Thursday, 25 July 2019

Discovering ANA's Largest Dreamliner (SIN-NRT)

Welcome to my Trip Report on All Nippon Airways!


ANA's Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner 


Photo: Bastian Ding

A tired-looking me enjoying the 787-10 ride.

This is my 3rd time on this aircraft type, my previous rides are with Singapore Airlines. (9V-SCE and 9V-SCF)


The last time I flew with ANA was on the 787-8 and the product on that aircraft was the old version, you can check out my trip report on the airline's -8 series over here.


Introduction

Thanks to United Airlines, I was able to book ANA's flight by their website. It makes booking very convenient as it offers more options for travellers. Not only that, the airfare with United is usually cheaper than ANA. I could have flown all sectors with this airline and pay through United Airlines's website even at a very reasonable price, so for that, I am grateful to the American carrier. 

Although I want to fly on the U.S direct flight from Singapore to San Francisco, I knew I had to fly on ANA's Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner since it was offered. A no-brainer, to be honest, and because ANA would be operating 2 787-10s during this period, I preferred to play safe by flying back via NRT on the 787-10 flight just in case the flight to NRT's aircraft is changed to 787-9. To top it up, I would get to fly on United's Boeing 757-300 on the return sector.

Once that was decided, I went ahead to do the booking. This was done after the domestic flights were confirmed.

For ANA's Boeing 787-10 schedule in July 2019, JA900A is dedicated to doing NRT-SIN (NH801/802) only while JA901A will do just NRT-BKK (NH805/806) route.

About ANA Airlines

All Nippon Airways is one of the oldest airlines in the world, set up in December 1956. It existed due to the merger of the Fast East Airlines and the older company, Japan Helicopter and Aeroplane Transport Company. Since then, this company has grown to become the number 1 airline in Japan. It also manages several subsidiaries such as Air Japan, Vanilla Air, Peach Aviation, Allex Cargo (ANA Cargo) and a few others. With such strength and dominance in the Japanese aviation market and play a role in the Star Alliance, this airline is considered by one of the top airlines in the world. 

The airline's mobile application

Nothing fantastic about the airline's application, at least it is working and I got what I want. For now, the airline offers free choice of seats, so take advantage of it while it lasts. The last time I heard, the airline wanted to follow others by charging seat selection for Economy Class passengers (for passengers with no status in particular), but due to IT issue with the website, the plan has been put on hold at least for now.



Do note that seat assignment can only be done with the respective airlines. For this case, I could only select a seat for ANA's flight. 


How do you tell the difference between the -10 and the -9 seats? 

The last row of 787-9 series is row 42 while the -10 series is row 47. So if your seat is row 43 to 47 and your seat is changed to a number below 43, your aircraft type is likely to have changed.


For early check-in, only for ANA flights. If you have connecting flights with other airlines on the same ticket, you have to check-in at the airport, meaning, you can't do early web check-in. 



On the day of departure

I was at the airport quite early, planning to spend the night at the terminal since the flight was at a red-eye hour, 6.10 in the morning. 



However, I was denied check-in as I had to use an agent to confirm my check-in. 


I hanged around Jewel for a while, enjoying the view of the waterfall. This photo was taken in the afternoon, the day before the flight.


Since the web and self-check-in couldn't be done, I went to the check-in kiosk to do so. I thought early check-in was not possible since my domestic flight in the U.S was more than 24 hours at that point, however, I managed to do the early check-in with the staff. At that time, the counters were vacant and the staff were just wondering around, waiting for last-minute passengers I supposed. Luckily, the first-class counter staff catered to my check-in and it was done within minutes. However, she had to seek assistance from her supervisor for something, but ended up check-in for me was no issue. The puzzling part for her was I am checking-in without luggage. 


I decided to travel without check-in luggage for this trip even though I had 10 days. I wanted to travel light and spend more time at the domestic airside in the U.S. Of course, sacrifices had to be made but it was worth it since I spent more time travelling. 

My flight details

Thankfully my flight was operated by the 787-10 Dreamliner. I checked the history of my flight, the -9 series operated on certain days, likely due to this sole aircraft being withdrawn for maintenance issues. JA901A was in operation but only operated on NRT-BKK routing. 



The other 3 ANA flights on Singapore route (2 on Haneda and the other one on Narita route) are operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. (July 2019)



Started my journey from the bridge connecting Terminal 3 to Terminal 2. 


