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Topic: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-13 06:17:05 and read 27764 times.

Beijing-Shanghai/SHA on China Eastern A330-300 & Shanghai at Night


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Photo © BJ





Intro
The focus is on China Eastern and its A330-300 in part 2 of the report series about my recent trip to China. In addition I have posted some pictures taken in downtown Shanghai at night.

Background
When we were searching for flights prior to the trip, many options were available on the frequent Beijing-Shanghai (Hongqiao) route. In the end we chose China Eastern due to timing and aircraft type. All those who missed part 1 or want to read more about the background of the trip simply need to click here:
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330




Beijing Capital Spotting
Immediately after passing immigration we went to the check-in area for the China Eastern flight to Shanghai/Hongqiao. Our plan was to get to the airside area of Terminal 2 as soon as possible. So we would have several hours to hang around at an area reported to be good for spotting. Well, so much for the plan...
The dedicated multi-airline check-in area for the PEK-SHA shuttle was easy to find. Satchmo had flown on several Chinese carriers before (not on China Eastern, though) and was expecting a smooth check-in. However, the female agent behind the counter - not speaking English very well - refused to check us in. After a short, but slightly difficult conversation it was clear that she wouldn't be able to check us in more than two hours prior to our 17:00 departure. So there were about three hours left until 15:00 - probably without a chance to see a single aircraft.   

So we stored our stuff at a left-luggage office (charging some five Euro) and tried to find a spotting spot, first at Terminal 2 and then at Terminal 1. After 30 minutes without any success we decided to take the shuttle bus to the new state-of-the-art Terminal 3. During the bus ride we discovered several good spots in a public park and near several roads. Next time we know where to go at PEK. After leaving the bus we could indeed confirm all the positive reports about the building - it's huge and simply amazing in terms of architecture.
Interesting roof structure making good use of daylight:



Top level (check-in hall) and second floor:



I took a seat at the large glass front and could log all aircraft landing on the new (third) runway. Satchmo found a good spot just to the right of the main entrance. Not surprisingly, Air China was dominating on that side of the airport. Air China Boeing 777-2J6 B-2059...


Picture by Satchmo

Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6091:


Picture by Satchmo

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312ER 9V-SWI:


Picture by Satchmo

At 14:30 we took the shuttle bus back to Terminal 2, picked up our luggage and went to the check-in counters again.



Monday, 03 November 2008
Beijing (PEK) - Shanghai (SHA)
China Eastern, MU5118
16:00-18:05 (17:28-19:23)
Flying time: 01:33 (hrs)

Airbus A330-343X
B-6125 (MSN 773), delivered in 07/2006
Economy Class, Seat 17H



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Photo © YK
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Photo © Xiao min




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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Weimeng




Check-in, Second & Third Try
We had hoped for a fast check-in process now, but another surprise was waiting for us. After checking our reservation an agent explained that our flight MU5120 (scheduled departure at 17:00) would be delayed and told us we should re-book to flight MU5118, departing at 16:00. Of course we wanted to spend as much time as possible at PEK - so a delay would even be welcome. Satchmo started several attempts to explain that the delay wouldn't matter to us. But the lady didn't understand our point of view. Instead, she repeatedly said it wasn't clear yet how long the flight would be delayed - and she insisted on rebooking to the earlier flight. Apparently she simply tried to get us to Shanghai as soon as possible. However, then she added that the earlier flight would also be delayed for about an hour - so we stopped arguing and accepted her proposal. We knew most China Eastern flights on the route are operated by widebodies, so we weren't really concerned about the aircraft type.
The lady told us to go to a ticket counter where a friendly agent simply wrote some words onto our reservation confirmation. Fortunately, the rebooking was free of charge. Back at the check-in counter, the agent finally entered our data into the computer. Satchmo had never managed to get a seat in the back of the cabin on Chinese domestic flights last year, despite asking for it. The agents had never replied to his requests back then and always filled up the cabin from front to back. So we didn't expect too much now - but at least the agent reacted to our request. However, window rows in the back weren't available any more, the lady explained. So we accepted row 17, took our boarding passes and could finally go airside. Passing security wasn't a big deal. Most officers were friendly, except for one young lady with a grim face. Interestingly, she did the body check and she wasn't really cautious in touching my belt...   

