ANA’s Inaugural Airbus A380 “Flying Honu” – First Class Review (Honolulu > Tokyo)

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Airline: All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Aircraft: Airbus A380 (JA381A)
Flight #: NH 183
Route: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) – Narita International Airport (NRT)
Date: May 24, 2019 – Inaugural Flight
Duration: 7 hrs 30 mins
Cabin + Layout: First Class; 8 suites in a 1-2-1 configuration across 2 rows
Seat: 2A
Miles Used: None; no mileage redemption available for First Class suites on Inaugural Flight. For future flights on this route, the best value miles to use are, by far, Virgin Atlantic miles. See our guide on booking ANA First Class for more details.
Typical Retail Fare: Depending on the season, round-trip First Class fares can range from $3,355 to $13,824 per person including taxes and fees.

Introduction

Being an AvGeek, I am always on the lookout for airlines taking delivery of new aircraft or launching new routes. I have been onboard a few inaugural flights to date, including Singapore Airlines’ 2018 re-launch of the SQ 22, the “World’s Longest Commercial Flight” from Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Hence, when All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that they will be adding 3 A380s to its fleet and utilizing them on their Tokyo (NRT) to Honolulu (HNL) sector, I knew I had to get my name on that inaugural flight, especially since, as of now, this would be the last inaugural Airbus A380. Airbus has no new customers for the A380, and will be shutting down production in 2021.

However, let’s take a step back. How did all this come about? The 3 A380s were originally ordered by another Japanese Airline, Skymark. However, Skymark went bust and in order for ANA to take over Skymark’s slots at Haneda Airport (HND), ANA had to take over the A380 order. ANA was able to do so with a bit of help from Airbus since Airbus was one of Skymark’s creditors.

ANA is exclusively deploying the 3 A380s on its Honolulu sector since Honolulu has a large Japanese diaspora and, as such, wanted a Hawaiian themed livery to don the Superjumbos.

Back in 2016, the airline organized an open design competition, and selected the “Sea Turtle” design from over 2,000 entries, given the sea turtle is a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hawaii. In the Hawaiian dialect, the Sea Turtle is called “Honu” and hence ANA selected the moniker “Flying Honu” for this special edition livery.

All 3 x A380’s sport different color palettes for the design:

  1. Lani: A blue design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian sky.
  2. Kai: An emerald green design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian ocean.
  3. La: An orange design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian sunset.
ANA A380 Flying Honu livery
ANA A380 Flying Honu livery. Image Credit: All Nippon Airways

From the launch date, May 24, 2019, until June 30, 2019, the A380 will be operated on the NH 184 (NRT-HNL) and NH 183 (HNL-NRT) frequency on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The rest of the days, the Boeing B787 will continue to operate. This will then translate to a daily A380 flight beginning July 1, 2019.

Additionally, starting on July 1, 2019, a second A380 will operate the NH 182 (NRT-HNL) and NH 181 (HNL-NRT) frequency on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

As always, please note that aircraft scheduling is subject to change based on operational requirements.

Booking the ANA First Class Suite

In November 2018, ANA announced that it will commence the A380 services effective of May 24, 2019. However, ANA did not reveal on which frequency. ANA currently operates 3 daily flights to Honolulu (2 daily out of Narita and a daily out of Haneda).

Then on December 26, 2018, ANA published the schedule revealing that the ANA A380 Flying Honu will be launched on the NH 184 / NH 183 frequency. For passengers who had previously booked either business class, premium economy, or economy class tickets on this frequency, operated by the Boeing B787, this was a pleasant announcement. The first class and ANA Sky COUCHii tickets then went on sale on January 10, 2019.

Given that this was an inaugural flight, no mileage redemption was available. I was stationed at my laptop 15 minutes prior to the sale opening with my credit card in hand and fingertips on the keyboard. I was in for a big disappointment. There were no tickets for sale in first class on the NRT – HNL sector. It just showed me a big fat zero on availability.

Time for Plan B. I quickly interchanged the route search to look for availability on the return HNL – NRT sector on the same day and luckily 2 spaces were available in first class. Quickly punched in the credit card numbers and booked the seat. Voila – another inaugural booked.

