BOOKED: ANA New First & Business Class, Lufthansa A350 Business Class, And More!

Filed Under: ANA, Delta

In early 2020 I’m hoping to continue my late 2019 trend of lots of useful airline reviews, so I’m trying to get the year off to a good start.

A few days ago I wrote about how I booked a trip that included Starlux Airlines’ new A321neo business class, Philippine Airlines’ new A350 business class, and Hainan’s new 787-9 business class.

Well, last night I booked another review trip that finally allows me to review the two premium cabin products that I’ve most been wanting to try. So below I wanted to share the details of that trip, not in the order in which I’ll be traveling, but rather in the order in which I booked.

All Nippon Airways’ New 777 Business Class

All Nippon Airways recently revealed the details of their new first & business class, which is available on their routes to London Heathrow and New York JFK. To kick off this trip I’ll be flying ANA’s new 777-300ER business class from New York to Tokyo.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the product, and many have suggested that this is on par with Qatar Airways’ Qsuites, if not better. I’m curious if I end up feeling the same way.

While Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is the best program for booking ANA awards, unfortunately they don’t allow one-way awards, and availability seems to be much better to Japan than from Japan. So I booked this using 75,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles.

ANA’s new 777-300ER business class

All Nippon Airways’ New 777 First Class

If I’m going to review ANA’s new business class, I should probably review their new first class as well, and see if that changes the position ANA gets on my list of top first class products in the world.

The catch is that there’s virtually no award availability in first class from Tokyo to London or New York, at least for travel in the next several weeks.

I did what any rational person would do — I booked a ticket from London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda in ANA’s new first class, and I’ll just have to “reposition” from Tokyo Haneda to London (after landing from New York). Seems logical, right?

I ended up booking this ticket for 115,000 Avianca LifeMiles, which I acquired rather inexpensively, though I still wish I could have practically booked this as a roundtrip through Virgin Atlantic.

ANA’s new 777-300ER first class

Lufthansa’s A350-900 Business Class

How am I going to reposition from Tokyo to London? Rather than seeking out the best product in the world, I want to seek out what I think will be a useful review. I’ll fly Lufthansa’s A350 business class from Tokyo to Munich.

Keep in mind that Lufthansa was given a Skytrax 5-Star award a couple of years ago based on a seat that doesn’t even exist yet, so I look forward to seeing how that 5-Star rating is holding up. 😉

In 2018 Lufthansa introduced mattress pads and pajamas in business class on long haul flights (allegedly), so I imagine the 12 hour flight from Tokyo to Munich should allow me to experience that.

The last time I flew Lufthansa’s long haul business class was on an A330 from Montreal to Munich. And then there was my short haul business class flight, where the purser stopped the safety demonstration to accuse me of secretly recording the crew.

I booked this using 75,000 Avianca LifeMiles.

Lufthansa A350-900

Delta’s New 777-200 Business Class

Since I’ll be back in Tokyo after my first class flight on ANA from London, I decided to return from Tokyo to Minneapolis in Delta’s new 777 business class. I’ve flown the new Delta One Suite once before from Detroit to Beijing on the A350, so I look forward to checking out how this product is on the 777.

I booked this for just 60,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles one-way, which is a spectacular value. That’s especially true when you consider that I transferred points from Amex with a 30% bonus, so it really only cost me 47,000 Amex points.

I really wish my date had award availability from Tokyo Narita to Seattle, as I’d really like to fly Delta’s A330-900neo (I still haven’t flown the A330-900neo on any airline).

Delta’s A350 business class

Bottom Line

I can’t wait to see what ANA’s new cabins are like. I have pretty high hopes of ANA’s new business class, which looks great. Historically I’ve ranked ANA’s old first class as just being alright, so I’m curious to see what their new first class is like, as it does seem to address some of the issues I had with the old product.

Then I’m also curious how Lufthansa’s A350 business class is — I have fairly low expectations there. I also feel like I know what to expect with Delta’s 777 business class, as Delta is fairly consistent.

In case the above was confusing, the overall routing is New York to Tokyo to Munich to London to Tokyo to Minneapolis.

Anyone have predictions for any of these experiences?

  1. Just booked ANA F out of Houston next November. I understand nothing is published in regards to the new cabins other than NYC, London and Frankfurt, but would it make sense to infer that the remaining 212 seat cabins are retrofitted before the larger cabins? Can I at least think in my head I have a 5% chance of getting the new seat or is even that small chance a stretch?

