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Trip report: ANA/DELTA HKG-SEA (Part1+2)
This is my first trip report ever. I should start by saying how inspirational Lucky’s site is. A student like myself could only dream of flying in the front cabin, his detailed trip report highlights everything from the seats to the food and service which not only offer insight to travelling in style, as well as very useful information to those who plan to travel. ( I believe we have all seen those not so helpful “trip report” elsewhere with too much text or too little information 🙂 , thanks Lucky!)
Right enough flattering, let’s start with the actual trip review:
I am a Brit currently a student in HKG. Family is in HKG and I spent my high school years in the UK. I used to fly at least 3 times a year back and forth between HKG and LHR with British Airways and Cathay Pacific. I reached Silver status with MarcoPolo Club as soon as a graduated…
I then got a job for the next couple of years, so I was technically grounded all that milage went to waste 🙁
Since I went back to school I do have much more holiday, and I decided to take my first trip in about 3 years, just to visit the United States which I always wanted to go, and to see a friend from my elementary years.
Since I had no mileage to fuel my travel, I was fairly flexible with my travel options, ie. no carrier/alliance constraints. I booked through Expeida, while it does shows a ton of options, only a few are “realistic” as some have unrealistically long layovers, or some have a premium which is even higher than the package price itself. Having sorted out all the viable options:
Delta operates the only direct flight.
Other options all require some sort of connections;
United goes through NRT/SFO/LAX/EWR,
American through DFW,
EVA through TPE
ANA through NRT
And after some careful consideration, I picked the ANA option, but the ticket was issued through United, which is almost ⅓ cheaper than picking the ANA package directly. (It was a discount fare ticket which only gives 70% milage, but hey its ANA!)
The final itinerary is as followed:
NH177/UA7929 SEA-NRT (Didn’t happen)
NH811/UA7989 NRT-HKG (Didn’t happen too)
However there were some complications on my return trip, which I will cover in my reviews, Long story short I ended up taking a direct flight on Delta back to HKG…
I will be reviewing the four flights, plus the SilverKris lounge HKG, ANA lounge NRT, and Delta Skyclub SEA.
The first leg’s report is almost complete and will be uploaded shortly(0522GMT) if you are interested, stay tuned:)
This review will also go on airlines.net, but this one here is a dedication to Lucky and his team for all their effort:)
Sounds like a fun trip [USER=2582]@JonathanRCLHKG[/USER]! Excited to read more 🙂
[U][B]Part 1: SilverKris Lounge HKG+ HKG[/B][/U]
(** I somehow accidentally deleted some photos for this section of my trip. I had to make do with what was left in the camera, I do apologize for this review being slightly text-intensive.**)[/I]
I lived about 30mins away from HKG, I set of driving at 0800 to the airport, as HKG isn’t particularly exciting, shops and restaurant are rather disappointing, knowing I will be going to a Star Alliance lounge such as United club, again which is really basic and mediocre hence I wasn’t planning on spending too much time on the terminal. Any other lounge in HKG other than Cathay Pacific ones are average at best, and let’s not get started on the Plaza Premium lounge, which is way overcrowded from the AE credit card access.
Somehow traffic was a little heavy that morning, arriving at HKG just under 45mins. ANA operates only a handful of flights from HKG, ground handling is outsourced to HAS, and counters only open for a handful of hours everyday.(A nuisance later on my return trip.) Check in was quick and efficient. Separate lounge access pass for HKG along side with boarding pass. 1 Bag checked straight to SEA. Security was a breeze in HKG as usual , you get to keep your shoes and belts on no problem, which is one of the few good things I have to say about HKG.
Once past security you will walk into an arena of shops and restaurant. The restaurants, overpriced chains, quality average at most. Airport is really the last place you would look for when it comes to authentic local cuisine. But I would say the representation is fair, with burgers and fried chickens, Japanese bentos, congee and noodles, and even a pizza express. 99% of shops in HKG are luxury products, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry… you get the idea. The last 1% are DFS selling whisky and cigars.
I made my way through the terminal to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge, which was closest to my gate. United Club is on the far side of the terminal, walking is possible but the logical way would be to take the unmanned rail. At this point I have about 20mins before boarding commence, I figure I will skip the United Club.
