I promise that you won’t hate ANA 777-300ER economy class

I promise that you won’t hate ANA 777-300ER economy class

When it comes to cheap(ish) long-haul flying, ANA 777-300ER economy is hard to beat. I recently had the chance to try it out from San Francisco to Tokyo, and guess what? It’s still (very easily) one of the best economy class experiences in the entire world.

Legroom was phenomenal, the cabin crew treated everyone like royalty, and most importantly – I didn’t feel completely wrecked at the end of the 10 1/2 hour flight.

The food though. They’re slippin’, and that makes me sad.

San Francisco, CA (SFO) – Tokyo, Japan (HND)
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Aircraft: 777-381ER
Registration: JA788A
Duration: 10 hours 6 minutes
Seat: 34E (Economy Class)

ANA 777-300ER (JA788A) side view
ANA 777-300ER (JA788A) side view illustration by NorebboStock.com.
nh107 flight track
Our route from San Francisco to Tokyo / Haneda this early *** morning as NH107.

My full review of ANA 777-300ER economy from San Francisco to Tokyo (Haneda)

Long story short, my destination for this trip was Hiroshima. One of the most convenient ways of getting there from San Diego is on United and ANA. Unfortunately, the only transpacific flight that worked best for connections to Hiroshima was the 1:45 AM ANA flight from San Francisco to Tokyo/Haneda. Freaking ouch.

Arrival at SFO

Arriving at SFO on a United flight from San Diego at 9 PM wasn’t all that fun knowing that I had four full hours to kill before the 1:45 AM departure time to Tokyo. Making matters worse was that the airport was freezing, and I was woefully underdressed. Come on, man!

SANspotter selfie SFO
Good news: I’m off to Japan in ANA 777–300ER economy! Bad news: it’s way past my bedtime, and…well…shame on me me for thinking this was a good idea. 
SFO late night departures board
This is literally the last flight of the night out of SFO. I’m such an idiot!
SFO terminal G departures board
On the other hand, I’ve never been to SFO this late at night before. It was kind of interesting to see what goes on here way past my normal bedtime.
Terminal G SFO late at night
Holy crap it’s crowded here in Terminal G! As a matter of fact, this is as busy as I’ve ever seen it. 
1am at the SFO international terminal
ANA 777-300ER SFO
Well hello there, good lookin’. Even at 1am, ANA 777-300ERs still look kinda good. 
Gate G7 international terminal SFO
That said, there’s too much action for me here at gate G7 for such an early hour. This should be illegal.

The boarding process

Thank God they kicked off the boarding process right on time. Not because I was concerned about making my connection in Tokyo, but because I was borderline unconscious due to it being way past my bedtime.

Boarding at gate G7 started precisely at 1:25 AM. I chose to wait a bit even though I could’ve boarded with group 2 (thanks to my Star Alliance gold status). I mean, there’s really no point in rushing when you know that you’ll be stuck in a middle seat for the next 10 1/2 hours.

ANA gate international terminal SFO
I’m willing to bet anything that there’s at least one other person here in the gate area who’s questioning their travel choices as much as I am right now.  The guy in the blue jacket (on the left) just has that look. 
ANA economy class mobile boarding pass
Not only that, I can’t remember if I didn’t notice or didn’t care that this pic of my boarding pass wasn’t in focus. My vision was getting fuzzy by this point.
ANA boarding group 5 SFO
Boarding group 5. Considering that my destination is a middle seat deep in the bowels of the aircraft, it didn’t bother me a bit to hang back and let everyone else board first.
SFO gate G7 jet bridge
Enough complaining. Here we go!
ANA 777-300ER boarding door
Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll offer me a seat in business class here at the boarding door. Dreaming big is completely normal for me past 1 AM, ok?
ANA 777-300ER business class
Not gonna lie. Being forced to walk through the business class cabin didn’t make me feel any better about the fact that I was on my way to a middle economy seat way in the back. This is such a tease.
ANA 777-300ER premium economy
Premium economy came next (be sure to read my full ANA 777-300ER premium economy review for more info).
ANA 777-300ER economy class cabin
And finally, economy class. My peoples.

