ANA Is Building A Special A380 Lounge In Honolulu

Filed Under: ANA

This is cool.

The biggest news for Japanese carrier ANA so far this year has been the details of their three ‘Flying Honu’ Airbus A380s, which will exclusively fly between Tokyo and Honolulu. All three will feature traditional hard products, but will have special liveries:

  • A blue plane named “Lani,” meaning sky
  • An emerald green plane named “Kai,” meaning ocean
  • An orange plane named “Ka La,” meaning sunset

It’s unusual for an airline to have their A380s only operating on one route, and it seems that ANA has put a lot of thought into the passenger experience for these special flights, going far beyond just the special liveries.

ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport

ANA premium passengers currently have access to the United Club (operated by ANA’s Star Alliance partner United). But ANA has now unveiled artist renderings of the new ANA Honolulu Lounge that they are building for their A380 premium passengers flying to Tokyo.

It will be the biggest lounge at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Airport, and will feature both Hawaiian and Japanese influences, which ANA describe as:

A fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian essences, so visiting passengers are able to immerse themselves in Hawaii’s relaxing reverberation before making their trip back home, while those who call Hawaii home will be able to relax in a familiar atmosphere that incorporates the warmth of Japanese hospitality, in preparation for their trip to Japan

Hawaii is a very popular family destination, so the ANA lounge will feature a family area with a ‘tidal pool’ theme.

The lounge also features a first class section, as the three A380s will feature first class cabins:

What’s especially cool about this lounge design, and this shows just how much thought ANA has put into their customer journey, is that there will be direct boarding from the lounge to the upper deck of their A380s.

ANA will be using the existing gate 29 for these flights, which will be renamed gate C4.

Accessing the ANA Lounge Honolulu Airport

Access for the new ANA Honolulu Lounge will be as follows:

  • First class passengers (+1 guest)
  • Business class passengers
  • Premium economy passengers
  • Diamond Service members (+1 guest)
  • Platinum Service members (+1 guest)
  • Super Flyers members (+1 guest)
  • Star Alliance Gold members (+1 guest)

While the following passengers also have access to the first class section:

  • First class passengers (+1 guest)
  • Diamond Service members (+1 guest)

You’ll notice premium economy passengers receive lounge access which seems to be a uniquely Japanese thing, as JAL does the same.

As wonderful as it would be to access this lounge when flying one of the numerous Star Alliance airlines operating from Honolulu, I expect that the lounge will only be open three hours before each ANA departure, three times a day, and premium passengers on other partner airlines will not have access.

But we will see!

This lounge is due to open in Spring 2019 (so almost a year away), presumably ready for the inaugural A380 service to Honolulu.

Bottom line

Although it’s a leisure route, I think these flights are going to be really cool. If I’m not mistaken, this will be the only ANA Lounge outside of Japan, and it looks great so far.

I’ll be interested to see how far ANA goes with the special themes and branding for these flights — we could be looking at an experience to rival EVA Air’s Hello Kitty flights.

Is anyone planning to take ANA’s A380s from Honolulu?

  1. Quite an exciting development, blew me away how many Japanese tourists are in Hawaii so I can imagine these planes will be loaded, would love to fly back to Hawaii via Japan/ANA once this route kicks off.

  2. Ana couch? This sounds cooler than some lousy j seats out there:
    >The main deck will have 383 Economy Class seats, which includes 60 couch seats. This makes ANA the first in Japan to introduce a couch seat concept. Each couch is comprised of three or four seats and passengers are able to lie on the seats by folding up the leg rests. In addition, passengers will receive a dedicated mattress that will provide them with further comfort. This new seat concept will especially enable passengers traveling with small children to have a more relaxed experience in the cabin.

  3. Sounds Great, I would be really interested in the profitably of this route later on!!

  4. @Roberto

    There are up to 12 daily flights between these two airports in summer, on four carriers. I think the demand is clearly there

  5. Are they expanding the current check-in area as well? They barely handle 787 check-in at the moment let alone three A380.

