The other day, I received an email from All Nippon Airways (ANA) that reported the aircraft had been changed for a trip we’re taking in November. T and I had splurged our points and miles on business class seats and I clicked on the email with some annoyance, not knowing what hunk of junk they replaced our Boeing 767 with. To make matters worse, I noticed immediately that T and I would be in separate rows. And then I realized the reason ANA couldn’t put us in the same row — there was only one seat next to the window and only four across the plane!
Previously, our 767 seats, ANA Business Cradle seating, would have looked something like this:
Which would have been pretty decent, right? But, now, our seats will look like this:
It turns out, as PBN reported last year, on flights between Honolulu and Tokyo, ANA has started to swap out their 767s with 787 Dreamliners (specifically, the B787-900 (789) V1 International). Normally, I don’t really much care about the seats on a plane — it’s only the means to an end. But in this case, lay-flats on an international Hawaii flight? We’ll take it! Note the huge table and control panel (and footwell of the person behind you) that take the place of what would have been your neighbor’s seat.
Even Premium Economy and Economy look fairly nice, with plenty of legroom and footrests:
Now, why is this good for you? Because Hawaii routes have tended to be the dumping grounds for older, less appointed aircraft. And as seats improve on one airline, we’ll see improvements on their competitors. We’ve already seen Hawaiian Airlines introduce lie-flat seating on their A330 aircraft from last year. And ANA has also announced flying huge, double-decker Airbus A380 aircraft, between Honolulu and Tokyo, beginning in 2019.
And I saved the best part for last. ANA has award seats available for round trip non-stop economy flights, HNL-TYO, from 35,000 miles (off-peak), 40,000 (peak)! Meanwhile, business class seats are 60,000 (off-peak) and 65,000 (peak). Contrast that with Hawaiian Airlines, which is 80,000 round trip Coach SuperSaver and 130,000 in First Class/Business Saver (which might as well be eleventy billion). Business class seats on ANA for less than economy seats on Hawaiian?! It’s not a hard decision to make. Yosh!