ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Business Class (SJC-NRT)

by Living Proof on October 15, 2014

in Travel, Travel Hacking

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Prior to this trip, I had never flown internationally from SJC before, so I was really excited to fly out from San Jose, and to experience the Boeing 787 for the first time! ANA was the first airline to introduce the 787 in 2011, and they currently have the largest fleet of 787’s in the world.


  1. An “Around-The-World-Travel-Hacking” Extravaganza!
  2. ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Business Class (SJC-NRT)
  3. Thai Royal First Lounge + Royal Orchid Spa (Bangkok)
  4. Thai Airbus A380 – 1st Class (BKK-FRA)
  5. Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Frankfurt)
  6. Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i – 1st Class (FRA-IAD)

Airline: ANA (All Nippon Airways)787

Flight: NH1075

Route: San Jose (SJC) – Tokyo (NRT)

Date: Sunday August 3rd, 2014

Depart: 1:05 pm

Arrive: 4:10pm +1 Day

Duration: 11hr 5min

Aircraft: Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner

Cabin: Business

Seat: 1K

The Cabin:

The ANA 787 has a total of 46 business class seats, which makes it really easy to find award space when using United miles. This is only a two cabin aircraft, so no 1st Class on this flight.

Every seat has aisle access and the entire cabin is staggered, consisting of alternating rows of 1-2-1 and 1-1-1 seat configurations. Also, the business class seats are really private, and I couldn’t see my neighbor at all when seated. However, the business class seats aren’t ideal for couples, because there is a divider in the middle seats which gets in the way.

ana787 (1 of 1)

The Seat:

The width of the business class seats measures 19.4″ across, and I choose to sit in seat 1K. I typically prefer to sit in the 1st row, because this is where the bulkhead seats are, which are usually a bit roomier, and it also guarantees that I’m not sitting behind someone who will recline!

ana787 (1 of 24)

The 787 is a fairly new plane so everything felt clean and new. I also liked how the overhead bins were fairly high, and when closed, made the cabin feel very spacious.

ana787 (3 of 13)

The Amenities:

Once seated you will find:

  • One pillow (Nishikawa Sangyo)
  • Pair of slippers
  • Amenity kit (L’OCCITANE)
  • Noise cancelling earphones
  • Comforter (Teijin)
  • Bed pad (Nishikawa Sangyo’s Air Cyclone)

The bed pad is really neat because it has a slip resistant coating on one side. This prevents the bed pad from moving all over the place when I’m tossing and turning. The pillow is a little too firm for my liking, but the comforter is very soft and breathable. Finally, ladies will be happy to hear that the amenity kit contains lotion and lip balm from L’OCCITANE =)

ana787 (3 of 24)

On my left side were the TV and seat controls, and with a simple press of a button, my seat could transform into a completely flat bed!

ana787 (4 of 24)

The entertainment system is centered around a large 17″ monitor. In the picture below, you can see the bed pad on the foot rest, and under the monitor is the tray table. During meal service, the tray table can be extended all the way to your seat.

ana787 (2 of 13)

17″ Monitor and bed pad

Is your laptop or smartphone running low on power? No problem, the 787 has enough power outlets for all of them! You can truly have an office in the sky.

ana787 (22 of 24)

Another neat feature on the 787 are the electronic sunshades. By simply pressing the buttons, you can either darken or lighten the cabin instantly. No longer do you have to manually move the plastic sunshade up and down to let in the desired amount of light. It’s really fun to play with and I must have wasted 10 minutes of my life playing with these buttons!

ana787 (11 of 13)

Electronic sunshades!

The Lavatories:

The lavatories are fairly big and spacious compared to the ones in Economy. But what I loved about them the most is that everything has sensors, and therefore, I don’t have to touch anything!

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ana787 (10 of 13)

Automatic Sensors – No touching needed!

The toilet is even better! There is a sensor where you can waive your hand, and then the toilet will automatically flush, and the lid will come down. Amazing!

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Why can’t all planes have this?

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Hand sensor to flush the toilet

And last but not least, since this is a Japanese airline, there needs to be a bidet! And NO, I did not try it……ummmm maybe next time.

ana787 (5 of 13)

It wouldn’t be a Japanese toilet if it didn’t have a bidet

The Food:

Now for the best part, the Food! You have a choice of either a western menu or a Japanese menu. Whenever there is a choice like this, I always opt for the local airlines menu. Why? Because it gives me a chance to sample the local cuisine before arriving. It’s a great way to experience the local culture, and the food is usually 10x better than the western menu.

