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