Delayed or not Delayed?
After entering the gate area we had a look at the departures screen - and to our surprise MU5118 wasn't classified as delayed. So we went directly to the gate which was badly crowded - just like the other gates around. A China Southern A330 was parked at the gate, so we weren't sure whether the gate had been changed. We didn't see our flight on the gate screen which was reason enough to ask. A friendly male ground staff member told us that MU5118 was definitely delayed - and he pointed to a piece of paper attached to the counter: it simply said "16:43". According to the man, this was the arrival time of our aircraft here at PEK.   
At least we could finally settle down at a window and start spotting again. Thai Airways A340-642 HS-TNB taxiing around a section of Terminal 3:



Air China Cargo Boeing 747-2J6F B-2450:


Picture by Satchmo

Grand China Airlines Boeing 737-84P B-2652:


Picture by Satchmo

China Southern Airbus A300-622R B-2327:


Picture by Satchmo

China Eastern Airbus A319-112 B-2215 and waving rampers:


Picture by Satchmo

Together with all aircraft logged after arrival and during our visit to Terminal 3 I got 89 new registrations - not bad for the limited time at PEK. Finally our aircraft arrived - just as expected MU5118 would also be operated by an A330-300. And yes, believe it or not, it arrived at 16:43 - exactly as predicted.


Picture by Satchmo

B-6125 is the third of 15 A330-300s delivered to China Eastern.




Cabin Comfort
Boarding was started some 20 minutes later and it took a while until everyone was seated - the flight was packed, I didn't see a single empty seat. Friendly FAs welcomed us in the clean cabin which is equipped with blue and red seats. Cabin view picture from the database:


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Photo © Yang Wei



The slimline seats are comfortable...



...and seat pitch is generous. IFE boxes are installed under the seats despite the lack of PTVs:



Front Economy cabin view (taken later in the flight):


Picture by Satchmo


Departure & IFE
Interestingly, the captain made an announcement - definitely not common on Chinese carriers. He referred to the late arrival of the aircraft (not saying the reason) and explained that one bag had to be unloaded which would take five more minutes. B-6125 was finally pushed back at 17:28, almost 1,5 hours late. Two China Southern tail logos and a China Eastern logo on the winglet:



16 minutes later we turned onto the runway and the two RR Trents accelerated our aircraft for an unspectacular takeoff. The IFE was limited to Chinese TV features shown on overhead screens and an inflight magazine written mostly in Chinese. An airshow channel was not available.

Dinner
Even though the flying time was less than two hours, a hot dinner was served. There was a choice between beef and seafood and I ordered the former.



The sauce wasn't a culinary delight and some of the pieces of beef were really fatty, but the vegetables were ok and the rice was even quite good. The salad was ok, too, but the fine Chinese noodles weren't to my taste at all. In contrast, I can't complain about the pieces of melon. Bread rolls were served separately - even warmed up. In addition to the cup of water on the tray, different kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were available. We had hoped to get a Chinese beer this time, but all they had was Budweiser - no thanks. A second round of drinks followed later.

Except for the crossing of an area of turbulence the remaining flight was uneventful. Beautiful light effects and countless lights on approach to Shanghai Hongqiao:


Picture by Satchmo

We touched down after a flying time of 01:33 hours and tried to leave the aircraft and the airport as soon as possible.


The Bund Riverside Hotel - the Taxi Driver's Mystery
After grabbing our luggage from the belt we went in line at a taxi stand. There were six rows of taxis and an airport employee told the waiting people which taxi to take. The process was quite efficient and waiting time was minimal. When we were trying to put our luggage into the car, we faced the first problem: Like many taxis in Shanghai, the vehicle was LPG-powered and the tank took away half of the trunk space. So I ended up sitting next to my suitcase in the back.
Then we showed the destination to the driver: The Bund Riverside Hotel, very close to The Bund and the famous Nanjing Road. Satchmo had even printed a Chinese version of the hotel description, including address data. However, the driver - not speaking a single English word - seemed to be absolutely clueless. He looked at the piece of paper again and again and said some Chinese words. We were really surprised - he should at least know the road in that central downtown district!  
After a while the driver called someone, but it didn't help. Then he had to leave the lane so that other taxis could pass. Finally, he left the car and talked to another driver. When he came back he said something in Chinese which we interpreted as "Ok". He started the motor and joined the heavy traffic into downtown Shanghai. 20 minutes later he stopped in front of the hotel. The Bund Riverside Hotel is not a luxury hotel, but clean, comfortable, quite affordable and conveniently located.

