Adventure Begins with an A…ANA

Welcome drink on board

What is the first thing that come to your mind when you think of Japan? Sushi, Kimono, or Ninja?!

As part of the social media campaign for their latest service, “Inspiration of Japan”, my friend Neal Schaffer and I became their Brand Ambassadors for ANA – All Nippon Airways.  Neal and I have been working since November on this campaign, and it was finally time for us to fly to Narita with an IOJ.

I’m writing this post from consumer’s perspective. I’ve written about it in my first post about IOJ, but as a frequest flyer to Japan from North Ameria, the comfort during my trip home is very important. I love traveling and flying, but let’s be honest, flying takes so much toll on you. I flew back to my home town of Sasebo last month and I was exhausted.

So I was very excited to try this new IOJ services. Our seats were called “Business Staggered“- Because each seat was staggared and every seat has an aisle access-I love that.

You can rest your tired heet there

The cabin for IOJ was amazing. Plenty of room to store your personal items, like your laptop or a purse. There are a deep pocketed foot rest under your entertainment system so you can fully stretch your legs with your shoes off. (Of course, they provide slippers, shoehorn, and a bag to take your slippers home!) You have a side desk other than your normal tray, so I got to keep all my magazines, camera and water bottle there. There are USB port and iPod jack, so you can enjoy your own media if you get tired of all the entertainment available on your personal screen. (I actually watched a short documetary on how their latest aircraft Boeing 787 came together and got a little misty. True story. I will be writing about 787 later.)

Here’s a quick video of me experiencing IOJ. (Sorry it’s a bit noisy)

Neal wasn’t the only partner I had on this trip. John P. and Cali Lewis from GeekBeat.TV were also the ambassadors, and they flew in from San Francisco. Unlike Neal, who has lived in Japan for 15 years and speaks fluent Japanese, this was John and Cali’s first time in Japan. I got to spend a lot of time with them in Tokyo, and not only it was fun, but it brought me a lot of insights. I got to see Japan through first time visitor’s eyes, and that was definitely a cool experience.

Cali, John and me

One of the things John said and it stuck with me was “There is so much attention to details!“…Of course, I knew that. I have always been proud to be Japanese and proud to offer extreme attention to details. But by spending time with John and Cali, I rediscovered many things with a lot of attention to details, and of course, IOJ was no exception.

The food and presentation was amazing

I have flown to Japan many times before, but the minute you board ANA flight, it just feels different. When I sat down, my Cabin Attendant came to me to hand me a warm steamed towel and introduced herself that she would be taking care of me today. She soon came back to ask how to pronounce my name, so that she can personally address me as “Ms. Peerless”. I really wish I got her name and took a photo of her, as she was the best CA I have ever encountered.  She quickly figured out what kind of drinks I like and made some excellent recommendations. It sure was the highlight of my flight.

I got to use the full flat seat to have a nap on the flight, and soon we arrived in Narita, Tokyo, where many adventures were waiting for us.

(To be continued in Part 2)