Background: ANA is the only airline to offer a non-stop connection between Mumbai and Japan. It operates a B787 Dreamliner on its daily flight between Tokyo Narita and India’s financial capital. This is a heavy traffic route for Japanese and Indian business travellers. Travellers into India can enjoy amazing domestic connectivity through ANA’s Star Alliance partner Air India.
Boarding: Boarding for my flight NH 829 commenced exactly 50 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Like everything in Japan, the boarding process was systematic and extremely smooth. Priority lanes for premium classes and row-wise boarding, made it an effortless process. As soon as I boarded, I was greeted by the ANA crew and pointed in the direction of my seat.
The Seat: In addition to 46 seats in business class and 21 seats in premium economy, the B787 Dreamliner also features 102 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. The economy class cabin is small and spaciously configured making it extra comfortable. The economy class seat on this aircraft is one of the most comfortable I’ve tried in recent times with a pitch of 34 inches, a width of 17 inches and an extremely generous, ergonomically designed recline. Each seat comes with a handy USB port to charge your phone. For entertainment, there is also a touch screen with a decent selection of international television and movies. There is Wifi offered on a chargeable basis.
Which Seat To Choose: Since the cabin is pretty small and uncomplicated, it doesn’t really matter where you sit. It all boils down to whether you prefer the window seat or, like me, you prefer an aisle seat.
The Flight: The morning flight between Tokyo and Mumbai is about nine hours, during which there are two meal services. Soon after take off from Tokyo, the crew came around distributing menu cards highlighting all the offerings. Then, the crew came around with the meal carts and offered a round of drinks (including some lovely Japanese beer) and ANA’s signature corn soup. There were three options for meals and these included a Japanese fish option with rice and even an Indian vegetarian option. Green tea is also offered. I chose the Japanese fish with rice, served with a Japanese salad and a small pastry. It was delicious. Following this, the crew come around with a round of coffee, black and green tea. There is a snack service prior to landing into Mumbai. During the flight, the crew even come around with a box filled with sweets and postcards as souvenirs. This is a really nice touch.
We pushed back from our gate, on schedule precision, but we spent about 45 minutes taxiing, due to excessive traffic at Narita. We did make up time during the flight leading to an on time arrival into Mumbai’s T2.
Verdict ANA’s crew cannot be faulted on any level, and they display high levels of service and professionalism.