airpearl
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How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:10 pm

Some rituals need no words. Miss Suzuki – you don’t know her first name – has dropped to her knees. You hear it happens in the lofty heights up front beyond those drapes; but here it is, happening to you. You fumble a little - it’s the first time - but call it primal instinct if you must, for you'll just do what comes naturally...

First Leg

All Nippon Airways flight NH 007
San Francisco to Tokyo Narita
22 February 2008
Dep 1058 Arr 1505 next day (arrives on time)
B777-300ER JA734A


Welcome to First Class. Squeezing one’s Star Alliance miles dry is a devilishly clever way of getting upgraded to the front of the bus. Having done that, one should confidently act the part by strolling purposefully to the counter with the red signs and thick carpets, and asking if the flight is on time.
Silly question: of course it is. You’re flying ANA, where polite efficiency reigns supreme and bilingual check-in girls attempt to bow to you sitting down. You’re off to a fine start. San Francisco’s International Terminal is, you must agree, a pleasure to fly from – airy and spacious, and seemingly bereft of the riff raff that you, only just yesterday, used to be. But today, what you look like is irrelevant: your boarding pass has a red stripe and shows your seat as 2A, and all the ladies love you.

When you breeze through security – TSA is thorough but extra nice – you just know it’s your day. Another bonus: the international concourse G is still quiet in the morning ahead of the bank of UA transpacific departures around noon.



Space… for someone more used to the late night chaos of TBIT at LAX, this is a welcome change.



You resist the temptation of exploring any further - plane spotting can wait. Taking a right and down one level in a private elevator, United’s First International Lounge beacons as your pit stop. Bathed in natural light, it’s surprisingly classy, feeling less like airport lounge and more like four-star hotel lobby; but you’re disappointed with the limited buffet spread and the absence of computers or wifi. When even third world airports can offer free wifi for all and sundry, this is a rather poor showing for the main international airport serving Silicon Valley.



You have all this space pretty much to yourself. Most of United’s own long-haul First Class passengers are unlikely to patronize the lounge for another hour.



Time to go. It’s a short stroll from here to gate 99, where boarding is supervised by an army of politely bowing women in dark blue suits. There’s no waiting as First Class is sent off ahead of the pack, together with Star Alliance Gold members, who appear to have priority over Business Class on ANA.

Like a good host, Ms Suzuki is already waiting at the door, and she has memorized your name. With only eight seats across two wide aisles, you hardly need to be shown where 2A is, but escorted you are by Ms Suzuki in the sort of deferential way only the Japanese can pull off without looking insincere.



Surveying your surroundings, the cabin at first blush looks more clinical than plush. Grays, beiges and blues predominate in a pristine, no-nonsense office-in-the-sky that your fellow passengers – all male, middle-aged, Japanese executives – probably appreciate. Some posh airlines stretch the truth somewhat by calling their first class seats Suites; ANA could, quite honestly, call theirs Cubicles.

If “austere” and “spartan” make a strange appearance in your note book at this stage, you will soon regret having to eat those hastily chosen words. Appearances aren’t everything, you discover, for ANA’s real strength lies in its attention to detail, one that transforms First Class from the eclectic mix of flat bed, rich food and expensive booze (nice as they are) into, well, an experience. It is precisely the experiential element, connoisseurs will tell you, that sets apart a truly great First Class from the “merely” First Class.



ANA’s “F” is clearly of the great variety. As if to prove the point, Ms Suzuki has dropped to her knees in front of you; and she beacons your next move. Some rituals need no words and this is one of them - you just do what comes naturally. (Okay, lest strangers think any less of the very, very proper Ms Suzuki, it’s fair to stress at this point that she’s just unwrapped some slippers, and is laying down a pair at your feet. Alas  Wink)
Although not generally a slipper man, you nevertheless obligingly remove your shoes and slip your naked feet into – aaah, heaven. Alright, it’s just a well cushioned toweling variety you find in some nice hotels, but as with so many things on this flight, it is the details and execution that make all the difference. Just as attending a Japanese tea ceremony is not merely “drinking tea”, so “wearing slippers” too can be a near-religious experience with Ms Suzuki as co-participant.

The service unfolds, seamlessly. Would you like to change now, Ms Suzuki asks, or perhaps later? She assures you’ll be more comfortable out of those clothes. You don’t doubt her, and neither do your fellow passengers. Even with the plane still at the gate, half the cabin has taken up the offer to change into ANA’s gray PJs that look bizarrely like a marriage between kimono and prison-warden’s uniform. You wisely wait until much later, when the lights are suitably dim and Business Class curtains drawn before putting on the outfit that’s obviously designed to test your fragile male ego.



It’s 10 hours 33 minutes to Narita. After take off, the menu and wine list are distributed in a nice cream box. And the selection is simply mind blowing. Champagne is Krug, while each of the sake choices comes with different recommended canapes. The Japanese Kaiseki lunch menu is an elaborate eight-course affair of prawns, snow crab and scallops that you just manage to resist. The a la carte “Western” choices are even more extensive: three starters including caviar, two salad selections, four main courses including steak and bouillabaisse, and three deserts. Turn the page and there’s more: another ten “light dishes” that are veritable meals in themselves; a highly cosmopolitan selection that range from Indian chicken curry and Hong Kong-style congee, to pizzas and cheeseburgers that you can choose to eat in any order you want. It’s lavish for sure, and yet so refreshingly different. You haven’t seen a more extensive menu aloft.



Opting for the caviar as your starter.



The meal service is relaxed despite a full passenger complement in First today. There are two senior crew members serving the cabin, with Ms Suzuki devoted to the port side and her colleague (who seemed equally on-the-ball) at starboard. A third flight attendant helps in the galley.

Here’s your New York cheesecake with the coffee.



The impressive food choices and top notch service make up for an inflight entertainment system that’s almost non-existent. There may well be decent choices in Japanese, but in English, the movie and TV selections (sitcoms, for instance, comprise one measly episode of Frasier) are so meager they needn’t have bothered with AVOD. IFE is clearly the weakest link in an otherwise superb product: good thing you brought along a thick paperback.

But you’re in a forgiving mood. Ms Suzuki anticipates your needs so well you could swear she mind reads. When you return from changing into your PJs, your bed’s already made, complete with soft underlay and a light satin duvet. Your window shades are down, and Ms Suzuki is waiting to tuck you in.



When you awaken from a remarkably good 5 hours of slumber (wow, was it that long?) Ms Suzuki is at your side with a steaming hot towel and freshly squeezed orange juice. Emerging from changing out of your PJs, there she is again waiting to relieve them from you. At your seat, your bed linen has been cleared, your seatback is in lounge position and the shades are cracked open just enough to let light in, but glare out. You know you could get used to this…



You have crossed the international dateline and it is now afternoon, next day. To celebrate, you order a snack of sake-steamed fish followed by ice cream and coffee. It’s less than an hour before landing but your meal is served in the same unrushed manner that lunch was.



Service items are promptly stowed for a bumpy descent into Narita. Ms Suzuki comes round to thank you for flying ANA. If there was a form to nominate the perfect First Class flight attendant, you’d fill one up right away: Ms Suzuki is simply exemplary. ANA, meanwhile, far exceeds your expectations. You say goodbye reluctantly – and for once, the flight just doesn’t seem long enough.


Transit

ANA delivers you to the gate on the dot, as promised. It’s cold and damp outside, but the weather matters little to a transit passenger whose comfort is temperature controlled. Making a Star Alliance connection is not a complicated affair at Narita where members congregate at Terminal One’s South Wing. Even so Thai Airways, your next ride, doesn’t leave it to chance: a nice purple-clad lady has a card with your name on it.

She escorts you through security and walks you along the entire cavernous length of the passenger tunnel between Satellite 5 (that’s used almost exclusively by ANA) and Satellite 4, from where your flight departs.



After swopping your SFO-issued boarding pass for a “Royal First Class” one, your THAI escort deposits you at ANA’s First Class Lounge, where greeting attendants bow so deeply it’d be rude not to reciprocate.

You are ushered to your window seat – decisions, decisions, which one? There are so many. What would you like to drink? A double espresso is promptly delivered.

The lounge exudes a certain quiet elegance, which you now know to be an ANA hallmark. The airline’s other F Class Lounge at Satellite 5 would, you suspect, be a little busier but this one – used primarily by other Star member airlines like THAI – is empty.



There’s a good view from the lounge. Satellite 4 looks like a United Airlines domain with at least 8 heavies parked close by. Here’s an example just arrived from across the Pacific. In the distance, Satellite 5 is filling up with ANA triple sevens.



You have another hour to kill and so decide to wander around. Lounge attendants are concerned “Do you know the gate? Will you come back to the lounge?” but you assure them you’ll get on the right plane.




Here congregate the masses… you have eight more hours before joining them.



A walk with a view… better for UA than NH.








You take a long walk, all the way from Satellite 4 via Satellite 3 to Satellite 5 and back again, to find the TG B744 from Bangkok only just pulling in twenty five minutes before departure. A half-hour delay prompts you to return to the lounge where your reappearance is welcomed with another series of deep bows.


Second Leg

When it’s finally time to board, a THAI ground agent is already waiting for you at the lounge door. Escorting you alone and bypassing the long queues at the gate, you’re hurriedly bundled aboard like a celebrity. Makes you wish you were wearing those paparazzi-shielding shades…  Cool and saying: “please, please, no autographs…”

Thai Airways International flight TG 677
Tokyo Narita to Bangkok
23 February 2008
Dep 1800 Arr 2309 (arrives 54 minutes late)
B747-400 HS-TGB

Nothing beats the nose of a 747 for sheer panache. Never mind you’re on one of the few TG machines with old-style seats, the feel of the cabin is just unparalleled when you have an almost panoramic view ahead of the cockpit.



Sawasdee-krab. Flight attendants are politely friendly, as they (almost) always are on TG. Conversation begins in Thai but realizing that your vocab is pretty much limited to making small talk with taxi drivers and ordering street food off a Bangkok soi, they quickly revert to English.

You’re expected: a toilet kit and duvet have been placed on your seat but, you’re glad to see, not on the seat next to you. Purple PJs and a pair of slippers are passed out courteously enough, but well, it’s just not Ms Suzuki is it?

First Class has a complement of 10 tonight. The seat, although lie-flat, feels narrow for First, with a PTV screen that’s first generation tiny. Although adequate for this six-hour-plus flight to Bangkok, you’d not be happy paying for First Class and ending up here on a twelve-hour haul to Europe.



Pushing back 45 minutes behind schedule, and you’re soon headed for a longish bumpy ascent over Tokyo Bay. Finally at cruise, dinner menus are distributed. Being a regular TG flyer, you know the food will be good. What’s disappointing however is how some of the offerings in First differ little from those back at steerage, where you’re usually seated. The only choice offered by this menu is among three main courses.

This is the first course of roast veal and salmon.



The pumpkin cream soup.



The rest of the flight progresses uneventfully. Like almost everyone else in the cabin, you manage some shut eye.




Legging it

Arrival at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport’s notorious far away gates is not a problem. First off the plane, you are met by a ground agent and driven by electric buggy to a separate fast track immigration desk ahead of everyone else. Like a baton, responsibility for you passes after immigration to a THAI porter who then leads you to baggage reclaim, and asks you to “please take a seat.”

You’re on the ground, almost home, and it’s nearly midnight. It’s in the midst of this sub-tropical humidity that reality strikes: beyond those exit doors, you’re back being riff raff again. It was nice pretending to be posh but you also know when it’s time to call it quits. You dismiss your porter with a small tip and “thank you, I can handle it from here.”

Tomorrow you’re back to the grindstone. There’s nothing left here for you, except for memories of two fantastic flights and the fabulous Ms Suzuki, and perhaps, if you get the chance, a trip report you’ll submit on a.net.

But there’s a final surprise: emerging from the carrousel is a bag you almost don’t recognize. “Baggage protection? Which pretentious bastard owns this bag?” Uncontained laughter echoes down the customs halls…

 
SASDC8
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:22 pm

Wow.. This has been said a lot around here, but I seriously think that this is the best report I have ever read!! Thank you so very much for sharing your fantastic experience on NH as well as TG Big grin

NH first seems just fantastic and I simply love the Japanese style of doing things; very polite, very friendly and extremely professional.

Thanks again for sharing. I truly enjoyed every bit off it Smile

Cheers
Stein
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
gkyip
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:42 pm

Very well written and thoroughly entertaining!

Very impressed with the baggage protection. There's been many times I've wished I had such a thing when flying BA and my brand new suitcase comes back looking like I've had it for many years.

Gary
The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee
 
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DanTaylor2006
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Tha

Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:00 pm

Excellent report! I loved the style of writing used, and the photographs are fantastic Baggage Protection was interesting! They really look after you...

Oh how I'd love to try First Class some day...

[Edited 2008-04-03 14:01:25]
 
VTBDflyer
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:05 pm

Very interest style of report. I definately like it, would love to read more. Excellent pictures. Thanks

VTBD
Fly Thai
 
767Lover
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:29 pm

What a fantastic report! I love your writing style.
 
triple7man
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:27 am

Nice pics inside the airplanes and the terminals. The SFO International Terminal is one of my favorites, although I've only been in it once.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Here congregate the masses… you have eight more hours before joining them.

Did you have an 8 hour layover at NRT? Do you know there are the dayrooms where you can rent a shower room or a small bedroom. Very nice, especially after a long flight with a long layover
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
abrelosojos
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:38 am

What an amazing TR. As I have mentioned several times on A.Net, NH is simply one of the best airlines in the South East Asia/Far East region. Significantly superior than the much touted SQ, CX, and like.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Cheers,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
Nimish
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:35 am

Wow - incredible TR - and loved the writing style and the details! Made me feel like I was the one doing the flying  Wink...

Glad to see that there are still airlines with top-notch First class service, and not everyone is downgraded to the "chicken or pasta" thrown our way in Y  Smile
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
airpearl
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:25 am

Hey guys, thanks for the very nice comments. ANA was simply outstanding (yeah, I guess you gathered that already) - and I do agree Abrelosojos, it is often over-looked when people talk about good Asian airlines. I was surprised at just how fantastic it was. Having flown SQ First before, I can say it's close, but this NH flight surpasses my SQ experiences in the (admitedly subjective) factors of crew sincerity and sheer attention to detail. I have no hesitation in saying this is the best First Class experience I have ever had.

As for the writing style, well, putting too many "I"s seemed overly self indulgent, so this trip reporter had to do something drastic... hahaha. Glad you liked it.

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 6):
Did you have an 8 hour layover at NRT? Do you know there are the dayrooms where you can rent a shower room or a small bedroom. Very nice, especially after a long flight with a long layover

Sorry, I wasn't at all clear here. My transit was actually only 2 hours - but my comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and irreverent. I will surely try the dayrooms next time I have a long layover at NRT. Thanks.
 
Ben10
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Tha

Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:43 am


personal LED reading lamp (brightness adjustable)


Dom Perignon 99 (came in a tray not poured at seat)


my iPod and Thai's noise canceling cans (not very effective compared to my Shure e4c).
smooth as silk
 
Stretch 8
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:02 pm

Superb and erudite report. I can't imagine I will ever travel in the ANA or Thai front cabins (or on those airlines at all), but your rendition gives me the feeling that I have done just that. Bravo.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
Lostmoon744
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:00 pm

Excellent report. It flowed so smoothly, and was a fun read. NH is really amazing.
 
YYZPHIL
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:35 pm

Fantastic report. I am soooo jealous!
 
ba319-131
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:59 pm

Great TR!

Very nice report and enjoyed the pictures too, thanks  Smile

NH First lookes excellent, I'm not bothered by poor IFE as I'm a reader, bit of a rarity these days Sad

Thankfully TG have a new First class product, shame you did not get to experience it, the age sure shows vs the NH product.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
United’s First International Lounge beacons as your pit stop. Bathed in natural light, it’s surprisingly classy, feeling less like airport lounge and more like four-star hotel lobby; but you’re disappointed with the limited buffet spread and the absence of computers or wifi. When even third world airports can offer free wifi for all and sundry, this is a rather poor showing for the main international airport serving Silicon Valley.

- Pretty poor, but this is a UA loungem do you expect much more from UA? - I'm sad so say I don't - a former UA frequent intl flyer.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:40 am

Magnificent report, excellent pictures. Definitely one of the best I've read on here  bigthumbsup 

I've got an ever growing stack of BMI miles and it looks like NH F is a good way to spend them before LH or VS bugger about with Diamond Club.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
B747forever
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:09 pm

Brilliant TR

So enjoyable.

The pics are really good.

NH is just fantastic.



Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
FL787
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:20 pm

Wow! I had no idea you could actually make the writing part of a TR as interesting as the pictures!

Thank you and excellent job!
 
airbus3801
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:49 am



Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Space… for someone more used to the late night chaos of TBIT at LAX, this is a welcome change.

Tell me about it...

Great report. Look forward to reading more from you soon.
 
Chulalongkorn
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:36 am

Best TR I've read!

I was on NH7 on Feb 21st, just a day before your flight. Was fortunate enough to sit in Club ANA, their biz class which is also very nice. You are so right on with what makes ANA so special, the attention to detail and service from the Miss Suzukis of the world. I have Platinum status with ANA and am treated like an old friend every time I fly with them. Thanks for posting! Again, a great report that had me laughing out loud several times.

Cheers!
"feast like a sultan I do... treasures of flesh never few" - MJK
 
AirlineBrat
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:26 am

Wonderful read and a nice complement of pictures. One day I too wish to be gracefully attended to by Ms. Suzuki.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
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Coal
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:24 am

 bouncy 
Thanks for the report! Especially for the pics of SFO. I'm transiting there for the first time this summer (SIN-HKG-SFO-MIA and return via ICN) and I'm really looking forward to it.

Why can't other airports in the US just get it like SFO has?

Cheers
Coal
Nxt Flts: MI RGN-SIN | SQ SIN-RGN-SIN | CX SIN-HKG-PVG | SQ PVG-SIN
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:42 am

Lovely trip report and great pictures! You write very well....

Ever considered making a career writing travelogues for ANA?  Wink

- Vivek
 
PKflyer
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:26 pm

An amazing report! Thanks for sharing your experience with Thai & ANA.
My name is Khalid and NO I am not a bloody terrorist!
 
exFATboy
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:49 pm

That was an awesome report, and loved the pictures. Hope to experience Thai and ANA up front someday, the treatment seems almost decadent.
 
christao17
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 pm

Your trip reports are really well-written and a pleasure to read!
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
mk777
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:12 pm

It was a pleasure reading the TR, impeccable writing skills and pictures. It seemed very real as if i were taking the trip.

I must say whenever i visit Japan, i shall fly NH from IAD.

I think Japanese people are very professional and it showed. The food seemed delicious.

Can't wait to read more TR's from you.  Smile
come fly with me
 
brianhames
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:28 pm

Great trip report! I've done ANA SFO-NRT-SFO twice in F class. But it was on the 772ER both times. The meal choices look very similar to what I had. It was great to get to see F class on the new 773ERs!

Brian
 
Superfly
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:03 pm



Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
San Francisco’s International Terminal is, you must agree, a pleasure to fly from

 checkmark 
Yes indeed.
I've been to that terminal many times excited about going off to Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Nothing beats the nose of a 747 for sheer panache. Never mind you’re on one of the few TG machines with old-style seats, the feel of the cabin is just unparalleled when you have an almost panoramic view ahead of the cockpit.

 bigthumbsup 
Agreed.
I love the nose of a 747. I haven't been on Thai Airways 747-400s but I have been on their 747-300 in first class.
I've been on United Airlines 747-400s in first class which has the fold out beds. The nose is virtually silent.
I love those velvet seats on Thai Airways.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Econojetter
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:11 am

Very nice. Airpearl, your trip reports are like the types of dessert I prefer... thoroughly satisfying yet incredibly light.

I rarely comment on trip reports but I just had to say something about Japanese hospitality after my first ever visit to Japan just a few weeks ago. The attention to detail is impressive. And the service staff are exemplary. I detected no hint of subservience. Just pride in being able to satisfy (and even surprise) the customer with the quality of service, and genuine happiness when the work is appreciated.

Here are just a few glimpses of the service (even for the "riff-raff" clientele) ethic. A receptionist at my 3-star hotel sees me heading out into the drizzle in my hooded windbreaker; she runs out with an umbrella, catches me outside the hotel and presents it to me using both hands. On a JAL domestic flight, a flight attendant picks up on the fact that I do not understand Japanese; she approaches my seat and quietly asks if I speak English, and then proceeds to translate the key points of the captain's pre-landing announcement. On a Skynet Asia domestic flight, the leading flight attendant repeated his post-landing thank you announcement in English (it was a bit of a struggle for him, but A+++ for the effort) for the only non-Japanese speaker in the cabin (me).
 
airpearl
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:42 pm

Guys, guys, thanks again for the ooooh sooo kind words...  cloudnine  it took me a while to come round to it, but the TR was actually fun to do, so I'm glad you got some enjoyment out of it too.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
I haven't been on Thai Airways 747-400s but I have been on their 747-300 in first class.

Yes, I do recall Superfly. It was literally days before TG retired their 743s in March last year. We nearly made it onto the same plane too! I eventually flew J class from HKG to BKK to fly the classic one last time.



Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 22):
Ever considered making a career writing travelogues for ANA?

Haha Vivek... I doubt they would want someone like me, far too irreverent for the Japanese I think

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 29):
your trip reports are like the types of dessert I prefer... thoroughly satisfying yet incredibly light.

LOL ... so this TR is kinda like a souffle?

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 29):
On a JAL domestic flight, a flight attendant picks up on the fact that I do not understand Japanese; she approaches my seat and quietly asks if I speak English, and then proceeds to translate the key points of the captain's pre-landing announcement. On a Skynet Asia domestic flight, the leading flight attendant repeated his post-landing thank you announcement in English (it was a bit of a struggle for him, but A+++ for the effort) for the only non-Japanese speaker in the cabin (me).

Thse are just amazing (to me anyway) examples of service that we never get anywhere else. Thanks so much for sharing Econojetter. I wonder what the Japanese think when they go overseas and experience our reality?
 
Econojetter
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Tha

Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:21 pm



Quoting Airpearl (Reply 30):
LOL ... so this TR is kinda like a souffle?


Sigh... the elusive souffle. Can you believe I had trouble finding a restaurant that serves souffle, in Paris, of all places?

Looking forward to your next souffle. Go work the oven.  Wink
 
Superfly
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:40 pm



Quoting Airpearl (Reply 30):
Yes, I do recall Superfly. It was literally days before TG retired their 743s in March last year. We nearly made it onto the same plane too! I eventually flew J class from HKG to BKK to fly the classic one last time.

There were several Airliners.net members that got in contact with me about that flight. I think a few members to that BKK-HKG flight. I ended up taking that flight with A.net member Lufthansas747.
Bring back the Concorde
 
airtebiong
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:33 pm

Very well written report!

As an ANA employee, I feel proud that 'our' service is well received!! Im glad you enjoyed your trip on ANA...

As a note, there were a 'few' complaints on the F on 77W mainly due to the bassinet seat just right behind it (Ist row of C, Row 3) and the fact that nothing much devides the F and C cabin. Most prefer the B744 F cabin...