Shanghai at Night...
Our time in downtown Shanghai was limited because we would spend the next day at Hongqiao Airport, so we decided to go for a short walk.

The futuristic Pudong skyline with the dominating Oriental Pearl Tower:



The Bund area with a mix of historic and modern buildings...



...such as the Customs House (left) and the Bund Financial Center (center):



Statue of Chen Yi, first mayor of Shanghai after the founding of the People's Republic of China:



Impressions from the famous neon light flooded Nanjing Road...







...with the giant Shimao International Plaza...



...and the UFO-like Radisson Hotel in the background:





Conclusion
Flying China Eastern was a positive experience altogether - even despite the fuss about the delay and the rebooking. Delays can be an issue everywhere, and apparently, the check-in agents were simply trying to get us to Shanghai as soon as possible. Ground staff members were friendly, just like the FAs. The A330 cabin was clean and in good shape, seating was comfortable. The lack of personal IFE was not a major issue on that relatively short domestic flight. Getting a hot meal on such a hop is of course positive, even though the catering was not exactly to my taste. Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to fly China Eastern again.

Next report: SHA-SZX on Shanghai Airlines


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2008-12-13 06:36:00]

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: CXtra
Posted 2008-12-13 06:50:31 and read 27684 times.

Great report, thanks for posting.  Smile

Interesting insight into the domestic servive on MU, and some well-composed shots of Shanghai at its best - nighttime.

I have to say that you might be forgiven for taking the PEK terminal to be HKG!  Wink

Cheers,
CXtra

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2008-12-13 07:46:47 and read 27567 times.

Nice one PH, a real good read and great pictures too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We had hoped to get a Chinese beer this time, but all they had was Budweiser - no thanks.

- Too right, Bud just has no taste, why do people drink this rubbish?

Loved the pix from Shanghai, they remind me of my visit some years back.

I have some 5 hours in transit in PEK in Feb, hopefully I'll pick up a few reg numbers too!

Look forward to the next installment.

Best Wishes

Mark

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2008-12-13 08:27:20 and read 27448 times.

Hi, PH,

interesting story.
I like especially your nightly Shanghai pix, amazing.

A hot meal on a shorty domestic, not bad and covering the MU A330, also not bad.

Looking forward to the next part.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2008-12-13 09:40:56 and read 27310 times.

PlaneHunter. Great report and fabulous pics. Really enjoyed your report (as always).

I am hoping to travel to China next year to try out some of the different airlines on a couple of domestic sectors - so am v interested in reading about your experiences.

I have read (recently) that there is now a dedicated spectator's park that has opened at PEK - it's mentioned I think in the latest edition of "Airports of the World". Did you see any signs or directions to this place?

Thanks again.

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2008-12-13 10:47:20 and read 27182 times.

Hi PH,

very interesting report about an airline and a routing that isn't covered frequently here, so I enjoyed reading a lot. The pictures taken by Satchmo and you are great.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
a delay would even be welcome. Satchmo started several attempts to explain that the delay wouldn't matter to us. But the lady didn't understand our point of view.

Well, in countries where plane spotting isn't popular at all, most people won't understand why some people want to spend more time at airports than necessary...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Even though the flying time was less than two hours, a hot dinner was served. There was a choice between beef and seafood and I ordered the former.

The quantity of food was indeed very impressive. Taste is an other matter, of course.

Shanghai by night looks quite impressive.

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: OA260
Posted 2008-12-13 12:41:12 and read 27038 times.

Very nice report and great pictures also. Shanghai looks amazing too.

Thanks for the nice report.

OA260

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: AOMlover
Posted 2008-12-13 15:03:50 and read 26848 times.

Great report ! I flew SHA-PEK on a MU A330-300 in February '08 and they definitely are nice aircraft.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
He referred to the late arrival of the aircraft (not saying the reason)

Haha, each time I took a domestic flight in China and it was delayed, the reason given was "late arrival of the aircraft". The true question is WHY did the aircraft arrived late !

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: The777Man
Posted 2008-12-14 00:03:16 and read 26358 times.

Excellent report as always!

Flew MU in 2001 in the other direction; SHA-PEK on a 733 (B-2978) and was also served a meal.

Looking forward to the next installement.

