I never thought I'd be able to fly business class on my own dime. But then I learned about churning on credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve which is awesome for travel. This has allowed me to travel in comfort to over 50 countries, even Japan. On my way back from Tokyo to Newark, I flew on Continental/United airlines. The flight was comfortable, the food was outstanding as was the service. I have flown Continental on other occasions which were not as good. It really depends on what country you are flying to and from. This makes a huge difference. I would highly recommend this leg if you are traveling back to the New York area from Asia. This and ANA are the best flights I've had so far. To start, the seats reclined a full 180 degrees. This means you had a perfect flat bed to sleep on making this super long flight incredibly comfortable.
Our flight attendant started us off with toasted nuts and my new favorite: Japanese snackmix (must remember to buy this for home). The Snack Mix had sesame sticks, dried wasabi peas, and corn sticks. They also were quite generous with the Champagne pours (not Cava, not Proseco, Champagne).
The best thing about flying business first is the food choices. It makes this incredibly long 16 hour flight significantly better.
After the nuts and bubbly, the flight attendant came around with quite an appetizer cart. It included: a demitasse of Japanese clear soup, sauteed shrimp, chicken sate and assorted sushi. I was in heaven. The soup had seaweed and an egg to break inside. The shrimp was nicely cooked; not rubbery or dry. The rice for the sushi was not overly sweet and the fish was super fresh. A girl could get used to flying Continental Airlines Business First Tokyo to Newark quickly.
A bit later, we were presented with a gorgeous salad of greens, red and yellow tomatoes, cucumbers and roasted pine nuts. The pine nuts added great texture and the dressing (creamy wasabi) was a delight.
The airline gave us the choice of a Western or Japanese meal. I opted for the Western option (I was being gluttonous). Within the Western choice there were three different options: grilled tenderloin steak (Antonio's choice), roast breast of duck or Japanese Seabass (my choice). The Seabass came in a light consomme sauce over sauteed leeks (added a bit of sweetness) with vegetables (zucchini and carrot) and with sauteed shrimp. I would gladly eat this dish at home.
Antonio's steak was delightful. Again, like most flights, it came well done...but not dry. It was dressed in a red wine sauce with potato gratin and vegetables. Another lovely dish. Next time I need to travel with more people so we can taste every dish available.
As if this was not enough, the flight attendant came around with a gorgeous cart with cheeses, fruits and Port.
This was followed by dessert: vanilla ice cream and assorted pastries. I have to admit that Continental had defeated me; I had to skip dessert.
Breakfast I did not skip. I have to apologize for not putting up a picture, but after flying for 17 hours my photography skills just were not there. Breakfast started off with a fruit plate and croissants. The Western choice was an herb omelet with tomato concassee, pork sausage (delicious), grilled pork loin and hash browns. The Japanese option was made up of a young sardine with spicy cod roe, vermicelli with chicken, braised saury, hijiki seaweed and a Japanese omelet...oh yeah it also came with Japanese pickles, miso soup and steamed rice.
One thing is for sure, on this flight, Continental (now United) will not let you go hungry. I'll have to go with the Japanese option on the next flight, something I am actually looking forward to.