Check out the First Episode of my new Flight Report series!
Detailed review below…
In this episode we explore ANA’s Domestic premium cabin service. Given the duration of the flight there is no audio commentary however we have a more in depth review in the text.
Overall – 71/100
Airport / Check-In – 8
Fukuoka Airport domestic terminal was simple and efficient. Check in staff were very friendly and accommodating. I recommend paying extra attention if you are a premium cabin passenger / Star Alliance Gold so that you don’t miss the the priority security channel… it was hidden with very limited signage. Not that priority security was 100% necessary given such short lines.
Seat – 5
Most of ANA’s domestic fleet features this (newer) firm, recliner type chair which can be manually adjusted. Comfortable enough for a short haul trip but anything 2+ hours is not good. Width is more than adequate and pitch is better than US domestic First Class at 50″. Features some basic storage compartments for reading materials and small personal effects.
Entertainment – 3
None to speak of other than a short ANA tourism documentary in Japanese only. Audio channels were available as well in Japanese. Headphones are rubbish. At least the showed moving map / camera during take off and landing on the main screen.
Food & Drinks – 7
This is where ANA does better. While the presentation of the meal is not fancy at all (plastic bento), I found the taste and quality of the food to be quite good considering the short duration of the flight. The key however is to depart during meal times or else you get a small “Sabo” snack box. This was the “Gozen” meal. Wines are decent but not great. What is interesting: ANA often promotes a specific regional Japanese product on their menu depending on the sector and season. In this case it was some amazing grape juice and little pastries.
Amenities – 6
You can get all the basics (which are the same as used in International Business Class); Slippers, Eye mask, Mouthwash, etc. from the crew. In the lavatory however, there are no special amenities whatsoever. No amenity kits.
Service Onboard – 10
This particular flight had one of most professional crews I’ve ever flown with! Other ANA experiences were sometimes disappointing from a service standpoint but this flight was just perfect. The crew took very special care of my mom as she wasn’t feeling well. The crew also overheard my mom mention how much she enjoyed the snacks and so they came back with a bag full of snacks, post cards, and other ANA souvenirs. Everything was very nicely presented! That was something you usually never see on domestic flights anywhere in the world so kudos to them!
Aircraft / Cabin Decor – 7
Personally I love the color tones of ANA lots of dark and light blue colors. The 777-200’s used for domestic flights are notably older than the long haul counterparts but it is hard to tell as ANA does an Immaculate job of maintaining their cabins. My only complaint here is how dull the cabin is. No artwork or other signature features make the cabin feel a little “hospital-esque.” This is a general issue with ANA and not this particular aircraft. Subjectively, JAL does a better job with cabin décor in my opinion and I like their uniforms better too. Much to the credit of ANA, the blue colors give the airline a premium look, I just wish they would add something to complement it instead of plain white.
Cleanliness Onboard – 10
This is a Japanese airline, need I say more? Everything was next to perfection from a hygienic standpoint.
Lounge – 7
Lounge in Fukuoka as with all ANA Domestic lounges wasn’t very exciting. There was Beer, Whiskey, Sake, and some basic juice selections. The only food were snack packets consisting of rice crisps. The furniture was very modern and sleek! If you don’t like darker designs then you probably won’t be a fan but I did like the Lounge aesthetics. I did find the lounge staff to be extraordinary on this trip. They put together a little scrapbook for us as they saw we were heading to Sapporo. Also the staff handled our upgrade directly from the lounge.
Value – 8
I really think that this is a situation where upgrading makes sense. All domestic flights in Japan on ANA can be purchased on a segment by segment basis by foreigners for 10,000 JPY no matter where you want to travel! This represents a fantastic value but if you want to earn more miles and get an over all better experience, the upgrade costs 9,000 JPY no matter which segment! Obviously from Tokyo to Osaka is too short to warrant the upgrade but Fukuoka to Sapporo is about 2 hours!
Summary & Final Thoughts:
ANA is great choice for domestic flights within Japan. Domestic flights are often very expensive but with the foreigner discount coupled with flat rate for upgrades, you can enjoy premium travel and still pay less than the typical fare! A much better option than flying on LCCs! I would argue from what I’ve seen that ANA’s Premium Class seems more like a Business Class than a true First Class like JAL offers. Despite that, the fare class is F and when upgraded, I’ve always gotten 3x the miles of the Econ fare! The availability of Premium Class is also fantastic which most routes offering it in ANA’s domestic network!