All Nippon Airways surprised travelers with the introduction of The Suite, a new first-class product. The Suite was quickly ranked near the top of lists indicating the best first-class product worldwide. This is due to ANA’s excellent onboard service, as well as ANA’s reputation for great food and drink.
The pandemic in Japan forced Japan’s closure shortly after the launch of the suite. This led to cuts in service for passengers on the plane. So I waited to test out ANA’s The Suite until things got back to normal, or at least the new normal.
This is what it’s like flying on The Suite, the most luxurious first-class option in the world.
Book ANA First Class with Virgin Atlantic. See our full guide .
I paid just 60,000 Virgin Points per person for a 13-hour award flight between Tokyo and New York. This included $173.17 taxes and fees. This is a remarkable redemption, considering that you would need to pay 110,000 Aeroplan Points, 120,000 LifeMiles, or at least 121,000 United Miles for the same award flight.
If you have the means, you can also book an ANA first-class flight between New York City and Tokyo for $15,193 or $23,111 roundtrip.
Virgin points can be used to fly first class ANA between Tokyo and Hawaii, or the U.S. West Coast. Be careful when booking as certain routes only have ANA’s The Suite.
It is rare for ANA to offer first-class space between Tokyo, the U.S. and even two passengers. This is what I was able find for the flight. This award space was also available for a flight on my spouse’s birthday. You’ll see below how ANA helped me celebrate.
ANA made it easy to get from the airport’s entrance to the gate. Two first class agents worked together to efficiently and quickly check us in and our bags onto our flight. After the check-in, an agent came to the airport and handed us our passports. He also explained the lounge access, gate location, and boarding time.
Haneda Airport does not have a designated security line for priority passengers. However, it was unnecessary as the immigration and security process could not have been faster. From the moment we entered the airport terminal, to the moment we arrived at the entrance of ANA’s first class lounge took only 18 minutes. There were many stops along the way for photos.
At the boarding gate, efficiency was a problem. After a lengthy and confusing preboarding process gate agents started the standard boarding process 21 minutes before departure.
Agents boarded the Group 2 business-class line in error. Half of the line would board before the agents realized their mistake. We were greeted onboard with sincere apologies from first-class passengers and top-tier elite passengers.
First class passengers were taken down the forward jetway. My wife and I were the only first class passengers. After we had all boarded, crew shut the boarding door. The ground crew separated the jetway to depart as passengers loaded through the second door.
Cabin and seat
The flight featured ANA’s first-class product “The Suite”. These seats were introduced in July 2019 but are not available on all flights and aircraft. The Suite is offered on ANA’s most popular routes, including flights to New York, that are served by Boeing 777-399ER aircraft.
The cabin has two rows in a 1-2-1 arrangement. This means that there are two windows on each side and two seats in the middle.
For solo flights, the central divider that separates the middle seats creates a solid wall.
Flying together? You can drop the wall to allow you to fly side-by-side.
Although the suites are 38 inches wide, the actual seat is slightly smaller. There is virtually unlimited legroom. The seat can be reclined flat to a bed measuring 76 inches in length.
To complete the “suite” feel, close the doors when you are ready to rest. The walls are not very high so don’t expect privacy.
Each suite has its own coat closet that is hidden in the wall. The suite’s opposite side houses an in-flight entertainment remote and seat and light controls. There are also headphone jacks and universal power outlets, two USB power outlets, and an HDMI outlet.
Three windows are available on ANA first-class window seats. You can adjust the privacy shade or completely cover each window using individual controls. You can also use a button on the seat to open and close all three blinds simultaneously.
The 43 inch diagonally-strength of the suite’s inflight entertainment screen measures 43 inches. The immersive experience of watching in-flight entertainment can be enhanced by the use of high-quality noise cancelling headphones. AvGeeks rejoice! You can view the flight via the onboard cameras.
The tray table can be stowed under the seat entertainment screen. You can also release the table and pull it along a track towards you. The tray table can be expanded to a huge size. It’s smaller if you wish to dine with another passenger.
Two dedicated toilets are available for first-class passengers of ANA. They can hold up to eight passengers. This means that you won’t have to wait long to use the bathroom. There are basic amenities available: a dental kit, individual satchels with mouthwash, and refreshing body wipes.
The toilet has a bidet option, as one would expect from a Japanese airline.
Food & drink
ANA began its first class food service and drink service shortly after we boarded. An attendant on the flight offered to bring champagne, orange juice, or water.
This is not your ordinary champagne. ANA served Krug Grande Cuvee (167) on our flight. The bottle, which retails at over $200, was displayed by the flight attendants. You are looking for something different? Krug is one of three champagnes that are served in ANA First Class.
The menus included both food and drinks. They were presented in a black leather-bound folder.
After we had taken off, it was time for us to eat. ANA serves “amuse-bouche”, a small platter of appetizers, regardless of whether you choose the Japanese or international menu. Even though my wife and me ordered the Japanese menu, our flight attendants offered us the caviar appetizer plate.
ANA followed with four additional courses. Each course was carefully placed and introduced by the flight attendant.
ANA first-class passengers can choose from a variety of hot menu items if they feel hungry during a flight. The deep-fried fishcake was delicious and was well-complemented by refreshing sake.
I chose the Japanese menu with simmered meats and flounder for my welcome meal.
Each occupied suite was equipped with an amenity kit and noise-canceling headphones. Slippers were also provided at boarding. A flight attendant gave me a pair of pajamas shortly after I boarded. They underestimated my size and made it quite tight. Don’t be afraid to request a larger size prior to departure.
A flight attendant also passed through the cabin carrying a bag of extra amenities including eye masks and moisturizing masks.
All ANA First Class passengers will receive a voucher for a Wi-Fi pass that includes a full flight. It performed much better than expected when it came to Wi-Fi testing. It ran a speed test in Montana and recorded speeds of 3.24 Mbps download and 0.67 Mbps upload. However, it was unable to successfully load email into another tab. Don’t expect to do much online while you are flying.
First class attendants at ANA provided exceptional service. It’s evident that ANA first-class flight attendants are highly trained to deliver top-notch service.
ANA earned points for providing exceptional service for my wife’s special day. This was something we did not communicate with the airline before the flight. Our flight attendants served Katie’s dessert with a plate that was marked “Happy Birthday” as well as the date and number.
The flight attendants set up our beds in the middle of our cabin when we were ready to go to sleep. Instead of having to leave our suites and wait for the beds to be made, we were able to continue our enjoyment. Our flight attendants also left a bottle and a glass of water beside our bed to top off the service.
We received excellent service but could have used more flexibility. Although my wife and I have been fortunate enough to fly first class several times, we still felt overwhelmed by the experience. First class passengers may find the service too formal and almost stuffy for their first time.
ANA first class could improve its service by adapting to each passenger’s personality, as we have seen onboard Cathay Pacific and Etihad Airways’ first class.
The Suite Review, recapped
The Suite, ANA’s first-class product, consistently ranks among the best in the world. Our onboard experience was amazing, from delicious food and drink to top-notch services and a huge suite.
The only issues we had were the poor boarding experience and the less than first class lounge experience. Despite these minor disappointments, the flight was worth the 60,000 Virgin Flying Club Points one-way price. It was a remarkable deal that I highly recommend to anyone looking for ANA first class seats.
Featured photo by JT Genter.
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