Hello from Xiamen! Andrew and I just flew from Los Angeles to Xiamen, which is a new route for Xiamen Air that just started a few weeks ago. More exciting than the new route as such was that we were flying on a new 787-9, featuring Xiamen Air’s newest business class product.
Xiamen Air’s first US route was from Seattle to Shenzhen, which I reviewed last year. That route was operated by a 787-8, featuring both business and first class. I thought the seats were fine, though what impressed me most about the experience was the soft product.
What’s interesting is that Xiamen Air decided to eliminate first class on their new 787-9s, and instead installed a new reverse herringbone business class product. While I’ll have a full trip report soon, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the experience in this post.
Xiamen Air’s new business class cabin is gorgeous. Not only does it have my favorite kind of reverse herringbone seats, but the finishes are nice as well, in my opinion.
In terms of amenities, each passenger got two pillows, a day blanket, and a duvet. I wish there had been some sort of mattress pad, though I managed to get a solid six hours of sleep (the flight time was about 14 hours), as I found the seat to be really comfortable. The late night departure probably didn’t hurt either.
In terms of other amenities, there was a nice Crabtree & Evelyn amenity kit, as well as slippers.
Xiamen Air offers complimentary inflight wifi, which is fast (I was able to use a VPN, so I could access Google, etc.). This is a huge selling point for Xiamen Air over other Chinese airlines, as very few have wifi, let alone wifi that’s pretty fast and free.
The flight left LAX shortly after midnight, which is way past my bedtime. As I remembered from my previous flight on Xiamen Air, the way they do meal services is interesting.
They serve everything on trays, though not in the same way other airlines would. Other airlines give you a tray and then remove the appetizer and salad plates, then bring out the main courses, etc. In other words, with most airlines there’s a single tray that’s used.
In the case of Xiamen Air thy bring you a tray with the appetizer and salad, and then remove the tray.
Then they bring you a tray with the main course (steamed seabass) and soup (braised lotus root red date soup with pork spare rib), and then remove the tray.
Then they bring you a tray with the dessert (fruit, mango cheesecake, and ice cream), and then remove the tray.
I appreciated how efficient the crew was, given the late night departure. The meal service was done an hour after takeoff, which I think is the fastest meal service I’ve ever had in an international premium cabin.
Breakfast was equally quick, and consisted of cereal, an omelet, fruit, and opera cake.
As far as the crew goes, they were efficient, friendly, and robotic. I feel like the previous Xiamen Air crew I had was a bit more charming, but the ladies working business class were still very good, and I have zero complaints.
I continue to think that Xiamen Air offers one of China’s best business class products. The 787-9 has a phenomenal hard product, free wifi, fairly good food, and efficient and friendly service.
I’d recommend them in a heartbeat, especially as they’re part of SkyTeam, so they’re a great option for earning and redeeming miles. Add in the fact that they often have great business class fares, and this is a very attractive option.
If you’ve flown Xiamen Air, what was your experience like?