  2. For the sake of your body I hope to heck you will do longer layover times than the US-HKG-Beijing trip earlier this month. 5 hours in-between at an airport hotel on these crazy routings is asking for trouble physically.

    Really looking forward to the ANA reviews. As well to learn what service variations Lufthansa has on its Asian fights vs U.S.

  3. You should review the Senator Cafe in Munich. Probably the smallest Star Alliance Gold lounge, but also one of the nicest.

  4. Ben, I’m looking forward to reading what you think about the LH A350-900. I flew on it last year and found the Business Class seats to be extremely uncomfortable (even when sitting down, they feel angled) though I was fortunate to be in the mini-J section by myself and the cabin crew was truly A+.

  5. I was in Lufthansa business class this week BOS-FRA and FRA-BOS on 747-400. No mattress pads or pajamas were offered. Granted, I didn’t request them, but I also haven’t seen anyone else using them.

    Ben, looking forward to your reviews.

  6. @SBS: of course not, your flight was to short. We are talking about a 5 star airline. 😉 You get mattress pads and pajamas (only the top) on flights longer than 10:30 hours. You’ll need to fly LAX-MUC, than you’ll get it. But don’t expect to much. And I hope you didn’t have spoiled food as I had on my last flight.

  7. The Aeroplan search engine always results in an error message. This has been going on for weeks. Is there another way to book Aeroplan awards that I’m not aware of??

  8. Suggestion: can you add a summary section of your actual series of segments that you are flying? I might be dumb but it is sometimes just not easy and clear to follow your routing for someone not involved in the booking process. A short summary itinerary section like this: JFK-LHR-HND… etc. Would be just great 🙂 thanks and all the best for the new year on these exciting trips 🙂

  9. Looking forward to the Delta 777 review. flying to Australia on VA in The Business and returning to the US on DL in Delta One. Can’t wait for that!

    I wish you’d do KLM’s 787-10 in business with the JAMCO seats. I’m taking that from Toronto to Amsterdam as part of a South Africa trip too.

  10. In my opinion (and most people according to SKYTRAX) the best business class is the Qsuite and secondly ANA’s new business class suites

  11. @Lucky Looking forward to it. What I’d be interested to know is how the ANA New F compares to the New J – is the J hard product so good that it cannibalises the F? Thanks!

  12. Looking forward to this! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! 🙂

    @Betty – I’ve done that exact flight (LAX-MUC) in LH C four times this year and was given the pretty good mattress pad each time but never the PJs, even though I’ve asked for it every time. Was told that the flight didn’t leave LAX late enough to be considered a “night flight” 🙂 Typical Lufthansa.

  13. @Lucky, you continue to amaze me with your ingenuity and discipline. These routings and products look great — just remember to set aside some time for yourself as mentioned upthread. Thank you again for providing us with such high quality on such a timely schedule. You really are next level.

  14. It’s a shame you could not get the Delta Airbus A330-900neo. There is something just so sexy about that aircraft lol

  15. Not sure if you are overnighting in Tokyo but I have been failing at booking the Tokyo station hotel (SLH) in gold passport points and failing. I’d live to see if you have better luck.

  16. @betty and the other Lufthansa geeks! I was in Lufthansa business class 2 weeks ago from Orlando to FRA on 747-400. No mattress pads or pajamas were offered. The food was pretty taste but – what surprised me a lot – two cabin crew ladies on the upper deck were very old, very ugly, very sad and not polite. I know that nowadays my opinion about their age and appearance could sound unpolite, but believe me, not only as a gay I would like to be in good hands of good looking crew members with smile, who would safe my live ( these fat ladies rather would not be good swimmers). And they were unpolite, and they looked very bored, and they did her job with No enthusiasm. Nothing what I see in Qatar or Emirates or… Lufthansa before.
    So Ben, looking forward to your reviews with much interest.

  17. @Ben
    Not sure when your HND-MSP flight is planned but I have booked the DeltaOne Suite (B777-200) their new JFK-BOM-JFK route.
    Hope to compare notes with you.

  18. I flew Lufthansa’s A350 business class Vancouver to Munich in October and they did not have pajamas or mattress pad. It was the best arctic char I’ve had on a plane though!

  19. I flew Lufthansa’s A359 business class the other day between Denver and Munich. It’s a bad hard product, but we know that already. Soft product is generally pretty decent.

  20. From Frankfurt to London you can fly LATAM to Madrid to see how that’s holding up, then fly BA’s 777 to London…

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