Review: ANA New First Class “The Suite” San Francisco to Tokyo

Bookending our Japan Golden Route itinerary, we have arguably the reason that sparked this entire trip: the flights.

All Nippon Airways’ “The Suite” is their newly refreshed First Class cabin and is a significant step up in terms of hard product offering compared to their dated “The Square” cabin.

ANA new First Class seat with 3 windows and TV.

It’s not too surprising that this product is coveted by travellers everywhere, so being able to secure 2 seats on the same flight both to and from Japan was a huge win. This is our first time flying in First Class and it was a pinch-me moment, even if it wasn’t a perfect experience.


Since ANA is apart of Star Alliance, there are a few different ways to find yourself in one of the best First Class products in the sky:

  • Aeroplan: 110K points one-way and ~$50 (CAD) in taxes and fees
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 145K points round trip, 72.5K points one-way and ~$150 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
  • Virgin Australia Velocity: 114,000 points and ~$50 (CAD) in taxes and fees one-way
    Keep in mind that you won’t be able to connect onwards with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This option is the best in terms of points cost and if you have a one-way itinerary.

You could also use United MileagePlus to redeem miles for ANA First Class; however, it’s important to note that United MileagePlus does’t have a published award chart, so the point costs can be unpredictable. From experience, United MileagePlus will cost around 121,000 miles and ~$44 (USD) (~$60 CAD)

For our flights, I used Aeroplan points to book. It would normally cost me 110K points per direction, per passenger; however, the impact of hidden city ticketing can help alleviate some of that cost.

Adding a leg from Vancouver (YVR) on the way there, not only reduced the points cost, but we needed to get from Canada to San Francisco anyway. Note that ANA doesn’t operate any flights equipped with First Class on routes to Canada. This was a win-win!

In the end, we paid 88,400 Aeroplan points and $122 (CAD) in taxes and fees per person, per direction.

ANA First Class Google Flights screenshot
ANA First Class points redemption

Our flights ended up looking like:
AC564 YVR–SFO on 5 October
NH107 SFO–HND on 6 October

GCMap of YVR to SFO to HND

It’s worth noting that both flights will be an overnight departure which will subject you to a reduced meal service onboard. In addition, you won’t find Hibiki 21 on this route, only Hibiki 17. Keep that in mind if you’re looking to get the full-First Class experience. Normally, this isn’t too major, but ANA’s full meal service is quite a few steps above its reduced service.

Airport Experience

Departing San Francisco (SFO), passengers flying in long-haul business class or First Class on a Star Alliance carrier are allowed to use the fantastic United Airlines Polaris Lounge in the International Terminal.

Escalators at the Polaris lounge at SFO

The Polaris Lounge at SFO is very well regarded in the travel community and while I found it to be deserving of that reputation, even with its strict entry requirements, the sheer amount of premium passengers at SFO led to crowding (when we were there), despite its spacious 28,000 square feet size spread out across 2 floors. We arrived at the lounge at around 18:00 so it was right around dinner time and ahead of a swath of evening departures.

Banner welcoming you to SFO United Polaris lounge.

Once we entered, we headed straight to book a shower slot since those can get taken up quickly. We were advised that it would be best to take a shower then and there, just after placing a reservation for The Dining Room, before the lounge really started to fill up. This turned out to be a great tip as once we were done freshening up, I was informed that our table inside The Dining Room was ready.

Shower suite inside United Polaris Lounge SFO.

The Dining Room was the amenity that I was looking forward to the most. It offers passengers a complimentary à la carte dining experience, instead of the traditional buffet style that you’ll expect in an airport lounge.

Polaris Lounge Dining Room Menu Card.

Eating at The Dining Room was an amazing experience and is certainly a league above what other lounges offer. We tried a few things off the menu while trying to allocate some space to the food onboard our flight.

Unfortunately for us, the Polaris Lounge closes at 22:30 and our flight departs at 1:20. Just before the lounge closed, I decided to shoot my shot and take the gamble to see a hunch of mine was right. I walked up to an Asian man and asked if he was Strictly Dumpling/Mike Chen. It turns out he was!

Picture of Kevin standing with Strictly Dumpling / Mike Chen.

If you didn’t know, Mike runs a large YouTube channel by the name Strictly Dumpling, where he eats delicious food from around the world. I asked where he was flying and he said Korea – I was hoping we were going to be on the same flight, but alas. He was gracious enough to take a photo with me and that was a fun way to conclude my experience in the United Polaris Lounge at SFO. Overall the Polaris lounge is very impressive and I liked it more than the ANA First Class Suite Lounge at Tokyo!

