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ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS B777-300ER Economy class London-Tokyo Haneda


ANA RECENTLY DEBUTED its redesigned Boeing 777, which features new first class and business class seats, as well as a refreshed economy cabin. By Molly Dyson


CHECK-IN I entered my details online ahead of my flight, which meant I was automatically checked in 24 hours before departure. When I got to Heathrow airport, I was able to use the self-service machine to tag my bag, then dropped it at the counter and swiftly made my way through security. BOARDING Once the gate was called, I made it there in ten minutes. Despite a half-hour boarding window before take-off, my flight was ready to go quickly. The cabin’s overhead stowage bins were roomy, so there wasn’t much time wasted with people searching for a spot to put their hand luggage. THE SEAT The Boeing 777’s economy seat is one of the roomiest I’ve sat in. I am 5’8” tall and I never felt cramped during the 11-hour flight, even when the person in front of me reclined. The new adjustable headrest and a footrest made the experience more comfortable. Each economy seat has a USB input, power point and touch-screen monitor. BEST SEATS Rows 39-42 at the back have only two seats in the row – A and C or H and K – so if you are seated by the window you only have to bother one person


to get out. I sat in 32B on the return flight and found it more uncomfortable than 41D, which I had outbound, but only by merit of losing both armrests to the passengers on either side of me. THE FLIGHT The attendants were friendly and all spoke both Japanese and English. In-flight entertainment in the form of the latest blockbusters kept me busy when I wasn’t sleeping – something I found rather easy to do despite the B777 being a noisier plane. I ordered a gluten- free meal ahead of departure, which was decent for plane food. ARRIVAL After landing on time, I was met by the sight of a large, winding queue for immigration thanks to my arrival just days ahead of the England v France Rugby World Cup match (subsequently cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis). However, the Japanese are perhaps better at orderly queuing than the British and I managed to get through in less than an hour and picked up my bag soon after. VERDICT As someone who normally flies in economy, I can say ANA provided one of the better experiences I’ve had, which made the flight enjoyable. FLIGHT TIME 11 hours 35 minutes.


Turkish Airlines has relocated to the new Istanbul Airport


TURKISH AIRLINES BUSINESS LOUNGE


Istanbul Airport


TURKISH AIRLINES has relocated its base from Ataturk to the €10 billion Istanbul Airport, which was completed in April. Its new hub has three of five planned lounges open – Business, Miles&Smiles and Domestic – all of which are available to Turkish Airlines passengers flying business class. By Justyn Barnes


FIRST IMPRESSIONS Arriving at 11.30am, I headed for the Business lounge, which is accessed via an escalator, and then had my boarding pass scanned at the entry gates at the top. Turn left for lounge concierge


ANA Boeing 777 economy class buyingbusinesstravel.com


services or to deposit hand luggage in stylish, translucent- yellow glass lockers. Turn right past the grand piano and follow the wood-panelled “ribbon walls” that flow through the lounge and gently guide you into different areas. High ceilings and an open view of the concourse below on one side of the lounge serve to create a light, spacious feel. If you prefer a more intimate atmosphere, venture airside, where there are spaces with lower ceilings, dark wood bookcases and muted lighting. FOOD AND DRINK A nice feature of this lounge is a choice of open kitchens and food counters, with chefs cooking Turkish and international dishes. I plumped for beef kofte from the hotplate, cheese and garlic Turkish flatbreads, combined with Turkish salad dishes from the salad bar. Wine is available from self-service trolleys. The coffee served up by a barista at one of the coffee bars


was good, too. If only I’d had time for dessert… FACILITIES The Business lounge and Miles&Smiles lounge (also open to frequent flyers) each seat up to 765 people. There are two more sleeping suites in the Business lounge (13 versus 11) available to travellers flying long haul and on four to seven- hour layovers. I also enjoyed the art exhibition


in its exclusive museum room, run in partnership with Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. There is a children’s area that


features a replica plane fuselage. Meanwhile, big kids like me can challenge fellow travellers to a race on the Scalextric track or take advantage of the console gaming area. And if your shoulders feel a bit tight after honing your swing in the golf simulator, hail one of the roaming massage therapists for an on-the-spot massage. There is also a prayer room,


plus a conference room available for booking. VERDICT This is a huge, luxurious lounge, with excellent amenities and a variety of seating areas to suit your mood. Check in early to sample as many of the culinary delights on offer as possible.


2019 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 105


FLIGHT


AIRPORT LOUNGE


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