[U][B]Silver Kris Lounge HKG[/B][/U]
Entrance not particularly glamorous, kinda tucked away in a corner, took me awhile looking for it.
Absolutely no window whatsoever, the lack of sunlight does make it feel a little like an underground metro station.
There is a conference area near the entrance.
After a curved corridor to the left there is the mysterious First class section which I am not sure if it was open, and you will be greeted by a bar, and a buffet/dining area.
The empty bar.
[IMG]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/PcyDWw8k1HLfGCqB3p0hBOF1CXjlxmmhejc-o2TENE8eB71Eaqb9beuEvcPY3qqiV5swE9lr90D_1Uy0xG6t0bTBEqPeEzRqH5vjQqUwEKHpv4YKCI37yB3axX_F1WSZp9OrIf-K[/IMG]The bar menu.
Bar selection is average, I would assume alcohol is available free of charge, but the bar was not staffed, I wonder if they don’t actually open it till later in the day?
Behind the dining area, there is a rather large sitting area, with couches and a dozen of first class like quasi-suites business tables, which doesn’t feel as comfortable as it looks. There is no armrest aisle side, which means you really have to sit upright, or at a 45 degree angle, the edge of that square seat will go in between your legs in a weird way….(You can imagine it yourselves.)
[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/1my5NZ13fNiAs1hvvGbmelhad4db7X2xUHZrIvVAV05a4Cwcv6KqgkHyeYoe7M-O6eQvKi8IAamDFHkA2IEo0yo7tMlc7pGo-dn4XXH-LR-N_By1xOAGh94v4FJijw5FoOetaTmR[/IMG]There is no one this is gonna be comfortable…
Newspaper selections; rather limited lots of Chinese papers. Magazine selection; lots of English options, but very business oriented selection.
I sat down in the dining area for some breakfast. Tables were clean as there were quite a few attendants constantly clearing up dishes and cleaning the tables.
Hot breakfast buffet selection was good, with congee, noodles, dumplings, scrambled eggs, sausages on offer.
Salad bar. Didn’t look all that fresh. There were yogurts too.
Continental selections included mini croissants, danish, toasts and cling film wrapped(or rolled?) sandwiches
Usual soft drinks selections. I do think having soda poured from a can looks and feel nicer, compared to soda coming out of a fountain.
Small rant: I can never understand the obsession on these “freshly ground coffee” in Asia, I much prefer the good ol’ filter coffee, where I think it is nice to have a pot lying around just to give people options.(Yeah I know they tend to go stale after a while, but same goes to the beans sitting on top of that machine all day.)
After having some pastries and coffee i proceeded to the gate.
Long lines of vacation traffic…
[CENTER][U][B]Upcoming: NH812 HKG-NRT[/B][/U][/CENTER]
[B]Air Japan 812
Hong Kong (HKG) – Narita (NRT)
Monday, Dec 26
Depart: 1000 (A.1010)
Arrive: 1510 (A.1530)
Duration: 4hrs 10 mins
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Seat: 6K (Business Class)[/B]
Boarding was done through 1L as usual with 767.
First impression with the business class cabin is how spacious it seems. The 2-1-2 layout is far superior even by international standard let alone a regional product. It is a recliner but we will get to that later.
Business class was about ⅔ full. Since everyone board through the same door, it did get rather busy in the aisle but given how wide the aisle here is, I don’t think you will get a smack in the face with carry on bags 🙂
Economy section looks rather comfy too, with a typical 767 2-3-2.
There was a comforter and a pillow folded nicely on the seat. And guess what… slippers! Really impressive as this was a 4hr regional flight.
Slippers came in a bag telling that it is ok to take them home… It contains a pair of slippers, a shoe bag to put your slippers into, and a shoe horn. I think this is really well thought out, the slippers don’t feel cheap and are pretty comfortable too, I ended up wearing them during my stay later on.
Headphones feels cheapish, I didn’t use mine as ANA’s entertainment is rather weak, the achilles heel of this 5 star airline.
Leg room is rather impressive. I am not all that tall, but I do reckon a person above 6ft could sit comfortably in these seats.
Selection of entertainment is rather limited, certainly no match to Cathay Pacific’s studio Cx which is still one of the best entertainment suite out there despite the recent disappointing change in service.