After being kicked out, we took advantage of the time to get our steps in and took a tour of the terminal as well as get some duty-free shopping done.


We were one of the first passengers to board and needless to say, it was a pinch-me moment the entire time. I still couldn’t believe I was allowed down the jet bridge.

We boarded through the second set of doors, turned left past the forward business class mini cabin and I still hadn’t come to my senses at what I was seeing.

The eight First Class suites are ginormous. They look extremely modern and sleek against the white walls of the cabin. The seats are mostly in a pale shade of grey, accented with dark wood. Around the cabin are pops of blue which paired well with the blue ambient lighting. I was both relaxed and jumping for joy at the same time.

ANA First Class cabin with large TVs and blue ambient lighting.

ANA’s new First Class cabin can only be found on 9 777-300ERs and is laid out in a 1-2-1 layout, taking up rows 1 and 2 at the very front of the cabin.

ANA new First Class cabin layout in 1-2-1 configuration.

Each suite has direct aisle access and takes up a full three windows each, giving you a great view outside. I would recommend solo travellers to pick any of “A” or “K” seats along the window, couples can pick the “D” and “G” seat pairs to be seated together. The middle partition lowers so you’ll be able to have a conversation.

However, I believe picking a middle seat and window seat as a couple works better, then you’ll get the best of both worlds and be able to swap seats whenever one of you wants a view outside.

The only drawback that I can think of is the existence of the overhead cabins above the middle rows. If those were taken out, the cabin would feel even more airy and spacious than it already does.

There are two lavatories designated for First Class passengers. They’re at the very front of the cabin, just behind the cockpit door. The one on your left is larger compared to the one on the right.

Hallway leading to cockpit door with lavatories on both sides.

They were both kept extremely clean throughout the flight. The flight attendants really went above and beyond; they would fold the toilet paper roll after every use. With a partially empty cabin (6/8), there wasn’t ever a wait to use the washroom. In typical Japanese fashion, the toilets had the bidet function which is extra handy in an airplane bathroom.

ANA First Class bathroom bidet control panel.

In addition, you could find more amenities in the bathroom such as a dental kit, mouth wash, hand towels, and some scents.

Lastly, ANA’s First Class lavatories have a super useful step-stool that folds down so you’ll be able to change without having to put your feet on the bathroom floor. Talk about thoughtful!


Moving onto the star of the show, the seat. Upon sitting down, you’re immediately greeted with the sheer size of the in-flight entertainment (IFE) monitor. It’s a bright and crisp 4K display spanning 43 inches. Indeed, this screen is larger than some TVs and almost all desktop displays.

ANA First Class seat 1A TV screen and ottoman.

The seat is a highly customized version of the JAMCO Serenity seat, co-designed by Kengo Kama and Acumen, it’s 34 inches (86cm) wide and converts into an 81 inch (2m) bed. For this flight, I selected seat 1A at the front of the cabin.

Just under the IFE is a large bi-fold wooden table that slides on rails. Just to the right of the table is a large deep storage container, and on the wall next to it is a warm accent light and a dining light.

Under the tray table is a large grey ottoman which can be used for buddy dining. The ottoman has its own seatbelt in case you encounter turbulence with your companion.

To the left of ottoman are more pockets for storage that can be opened by depressing the latch.

The further one is a pure storage container and the one closer to you houses the AC adapter, HDMI and USB-A ports, and headphone jack.

Above the storage containers is your IFE controller, seat adjustment panel, and a master switch that controls all 3 window shades automatically.

ANA First Class left side windows, seat controls, and storage containers.

Onboard new ANA First Class, the window shades have been updated with automatic ones that you can individually control with a button as opposed to the manual window shade that you pull down.

Your seat adjustment panel allows you to position the seat into 3 preset positions:

  • Takeoff and landing (upright)
  • Lounge (0G)
  • Bed (lie-flat)

As the seat transitions from one position to the other, you’re able to stop the seat in any position just by pressing a button.

Below the three preset positions are three additional controls that govern:

  • Seat forwards and backwards
  • Lumbar support
  • Leg rest support

On the very bottom row are 4 light controls for your overheard light, 2 reading lights, and your dining table light.

Just below the IFE controller, you’ll find a dial that also moves the seat between the three preset conditions. You’re able to stop the seat in any position that you find comfortable by releasing the dial.

Directly above you is your reading light and individual air nozzle which is a big plus. I prefer sleeping cold, so being able to dial in my temperature helped the journey feel even more comfortable.

