an airplane with a television and windows
The Final Verdict
Pre Flight
The Seat
The Bed
Food & Drink

Professionalism, grace, and a good nights sleep…

A great business class experience may ultimately come down to a quick glass of champagne, a padded seat and a casual flick through the in flight entertainment before dozing off, but getting to that blissful point is where all the magic is.

ANA’s 787 Dreamliner business class experience offers fantastic comfort, inspired food and refined staff touches which make you feel welcomed from the moment “go”. When you add in the quiet cabin of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, it’s all very hard to argue with…

an airplane parked at an airportCheck In + Lounge

I find ANA ground staff to be amongst the most professional and proficient in the business. There’s a level of respect and pride amongst staff which sets the right tone for any journey and all issues or questions seem to always be met with ease. Across the USA, Japan and Australia, the service was impressive.

Our travel documents were checked, destination confirmed, seat preferences locked in and within minutes we were on our way, with boarding passes in hand.

a room with chairs and tables and windowsThe ANA business class lounges in both Tokyo Haneda and Narita get the job done with efficient seating, great food bars, ample showers and impressive business facilities. The spaces are quite large and cater to an enumerable amount of passengers, which the lounge manages via various dividers and art installations.

Think dimly lit, black and white rooms with lots of leather. They’re solid, and that’s fine – but save your excitement for the plane.

an airplane with a television and windowsThe ANA 787 Dreamliner Business Class Seat

ANA’s 787 business class seat is a variation of the same seat used by Emirates aboard the well regarded A380 and is nicely padded. The cabin offers excellent options for solo travelers, those looking for extra privacy, couples and business people alike, with varied seating options in each row.

a seat in a plane a seat with a pillow and a blue pillow a table with a digital display in front of a televisionNo ANA 787 Dreamliner Business Class seat offers more privacy than those found in rows A, K respectively. These 787 seats are against the window, with the tray area toward the aisle. From a seated position, you’d hardly see another soul in flight, unless you tried. Couples or colleagues who wish to speak or collaborate should stick to the middle section of the plane, in seats D, F or E, G respectively. These seats are close, but not “too close”.

a seat in a plane a close up of a seat belt a row of seats in an airplaneThe Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers an improved cabin experience versus many older aircraft, and the extra large, dimmable windows set a great mood from the onset, as does the improved cabin pressure and humidity. As you can see, ANA’s business class cabin aboard the Dreamliner is far more royal blue than bling, bling, but the 787 cabin lighting spices things up nicely.

A great touch on this particular plane is the size of the entertainment screen. It’s massive, it’s HD and it’s more than you could ever need for some binge watching. If we could pick on ANA in one area however, it would be the lack of selection across back to back flights. You can only watch a handful of great movies a handful of times…

a bed in a plane a purple pillow and a blanket a bed in a planeBed mode is quite comfortable and thankfully, the foot cubbies are large. Like – no complaints, fully toss and turn in your sleep with ease – large. As to the softer side of things, ANA’s business class duvet and pillow sets are substantial but not overbearing.

The duvet manages the correct balance between warm and comforting, but not so warm that you wake up in a metal (or in this case composite) tube with the hot sweats. A touch I found particularly useful, is that ANA offers aromatherapy “cards” which offer a variety of scents designed to help you sleep and relax. It’s a thing. You’d be amazed how effective they are. Also, I may have asked for a second pillow, and the crew most definitely obliged.

Food & Drinks

If you love Japanese food, you’ll be quite happy – if not curious. The “Kaiseki” option will lead to more food than you can eat, some of which you may not be able to name. If Japanese isn’t your thing, All Nippon’s “Connoisseurs” collection offers more regional dishes, curated by regional chefs from each destination.

a plate of food on a tray a plate of food on a table On that note, hot tip, ANA actually allows you to see the exact food and beverage menu for every flight within the season. You don’t have to panic or wonder, and can simply head to this webpage to get the full scoop on what you’ll be offered. On each of the segments, food and drinks were just as advertised. Just scroll to the bottom of the (linked) page above and you’ll be able to input your route and download a PDF! This begs just one question: why doesn’t every airline do this?

a plate of food on a tableOn the beverage front, other than a very nice champagne, I was elated to encounter Chateau Mars. For any wine fan, this is an exciting adventure, because it’s a wine not in fact produced on Mars, but in Japan. It was exacting, well concentrated and unique in a very nice way. Expanding your palate is a wonderful thing.

