Tried & Tested

Costa Rica Mar­riott San Jose, Costa Rica China Eastern Los An­ge­les – Shang­hai 777-300ER Busi­ness Class

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS -

CHECK-IN

While China Eastern has had this LAX to Shang­hai route for a num­ber of years, they only added the new Boe­ing 777-300 ERs to this route in mid-Jan­uary. This air­craft has also been han­dling the ser­vice from JFK to Shang­hai, so need­less to say, I was ea­ger to get aboard and see this new­est ad­di­tion to the China Eastern fleet. As a con­se­quence, I ar­rived at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional a bit early for my flight and was the only pas­sen­ger at the Busi­ness Class counter when I ap­proached it. The staff was ex­tremely friendly and ef­fi­ciently took care of my check in. My one bag was checked and I was gra­ciously es­corted through se­cu­rity and ar­rived at the gate with­out de­lay.

BOARD­ING

There were no queues in the Busi­ness Class line so I was able to board al­most im­me­di­ately. A mem­ber of the cheery cabin crew led me to my win­dow seat and I was of­fered a glass of cham­pagne be­fore de­par­ture which set a gen­eral mood of re­lax­ation and at­ten­tive­ness for the long flight ahead.

THE SEAT The Busi­ness Class cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 con­fig­u­ra­tion that pro­vides ev­ery pas­sen­ger with di­rect aisle ac­cess. The leather seats can be fully re­clined and un­fold to a 180-de­gree flat bed. The re­verse her­ring­bone seat­ing lay­out with half shell is de­signed for pri­vacy. There was an am­ple stor­age com­part­ment for per­sonal items, and more than ad­e­quate space to do some read­ing and get some work done. Thank­fully each seat on the Boe­ing 777 is also out­fit­ted with in­flight WiFi and plenty of USB and AC power. The 16-inch touch screen in­flight en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem of­fers a wide se­lec­tion of games, shop­ping, TV and movies.

THE FLIGHT

We were pro­vided with deluxe sheets, com­forters and pil­lows for rest­ful sleep. The noise­can­cel­ing head­phones from Au­dio-Tech­nica as­sisted me in get­ting a quick nap. The cabin boasts 23 types of mood light­ing which can be ad­justed to make for a very calm flight. The flight at­ten­dants came around with an ex­ten­sive gourmet menu of Chi­nese and West­ern se­lec­tions that of­fered many dining op­tions; I wound up choos­ing the Chi­nese din­ner, just to pre­pare my palate for the days ahead in Shang­hai. To cap off the stel­lar ser­vice, they pro­vided an el­e­gant af­ter­noon tea served on fine china with hand­crafted sil­ver­ware.

AR­RIVAL We landed at Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port about 10 min­utes early. The place is mas­sive, which might lead one to think that get­ting through the fa­cil­ity would be time con­sum­ing. How­ever First and Busi­ness Class pas­sen­gers have their own cus­toms line, so we were whisked through it and on our way into the city in no time. PVG is some 20 miles south of Shang­hai, but the sleek high-speed Ma­glev train makes the run from the air­port to the Longyang Road Metro sta­tion in less than 8 min­utes. A taxi would take a lot longer and cost a lot more.

China Eastern is a mem­ber of Sky Team and has an ex­ten­sive net­work of routes through­out Main­land.

VER­DICT The in­flight ser­vices were most im­pres­sive and you are re­ceiv­ing ex­cel­lent value for the price. I was able to work, dine, sleep, and still feel re­freshed af­ter this 14 hour flight. BT

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