Looks like first-class: Flying ANA The Room enterprise class from LA-Tokyo

When Japanese airline All Nippon Airways launched all-new first- and business-class suites again in July 2019, I couldn’t wait to fly them.

Designed by famed architect Kengo Kuma, who additionally created Japan’s beautiful new Nationwide Stadium for the Tokyo Olympics, the ANA suites are beautiful however understated, with wooden paneling that harkens to Japan’s lush forests, revolutionary layouts impressed by conventional Japanese residing areas and shutting panels for added privateness.


Sadly, I didn’t get to expertise the brand new suites earlier than the pandemic restricted journey to Japan. However as journey restrictions to Asia loosened earlier this yr, together with making it simpler for worldwide vacationers to transit by means of Japanese airports (the nation is now absolutely reopened to vacationers), I went on the seek for an award ticket so I may get to fly in no less than considered one of these singular seats.

My probability lastly got here in September, after I booked an award ticket that will have me touring from Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) to Tokyo’s Narita Worldwide Airport (NRT) in ANA’s “The Room” enterprise class as a part of an extended itinerary.

Although I’ve but to strive the brand new “The Suite” first-class, my long-haul flight in ANA enterprise class was an excellent expertise by itself because of the revolutionary seat’s options and the wonderful service on board.

Right here’s what it’s like flying in ANA’s The Room business-class suite — and why it’s value reserving.

A ten-hour flight is much more snooze-able in first-class – see what number of factors away you’re from a comfy, 30,000 foot slumber with the free TPG App!


With skyrocketing airfares, there was no means I may afford the 1000’s of {dollars} a visit in ANA enterprise class would have value me. As a substitute, I carried out a months-long seek for award tickets that will have me touring no less than one leg on ANA en route to a different vacation spot.

I’ve American Specific Membership Rewards factors that will switch to ANA’s personal Mileage Membership program in addition to to Air Canada Aeroplan and Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership, whose miles and factors it’s also possible to use to e-book tickets on ANA. I even have Chase Final Rewards factors, which switch to Air Canada Aeroplan, Virgin Atlantic and United MileagePlus, which is a Star Alliance associate with ANA.

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I made a decision to attempt to use United miles since I already had a large stash of these and it was simpler to make use of them to e-book my complete itinerary as a single award ticket relatively than attempting to make use of both Aeroplan or Flying Membership.

Looking each and, I discovered a number of days with award availability on ANA from Los Angeles, the place I’m primarily based, to each NRT and Haneda Airport (HND) in Tokyo on the best way to numerous locations in Southeast Asia.

The brand new business- and first-class suites are solely aboard some, however not all, of ANA’s Boeing 777-300ERs, and never the airline’s different jet sorts, so I used to be cautious solely to look routes and particular flights the place I used to be positive the brand new suites could be in service.

If unsure, once you discover an award ticket on an ANA 777-300ER, you may search for a similar flight on ANA’s web site and it’ll denote whether or not the flight has The Room on board. In any other case, it’s also possible to take a look at the seat map on your flight: If it has 16 rows of enterprise class operating from rows 5-20, try to be set.

I ended up reserving an itinerary that will have me flying ANA The Room enterprise class from LAX to NRT, then on to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) within the airline’s older enterprise class aboard a Boeing 787-9 after a quick layover. I’d in a single day in Bangkok earlier than persevering with on to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Worldwide Airport (DPS) on Thai in financial system.

My ticket totaled 103,500 United MileagePlus miles plus $18.40 in taxes and costs. I discovered an analogous ticket that will solely get me to Bangkok utilizing round 87,000 Aeroplan miles with barely larger taxes and costs, however then I’d have wanted to buy my ongoing ticket to Bali, so I caught with MileagePlus.


Not that I’d (or may) e-book a paid fare this excessive, however I priced out my itinerary on Google flights at simply over $6,100. dates over the following few months, the costs for a similar itinerary I flew different on the time from round $4,100 to $7,800. So even on the decrease finish of that vary, I used to be getting almost 4 cents per United mile in worth. That’s nicely over the 1.21 cents apiece TPG at the moment values United MileagePlus miles at.

