PVG to DFW on the 787 –
This week I am traveling to Shanghai for a mileage run vacation.
Shanghai Trip Report – American Airlines – PVG to DFW on the 787
At the time of my reservation, I requested a systemwide upgrade on this flight. The flight was not showing any options and based on Expert Flier it appeared to be nearly full with zero seats for sale in business and very few available in coach. I was not expecting an upgrade as it was a heavy business travel day from Asia to the US.
Upon arrival at the airport, I checked in with an agent who assisted me promptly. I asked the agent if he could move me to the airport standby list for the upgrade and he processed that quickly. The agent said I could check at the counter just before the flights departure.
After I completed immigration, customs and security, I pulled up the American app and reviewed the upgrade list. It showed me as 1/14 for upgrades.
About 10 minutes before boarding, I noted on the app that my seat changed and when I reviewed the upgrade list there was a check by my name saying that my upgrade cleared. I was assigned seat 7H which was a rear facing business seat in the center section at the back of the business cabin.
No other seats were available in business. I also looked at the coach seat map and saw that all the seats were assigned.
I approached the desk and presented my boarding pass and I was given the new one for Business. The agent said they would be boarding in about five minutes.
An agent walked around in the gate area with a sign listing Priority Access. The colleague had guests line up in a somewhat long line to the left side of the boarding area. When I entered the line there was approximately 35 people in front of me. Another colleague walked around and directed guests in the other boarding groups to line up on the right hand side and there were separate lines for each boarding group. One of the colleagues were checking everyone’s boarding pass in the line that I was in to be sure that it said Priority Access.
Once boarding commenced I was welcomed on to the plane. There was another security check where my identification was verified and a brief inspection of my suitcase was completed. The security agents were not allowing any water or other beverages onto the plane and a lot of guests had to give up their water bottles. I have noticed that this is common in Asia so I avoid bringing water on the plane. The security check was brief and I continued on my way. Upon arrival in the plane a flight attendant welcomed me on board and he reviewed my ticket and told me where to go for my seat.
My seat was 7H and it was located in the mini cabin featuring two rows of business. The cabin had a nice feel. My seat was rear facing. It was interesting as the seat was arranged so I was looking directly at the person sitting in 7L. 7L is forward facing so this would be a good seat option if I was traveling with someone else. For this trip I was alone so having the direct eyesight of the other passenger was interesting.
I got situated and found that the seat was prepared with a blanket and pillow and an amenity kit. I tested the controls for the seat and found that it functioned. The video monitor was of excellent quality and the seat was comfortable.
The seat was identical to the one I was in on the flight to PVG.
During the boarding process one the flight attendants approached my seat and presented a menu as well as offered a Champagne, Water or Orange Juice. I selected Champagne and the colleague asked me to enjoy it. The menu offered a choice between beef, chicken, fish or pasta for the entrée as well as a choice between two dressings for the salad.
A few announcements were made welcoming all guests on the plane before the plane began push back and taxi.
The safety video was shown. Interestingly the business class flight attendants were in the cabin taking meal orders while the video was on. I was a little surprised at that.
The flight attendant greeted me warmly using my name and he thanked me for being an Executive Platinum member. I ordered the chicken and the flight attendant thanked me.
The aircraft taxied for a few minutes and the Captain made an announcement welcoming guests on board. A few minutes later, the plane took off. The initial 30 minutes of the flight had a bit of turbulence but it was otherwise comfortable. The Captain again welcomed everyone on board and he provided a brief summary of the route. The Captain thanked guests and he also mentioned that guests need to stay in their own cabin throughout the flight.
Within about 15 minutes of take-off the flight attendant returned to the aisle and offered a hot towel, followed by a placemat and a small dish of nuts. A few minutes later, I was offered a drink and I requested Champagne and water. The flight attendant used my name and he presented the beverages and asked me to enjoy.
A short while later, the flight attendant returned and he presented my tray which included the salad and appetizer. The flight attendant asked about my dressing preference and he provided a choice between breads.
