I. China Eastern International Lounge
The transfer from doemstic to international flights at Terminal S1 is much simpler than terminal, because there is no security check after customs! The Skyteam uses China Eastern’s Lounge 137 for International flights, and it took me a while to find it in this big terminal.
This lounge feels much smaller than the one in the domestic terminal; it also has a much smaller crowd than the one in Terminal 1. Here is the famous China Eastern’s Noodle Bar:
China Eastern’s noodles::
I wanted to take a shower after the noodle, but the shower rooms are yet in service due to the “water quality” issues, so I decided to go to the gate.
II. Boarding Delta A330-900neo
Delta’s boarding gate for today’s flight is a bit far, and it took me a while to get there. Once I got to the boarding gate, I saw the familiar Delta A330-900neo.
Delta’s boarding gates at Shanghai Pudong International Airport is much more in order than those in the United States. The ground crews checked everyone’s passport and soon began to board. The boarding gate at S1 international terminal reminded me of the Incheon International Airport: you have to take the escalator down to the ground floor to board the plane. The gate also has a separate boarding door for business class passengers.
Since I was the first passenger to board the plane, I had an entire empty plane for a few minutes, so I took out my camera and went back to take a few photos of the cabin.
Back to the business class cabin, this is my even-number window seat.
As usual, the flight attendant brought me a glass of champagne after sitting down.
I explored the seat a little bit:
When the table is fully extended, it’s quite large:
Delta uses Westin’s Heavenly brand for in-flight bedding stuff:
Delta A330-900neo Business Class still has air nozzles
The middle seat in the business class cabin has a storage space below the privacy divider. There is no such space under the storage table for even-number window seats.
The foot area of an even-number window seat is quite open than odd-number window seats. It doesn’t give a feeling that the legs are placed into a box after laying flat, so it’s a lot more comfortable. It is one of the biggest advantages for an even-number window seat in Delta A330-900neo business class cabin.
Chinese airlines usually strictly require the windows shade to be lowered during the taxiing, but this is not the case for Delta. I have noticed that for my flights, passengers can use their headsets and close the cabin windows during the taxiing, very different practice than Chinese airlines.
I saw a Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 during the taxiing and also realized how beautiful the day was. The air quality in Shanghai has improved a lot in the past year or two, and it is pretty common to see the beautiful blue sky nowadays.
III. In-flight Services
After boarding the plane, the first crew who came over to say hello was the cabin manager of this flight, and he confirmed that I pre-selected Chinese meal. I learned a lesson from the last flight, so I did not hesitate to select the Chinese option when I got an email from Delta to pre-select the meal. Another Chinese flight attendant also came over to say hello, and he will be serving passengers sitting on the left side of cabin. He was friendly and with a great smile. But when I ordered Delta’s special cocktail for a drink, he didn’t know how to make it, which is a bit embarrassing.
Soon after taking off, the meal service began. The flight attendant brought the cocktail he made after reading the menu, and it was not bad.
Next, it is a Chinese starter: sesame mustard, pickles, avocado tarts, stewed beef.
The lid of the chili sauce bottle is printed with “LEUNG’S” who is the chef for Delta’s Chinese flights
Next is the main course: slow-cooked cod, stir-fried kimchi, crabmeat tofu
The cod with crab meat and tofu is very delicious. Next are the desserts: sundae and pumpkin pie.
The total flight time was about nine hours, so after eating and drinking, I closed the door and wanted to sleep.
I slept well during the flight, maybe because I was too tired. The even-number window seat gives much more comfortable leg space than those odd-number window seats.
Unfortunately, a few hours of sleep was not enough, and the cabin lights quickly woke me up. It was time for breakfast, and I chose the Chinese option again: seaweed soup noodles.
Shortly after breakfast, the plane landed in the wet Seattle.
IV. Arrival and Overall Impression
The customs clearance in Seattle was very smooth, and then I went to the Delta lounge to wait for the next flight.
I enjoyed this flight because of the delicious meal and good sleep I had. The service from this flight is a bit lacking, though. The flight attendant was friendly, but the service was somewhat robotic, with very little interaction and extra attention. For example, the flight attendant never stopped by to ask if I want more drinks, and it is quite contrary to the five-star service I received on the outbound flight.
Overall, my roundtrip experience on Delta A330-900neo business class was excellent. Delta has brought many significant hardware upgrades and meal service improvement, and I think this has made their business class products very competitive for their international routes.