Airport expertise

My flight departed at 12:45 p.m. and I arrived on the airport 2 1/2 hours forward of that simply to have some further time to get by means of the visitors at LAX (hopefully the airport’s long-awaited folks mover will open subsequent yr and reduce by means of a few of that congestion) and previous safety on the airport’s Tom Bradley Worldwide Terminal.


Test-in for my flight was simply getting underway after I strolled into the terminal, and there have been a number of different passengers already ready within the devoted line for business-class passengers. This line was additionally open to passengers in premium financial system and vacationers with Star Alliance Gold standing in addition to ANA’s Platinum elite standing and Tremendous Flyers Card holders.


Regardless of that, it solely took about two minutes earlier than an agent waved me over and printed boarding passes for my complete itinerary, together with the Thai flight from Bangkok to Bali.


ANA participates in TSA PreCheck, so I used to be ready to make use of the expedited line and received by means of safety in underneath two minutes. That left me loads of time earlier than my flight to go to the Star Alliance lounge, to which my ANA business-class ticket gave me entry.

The lounge is positioned on the sixth flooring of the terminal, two ranges up from the principle concourse. You may both take an elevator or two units of escalators there.


It looks like it’s again to enterprise as normal at LAX’s lounges, together with this one. All of the services, together with the buffet, showers, bars and varied seating areas had been absolutely open and operational. We’ve lined this lounge in lots of previous critiques and never a lot has modified, so I gained’t go into granular element right here.

The principle lounge space consists of assorted seating areas the place of us can calm down earlier than flights or get some work accomplished. There are a number of smaller rooms together with the so-called Library, full with book-lined cabinets and a media room with a flatscreen tv enjoying the information. I particularly admire the photographic prints of assorted L.A. landmarks you may spot across the area.

Should you veer to the left after you enter, you may snag a seat on the “alfresco” deck, which remains to be contained in the terminal however overlooks the principle concourse and has a lot of low seating areas. Should you head again to the inside area from right here, there’s a staffed bar serving wine, beer and spirits.

Throughout the principle seating space from here’s a part with cafe tables and chairs adjoining to the buffet. Throughout my mid-morning go to, the workers put out recent salads, curried rooster with rice, pasta with tomato sauce and caprese sandwiches, amongst different nibbles.

My favourite a part of this part might be the glassed-in wine wall with illuminated bottles on show.


These within the know proceed towards the again of the buffet space to the soup and noodle bar. Throughout my go to, there have been choices like tomato-basil and rooster broth. However it’s also possible to choose precomposed bowls of noodles, load them up with toppings like crab, rooster, tofu, serrano chiles, carrots, inexperienced onions and cilantro, ladle broth over them and create your personal noodle soup. It’s a extremely popular choice.

I anticipated a feast in retailer for me on my flight, so I simply made myself a cappuccino at one of many self-serve machines and received a glass of glowing water from one of many faucets. Then I headed previous the world with bathe suites to my favourite space of the lounge, the out of doors terrace.


There have been only some different folks on the market that day, however the climate was sunny and heat and I spent a couple of minutes watching planes taxi throughout the tarmac earlier than hunkering right down to work because of the free Wi-Fi, which labored completely nicely on the market.

I left the lounge at round 11:45 a.m., an hour earlier than departure and half-hour earlier than boarding was set to start, as a result of I needed to attempt to get on the airplane earlier than most passengers to be able to get some photos and video.

The gate was on the far southern finish of the terminal, so it was a brisk eight-minute stroll (not counting some diversions to snap photographs of different planes at their gates). After I arrived, only some different passengers had been seated within the space, and I ended up being the primary to get on the airplane firstly of boarding.

Cabin and seat

ANA’s 777-300ERs with the brand new first- and business-class suites are configured in an attention-grabbing means, with the business-class cabin cut up into three separate sections.