The777Man

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Allrite
Posted 2008-12-14 01:30:20 and read 26300 times.

Thanks for the TR.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
I am hoping to travel to China next year to try out some of the different airlines on a couple of domestic sectors - so am v interested in reading about your experiences.

It's surprising how easy it is to catch a variety of airlines and aircraft in China. We spent just over two weeks travelling around China and caught 5 different domestic airlines (6, if you count CX to HK and Japan) as that was what the local CITS travel agent booked for us - not because we tried to!

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-15 08:05:10 and read 25621 times.

Hello everyone, thanks for all your replies.

Quoting CXtra (Reply 1):
Great report, thanks for posting.

Interesting insight into the domestic servive on MU, and some well-composed shots of Shanghai at its best - nighttime.

Thanks, CXtra. Indeed, Shanghai at night looks great - but next time I will also try to see it in daylight.  Wink

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
Nice one PH, a real good read and great pictures too!

Thanks, Mark.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- Too right, Bud just has no taste, why do people drink this rubbish?

Good question. At least airlines should choose something else - but who knows, probably Bud offered a good deal.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
I have some 5 hours in transit in PEK in Feb, hopefully I'll pick up a few reg numbers too!

You will get many reg numbers, no doubt.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
A hot meal on a shorty domestic, not bad and covering the MU A330, also not bad.

Hot meal and widebody - always a truly good combination on domestic hops.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
PlaneHunter. Great report and fabulous pics. Really enjoyed your report (as always).

Thanks!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
I am hoping to travel to China next year to try out some of the different airlines on a couple of domestic sectors - so am v interested in reading about your experiences.

You won't have trouble to find many interesting flight options.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4):
I have read (recently) that there is now a dedicated spectator's park that has opened at PEK - it's mentioned I think in the latest edition of "Airports of the World". Did you see any signs or directions to this place?

I hadn't heard about that before - good to know!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 5):
very interesting report about an airline and a routing that isn't covered frequently here, so I enjoyed reading a lot. The pictures taken by Satchmo and you are great.

Thanks, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 5):
Well, in countries where plane spotting isn't popular at all, most people won't understand why some people want to spend more time at airports than necessary...

At least you don't run into trouble easily as a spotter in China.

Quoting AOMlover (Reply 7):
Haha, each time I took a domestic flight in China and it was delayed, the reason given was "late arrival of the aircraft". The true question is WHY did the aircraft arrived late !

Interestingly, the weather was blamed first when our Shanghai Airlines flight was delayed on the next day. Later on the plane, the captain told us about further delays due to "military exercises"...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Flew MU in 2001 in the other direction; SHA-PEK on a 733 (B-2978) and was also served a meal.

Quite small equipment back then compared to the loads of widebodies on the route today.

Quoting Allrite (Reply 9):
It's surprising how easy it is to catch a variety of airlines and aircraft in China. We spent just over two weeks travelling around China and caught 5 different domestic airlines (6, if you count CX to HK and Japan) as that was what the local CITS travel agent booked for us - not because we tried to!

The variety of airlines and aircraft in China is excellent - I want to go again as soon as possible.


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: United
Posted 2008-12-17 09:02:30 and read 24862 times.

Nice trip report, again!

I love reading about trips to/from/within Asia. It's fascinating!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

OMG! I totally had this experience in Beijing with taxi drivers, too! When my best friend and I went last winter, we had a bilingual (English/Mandarin) map that showed every street, hotel, whatever, in English and directly beside it in Mandarin characters. But we pointed to where we wanted to go, using simple Mandarin phrases we knew, but they could not figure out where it was... well it was with most taxi drivers this way, anyway. I have a theory though, that perhaps many Chinese taxi drivers may be illiterate (I don't mean this offensively, of course. Their country has grown and evolved leaps and bounds, and it was nor uncommon for many Chinese to be illiterate not too long ago)? Or possibly guest workers from other Asian countries who have limited Chinese skills?

Vielen Dank! Keep the excellent reports coming!

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Cgnnrw
Posted 2008-12-17 12:04:37 and read 24778 times.

Hey Planehunter!

Nice report.

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: CamAir
Posted 2008-12-17 19:22:06 and read 24603 times.

Hey Planehunter!
Your pictures are still amazing!
And China Eastern makes a good impression on them, just the beef looks a bit scary as if it wanted to eat you...  Wink

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: DALCE
Posted 2008-12-19 01:47:33 and read 24320 times.