It worked out well in the end; as this was a daytime flight, I could check out the new A380 lounge that ANA specifically built for the A380 launch to Honolulu and enjoy a 4-day break in Hawaii. Now, I just had to get myself a positioning flight to Hawaii and plan mini-vacation.

Award redemption for future flights is possible through ANA’s Frequent Flyer program, ANA Mileage Club, at 120,000 miles round-trip in first class. Alternatively, you can use Virgin Atlantic for better redemption value. Here are many ways to earn lots of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles, which you can transfer to ANA for first class redemption.

ANA Award Redemption Season Chart
ANA Award Redemption Season Chart. Image Credit: ANA
ANA Mileage Redemption
ANA Mileage Redemption Round-Trip. Image Credit: ANA

Depending on the season, round-trip first class fares can range from $3,355 to $13,824 per person including taxes and fees. See fare chart below:

ANA A380 First Class R/T Fare
ANA A380 First Class Round-Trip Fare. Image Credit: ANA

At Daniel K. Inouye International Airport 

With all the adrenaline pumping, I could hardly sleep and made my way to the airport early. I arrived at the airport at 8:00 a.m. which was 3.5 hours early. Unfortunately, I arrived only to find that the check-in desks were not open.

ANA First Class Check in
ANA First Class Check in. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA First Class Check in
ANA First Class Check-in. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

In true Japanese style, at the strike of 8:30 a.m., the check-in process commenced and was completed smoothly. ANA First Class and Mileage Club Diamond members have a dedicated check-in lane and are given access to the Gold Lane to clear security and TSA.

ANA Lounge

Along with the introduction of the A380 “Flying Honu” to Honolulu, ANA also unveiled its new lounge.

ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport
ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Previously, ANA premium passengers used United Airlines’ lounge, a fellow Star Alliance member. Now ANA guests have access to the new lounge that is located in the EWA Concourse on the 3rd floor of Terminal 2. The lounge is conveniently located between gates C4 and C9 that are the only 2 gates designed to handle an A380 and is a good 5- to 10-minute walk after clearing security.

This being a special occasion to mark the inaugural A380 service, festivities were in order and there was live Hawaiian band playing just outside the main entrance of the lounge.

Hawaiian Band
Hawaiian Band. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The lounge is divided into 2 sections:

The ANA Suite lounge that is located on the right of the main reception desk and is accessible to the following passengers:

  • First Class passengers with 1 additional guest
  • ANA Mileage Club Diamond members with 1 additional guest
  • ANA Million Miler members

The ANA lounge that is located on the left of the main reception desk and is accessible to the following passengers:

  • First Class passengers with 1 additional guest
  • Business Class passengers
  • Premium Economy passengers
  • ANA Mileage Club Diamond members with 1 additional guest
  • ANA Mileage Club Platinum members with 1 additional guest
  • ANA Mileage Club Bronze members with 1 additional guest
  • ANA Mileage Club Super Flyers members with 1 additional guest
  • Star Alliance Gold members with 1 additional guest
ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport
ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

ANA Suite Lounge

The ANA Suite lounge is simple and understated.

ANA Suite Lounge
ANA Suite Lounge. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

There is an open dining area and seating area that is totally enclosed with no runway views unlike in the adjacent ANA lounge for Business Class and Premium Economy passengers.

ANA Suite Lounge Seating and Dining Area
ANA Suite Lounge Seating and Dining Area. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA Suite Lounge Seating Area
ANA Suite Lounge Seating Area. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The food selection was a mix of international and Japanese hot meals, salads, dessert, and snacks.

Lounge Hot Meal selection
Lounge Hot Meal selection. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
Salad selection
Salad selection. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
Dessert Selection
Dessert Selection. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The bar was well stocked with Tattinger Champagne, red and white wines, Chivas Regal 18, Blanton’s Bourbon, Sake, Shochu, Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, and Remy Martin XO cognac.

ANA Suite Lounge Bar
ANA Suite Lounge Bar. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The ANA Lounge

The ANA lounge for business and premium economy passengers is nearly quadruple the size of the ANA Suite Lounge with panoramic views of the runway.

ANA Lounge Honolulu
ANA Lounge Honolulu. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA Lounge Honolulu
ANA Lounge Honolulu. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 Flying Honu
ANA A380 Flying Honu Livery. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The ANA lounge has a similar but limited food and beverage offering, as compared to the ANA Suite Lounge.

