Review of ANA flight Tokyo Shanghai in Business

Airline ANA
Flight NH919
Class Business
Seat 12H
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 19 May 23, 09:20
Arrival at 19 May 23, 11:40
NH   #41 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 232 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 1041
Published on 16th June 2023

background and routing


NH currently only operates 3x daily service between these 2 important economic hubs (NRT-PVG, HND-PVG, and HND-SHA). SHA is of course our preferred arrival airport in Shanghai, but the HND-SHA flight leaves at 10:05, and we didn't want to deal with getting to HND at peak rush hour so we settled on the easier access to NRT from our hotel and decided to deal with the longer commute in Shanghai that a PVG arrival requires. The other bonus of taking the NRT-PVG flight is that it is operated on a long-haul configuration B787-900 versus the ex-HND options that use regional configuration B787-800s.


This report will cover the flight from Tokyo-Narita to Shanghai-Pudong. As a reminder, the routing for this series:



pre-flight


At the time of booking, our plane was shown as a high-density B789 with an international configuration of 246 seats (J40, W14, Y192). I opted to select seats in the rear mini-cabin since it should be quieter. As before, we picked the two middle seats in the last row and an aisle seat adjacent.


photo 1

On the day of departure, we took the free 6:40am shuttle from our hotel to NRT, which departed with Japanese punctuality.


photo img-6166

After a quick stop at T2/T3 to let off one passenger, we crossed the JL and NH buildings before arriving at T1 at 7:00am.


photo img-6167photo img-6172photo img-6176

Heading in to T1.


photo img-6175

FIDS showing our flight was on time and departing from Gate 32. We are the 4th flight of the day.


photo img-6177

Our bags were already checked through to PVG and we had our boarding passes from SFO, but we headed over to the business class check-in area to confirm the China entry requirements before proceeding to security. The agents confirmed our seat choices and confirmed our bags were scanned for loading to PVG. They then wanted to see our QR codes for China health declaration (negative antigen result no more than 48h prior to departure) and directed us to a quarantine zone to complete the online registration. We quickly had to re-complete the registration through WeChat and obtain our QR codes. The whole process is pretty absurd since they allow the test to be completed 48h before departure, but only provide QR codes valid for 24h so our QR codes obtained in SFO were already invalid even though the tests were still valid.


photo img-6178

Once we showed our valid QR codes, we were escorted out to the Gold Track line. Security was empty and immigration was empty and we were deposited downstairs into the terminal air side.


photo img-6180

NRT is great for plane spotting (including an observation deck) and the first thing we see is our NH B789 to PVG and a TR B788 to SIN.


photo img-6182

After a quick look at our plane, we started our trek to the NH lounge near Satellite 4 since it was closer to our gate.


photo img-6185photo img-6187

Attempt 1 was a fail since the NH Lounge by Satellite 4 doesn’t open until 13:00.


photo img-6188

We instead walked back to the UA Club that is near our gate. Attempt 2 was also a fail since the UA Club doesn’t open until 8:45. We decided not to walk all the way to the other side of the airport to use the other NH Lounge since we only had ~45 minutes until boarding so we just grabbed some snacks and did some shopping in the close vicinity. In hindsight, we should have just gone to the KE Lounge with PriorityPass since KE has an early morning flight to ICN leaving from T1 so their lounge opens early.


photo img-6200

At 8:40, we headed over to our gate passing a nice looking ZG B788 to ICN. Interesting that ZG uses T1 instead of T2 like parent JL.


photo img-6190photo img-6194

Back to our gate, our plane is under final preparations. Our B789 today will be JA892A, which is in the low-density international configuration with 215 seats (J48, 21W, 146Y). I didn't notice this change when our boarding passes were issued, but it appears that they kept my original seat preferences of being in the last row, but they flipped me over to the other side of the plane to ensure I had a close adjacent aisle seat to my son. This plane had arrived late last night from Hanoi after doing LAX-NRT-HAN-NRT the previous 24 hours. It’s crazy to think that their B789s have more seats than their B77Ws, which only have 212 seats these days (which is also less than W6's A321neos^^).


photo img-6196

Reaching our gate, there was a long line already forming, but we took a seat by the window since an announcement was made as we arrived to the area that boarding would be delayed.


photo img-6201-59326

OS B772 arriving from VIE next door.


photo img-6202photo img-6209

flight


All Nippon Airways, NH919
Equipment: Boeing B787-900 [JA892, delivered June 2017]
Departure: 09:20 (ATD: 09:40)
Arrival: 11:40 (ATA: 11:25)
Flight time: 2:46