To the seat’s right is an upper and lower literature pocket with the safety card and an air sickness bag. If you press a button below safety card holder, the entire pocket pops out, revealing a mirror.

Popout mirror onboard ANA new first class.

Finally, just ahead of the literature pocket is two closing doors and a mini closet with hanger that can be used to hang jackets and coats. The doors are unlocked after takeoff and can be closed for the utmost privacy.


After I finally took a seat, still star-stuck, the purser came over to introduce herself and offered me a choice of champagne or orange juice. Having flown ANA before and not wanting to use my non-existent alcohol tolerance on ground champagne, I asked kindly if I could have ANA’s signature drink, Aromatic Kabosu instead.

The flight attendant happily obliged and brought me a glass of Kabosu to start the journey.

Kabosu is ANA’s signature drink. It’s quite heavy in citrus, which I am a huge fan of. It kind of tastes like lemonade but with more tang, instead of a rush of pure sweetness. Kabosu is made from kabosu juice (a green citrus fruit, similar to a lime) and honey. Keep in mind that ANA Kabosu isn’t limited to First or business class, you’re able to ask for the drink in economy or premium economy—if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to the next time you find yourself onboard ANA!

ANA signature drink Kabosu in a glass and packet.

Prior to push back, a flight attendant came by with a big basket of ANA amenities ranging from ear plugs to socks, to masks. Despite not having opened the cute Globe Trotter amenity kit, I picked out a few items to add to the stash of goodies that I’ll be bringing home.

Unpacking the Globe Trotter amenity kit, there was an eye mask, ear plugs, dental kit, and three bottles of skin care items from The Ginza.

The Ginza is the high-end premium skincare line of Shiseido, which to my limited knowledge in the space, is already high-end. To be honest, I haven’t used these products yet and I don’t have the expertise to evaluate these products.

The products feel good, the cleansing foam is relatively thin and it cleans your face without leaving it dry at the end. The moisturizers are milk-based which has the added effect of reducing your pore size.

All 3 products have a consistent fragrance between them; however, they were a bit too strong and sweet for my taste. It may suit other travellers better, I do enjoy the fact that they are consistent though.

I have pretty sensitive skin and for using a new product for the first time, I didn’t suffer from any allergies, or redness. I was very happy with that.


Along with the blue and white amenity kit, there was a set of pyjamas in a cloth carrying bag, slippers, and a zip-up cardigan in a plastic bag.

ANA First Class amenities with headphones, amenity kit, pyjamas, slippers, and cardigan.

It’s important to know that you’re encouraged to take the slippers, amenity kit, and pyjamas home; however, the cardigan is not meant to be taken with you.

Moreover, if the pyjamas are too large for you, you’re able to ask the flight attendants for a different size. On this particular flight, both Kelly and I got size L pyjamas which didn’t fit Kelly very well. She was able to ask for a size M and that fit more comfortably. I’m pleased to report that the pyjamas are not only stylish but exceptionally comfortable, they are 100% cotton and I wear them around the house all-the-time.

Also, ANA First Class passengers are given a free Wi-Fi card that’s valid for the entire flight. The Wi-Fi isn’t blazing fast but it kept me connected to my friends and family.

ANA free Wi-Fi card.

Lastly, one of the best features of ANA “The Suite” First Class that make the experience even better than it already is, are the provided noise-cancelling headphones.

The tech enthusiasts amongst you will notice that these are the Sony WH-1000XM3s, one of the best noise-cancelling headphones out there. At the time they were released, it was a toss-up between the legendary Bose QC35s or the Sony M3s.

Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.

There are newer generations now, but that doesn’t make these bad by any means. Compared to what other First Class cabins offer, this attention to detail and amenity really stands above others. It complements the 43 inch crispy 4K IFE perfectly, the display will be much less enjoyable if ANA supplied the typical cheap plastic over ear headphones.

“Dinner” Meal Service

On this flight, there were two meal services, a quick dinner and the pre-arrival meal. Due to the overnight nature of this itinerary, ANA will be serving its reduced meal service, which lacks caviar, Hibiki 21, and a larger menu.

Nevertheless, the dining experience onboard ANA First Class should still be exceptional. At least that’s what I expected. The menu on my flight is as follows:

ANA First Class in-flight menu Oct 2023 in English.
ANA First Class in-flight menu Oct 2023 in Japanese.

Prior to the meal service starting, I moved over to Kelly’s suite in 1K to revel in the beauty of what we’re currently flying on. I remained there to take advantage of the buddy-dining ability offered by the large ottoman.

