Trip Report & Review: ANA 787 Dreamliner Business Class San Jose to Tokyo

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.

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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.

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This configuration allows for optimal leg room and comfort in the forward-facing seats.

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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.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been more comfortable on a 10 hour flight!

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The amenity kit was top-notch, and came with slippers, noise-cancelling headphones, socks, an eye mask, and a toothbrush with toothpaste.

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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.

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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.

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After the meal and a movie, I took a nap in the quite comfortable (for a plane, that is) lie-flat bed mode.

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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.

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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.

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    • Sorry you disapprove, Peter. I am American, and prefer to be comfortable if sitting on an airplane for 10+ hours. To each their own!

    • A few words to Peter, quit worrying about American or Australian. Who cares! A persons nationality has nothing to do with anything. Shorts disgusting? No!!! I fly First class and Biz internationally twice a month. I run VERY warm. Frankly I don’t enjoy sweating while in my closed suite so shorts keep me comfortable. In addition I have seen people dressed incredibly stylishly that acted like entitled, rude, disrespectful jerks that were condescending to the flight crew. During those instances the crew repeatedly gave me top notch attention and care over the passengers dressed in pants even though I looked like a pauper in my shorts. Why did they do this? Because I was NICE and the people dressed in pants were JERKS. Just because you dress nicely DOES NOT mean you have class or respect for the people around you. So you folks that are quick to judge a person wearing shorts…..pull your head out of the sand and show some respect to others choices instead of acting like the progressive, judgemental nerdy twerps we have here in the US.

  1. Ana economy section is horrible. Everyone criticizes United, but their economy plus is 100 times better than ANA. ANA should be ashamed of their economy class.

  2. There is nothing wrong with shorts in any class. Certainly not a good thing from a safety standpoint; evacuation slides are not friendly to skin. So, I change into shorts after takeoff and change to pants before landing. Nice gams Michael…

    Michael….the runway is only where planes takeoff and land. To get to and from the runway aircraft use a taxiway. Where enplaneing and deplaneing occurs is called the ramp; some people say tarmac but that is an incorrect term to use, ramp is.

    Michael…I also enjoy reviews as in bring in another perspective.

  3. Whats with the elitist BS about wearing shorts in J or F? I would wear shorts and would love if Jeff decides to get his undies in a twist because Im doing so. And it would be enjoyable if he came up to me and started something.
    If Jeff will pay for my ticket, I would wear a dinner jacket or whatever he tells me to. Its better to be underdressed and a pleasant person, than dress “properly” and behave rudely.

  4. Why does it have to be either or? People can be dressed nicely and act pleasantly. Customers these days are of course entitled to wear whatever they like assuming there is no dress code. I worked at Pan Am for years and there was an expectation for a higher level of dress and presentation by the customers. Nowadays, the culture of flying has changed a lot, and flights have become a lot more economical, so it’s no shock that economy class has become Walmart-like. I feel like dressing up a bit, especially in premium classes, conveys my respect to the other guests on board and two the flight crew as well. I know I appreciated it when customers dressed and acted properly, and I find that even though the flight culture has changed, air crews still appreciate it when we take the time to look more put together. Of course, just my 2 cents, you guys are all free to do whatever you’d like, though I do wish that someday a minimum dress code will reappear.

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