Hi PH,

Thank you for pointing out your report being online here, didn't spot it yet  Smile
Again a great read, and some really interesting pictures made by Satchmo!
Is it allowed to make pictures f aircraft in China? I honestly don't know that  Smile
Kep up the good work, and keep those great reports coming!

Schöne Weihnachten!
Joost ( D-ALCE )

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-20 00:27:21 and read 24123 times.



Quoting United (Reply 11):
Vielen Dank! Keep the excellent reports coming!

Thanks a lot, United!

Quoting United (Reply 11):
OMG! I totally had this experience in Beijing with taxi drivers, too! When my best friend and I went last winter, we had a bilingual (English/Mandarin) map that showed every street, hotel, whatever, in English and directly beside it in Mandarin characters. But we pointed to where we wanted to go, using simple Mandarin phrases we knew, but they could not figure out where it was... well it was with most taxi drivers this way, anyway. I have a theory though, that perhaps many Chinese taxi drivers may be illiterate (I don't mean this offensively, of course. Their country has grown and evolved leaps and bounds, and it was nor uncommon for many Chinese to be illiterate not too long ago)?

Interesting thought - that could explain our experiences and similar reports. It has often been reported that masses of people from poor rural areas have been moving to the large cities - I guess there's a certain percentage of illiterates among them.

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 12):
Hey Planehunter!

Nice report.



Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 12):
Hey Planehunter!
Your pictures are still amazing!

Thank you, guys.

Quoting CamAir (Reply 13):
And China Eastern makes a good impression on them, just the beef looks a bit scary as if it wanted to eat you...

 Wink The meal on Shanghai Airlines was a bit better - report and pictures to follow soon.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 14):
Thank you for pointing out your report being online here, didn't spot it yet
Again a great read, and some really interesting pictures made by Satchmo!
Is it allowed to make pictures f aircraft in China? I honestly don't know that
Kep up the good work, and keep those great reports coming!

Thanks, Joost. It was absolutely no problem to use binoculars or to take pictures. Our hobby seems to be tolerated in the PRC. However, it was different story in Taiwan. I'll go into detail in the two Taiwan reports.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 14):
Schöne Weihnachten!

Prettige Kerstdagen!


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2008-12-21 06:36:49 and read 23950 times.

MU domestic looks good!

I'm booked SHA-PEK on CA next May and hope there are not many delays- have a KA flight to catch at PEK.

Regards,

Lufthansa747

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Ronerone
Posted 2008-12-21 10:08:55 and read 23903 times.

Mr PH!

An excellent TR indeed, with some great pictures!

It is very rare to see an MU report around here, let alone a domestic one too. In my opinion i feel that Chinese aviation is in a completely different world, and seems to operate in a very interesting way; something quite different to other areas.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After leaving the bus we could indeed confirm all the positive reports about the building - it's huge and simply amazing in terms of architecture.
Interesting roof structure making good use of daylight:

This is one terminal i am dying to experience! it looks just marvellous!

Pictures of Shanghai are excellent too, hope to visit this bustling city one day!

Thanks to you and Satchmo for putting this series together! Hope there's more!


Regards,
Roni

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Leskova
Posted 2008-12-23 03:36:13 and read 23648 times.

Once again, a great report! Thanks!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
.and seat pitch is generous. IFE boxes are installed under the seats despite the lack of PTVs:

... hmm... strange... why put in the boxes if you don't put in screens? Refitting planned soon?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Even though the flying time was less than two hours, a hot dinner was served. There was a choice between beef and seafood and I ordered the former.

I flew PVG-PEK on MU in 2001 and got a pretty good sized breakfast at the time - nice to see that they still keep up the good service. Got a MD-11 back then, though I'd really hoped to get an A340...  Sad

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I wouldn't hesitate to fly China Eastern again.

Same here. Of the three Chinese carriers that I've flown on (China Southern, China Southwest, China Eastern - or four if you count Cathay), MU was certainly the best one on the domestic routes.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
Loved the pix from Shanghai, they remind me of my visit some years back.

Same here!  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
Indeed, Shanghai at night looks great - but next time I will also try to see it in daylight.

