So, finally the big day was here. Rainy day in Washington, and grabbed the new-ish Silver Line metro out to Dulles. Check-in was smooth, with 14 agents (I counted) and no lines yet. Agents had a bit of trouble figuring out how to tag my bag all the way to Bali (since it was different tickets) but soon had it sorted and I was on my way to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.
I decided to do a few laps of the A and B terminal first to get a little bit of walking in, but was soon seated with a glass of bubbly and a little breakfast:
The lounge was relatively quiet, and I hung out for about an hour before heading to the gate about 45 minutes before flight time to board. They were having none of that, however, and boarding started promptly at 30 minutes before departure…and we were still boarded with 10 minutes to spare! There was lots of confusion leading up to the flight if this was a reconfigured plane or not. It was showing 77W on the website for months in advance, then 24 hours out switched to 777 which seems to be ANA’s internal designator for old config. I asked the gate agent if it was the “old configuration and she said “yes so sorry.”
Well, we boarded, and it was indeed the new configuration. Communication gap it seems. Hooray!
ANA / All Nippon Flight 1
Washington, Dulles (IAD) to Tokyo, Narita (NRT)
Depart 12:20, Arrive 15:25, Flight Time 14:05
Boeing 777-300ER, Registration JA783A, Manufactured 2008, Seat 2K
I was a bit surprised that after being shown my seat, there was no offer of pre-departure drinks. That seemed to be because business class was also boarding through the front door, and they didn’t want to get in the way. Surprisingly, when they did come around, it was with pre-poured champagne or orange juice. When I sat down, the amenity kit and headphones were already waiting for me in the cube:
The suite even had what they called an “eyeglasses compartment”, but it was also perfect for not losing the iPhone!
Finally, I had my bubbles, and it was departure time:
Flight was scheduled for 13 hours and 42 minutes gate to gate:
About 15-20 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants came around with beverage orders and an amuse bouche. The amuse bouche was majorly underwhelming, but decided to finish it in order to not risk offending the flight attendants too early in the flight. The Krug, however, was amazing:
There were four appetizers on the menu, and I was asked which one I preferred. I decided to go with the caviar, which was quite tasty with some blini:
Next up was a very simple, yet very tasty, salad with another glass of Krug:
At this point, I was asked “do you want your main meal now, or perhaps if you are not yet full another appetizer?” That was all the invitation I needed to try the “lobster salad” appetizer as well:
This seems like a good time to share the menu:
I went with the filet of beef and truffle sauce, and it was absolutely the best main course I’ve ever had on a plane. The beef was about as good as it gets on a plane, maybe medium or a little more, but the sides were just amazing. A little bit of ground mustard with the steak was pretty awesome as well. I went with the South African red wine, which I really liked. I’m going to have to look into how easy it is to find when I get back home:
Finally, the cheese course. United, are you watching? This is how you do a cheese course, complete with candied walnuts and a couple of slices of cured sausage:
Since I still wasn’t full, I decided to go for the warm pear tart with a glass of plum wine. Now, I’d never had plum wine before, but it was outstanding. The plum flavours alongside the pear was amazing. So amazing I might be having another glass right now in the Narita ANA lounge as I type this 😉
Finally, some chocolates and more plum wine as I finished my movie:
I headed to the washroom to change into the ANA pajamas, and asked the purser to make up my bed. I was greeted with this scary character in the washroom. Merry Halloween indeed!
I got back to my seat, and found the bed all ready and waiting, and the covers pulled back. They’d even put down an orthopedic foam pad “prefered by olympic athletes which was incredibly comfortable to sleep on:
There was also a little crushable aromatherapy on the pillow to help sleep:
After just over five hours of solid sleep, I woke up somehow a little hungry. I think I would have sleep longer, but the cabin temperature was rather warm. Either that or I was starting to get dehydrated despite several bottles of water. I decided to have the famous ANA chicken and mushroom curry, which was rather tasty. Note how even for a snack course, they did a full table setting:
I figured I might as well get the full experience, so went for the mousse to finish it off. It was delicious:
I lounged around for the next three hours watching terribly movies (seriously, if you haven’t seen “Tammy” it’s awful, but was adequately amusing when in-flight) and soon the lights were turned up 90 minutes before landing and we were offered something to eat. I decided to switch back to Krug while I still had a chance:
I was offered anything I would like from the main menus or the snack menus, and I decided to go with the Japanese small meal. It was majorly tasty, and the flight attendants seemed quite pleased I was trying it:
…and since I hadn’t been enough of a pig, I finished it off with ice cream and more Krug when offered:
Another view of the seat just before landing:
Landed at Narita about 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and there was no queue at all when I got to transit security. We had come in at gate 57, so I took the underground walkway over to Satellite two where the other lounge was. Quick refreshing shower that felt amazing, and time for a little planespotting from the lounge window:
…as promised, more plum wine, and some little meatball snacks:
After just over two hours, it was time to head to the gate and “experience” United first class to Singapore. Pretty sure it’ll be a big letdown after ANA…