The appetizer was chicken with a mushroom vegetable salad. The chicken was chilled and it had a good taste. The chicken was topped with a garlic and ginger sauce and it was tangy. The salad was small and it featured lettuce, cheese and onions. I selected the Asian Ginger dressing which also had a good taste and flavor. For the bread I selected a walnut roll. The bread was warm and it had an excellent taste.
The flight attendants were attentive and the main one on my side of the cabin checked on me throughout the meal.
My appetizer and salad were promptly removed as I finished the dishes and I was offered another glass of Champagne. I requested to change to a white wine and I was given the choice between two.
My entrée was served a few minutes later. It was a sweet and sour chicken dish. The chicken was served hot. The chicken had a good taste and flavor. The chicken was served with a tangy sweet and sour sauce over a bed of rice. Bok choy was served on the side. I felt that the dish was excellent.
The flight attendant checked in with me while I was enjoying the meal. He promptly removed my tray when I was finished and he asked if I would like an ice cream, the banana cake or a cheese plate. I requested the cheese plate. The colleague asked if I wanted a dessert wine with it. I declined and he thanked me and he promptly served the cheese.
The cheese plate featured three pieces of cheese a few crackers and three large grapes. The cheeses were all fresh and two were strong and one was mild. The grapes were sweet and the crackers were also fresh.
After I finished the meal, the flight attendant thanked me using my name and he removed the tray and cleared my place setting. The flight attendant asked if I needed anything else. When I declined he thanked me and he said to let me know if I need anything.
I was also presented a bottle of water at that time.
During the meal I watched a movie and the quality of the picture of excellent and the touch screen was responsive.
After the movie I converted my seat into a bed and I slept for about three hours. The bed was slightly firm but the seat was lie flat and I was able to rest comfortably.
When I got up, I went for a walk around the airplane. Both cabins appeared completely full. As I walked through the cabin a few flight attendants greeted me and asked if I needed anything.
When I returned to my seat, I used my computer to do some work. The aircraft offers WIFI service for $20 for the flight. I did not utilize the service as I enjoy being unplugged during a flight.
The flight attendant greeted me while I was working on my computer and he asked if he could bring me anything. The flight attendant informed me that they had a snack service and said the choice was between a sandwich or duck entrée. I declined the meal as I was still full from dinner. The flight attendant mentioned the snack bar and he said to let him know if I change my mind.
After working for about an hour, I decided I would try to sleep again and I converted my seat back into the bed.
I slept through the mid-flight meal. I woke up about three hours before landing and I grabbed a quick snack at the snack bar. I had a bag of chips and a banana pudding. Both were fresh and had a good taste.
About an hour and a half before landing, the flight attendant returned and greeted me by name and he offered a Dim Sum of a Quiche. I ordered the Dim Sum and he offered coffee, tea or a beverage. I requested a Coca-Cola and he provided the meal within one minute.
The Dim Sum was served hot. Three options were available including pot sticker, vegetable bun and a pork filled dumpling. The food had a good flavor and it was served with noodles that were fresh. Soy sauce was served on the side as well as chopsticks and a side salad with an Asian dressing. The salad was fresh and the dressing had a good taste. I did not sample the dessert.
The flight attendant checked in with me several times to confirm I had everything that I need.
At the end of the flight, the flight attendant returned to my seat and he thanked me using my name and he again acknowledged my Executive Platinum status and he invited me to return on another American Airlines flight.
The flight landed on time and after a short taxi to the gate we arrived. As passengers were departing the flight attendants thanked them sincerely and wished them a good day.
I proceeded to immigration where there was no waiting at the Global Entry area and long lines in the other sections. The immigration processes took about three minutes followed by another two for customs. I exited the area and proceeded to the security line. The line was long and the Pre-Check section was closed so all customers will filtered through the same line. The security process lasted about 15 minutes.
Overall this was a good flight. I enjoyed my experience on the 787. It was a nice surprise to receive the upgrade on each of the flights. The 787 is a great airplane and it offers a comfortable ride.