Earlier this month, I booked a $23,000 First Class flight. If you read that article, you will recall that I booked it with a bit of trepidation.
First, ANA had rolled out their new First and Business class cabins between between London Heathrow (LHR) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) last month. However, no one was aware WHEN OR IF this product would fly on other routes.
A few weeks later, ANA announced that the next route to have the new cabins would be between New York (JFK) and Tokyo Haneda (HND), however, no specific launch date was given.
Unexpectedly, 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.
I took the gamble and booked an outbound flight in the Spring of 2020 and inbound flight in the Fall of 2020 hoping by those dates ANA would have implemented the new product from New York.
THE VERY GOOD NEWS
Yesterday, ANA announced that they will start flying the reconfigured 777-300ER between Tokyo and New York as of 8 November 2019.
The first flights to feature the new cabins will be NH110 from Tokyo (Haneda) to New York on November 8, and then NH9 from New York to Tokyo (Narita) on the same day.
If you read the previous sentence closely, you will notice that there are two different airports.
ANA operates two routes to New York JFK…
- Tokyo Haneda (HND) – New York (JFK)
- Tokyo Narita (NRT) – New York (JFK)
However, the planes fly to the opposite airport when leaving New York. In other words, one aircraft flies from HND-JFK-NRT and the other flies NRT-JFK-HND.
Your best bet for determining if you’ll get the new cabins is to rely on the Business-class seatmap for your flight (more info below).
For example here is the seat map for ANA Flight #9 on November 8, 2019 from JFK-NRT:
How to Determine “OLD” vs. “NEW” Configuration
The easiest way to tell is to look at the business class seatmap:
- New business class cabin has 64 seats, Old cabin has either 52 or 68 seats
- Additionally, if the business class cabin goes to row 20, then it’s the new business class. Otherwise, it’s the old business class.
I can’t wait to take this flight!
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?