Santa Margherita Brut Rose
Santa Margherita Brut Rose. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
Decoy Pinot Noir
Decoy Pinot Noir. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

I didn’t eat much and just settled in a for a few glasses of the Taittinger Champagne, as I was looking forward to the onboard catering.

Boarding

Boarding was an hour late. The incoming aircraft was on time, but it seems the ground staff did not manage to turn around the aircraft on time. All very understandable problems for an inaugural flight. No sweat, I just ordered another glass of bubbly and continued my chat about all things aviation with fellow AvGeek, Gino, who had just flown in on the incoming ANA A380 from Narita.

Finally, boarding was announced.  As a premium passenger, you need not leave the lounge. The ANA Suite Lounge has direct access to gate C4, offering a seamless transfer for first class, business class, and premium economy passengers to the aircraft.

However, this has not been well thought out. As soon as boarding was announced the business class, premium economy, and other passengers who are entitled access to the adjacent ANA lounge came rushing into the ANA Suite lounge, as there is no aircraft access from that section. Probably some crowd discipline here would help in the future.

Boarding access from the lounge
Boarding access from the lounge. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Flight

Aircraft

The aircraft, registered JA381A, was delivered to ANA in March of 2019 and is configured as follows:

  • First Class suites: 8 seats in 1-2-1 configuration
  • Business Class: 56 seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration
  • Premium Economy: 73 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration

All the above classes are located on the upper deck

ANA A380 Upper Deck Configuration
ANA A380 Upper Deck Configuration. Image Credit: ANA

Economy Class, which consists of 343 seats in a 3-4-3 configuration, is located on the lower deck

ANA also offers the ANA COUCHii seat, where for a fee in addition to the price of the economy ticket, you can combine 3 – 4 seats to make a couch that is suitable for couples and families.

ANA A380 Lower Deck Configuration
ANA A380 Lower Deck Configuration. Image Credit: ANA

Cabin

The ANA First Class cabin is situated in the forward section of the upper deck and as you enter the cabin, the new plane smell hit me. The color palette of blue wallpaper patterned with starry skies and the dark grey color on the suite shell gives the cabin a classy and aesthetic appearance.

ANA A380 First Class Cabin
ANA A380 First Class Cabin. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The middle seats have a privacy screen between them, which passengers can choose to either raise or retract.

ANA A380 First Class Middle Seats
ANA A380 First Class Middle Seats. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The entire length of the cabin is fitted with LED lighting that cycles through the different colors of the rainbow, giving the cabin that tropical feel.

ANA A380 First Class Cabin Mood Lighting
ANA A380 First Class Cabin Mood Lighting. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Though the cabin is decently sized, it feels a bit cluttered on the side rows due to the overhead storage racks provided. Most A380 first class cabins such as those on Emirates (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), and Qatar Airways (QR) have gotten rid of the stowage racks giving the cabin a more open and spacious feel.

These racks are of no use unless you are carrying a small knapsack. My Rimowa cabin bag, which normally fits in the overhead racks, wouldn’t fit and I had to then hand it over to one of the attendants so the bag could be placed in one of the lockers. My Samsonite backpack just about made it.

ANA A380 First Class Overhead Bin
ANA A380 First Class Overhead Bin. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Directly atop the staircase in front of the First Class cabin is the wine bar for the first class passengers to indulge in some self-service during the flight.

ANA A380 First Class Bar
ANA A380 First Class Bar. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 Staircase
ANA A380 Staircase. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

There are 2 decently sized lavatories with cushioned seating areas on the port and starboard side at the front of the first class cabin. Lavatory amenities include mouthwash, disposable dental, and shaving kits.

ANA A380 First Class Lavatory
ANA A380 First Class Lavatory. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Lavatory
Lavatory controls. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Lavatory
ANA A380 First Class Lavatory. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Suite

The suites look refined and are tastefully done up. Sleek and modern with hues of dark charcoal grey complementing the rest of the first class cabin.

ANA A380 First Class Seat 2A
ANA A380 First Class Seat 2A. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Seat 2A Front
ANA A380 First Class Suite. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
Cherag Dubash - ANA A380 First Class
ANA A380 First Class Suite. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Each suite is well illuminated and comes with privacy doors, a large 32-inch touch screen monitor, jacket closet, storage space and charging points with USB ports.