However, there IS a camera view on this 767… hmm
[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9Aqw1rtQMVRc9pJyWm6jSK13zeHn00VxBUae6Hx6mPyobVTJo9JCt3JcfLOJ79gDOFkok89Elq2-Rid0I33tnMx734my3na29cijDENC9x4THRz8SwIX7xl6rvfNSOEFm1N1uxIL[/IMG]ANA’s inflight magazine
[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fsy0rb_5OVqBdseld8aCZE1gTbJ6n2d6pyysG7ha46QwfRaVERS3672NI9kC9zVKsfvURJho1TBbSURG-hLdU0fvaBnSlcIIF4ZszkE5mIzc9Ja55Za56ilyO-Lh1lrW2KUvbPAl[/IMG]Seat guide “Business Cradle”
Plenty of reading materials in the seat pocket. Inflight magazines, duty free catalog, wifi card, seat guide, safety card as well as a menu that can be a magazine itself. ANA publish their menu on their website, as well as having a menu on board covering a period of 3months. It is nice that you can preview the selections before flying, and to check out past or future selection for comparison. But it does get somewhat cumbersome having so much stuff in a tiny pocket like this, it doesn’t leave much room for storage.
Stowage space is limited. Since I get the whole row to myself, I can utilize the seat pocket and the magazine slot for the seat next to me, but if this was a full flight, I can see that problem becoming a more severe one. Charging ports come in standard socket as well as USB.
The center seats however, have a decent sized storage compartment under the armrest, a fully packed laptop bag could sit nicely in there.
The table folds out from the armrest and act as a drink table or a meal table. It is large enough to read or write on it. It unfolds to the front, and you swing it 90 degrees to become a meal table, it does slide back and forth. If you don’t slide it all the way forward it will not go into the armrest properly, I tried to stow my table for take off and it wouldn’t go in the box, bang bang bang and I look like an idiot. Silly me.
[*]To release; Open armrest then pull.
[IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/VSlqB5BikbBO2cm27wHCXRZ9nZDHT0hsZ–9kEA8hfNWlkGB6ujqw1j3h0t7cURjaeTaOrStQKIR4VZFaLSdYMo0uUbF2iFrSBV_vnke3ON6cr5-msxQhlLOije3T6NaAOnD4gNP[/IMG]2. Drink table; unfold forward for meal table[IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/4REecDq2z8Xqe2kbJTc4dHUDVM7MRoOc167MovHfWUjRxUP6dUXf9Eeb993GD6ZkJTCxwqSbSjApWtwjMuYcE_ZjTND2g_2ZoQy4tlKTxJCF7f7p06QLk6sW64-ZKTZa-Xwmzota[/IMG]3. Finally swing 90 degrees towards yourself.
(Page 1 of NH812)
[IMG]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/atkmh8N-FXt4uf3SEYMdQ6N7pUzozGTB8M0kB3JFCSUyHydfZ5Lhh-PXsMFZucyotx3XUkZM1gvuAlwIZejn28__8bXzK5zVhAuDqXggcJNtIZHPkRxZ13wi7nUjhqLVwDDX_t8h[/IMG]One of the flight attendant came by welcoming me on board and to introduce herself, although I didn’t quite catch her name, the introduction was done with a big smile. Before I knew it another flight attendant came by and did the same thing, probably because I have wander off to snap a few pictures of the economy cabin, no problem in being nice 🙂
There was no welcome drink. Which is not a big issue here on a regional flight, however on the long taxi outs here(+30mins) in HKG that would be a nice touch to keep one entertained (and cool)
Door closed around 1010. Followed by a long taxi out to 07R then a really powerful takeoff. I guess I am used to flying jumbos like the 747. I know waving goodbye is a customary in Japan, but it is the first time I see this done outside of Japan.
Little choppy on the climbout, but smoothen out very soon. However seatbelt light remained on till we reached 33000ft. It took nearly 20mins before service really began. Once we are cruising, the American captain came on the PA and said there was some rough air out of HKG hence the long wait.
Service began with hot towels. Drink cart soon followed, I opted for some champagne and cold green tea. A packet of rice crackers was served along the drinks. Tablecloth was set, menu order was taken and I picked the Japanese option which was a sukiyaki.. Too bad I totally forgot about the rice crackers after putting them in the seat pocket so I can’t tell you what it taste like…
Not thin and cheap like British Airways, towel had a nice lemonish scent.
