Here are the sectors I flew and am reviewing :
DEL to NRT 1:25 AM departure
NRT to SEA 5:40 PM departure
Another Asian Airlines has joined the price sensitive India to North America market and this times its ANA or the All Nippon Airways. Asiana being the other major Asian player in the market which is otherwise dominated by Emirates and other European carriers (Dump Air France and BA btw). The crash has hit Asiana’s reputation a lot, hopefully it will persevere and recover.
My previous experiences on this sector have been with Lufthansa and with Emirates and I know people who have travelled by Asiana so I was looking forward to see what ANA can bring to the table. To ANA’s credit, , spoiler alert, they do impress !
Checkin Experience at Delhi Airport – One of the drawbacks of ANA is their 1 bag policy, this would be the single biggest reason people would choose other airlines over them especially the much more lenient Emirates. For me since I was getting a special fare even after paying excess baggage, my ticket cost me lesser than what the second cheapest airlines would have cost me. At Checkin I paid for excess baggage wherein most stuff is handled by what looked like Air India staff. One gentleman weighed my cabin baggage too and wanted me to pay more excess baggage, I wiggled out of that with a smile and some old fashioned Indian ‘This isnt the 1st time I am flying jibe’
Aircraft – The aircraft are clean and spacious, and to my benefit the seat next to me was empty and so were a lot of other seats in the plane so you could see people lying down and sleeping on the seats as we went to Tokyo Japan.
The cabin staff is very helpful and serves with a smile, a stark contrast to the cold Lufthansa Delhi-Frankfurt sector staff. For the 1st time I felt like it didn’t matter to them that I was Indian and not of white skin.
The plane has a good entertainment system with lots of movies to keep you busy and a USB charging slot. There are also a few kiddie games which I didn’t really enjoy. The headphones are of good quality and you can even flick it off while exiting if you want to. I remember in Lufthansa they come around later to ‘collect’ the headphones a good 30 mins before landing.
Japan’s Narita Airport – We arrived on time and the airport is probably the cleanest airport outside India I have seen. Indian airports contrary to what many people may feel have exceptional cleanliness and so did the Japanese Narita airport. The airport offers free Wifi and no transit visa is needed to roam within the airport’s confines. There are a large number of duty free shops selling everything from electronics to high end luxury fashion brands like Gucci etc.
I even got to use the famed washlets of Japan. Here are a few photos incase you were wondering
The actual washlets :
The instructions in poor English
The wait for the next flight does get a little boring though (TVs have only Japanese shows) and I did feel the airport didn’t have enough food options.Make sure you carry your laptop or tablet.
Seattle Leg – The next leg to Seattle was on a 787 plane, needless to say I was super excited as it was my first journey on the 787. The planes are again pretty well maintained, as we took off from Tokyo there was a lot of tubulence, so I did feel a little scared, but the rest of the journey was super smooth.
Throughout the flight my meal options were honoured (again unlike Lufthansa who don’t honour it on the India leg and serve the same shit 3 times on the Americas leg). The Asian meals are tasty and well cooked and you are served Haagen Daz ice cream in the flight. I don’t think the food was repeated in any of my meals which is a very good thing.
The 787 also have electronically controlled opacity on the windows, it takes a bit to get used to, but insanely cook technology so you don’t have to worry about window shades etc.
I arrived in Seattle again before time, collected my baggage, completed immigration and entered the USA, all in all satisfied with my ANA experience. Will definitely fly them again.