Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. This is the latest iteration of Boeing's Dreamliner and ANA has nine in its fleet.
Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda).
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
ANA Mileage Club. Passengers can also earn points towards other Star Alliance membership programs.
Premium economy, window seat 15K.
Nine hours, 35 minutes.
This daily non-stop service started in December 2015.
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).
Two checked bags up to 23 kilograms each, plus one carry-on bag up to 10 kilograms and one personal item.
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.
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.
As you'd expect from a Japanese carrier, service is delightful – attentive, polite and ever-smiling.
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.
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.