As I settled into Suite 2A and started playing with the controls, the attendant came around offering a welcome drink. ANA serves 2 choices of Champagnes onboard: Krug Grande Cuvee and Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus. I rolled with the Krug, which I continued with post take-off.

ANA A380 First Class; Champagne Krug Grande Cuvee
ANA A380 First Class; Champagne Krug Grande Cuvee. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Additionally, there is a pop out vanity mirror right next to the seat.

ANA A380 First Class Vanity Mirror
ANA A380 First Class; Vanity Mirror. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Seat

The seat is not bulky, yet sufficiently padded and comfortable with reading lights provided on either side of seat shell above the headrest.

ANA A380 First Class Window Seat
ANA A380 First Class Seat. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Seat
ANA A380 First Class Seat. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA-A380-First-Class-Seats
ANA A380 First Class: Spacious seats. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Opposite the seat is an ottoman and the table slides towards you from under the TV monitor to the middle of the suite should you wish to enjoy a meal for 2 with your traveling companion.

ANA A380 First Class Ottoman and Dining Table
ANA A380 First Class Ottoman and Dining Table. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The seat can be converted to 1 of the 3 pre-set modes: Take-off, Recline, and Flatbed. It can be further adjusted by the controls in the second row to adjust for the optimal dining position, lumbar position, and footrest position.

ANA A380 First Class Seat Controls
ANA A380 First Class Seat Controls. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Further, the seat position can also be adjusted using the toggle located under the armrest. Using the toggle, you can adjust the seat position to a position other than the 3 pre-set modes.

ANA A380 First Class Seat Controls
ANA A380 First Class Seat Controls. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Below is the video of the seat converting to a full flatbed.

Video Credit: Cherag Dubash

Cherag Dubash in ANA First Class A380
ANA A380 First Class; Flatbed. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The suite is well illuminated with lights provided not only on either ends of the seat shell, but also next to the TV monitor on the suite panel and on the ceiling.

ANA A380 First Class; Lighting
ANA A380 First Class; Lighting. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Reading Lights
ANA A380 First Class; Reading Lights. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Storage Space

There are plenty of provisions provided for storage in the suite, but they are not designed in an attuned way for cabin bags. As mentioned earlier, the overhead racks are small and do not fit a standard sized cabin baggage.

The storage beneath the ottoman will only fit a small knapsack; my Samsonite backpack would not fit in there, which I then just about managed to fit in the overhead bin.

ANA A380 First Class; Storage
Storage beneath the ottoman. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

There are 2 storage compartments provided beneath the left-hand panel of the suite that can store smaller items such as phone cables, passports, etc.

ANA A380 First Class Storage
Storage Compartment 1 beneath left seat panel. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Storage
Storage Compartment 2 beneath left seat panel. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

In between the bulkhead and the seat, there are 3 bins provided. However, surprisingly only 1 permits storage. Out of curiosity, I asked the crew about it, but they weren’t aware. This is the first time I have seen such an arrangement on an A380. Normally, the storage bins that run along the side of the bulkhead are all available for storage.

ANA A380 First Class Stowage
ANA A380 First Class Stowage Bin. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Storage
Bin not permitted for storage. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The outer cover of the pop out vanity mirror has a holder to stow literature in addition to the  provided literature right beneath the vanity mirror on the right-hand side of the seat.

ANA A380 First Class; Storage
Storage for literature. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Stowage
Storage for literature. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Adjacent to the TV monitor and flush against the suite privacy door, there is a closet to store your jacket.

ANA A380 First Class; Jacket Closet
ANA A380 First Class; Jacket Closet. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Plugs and Power Supply

Under the left-hand seat panel is the power supply port equipped with a universal plug socket and USB port.

ANA A380 First Class Plug and Power Supply
ANA A380 First Class; Plug and Power Supply. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Inflight Entertainment

ANA has a decent selection of inflight entertainment. The TV monitor is a high definition 32″ touch screen that can also be controlled by a remote control next to the left seat armrest.

ANA A380 First Class TV
ANA A380 First Class; 32″ TV monitor. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class TV monitor
ANA A380 First Class entertainment options. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Flight Map
ANA A380 First Class; Flight Map. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The upper half of the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) control has a track pad that can be used to sift through the entertainment options.