The post-takeoff meal service happened around 2 hours after takeoff and started with an amuse-bouche of smoked salmon, smoked duck, and cheese.

ANA Amuse Bouche with smoked salmon, seared duck, and cheese/

I wouldn’t say any of the dishes blew me away, but I did enjoy all four amuses as a start. The smoked salmon wasn’t as briny as I thought it would be so it was a pleasant surprise. I quite liked the smoked duck and with pear and the cheese ball with cranberry. While they were novel pairings, I found them to be very pleasant and quite refreshing.

And of course, who doesn’t love cheese and pepper breadsticks?

Then, I worked through the “Light Dishes Anytime” menu with IPPUDO “Pla-ton” ramen, Angus beef cheese hamburger, and a rice bowl with beef fillet steak.

It wouldn’t be an ANA First Class review if it wasn’t for their Hibiki. Even though our flight didn’t carry the coveted Hibiki 21, we did have Hibiki 17 that came in extremely cute bottles. For reference Hibiki 21 costs around $1,600+ (CAD) for a 750mL bottle, whereas our Hibiki 17 costs around $850+ (CAD) for the same 750mL bottle.

Mini bottle of Hibiki 17 Japanese Whiskey

As someone with an alcohol intolerance, the Hibiki tasted like paint thinner to me, that’s not to offend anyone that enjoys whiskey. It just wasn’t for me. I have no doubt aged Hibiki deserves the hype that it gets. The beverage menu is as follows:

Second page of ANA beverage menu showing sake and shochu.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing champagne.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing white wine.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing red wine.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing cocktails, whiskies, spirits, brandy, and beer.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing soft drinks and tea.
Second page of ANA beverage menu showing teas and coffees.

I’ll go back to my Kabosu and Krug Grande Cuvee champagne as my alcohol of choice. I wonder how they’ll taste if mixed together? Does it become a fancy Japanese mimosa?

I’ve had the ramen before and it tasted as good as I remember it. It isn’t going to compare to the ramen shops in Japan, but for an in-flight snack, I found it delicious and cozy.

IPPUDO Pla-ton Ramen.

The burger presentation could’ve used some work, but it tasted much better than it looked. The patty was juicy and I found the kewpie mayo to work well with the BBQ sauce and ketchup.

ANA Angus Beef Cheeseburger

I ended my late night snack (夜宵) with the beef fillet steak donburi, and this dish wasn’t very good. The beef was dry and tough, it was briny, and I didn’t end up finishing it.

ANA Rice Bowl with Beef Fillet Steak

Overall, it was pretty disappointing to be flying in First Class and getting such a reduced meal service. The “dinner” was basically an amuse-bouche + the snack menu. With most of the items not being very noteworthy.

Kelly had the corn soup, and the “Pla-ton” as well, and she thought that both dishes were decent.

I had to try the corn soup after watching a Nonstop Dan video where he raved about how tasty it was. I was intrigued because… just how good can corn soup taste, really? The answer, for me, was just ok! It was definitely pretty good but nothing special, and I wouldn’t get it again. But if you really like corn you would probably enjoy it more. I think Kevin should try this one next time since he’s the corn lover between us. The “Pla-ton” was a bit too salty and one-note, but I can’t complain too much about eating ramen on a plane. It was cozy and comforting. I only wish I’d also had the stomach capacity to order the tofu udon soup because turns out it was only offered on the flight to Haneda. On the way back, it was replaced by a chicken udon soup which I wasn’t interested in trying.



After sampling the items on the menu that caught our fancy, it was time to get some rest. While we were eating, I told the flight attendant that I was planning to sleep after we finished our meal and when I walked back to my suite, it was turned down and made into a cozy bed in the sky.

ANA First Class lie-flat bed with pillow, blanket, and comforter.

I lay down with a feeble attempt at sleeping, I was way too excited about the flight and the upcoming trip and maybe got 30 minutes of shut-eye.

That’s not to detract from the bed, when the seat is converted into a bed, it’s supremely comfortable and it almost feels like sleeping at home. ANA provides a soft mattress pad, blanket, and an additional comforter if you’re prone to get cold.

Pre-Arrival Breakfast Meal Service

After realizing that I was way too restless to fall asleep properly, I looked at the time and decided I either had to sleep or commit to staying up until night falls in Tokyo.

Considering that we would land at 4:30, I was going to have a long day ahead of me, even if I was in Japan.

