American Airlines welcomes passengers with myriad in-flight amenities on their daily flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai, the first by a US carrier.
By Robert Ellsworth
First, there was this summer’s launch of a new high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai; yet another example of China’s accelerated development. Now, American Airlines inaugurates service from Los Angeles to the pulsating energy of China’s most fabulous city, Shanghai, with a new non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), becoming the first U.S. airline to offer daily nonstop service to the largest U.S-China market for air travel. A daily nonstop flight departs Los Angeles at 3:10 p.m. and arrives in Shanghai at 7:45 p.m. the following day, local time. Returning, the American’s flight departs Shanghai at 9:45 p.m., arriving in Los Angeles at 6:40 p.m. the same day, local time. The Los Angeles-Shanghai route takes approximately 13 hours, 35 minutes; the Shanghai-Chicago route 11 hours, 55 minutes.
Shanghai: The Destination
Shanghai stands as one of the most important cultural, financial, industrial and communications centers in the world. This fascinating, lively city is filled with vertiginous buildings of neoclassical and neo-gothic architecture with its futuristic urban living encroaching but not obliterating the colonial past. You find soaring skyscrapers right out of “Blade Runner” nestled next to Tudorbethan villas built for French and British colonials. Known for hasty cultural change, business and design, it represents the pulse of modern China, attracting 73 million visitors annually.
In addition, because Pudong is the primary international airport in Shanghai, American’s passengers can easily connect to airlines flying to other Asian countries, as well as to other cities within China. Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, located in the eastern part of the city’s rapidly expanding Pudong district, opened on Oct. 1, 1999, becoming the city’s primary international airport. Terminal 2, which will become the gateway for American Airlines customers, opened in March 2008 and is in close proximity to American’s Oneworld partners, providing smoother, faster connections to other destinations. The long-term plan for Pudong International Airport’s expansion calls for a total of four terminals and four parallel runways, for a capacity of 80 million passengers per year.
New Shanghai Service: In-Flight Delights
On the Shanghai flights, passengers will enjoy American’s award-winning International Flagship Service, featuring a selection of dining, beverage and entertainment options. First and Business Class customers flying on the route can enjoy entrées created by consulting chef Sam Choy, including Chinese- and Western-inspired selections such as mushroom beef filet; beef filet with black bean butter; seafood noodle bowl; duck with plum sauce; roasted chicken with lime butter; sweet and sour sea bass; stir fried chicken; and four cheese ravioli.
In addition to an award-winning wine selection, American offers a variety of beers, including China’s Tsing Tao. Premium class customers can also select from their choice of jasmine or black tea served in a teapot with teacups specially designed for American’s flights to and from Asia.
American’s new flights also feature lie-flat seats, making it the first US carrier to offer this configuration in business class. The next generation product, which is a new lie-flat style rather than the flat bed version offered by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, has already been installed on American’s fleet of B767-300s. Seating is configured six across (2-2-2) with 59 inches of legroom, while a seat width of 20 inches can be extended to 23 inches by raising the privacy divider and dropping down the outer armrest. The new seats lie flat down to create a 76-inch bed with soft memory foam features which can actually be saved with the push of a button. Passengers are also offered a quilted cotton duvet designed for warmth and comfort throughout the flight. While in work mode, passengers’ benefit from seats featuring laptop power ports, electronic seat controls and individual telephones with satellite communications. Passengers also have access to adjustable leather headrests, personal reading lights and additional storage space for personal items.
For more info go to AA.