Recently, I wrote about why I didn’t want to stay at the Intercontinental Tokyo. Well, before I could make that decision, I had to get to Japan. I was ecstatic to find saver award availability with my United miles on the ANA 787 Dreamliner in business class from San Jose (SJC) to Tokyo Narita. The one-way flight cost me 75,000 United miles plus some nominal taxes. I knew I could possibly get a better value for my miles by utilizing a stopover, but I had read about how great these planes are, and I could not pass up the chance to take the 787 Dreamliner in business class, and try it out for myself. On check-in, ANA assigned me seat 2H, a window seat.
The aisles are wide, with plenty of room to walk. The configuration was staggered, with 3 and 4 seats in alternating rows, such that there is never a person directly in front of you.
This configuration allows for optimal leg room and comfort in the forward-facing seats.
The staggered seats give extra room to each side, as well. Since I was in row 2, my extra space was near the window. If you can get an odd-numbered window seat, your seat will be tucked away next to the window for even more privacy.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more comfortable on a 10 hour flight!
The amenity kit was top-notch, and came with slippers, noise-cancelling headphones, socks, an eye mask, and a toothbrush with toothpaste.
One of my favorite features on the ANA 787 Dreamliner was the auto-dimming windows, which don’t have shades. This allows you to have darkness inside but still be able to see outside. Quite a cool feature, even if there isn’t much to see (other than water) on a flight from California to Japan.
The food was excellent as well. I also ordered some of Japan’s famous Ippudo noodles, but the soup smelled so good that I had eaten most of it before thinking of taking a picture.
After the meal and a movie, I took a nap in the quite comfortable (for a plane, that is) lie-flat bed mode.
Upon landing in Tokyo, we disembarked on the runway and took buses to the terminal, so I was able to take a couple of shots of the plane from the runway.
Overall, the plane and flight were great. The Japanese people and culture are so friendly and welcoming, that it’s difficult to not love anything Japanese (as I found touring the country), and ANA and their flight attendants certainly did not disappoint in that regard. I’ve never flown a true international “first class” (yet), but ANA and the Dreamliner in business class definitely set the bar for the top airline experience for me so far. I cannot possibly recommend taking the ANA 787 Dreamliner in business class enough if you have the opportunity!
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel.