World's First Long Haul B-787 Dreamliner Flight with ANA Trip Report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by MadameConcorde, Jan 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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  2. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I really liked your TRs after coming upon it on A.Net :)
     
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  3. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    Long-haul service started on January 21 between Tokyo Haneda Airport and Frankfurt, flying every other day, since they only have one of the long-haul versions in service. I flew the long-haul route on January 28. The next few posts comprise my trip report.
    It’s a nice plane. From the outside, you can tell it’s different by the wing shape, the serrated engine cowling, and the seamless fuselage which is totally made from a composite material. If you look at the door shot, you can see what the cross section around the door looks like (white-ish plastic). The plane itself is only a little larger than a 767. But, it is 20% more fuel efficient, more energy efficient, and flies with a cabin with more humidity and higher pressure.

    ANA787-28.JPG ANA787-20.JPG ANA787-31.JPG ANA787-38.JPG
     
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  4. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    My flight left Tokyo at 1 am on 1/28. Flight time was about 11.5 hours and I arrived in Frankfurt at 5:09 am the same day. I sat at the airport and waited for the same plane to fly back to Tokyo. It departed at 11:15am on 1/28 and arrived in Tokyo at 6:50am on 1/29 after almost 12 hours of flying. This was a crazy schedule even for me: of the 68 hours I was away from home, I spent about 43 hours in the air (since I also had to get to and from Tokyo from S.F.).

    The ANA long-haul seat configuration for Business class flatbed seats uses their “staggered” seating arrangement, with rows configured as either 1-1-1 or 1-2-1 and every seat having access to the aisle. The plane is configured for two classes and Business Class seems optimized for individual travelers -- even if you take the row with two seats, there is a partition, so you cannot cross over. On the outbound, I was in row 2 in a center single seat. On the return, I had a window seat.

    Seats in the coach section operate such that when a passenger reclines, the seat slides forward and the back then reclines inside a shell. Seatbacks do not tilt into the space of the passenger sitting behind.
    ANA787-32.JPG
    ANA787-34.JPG

    The way the seats are arranged is very efficient, but might seem claustrophobic to some. I think this is based partly on the culture for which the airline draws most of its customers – higher density with small, well-defined spaces. The space under the side tables is used for the legs of the passenger behind when the seats are in the flat-bed mode. It’s a tighter squeeze to get to seats than in some other business class configurations, like United’s. But this allows ANA to have 46 seats in business class. You can see that the foot/leg rest compartments are quite deep – you are allowed to stow luggage in the bottom compartment (unlike with United’s new seats). The disadvantage of such a configuration is that you can hear/feel any kicks to the wall from the passenger(s) seated behind you. Also, when the table from the passenger(s) is slid into the stored position, you can feel it if it’s not done gently.

    ANA787-39.JPG

    Yes, there is a light switch to control the illumination in the back of the foot well.
    ANA787-40.JPG
     

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  5. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    The storage bins are taller and deeper. They are designed to hold four roll aboard s when they are inserted on their sides. The latches work either by lifting the switch from the bottom or pulling the switch from the top – both actions release the bin door. One thing to note is that there are no storage bins over the first two rows in the center section in business class.
    ANA787-37.JPG ANA787-36.JPG ANA787-7.JPG

    Below the screen, there are jacks for a USB media player, iPod, and multi-country electrical outlet. On ANA, they will loan you the cable to attach an iPod. The table for the seat slides out with that handle after the restraining lever is moved.

    ANA787-12.JPG

    This is the route used between Tokyo and Frankfurt. There are multiple map views offered. There is not, however, any mounted cameras on the plane, unlike the A-380.
    ANA787-18.JPG
     
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  6. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    The windows are very cool. They are a little longer than current airplane windows. Each is individually adjustable, as you can see:
    ANA787-33.JPG ANA787-41.JPG ANA787-46.JPG

    Here are a couple of shots of the restroom. They are all equipped with Japanese-style bidet toilets. The doors to the lavatories are interesting. They are not hinged at the end, but open by the inner edge going inward with the rest opening outward. It takes a little getting used to.

    ANA787-13.JPG

    ANA787-14.JPG
     
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  7. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    The flight itself was very nice. The plane ride was quieter than most aircraft, but I don’t think it was a quiet as the upper deck on the A-380. There are not as many sounds, but the aircraft does sound different than other airliners. The engine pitch seems a little higher than other jets and the ventilation noise is still significant.

    While I think the humidity is greater than on older aircraft, I still felt a little dry during the long journeys. I did notice that the increased pressure in the cabin (the equivalent of being at 6,000 feet versus close to 8,000-9,000 feet). My ears did not have to be popped as much and breathing seemed to be effortless throughout the flights instead of feeling like I was at high altitude).

    I couldn’t tell whether the ride was smoother or not, since every flight is different. The flight was not perfectly smooth, especially during one of the decents, but there were no unusual movements experienced.

    The lighting in the cabin never seemed harsh. They use LEDs which go on and off gradually. The flight attendants change the colors of the lights, with blue being used for subdued illumination and an orange-tinted color when waking up the cabin.

    The seats were much like other business class flatbeds I have experienced. They were fairly firm, but were truly 180 degrees flat when fully reclined. The armrests flipped up (or down, if the seat was against a window) to provide a bit more width. It can be a tight fit. For someone over 6 feet tall, there may not be enough space to feel like one can fully stretch out.

    The Audio-Video On-Demand system was very nice. There was a selection of movies and TV shows in various languages, as well as audio selections and games. As nice as the system was, I found the selections somewhat limited, but that was because it was not catering to me but to a largely Japanese clientele. The supplied two- prong noise-reduction headphones were similar to those used by other, older aircraft.

    Because the flight from Haneda departs at 1:00 am, the meals run a little differently than what I am used to. There is a wide selection of drinks offered, including a special commemorative rose champagne for this inaugural service.
    ANA787-24.JPG ANA787-25.JPG ANA787-26.JPG

    With the post-departure beverage, you are offered a small plate of different bites. Afterwards, they offer a selection of hot and cold items for a light meal and cheese, fruit or ice cream for dessert. Two hours prior to landing, they serve either a Western or Japanese morning meal.

    ANA787-15.JPG ANA787-42.JPG
    These were my post-depature bites.
     
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  8. mgrepo

    mgrepo Silver Member

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    Dessert was an ice cream parfait on the return to Haneda flight.
    ANA787-45.JPG

    I enjoyed the flying experience in the new aircraft. I know that U.S. airline configurations will be different, but the overall aircraft infrastructure seemed well done. It was noticeable to me that much less metal was used in the cabin (e.g., latch switches on overhead bins). I’m not sure of the reason, or how long the plastic parts will last. It will be interesting to see how well the plane wears after a lot of use.

    I really enjoyed using Haneda Airport. It’s much easier to access than Narita Airport, being closer to central Tokyo , and significantly cheaper transport options were available (Tokyo Monorail or another private train connection).

    I'll close with a few more food photos from the flights.

    ANA787-19.JPG

    ANA787-43.JPG ANA787-44.JPG
     
  9. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Looks really neat. I am really hoping I can swing SJC-NRT in May if they get it up and going by that time.
     
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  10. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Thanks for the reports MadameConcorde and mgrepo!
     
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  11. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    Thanks for the reports. I appreciate the effort and it shows you love flying. I'm not going to fly to Japan just to try out a plane, but I will look for it when it comes near me. I haven't made any special effort to get on the A380, but I've flown it 6 times now anyways. Hopefully in a few years there will be lots of A380's and 787's in the sky to make our travels just a little bit nicer.
     

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