Hainan Airlines Business Class From Los Angeles to Xi’an
Established in 1989, Hainan Airlines is one of ten that is rated five-star by Skytrax. Skytrax is an airline/airport review service that conducts a myriad of research into the airline industry from passenger feedback to flight crew and in-flight entertainment reviews. Hainan Airlines operate nearly 500 domestic and international routes and I recently flew with them from Los Angeles to Xi’an in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for a China tour with Shangri-La Hotels. The aircraft I flew in had a 1-2-1 reverse-herringbone layout (where the seats are angled towards the window rather than the aisle). The latter is a modernized version of of the business class cabin which is slowly becoming adopted by many airlines around the world. I particularly love the contrast between the white and red, Hainan’s brand color scheme.
The seat felt very spacious, with a lie flat bed measuring about 75 in (6’4″). There is also plenty of storage space. The TV measures about 15 inches (that you can control through an IFE remote) and there are a few hundred movies and shows from Hollywood to international classics. The windows on the Dreamliner are controlled by a button dimming mechanism rather than window shades. The bathrooms were very clean and the sink and toilet had touch-less automation. Hainan Airlines has hardcover Samsonite amenity kits which resemble small luggage bags! The amenity kits include a brush, socks, eye-mask, dental kit, lotion, fragrance and lip balm (by Clarins). The bathroom also has a few basics like lotion and facial spray. Cabin crew offers pajama sets after take off – they come in different sizes and are very comfortable. I recommend asking for PJ’s before the flight and changing in to them as soon as possible.
So what makes the 787 Dreamliner so special?
- The 787 has the largest windows of any aircraft to date (65% larger than any other aircraft window!) There is also no window blind to move up and down, instead there is a button on the bottom that allows you to dim the window and make it darker or lighter.
- The cabin lighting is designed to keep your eyes as satisfied and least tired as possible: cabin crew can make the airplane bright as daylight, colorful as sunset or simply the tone of a calm night sky. The cabin air is also fresher – helping you battle jet lag.
- The 787 also senses turbulence and automatically adjusts the wing control surfaces for a smooth(er) flight.
- When it’s empty, it weights around 118,000kg which is the equivalent of about 29 elephants!
Although I slept for the majority of this overnight flight, the menu boasted a number of delicious options like noodles, scallop and rice.Hainan Airlines has an on-demand dining service so you can order your meal at anytime throughout the flight. Many snacks are also available. For breakfast, I had an omelette with home potatoes, sausage and vegetables.
Overall,Hainan Airlines business class presents a competitive product in the industry in part due to its attractive pricing. The long flight felt comfortable thanks to the cabin layout, the entertainment options and the attentive staff. On the ground the service is impeccable, with cozy private areas for all the pre-flight necessities.