justinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 326 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9121 times:
Hello A-netters! Here is my second Trip Report. As I said in my first Trip Report, I will introduce you something about the China domestic flight experiences which is rare here on A-net.
Living in Hangzhou, I basically took flights to PEK in HGH which has 25 flights per day. But I will also sometimes try the Air & Rail route: HGH-SHA-PEK by Hangzhou-Shanghai High-speed Railway. SHA, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, is a major domestic airport for Shanghai and it's much closer to the city center than PVG. SHA focus on business route such as SHA-PEK, SHA-CAN, SHA-SZX, etc.
For me, the reason I go for the Air & Rail is: So many widebodies in SHA! Carriers like CA and MU are intensively using 777/330 on the SHA-PEK route. Today, I am going to try the brand new CA 77W: B-2035 "Smiling China". "Smiling China" is the 10th 77W for Air China. There are 20 smiling Air China employees and 20 Air China fans painted on the metal.
Now I am going to present the Air & Rail link to PEK. I went to the railway station in HGH and took the CRH to SHA. The ticket price is RMB 77 and the traveling time is about 1 hour. China High-speed Railway is codesharing with CA and MU and many trains have the flight number now.
Hangzhou Railway Station, a very old styled station. The trains to Shanghai departure about every 30 mins.
Here is the platform. I am a bit late so...hurry up...
Cabin shot! The layout is 3-2 in 2nd Class.
The legroom is huge and plug-in is provided.
The maximum speed is 300 km/h.
Peaceful countryside near my hometown.
The restroom is clean, not like the old-styled chinese trains.
Train stop at SHA is only about 2 mins so everybody stood up...
Arrived at SHA.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
CRH-380B, which is based on DB ICE3.
The train left soon.
SHA is a massive traffic hub. It consists of a high-speed railway station, SHA T2, a long-distance bus station and many subway lines. The high-speed railway station in middle on the hub and SHA T2 is at the west end. The transfer in SHA is very convenient so many passengers in the nearby Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces would like to take the Air & Rail option in SHA.
The arrival hall of high-speed railway station. It's huge!
Continued to SHA T2. 200m? No...it's like 2km...
Here is the entrance of SHA T2.
Take a cup of coffee first...
Self-checkin counter. CA is in Zone A. As all the good seats were locked when I tried online check-in. I choose to check-in in the airport...
Zone B, C, D for other carriers.
Security check for Beijing Express Flights.
My boarding gate is No. 46. Just a few steps after the security check.
Some delays due to the bad weather. But not my flight
CA 77W special livery: Smiling China!
The jet bridge is not painted HSBC...but ICBC!
See how bad the weather is...rainy and windy
Something new here. Tibet Airlines to Lhasa!
Shanghai Airlines 757, will be retired soon. What a pity!
I love 77W!
My boarding card.
Some resting area.
The boarding process was quick for a 77W. It took about 20 mins.
The legroom is good on CA 77W. The layout is 3-3-3, very generous for domestic routes. Headphones are also provided.
The Eco seat with a leg rest...what a treat!
Some magazines. I really want to subscribe the CAAC magazine in my home but failed
For your safety
Some mood lighting
No hot meal this time...just a deli sandwich...
The inflight entertainment system worked fine. But for a A-netter, the only thing I need is...
Arrived at PEK T3 22 mins earlier...
I am the last one to deplane.
In order to take a photo of the business class
And the bar...it's empty on domestic flights...
Weather in PEK is better.
A Phoenix Hub!
Arrival hall of PEK
Took the airport express train to downtown Beijing.
Beijing Airport Hilton, perfect place for A-netters!
celestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 327 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8728 times:
Thank you for a wonderful TR. Only wishing there could be more photos!
The Shanghai Hong Qiao airport terminal looks nice and modern, a far outcry than when I used it 15 years ago!
Keep sending in your excellent TR. I would love to see a high speed rail TR from PEK to SHA some time.
justinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 326 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6474 times:
Quoting celestar (Reply 1): Thank you for a wonderful TR. Only wishing there could be more photos!
I'm so glad you like it.
Quoting celestar (Reply 1): The Shanghai Hong Qiao airport terminal looks nice and modern, a far outcry than when I used it 15 years ago!
The old Terminal 1 is still there, but is only used for LCC and limited international flights.
Quoting celestar (Reply 1): Keep sending in your excellent TR. I would love to see a high speed rail TR from PEK to SHA some time.
I've taken HSR PEK=SHA several times...but never think about it. I should do it next time!
Quoting beowulf (Reply 2): Thanks a lot for this trip report. Really like the aspect of traveling on different transport mediums (rail and plane).
It's a very convenient way to take flights for small towns nearby. I really love the idea of Air and Rail but very few chinese airports have direct link to the HSR system: Shanghai Hongqiao, Haikou, Changchun, Shijiazhuang.
Quoting celestar (Reply 4): Hi Justin, can you tell me what you are interested to subscribe to AIR CHINA in flight magazine? I looked at them every time I have a chane but I am curous to know what interest you that much?
There is simply nothing special. But why do ladies subscribe magazines like ELLE and Cosmopolitan
palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1116 posts, RR: 17 Reply 8, posted (7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5197 times:
Great report - thanks for posting this. Nice to read about a train/plane combination. The CA 773s look very nice inside. It's very impressive just how far China's airlines have grown and evolved in such a short time. I hope to fly with CA at some point in the not too distant future.
justinlee From China, joined Aug 2012, 326 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (6 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4154 times:
Quoting palmjet (Reply 8): Great report - thanks for posting this. Nice to read about a train/plane combination. The CA 773s look very nice inside. It's very impressive just how far China's airlines have grown and evolved in such a short time. I hope to fly with CA at some point in the not too distant future.
The CA 77Ws, as their flag ship products, are really high standard. It worths a try!
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9): interesting report, thanks for sharing this report with us! CA's 77Ws look slightly better than the 330's. however seatpitch still looks tight
chiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 890 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (6 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3511 times:
If CA A330 is considered out dated, then their 747 should be considered a dinosaur.
I just flew from SFO on B-2468. The interior is beat up. The recliner business class just don't cut it anymore. Even united has already dumped them. On top of that my seat (84A) the window panel has already popped out. You can see the interior insulation.
Food in business class is worse than UA. Just slightly better than the food i got on LH. The special stir fry scallop is too salty. Unlike SQ, which uses high quality big scallop. The CA scallop was about size of a US dime.
But the service attitude were decent. Although like typical Beijing style, the tones are very frank and may be perceived as impolite.
PEK on the other hand is really a bad airport to fly in and out of. I have never had any flight going into beijing or out of it on time. My connecting flight on CA986 was cancelled and rebooked on 1861 at 9:50pm. Even though i had no baggage AC won't let me catch the 8:30pm flight to SHA. I really wish CA's ability to deal with changes can be more flexible.
The lounge in Beijing is horrible. Loud and dirty. In fact, none of the lounge in China is up to par. The first class lounge in PEK for CA is a joke. That is something CA needs to improve.
Right now, I would recommend avoid CA as much as you can. Of all the star carriers, I would rank CA, LH, and UA much lower than likes of SQ and Thai.
While Thai's business class is outdated, the service and food quality makes it a good air line. OZ is also quiet good. SQ still the king of service for star.