Seat overview

Yeah, that’s right. You read it correctly. I ended up with a middle seat for this segment. It was entirely voluntary though, as I was traveling with family and I figured that it was probably unwise to be selfish.

ANA 777-300ER economy seats are pretty darn nice IMHO. Not only are the video screens massive, the leg room is Grand Canyon like. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better economy class seat anywhere in the world.

ANA 777-300ER economy class seats row 34
I think I probably would’ve appreciated these economy seats more if they hadn’t forced us to walk through the premium cabins just now. The fact that it’s 1:30 AM (and I should’ve been in bed three hours ago) doesn’t help. 
ANA 777-300ER economy class seat 34E
ANA 777-300ER economy class seat video screen
Holy video screens, Batman! These are some seriously nice economy seats (much nicer than the seats you saw in my ANA 787-8 economy review).
ANA 777-300ER economy class leg room
Dang it. How am I supposed to feel so crotchety and cranky for being up so late when the leg room is this good?
ANA 777-300ER economy class seat pitch
Whoa. I haven’t seen this much legroom in economy class since flying Japan Airlines 787-8 economy from San Diego to Tokyo a few years ago. The Japanese know what’s up!
ANA 777-300ER economy class retractable foot rests
Since we’re down here, I might as well show you the retractable foot rests (and my sexy bare ankles). 
ANA 777-300ER economy class USB and electrical outlet
Yup, the chances of me taking advantage of this power outlet tonight is near 100%.
ANA 777-300ER economy class entertainment system remote control
I can’t say the same about this handy remote control for the entertainment system though.
ANA 777-300ER economy headphones
Ditto for these headphones. Your boy SANspotter is going to sleep like the dead all the way to Tokyo.
ANA 777-300ER economy class
While it’s not hard to think of a lot of other places I’d rather be at 1:45 AM, I have to admit that this ain’t half bad.
ANA 777-300ER economy class middle seats
I think I’m ready. Let’s freaking do this!

The departure out of SFO

Getting decent footage of the departure is hard enough when you’re in a middle seat. It’s even harder when it’s 1:45 AM and you’re barely clinging to consciousness. I did what I could to get pictures (and video) for the review. And yes, we departed right on time.

ANA 777-300ER economy class passengers
Pushing off the gate. I think? Either the plane is moving or my head is spinning – but I can definitely sense movement.
ANA 777-300ER forward facing camera
Pushback confirmed. I have to say that watching the play-by-play on the external camera is pretty darn sweet on these large video screens.
Lining up for runway 28L departure at SFO
At least they were kind enough to leave the lights on for us before departing off 28L. Good night SFO!

In-flight entertainment

The extremely large video screens were my first indication that the entertainment system in these economy class seats was going to be good. Thankfully, the software (and diverse catalog of content) lived up to my expectations.

ANA 777-300ER economy video entertainment system main menu
Here’s the main menu for the video entertainment system. In the interest of full disclosure, it looked interesting, but not quite enough to convince me to watch a movie at this ungodly early hour.
ANA 777-300ER economy video entertainment system video details screen
Although, I do have to admit that I was somewhat tempted to watch John Wick in Japanese (with German subtitles just to make it extra challenging).
ANA 777-300ER economy video entertainment system live TV
There’s live TV too! And if it wasn’t obvious, NHK World > CNN.
ANA 777-300ER economy video entertainment system audio, e-books, and map
And of course, there’s a full catalog of music and e-books – along with a high resolution map to remind you that no, we’re not there yet.

One of the neatest things about this in-flight entertainment system is the fact that you can pair it with your personal device. Doing so will allow you to use your personal device as a wireless remote for the screen, as well as enabling the ability to stream content. The only caveat is that you need to download the ANA app to your device before departure (which I totally forgot to do).

