Flight Review: NH834/NH6 – Ho Chi Minh City – Tokyo Narita – Los Angeles – ANA Business Class (The Room)

Middle Seat Sweetness Rating

[usr 3.5]

ANA’s very early morning flight out of Ho Chi Minh City was one of the airport’s first flight for the day hence the deserted terminal when I arrived that morning. The ground staff were still setting up the check-in desks but there were already several people waiting for the desks to open.


Counters opened exactly 3 hours before departure at 0400 and after a group bow by the ground team as is customary in Japan (and most of Asia), they went jumped straight into action. Check-in was efficient but very thorough, every document was carefully inspected by the ground agent who was very bubbly.

I was done in less than 10 minutes and was on way through immigration and security before I headed to the Le Saigonnais Lounge.

After a few cup of coffees, I was ready to roam around the airport terminal before heading to the boarding gate, in anticipation of getting on my first ANA flight. The first leg NH834 from Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo Narita was operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and had the staggered business seats.

A cabin crew came to introduce herself, offered me a drink and presented me with the dining menu.

After take off, I enjoyed a glass of airline’s citrus drink together with some rice crackers.

Before too long, breakfast was served and I chose the Japanese Washoku meal which was very tasty.

After breakfast, I managed to catch up on some sleep. The bed and bedding were very comfortable for this short(ish) flight of nearly 6 hours. I even managed to request for a bowl of Udon noodles just in time before the plane started its descent into Tokyo.

When the aircraft reached the designated gate, all passengers were asked to remain seated whilst the authorities decide on who to allow to deplane first. It was several minutes after that first announcement when we were told that passengers entering Japan were allowed to deplane. The rest of us (or the majority) of us had to remain seated until the 10 or so passengers were let out first. As Japan is not open yet and quarantine was still in place, Narita Airport looked very different.

After clearing transit security, I went to the ANA Business Class Lounge to take a shower and grab a bite to eat.

Before too long, it was time to board NH6 to Los Angeles which featured ANA’s newest business class product, The Room, which some argue is the world’s best business class seat. I beg to differ but in my humble opinion, that title should remain with Qatar’s QSuite. Whilst ANA does offer a larger amount of prime real estate in the sky, the seat itself is far from comfortable due to its awkward height and lack of seat padding.

Boarding was very efficient as would be expected in a Japanese airport. I was warmly greeted at the door of the Boeing 777 before shown to my seat and offered a welcome drink.

Credit where it is due, the huge inflight TV monitor offers crystal clear resolution and is very responsive. Inflight WiFi is also fast and reliable, albeit at a cost to all passengers.

The dining menu was decent but not spectacular. However, service was way too slow. It took over 3 hours for the entire service to be completed which is too long and does eat into my precious sleeping time!

After catching up on my needed sleep, I had to try out their Ippudo noodles!

Breakfast was served about 2 hours prior to our arrival into LAX. This too was a little too slow for my liking because the coffee came half hour before the food was ready to be served.

We landed in Los Angeles just before noon and I was one of the first to deplane and clear customs. It pays to walk fast! I have never seen LAX this quiet. Overall, it was a very good flight experience but I would not go out of my way to fly The Room again any time soon.

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Andrew is a self-confessed guru when it comes to frequent flyer programmes. He claims that he is more familiar of the terms & conditions than the one who came up with the terms & conditions. His dream is to be able to feast on cookies day and night without getting fat.