Shifting from the entrance of the airplane to the again, there’s a small, first-class cabin with two rows of The Suite configured in a 1-2-1 association for a complete of simply eight seats. These had been positively palatial, with tons of non-public area, and I used to be momentarily unhappy that I hadn’t been capable of snag an award in considered one of them as a substitute.

Straight behind that and separated from first-class by a curtain is a mini business-class cabin with two rows of The Room organized in a 1-2-1 sample.


Then, previous the boarding door, galley space and two toilets is the principle business-class part, with 10 rows of The Room suites.


There’s one other small galley space with two toilets and a last mini cabin with 4 rows of The Room, bringing the whole seat rely to 64.


Previous a set of curtains, passengers will discover the comparatively small premium financial system cabin, with simply three rows of seats specified by a 2-4-2 configuration.

Lastly, there’s one other massive galley space and a rest room with the financial system part behind that. Most rows are in a 3-4-3 structure, with some towards the again narrowing to 2-4-2 because of the form of the plane.

All passengers boarded by means of the second door and handed by means of the principle business-class cabin in addition to the smaller one to the aft, then premium financial system. So should you’re searching for privateness in enterprise class, attempt to get a seat project within the ultra-private mini-cabin up entrance in rows 5 or 6.

Like Qatar Airways’ Qsuite, The Room is organized the place rows alternately face backward or ahead. The A and Okay seats alongside the perimeters of the cabin face backward and are separated from the aisle by a big console and — in fact — these sliding panels for privateness (extra on these in a second). The C and H seats alongside the perimeters face ahead and have a slender armrest on the aisle with the broader console subsequent to the window.


Working by means of the middle of the cabin, seats designated E and F face backward and are nearer to at least one one other, with massive consoles on their aisle sides, in order that they’re most likely greatest for buddies or {couples} touring collectively, although they do have privateness screens that may be raised between them.


The D and G seats face ahead and are spaced farther other than each other because of their massive consoles abutting each other. Not like with Qsuites, you may’t mix sure blocs of 4 middle seats into a sort of mega-suite.


The design for The Room (in addition to The Suite) comes courtesy of Acumen, the seat producer behind such different merchandise as United Polaris, although The Room is in a completely totally different league.

Every The Room seat measures a whopping 38 inches between the armrest. In different phrases, they don’t simply seem like doublewides, they actually are (no less than) double as huge as most financial system seats on the market. They really feel a bit of like Cathay Pacific’s much-loved first-class seats because of these dimensions.


Their seatbacks are 36 inches excessive from their tops to the seat cushions and are upholstered in a lightweight grey cloth with leather-based paneling on the inside of the seat shell. The console tops, storage cubbies and facet panels are clad in gentle Japanese ash woodgrain for a delicate however refined end.

Throughout from the seat, a tray desk in a darker rosewood grain slides out from underneath the leisure system and unfolds to 24 inches huge by 15 inches lengthy, so it ought to accommodate most laptops. The desk can slide towards or away from the seat, making it straightforward for passengers to get out even within the midst of meal service. Nonetheless, it solely lowers about an inch, so it may be a excessive floor to eat or work on should you’re even barely reclined.

Additionally underneath the leisure display, subsequent to the place the desk stows, is a small cubby for protecting an merchandise like studying glasses or a bottle of antibacterial gel.


Subsequent to the display, on the facet of the suite with the slender armrest, is a studying gentle and a coat peg. There are additionally two overhead lights you can illuminate with the touchscreen distant or the leisure display.


On the other facet of the display, a panel opens to disclose a shallow cupboard the place you would stash your cellphone or pill. It has two netted pouches for tucking in small objects plus a mirror that swivels out for straightforward use.


This cupboard additionally holds a common energy port and a USB-A charging level plus a taped-over HDMI port. The underside a part of this panel pops up so you may maintain your gadgets plugged in even when it’s closed.

Beneath this cupboard is the broader console. Latched into one facet of it’s a handheld touchscreen distant for the leisure system.


