Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Iggy Itinerary: Lounge Report - ANA Suite Lounge, Tokyo-Narita

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Changing planes at Tokyo-Narita is a true pleasure. Transit security (despite not having priority lanes for business / first class) is quick and efficient, and the airport signage is clear. It took me about 7 minutes to get from the plane to the lounge.

The stopover in Tokyo on Singapore 11 is relatively short. The flight is scheduled to land at Narita at 6:15pm and depart for Singapore at 8:50pm. During that time, Suites passengers are invited to use the ANA Suite Lounge.

There was a "Singapore Girl" cardboard cutout in front of the ANA Suite Lounge (probably only there for our flight and Singapore Airlines 12, which goes from Singapore to LAX through Tokyo).

ANA (All Nippon Airways) operates two ANA Lounges (business class & Star Alliance gold members) and two ANA Suite Lounges (first class) at Narita. Passengers on any Star Alliance-operated flight, including Singapore Airlines Flight 11, can use the appropriate ANA lounge for their ticket.

United also operates a United Club and a Global First Lounge at Narita, but the ANA lounges are a bit nicer and have better food. Because the layover was short, I skipped the United lounges.

The Lounge
When I entered the lounge, I asked the lounge attendant if I could use the shower. With incredible regret, she said: "I am so sorry but the shower is occupied. I will let you know when it is available."

No problem. I walked into the lounge and another attendant asked me what I wanted to drink, then handed me an oshibori (one of those nice warm hand towels).

The Suite Lounge isn't especially large, but it wasn't crowded at all - I think the only passengers in the lounge were Singapore Airlines passengers transiting on to Singapore. (I'm still mystified by who was in the shower). It looks almost exactly like the business-class ANA Lounge - dark and sort of modern.

As you enter, there's a buffet to your right with a few miscellaneous hot options, salads, and drinks.

But before I could eat anything, a lounge attendant approached me:

Her: "The shower is ready. Thank you for waiting."
Me: "Thank you. Is it down this hallway?"
Her: [confused pause] "Thank you for waiting."
Me: [gesturing] "This way?"
Her: [relieved expression] "Yes. Thank you for waiting."

I guess they really hammer that phrase during customer-service training.

 Shower room

Set of Shiseido bath toiletries 

Ahh, refreshing.

Afterward, I went to the noodle bar to get a snack. The normal ANA Lounge also has a noodle bar from which you can order a few options:

It's hard to read, so here's the menu reproduced:

Kitsune Soba / Udon
(Topped with Deep-fried Bean Curd)

Kakiage Soba / Udon
(Topped with Vegetable Tempura)

Sansai Soba / Udon
(Topped with Wild Mountain Vegetables)

Curry Soba / Udon

The Suite Lounge side has a few bonus options that aren't available on the business-class side:

 Tomato Flavored Bean and Vegetable Curry

Lotus Root Burdock Curry

Corn Soup


Bacon Cheeseburger

Margherita with Prosciutto

Crab and Tomato Cream Pasta

Beef Bowl (Nikudon)

Abe Chicken Bowl (I don't know what this is either).

I ended up ordering the curry udon, which was a relatively small portion. The broth was much more watery than I had anticipated.

Given that I was full from the lobster on the previous flight, this was a good snack to tide me over. After eating, I had about a half hour of e-mail / Reddit before it was time to board.

The ANA Suite Lounge is a great place to spend a couple of hours - it's quiet, the internet is fast, and the food selection is fine. But if I were originating in Tokyo, I wouldn't get to the airport early just to use the lounge.

The Iggy Itinerary
1. Introduction
2. Booking

Outbound (LAX-NRT-SIN-PVG)
3. Lounge Report - Star Alliance First Class / Business Class Lounge, LAX
4. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Los Angeles > Tokyo-Narita (A380-800)
5. Lounge Report - ANA Suite Lounge, Tokyo-Narita
6. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Tokyo-Narita > Singapore (A380-800)
7. Lounge Report - The Private Room, Singapore
8. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Singapore > Shanghai-Pudong (A380-800)

9. Lounge Report - Air China Business Class Lounge, Shanghai-Pudong
10. Asiana Business Class, Shanghai-Pudong > Seoul-Incheon (767-300)
11. Lounge Report - Asiana First Class Lounge, Seoul-Incheon
12. Lufthansa First Class, Seoul-Incheon > Frankfurt (747-8i)
13. Review: Hyatt Regency Mainz
14. Lounge Report - Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt
15. Lufthansa First Class, Frankfurt > Vancouver (747-400)
16. Lounge Report - Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Vancouver
17. Air Canada rouge - Premium rouge Class, Vancouver > San Francisco (A319)

1 comment:

  1. Wait, when you use this public shower was it wet from the prior customer or is it cleaned and dried? Looks like a nice lounge! Not mind blowing though. Singapore get your own!