BACK­GROUND:

Business Traveler (USA) - - TRIED & TESTED -

United’s strat­egy to go be­yond the tra­di­tional Chi­nese gate­ways of Hong Kong, Bei­jing and Shang­hai, mir­rors ef­forts by Chi­nese car­ri­ers to serve sec­ondary cities. How­ever the term‘sec­ondary’is a bit mis­lead­ing; in fact, China’s top five cities are over 10 mil­lion each. Those num­bers give new mean­ing to what cities can sus­tain in terms of air ser­vice and United al­ready serves five of the top 10 Chi­nese mar­kets.

In May United in­tro­duced sea­sonal non­stop ser­vice be­tween San Francisco and Xi’an, an im­por­tant cul­tural, eco­nomic and ed­u­ca­tional cen­ter with fa­cil­i­ties for China’s space ex­plo­ration pro­gram, and per­haps best known as the site of the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors. The non­stop ser­vice, the first ever be­tween the Golden Gate and the en­trance to the Silk Road, runs from early May to late Oc­to­ber.

United is said to be lag­ging its US legacy peers in pre­mium ser­vices but you could not tell that by its thrice­weekly Boe­ing 787-8 Dream­liner ser­vice to Xi’an. It was, in fact, el­e­gant.

The ex­pe­ri­ence was a de­par­ture from my pre­vi­ous pre­mium flights where I dragged through the flight in red-eyed bleari­ness. Not so United’s Busi­nessFirst

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