Across the nook from this are the seat controls. They embody buttons with preset positions for takeoff and touchdown, for eating and to recline the seat right into a lie-flat mattress.

There’s a wheel, type of like United Polaris has, that reclines the seat or shifts it again to upright relying on the way you flip it. There’s additionally a sliding bar that shifts the seat ahead or again, which might be useful for getting nearer to the desk for eating. Sadly, it’s not potential to maneuver the person parts of the seat just like the leg relaxation or the seatback on their very own, so that you’re restricted to a set vary of reclining positions. You can even management the seat utilizing the leisure display.


Beneath the seat controls are buttons to activate and off the studying lights to both facet of the seatback in addition to the sunshine subsequent to the leisure display that’s aimed the place the desk is positioned throughout meal service. There’s one other button that activates a lighting function underneath the stowage cubby for a relaxed nighttime vibe (this gentle can be good for seeing the place issues are if you have to get out of the mattress after sleeping with out turning on all of the lights).

I personally appreciated the truth that seats had their very own air nozzles so it was straightforward to regulate the temperature within the suite even because the cabin turned barely heat.


One of many complaints that people are inclined to have about suite-style, lie-flat seats is that their footwells can really feel considerably cramped. That’s not the case with ANA’s The Room. I measured my footwell to be 21 inches huge at its mouth, although it narrows to about 12 inches on the again and 14 inches excessive. That meant it was straightforward to show a method or one other whereas resting.


Nonetheless, one of many predominant drawbacks to this seat is that in lie-flat mode it solely measures 72 inches lengthy. Whereas that’s lots lengthy for shorter vacationers like me, these even approaching 6 ft would possibly begin to really feel constrained. In fact, it’s nonetheless very huge as a mattress and that makes it straightforward to sleep in many various positions, so most folk may not be bothered.


Passengers with window seats can use two buttons to electronically decrease or elevate the shades. A primary set of accordion blinds nonetheless lets some gentle in whereas the second set is extra like a blackout shade.

Armrests to both facet of the seat have headphone jacks embedded in them; one armrest has a USB port and the opposite has a button for elevating the seat’s smaller privateness panel.


Not like Qatar Qsuites, which have a single, full-length panel that slides shut to surround the suite, ANA’s The Room has a bigger panel throughout from the seat that slides towards the passenger, and a smaller facet panel that’s raised from the aisle-side armrest. Every is launched by the press of a close-by button.


These two panels type a wall of kinds, however don’t absolutely shut and is usually a little arduous to push again into place. There’s additionally a niche of just below a foot between the underside of the bigger panel and the ground, although that made it simpler to tuck my slippers in there for straightforward entry after I needed to get out and use the rest room.


Regardless of the gaps, these panels nonetheless present a excessive stage of privateness that was greater than sufficient to keep away from noise and visitors from the aisle. Their slight curvature additionally helps keep the spacious feeling of The Room, even when the panels are absolutely prolonged.


Total, The Room is a surprising product. Its huge measurement, snug positions and easy-to-use privateness panels all make it the most effective thought-out business-class experiences within the sky.

By way of drawbacks, the principle ones I famous had been an absence of non-public storage and never with the ability to transfer the person parts of the seat, although it’s nonetheless maneuverable sufficient for many flyers to have the ability to get snug. The privateness panels are additionally a recreation changer that elevates the expertise to one thing that feels extra akin to first-class on different airways.

Facilities and repair

Ready at my seat after I boarded had been a pair of soppy slippers, a small blue pillow and a bigger white one, plus a seat pad for mattress mode and a light-weight blue blanket. There was additionally a fundamental set of headphones and a scorching pink Globetrotter amenity package.


The package contained a toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs, an eye fixed masks, and Shiro-brand yuzu face mist and lip balm, each of which smelled recent and fruity. Sadly, ANA doesn’t present pajamas, although you may borrow a sort of cardigan to sleep in should you like. I simply slipped into my very own T-shirt and shorts for a sleep.