I decided to get caffeinated and thus turned my attention to the drinks menu. I ordered an Earl Grey tea, illy Espresso, and an illy Cappuccino to try. With the coffees, the flight attendants brought some small chocolate and sweets to pair with.

ANA illy espresso with some sweets.

None of them really stood out to me, but they served their purpose of keeping me awake and caffeinated.

I spent the rest of the time doing some work before the pre-arrival meal service (breakfast) started.

This time, Kelly joined me in 1A. We really loved the buddy dining experience.

Kelly ordered the Japanese Washoku menu, which started with the Kobachi. It consisted of marinated spinach, himeji mushroom, and snow crab meat.

ANA Japanese breakfast set with rice, snow crab, and grilled amberjack.

Then, the Shusai (main) was a grilled amberjack with Saikyo miso. This was paired with the steamed rice, miso soup, and Japanese pickles.

I was really full at this point from the snack menu, but still managed to finish most of the dishes. I was pretty impressed with all of the items! Throughout our trip we’d end up eating this type of traditional Japanese breakfast several times (maybe too many times) but at this point in our journey, it was new and exciting. The amberjack was slightly fishy, but was quite a satisfying chunk of protein. My favourite was the Kobachi. Light, savoury, delicious. Also, I just wanted to point out how beautiful all of the dishes are.


I opted for the Western menu to compare the two. I was served scrambled with porcini mushrooms, bacon, and broccolini. Accompanied with bread and a variety of jams along with yogurt.

ANA Western breakfast set with bacon, scrambled eggs and porcini.

I didn’t hate my breakfast but it just didn’t really suit my tastes. I have a strong dislike for mushrooms and I didn’t realize porcinis were a type of mushroom before it was too late. It would’ve been more enjoyable if the Western menu was a bit more “unhealthy” with your typical bacon, sausage, egg, pancake offerings. While it may not have suited my tastes, I can see other travellers that may enjoy this healthy breakfast offering.

Movies and Shows

I am one of those people who, despite having one of the best IFE displays in commercial aviation, keeps theirs on the moving map or on the onboard cameras the entire time. I loved the fact that the 777-300ERs were fitted with a forward and downward facing camera. It made landing and take-off a spectacular sight.

Large ANA in flight entertainment monitor showing speed and runway at Haneda with the onboard cameras.

Kelly however, did use the IFE for its intended purpose, so the following will be her thoughts.

The English movie and TV menu wasn’t large. It was a mix of well-known blockbusters like the latest Marvel movie and films that I hadn’t heard of before. After browsing the entire selection, I went with the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. It’s a movie I’ve watched a couple times before, but somehow am still not tired of rewatching! To complete the experience, I used the provided Sony noise-cancelling headphones and snuggled up with the ANA cardigan and blanket. I managed to finish the movie with seconds to spare before landing. Hands down the best viewing experience I’ve had on a plane.



The flight attendants on my flight were great, to be honest, I’ve had better on ANA before and that happens to be in business class. If I was to summarize the service on this flight it would be: professional, nice, and efficient. Perfectly reasonable and it may suit certain travellers over others. All of the cabin crew that I interacted with had decent English ability, there was no severe language barrier or inability to communicate in either direction.

I personally prefer flight attendants that are a bit more interactive and humorous. On my ANA business class flight out of YVR, the flight attendants were a lot more personable and chatty. Perhaps it was because this was an overnight departure and they didn’t want to disrupt anyone’s rest but even when cabin lights were on and we were thanked for flying with ANA, it just seemed like they were checking it off the list.

Don’t get me wrong, the flight attendants were very nice. They smiled, and were quick to address any concerns. I just felt like they could’ve been a bit more genuine and happy to be there.


As our introduction to First Class, ANA “The Suite” First Class is an extremely high bar to set. Despite the reduced meal service, I really couldn’t find any reason to complain about anything on the flight. The reduced meal service is still a bit ridiculous to me. An overnight flight in First Class should still serve caviar and at least provide a proper dinner service instead of an amuse bouche + snack menu combo.

While I didn’t love the service onboard, I can see how other passengers prefer this over a chatty crew, especially if they are travelling for work or want to sleep.

The food aside, ANA’s “The Suite” First Class is outstanding, the hard product is one of the best out there. Combine the crisp 4K IFE with quality noise-cancelling headphones, comfortable pyjamas, and a well-stocked amenity kit makes it absolutely top-tier. Sure, The Suite isn’t as glamorous as Emirates or Etihad, but The Suite exudes understated luxury with thoughtful design, which is the best kind of luxury.

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