ANA A380 First Class; IFE Control
ANA A380 First Class; IFE Control. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

For first class passengers, ANA offers noise cancelling Sony headphones to complement the IFE.

ANA A380 First Class; Sony headphones
ANA A380 First Class; Sony headphones. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Wi-Fi

The ANA onboard Wi-Fi is powered by Panasonic and first class passengers are provided with a complimentary voucher for the duration of the flight. The connectivity was quite good to send pictures on WhatsApp and browse social media.

WIFI voucher
Wi-Fi voucher. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Below is the cost for various WI-FI plans for all passengers traveling in cabins other than First Class:

WIFI tariff
Wi-Fi Fees. Image Credit: ANA

Food and Service

ANA has unveiled an elaborate inflight service for the Airbus A380 service to Honolulu. The beverage and meal menu, presented in a blue folder was extensive, detailing the wines, sakes, shochu, cocktails, aperitifs, and meals offered. You are literally spoiled for choice.

ANA A380 First Class Menu
ANA A380 First Class Menu. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Beverage and Meal Menu
ANA A380 First Class Beverage and Meal Menu. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

On the ground, I started off with the Champagne Krug Grande Cuvee and continued with that post take-off.

ANA A380 First Class Champagne List
ANA A380 First Class Champagne List. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Wine List
ANA A380 First Class Wine List. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Wine List
ANA A380 First Class Wine List Continued. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Sake List
ANA A380 First Class Sake List. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class Shochu and Plum Wine List
ANA A380 First Class Shochu and Plum Wine List. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

A Blue Hawaii cocktail is exclusively served on the Honolulu route in all classes.

ANA A380 First Class: Blue Hawaii cocktail
ANA A380 First Class: Blue Hawaii cocktail. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

For lunch, ANA presents first class guests with 2 options: International and Japanese Washoku.

Between May and August 2019, first class passengers who opt for the International cuisine will be served a menu specially created at Noe, the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, headed by Ryo Takatsuka, the restaurant’s Michelin-starred chef.

I opted for the Japanese Washoku menu, created by Masayoshi Nishikawa, of the famed Gion Nishikawa in Kyoto. The restaurant specializes in multi-course Japanese meals, known as kaiseki ryori.

ANA A380 First Class; Lunch Menu
ANA A380 First Class; Lunch Menu. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The meal service commenced with the amuse, which is common for both the International and Japanese options:

  • Ricotta, honey comb, truffle paste, walnut tart
  • Prosciutto and papaya, goat cheese, calamansi puree
  • King crab, caviar, crème fraîche
  • Cheese pepper bar
ANA A380 First Class; Amuse
ANA A380 First Class; Amuse. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The second course was Sakizuke, a starter, and Zensai, a selection of morsels.

ANA A380 First Class; Sakizuke and Zensai
ANA A380 First Class; Sakizuke and Zensai. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The third course on the list was Owan, which was a clear soup of poached pike conger with produce.

ANA A380 First Class; Owan
ANA A380 First Class; Owan. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Followed by the fourth course of Otsukuri, a selection of sashimi.

ANA A380 First Class; Sashimi
ANA A380 First Class; Sashimi. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Then the main course: Shusai with Nimono and Kobachi.

ANA A380 First Class; Shusai
ANA A380 First Class; Shusai with Nimono and Kobachi. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

For dessert, I opted for the warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream from the International Option menu.

ANA A380 First Class; Dessert
ANA A380 First Class; Dessert. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

By now, I was literally bursting at the seams and it was time to hit the sack. Before that, I needed a night cap and ANA has one of Japan’s finest and most sought after Suntory Whisky on offer, the Hibiki 17 years. This whisky is like gold dust at the moment. There is such demand for this whisky that it is sold out in Japan. Earlier this year, during my trip to Japan, I searched everywhere for a bottle but was unable to find a single one.

If you are flying on ANA’s route to either New York, Frankfurt, or London, it gets even better as on those flights ANA serves the Hibiki 21 years.

ANA A380 First Class
ANA A380 First Class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

I have always enjoyed the service onboard ANA. It is pleasant, thoughtful, and genuine.