When it got here time to show in, I lowered my seat into mattress mode and put down the seat pad that had been ready at my place upon boarding in addition to the light-weight blue blanket.


There was no further mattress pad to cowl your complete floor space of the seat as I’ve seen in different critiques of the product and which might most likely have made the considerably arduous seat cushion a bit extra snug. Nonetheless, I used to be capable of sleep for a number of hours very comfortably.


Top-of-the-line options of The Room is its up-to-the-minute 4K, 24-inch HD leisure monitor, which passengers can management both with the touchscreen distant or by immediately tapping on the principle display itself.


You can even pair your cellphone with the leisure display and use it as a management as a substitute.


The welcome display introduced 11 totally different languages to select from. From there, passengers may choose from motion pictures, music, video games, e-books, SKY Stay TV and extra. The flicks included some current releases like the newest “Downton Abbey” installment and “Prime Gun: Maverick,” in addition to Japanese and different worldwide choices. Total, although, the choice was pretty small.

You may additionally peruse the ANA Sky Store should you needed to make any purchases, or just zone out to a rotating flight map show, as I did.

One main draw back to my flight was that Wi-Fi was not out there. Flight attendants knowledgeable passengers as quickly as they boarded, however it will have been good to know that forward of time. For flights the place the Wi-Fi is functioning, anticipate to pay $6.95 for a 30-minute plan, $14.40 or $16.95 for 3 hours, or $18.80 to $21.95 for the total flight relying on the plane, none of which have knowledge limits.

Enterprise class has 4 toilets, so there was not often a wait to make use of considered one of them. Two are positioned between the entrance mini-cabin and the principle business-class cabin, with two extra between the principle a part of the cabin and the aft mini-cabin.

Every is supplied with a touchless sink, however you needed to contact the tap should you needed to regulate the water temperature. The bathrooms additionally had bidet capabilities you would management with a facet panel of buttons — although should you ask me, the final place I’d need to use a bidet is in an airplane toilet!


Flight attendants saved the toilets stocked with dental kits and mouthwash the entire flight, and there was hand cleaning soap with ANA’s “Authentic Aroma,” which reportedly incorporates 12 scents together with Japanese umbrella pine, cedar, mint and rosemary.

Talking of the flight attendants, the a number of I interacted with on my journey from Los Angeles to Tokyo, together with Kamo, who was taking good care of my part, had been merely wonderful, particularly contemplating the big measurement of the business-class part (my flight was largely full).

It by no means took considered one of them greater than 30 seconds to reply to the decision button after I wanted something like a water bottle or a espresso refill. The meal service stream was fast and environment friendly however by some means remained customized and heat. And I had a number of good chats with varied crew members about the whole lot from the brand new seats to what touring in Japan now could be prefer to what the very best decisions from the menus had been. In brief, the service was on par with the seats, and that’s saying rather a lot.

Meals and beverage

I’ll be sincere – one of many causes I used to be most excited to fly ANA was for its culinary program. The airline works with a panel of cooks dubbed “The Connoisseurs” who assist create its menus. They embody luminaries like Toru Okuda from Ginza Okuda, Ryuta Iizuka from Ryuzu plus sommeliers together with Olivier Poussier, who was named greatest sommelier on the earth in 2000. So I knew I used to be in for a deal with.

As soon as basic boarding started, flight attendants moved by means of the business-class cabin settling every passenger in individually and explaining the assorted seat capabilities and options to them.

When the foot visitors started to dwindle, they got here by means of with trays providing glasses of orange juice or glowing wine together with small bottles of water and scorching towels. Then, after the boarding door was closed, the flight attendants started taking orders for the primary meal service.

ANA lets business-class passengers test the menus for his or her flights and order prematurely if they need. Not desirous to take any probabilities, I had pre-ordered the Japanese meal for this flight, figuring I’d get a style of the nation although I’d not be stopping there.

Most orders had been taken earlier than takeoff, although I seen flight attendants getting the previous few as soon as we had been airborne.

