02. United Club San Diego
03. United Airlines first class San Diego to San Francisco
04. United Club San Francisco
05. ANA business class San Francisco to Tokyo
06. ANA arrivals lounge Tokyo
07. ANA economy class Tokyo to Hiroshima
08. ANA economy class Hiroshima to Tokyo
09. ANA business lounge Tokyo Narita
10. ANA business class Tokyo to San Francisco
11. United Airlines first class San Francisco to San Diego
I didn’t tell my wife, but knowing that we’d have to clear security and passport control at NRT, I was secretly worrying that our 2 hour connection to SFO might be tight. I was fairly confident we’d make it, but I just had a nasty feeling brewing inside of me that we were potentially facing long queues generated from passengers arriving on other connecting flights. I was mentally prepared for the worst.
You can imagine my relief when we walked into a virtually empty connecting flights hall. I’ve been in this same room in the past when it was filled to the gills (and moved painfully slow) so it was extremely refreshing to be able to breeze through security and and passport control in minutes.
Once through, we had three missions: first, I needed sinus medication – my sinuses were starting to act up again and I didn’t want to deal with excruciating pain on a 10 hour flight. Second, my wife wanted to get some duty-free souvenir chocolates. Third, we wanted to check out the ANA business class lounge to relax a bit before the flight.
Items one and two were taken care of within 25 minutes, and then we made our way upstairs to the lounge (located on the 4th floor of the Number 5 Satellite). Check in was quick and easy and we were inside within a matter of seconds.
Once inside, we were both impressed on it’s overall size and abundance of natural light. Unfortunately, it was very full and we had difficulty finding a place to sit – we actually had to walk around for a bit and grab some seats right as others were leaving.
Once seated, my wife set off to get some snacks. I chose not to eat since my stomach was still not feeling quite right, and I didn’t want to take any chances right before getting on a long international flight. I eventually had a look at the spread myself, and I was tempted by the rice balls – one of my favorite Japanese food items. Sadly, I decided to pass.
We stayed in the lounge for about an hour before heading down to the gate for our flight to SFO, and I left feeling quite impressed. I really liked the British Airways lounge at LHR last June, but I think this ANA lounge topped that (just slightly) in terms of ambiance and layout/design.