Apparently, it’s generally a First Class wine, but ANA offers regular wine promotions where select bottles make the rounds. You can check your booze menus here too.

a large airplane on a tarmacService & Amenities

The seat’s comfy, the bed is spacious, the entertainment screen is huge and the food is both tasty and amusing, so the only potential for let down could derive from service. We say potential, because there just wasn’t one. Not once, over many segments.

Know this: the cabin crew are not going to give you the “tell me everything darling” and become your best friend approach you may find on American or British air carriers. It’s not how they are trained, nor would it be reflective of the wonderful Japanese culture they represent.

Things will be very formal, and if you appreciate precision, keep attention to detail and quiet demeanor, you’ll find it all outstanding. On all flights, it seemed as if crew members were doing cabin sweeps, looking out for passenger needs with almost chronographic precision.

a close up of a signIf you love a shower in the airport, you probably also love a good pair of airline slippers. ANA’s slippers are comfy and are some of the only pairs to have survived the many journeys over the years. You’ll find an amenity kit with Neal’s Yard amenities and skincare products, an eye mask and the slippers at your seat, but if you want more, there’s more. ANA offers foot rollers, extra pillows and most importantly, a well stocked arsenal of toothpaste, toothbrushes, ear plugs and even combs – if you need them.

a close up of a jet engineFinal Thoughts On ANA 787 Business Class

I’d book another ANA 787 Dreamliner Business Class ticket in a heartbeat. The business class seats are comfortable in virtually any position, the crews deliver exacting standards of service and the food and drink options are bountiful.

With the “dine anytime” ramen options, you could quite literally gain pounds (plural) on a flight. I’d love to see ANA invest in more varied content both new and old, but my desire to watch more movies on their planes is telling of just how good the All Nippon business class experience really is. It’s an A from this seat.

Have you flown ANA in business class?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Thank you for pointing out that you can see the menu for any route and class of service ahead of time. My wife and I are flying ANA F this coming weekend and it is nice to have advance knowledge of what we’re going to be choosing between.

  2. Good to know that business class is nice. My wife and I flew ANA in first ORD-HND a couple of months ago, and the experience was pretty underwhelming. Not awful, just a fair bit less than we’d expected from flying Cathay and Singapore. Too much build up, I suppose.

  3. This reads like an ad, not a review. Most importantly, you’ve omitted the fact that some ANA Dreamliners lack lie-flat seats in business class.

    1. Ella-Oh-Ella, ELLA.

      Riddle me this: if ANA’s Dreamliner’s don’t have lie flats, what are these?

      I had a great time, as I generally do in business or first class…

      Believe it or not, some people don’t hate beds in the sky.

  4. Um, this isn’t a trick question. I know the ANA business class 787-9 seats lie fully flat. But my understanding is that the business class beds on ANA 787-8s out of Vancouver, for example, aren’t fully flat. No longer true? I certainly don’t hate beds in the sky – anything is better than sitting up and trying to sleep – but fully flat is so much better. It’s not the best sleep when you keep sliding down and climbing back up all night – eg, on Asiana’s a330s.

  5. ANA has several 787-8 without lay flats in business. They fly them on routes as long as NRT-CGK which is blocked at 8 hours. So Ella does have a point here.

    Also, I tried to post earlier asking what route this is, you never mention it.

    1. As always, people can check seat layouts for their route. The review was done over more than 4 segments between the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and intra Asia.

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