A signature drink on ANA is the Aromatic Kabosu. It’s a non-alcoholic drink, but it’s oh so refreshing! Kabosu is the name of the citrus lemon from the Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, in the south of Japan. It looks a bit cloudy and taste like a mild sour lime, but it’s so refreshing!

As for the meal service, the amuse bouche consisted of:

  • Pate de campagne
  • Sauteed eryngii mushroom Parmesan cheese flavor
  • Assortment of olive, cheese, and dried tomato marinade

My favorite had to be the mushrooms! Who knew cheese and mushroom could work so well together?!?

ana787 (7 of 13)

ANA’s Aromatic Kabosu and Amuse Bouche

Next the starters were brought out:

  • Vinegared rice rolled with salmon and lotus root
  • Grilled beef fillet with honey and grilled corn
  • Deep fried vegetables soaked in seafood stock
  • Marinated freshwater eel and cucumber in bonito-vinegared sauce

The eel was by far the best out of all the starters. It was cooked to perfection, and the cucumber complimented the eel perfectly. I could probably eat this meal everyday.

ana787 (12 of 24)

Finally for the main course:

  • Seaweed salt-grilled yellowtail with black pepper
  • Steamed rice, miso soup, and assorted Japanese pickles

The main was OK……definitely not as good as the eel or the Parmesan mushroom I had earlier. The fish was a bit bland, but the Japanese pickles helped to add a bit of taste. Overall, I wish they just gave me more eel.

ana787 (8 of 13)

For dessert I choose the pear tart, and it was an excellent end to the 2-hour meal service!

ana787 (14 of 24)

The second meal service was for breakfast, and I choose the seafood rice plate. Overall, nothing special, but the bread was really good.

ana787 (18 of 24)

The Bed:

Well, after stuffing my face silly, it was time to take a nap. I asked the flight attendant if she could make my bed while I went to the lavatory to freshen up. Upon my return, my seat turned into a bed, and I was ready to get some Zzzzz’s.

ana787 (19 of 24)

Since the width is only 19.4″ across, it was hard for me to sleep on my back. My arms wanted to stretch out, but there was simply no room for that! Sleeping on my side was best, and I would alternate between each side. All in all, I got around 3 hours of straight sleep. I probably tossed and turned for another good 2 hours. The comforter was really light and warm, but my pillow was too firm for my liking. But I really can’t complain, because this was leaps and bounds better than sitting in Economy!

ana787 (13 of 13)

Ready for a few hours of sleep

ana787 (12 of 13)

Stretching my legs out

The Service:

In general, the inflight service on Asian airlines is far superior to the domestic service we get on American Airlines, Delta, and United! All the ANA flight attendants were friendly and had a warm smile. Even when boarding, the FA bowed and welcomed me aboard. Try getting this kind of greeting on United! And, as with Japanese culture, they will always say “Sorry” for just about everything!

For example:

“I’m so sorry Sir, but can I please set your table”

“I’m so sorry Sir, but can I make your bed”

“I’m so sorry Sir, but would you like some more water”

No need to be sorry! I’m the one who should be “Sorry” for not paying full price for this ticket!

Overall, everything went perfectly with the flight, and I couldn’t have asked for more. My Aromatic Kabosu was always refilled, the lavatories were clean, my seat turned into a flat bed, and the food was amazing! This was a really great flight to take from San Jose to Tokyo, and made the 11+ hour flight so much more pleasant than in Economy.

Finally, the 787 is still relatively new, which means the seats, lavatories, carpet, and cabin, are all free of scuff marks from thousands of passengers. So don’t waste any time, book a flight, and enjoy the ANA experience!

ana787 (6 of 13)

Rolls Royce engines

About the Author: Living Proof (14 Posts)

Living Proof is an avid real estate investor with a strong case of Wanderlust. He enjoys talking about his crazy lifestyle of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points. Within the next year, he hopes to declare early FI and to travel the world!


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Income SurferNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 3:34 am

Now that’s flying in style. Looking at those pictures reminds me how much more comfortable international travel is. What’s up next? One of those private cabins on Emerites?
-Bryan

Reply

2 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

I’m trying to experience all the A380’s in the world! So next up, Emirates and Singapore =)

Some people collect coins, others collect baseball cards, and I collect 1st Class tickets lol.

Reply

3 Mrs. BookwormNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 4:10 am

My husband and I have been waiting for an opportunity to fly on the Dreamliner from Tokyo to NYC. I hope we have enough mileage points to upgrade to business class on our next trip!

Agree with you that ANA service is really superior to the US airlines. My best business class experience though has been with Singapore Airlines. I forgot the aircraft I was on but the seat was wide enough to accommodate two of me!

