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The average flight time is 11 hours and 38 minutes.More information
After spending close to a year in America, it's time for me to return home. Today, I will be flying with All Nippon Airway's NH5 and NH811 back to Hong Kong through Tokyo Narita.
I was so glad to be on my way back, since Hong Kong is in a messy situation. My flight was cancelled a total of 4 times for this trip due to the government's harsh restrictions. The government regularly bans flights and requires all incoming passengers and flight crew to quarantine. Airlines no longer want to fly to the city which used to be an international hub. In fact, Cathay Pacific's now triweekly (instead of tridaily) flights to Hong Kong were placed on a temporary ban, after the route brought a few COVID cases back to the city.
The following is today's routing:
The ANA check-in counters are located in TBIT's row C. I entered the queue next to the economy check-in sign. To my confusion, passengers waved at me and I ended up being escorted by security to the currency exchange shop. Turns out, the line for check-in started all the way back near the currency exchange shop. It was hard for me to tell because of the big gap between the check-in line and the extension line. Many other passengers would later make the same mistake as me.
As the picture shows, the line was LONG. It took nearly 45 minutes for me to get to the front, even though ANA had just a single flight leaving that afternoon. It was one of the longest check-in lines I've had to wait at.
Because of Japan and other country's tight entry restrictions, ANA had a staff member who checked everyone's documents preliminarily— to catch any missing documents before occupying a check-in desk. This surely slowed down the entire process and was a reason for the long line.
Once it was finally my turn to check-in, it turned out that both of my checked baggages were overweight. Unfortunately, that meant I had to repack everything, which I was luckily allowed to do on the side. After 15 minutes, I finally received my boarding passes.
With nearly one hour left after the slow check-in, I made my way past security into the beautiful Tom Bradley International Terminal. Compared to America's airports, TBIT was certainly outstanding in all aspects.
This was our gate for the day, #152.
JA794A, a Boeing 777-300ER delivered March 2019 (3.3 years old), taking us to Tokyo Narita International Airport today.
F-OMUA / TN8, Air Tahiti Nui's 787 parked at a gate, departing for Paris after a flight from Papeete.
Boarding for our flight happened in groups depending on your fare class/membership status, and based on your seat assignment for groups 3 and 4 (economy). I was sitting at window seat 36K so I boarded in group 3.
Closer look of our plane
The moment I entered the plane, I faced two big screens pointing me in the right direction, and a cabin crew holding an iPad asking you to mask up. This was surely a nice touch in this new aircraft which showed Japan's investment in technology. The whole plane had a blue theme, matching ANA's brand.
Business class on ANA's new 777— The Room.
My first glimpse of ANA's 777 economy cabin, laid out in a standard 3-4-3 layout. If you look closely, each seat has a unique seat cover, a nice touch by the designers!
Row 37— my row for today, with two windows in economy class! Preview of the good seat pitch in ANA's cabin.
Pardon my finger!
The seat came with a blue pillow and blanket, and rubber-padded earphones (for comfort and sound resistance). ANA surely has great quality blankets even in economy, which helped me catch up on some missed sleep (and take an early step in combatting jetlag)!
The seatback pocket contained just a safety card and a water-resistant pouch. ANA's in-flight magazines were all digital in the IFE.
Legroom was excellent, and the seat even came with a footrest which made the flight very comfortable for me. There is also a 110V power outlet.
Qatar's A7-AMK, an A35K pulling into its gate after a 16 hours flight from Doha.
G-VFAN, Virgin Atlantic's Dreamliner coming in from London.
JAL's 777, JA740J also headed to Tokyo, except it's Haneda airport. Interestingly, that small difference would result in an entirely different flight path if you check the routing for both flights.
The onboard cameras were exceptionally clear. Pictured below is Air France F-GSPK, a B777-200 headed for Paris.
Soon, we were on our way down runway 24L. See below for takeoff footage.
Ventura County from a bird's eye view.
Service started with a pouch of Japanese crackers.
And a cup of sweet and tasty kabosu juice.
First meal of the day, a Japanese style chicken rice. The chicken was extremely tender and the meal came with multiple appetizers and cold noodles (served with soy sauce and other condiments). Compared to other airlines, the meal was quite small, though it was quite enjoyable. It came with ANA's signature metal cutlery, even in economy class.
Meal ended with a cup of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice-cream.
The bathroom on this plane was clean, as expected for a Japanese aircraft. I was especially surprised by the contactless bins and water taps, which were both functions I appreciated. After all, who hasn't fiddled with the taps on planes to make the water come out continuously?
View of the cabin from the back— a rather small economy section on this specific model. Most of the plane was occupied by business class.
To pass some time, I watched a Japanese movie to fit the vibe. It was the only movie I watched on the flight— just 90 minutes. However, ANA had a great selection of Western movies, including countless Disney and other mainstream movies. Though, it is worth pointing out that the Wi-fi for the flight was down due to a "satellite error."
The controller had a modern look to it.
The cabin utilised a nice moodlight, which helped me sleep. Other than eating and watching the movie (roughly 2 hours), I had some excellent sleep onboard this flight! The light turned from blue, to a sunset pink, then to a natural white before the final meal service.
This was the breakfast service, a chicken terriyaki rice, though it was similarly sized from the dinner served earlier. It was average, since I'm not a fan of barbeque sauce.
Information about the fleet and the airline's operational map found in the digital magazine.
As you can see, the recline on this aircraft is quite generous.
Soon, we were making our approach into Narita International Airport. It was a cloudy day, and we weren't able to see land until we got under 1500 ft. Props to the crew for the BUTTER landing. Some of the passengers were still asleep after touchdown!
Upon arrival, we spotted two of ANA's three A380s.
Shenzhen Airlines's A333 B-303N departing for Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (SZX).
Disembarkation happened in two groups. Connecting passengers deplaned first, while passengers entering Japan stayed onboard for a quarantine briefing.
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This flight on ANA's 777-300ER was excellent. Even though I read online that these seats had the least legroom, they were nevertheless moderk and comfortable and helped me sleep through the majority of the trip. ANA's various amenities including the pillows and blankets were smooth and of high quality even for economy class. Though both meals were quite small, they tasted nicely Japanese.
All in all, this was a job well done by the ANA crew. Follow my next trip report to read about my connection to Hong Kong!