New direct Beijing to Seattle route with Hainan Airlines

The Seattle Tacoma International Airport has been my starting point for many an adventure, so I am always partial to any news regarding the caffeinated city’s connection to the outside world. Well, add another point to Seattle’s cool list: China’s largest privately owned airline Hainan Airlines will begin flying a direct Seattle to Beijing flight starting June 9, 2008.

With four flights a week, this is Hainan Airline’s first service to North America. On top of it, if you end up traveling with the airline once in China you will get to play its Unexpected Fortune game. “What,” you may ask, “is the Unexpected Fortune game?” All domestic travelers receive a ticket (10 of them if you are seated in First Class) which has a mahjong tile symbol on it, and depending on which one you get, you might win some Chinese yen.

Despite the chances of winning some Chinese spending money, I am personally most excited about the in-flight seated yoga service; the 11.5 hour flight from Seattle to Beijing never looked so good.