Boarding finally started at 9:00 with pre-boarding as the agents tried to organize the horde into their designated boarding groups while performing document checks. We boarded with Group 2 and headed into the jet bridge.


photo img-6210-64904

Even though we are in the rear J-cabin, we were directed to board through L1. Joystick and L1.


photo img-6212

The greeting was warm and we were direct through the galley and to the right. A chance to log R1 as well.


photo img-6214

We passed through the main J cabin, which has 26 seats across 7 rows. Then we reached the rear “mini” cabin, that has 22 seats across 6 rows.


photo img-6215

A picture of 8H in the bulkhead.


photo img-6216

My wife and son’s seats in Row 13, the last row of the rear cabin.


photo img-6217

My seat, 12H.


photo img-6218

Pre-placed in the seat were headphones, slippers, and blanket. No pillows at the seat, but they were offered by the crew from the overhead bins.


photo img-6219

The seat pitch is good and the same as the B77W’s version of this cabin. The width, however, is noticeably narrower than its big sister’s version. The B787 has a cabin width of 5.5m and the B77W has a cabin width of 5.9m. With the same number of seats across the cabin, the compression of the cabin feels very obvious having spent the previous flight on the wider product. These seats are also less private with smaller privacy partitions between the seats, particularly in the center section where on the B77W there is a vertical barrier enclosing the side table of every seat. Considering this plane had done NRT-BRU and NRT-LAX the couple days previous, this factor should be considered when booking flights where there are options between aircraft types.


photo img-6232

Pictures of the cabin during boarding. The load in the J cabin was ~40% so it’s still some time before demand picks back up into China from 3rd countries that are more likely to transit through NRT vs HND (handles more of the business travel from intra-Asia).


photo img-6223photo img-6220-53575

A look back at the W cabin, the load would only be ~20%. The W product retains the older product with blue cup holders whereas the J product was refreshed to wood tones.


photo img-6226-42456

The seat controls are along the lip of the side table and the tray table is housed inside.


photo img-6225

The IFE remote, charging outlets, headphone jack, literature compartment, and reading light are housed on the wall of the side table. There are no storage compartments. Also, there are no non-slip surfaces since they opted for a faux-wood finish that looks sleeker, but is less functional.


photo img-6227

The foot well is long but tapered making it narrow at the end. It is definitely less roomy than in the B77W’s seat.


photo img-6231

The storage compartment under the foot well is about half the size of the B77W’s seat and can only accommodate a pair of shoes.


photo img-6228

The literature contents include a barf bag, safety card, and menu.


photo img-6233

Safety card on the B789.


photo img-6234photo img-6235

The regional blanket is functional, but completely unnecessary since the cabin is very warm.


photo img-6242

No individual air vents in this cabin either to help with the temperature.


photo img-6240

The slippers are good quality with shoe horn and storage bag.


photo img-6311

The Panasonic headphones are not noise cancelling and of mediocre quality.


photo img-6241

Boarding completed at 9:15 and the jet bridge was retracted. They boarded the entire plane in 15 minutes with Japanese efficiency. It is worth noting that there are no PDBs offered on regional flights and there are no water bottles offered at the seat so make sure you are well hydrated before boarding.


photo img-6224

All announcements are done in 3 languages, which takes forever. There were both native Japanese and Chinese speaking FAs on this route. Immigration documents were handed out as final departure preparations were completed.


photo img-6236

We pushed back at 9:23 to start our taxi out.


photo img-6238

We taxied out behind a KJ A333 heading to BKK.


photo img-6257

Looping around T1, we see some *A friends: SQ B787-1000 and TG A350-900.


photo img-6262

The ZG B787-800 is still waiting to leave to ICN. OZ and KE are already gone.


photo img-6273

ST operations are a AM B787-800 and a pair of VN A321s.


photo img-6277

The sea of cargo operations.


photo img-6279

We turn to align on Runway 16R and took off to the southeast with the subdued roar of our Rolls-Royce Trent turbines. We took off about 20 minutes behind schedule.


photo img-6284

Brief glimpses of Chiba before turning to start our run down the eastern coast of Honshu.


photo img-6288photo img-6298

Reaching the tip of Boso Peninsula.


photo img-6305

Cloud coverage soon started as we started our run down Honshu so I'll introduce the IFE.


photo img-6221

The IFE is larger, higher resolution, and more responsive than on the older staggered B77W product, but still a shadow of The Room's IFE. The video content is the same as the last flight with the only addition being SKY LIVE TV that lets you stream some domestic and international channels. This plane was WiFi enabled, but it was not available on this flight to China. I won't fully introduce the content, you can refer back to the NH7 report for the content/interface details. For a regional flight, the ~120 movies they have is more than sufficient.


