We recently traveled to the US to visit family over the summer and I flew several different airlines with a baby: Air Canada, Hawaiian Airlines, and ANA (All Nippon Airways). I knew I was going to be flying by myself with my 8 month old on the way home (about 14 hours in travel time) and I was honestly super nervous about it! I had super low expectations since my experiences with Air Canada and Hawaiian Airlines were not that great but ANA blew me away! Here are all the reasons why I will only be flying with ANA now that I have a baby, even if it’s not the cheapest ticket:
- ANA upgraded me to a bulkhead seat FOR FREE! As soon as I booked my flight back to Japan from Vancouver (I flew Seattle > Vancouver on Air Canada which was subpar…) I called ANA to request a bassinet. They allowed you to use a bassinet if your baby was under 12kg. We were given a bassinet and a bulkhead seat (no seat in front of you, just the wall) and the best part, I didn’t have to pay extra for it!
- They had priority seating for people who need assistance while boarding, parents and children, and pregnant women in the terminal boarding area. A desk attendant even saw me sitting there and asked me nicely to come over to the desk so they could print me a new ticket and confirm everything I had requested for baby. So much more polite than being rudely paged over the loudspeaker!
- The flight attendants are actually attentive. As soon as we boarded, the flight attendant immediately brought us a bottle of water and confirmed that we had ordered a baby meal. Throughout the flight, every hour or so a flight attendant checked in with us and offered drinks, snacks, and even to hold Asahi so I could go to the bathroom. The service was immensely better than our other international flight on Hawaiian.
- The baby meal! ANA also gives you a baby meal for free. The one I received had one jar of chicken and vegetable puree, an applesauce pouch, and a bowl of warmed rice cereal. Asahi does baby led weaning so he didn’t do much with the liquidy foods but he did enjoy the applesauce pouch for a few minutes!
- We had some serious legroom. This is probably just a stroke of luck, but we had an entire row to ourselves! There was actually quite a lot of seats open on the flight which made the 9.5+ hours actually quite bearable.
- They gave Asahi a toy at the end of flight! And he loves it 🙂
Overall, ANA had fabulous service and I can’t imagine flying another airline at this point but I have heard good things about another Japanese airline, JAL. Are there any other airlines you would recommend for flying with kids?