As I was traveling over the week of Thanksgiving and wanted to spend Thanksgiving itself with my family in Seattle, I needed to fly from Hong Kong to Seattle. This gave me a good excuse to route through Tokyo Narita to fly ANA’s 787 between NRT and SEA, as my only other time aboard a 787 was a very short hop between Doha and Dubai on Qatar in business class (sold as first class).
My first segment from HKG to NRT was originally supposed to be on United, but they decided to cancel that route shortly before I was supposed to fly it. Of course, they didn’t notify me of this cancellation, so I had to call in to be rebooked on an ANA flight.
The ANA flight was operated by a 767-300, and I had recently flown this plane in business class between NRT and PEK. I was seated in the smaller forward cabin of economy class, and the first thing I noticed was the ample leg room. Because the seats have a hardshell that don’t recline (you recline by having your seat cushion move forward rather than your seat back move back), they have quite a bit of leg room when the seat isn’t reclined.
Each economy seat also has a personal screen for in-flight entertainment, and the options were identical between economy class and business class. The selection isn’t super extensive, but it’s perfectly adequate for a flight of this length (about 3.5 hours).
They served a meal and had a Japanese and a western choice, and I went with the Japanese meal, which was some sort of beef dish with rice. The food was okay, not great, but I admired the number of different things on the tray.
The service was very attentive, and I honestly felt that this flight in regional economy was better than most domestic first class trips I take in the US. You might not have as much personal space, but the service is superior, they feed you on a relatively short flight, and there’s personal IFE on demand. But mostly, it’s just that the flight attendants make you feel welcome and that they enjoy being there, which can be very hit-or-miss with some domestic crews.