My last trip to the United States was in July 2021 and stayed there for almost two months. The Covid-19 Pandemic was still on its highest peak in terms of casualties but it was a fulfilling trip.
My last trip abroad before the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown was my participation in the Kota Kinabalu 105K Ultramarathon Race and our plane back to the Philippines was the last plane out of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and one of the few flights that I arrived when the Lockdown was implemented last March 2020.
My trip in the US in July 2021 has a lot of travel requirements but after almost two years, traveling abroad is back to normal. Of course, I am fully vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines and boosted with Pfizer in the US and in the Philippines and had never been infected with the said disease.
With my trip in 2021, I took the Philippine Air Lines as my carrier as it was not allowed yet for transit passengers in other countries, thus, every passenger going abroad should take a direct flight and there was no other choice than to take the PAL flight. The fare was very expensive and there was no other way or choice. And on my arrival back to the Philippines, I have to take a 10-day Quarantine stay in an Authorized Hotel which added more expenses in my trip.
At present, the fare is a bit lower in ANA and the travel requirements like Covid-19 test before Departure; Covid-19 Travel Insurance; Vaccine Card; and restriction on Transit Flights are all gone! There is a semblance that the pre-Covid-19 days are back and the economy is slowly peaking up.
ANA, a Japanese carrier, was recommended to me from a friend who had his experience flying in it few months ago. The story is very inspiring and I grabbed the opportunity to experience flying with the said carrier. I am glad I did it. My experience with my flight with ANA to Los Angeles, California was great! The inflight movies are A-okey and I was able to watch 2 movies for the whole flight. The meals and snacks are very nice and filling to my stomach. Their wine and fruit juices were soothing. And I did not know that there was a Free WiFi onboard! Hahaha! My best experience is having a Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream served after a Meal!
What I hate most in my International Flights is to see the Inflight Toilets to be scattered with used tissue papers or toilet papers on the floor. Whether it is a Korea Air or PAL flight, there are always passengers who just throw their used toilet papers on the floor or stuck on the lid/cover of the trash bin near the faucet/sink area. I really don’t understand why passengers could not dispose their trash or waste into the bins properly. However, in all the ANA toilets that I have used during the duration of my flight to Japan and then to the USA, the toilets are very, very clean! This is my first time to see a clean toilet every time I use them during a flight. Great! What a big change from the other international flights that I have experienced.
When I asked for a cup of hot coffee at the back of the plane while I was stretching from the stewardess, she immediately offered me one by grabbing the coffee pot from the array and rows of cabinets and put some in a paper cup and asked if I need sugar and cream with it. I said, I want my coffee black and she was smiling as she handed me the hot coffee! Wow! In most of my past flights, if I ask for coffee when I am standing near their serving starvation, stewardess would simply instruct me to get my coffee and cup from the rack and serve by myself. ANA and the Japanese stewardess are simply amazing and very helpful.
After passing through the Immigration (another post will be written about this), I was surprised again that two of their Flight Stewardess are in the Baggage Pick-up Carousel attending to all the passengers getting their Baggage, making sure 100% that are are getting your right baggage! Wow!
By the way, in the Check-In Counter at the Manila International Airport, the processing was very quick and fast! And the counter staff did not even ask for my carry-on luggage to be weighted on the weighing scale! I asked and requested for an aisle seat and I was given which was almost very near to the Business Class area. Sweet!
And here is the thing that some Filipino passengers with connecting flights to the US would complain about. ANA would strictly enforce and advise that passengers going or disembarking in Tokyo, Japan would leave the plane first before everybody else. I really don’t complain about this. If this is their policy, so be it. They give first priority to passengers going to Japan!
As for the boarding process and protocol on ANA flight, I have observed that boarding passengers are grouped from Group 1 to Group 5 and ones designation is printed and shown on the Passenger’s Boarding Pass. I am from Group 5 and our group was seated at the back most portion of the Boarding Area. I think Group 1 are for the First Class Passengers and Group 2 are for the Business Class Passengers. I came to realize why I was at Group 5 when I was seated already in my assigned seat. I think Group 3 passengers are for those who are seated at the Window Seats; Group 4 are for those who are seated at the Middle Seats; and Group 5 are for those seated at the Aisle Seats. Group 3,4,5 are in the Economy Class! See? It makes sense! The Japanese people are really organized and disciplined people. Their is no stress and chaos in boarding and settling yourself inside the plane. This is my first time to experience such kind of boarding in a plane since the time I started traveling by air.
I always travel in style and properly well dressed. As a Senior Citizen, I don’t want to be “profiled” as a “working class”. I want the other passengers to know that I am a constant traveler and from the TSA and Immigration personnel that I am a professional and decent traveler.
Traveling with an ANA Flight for the first time was a very memorable experience. I highly recommend this Japanese Carrier to everybody. You will not regret it! Thanks for reading! Bye for now!