There were a lot of Indian nationals at the airport checking in for their flights with Indigo.



Got my 3 boarding passes for my journey! You guys must be wondering why am I not flying direct or just one-stop flight to LAX, well, my answer is simple, the more flights, the better for me.



I spent the morning at A and W fast food restaurant, enjoying the root beer float and waffles. This outlet closed at 3 a.m, starting operating at 7 a.m. 


Time flew past fast, soon I made my way to the assigned gate.



Security check first before able to settle down inside the holding room. There should be a toilet and a water cooler inside.


My ride: JA900A 

Aircraft type: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
809th Boeing 787 aircraft in production
Delivered on 28 March 2019 
Engines: 2 X Roll Royce Trent 1000
Configuration: C38 W21 Y235
Born in Charleston 


Flight route: SIN-NRT

Miles: 3,324



Date: 12 July 2019
Airline: All Nippon Airways
Flight: NH802 
Route: SIN-NRT
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Registration: JA900A
Seat: 43K 
Flight duration: 6 hr 25 min (according to flight crew)
Load: 80% Y Class
Boarding: 0541
Push back: 0605
Scheduled departure: 0610
Take off: 0620
Scheduled arrival: 1420
Actual arrival: 1352
Departure gate: E11
Arrival: Remote parking lot
Departure runway: 20C
Arrival runway: 34R 

Boarding took place early, and we boarded the aircraft according to zones. Entering the 787-10, gave me a very exciting feeling, its like enjoying a ride on one of those sports cars. Greeted by the friendly and smiling crew, I was directed to my seat. Fortunately, the middle seat was vacant. That means more room space for my partner (aisle seat) and myself. However, I find the seat pitch to be quite spacious, even with the middle seat taken, I would still feel comfortable.

About the seat products

All classes have AC/USB products, there are differences among the 3 classes as stated below.

The Business Class seats are the same as the other long-haul aircraft, this product offers full flatbed with aisle access, side tables and the 18'inch touch display screen. 


Business Class (Sorry, I didn't manage to take any photos)


Photo: Bastian Ding

Premium Economy 


This is a new product launched by the airline comes with 15.6-inch touch screen and slightly more legroom and width space and is configured in 2-3-2, with a remote control located at the seat compartment compared to Economy Class


I had a feel of it for about 2 minutes, and I find it to be adequate for this 7 hours sector.






Economy Class

Like the Premium Economy, the airline has introduced this new Economy Class which offers 34-inch seat pitch, a wide 13.3-inch touchscreen display (excluding the first row of Economy Class) and an improved adjustable headrest. 

These seats are more comfortable than the airline's 787-8 older seats, that's for sure.


Bulkhead row looks pretty comfortable, with 2 windows available for the passenger and also screen is mounted on the partition. 


This is my seat, 43K.


A reasonable amount of legroom space.



I like the different patterns on the seat fabric, very Japanese style.



The Economy Class ended up to be only 80% full, lots of vacant seats at the rear cabin.



The IFE screen is quite big, one of the biggest for Economy Class in fact.




After 6 and a half hours of flying, I felt ready to go for my next flight. The Economy Class seat is an improvement and I would gladly fly on this product on long haul routes. Bigger screen and better seat comfort give this airline an edge over the other competitors. 


Many passengers were sleeping during this part of the journey.




More photos of the Y class seat 



Fits me nicely, slightly more legroom space than Singapore Airlines' 787-10. 



A definite improvement over the older IFE system.


There should be a sticker to indicate the USB power socket is located below the foldable tray. I only found it midway through the flight. For someone tall like myself, I couldn't see it until I unfold the tray.

I like the power socket to be at this position, its more convenient than below the seat. 


The remote control, but I prefer using the touch screen of the monitor.



I have to unfold the tray to hold my drink, and that's my only complaint.


Alphabet of the seat assignment is located at the handrest, easier for passengers to identify their seats.



Windowseat - it is indicated on the airline's website so you can avoid this seat. This is located at row 42, seat A and K. 


Ended up sleeping for a couple of hours and feeling fresh upon arrival at Narita Airport. I thoroughly enjoyed this flight.


Bulkhead row is recommended for families with infants especially.



What's for the Y Class Passengers?

A comfortable blanket is provided.


Pillow is a must for sleeping.


The headset offers decent quality, as it can block out the cabin noise.


