Review of ANA flight Frankfurt Tokyo in Economy

Airline ANA
Flight NH204
Class Economy
Seat 27K
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 10:50
Take-off 28 Dec 12, 11:30
Arrival at 29 Dec 12, 06:20
NH   #11 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 201 reviews
Avionero
By 8725
Published on 22nd October 2013
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. This is my first report of one of my best flights ever, FRA (Frankfurt)-HND (Tokyo Haneda) with ANA's 787.
I found this outstanding website through a member of www.AeropuertosARG.com.ar, an Argentine commercial aviation website, where I usually write flight reports.

I had planned this trip to Japan by July 2012, but then I suffered an appendicitis that frustrated my vacation and forced me to stay on ground for a while.
Then I had the chance to fly to Tokyo for New Year's Eve, for (my) summer vacation and this time, without my appendix, nothing could stop me…

There are many options to fly from Argentina to Japan, of course not in a non-stop flight. With a stopover in Europe: Air France, British, Lufthansa, KLM, Alitalia, etc. With a stopover in North America: American, United, Delta and even Aeroméxico. Also with a stopover in Middle East: Qatar, Emirates and Turkish. Finally I chose Lufthansa and Star Alliance to get Japan, because I wanted to fly a Japanese airline with a B787 on a long segment.
The journey from my country, Argentina, started 2 days before when I left my hometown, Córdoba (CBA) to Buenos Aires (AEP), with LAN Argentina (4M) in an A320. Then I moved to Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport, where wide bodied aircraft operate. The Lufthansa B744 flight EZE-FRA was uneventful and I had to spend a night in one of the most boring cities I've ever been, since Cocoon Club filed for bankruptcy, last year http://www.factmag.com/2012/09/14/legendary-frankfurt-club-cocoon-club-goes-into-administration/ (yes, I like techno music, but not as much as commercial aviation).
Next morning I woke up early and took the cheap S9 train from HBF station to Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1 where Lufthansa and other Star Alliance members operate. The weather was cloudy and cold, typical in German winter.
After a fast check-in, security scanning and immigration, I enjoyed spotting most of the Lufthansa's fleet aircraft. If we talk about design, FRA has nothing to do with most of mega airports in its league. Terminal 1 is mostly old, boring and dark, but it's friendly spotter with its terrace and big transparent windows.

A Lufthansa's A333
photo 7r21


Air Canada's Boeing 777-300ER
photo gzsq


I liked the LH B747-8i very much, a still very rare machine. I hope we can see it in Buenos Aires soon
photo w87w


And finally I spotted my plane: B787-800. I was really happy to watch a Dreamliner again. It was my third flight on a 787 (after an EZE-SCL round trip with LAN in October 2012).
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Two smiling female FA greeted me at the door with a traditional Japanese bowing. Then I moved to my seat. The cabin was rather empty in Economy Class. It's one of the most exclusive economy class you can find today on a wide body aircraft (112 seats). Also ANA is one of the few (also Japan Ailines, that I remember) that offer 2-4-2 seat configuration on its long range 787 fleet, making an 11 hour flight a very pleasant experience.
The economy seats were clamshell type but with comfortable cushion, although I prefer reclining seats.
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The PTV was big enough for Economy and with good resolution
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The airshow map had very good satellite imagery, like this one before take off
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Before push-back started I took this picture
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Once the engines start, there is an electric hum coming from the electric pumps, that you can only hear on a B787. It's a quiet plane although not as quiet as the A380.
Few minutes after take off, cabin crew delivered oshiboris. Then, rice crackers and a drink were served. I chose ANA's original drink. It was one of the most delicious drinks I've ever tasted. Almost an addictive drink :P
Nobody was seating next to me, so I left my empty glass on that tray table.
photo kg37


The B787 amazing wing
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Few minutes later, lunch (or dinner in Japan's time) was served. There were two options. I chose the Japanese instead of the Western meal.
Miso soup, rice, shrimps and seafood. Everything on a bento style tray. Very original. I preferred to keep the chopsticks as souvenir and use the metal cutlery. A good quality detail, very rare in Western airlines Economy classes.
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Shortly after an ice cream and a hot drink were served