Airpearl, would you mind if I show this trip report to other collegues? Im sure they'd be delighted to read this amazing report.

Cheers!!
i believe that beauty is skin deep, and my skin is very deep!!
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:28 pm

Brilliant trip report - brilliant sense of humour - bravo!
 
airpearl
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:52 am



Quoting Airtebiong (Reply 33):
As an ANA employee, I feel proud that 'our' service is well received!! Im glad you enjoyed your trip on ANA...

As a note, there were a 'few' complaints on the F on 77W mainly due to the bassinet seat just right behind it (Ist row of C, Row 3) and the fact that nothing much devides the F and C cabin. Most prefer the B744 F cabin...

Airpearl, would you mind if I show this trip report to other collegues?

Not at all, please do. You have every right to feel proud of ANA Airtebiong. It must be a fantastic company to work for: the staff's commitment to providing his/her best cannot be faked. Not one particular incident I can pinpoint, but things just 'feel' right at ANA. On so many other airlines, you see a great deal of fake and forced smiles (if they even provide it these days), but people at ANA, in my experience, genuinely relish the prospect of making their customers happy. You have definitely won over this customer  Smile Well done.


As for the 77W, I can see how a crying baby in a bassinet at row 3 could be a problem... on my flight, although full, almost everyone in J class was a suited businessman so the issue doesn't arise. The 747 nose is designed for F class, nothing beats it imo!
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:33 am

Superb superb superb... I suddenly do not feel like reading anymore First Class trip reports on UA, AA or NW anymore.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
aznmadsci
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:13 am

Freaking brilliant!  bigthumbsup !!!

I love how open and airy the NH F cabin is with their cubicles! No NRT groundscrew waving your TG flight goodbye?

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
But there’s a final surprise: emerging from the carrousel is a bag you almost don’t recognize. “Baggage protection? Which pretentious bastard owns this bag?” Uncontained laughter echoes down the customs halls…

 rotfl  Best quote EVER!!!  goldmedal 

Thanks!

 wave 
The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.
 
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mh330fc
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:31 pm

Hi Airpearl!

I'm so excited to actually be part of the first class crowd now   I will be posting my first trip report early June. This specific report is actually the very best report I have ever read. It summarizes exactly how and what perfect service should be. I will most definitely make mention of this report and post a link if I can figure out how  

Cheers!
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri May 01, 2015 10:25 am

Still Trip Reporter Royalty.... 14 years on!

Come back into the fold!
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
directorguy
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri May 01, 2015 11:24 am

Thank you for writing and sharing this trip report, it was a pleasure to read. Love your writing style, especially the very first paragraph 
 
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NZ107
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri May 01, 2015 12:54 pm

I think someone has started a trend of resurrecting great old TRs  

I can't remember reading this one ever.. So I suppose I'm glad it popped up! And boy have things changed a lot... Back to the days when you had another seat next to you in F!
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
airpearl
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri May 01, 2015 3:03 pm

Wow this is surreal. I'm in a place I haven't been in for a very long time.

I must thank(?) NZ107 for alerting me to the fact that a resurrection of sorts had taken place on A.Net and for some reason, a 7 year old report had risen from the grave. To be honest, I don't even recognize the guy writing this report - what a pretentious fart he is, I'd say now. Things sure have changed, hopefully for the better. It's interesting though to reflect on how some things haven't changed in the ensuing years - like still not earning enough to be paying for F class (or even J class, for that matter, unless heavily discounted), and Miss Suzuki and this ANA experience still benchmarked as the gold standard in airline service.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the report, and the 7 year older, if not wiser, Airpearl is thrilled his past sell-by-date reports are encouraging new reporters to compose their own. Good luck on your first mh330fc!

cheers
kwan
 
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mh330fc
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Fri May 01, 2015 4:58 pm

Exciting times! Thanks Airpearl  
 
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lesfalls
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RE: How The Other Half Lives: F Class On ANA & Thai

Mon May 04, 2015 8:39 pm

Great TR  . Thank you for posting.
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