Farewell Miles – A Mileage Burning Party with All Nippon Airlines, Thai Airways and Asiana Airlines in Business Class (with a BMI Leg)
Featuring the ANA International 787-8.
- Oh BMI *shakes head* (The Introduction)
- The Off, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham Airport to Frankfurt with BMI for Lufthansa
- Hotel Savigny, Around Frankfurt
- Frankfurt Airport and Meeting the 787
- Frankfurt-Tokyo Haneda with ANA’s International 787
- The Strings by Intercontinental, Tokyo
- One Time Exception: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
- Tokyo Haneda International – Hong Kong International with ANA’s 777-300 – THIS SECTION
- Crown Plaza Causeway Bay (Happy Valley)
- One Time Exception: An Emergency Camera Clean…
- Hong Kong to Seoul with Thai Airways International
- Ramada Seoul Dongdamun
- One Time Exception: Jongmyo Shrine
- Seoul Incheon to London Heathrow with Asiana Airlines
- Wrapping up
Amazingly, I’ve hit the halfway point on this trip report. Yes, I’m in shock too!
Well after 2 entries on the ground, it is time to get my backside into the sky with this entry. ANA were excellent with their 787 long haul operation and the service they had on board. Can lightning strike twice on a regional route? Lets find out…
After checking out from The Strings at the best part of 6am in the morning I had the two choices again – JR Hamamatsuchō- and Monorail, or The Keikyu line back to Haneda. This time, it was dictated by how many yen was left in my pocket… which by this point of the trip – wasn’t a lot.
With 300 yen on my Sucia and a 500 yen coin (and a 1000 yen note), the decision was made for me: Keikyu line.
I beeped through the gate, and lo and behold – an express to Haneda Airport was just about to arrive.
Whilst the views were less dramatic than the Monorail ride from the airport, in a way they where much more interesting as there was more of the much more of the older Tokyo and the suburban life. The views changed the closer the train got to Haneda before disappearing into black and out into the International Terminal.
After using the fare adjustment machine to add an extra 100 yen onto the Sucia, I beeped out of the airport, and found a trolley, and followed the signs to departures.
After finding departures, it was off to the ANA Business check-in lines. Now I don’t look like a business class traveller when I travel, so there was an arched eyebrow why I was there, but I was let through and completed the check-in to Hong Kong. I was advised where the lounge was and again, my backpack was taken from me and put into the luggage system (anyone hearing me London Heathrow Airport? Of course not) and I headed off to a security line which had practically no queues, and a very short queue for emigration, where I at last had a proper stamp from Japan put in my passport.
Stickers may be fine, but a lovely “thunk” of a stamp is always preferred 😉
It was then off to the ANA Lounge after spotting a friend at the window who had come in from Frankfurt
ANA International Lounge
Noodles Consumed: Well…
After accidentally heading the wrong way (going left instead of right – the left side is JAL, the right side is ANA), I made my way up to the lounge, and was greeted. My Boarding Pass was scanned and accepted, and I made my way in.
As you go in, you can see the model airplanes to the side (including a dreaded Pokemon plane).
Then it expands into a big lounge, with seating areas, work areas and food. And whilst there were there was a custom Udon noodle bar. Well it would had been wrong not to take advantage of it 😉
With 3 choices, I went for the Eel topping, and it was very nice. The noodles were lovely and soft, and the topping was flavoursome.
You know, I could sort of get used to this sort of thing.
As I stayed in the lounge, it started to busy up, and the movements outside started to happen, with the Internationally configured 787 being towed away, and replaced with a 777 that was to head to Seoul at the same time the bird I was due to be on was due to head off to Hong Kong.
I forsee a race.
Soon enough, boarding time came around, and I thanked the staff, and headed downstairs to the gate, where boarding had been announced for the flight. Talk about good timing here kids.
My boarding pass was beeped, and I was allowed aboard.
NH1171 – Tokyo Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) – Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport
All Nippon Airlines,
Boeing 777-300. Seat 12A
With a very polite bow I was greeted and sent down to 12A, passing the bigger old style First class seats at the front of the plane, down to the 2-3-2 of business class.
