAD$600 for the 3 checked bags that exceeded the free allowance ($200 per excess bag).
Waiting at the seat was a pillow and blanket, as well as headsets. ANA is still one of the airlines that uses actual headsets in Economy Class, not like the cheap earbuds other airlines use nowadays.
The flight was not full, however there weren't any window seats available so I couldn't take any shots out the window. I saw an empty row just ahead of my original seat and asked to move there. I got settled in from seat 35H to 34G.
Kabuki-style safety video. Some airlines would overdo their safety videos in order to grab the passengers' attention to the point where it gets annoying. However IMO, ANA nailed the balance between overdone and boring. Not too "bland" nor "overhyped" either; it was just right.
After the seatbelt sign was turned off, the cabin attendants started the inflight service. I was given rice crackers and the Original Aromatic Kabosu drink that I get every time I fly with ANA. Wet towels now seem to be the norm as well instead of the hot oshibori (hot towel) given out when I flew with the airline back in 2015.
I explored the IFE as well. The content was mostly Japanese and Asian, however there was a good selection of English content as well. But the feature I use the most when using an airline's IFE is the flight map.
About a couple hours into the flight, the cabin attendants begun the meal service. I opted for the Japanese Meal along with kabosu juice.
The meal was very good in general. And after collecting the meal trays, we were handed out ice cream for dessert. I had to wait a little bit as it was frozen solid and impossible to cut a piece off with a spoon. I got more kabosu juice to go along with it.
After the meal service, the cabin attendants offered more drinks. I opted for green tea.
Soon after, the lights were dimmed and I handed my Flight Logbook to one of the CAs. I explored the IFE and put on the flight path before dosing off to a couple hours of sleep.
I saw that there was a model plane for sale in the duty-free sales, but I decided not to purchase it.
When I woke up mid-flight, I decided to stand up and stretch for a bit. I went into the galley and there was a mini snack bar for passengers to take. I helped myself to some snacks and kabosu juice.
The cabin attendants on this flight were absolutely the best you can ask for. They would always check to make sure the passengers' requests were taken care of. They offered drinks every 30 minutes and kept constantly replying to the call buttons, unlike other carriers who simply leave them ignored. They never showed any hint of annoyance or rudeness. They would smile and bow before and after coming to your seat. I was so overwhelmed by the excellent service that I decided to write a note to the chief purser about it.
Their English is good, but can lead to some miscommunication when it comes to special requests. However, it wasn't a problem for me as almost all of my interactions with the cabin attendants are in Japanese.
The lights were re-illuminated in time for the second meal service. On ANA's North American flights, two meals are usually provided. However on the Vancouver route, a full meal and only a snack box are served., given the fact that the flight time is similar to other North American routes, such as Seattle to Tokyo.
The snack box consisted of a croissant, yoghurt, sliced fruit, rice crackers and a Kit Kat. As usual, I got kabosu juice for my drink.
The schedule arrival time is 6:30PM but the IFE states that arrival time is around 5:40PM, a good 50 minutes early.
Cabin Attendants making final preparations before arrival.
Candies were distributed by the cabin attendants during descent.
We landed a good hour before the schedule arrival time and had a rather lengthy taxi to the International Terminal at Haneda Airport. The early arrival is a joy for passengers, but for me it has played a crucial role during my layover in Tokyo (more info on that in the next FR). The Cabin Attendants were also happy to pose for a picture after landing as a thank you for joining them on the flight to Japan (faces blurred for privacy reasons)
After the flight, my logbook was returned to me, along with some souvenirs which was very much appreciated.
Log Book entries from the crew of NH115 (surnames blurred for privacy reasons)
Souvenirs given from the flight crew.
The stopover time in Tokyo is 15 hours, therefore instead of wasting time at the airport, we booked a hotel in Akihabara to stay for the night.
The next and last flight for this FR series is on ANA NH869 to Manila.
ANA is an excellent airline to fly with. However, the baggage dispute in Vancouver didn't leave a good lasting impression of the ground staff. Regardless of that, I will still continue to fly with ANA in the future. Just need to be more careful next time.
Meals and beverages were great for Economy Class, especially the Aromatic Kabosu juice offered on every flight.
The service of the cabin attendants was top-notch. I didn't have to push the call button at all as they were always available in the cabin to cater to any passengers' requests.
Will definitely consider flying ANA in the future again.