ANA 777-300ER economy headphones
When’s the last time you saw full-size headphones in economy class? My struggle to avoid watching John Wick in Japanese (in favor of sleep) is getting real.
ANA 777-300ER economy remote control for the video entertainment system
For what it’s worth, I much prefer the slim remote controls in ANA A321neo economy class. This looks a little dated IMHO (which admittedly doesn’t matter all that much when you’re planning on sleeping all the way to Tokyo anyway). 

The first meal service

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much for the first meal service. I know from past experience that ANA economy class food is fairly decent – but I also knew that it was unwise to expect anything significant for a flight departing at 1:45 AM.

ANA 777-300ER economy bottled water
The service on tonight‘s flight began with the distribution of bottled water to each passenger. I can only assume they’re serving the gourmet Mt Fuji stuff up in business class.
SANspotter selfie ANA 777-300ER economy class
God bless everyone being spoiled rotten up in business class right now. Those seats looked good.
ANA economy class snack box
In ANA‘s defense, this snack box was a lot more than I was expecting for the first meal on a flight that departed at a time in which no sane human being should be awake. Itadakimasu!
ANA economy class snack box contents
Wait, what? I had no idea that tunafish sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, and bananas are considered authentic Japanese cuisine. How cool!
ANA economy class tuna sandwich
Never mind that it’s past 2 AM and I’m not even remotely hungry. Tuna slathered in mayonnaise makes me wretch, so this did not go in my belly (or anywhere near it).
ANA economy class banana
That said, this pic of my erect banana is the perfect metaphor for how I’m feeling about the economy class seats here on the ANA 777-300ER so far. 

Even though I didn’t find the tuna sandwich to be all that appealing, I appreciated the effort. Besides, I was far more sleepy than I was hungry. Food was the least of my concerns.

How comfortable are the seats for sleeping?

What better way is there to test the comfort of ANA economy class seats on a flight departing in the wee hours of the morning? I don’t typically sleep all that well in economy class, but I’m happy to report that I got around four hours worth on this flight. It wasn’t great sleep, but it was enough to prevent me from feeling like a total zombie the next day.

ANA economy class banana
Congratulations to ANA for providing the thickest (and softest) blankets in economy class that I’ve ever experienced. And while I’m at it, congratulations to me for having the opportunity to drape myself in one.
Sleeping in ANA 777-300ER economy class
Sleeping in these economy seats isn’t all that difficult actually. I see no dead bodies to my right…
Passengers asleep in ANA 777-300ER economy class
…and there are none here on my left either.
SANspotter sleeping in ANA 777–300ER economy seat
Found one!
ANA 777-300ER economy class cabin viewed from the rear
A word of warning to those of you who sleep with the windows open all winter: ANA is notorious for keeping the cabin warm, so dress appropriately (or fly United).

In summary, seat recline is fairly decent for economy class. Combined with the excellent amount of legroom, it wasn’t a half bad experience.

Cabin tour

I was starting to feel a bit restless about six hours into the flight. My middle seat was causing me to feel a bit claustrophobic as well, so getting up every now and then to walk around the cabin was a pretty good way to pass the time.

ANA 777-300ER economy class lavatory
The first stop in this cabin tour is a visit to the aft lavatory. I was amused by the size of it.
ANA 777-300ER economy class self serve snack bar
Next up is this self serve snack bar (located between the premium economy and economy class sections).
SANspotter selfie ANA 777-300ER self serve snack bar
Don’t mind if I do!

It should be noted that the ANA cabin crew was utterly fantastic throughout the entire flight. Every time I got up to walk around, I was approached by no less than three flight attendants offering water, snacks, or anything else that I needed to be comfortable. They basically bent over backwards to help. Proactively no less!

ANA 777-300ER in-flight map SFO-HND
That concludes the cabin tour section of this review. And no, we’re still not there yet.