And it is worth it! I liked it a lot, then again, I had the advantage of meeting someone I know back from school, and she's studied Sinology - and is fluent in Chinese, and, at the time, had been living in Shanghai for a couple of months, so we got a bit of the extended version of the tour around town...  Smile

Looking forward to your next report!

Thanks
Frank

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: NZ107
Posted 2008-12-23 18:18:16 and read 23521 times.

Hi PH,

Another great TR, well continued from the last one! Hopefully if I go to China, I'll have someone who speaks mandarin so I can get my way with flights etc! It must have been an interesting experience though. Shanghai's definitely on my to do list.

Fancy that - New Zealand Butter! How do the MU seats stack up against that of the Hainan ones?


Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-25 07:37:30 and read 23414 times.

Hi everyone, thanks for all new comments!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 16):
I'm booked SHA-PEK on CA next May and hope there are not many delays- have a KA flight to catch at PEK.

Let's hope you won't face delays by fog or military exercises (particular problem on our SHA-SZX flight)...what's the transfer time?

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
An excellent TR indeed, with some great pictures!

Thanks, Roni.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
In my opinion i feel that Chinese aviation is in a completely different world, and seems to operate in a very interesting way; something quite different to other areas.

Indeed, can't get enough of it. I need to go back as soon as possible.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
Thanks to you and Satchmo for putting this series together! Hope there's more!

The next part should be online in a few days.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
... hmm... strange... why put in the boxes if you don't put in screens? Refitting planned soon?

Lufthansa also had boxes - and seat holes - for a while before installing the systems. Hopefully MU has indeed plans to upgrade its IFE. As far as I know, PTVs aren't available on the A332s either (flying on long-haul routes).

Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
I had the advantage of meeting someone I know back from school, and she's studied Sinology - and is fluent in Chinese, and, at the time, had been living in Shanghai for a couple of months

Definitely an advantage!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
Hopefully if I go to China, I'll have someone who speaks mandarin so I can get my way with flights etc!

I think you will be fine even without a Mandarin speaker - as long as you don't have special requests.  Wink

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 19):
How do the MU seats stack up against that of the Hainan ones?

Seating comfort was similar, but Hainan's seats were slightly harder.


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Pumaknight
Posted 2008-12-25 09:31:14 and read 23368 times.

Nice TR - there is always a part of me that expects the Chinese airports to be filled with Yaks and other old 60s type airframes - your photos show i was totally wrong....some really nice aircraft there...

Thanks for sharing.

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: SandroZRH
Posted 2008-12-27 00:56:00 and read 23186 times.

Great report!

That pic of the inflight meal made my mouth water, but then again im a sucker for Chinese food Big grin

Shanghai's skyline has changed dramatically since i visited in the 90s, but the taxi drivers are obviously still the same, i had several similiar experiences back then.

Thanks for sharing!

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2008-12-27 02:46:55 and read 23160 times.

Hi PH,
finally the time to read this report. And it's pretty well documented again. The language problem is indeed a bit poor for a check-in agent at such an international airport, but on the other side, she wanted to rebook you to get you in Shanghai sooner, which is positive and a good job by the airline. I think many airlines in Europe will just let you wait in the lounge  Yeah sure
Great pics from downtown Shanghai. A place for me to visit some day in the far future!
Gruß
Eric

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-12-29 09:54:41 and read 22936 times.

Hi everybody,
thanks for all new replies!

Quoting Pumaknight (Reply 21):
Nice TR - there is always a part of me that expects the Chinese airports to be filled with Yaks and other old 60s type airframes - your photos show i was totally wrong....some really nice aircraft there...

These days are over, Chinese airlines have more modern fleets than many European and American carriers.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 22):
That pic of the inflight meal made my mouth water, but then again im a sucker for Chinese food

It didn't taste that good, though...

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 22):
Shanghai's skyline has changed dramatically since i visited in the 90s, but the taxi drivers are obviously still the same, i had several similiar experiences back then.

It must become worse every day with the taxi drivers - considering the city's growth.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 23):
A place for me to visit some day in the far future!

I can only recommend to go there!


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Ryanair!!!
Posted 2008-12-29 17:43:51 and read 22891 times.

Wow... I don't know how I missed this report altogether but I finally read it... Wow!

Everythime I see a trip report about China and the Chinese carriers I never fail to be impressed by the strides they have made in recent years and how modern they have become. This doesn't seem like the stuffy Communists we once knew them to be!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
He looked at the piece of paper again and again and said some Chinese words. We were really surprised - he should at least know the road in that central downtown district!