The service on this flight, however, was a bit disorganized. We waited for 25 minutes before the pre-take off drinks arrived, which meant there wasn’t much time to enjoy that glass of Krug as the aircraft was pushed back within the next 5 minutes and it was time to secure the cabin. I had to gulp it down. However, these learning curves are understandable considering this aircraft was just deployed and the crews were still getting used to. No amount of training can prepare you for real life scenarios.

A new feature that I found interesting is that all flight attendants on the ANA A380’s wear a headset and carry an iPad for seamless communication amongst the team.

Amenity Kit

ANA offered a Samsonite Amenity kit to first class passengers and not the Globe Trotter as the airline had advertised earlier.

ANA A380 First Class; Amenity Kit
ANA A380 First Class; Samsonite Amenity Kit. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The kit contained ear plugs, eye mask, dental kit, cleansing foam, cotton, and the Ginza branded energizing and moisturizing emulsion lotions.

ANA A380 First Class; Amenity Kit
ANA A380 First Class; Amenity Kit. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Should you have missed anything in your amenity kit, don’t worry; after take-off, a flight attendant walks through the cabin offering any additional amenities that you may require.

ANA A380 First Class; Amenity tray
ANA A380 First Class; Amenity tray. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Even though this was a day flight, ANA offered a night suit that was very comfortable.

ANA A380 First Class; Pajamas
ANA A380 First Class; Night suit. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

In addition to the night suit, ANA also offered a cardigan to be worn over your night suit, just in case you are feeling a bit chilly. This is a new addition.

ANA A380 First Class; Cardigan
ANA A380 First Class; Cardigan. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

The bedding and comforter set, which are provided by Nishikawa Sangyo, come complete with a Tenerita blanket. It was soft, smooth, and comfortable. The air weave pillow, which boasts Hungarian white duck feathers, was fluffy.

ANA A380 First Class; Bedding
ANA A380 First Class; Bedding. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Flatbed
ANA A380 First Class; Flatbed. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Gifts

Since this was an inaugural flight, as is the norm, all guests are presented with some memorabilia. ANA presented scarves in the 3 livery colors of the Flying Honu and a flight certificate that will be going on my bedroom wall soon.

ANA A380 First Class; Gift Scarves
ANA A380 First Class; Gift Scarves. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class; Flight Certificate
ANA A380 First Class; Flight Certificate. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Final Thoughts

Inaugurals are always special but this one was bittersweet.

ANA A380 First Class Review - Cherag Dubash
ANA A380 First Class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

It was a moment of firsts. The first Japanese carrier to operate an A380 and the first scheduled A380 service to Hawaii. But, sadly it was also a moment of lasts. As of now, All Nippon Airways (ANA) was the last new customer of the Superjumbo Airbus A380 and there isn’t going to be another inaugural A380.

ANA A380
ANA-A380. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Everything about this flight was refreshing: a new first class suite with privacy doors, which is a huge improvement from the cubicle on the Boeing B777, excellent catering, and a pleasant service even though it was bit slow. To top it all, it was good to reconnect with fellow AvGeeks who trooped in from different parts of the world just to be on this momentous flight.

ANA A380
ANA-A380. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

I look forward to flying these giant turtles again, but I just need to figure out another excuse to visit Hawaii. Maybe another trip on the “Flying Honu” is good enough. Aloha!


Feature Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Cherag Dubash

About Cherag Dubash

Cherag was born in a family associated with aviation and was hooked on to planes since the age of 3, the time he undertook his first flight on an Airbus A310 from Mumbai to Dubai. Based in Abu Dhabi, the London City University graduate is regularly seen on Instagram, travelling over 100K miles each year in First and Business Class while holding down a regular job.

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6 comments

  1. edith russo · May 27, 2019 · Reply

    I’ve never flown first class, but the PJs and sweater, is it use and return?

    • Stephen Au · May 27, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Edith,

      With any apparel, you will be able to use and keep them forever. The main thing you can’t keep is headphones. Thanks for reading!

  2. The announcement should say Dec 2018, not Dec 2019 when ANA announced flights to Narita.

  3. Travelhouseuk · May 28, 2019 · Reply

    A very informative and nice piece of information keep up the good work 🙂

    • Christine Krzyszton · May 29, 2019 · Reply

      Thanks for reading, Travelhouseuk! This review made me want to hop on that plane too.

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