[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/moSwPJZ4jWvK6c-wmeAoYwenD414ROuxGH1fvgJdlXK9oKDdEJHLC8-sgaVIdi9dcUeQIDSlaSYaSgEGyllWgv1WM30nppvoXX–SNbHdhaRovj2uN3cOiao74VbRf_Yh3y_CObJ[/IMG]Drink carts.[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/r8sHz-uVeHinHJ0YwTO5nmC5YIPXnANfToYpF_FzAc_Y-3UIZ7rZDPy8nAW5qh0_X7dfBuMd7MnCictnh3T7gLnXYi6LOpzAotw3HK1G-LpMilZ7jHvQ-FQVMlw-9_Hs9fGC2ks9[/IMG]Table were set, I had some cold green tea and champagne.Drinks were served with a packet of rice crackers.[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/nvh75mjZN1r1niKY2rg0Q_yXUIE2oPa9JhWtOvX20euSWBAfLb77TAgjiyZS_3wMaYlIU3yfzUDCausfgZCWWAfqnEAe0rze4anADbH_Fy_29YC5EDu8qtkDbL0FnFqDJskr45Ai[/IMG]The forgotten rice crackers 🙁
[IMG]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/tx8Zifp4Buvz6bP_ZQGgBvfWNa2z8UUlPFWxBcKFlIRCGQSZy6niVc5DgM3Ru-Nv14u_Ommo73rw3_heA64M2FtNxNkOAO6oBeaJ5sq2Zl5CADtBYqnQTt-JB0kuJJdXEh34Ki3l[/IMG]Meal orders were taken.
The menu. Chose the Japanese option but had to go with the western one.
And the other drinks. Pretty standard.
It was a while until food started to come out of the galley, delivered by tray. By this time we were just over 1hr into the flight. Delivery was steady but I wouldn’t exactly call that timely. 4 flight attendants in the business class cabin all seem to be working in the galley at the same time.
A flight attendant came by and notified me the Japanese option had ran out, and if I am alright having the western option. Her tone was almost apologetic which I assure her it is not her fault and that would be fine. Slightly disappointed but hey it happens. (There was a large Japanese businessman sitting the row behind me, the same flight attendant hit him with the same bad news, but from his tone I could probably figure out he wasn’t taking no as an answer… yeah and he got the Sukiyaki in the end.)
After that the meal was delivered(with the lid on) with an offer to refill drinks.
There were no bread basket service, somewhat of a disappointment for a bread eater like me. However bread was indeed warm.
The appetiser consisted of prawns with asparagus, meatloaf and some sort of relish with slices of cheese. Nothing particularly tasty here, average overall.
The entree was pork. As you can probably tell it was pretty bland. The sauce wasn’t the antidote, as it is really strong, sweet and salty like the kind of BBQ sauce you get from say Panda Express. The pork was incredibly fatty too, rather disappointing I would say.
The flight attendant asked how was the western option, I replied it was fine out of politeness, afterall I don’t blame them. I did ask for more bread to compliment the not so nice entree. She promptly returned with 2 extra bread rolls. Hmm but I have ran out of butter…
And hurray she remembered! She came back with 2 packet of butter just as I was scraping off what remained in the first tub of butter 🙂
Dessert was a chocolate mousse, it was fairly light which I did enjoy and finish.
(Page 2 of NH812)
Dishes were cleared away as soon as I finished, followed by tea and coffee. Everyone seemed to finish at different rates, bringing meals on trays does have a big impact on mealtime. At this point we are almost 2hrs into the flight.
ANA called this the “Business cradle”, surely this is no lie flat bed, but for a 4hrs flight I would say it is pretty comfortable on the whole. I do think the trick with cradle seats is the ability to find that sweet spot; the particular angle for one’s liking. Same goes to lie flat seats, the ability to go to a position in between. This is the fully reclined position.
And this is how I like my seat. Had a decent nap for the next hour or so. It did get a little warm in the cabin as there are no individual air vents.
The lavatory was cleaned when I got there mid way through the flight. Just as you would expect from a Japanese carrier.
[IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/Xfvv1BpRchCwZh0TcpA5ASQOjrcA6AxZbLcUWL792l4rf3fyv8Jnfwrm68OzUvMR3cfik19j__QKCwLi6nfvw_UTCNJAg9flDAA7KuN0ZyEYW8UqgO00y4XVtLQV538u30199JDQ[/IMG]And since it’s Japanese, you bet it is equipped with the bum washing thingy…
There were wet wipes, mouthwash and toothbrush available in the lavatory. I am really amazed by the fact that ANA provide these in a regional flight like this. And strangely, on my later leg to SEA, these weren’t available on the 787.
I decided to ask for some hot green tea from one of the passing flight attendant. There were lots of traffic up and down the cabin on this flight. Crew walked around the cabin with the duty free catalog in hand at least couple of times during the flight, selling duty free seem to be of a high priority for Asian carriers, Cathay Pacific did the same from my experience. The movement was very discrete, I wasn’t disturbed in anyway, and when I asked for the green tea it was promptly delivered.
And oh my… it was the best green tea I ever had in my life!!! It was so good I regretted not having it sooner! Remember that horrible water like green tea you were served in Japanese restaurant? Which is nothing more but hot water with a tea bag inside, barely tasting anything let alone tea… Well this was the exact opposite. The tea has a nice body to it, not thick like glue or thin like water, but just right like a good cup of coffee from a french filter pot, the aroma was overwhelming, and the texture was smooth as silk. This exceptional green tea really left me in awe for sometime… And this coming from a coffee drinker like me, really is no overstatement. To be honest I don’t remember having green tea this great in Japan. (British Airways very recently started serving twinings green tea on flights to China… Dream on speedbirds:) )
After a couple more cups of green tea we landed without event in NRT.
[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/ov5uBPz9c0gNiVCV2p465sqAjpIrErgcOitzaooXaIvzIv6JoeQPaiFTkNge3gWHu8tpLrxkR-8VutKBUcqThyKHujA39CdjxLtJ1sBbXixWOBDfuTv-uuSWFT6FmxCOEN5t964X[/IMG]A scenic taxi to the remote stand. ANA 787.
[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/0y-Fj2gJy6DIMaHug0qHuqU6h4atFuVE_PI-eWVi18Un-fWxhhrMEbbNsDO9ABjQDTvMeIf9t9vGVlfe3ZVWsCV-sUQf1gEOUQFqXCu4_xY70QRkMTcGrHDKx0n8AkcJdYQV19YX[/IMG]Gosh you gotta love the Japanese. Everything is so clean and tidy…
[IMG]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/JNXVbIiP1WHK1g0cMA_6BwTow2QWArESuSvyHNhT_dMarahAWOiNWz2SszrxsZhWlDf7SSf-VtPzjZuR3gMVhk3vs9MiEtP6CkgK35iVGnm3eaLFdb8Mpf8SiWBnsmDsNI1f2f_j[/IMG]And here we go…
The flight was parked out at a remote stand, which means buses will take us to the terminal. Deplaning was swift and orderly.
[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VDXLqutV8X2fWQTrIEM6xSyu3hQ0DYRsRsxSyFDLvzpVrFIpyhtD-s8XT-N79BUSWFyJaoMU8gIUgPYhGz1USzu6SdPcdPuzI0k8oeqH9BWkZFTjL5lId0dSna8POvqf71zuoS2l[/IMG]3 BIGGGG buses just for us.
I realized I had left one of my bags on the plane as I was getting on one of the bus, and one of the ground staff helped me to recover the bag. She expressed concern for me as it was rather chilly out on the tarmac, and suggested I should wait on the bus, but I said I will be fine and took the time to take some pictures of the lovely 767 🙂
Once I am reunited with my bag I boarded the last bus to the terminal. There were 3 large buses for this flight, and the last one was practically empty with only less than 10 passengers. Kudos to ANA for assigning excess capacity in deplaning, it would be a pain to have to wait for buses on the tarmac, even worst when the weather is less than favorable, as one of my friends did flying HK express…
The bus took us to the terminal, navigation was straightforward, and after going through a brief security screening with belts and shoes on, I was in Terminal 3, and I started my quest for the ANA lounge in Narita.
(Page 3 of NH812)
[U][B]Upcoming: ANA lounge Narita