Thankfully, 12B wasn’t occupied. This proved handy later on in flight as it gave me somewhere to dump my trash (and also power my laptop – but I’m jumping ahead of myself).
After getting on a plane, and packing away my stuff, the first thing I do is read the safety card. And it’s force of habit – the simple reason being is in an emergency, I want to get out alive. It is therefore good manners to know the layout of the plane and where the safety equipment was. And I spent a good few minutes reading the card, then hunting the life jacket (I always locate the tab of a life-jacket release so I know where it is in my mind).
Eventually I found it to the right of me, between the seats, but up high to my shoulder rather than down below near the floor.
After that confusion, I settled in, checking the menu and waited for the doors to close. Meanwhile the flight attendant came to say hello to me. In three Different languages (Japanese, Cantonese and finally English). Ah the games I love to play when being half Chinese 😉
I was offered an English paper and welcomed aboard properly.
The doors closed a bit early, and the safety demonstration was given manually (as in business class, monitors had to be stowed for take off, landing and taxi), and remember what I said about a race? Both the Seoul Flight and the Hong Kong flight pushed back at identical times, with the the flight I was on seemingly given way.
In the seat pocket was the menu, as well as more slippers. Let’s put it like this: I won’t need slippers in the flat for some years to come after this trip.
Our plane did a fair old taxi around Haneda Airport (passing a techops section and the odd Pokemon Jet) until we had lined up for take off. We were held for a short while, then the bongs were give.
The result is below
After climbing out, there were some pretty nasty bumps. Thankfully as the climb continued, the air eased up and service could commence.
And well. Since I only had one glass on the way out, it would be rude of me not to have a bottle…
Or two 😉
Perfect for gazing at how long that 777-300 wing is…
Moving on the meal service arrived, and again, I went with the Japanese option. This was made up of:
Kelp-marinated salmon suhshi, Deep fried soft shell prawn, Rolled conger eel with burdock roots and Japanese Rolled Omlette
Soy Marinated tuna with gated yam
Grilled Makeraeral, Rice with green soy beans with Miso Soup and Wagashi
I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
And once again, it was simply impressive. A great mixture of flavours of textures, with everything cooked well so the flavours were not destroyed. The rice didn’t taste overcooked, and the presentation was simply great.
Again – like someone actually thought about the service they were conducting.
The service was rounded off with Ice cream, which went well with the Champers I was still drinking.
The flight continued on its merry way as the service was cleared down. With a comparatively long leg to Hong Kong, it was a chance to test out the seat in its various configurations.
The seat had an acre of seat pitch, and is a full wedgie bed. And yes, I was sliding down it.
The staff were on-hand, and I couldn’t count a period where up to 10 minutes one of them was shuffling up or down the isle, topping up water, seeing to customers needs.
Moving onto IFE, this had an older generation of the ANA In Flight Entertainent system. Sadly, after watching the 787 documentary again (I did that a few times ON the 787 ta;)), so I resorted to attempt to type up some of the trip report. Which itself became a problem as the power plugs are at elbow level when sitting in a business class seat. And they’re near the armrest. This becomes a problem if you have to use a power converter, with a big UK style plug too. Amazingly it fitted so I managed to watch the world go by and do a bit of work at the same time.
Over Taiwan, there were a fair few bumps – bumps enough to put the crew into their seats for a few minutes whilst we cleared them.
Soon enough they were released for final cleardown as the plane begun vectoring for Hong Kong.
After a short taxi off the runway, the plane docked at the pier and we were invited to disembark. Again, the staff held back the hordes in Economy whilst Business Class was allowed to disembark. I politely exited the aircraft and thanked the crew.
Overall: Again, Japanese service is a completely different beast to any other service in the world. And it was delivered with a smile and understanding that was brilliant. The hardware used for daytime flight was appropriate.
Put it like this: If the chance to fly ANA came up again – I wouldn’t say no.
Next up, to the Crown Plaza Causeway Bay at The Happy Valley. Stay tuned!