The second meal service

The cabin lights were turned on with just over two hours of flying time remaining. Minutes later, the cabin crew were pushing drink and meal carts up the aisles. They handed out large menu cards (with pictures!) to each passenger, so all you had to do was point and make your selection.

ANA 777-300ER cabin mood lighting
The cabin lights are slowly coming on, which essentially means “wake up, b*tches – it’s time to eat” (or whatever the Japanese equivalent of that is).
ANA 777-300ER economy moist towelettes
Arigato gozaimasu for the pre-meal moist towelettes.
ANA 777-300ER economy meal menu
Here’s the menu for the second meal service (with pics!). Which would you choose?
ANA 777-300ER economy beef hamburger steak with gravy meal
I went with option B (and hoped for the best).
ANA 777-300ER economy meal tray contents
The other items on the tray consisted of fruit, noodles, bread, and yogurt. Sorry, no erect banana this time (not even metaphorically speaking).

I’ll be honest: the food wasn’t all that great. It certainly wasn’t as great as what I remember ANA economy class food to be from many years ago. For comparisons sake, it was nowhere near as good as the food I had in Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy class a while back. Just sayin’.

SANspotter selfie ANA 777-300 economy class meal
Here I am thinking back to a time when ANA economy class food used to be really good (10 years ago when I flew them last). Those were the days!
ANA 777-300 economy class meal service
It’s hard to believe that I’d ever be disappointed with the food on ANA (in any class of service), but here we are. For the record, it tasted fine. It’s just not like it used to be, that’s all.

The descent and arrival into Tokyo

The fact that I felt mildly refreshed and somewhat energetic during the descent into Tokyo was nothing short of a miracle. I mean, the seats were good, but not good enough to make me feel like I was capable of going another five hours.

It goes without saying that I highly appreciated the external cameras for the views of the approach and landing from my middle seat.

ANA 777-300 economy class tired passengers
The final descent. Judging by the body language of all these people, it safe to assume that I’m not alone in thinking that 10 hour flights departing at 1:45 AM are a bit of a mofo.
Final approach into Haneda airport
Speaking of things that are a mofo, check out this approach! 1 of 3 things is about to happen: we’re either going to plow into buildings, end up wet, or land successfully without any issues. 
ANA 777-300ER economy row 34 middle section
At this point, I don’t think anyone cares.
Haneda airport runway 34R final approach
“I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.”
ANA 777-300ER economy Seatbelt sign turned off
At least we didn’t end up wet. Not only that, it looks like they stopped us 100 feet short of plowing into a building. Those two things alone should cancel out the disappointing food – but I’m not willing to let them off the hook so easily I think.
ANA 777-300ER parked at gate Haneda airport
Disappointing food or not, I really enjoyed this flight! Except the part about the 1:45 AM departure time of course. That kind of sucked.

Pros and cons of the ANA 777-300ER economy class experience

The most interesting takeaway from this experience is the fact that it was both better and worse than my last ANA long haul economy flight (10 years ago). The seat was much better than it was back then, but the food was worse. And that leads me to my full list of pros and cons:


  • The legroom is utterly fantastic. It’s every bit as good as some premium economy on some airlines.
  • The video screens are huge. Not only that, the catalog of content is excellent – and I appreciate the fact that I could connect it wirelessly to my personal device.
  • The flight attendants were beyond kind and helpful. It was like the kind of service you would expect in business class.


  • The food was surprisingly disappointing for a Japanese airline. It was essentially the same economy class slop you would get on any other carrier.
  • The cabin was very warm throughout much of the flight. This is saying a lot considering that I am most comfortable wearing thick hoodies year-round (even in the summer).

Comments (9)

  1. JCC

    July 28, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      July 29, 2023
  2. Peter

    July 30, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      July 30, 2023
      • Peter

        August 2, 2023
  3. Hector Torres

    August 1, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      August 1, 2023
  4. Luca

    September 24, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      September 25, 2023

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