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Almost immediately after the cups were collected, the windows were dimmed to give a night effect. Like MARATHON, I hate being forced to shut my windows during daylight…
Boeing 787s don't let you rebel against unjust laws. Cabin crew dimmed the electrochromic windows for everyone, almost until landing…
Darkness was a strange sensation since It was 1PM in Germany and 9AM in Argentina…
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I couldn't sleep at all, so I visited a lavatory. I found an electronic bidet. I bet only Japanese airlines can offer bidets on their aircraft. A truly national symbol of Japan. Electronic bidets are everywhere in Tokyo: museums, art galleries, airports, hotels and even planes :P
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Later I returned to my seat and explored the IFE. It's focused on Japanese music and movies. I don't like Japanese teen pop at all. Fortunately I discovered Asano Sho, a traditional Japanese Shamisen player. Listening to his music relaxed me and made me feel in a Japanese mood…




A few hours later, after watching a documentary about ANA's 60th anniversary (unfortunately in Japanese only) I went to the rear galley. There were fruits, chocolates and crackers available.
The female FA I found there was very nice but shy, like most Japanese girls, I would say. I asked her some questions about the ANA's original drink. Sadly she told me that this incredible drink is sold on board ANA flights only…
I tried to sleep a few minutes and listened to some house music. We were flying over China. I felt nostalgic when I realized I was almost 20.000km away from my hometown, Córdoba…

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An hour before landing, breaksfast was served. I asked for the Japanese meal again. It was very good. Salmon, potatoes, rice, etc. And, of course my drink. I remember a male FA asked me: Sir, would you like ANA's drink? Last chance to try it.. Of course, I replied with a big smile. At that moment the whole crew recognized me as the ANA's drink addict.. :P

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And a few minutes before take off the FA I was talking to in the galley brought me this:

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Can you imagine my surprise? That girl spent some of her free time writing a postcard to me… I fell in love immediately with ANA, Japan and her…
I have no words to express that feeling. Love at first sight…
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Finally we landed in Tokyo International Airport, a.k.a Haneda. It was raining and cold (5°C).

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Last pic of one of my best flights ever
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Tourist bonus. I spent one of my best New Year´s Eve at Womb Club. The best club in Tokyo, if you enjoy techno music. For those who like electronic music, Ellen Allien and Apparat from Berlin were the DJs on the main floor. Great club with nice cool people that I would recommmed for single or divorced flight reporters…

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Verdict

ANA

9.1/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

Frankfurt - FRA

7.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Tokyo - HND

9.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

ANA cabin crew is by far the best I've ever seen in an airline.
The ANA's 787 seat configuration with 8 seats abreast and only 112 seats have no comparison in comfort. Meal was simply delicious, if you like seafood.
Maybe they would need more movies in English language, to get a perfect Economy Class.

Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Tokyo (HND)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 14 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Frankfurt (FRA) → Tokyo (HND).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is ANA with 7.9/10.

The average flight time is 11 hours and 15 minutes.

  More information

23 Comments

  • Comment 90670 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5305 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this great first FR! Been looking forward to your first post--awesome that you started with a 787 flight! The catering looks great and the 2-4-2 configuration is almost a Premium Economy rather than a regular Y. Too bad ANA and JAL have both decided to convert all of their 787s to 3-3-3 configuration.

  • Comment 90671 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Felicidades por tu primer reporte y gracias por compartirlo. I'm glad you had a very special and memorable flight. Japanese culture excels at customer service and it comes as no surprise that you had such a pleasant trip. You will see this level of service whether you stay at a deluxe property or go shopping at a convenience store like 7-11.

    The meals look pretty good for being Y and having ice cream for dessert is quite a treat, unlike those cookies or stale pastries in a bag that U.S. carriers love to serve.

