ANA First Class Lounge
On our recent to Melbourne, Australia, we were lucky to visit the ANA first class lounge at Haneda airport on two separate occasion. The first visit was during the morning (approximately 06:30) and second visit during the evening (2000-2300). It was interesting visiting the lounge at this different time points as the lounge had very different feels. Our visit to the ANA first class lounge during the early hours was very peaceful, while the evening was very busy. I’ll break down this review into the two different time points and overall impressions of our visits.
Early morning visit
We arrived to the ANA first class lounge at Haneda Airport shortly after it opened. The lounge was basically empty leaving us with our choice of seating. The lounge is broken down into three distinct areas, an open seating area near a buffet, a more secluded seating area with views of the airport, and the sit down dining area. Our favorite area were the more secluded chairs which had views of the airport runway. While the lounge was essentially empty, they also didn’t have food out and you the restaurant wasn’t open. The lounge includes showers, private areas to make phone calls, and computers for use. At this hour the restaurant had not yet opened nor had food been put out in the buffet. About an hour after we arrived food was out, but the pickings were pretty slim. Thankfully, self serve coffee machines were out to satisfy our caffeine cravings.
Late evening visit
On our return flight home, we were able to stop at the ANA first class lounge at Haneda again, but this time we arrived at approximately 2000 hours. After checking into the lounge we asked about showers and told there was a line. The staff gave us a buzzer to indicate when the shower was open for our use. The lounge itself was packed, the secluded seating area was full, thankfully we were able to find seats in the open lounge area. We had to wait about an hour for the showers to open, while we did have to wait awhile the showers were very nice and clean ( I saw one of their staff members cleaning the showers and they clean very thoroughly).
After our shower we stopped into the restaurant area to grab a bite before our flight took off. Unfortunately, two of the dishes were not available leaving us with limited options to eat (one of the dishes had subtext that limited to x amount of dishes per day). This left us wondering why even include that food option on your menu if it’s limited and only very few people can order it? The buffet was similar, after a certain hour the ANA lounge staff stopped refilling certain food items (i.e. there was a cookie we liked and after we ate the last one they didn’t bring anymore out).
The other thing worth noting about the lounge in the evening is that it is PACKED (oh did I already mention that?). We later found out that most of the patrons in the first class lounge weren’t actually flying first class, but had status allowing them entry. When the lounge is that full it takes away from the first class experience (it also makes sense why the ANA staff limit food). Thinking back to my other lounge experiences Singapore Airlines Private Room or even United’s Polaris lounge only allows access to passengers flying first (or business in United’s case). It creates a very special atmosphere when you have the lounge mostly to yourself and you feel like a VIP.
In conclusion, the ANA first class lounge is extremely nice and definitely one of the best lounges we’ve visited. However, with the lounge often being full it takes away from the overall experience and left a sour taste about ANA. Thankfully my faith in ANA was restored when we fly their first class product from Haneda to Los Angeles.