Tried & Tested
China Eastern San Francisco-Shanghai, Warwick Melrose Dallas
China Eastern’s inaugural flight of their daily service from San Francisco to Shanghai was on Friday, April 26. Checking in for this new non-stop flight was seamless. There was no wait on the business class priority line and I was expedited through security with no delay at all. I was escorted to the Air France lounge for a leisurely cup of coffee. Business and First class China Eastern travelers are afforded the opportunity to utilize the Air France lounge, which is just a few steps from the China Eastern gate. BOARDING When I arrived at the gate, I was boarded immediately and escorted right to my seat in the Business cabin. A choice of orange juice, champagne or water was offered, followed immediately by a choice of several different newspapers and magazines. I latched on to two of my favorites, the NewYork Times and The Economist. There was a sense of excitement on this maiden flight and the crew was clearly upbeat and certainly anxious to please. DEPARTURE Right on time. The forward facing seat seemed a little wider than I was accustomed to in Business class with ample leg room. The flat-bed seat went down 180 degrees and was extremely comfortable. Business Class was divided into two cabins, each arranged 2-2-2 across. The front cabin where I was had 18 seats three rows deep; the back cabin had 12 more seats. A nut mix was served ten minutes into the flight, along with a selection of drinks, including Monmathe Champagne, 2006.
The entertainment system was extensive, loaded with content. I settled on a movie (Life of Pi) and thoroughly enjoyed it on a 16 inch flat screen. I was able to choose from a number of new releases, comedies, classics and documentaries. In addition, there was a good selection of audio, music, drama, kids shows and video games.
Before we were an hour into the flight the cheerful attendants were back with an exquisite assortment of delectable appetizers prepared by an array of famous chefs, from within China and beyond. For the appetizer, I chose the pan-fried abalone and scallops with truffle jam. The scallops were large and tasty. The main course was a choice of either Chinese style or Western style cuisine. Although I was sorely tempted by the panfried lobster with crushed truffle potato, I chose instead the pan-fried duck breast with honey duck sauce and steamed rice/vegetable. A glass of Sol de Andes Chardonnay Reserva 2007 was the perfect accompaniment. The afterdinner cognac gave me a chance to savor this delicious meal. I was offered after dinner dessert which included a choice of white chocolate with apricot and mascarpone, cheese or ice cream. But I decided instead to recline my seat to the full flat position and get an early start on my nap. ARRIVAL Throughout this non-stop trip from the boarding in San Francisco to the on time arrival in Shanghai, China Eastern’s staff was extremely attentive and anxious to please. A most pleasant and uneventful flight successfully came to an end with an on-time arrival. BT