Flying ANA - Comfort & Class
We had high expectations of politeness from ANA staff and their gentle ways swam over us from our very first contact; the moment we were called to desk to check luggage route when connecting at Dusseldorf. There’s always that moment of anxiety when someone calls my name over the speaker but once we realised that this calm, quiet lady was just checking our luggage was going to the right place, our smiles were as broad as hers.
Once on board, we were just shown a safety film without the out-dated corresponding actions by airline staff.
Apart from looking for any films I’d missed at the cinema (in this case, The Founder) I had decided my world cinema fix on this, the longest flight I’ve been on, will be just Japanese films. There are so many to choose from but I was so comfortable with all this extra leg room that I found myself dropping off to sleep quite regularly during the 13 hours. What’s more, here’s a touchscreen system that actually works. First time.
On the way there, there were plenty of seats and the lady we sat with decided to move back a row so we had three seats to ourselves. Bizarrely, there were some spare seats on the return leg but the young woman sitting on the third seat this time unfortunately didn’t make the same gesture but still, we have so much room. (I did nearly suggest it).
There is a foot rest for a change of position plus a USB socket so both times I landed with a fully charged phone. Simple things that we should have in 2017.
The food was plentiful and excellent, especially if you like Japanese, although each time there is also a Western choice. I loved the Milka bar!
And most innovative was the lighting, especially the electronic controlled blind-free windows. When they needed to be dark for landing/taking off, it was done automatically and at other times the window passenger had control.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) we are able to watch live CNN news on the way back just as the UK elections were unfolding. I was hoping we would be able to ignore all of this, but how great that is a choice.
On top of all the working tech, our high expectations of service were immediately evident with water bottles distributed before the opening film credits. This is followed by a snack, then a drink of choice in generous glasses. All of this accompanied by the smiley service throughout. Nothing was too much trouble, the snacks and drinks came at the pace they used to back in the day when airline travel was exciting because of this. I felt like a kid again.
Most remarkable, is how respectful staff were of each other. When one asked another for another jug of coffee, the empty container was accepted with smile and a bow and bought back full with a bigger smile and a deeper bow, like it was an absolute privilege to have undertaken this duty. It’s just beautiful to see this level of congeniality.
The staff bowed deeply when they took their seat before we started the descent. It felt like an honour to have experienced this flight, the only one I have been on where when I reached my (very exciting) destination, I felt so comfortable, I was in no rush to leave.
I’d pick this airline every time. Five *.