  • Comment 90688 by
    flyingjapans 1355 Comments

    Hi Avionero, thank you for this excellent first FR! Flying to Japan is always a good destination for a first Flight Report.

    What a long trip you've done!
    Catering looks tasty, really representative of japanese excellence.

    Hope to see you again with some new FRs!

    Kristof

  • Comment 90701 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12421 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your first FR and welcome aboard

    Great routing from Argentina to Japan

    Catering looks yummy

    Nice card as memory of the flight... and from the shy FA

  • Comment 90723 by
    Papoumada SILVER 5895 Comments

    A very comprehensive first report. Welcome on board. Flying to Japan from Argentina is a very long journey, especially in Economy class.

    You were lucky to have a free seat next to you. It changes many things.

    The catering does look good for a Y class one.

    Your FR drives to your reader the pleasure you had during this flight.

    Thanks for sharing?

  • Comment 90728 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    I figured out your seat was 27K (guess how, haha!), so you can fill in that data in Section 1.

    I KNEW that the 787 would allow crews to force all windows shut (I wrote that in a comment on one of the first FRs on the 787), and yes, I positively HATE this. ANA can forget about my patronage on long haul flights if there is a chance that they operate a 787 on the route. Even if I brought my own lighting, I hate the idea of being forbidden to look outside. That's really treating passengers like pre-school kids who must take their afternoon nap because Mom said so.

    This is a great first FR (apart from the cabin comfort which should be rated below 5 because of the obscured windows ;). I look forward to reading South Americans FRs with a local's point of view.
    Welcome among FR's contributors !

    • Comment 283073 by
      Avionero AUTHOR 77 Comments

      Marathon: now you can read the 27K in Section 1 ;)

      Thank you for your welcome!

      I strongly agree with you about open window shades. You'll see that in my next FR...

      I couldn't rate cabin comfort under 9.5 -despite mandatory darkness-, because I'm in love with ANA... :P

  • Comment 90747 by
    A380B77W 4306 Comments

    Thanks for this good FR and welcome :)

    Beautiful pictures !

    Good catering on this flight !

  • Comment 90760 by
    KL651 TEAM 4492 Comments

    Welcome and thanks for this FR.
    If the counterparty of flying LH and their average service is to get to fly on NH, then it's a good balance.
    I also dream of flying ANA to go to Japan!
    Everything looks so organized and well thought out onboard.

  • Comment 90857 by
    pititom GOLD 10703 Comments

    Thank you for this FR and welcome onboard :) It's a nice start with a B787 flight, scarcely reported so far.

    Catering is pretty good for Y, but it's necessary, taken it's quite a long haul.

  • Comment 90973 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9930 Comments

    Thank you for your first report, and welcome.

    Choosing LH and ANA for your trip to Japan was a pretty good idea. ;)
    If interested, you can find in the database two reports (in French) about flights with the 747-8i LH.

    Catering looks good ; Metal cutlery is as well used by LH, LX, OS and TK in the economy cabin.

    I hate when I'm forced to shut the window blind on a day flight.

    Typical japanese electronic lavatory in the 787 !!! LOL

    I can see that Hero jam (made in Switzerland) is served on NH flights, too. ;)

    So kind from the FA to give you this postcard.

    Thansk again, I hope to read your next report soon.

    • Comment 293304 by
      Avionero AUTHOR 77 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Numero_2. Sorry for the 6 month delay... :P
      I really wanted to land in Japan on a 787 and at that time I just had 2 options from Europe: ANA from FRA and JAL from SVO. I finally chose NH because I prefered watching the approach to HND before sunrise.

  • Comment 91062 by
    77Waerogeek 17 Comments

    omg Apparat in Tokyo for New Year's, I don't think I could give you a better plan! Great FR, really frustrating windows though, with this new electrochromic system there's not even room for some cheating!

  • Comment 107239 by
    Avionero AUTHOR 77 Comments

    Thanks for your comment! Tokyo's electronic music scene is so amazing... If you like Apparat, you'll enjoy to see him in Moderat version, in a few weeks... With a FR included, of course ;)

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