They say your first experience can never be repeated. I beg to differ. I’d only flown All Nippon Airways (ANA) once before and I can vouch for the fact that history did, indeed, repeat itself.  I also woke up to views of Mount Yōtei, learned to ski, had the best sushi of my life, wine tasted with 17 sommeliers, became a whiskey-convert for a week and had a once-in-a-lifetime snowmobile tour.

I was psyched to return to Japan, but also to learn to ski for the first time ever.  One of ANA’s non-stop flights from North America to Tokyo leaves from New York City’s JFK airport, so I took the opportunity to spend a couple of days in New York to do some serious ski-wear shopping.

Flying over the frozen city and touching down in a winter wonderland at JFK, I felt like I had the best view in the house… I was wrong. Japan was about to show me its snowy side, along with some unbeatable views and experiences.

I’ve said many times over that Asian carriers set the bar so high when it comes to service and attention to detail. And my ANA non-stop flight to Tokyo was no exception – typical Japanese perfection. I received an unbelievable level of service, and I know a lot of people who regularly fly ANA and all say the same.

Rather than just flying you to your destination, ANA ensures that your experience begins the moment you step onboard – you are immersed in authentic Asian culture from the get-go. The concept is embodied through ANA’s “Experience Class ™” campaign. ANA truly lives up to its mission to make the journey from the US to Asia as enjoyable as the destination, while redefining the meaning of ‘class.’

One thing I do when I fly is to walk through the entire plane a few times over, just to see how others are being treated. What blew me away about ANA was seeing the same level of five-star service being given to every passenger on that plane, regardless of who they were or where they were sitting.

The crew was charming, engaging and very attentive, living up to their ‘trustworthy heart-warming and energetic’ moto. Their cheeks must hurt from smiling! Even when they weren’t talking to passengers, they were laughing and telling each other jokes, which made for such a warm, friendly atmosphere aboard.

Not only that, but they really pay attention to detail. They’ve anticipated the questions you will ask and already have the answers. There’s a seamless element to it and it makes you feel that the trip was tailor-made for you. It truly embodies the spirit of Omotenashi and Japan’s unique hospitality.

The Crew take time to get to know you and where you’re from so that they can steer you in the right direction to making the choice that’s right for you. The menu catered to every nationality and the food was simply exquisite. Pair that with a first-class seat, a bottle of Krug Champagne they gave me and a sweet set of pajamas, I happily hunkered down for the flight. 6745 miles, 14 hours and a bottle of Krug later, we landed. I really didn’t want to get off the plane – why would I?!

Follow along as I continue my journey to snowy Niseko.

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