Information on the cabin service on board.



Disposal Bag


In-flight magazine 


What's on the movie screen? You can find the information in this magazine.


Duty-Free Shop Magazine 


WiFi is available on this flight 


The latest version of the Boeing 787 safety card. It is a standard safety card for all 3 types, the -8, -9 and -10. 


How is the In-flight Entertainment System?

This system offers 11 different languages, with programmes catered for both adults and kids. 

Surprisingly huge! 




A decent number of movies to choose from, but there are not many that interest me.


The in-flight map offers 3D flight path, which a lot of airlines are also using this system. 



I am impressed with how they did the demonstration video, even showing the video of the making of it after the flight. 


Even kids have their own entertainment channel. You can select this from the start.



I caught 2 movies before catching a nap and from time to time, I monitored the progress of the flight. 



It is a pity that there is no exterior camera installed on ANA's aircraft.



The other features of this ANA's entertainment system.



Overall, I am satisfied with the system. It is user-friendly and all ages should be able to use without difficulty. The touch screen is responsive and what more can you ask for especially it is deployed on regional routes, it is definitely good enough, in my opinion.

In-flight service

For Economy Class, ANA is one of the top airlines in terms of service and for this flight, I was impressed. The cabin crew, from the start to the end, were amicable and helpful. Throughout the flight, they didn't hide in their little corner, instead, coming out regularly offering water for those who were awake. I can't imagine how the Business and First Class service would be like. The only complaint I have is the soft speaker which made the announcement hard to hear. Most of the time the purser made the announcement, and once during the flight, we heard the voice of the Captain. It was known that they are not very vocal when it comes to making the in-flight announcements. 

Before taking off, I was expecting the crew to switch off the lights, but to my surprise, it was left on during the takeoff. However, the crew did their pre-check on our seats and ensure that our personal belonging was cleared. During landing, the window shade was left as it is, it was weird to see the aircraft landing with some windows dimmed while others were not.

In-flight meals 

Before the in-flight meal service, a towel was served.


This was our breakfast, it was served an hour after takeoff. We had a choice of omelette and pancake, unfortunately, they ran out of pancake by the time the trolley reached my row. 

It is a standard airline meal, nothing to shout about. 


Just before landing, we were served a pastry and a drink. 


Just before we land, a cabin crew came around with a basket, giving us a choice of a tidbit and seeing the postcard in the tray, I asked for it. 


In-flight Wifi



I didn't use the in-flight wifi. Looking at the price, I find it reasonable, I have seen a more expensive price for a similar flight duration.


The top news section is available for free




Window shot photos

The electronic dimmed window is useful especially when it's not locked. For my flight, it was not locked at all. In fact, some of the windows were dimmed even during landing. 


Midway through the flight, flying over calm China Sea, the flight was surprisingly smooth, hardly any turbulence. 


Always enjoy watching the sunrise in-flight.



At this point, we have started our approach to Tokyo Narita.



Flying through the clouds was slightly turbulent, but this was the only turbulence we encountered. 



Once we were out, it was a smooth landing despite the rainy weather.


Touched down firmly on the runway and we arrived early with plenty of time to spare.



The weather looked gloomy but it was not a bad day for flying.


Spotted some interesting traffic, I will post them on my next trip report.


Spotted ANA's 2nd A380 while we taxied to a remote parking stand. 

Our aircraft would rest for almost half a day to do the NRT-SIN sector in the evening. 


My flight review by Flightradar24




6 and a half hours to enjoy the Boeing 787-10 ride is definitely sufficient. 

My rating

ANA's mobile app: 6/10
Changi Airport Experience: 9/10
IFE system: 7/10
In-flight service: 8/10
Cabin interior: 10/10
Seat comfort: 9/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
In-flight meal: 7/10
Overall rating: 85/100


Conclusion


ANA' biggest strength is the in-flight service, but for Information Technology, it has room for improvement. However, I would take their efficiency in service any day as I prefer to rest well and be in the mood for other activities later during the day. What I like about flying on ANA is their constant improvement in both their software and hardware. Despite facing problems like any other airlines, I find their customer service regardless of the class better than most of the big names out there. I will do an overview of my ANA's trip experience on my return trip report coming up soon. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report!

For my next flight report, click here. (United Airlines' 777-300ER from NRT to SFO)

For my part 2 of this trip report, click here.

Have a fantastic week!
Charles 

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