While Japan Airlines might be the more well known flag carrier, All Nippon Airways (more commonly known as ANA), is actually the largest carrier in Japan by total fleet size.
ANA has a sterling reputation as only one of a handful of airlines worldwide with a Skytrax five-star rating. Expect top-notch service and an elevated onboard experience—and of course, you can expect the best of the best when you fly ANA first class.
But the airline’s first class cabins are not all configured in the same way. Here’s everything you need to know about flying ANA first class, including how to find out if you’re on the latest (and greatest) product.
What to know about ANA first class
While ANA has a fleet of over 200 aircraft, only a select number are configured with a first-class cabin.
If you’re flying internationally with ANA, the easiest way to tell if first class is available is by identifying the type of plane you’re flying. On a route with a Boeing 787? Sorry, that plane will only have a business and economy cabin.
ANA first class is found on two types of aircraft only: The Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A380.
Here’s a little secret: You may want to pay attention closer in order to fly onboard the newest and most luxurious ANA first-class product, simply called “The Suite.”
Currently, “The Suite” is found on a select number of Boeing 777-300ERs. While ANA introduced this new first-class suite with doors back in 2019, the airline is still in the process of updating its planes. (More on how to tell if you’re on a plane with “The Suite” later).
But ANA’s first class, regardless of which type of plane you’re flying on, will be a luxurious and, dare I say, decadent experience.
As someone who’s flown ANA’s new first class suite as recently as April 2022, I can tell you that it’s a flight worth splurging for. It’s a significantly elevated product over business class, both in terms of the seat and hardware, as well as the service and catering.
Best routes for ANA first class
While the pandemic and its subsequent effects have upended the predictability of routes, we can still gauge the likelihood ANA will fly aircraft with first class between certain destination pairs.
In the U.S., you typically can expect first class between Tokyo (HND/NRT) and:
- New York (JFK)
- Chicago (ORD)
- San Francisco (SFO)
Historically, Washington-Dulles (IAD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), and Honolulu (HNL) offered ANA first class, but as of this article’s publication, these routes are currently being flown by Boeing 787s with only business and economy.
However, the newest cabins with “The Suite” are likely only to be found on the New York (JFK) route.
Internationally, you can expect ANA to fly planes equipped with first class between Tokyo (HND/NRT), London Heathrow (LHR), and Frankfurt (FRA).
Examples of flight deals we've found on ANA for Going members
- Osaka for $1,228 roundtrip in premium economy
- Seoul for $2,830 roundtrip in business class
- Tokyo for $2,719 roundtrip in business class
The ANA first class experience at the airport
Lounge access with ANA first class
ANA has a dedicated first-class lounge experience in Tokyo at both Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND) airports, as well as Osaka (KIX) and Honolulu (HNL).
Dubbed The Suite Lounge, expect a premium pre-flight enclave with personalized service, shower suites, work stations, the airline’s famous noodle bar, and other buffet options. Unfortunately, sit-down a la carte dining isn’t available. So while the overall lounge is premium in feel, it isn’t quite at the level of some other airlines’s first class lounges.
At other outstation airports, ANA uses Star Alliance or partner airline lounges. For instance, at JFK, I accessed British Airways’ first class lounge as a first-class passenger with ANA.
ANA first class check-in
ANA has dedicated first-class check-in counters at every airport it serves, with a special ANA Suite check-in at Tokyo Narita (NRT).
ANA first class baggage allowance
Passengers flying on ANA first class can check up to three bags, each with a weight allotment of up to 70 pounds.
The ANA first class experience in the air
ANA first class seats
- Boeing 777-300ER (new version): As the newest first-class product, “The Suite” features seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration with sliding doors at each of the eight seats. The overall cabin is outfitted in a sleek black and gray color scheme. To determine whether you are in a new suite, take a look at the business class cabin. If the business class cabin goes to row 20, then you’re on a plane with the new first class suites; otherwise it’s the old first class.
- Boeing 777-300ER (old version): ANA’s legacy first-class seat is still solid, although not quite as modern as “The Suite.” The eight-seat cabin is also arranged in a 1-2-1 format, with aisle access from every seat. However, there are no doors and the seat shell resembles more of a cubical box shape that slightly obstructs the window view.
- Airbus A380: The Airbus A380 exclusively flies between Honolulu (HNL) and Japan, and offers a first-class cabin similar to the new suite on the Boeing 777. First class is located upstairs in the front of the aircraft, and the eight seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Benefits of flying first class on on ANA
Regardless of the ANA first class cabin, expect incredibly personalized service from the Japanese crew, a well-stocked amenity kit, pajamas and slippers, and a decent selection of onboard entertainment. First-class passengers also get a voucher for free Wi-Fi onboard.
If you’re flying on ANA’s new suite product on the 777-300ER or Airbus A380, expect privacy-enhancing doors as well as a massive, 43-inch in-flight entertainment screen (32-inch on the A380).
In addition, the newest first-class cabin on the 777-300ER features air vents so that passengers can control the air flow, particularly helpful with Asian carriers that tend to keep the temperature on the higher side.
ANA first class meals
There are first-class meals…and then there are first-class meals onboard Japanese airlines, like ANA. All meals are dine-on-demand with the ability to mix and match between the two different menus.
Passengers can select between a western cuisine menu and a Japanese set menu, the latter typically heavy on the seafood. If you enjoy Japanese cuisine and you’ve never had a Japanese set meal at 35,000 feet, you’ll be in for a treat.
A test of any good first class is the caviar course, and ANA does not disappoint in this regard, either.
ANA offers some incredibly expensive and high-end drinks onboard, with Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne or Billecart Salmon on offer.
Once in the air, there are a multitude of wine and sake options, in addition to recognizable spirits such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Suntory Whisky Hibiki. There are also a variety of nonalcoholic options, including a selection of Japanese teas, coffees, juices, and soft drinks.
ANA first class vs business class
With ANA, you can expect a much more personalized experience in first class versus business class, with only up to eight passengers in the cabin and two dedicated crew members. Expect more space at your seat as well as elevated food and beverages on offer.
How to book ANA first class
How much does it cost for a first class ticket on ANA?
The price of a ANA first class ticket varies based on a number of factors including seasonality, route, and more, but don’t expect a super-affordable fare. A sample search of a roundtrip flight between New York (JFK) and Tokyo (NRT) in first class showed flights in the $15,000 to $25,000 range.
How to upgrade to first class of ANA for free
Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure-fire way to get an upgrade to ANA first class for free. However, if you do have a business-class ticket booked, there is a slight chance that ANA may overbook your flight and you could then get “bumped” into first class. This is called an “operational upgrade” but the odds of this occurring is low.
How much does it cost to upgrade to first class on ANA?
ANA may sometimes offer a way to upgrade to first class at a discounted rate in the days and weeks leading up to departure. The price can vary significantly but take a look at your booking online. And when you’re checking in at the airport, it never hurts to ask at the counter how much an upgrade may cost.
How many miles to upgrade to ANA first class?
ANA uses a fixed award chart to determine how many miles it will require for an upgrade. For instance, it costs 45,000 miles to upgrade from business to first class between New York (JFK) and Tokyo (NRT).
However, this is subject to availability constraints. To determine how many miles an upgrade costs, click here.
While ANA first class has always excelled, it’s now even better in the new “Suite” configuration with a modern and sleek cabin, closing privacy doors, and a massive 42-inch monitor.
But beyond the bells and whistles, it’s the well-intentioned and personalized service that make an ANA first class flight. The excellent catering, Japanese meals, and beverage selection certainly don’t hurt either.