I Want To Experience A $23,000 First Class Flight…So I Booked It!

YOLO…are the “cool kids” still saying that!?

Anyway, I just booked a First Class ticket on All Nippon Airways (ANA) to Japan and I’m pretty geeked.

You may recall a few days ago I posted an article about my inability to make a decision with my points. This is my first First Class ticket, I have ever “bought” so it was a bit unnerving.

I’m always looking for new aviation thrills and a true (F) First Class experience has always been near the top of my bucket list. Yesterday, however, my curiosity got the best of me as the $23,000 experience was available.

ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS FIRST CLASS

Most airlines have, or are in the process of eliminating this cabin because it limits the possibilities for generating incremental revenue and is expensive to maintain.

I also think it’s fair to say that when you talk about airlines doing exciting things, ANA kinda took the world by surprise. Not only did they not eliminate first class but without any major press conferences, or “social media influencers” flooding my timeline with the inaugural flight frenzy, ANA quietly unveiled their brand new first and business class product with this video:

Note: Business Class (The Room) begins at 1:30, First Class (The Suite) begins at 2:30

MY DILEMMA

The new first (and business) class product look phenomenal! However, as I said in my previous post, I was hesitant if I should use all of my Virgin Atlantic points (120,000) to book it or, perhaps, find a “better” use for them.

ANA First Class

WELL, WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS…

In another unexpected move, yesterday ANA released some first class availability across random dates (October 2019 – August 2020) between New York (JFK) and Tokyo Haneda (HND). This was exciting because it’s, typically, difficult to find more than a few singular dates in an ENTIRE CALENDAR YEAR where ANA has released first or business class seats, let alone multiple dates in many months for their newest and very best seat.

ANA Business Class

BUT IT GETS BETTER

ANA rolled out their new cabins between between London Heathrow (LHR) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) this month. However, no one was aware when or if this product would fly on other routes. Well, it was just announced that the next route to experience the new Boeing 777-300ER configuration is between New York (JFK) and Tokyo Haneda (HND). No specific date was given but my outbound flight is in the summer of 2020 and inbound flight it at the fall of 2020 so there is plenty of time for the new product to be implemented.

ANA Business Class

OUTSTANDING VALUE

If you’re interested in booking this, let’s hash out the details.

First, there are only a few ways to book this (the best is via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club).

  • Aeroplan – 105,000 Miles One-Way – Transfer from: Capital One, Amex
  • Avianca LifeMiles – 90,000 Miles One-Way – Transfer from: Capital One, Amex, Citi
  • United MileagePlus – 110,000 Miles One-Way – Transfer from: Chase
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – 120,000 Miles Round-Trip – Transfer from: Amex, Citi, Chase

How To Search And Book ANA With Miles

Although you’re flying on an ANA plane, all the searching and booking will be done with whatever airlin miles you plan to use to book. For example, I searched for availability using United Airlines (because I find their calendar easy to use), confirmed the available dates with the Virgin calendar, and then called Virgin Atlantic to book.

FINAL STAMP

For all the true “avgeeks,” you’ll notice that the new interior includes newly inspired galleys, first class and business class, as well as updates to economy and premium economy. In other words, the whole plane received a makeover.

The new first-class seat has been dubbed, “The Suite” and will consist of just eight luxurious mini-cabins (two rows of four seats in a 1-2-1 configuration). The Suite will also feature closing doors and a large 43-inch entertainment monitor. It is the first personal screen on a commercial airliner with 4K resolution.

The airline says that the sleek design and muted palette were inspired by Japanese luxury hotels and I am excited considering my TV at home isn’t even 43 inches or 4K.

Does anyone plan to take this flight (or the flight from London)? What airlines do you have on your bucketlist?

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