ANA Airport Service & ANA Flight NH2
Onto Part Two of my first longhaul flight with baby. This time I will talk about heading to Narita Airport and navigating the airport alone, using ANA Airport Service, and the in-flight experience.
As with the previous post, the disclaimer remains the same: This post is neither sponsored by nor endorsed by nor affiliated with by American Express or All Nippon Airways. However, the services of these two companies made our first flight a tremendous success.
Therefore, I’m pleased to share my experience navigating Narita Airport alone with a baby and using ANA Airport Support.
Getting to the Airport
On the day of our flight, my husband was not able to see us off at the airport, so I was faced with the issue of how to take my suitcase, diaper bag, and baby to the airport with no assistance.
Even though I didn’t pack much in my suitcase as I was going home and didn’t need much except for souveiers, I sent my suitcase to the aiprot by using 空港宅配サービス. For 1800 yen I earned 50 miles – yay!
No longer needing to worry about my suitcase, it was now time to figure out transportation to the airport.
We had a 11:00am flight. I knew I did not want to be on a train during rush hour with baby. Actually, I never use the trains going to the airports – I always use Keisei Bus’s airport service to get me to the airport, and this time was no different.
I didn’t bring a stroller and instead opted to baby wear throughout my travel. I figured that when it was time to fold the stroller, how would I manage with baby? As I travel through Narita frequently, I already had a mental image of how I would navigate the airport.
We arrived a little before 9am, and it was time to change baby then check-in. One of the perk of my credit card is being able to check-in at the Business Class counter, which was awesome since there was no line.
ANA Airport Support
After checking in, my Airport Support experience with ANA began. To start, the check-in agent accompayned me to the far side of the South Wing of Terminal 1 to help me pick up the suitcase that I had delivered to the airport. Once we returned to the check-in counter, I confirmed by booking details, the bassinet that I reserved, my special meal, and got the free rental stroller.
Baby was sleeping so I ended up wearing her and putting my diaper bag and carry-on inside the stroller and explored the terminal a bit. I decied to check out Narita’s nursing room. I’ve been to Narita Airport countless time, but never had I seen the nursing room before. Much like the nursing room near the Passport Center in Shinjuku, the facilities were inviting, warm, and spacious.
At 10am I made my way to the ANA Service Desk. Apparently, an ANA staff member was standing in front of the counter holding a sign with my name on it. I had walked past him and didn’t even notice. The staff didn’t notice either despite the fact that I was using the ANA stroller. To be fair, I don’t exacty look Japanese and it doesn’t help that I have super Japanese name that even uses the character for “Japan” (和) in it.
Since I’m going and on about this “airport support,” I’ll explain a bit about Airport Support and why it is such a useful service provided by ANA. ANA Airport Support helps passengers who need extra assistance in the airport. The main feature is that an ANA staff member accompanies the passenger one hour before the flight time, from the check-in counter, through security and immigration control, all the way to the boarding gate and right up until physically boarding the aircraft.
Because I was using Aiport Support, I could skip the regular security line and was able to use the Priority security line. It was incredible! I was the only one the priority line, so I could take as much time as I needed unpacking my carry-on bag pouches for x-ray examination. The security officers were very understanding, and I got a gentle pat down since I was baby wearing.
The ANA staff continued to accompany baby and me through immigration and all the way to our gate, He then relayed my flight information, seat details, and special meals to the gate agents.
Flight NH2 NRT – IAD
With a small baby I was able to board first, so once I got on-board, I took out the necessary items- baby’s toy, snacks for me, mini-diaper bag, tissues, hand wipes/sanitizer- and stored the rest. I took off my shoes, put on my comfy slippers and put my cooling pads on my legs. When I used them on my flight when I was pregnant, they, along with frequent stretching, kept my legs from cramping.
I also used the boarding time to go to the bathroom as well as to explore the cabin and find all the toilets with a changing table. I also changed baby so I could get a feel of things when the plane was in motion. Cramped, but manageable.
I was very lucky that the seat next to mine was empty. There was no need to worry about disturbing my seat mate. I noticed that there was another baby on board, around 7 or 8 months old, as well as several toddlers. This relieved my spirits as I knew I wouldn’t be the only one getting glares from other passengers.
Departure was delayed by 15 minutes because of rain and a congested runway. Yet I didn’t want to nurse her until it was time for take off. She fussed, but I managed to keep her relatively calm until the plane started moving. By timing our nursing perfectly with takeoff, it seems like she didn’t experience any ear irritation at all.
I didn’t expect this, bassinets are installed after take-off. Strange, I had always assumed that they were assembled prior to takeoff. I bought pet sheets as a liner to be used under baby’s towel and blanket. But it was totally unnecessary. The bassinet comes with a sanitary cover plus blankets.
ANA’s blankets come packed in plastic so it is ver sanitary. I tried not to use the bassinet as a storage space so baby could always have a place to rest. I also used it as a changing are when the toilet was occupied.
One of the best things of flying ANA is being able to check in-flight meal menu months before board the airplane. I have food allergies so I can reserve a special meal in advance. As there were foods on the menu that I could not eat, this time I ordered a special meal. I normally order the Asian Vegetarian Special Meal which is Indian (?) food. I always forget that vegetarian food really can taste good until I try it and think, “I could totally be a vegetarian
The food was tasty as usual. Two curries with rice, a dish of beans and pickled vegetables, a salad with dressing, bread roll with jam. Dessert was a ridiculously smooth and rich cheesecake.
The mid-flight snack (not photographed, sorry) was an apple pie that honestly tasted like the filling of a McDonald’s apple pie. Totally unexpected but delicious.
The final meal consisted of yoghurt, sweet bread and curry with chapathi. Again, another unexpected surprise because I totally love chapathi. I ordered it constantly when I worked at an Indian international school.
As for in-flight entertainment, I didn’t expect to be able to watch any movies with a baby. Still, I did manage to watch Logan while baby slept, a minor victory for me.
Overall, the first leg of my first longhaul flight with baby was great. I can’t say enough positive things about ANA and its Airport Support service. If you are flying from Narita or Haneda with little ones, fly ANA and use their Airport Support!
ANA Airport Service & ANA Flight NH2
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