About 20 minutes into the flight, Kamo got here by to see if I would really like something to drink and I ordered a glass of glowing water and a glass of Baddaginnie Run verdelho from Victoria, Australia. She introduced glasses of every out a couple of minutes later accompanied by amuse bouches of caramelized walnuts and almonds and tangy marinated mushrooms, each served on Narumi bone china.


The principle meal service commenced about half-hour after that. The Japanese menu I ordered started with a “choice of morsels” known as zensai that included simmered pumpkin with minced rooster sauce, a cherry tomato marinated in wine sauce, grilled squid with soy sauce, a deep-fried chestnut with rice cracker crispies, luscious seared tuna and wealthy sesame tofu with sesame cream sauce. I paired them with a fruity however mellow Kubota Manjyu sake that was completely scrumptious. I cherished attending to strive loads of various things relatively than simply having a single appetizer.

For my predominant, I loved a filet of mackerel in ginger sauce with steamed rice, miso soup and pickled greens served on superbly patterned Noritake china. The course was an incredible mixture of savory and tangy flavors. For what it’s value, the worldwide menu included a roasted duck and freekeh salad then a alternative of beef fillet with Port wine sauce or grilled salmon with lemon-herb butter, plus a choice of breads and dessert.


For dessert, I had a cup of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and a plate with three sorts of cheese starting from delicate and creamy to sharp and blue, plus a prune, some almonds and slices of bread. I skipped the fruit plate.


Service was accomplished about 2.5 hours into the flight. Although that’s a major chunk of time, given the size of this flight it nonetheless left loads of time to work, relaxation or calm down whereas watching the leisure system.

There have been loads of different wines to pattern as nicely, together with Chateau Ste. Michelle Mimi Chardonnay from Oregon, Chateau Souverain Merlot from California and a purple mix known as Sylph from South Australia that was made specifically for ANA. The airline serves varied Japanese beers like Asahi Tremendous Dry and Kirin Ichiban Shibori, plus Quinta de la Rosa Port, a choice of whiskies and different spirits like shochu.

About two hours earlier than touchdown, flight attendants got here by means of the cabin for the second meal service, which included each Japanese and worldwide menus. The Japanese one began with marinated spinach and mushrooms in a soy sauce then a predominant of grilled gold-striped amberjack with steamed rice and a facet of miso and pickles. The worldwide fare included duck lasagna and a choice of bread and fruit.

As a substitute, I requested if I may have one thing from the anytime menu that’s out there after the primary meal service since I’d slept more often than not since then. These dishes included a panini with rooster and mozzarella with sundried tomato, a rice bowl with ginger-fried pork, corn soup, and quite a lot of snacks like blended nuts, crackers, yogurt, cereal, fruit and cheese. Wanting one thing gentle but flavorful, I ordered the Ippudo miso ramen (there’s an Ippudo down the road from the place I stay) and loved the savory broth and hearty noodles.


I additionally received a bowl of recent fruit for one thing wholesome … although I did need to strive a glass of the Duval-LeRoy Brut Reserve Champagne as nicely. After that, I had a cup of espresso to perk up earlier than touchdown then modified again into my road garments for our last descent.

The meals, together with that luxurious Japanese meal plated on stunning Narumi and Noritake china, was undoubtedly a spotlight of the expertise.

Last strategy

After years of anticipation, I lastly had the chance to fly ANA’s The Room on my flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo, and the expertise didn’t disappoint.

No business-class seat goes to be completely excellent, even the better of them, like Qatar’s Qsuite and the Delta One Suite. However ANA’s The Room got here as near it as any of them.


The suite’s enormous footprint together with its surfeit of non-public area and high-tech options all put it a step forward of most business-class seats.

The smooth facilities might be extra intensive, together with higher bedding, extra full amenity kits and bespoke pajamas.

That stated, the seat itself, paired with ANA’s unparalleled service and appetizing menus, meant this was an expertise I’ll proceed to savor … and can search out once more. The one factor that would cease me is that if I discover an award ticket to fly the first-class The Suite as a substitute subsequent time.

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