ANA Suite Lounge
HND – Tokyo Haneda
During check-in I was informed that there are two similar ANA Suite (First Class) Lounges and that I should use the one at gate 110 since this was the one that my flight was departing from.
After having my boarding pass checked at the reception by the door I was directed to make my way down a hallway and into a further greeting area within the lounge. It was here that I was greeted and told that I would have “no privacy and no seats”, if I opted to head left to the room with the runway views. I was instead guided to take a seat in a rather bleak room with a low ceiling and countless old fashioned black leather chairs.
Nothing about this experience was First Class so far. Especially when compared to ANA’s arch rival JAL, who have an absolutely superb First Class lounge just a few metres away.
After drinking my coffee I headed over to the buffet section at the back of the room, every single counter seat and was taken and the buffet itself was overrun with people piling up their plates. It was rather like being on safari, waiting in the wings to line up my perfect shots as the stampede made its way past me.
The drinks selection was decidedly bottom shelf: where JAL has Hibiki and Yamazaki whiskies, ANA serves the Chita. BA manages to serve both Ciroc and Grey Goose vodkas in their First Class lounge in Heathrow, which puts this offering of Smirnoff firmly into context.
The other side of the lounge, facing the tarmac, had an almost identical buffet. Since half the items were out of stock in the main buffet area, I snapped a pic of the remaining items on the other side.
I waited for half an hour in the bleak room, watching as even more people piled in. Thing were getting bad. I was slightly anxious that any minute now an elderly Japanese businessman was going to matter of factly come over to me, stating the words “double seat policy” before proceeding to methodically sit on me.
Then all of a sudden something incredible happened. People started vacating their seats.
I took my chance and quickly rushed to the room with the views:
I took an empty seat and was promptly offered another hot towel and drink.
After a rather lacklustre experience at the ANA Suite lounge in Narita a few years back I didn’t exactly have high hopes for this lounge.
I set the bar low and this facility under delivered with aplomb.
The lounge is a seething mass of people. The food offering is below the standard you’d expect of a 3 star hotel, the drinks selection appears to have been lifted from a student flat and the furniture looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1986.
Friendly service and hot towels though… so that’s something.