photo img-6243photo img-6244

The moving map is the most recent version and showed a projected flight time of 2h36m, which was a little aggressive. We would need some extra time with headwinds and turbulence over the East China Sea.


photo img-6252

The menu on this flight contains information on all NRT/HND/PVG/SHA permutations. Our flight's offering is:


photo img-6318photo img-6319

Drinks menu. NH's wine selection is weak, but it is well supplemented by good domestic offerings of sake/shochu. The non-alcoholic options are also quite substantial for regional flights.


photo img-6321photo img-6323

For those that are interested, the menus on NH967 (HND-PVG) and all flights from China.


photo img-6316photo img-6317

As we pass the clouds above Nagoya, the service starts with a packaged oshibori. Meal orders were taken at this time, but since we pre-ordered Japanese meals online the FA simply confirmed our preferences and that the CHML was on-board. I requested it to be served first.


photo img-6335photo img-6337

The FA’s then proceed down the aisle folding out tray tables and laying “linens” (a disposable blue sheet). The tray table folds out from the side table and is large and sturdy, but does not allow one to leave the seat easily since it folds into the side table when turned so you cannot leave a meal tray on top.


photo img-6338photo img-6339

Our son’s kid meal was served first, which is quite substantial in portion, even larger than what was served on the TPAC leg. The crew was less experienced on this route and was not very interactive with our son and lacked some personal touches. All questions were directed to me and his meal tray was served to me and I had to set up his tray table.


photo img-6341

The starter was potato salad, a meat patty, and some packaged cheese cubes.


photo img-6343

The main was a chicken nugget, fish nugget, half an egg, and a rice decorated with a face.


photo img-6342

The other items were standard Japanese packaged kids snacks and fruit/carrot jelly. Also note the stack of 3 small dishes, which are supposed to be for butter, salt, and pepper. None of which were provided, so had no reason to be left on the tray.


photo img-6344

Aperitif is done by cart. I opted for kabosu, which is served with packaged otsumami.


photo img-6340photo img-6346

The meal tray was then served as we crossed over a cloudy Osaka.


photo img-6360

The meal tray as received, a little tacky that the foil was left on the main.


photo img-6350

The zensai is well presented, but nothing remarkable, just a selection of cold morsels.


photo img-6351

The kobachi was again the best item on the tray both visually and by taste.


photo img-6352

The miso soup.


photo img-6353

The shusai uncovered. The beef was very tender and flavorful, but the portion size of protein is on the small side with only two pieces of meat. The packet on the left contains the steamed rice.


photo img-6356

The tableware again is Noritake from my beloved Nagoya.


photo img-6357

The cutlery is metal and the chopsticks are disposable wood with a blue paper hashioki.


photo img-6358

After delivering the trays, the FAs came down the aisle with a kettle offering hot green tea with the Japanese meals.


photo img-6359

Meal service concluded as we crossed Hiroshima with coffee/tea service.


photo img-6362

There is no formal dessert, only the small packaged cake pre-placed on the tray. Western meals get a proper dessert and the pistachio cake actually sounded good, but I opted not to ask the FA if there were any left to try.


photo img-6363

Picture of the cabin as meal service ended. Our cabin was very empty and quiet due to the aircraft swap, the forward J cabin on the other hand was ~60% full so we definitely made the right choice with seat selection.


photo img-6372

After the meal, I went up to use the bathroom near R2. The lavatory is a decent size and has bidet function, toiletries amenities, and a window.


photo img-6326photo img-6328photo img-6334

Lavatories almost always offer the best views on the plane.


photo img-6329

Back at my seat, the FA cleared my service items and asked if I wanted anything else. A shochu from Kagoshima to sip as we cross over its native Kyushu.


photo img-6370

I lounged the rest of the flight and watched some Japanese dramas.


photo img-6368

Pre-arrival announcements by the pilot were done 50 minutes out as we were crossing under Jeju.


photo img-6379photo img-6380

The clouds finally broke as we started our short final into PVG from the south over the Hangzhou Bay.


photo img-6388

A gloomy day in Shanghai, but still good to see Chinese soil after 4 years.


photo img-6395photo img-6405

We had a hard landing on Runway 34R at 11:25 for an on-time arrival and started our short taxi over to T2.


photo img-6408

Some good diversity at T2 today. HU B789 and a crusty ~25 year old CX B773 (one of the few B773s back in service post-pandemic when they pulled them out of storage to operate these high volume regional routes).


photo img-6409

AY A359 in OW livery.


