Airline review: ANA premium economy, Sydney to Tokyo

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLANE

Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. This is the latest iteration of Boeing's Dreamliner and ANA has nine in its fleet.

THE ROUTE

Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda).

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

ANA Mileage Club. Passengers can also earn points towards other Star Alliance membership programs.

CLASS

Premium economy, window seat 15K.

DURATION

Nine hours, 35 minutes.

FREQUENCY 

This daily non-stop service started in December 2015.

SEAT

There are only 21 seats in the premium economy cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration. Each seat features a power point, a USB connection and an iPod connector. Seat pitch: 38 inches (96.5 centimetres). Seat width: 19.3 inches (49 centimetres). 

BAGGAGE

Two checked bags up to 23 kilograms each, plus one carry-on bag up to 10 kilograms and one personal item. 

COMFORT

The Dreamliner's quieter cabin, larger windows and more humid environment make for a much more pleasant flying experience. Premium economy seats are 17 per cent larger than economy ones, with a leg rest and adjustable footrest, all of which makes sleep an easier proposition on this overnight flight. Complimentary slippers are a nice touch.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Entertainment is delivered via a responsive 11-inch (28-centimetre) touch-sensitive screen paired with noise-cancelling Sony headphones. There are 351 program in total but many are in Japanese. Of the 32 Western movies classified as new releases only a handful genuinely are, but there are also three live news and sport TV channels plus a reasonable selection of documentaries and music channels. Wi-Fi packages can be bought starting at $US6.95 ($9.50) for 30 minutes.

SERVICE

As you'd expect from a Japanese carrier, service is delightful – attentive, polite and ever-smiling.

FOOD

The food served in premium economy is the same as economy, which for dinner means a choice of a Japanese or a Western dish, helpfully illustrated via a laminated picture menu. I opt for the "Old fashioned salmon bento style", which consists of a tasty smoked salmon and potato salad starter followed by poached salmon with rice and fruit for dessert. By comparison, breakfast is a little underwhelming – chips, a cookie and a pastry served two hours before landing. Premium economy passengers get an upgraded wine selection and can order soup or noodles during the flight.

ONE MORE THING

ANA flies into Haneda Airport which is closer to the city than Narita and is served by an efficient monorail service that leaves from within the terminal.

THE VERDICT

A welcome addition to the direct flight options between Sydney and Tokyo. 

Tested by Rob McFarland, who was upgraded to premium economy courtesy of ANA.

See also: 20 things that will shock first time visitors to Japan

See also: The premium economy flight that's a game-changer