  6. @James K. Will ANA continue to provide the same amount of daily flight or will the reduce to compensate for the increased amount of passengers per flight?

  7. @ Roberto – ANA currently offer 3 x 787 services daily, and will be able to offer 3 x A380 services daily once they have received all 3 new aircraft.

    They can keep the same schedule but it will be a HUGE capacity increase.

  8. That will be a huge capacity increase but i think there’s that excitement to fly the A380. ANA will probably lower prices especially for the introductory prices but it seems that they’re planning to offer a great passenger experiencw and that may differentiate them from the other carriers on the route.

    I wonder though if they might be tempted to fly these planes on one-offs to Europe or the US or other popular routes to Asia.

  9. @Maverik The couch concept sounds like Air NZ’s Skycouch, which I’ve tried and found to be pretty bad.

    You have to book (and pay for) all three seats – though I think there was a (very) small discount for buying all three. But you’ll soon discover there’s nowhere near enough room for two, so you essentially need to pay for three seats per person. And even then they’re not all that comfortable and you’re still in economy in every other way. So not worth it.

  10. In Japan from what I have experienced over there, the term “Premium” is not something that is used lightly. They do not view Premium Economy as an Economy extra experience. Premium guests are F,J and PE. ALL premium with varying levels of comfort/service etc. Very smart on their part!. PE should be biz lite without the bed.

    I would say VS understood this from the beginning, since PE was invented by them. It’s suppose to be a luxury experience.

    It’s a real shame that many of the other carriers have not figured this out.

    Lufthansa’s PE offering is Economy Plus, looked old and stale since day one.

    Good for NH!. Plus a lot of wealthy Asian’s travel to HI for vacation and second homes. The Hawaiian market from Asia is very different to the US mainland bucket and spade vacationers.

  11. ANA has 4 flights from HNL to NRT/HND daily from the morning to early afternoon so I think the lounge will close by 2:30pm.
    If EK ever flies to HNL, at least there’s a lounge in HNL that has an A380 upper deck entry! 😉

  12. Absolutely not. HNL is to be avoided whenever possible in favor of direct flights to/from the other islands. Hawaiian from Tokyo-Haneda to Know was a nice experience. The thought of ever being on an A380 is underwhelming. Meanwhile Honolulu features JAL tour buses shuttling the Japanese around town so they can stay comfortably within their Japanese-language cocoon.

  13. Not sure how many premium passengers they will get considering
    Hawaii is primarily a leisure destination!
    I flew Northwest in 1994 from Honolulu to Osaka on 747.
    Thought it very strange that nobody else at check in desks. Told this was because i was only individual passenger, everybody else was travelling in tour groups.
    In gate lounge with 300 plus people suddenly dawned on me that i was only westerner!
    On board crew realised this and moved me to business/first which was totally empty!!! Had a ball with the crew enjoying the high life!!!!
    Best flight ever had.
    This ANA lounge may be a very quiet place!

  14. I am looking forward to ANA’s new service – we will finally be able to travel in ‘real’ First Class to Hawaii once again. And yes, the round-about routing North America – Tokyo – Honolulu is well worth the experience….just think of the miles we will earn. The A380 experience is great, with special consideration of having two nice-sized washrooms (First Class) versus the newly down-sized, extremely small washrooms on United’s new B737-900 aircraft that are a tight squeeze for even skinny people. Aloha!

  15. I was worried about an A380 in the diamond head wing, which would require shuttling pax to immigration and customs. I certainly hope gate 29/C4 is one of the gates with direct walkable access to immigration. I will find out.

    The experience does not need to be as bad as it is, but nobody is interested in improving it at HNL on UA/DL/etc. (Though there are amorphous plans on paper to replace the Diamond Head wing, I doubt it will be done any time soon.)


  16. its interesting to know NH is ramping up HNL market. Many at UAL are afraid the route will be tossed off to NH as a code share and the UA HNL-NRT will go bye bye. was at a UA meeting in NRT and an officer from headquarter couldnt even answer with a straight yes or no when asked if UA will be affected by it..

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