photo img-6411

VS B789.


photo img-6413

Welcome to Shanghai, long time no see…


photo img-6417

Where they let in some visitors we won't see elsewhere… SU B77W.


photo img-6420

EY B789.


photo img-6422

NZ B789.


photo img-6423

We will take our slot next to our B789 kin and the OZ A333 in from ICN.


photo img-6425photo img-6426

We come to a stop at 11:31. Can't complain about a 5 minute taxi at PVG.


photo img-6429

The jet bridges were quickly engaged and we were escorted out through L1. It wouldn’t be China without HSBC covered jet bridges up to the terminal.


photo img-6430

One last look at our plane before it turns around and heads back to NRT.


photo img-6431

It was a long 400m walk to customs down T2 in an extremely muggy and hot terminal (clearly saving money by keeping the A/C off in the empty terminal). It was completely empty at immigration. Fingerprints, health checks (scan your QR code), and immigration were seamless and we were into the baggage claim by 11:45.


photo img-6432

Bags were quickly off and circulating by 11:55 and priority tags were respected. PVG was eerily quiet. There was no line for taxis and we were heading out on the S1 by 12:05, probably a record from all of my previous PVG experiences. There were a couple of flights from HKG that landed behind us, but otherwise the international arrivals is quiet until the early afternoon when the European/North American flights arrive.


photo img-6434

I'll leave off this series here as we begin our much anticipated visit to China. Thanks for stopping by!


flight details


photo img-6452photo img-6453
See more

Verdict

ANA

7.8/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.5

Tokyo - NRT

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Shanghai - PVG

7.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

NH's regional product does not stand out considering the wealth of options to cross the East China Sea. Overall, the hard product is excellent for a short 3h regional flight, but the crew/catering on this segment was very average and not differentiated from any competitor.

Cabin/Entertainment: The B789's staggered business class product is a refresh on the B77W's older product, but has some obvious deficiencies (narrower and lack of storage). It's a very good product to have on a regional route, but I don't think this is a competitive product for TPAC routes considering the B77W offers better comfort (The Room or old staggered). The IFE is much improved on these seats, but again lags behind The Room. The addition of live TV is a nice feature, but there was no WiFi enabled on this flight into China.

Crew: The cabin crew on this flight was less experienced, which is not unexpected since long-haul will always get the more experienced FAs. They did their service with the expected NH etiquette (which is already a high bar), but they didn't do anything that went above and beyond to justify a higher rating.

Catering: NH catering again is good, but not memorable. Packaged otsumami, packaged dessert, and no PDB are three obvious areas that could use improvement. The meal itself was good and satisfying. The drinks menu is more than sufficient for a regional route, but it is obvious there are downgrades on the sake/shochu offerings versus long-haul.

Information on the route Tokyo (NRT) Shanghai (PVG)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 8 avis concernant 4 compagnies sur la ligne Tokyo (NRT) → Shanghai (PVG).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est ANA avec 7.9/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 3 heures et 25 minutes.

  More information

5 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 630406 by
    hybridace101 49 Comments
    Good trip report! Thank you for sharing it with us! Took time to load the photos.
  • Comment 630407 by
    hybridace101 49 Comments
    Also, a 1-2-1 seat is always a plus. Concept is similar to SIA’s regional aircraft.
  • Comment 630767 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6896 Comments
    Coming from a 777, J seats are always noticeably narrower on 787 and A330, but still very nice of course.

    While very similar, the updated model on the 787 is visually more modern and more attractive, mostly because of the better and bigger IFE, but the seats also look a bit less plasticky.

    Once again the catering looks good, but not as good as JAL on a similar route—I don’t know about the Chinese carriers in comparison since there are so few reviews since Covid.

    Overall a nice and consistent experience after a long haul TPAC J flight.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 631048 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2020 Comments
      Coming from a 777, J seats are always noticeably narrower on 787 and A330, but still very nice of course.

      There is a stark contrast between NH's B788 and B789 cabins. The B788 has the more attractive staggered seating with alternating 1-2-1 and 1-1-1 (effectively 7 abreast) so they removed a seat compared to the 1-2-1 (effectively 8 abreast) on the B789 making it feel a lot wider. The B789 is definitely the least spacious of their current long-haul hard products.

      I don’t know about the Chinese carriers in comparison since there are so few reviews since Covid.

      From my experience, there is very little change in Chinese carrier service protocol from pre-pandemic times. CA/MU were already improving their catering, so it's not that different from what you would expect on other carriers in the region. When you compare to what BR offers on an analogous route, there is a drop-off in catering strength/amenities on NH.

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

Login to post a comment.