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4 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

It’s pretty easy to collect miles by opening new credit cards 😉
As long as you’re not reckless with them, you can use them to your advantage!

I totally agree with you on the service, it’s a night and day difference when flying on an Asian airline. ANA, Singapore, Korean, Cathay, and EVA are all so wonderful!

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5 LynxNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

Your recap of your flying experience now has me wanting to book a business class trip. I have flown in a British Airways 787 dreamliner from London to NYC last year and it was fantastic. I was in coach though and not business class. One more item on the bucket list 😀

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6 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

I know the feeling! My bucket list keeps growing and growing hahahaha
But just remember, once you go business class, it’s going to be really hard to go back to coach!

Reply

7 No Nonsense LandlordNo Gravatar October 17, 2014 at 5:47 am

Excellent write up. Now I see how the other half lives. One day, I may have to venture out a bit and fly like a millionaire.

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8 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

It’s definitely an out of body experience, and you will have great stories to tell!

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9 Kathy @ RentalRealitiesNo Gravatar October 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

Haha, when I sat on toilets in Japan – I pushed ALL of the buttons. 😛

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10 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

LOL! I personally enjoy the heated toilet seats during Winter!

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11 roundtheworldNo Gravatar October 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for the timely report! We’re looking at booking NRT flights from SFO or SJC and it sounds like the center divider between the “couples” seats does not go down? Does it appear like a window + aisle would be a better option for 2?

Reply

12 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 26, 2014 at 12:54 am

If you take the center seats, you would probably have to stand up in order to talk with your companion.

You could do one window, and one aisle from the center seats. And depending if you choose either the 1-2-1 or 1-1-1, then one person could lean forward to see/talk to the other companion.

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13 PontaNo Gravatar November 1, 2015 at 7:37 am

I can’t believe it. The people at ANA just screwed me over.

17 years I have suffered through economy, sloooowly saving up enough miles so that ONE leg of my usual Tokyo-SF/SJ trip could be business. 10 months ahead of time I booked my seat. I spend a few DAYS doing research for what would be the best seat, and this article helped me pick out 1K. I called ANA personally and spoke to a rep. I specifically asked for, and was given, seat 1K. I checked my online status a few days later. Yep! 1K!

Now, 9 months later, I checked my reservation. It was changed to 2H.

I’m sure that 2H is nice, but it’s directly on the aisle, and I do not want that. This is why I reserved 10 months in advance. This is why I did the research.

Can they even DO that? Just unilaterally change your seat like that? I can’t believe this, a once-in-20-years chance to fly in style, and they swap out my seat on me???

Right now I am venting because it is after midnight here in Japan, and they don’t open phone lines until 8am. But I am really ticked off. I hate to sound like some spoiled brat, but SEVENTEEN YEARS. Ten months in advance. Seriously?

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14 PontaNo Gravatar November 2, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I have been struggling with ANA for a few days now. They steadfastly insist that they cannot help me out on this. I called United and asked them, and they gave me some useful information:

On January 26, I made the seat reservation with ANA for 1K. Confirmed.

On September 16 or thereabouts, ANA (according to the United rep, who spoke with their supervisors), ANA made a change to the flight time. Somehow, this caused the assignment for 1K to be deleted.

Apparently, at this time, ANA (from the explanation given by the United rep) asked United where to seat me, and United could only give them the preference I had stated for my Haneda-to-SFO leg, which was an aisle seat. So ANA switched me into 2H. Naturally, since 1K is a primo seat, someone else snapped it up at some point.

It wasn’t until November 1 that I discovered what had happened. When I called up ANA, they gave me the BS story that “United requested a seat change.” When I presented them with what I had learned, they did not confirm or deny, but kept going back to the standard, “I’m sorry, I understand how you feel, but I can’t change the assignment for 1K.”

The rep even tried to snow me today, as when I called and asked them to look at my reservation history, they clicked on their keyboard for a while and then said, “I can’t see your reservation history, our flight reservation system changed in April.” Even though the day before, they confirmed that they could see my history and that I had 1K back in January.

I kind of have them in a box now: every time they say that it is airline policy not the kick someone out of their seat, I make a point that they did so to me. When they say that 1K is already occupied, I remind them that it is occupied… by me. I made no error, I authorized no change, it is the airline’s fault—and whatever they try to tell me about the person assigned to 1K, I can say that I had it first and they kicked me out, so no “it’s not our policy” nonsense will fly with me.

I have the sinking feeling that ANA will stonewall me on this. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle it? I’ve spoken to supervisors, and asked for their superiors, but they ignored that request.

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