Don't forget that a metropolis like Shanghai attracts a lot of migrant workers from the countryside, and perhaps even from other areas of China! Likewise when I was living in Australia, specifically Sydney, none of the taxi drivers which shuttled me to and from the office / airport were from Sydney and they weren't even native Australians for that matter!

So it happens...

Awesome TR! Love your night photos of Shanghai!

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-01-07 04:35:16 and read 22452 times.



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 25):
Awesome TR! Love your night photos of Shanghai!

Thanks for your feedback, Ryan.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 25):
Everythime I see a trip report about China and the Chinese carriers I never fail to be impressed by the strides they have made in recent years and how modern they have become. This doesn't seem like the stuffy Communists we once knew them to be!

Indeed - the airports are full of relatively new A32X, A330s, 737NGs, 777s, etc...

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 25):
Likewise when I was living in Australia, specifically Sydney, none of the taxi drivers which shuttled me to and from the office / airport were from Sydney and they weren't even native Australians for that matter!

Interesting to know!


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2009-01-07 08:50:10 and read 22413 times.

And another fantastic one! I guess I'll book a flight to China when I read a few more of your reports.  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After leaving the bus we could indeed confirm all the positive reports about the building - it's huge and simply amazing in terms of architecture.

Indeed an amazing terminal, looks simply great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
she did the body check and she wasn't really cautious in touching my belt...

LOL! Reminds me of all my football stadium visits, I always go to a girl for a body check but they always say: "Sorry I can't do that, you must go to a male security guard".  Sad

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
China Eastern Airbus A319-112 B-2215 and waving rampers:

I thought that waving rampers are a Japanese thing. Interesting to see that it is also done in other Asian countries.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The slimline seats are comfortable...

Not hard to believe, they already look pretty comfortable on the picture!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Even though the flying time was less than two hours, a hot dinner was served.

Not bad! The price-performance ratio on Asian carriers is still very good. You can be glad already when you get served a sandwich on a two hour flight within Europe.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After grabbing our luggage from the belt we went in line at a taxi stand.

Why didn't you guys ride the Transrapid between the airport and the city center? That is something I would not miss when visiting Shanghai!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Shanghai at Night...

Awesome pictures, simply breathtaking!

Patrick

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2009-01-07 15:59:49 and read 22354 times.



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 27):
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After grabbing our luggage from the belt we went in line at a taxi stand.

Why didn't you guys ride the Transrapid between the airport and the city center? That is something I would not miss when visiting Shanghai!

Sorry for being a complete "Verplano"! Now I realized that you landed in SHA and not in PVG.
 rotfl 

Patrick

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-01-11 00:54:14 and read 22087 times.

Hi Patrick, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 27):
I guess I'll book a flight to China when I read a few more of your reports.

I can only recommend to do so.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 27):
Indeed an amazing terminal, looks simply great!

And it's one of the few modern terminal where you can actually find spotting spots. Can't wait to go there again.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 27):
LOL! Reminds me of all my football stadium visits, I always go to a girl for a body check

You'd love certain security checks in China...  Wink

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 27):
I thought that waving rampers are a Japanese thing. Interesting to see that it is also done in other Asian countries.

Yes, it's also done in other Asian countries, but it's a kind of standard procedure in Japan.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 28):
Sorry for being a complete "Verplano"! Now I realized that you landed in SHA and not in PVG.

No problem! Taking the Transrapid would have been nice, but maybe I make a stop at PVG next time.


PH

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: Globetraveller
Posted 2009-01-11 01:24:39 and read 22078 times.

Hi there PlaneHunter.

Another great trip report!

The new terminal in Beijing Capital just looks amazing! Great pictures! Overall, China Eastern looks quite good, especially the slimline seats. They look quite plush and padded actually.

Thank you for all your efforts!

Globetraveller

Topic: RE: PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-01-11 01:38:46 and read 22070 times.



Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 30):
Hi there PlaneHunter.

Another great trip report!

Thanks for your feedback, Globetraveller.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 30):
Overall, China Eastern looks quite good, especially the slimline seats. They look quite plush and padded actually.

China Eastern's product was indeed good. The seats were really well padded - in contrast to the slightly hard seats on Hainan's A330.


PH


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