Flying with a baby: My Experience with ANA

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:

  1. 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!

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    Loving playing on the floor with the bulkhead seat!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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    Here’s what the box looked like, so cute!
  5. 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.

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    A seat for our backpack, a seat for our nursing pillow, and a seat for me!
  6. They gave Asahi a toy at the end of flight! And he loves it 🙂 39311288_2149214471958390_6261169973687746560_n

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?

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