In 2019 I was fortunate to enjoy five first class flights (non US domestic).  Two flights were on Asiana A380s.  Two were on ANA 777-300s.  One flight was on a China Southern 777-300.  All of them were fantastic experiences making it tough to pick the best.

In the post published last night, I incorrectly identified the ANA flight as being on an A380.  LOL (if that is still in fashion).  That was a boneheaded error.  The flights were on 777-300s as my posts in 2019 stated.  As part of a deal involving bankrupt Skymark Airlines, ANA has two A380s in service and one more to be delivered.  All for use on its Tokyo/Honolulu route.

Skytrax rated ANA and Asiana among the 11 airlines it found worthy of a top 5-star rating in 2019.  China Southern received four stars.  I would not argue with those ratings.  I found the ANA flight from Tokyo, Japan (HND) to Chicago, IL (ORD) was the most enjoyable based on airport experience, seat comfort, food, beverages and inflight service.

I wish I could say I was able to pay for those flights with money.  In fact all of those flights were booked with airline miles or credit card points.  The ANA flights were perhaps the best deal in travel.  Amazingly for the roundtrip ANA charges only  120,000 ANA miles which were  acquired by transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards!!!  Most flights in international first class require at least double that amount.

Unlike many blogs, I don’t sell credit cards, so no Amex link here.  However the American Express Platinum card often has 100,000 point sign-up bonuses.

The trip began in the fabulous ANA First Class Lounge at Haneda Airport.

20190908_190131 (4)
The ANA lounge offers private seating pods with armchairs, ottomans, TVs, headphones and wait service.

Check out the full review for this lounge.  It was a good tease for what was to come.

The first-class seat is huge.  The chair is ultra comfortable upright, reclined or as a bed.  Feet can rest on a wide ottoman.  While the seat lacks a door, it is big enough to merit the term suite.

20190923_151120 (1)

20190923_150900 (4)
Seats do not require feet to fit into a tiny cubby hole under the console of the seat in front as in nearly all seats in business class.


As far as seat size and comfort, the difference between first class and business is almost as great as the difference between economy and business.

20190923_150736 (2)
ANA A380 seat in the small business class cabin right behind first class.

ANA supplies a well-stocked amenity kit, sweater, pajamas, slippers, excellent noise-cancelling headphones, pajamas, etc.  Flight attendants personally distribute the amenities below including unlimited free wifi codes.


The seat becomes a cozy bed when reclined flat and the attendants add a mattress pad and bedding.

20190923_221758 (1)20190329_200123

I have come to realize that pajamas make sleeping easier and keep clothes fresh too.  Each seat has a closet for clothes and shoes.

20190923_221453 (1)20190923_214524

Few airlines match ANA meals and service.  I did my best to make sure the supply of Krug Champagne was not wasted.  They dispose of all opened but unfinished bottles.

20190404_01081120190408_141141 (1)

First Meal

All meals are multicourse affairs.  I selected Japanese cuisine for the first and most elaborate service.

20190404_01091820190408_130031 (1)20190923_221137 (2)20190923_221339 (1)20190408_142756 (3)

Mid-flight meal.

20190408_173338 (1)20190408_17440520190923_221236 (1)


20190408_053704 (1)20190408_05371320190926_030350 (1)

For menus of food and beverages see the full review of this flight is here.  A complete review of the Outstanding flight from ORD to HND is here.  I chose the flight from Japan because of the excellent Japanese catering out of HND.


Do you think ANA round trip first class for 120,000 miles is one amazing deal?  Please let me know if there are ones to match or beat it.