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#4: Kungfu China. FM SHA-CGO & MU LYA-PEK  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

#4: Kungfu China. FM SHA-CGO & MU LYA-PEK



第四…中国功夫:上海航空公司上海红桥到郑州,中国东方航空公司洛阳到北京首都国际机场

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/cover4.jpg

Intro



Welcome to Part 4 of my 2013 Autumn Asia reports, covering my journey northward from Shanghai to Beijing. As I mentioned in part 3, I had 5 days between weekends to reposition myself between Shanghai (arrival point from Japan) and Beijing (jumping off point for North Korea). Where should I go?

I’ve already been to every province in China, so it’s fair to say I’ve already done quite a lot of the country. There are still a few black holes though. Very high on my list is north western part of Xinjiang province, on the Kazakh and Mongolian boarders. It’s meant to be beautiful over there. 5 days wasn’t really enough though.

Where’s in-between Shanghai and Beijing? Qingdao (TAO) on the coast was a good option. It was the first city I ever visited in China after Beijing back in 2003, and hadn’t been back since. Anywhere else? Ooh, how about Kaifeng? Yes, that’s the one. I’ve had Kaifeng on numerous itineraries over the years, but never got there for some reason. Lying roughly half way between Beijing and Shanghai, Kaifeng is a little walled town full of Chinese pagodas and temples, a bit of traditional China some may yearn for. Perfect.

How to get to Kaifeng? The nearest airport is Zhengzhou (CGO). My last time in Zhengzhou was just after I was last in Qingdao in 2003. In fact my first ever Chinese domestic flight (I’ve now logged nearly 90 sectors) was TAO-CGO on a CZ 737. I was there with my sister, and stayed just one night before heading on to Luoyang. We don’t remember much other than the city wasn’t very nice. Still, CGO had a reasonably priced flight from SHA on Shanghai Airlines, so that was that.

Not too far away from Kaifeng and Zhengzhou is the Shaolin Temple, ground zero of kung fu. Now, I’m not really into martial arts, but I thought that a visit would be interesting, as well as ticking off a well-known local landmark. Thankfully the nearest airport to Shaolin is Luoyang (LYA). There was a perfectly timed and priced China Eastern flight from LYA up to PEK. Sorted!

In case you missed them, here are my previous reports from Asia:
#1: The Reindeer Route to Tokyo. AY 320 & JL 787
#2: ANA & Peach. B747-400D HND-CTS-KIX + Hokkaido trains
#3: JAL Osaka-Shanghai, & The Chinese Bullet Train

My flight for this report


FM 9323 SHA-CGO B738
MU 5696 LYA-PEK A320

My route, courtesy of GC Mapper, of this report


My complete list of Asian flights


LHR-HEL AY A320
HEL-NRT JL B787
HND-CTS NH B744D
CTS-KIX MM A320
KIX-PVG JL B738
SHA-CGO FM B738
LYA-PEK MU A320
PEK-FNJ JS Tu204 (Tupolev 204)
FNJ-YJS JS IL18 (Ilyushin 18)
YJS-FNJ JS IL18
FNJ-FNJ JS An148 (Antonov 148)
FNJ-DSO JS Tu134 (Tupolev 134)
DSO-FNJ JS An24 (Antonov 24)
FNJ-FNJ JS IL62 (Ilyushin 62)
FNJ-FNJ JS IL76 (Ilyushin 76)
FNJ-DSO JS Tu154 (Tupolev 154)
DSO-FNJ JS Tu154
FNJ-PEK JS Tu204
PEK-HEL AY A330
HEL-LHR AY A321

And my map including all flights


http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/map2.gif

And my map including all flights, and without airport codes…might be a bit easier to see where I’m flying


http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/map1.gif

And finally just zoomed in on the Asian sectors


http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/map10.gif


Onto the Report



First off, some photos of Shanghai:

Nanjing Road
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Pudong from Puxi
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And the view from the Captain Hostel bar on Fuzhou Lu – this is probably the cheapest bar with a view (although it’s definitely not cheap cheap)


And some of my favourite dumplings. Steamed, then fried. Tasty
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One of the other prerequisites of picking a Chinese destination is that I had to be able to fly there from the new Shanghai Hongqiao Terminal 2. I’ve used Hongqiao more times than I care to remember, but the new terminal hadn’t been completed by the time I moved back to the UK, so was very keen to check it out.

First impressions are good – nice and airy.
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The MU Sky Priority desks were not too busy, but annoyingly they each had a separate line with one or two passengers in each. Of course Sod’s Law came into effect when my line didn’t move, when all the others did. I changed line, then the same happened again. Grrr. I asked if I could use one of the many empty First desks the other side of the tensa wire, but was told I couldn’t. Why would you happily leave a passenger waiting when there are numerous empty desks right next to you that they could use? Queues in premium area don’t look good.

Sadly, when I did finally get to a desk, the lady was neither friendly nor very efficient. I asked about lounge access, but was told that as I was on a domestic itinerary, I couldn’t. Why does Sky Team have this ridiculous policy? Do domestic itineraries not create enough profit? Give the size of some countries (China being one), I think the average fares are considerably higher than eligible international sectors are in, say, Europe. Star Alliance and OneWorld don’t have this horrid feature. I believe it was initially due to the local market in the US (where lounge access is often paid for, rather than given to status or premium customers), but the other alliances seem to have realised that this is a local rather than global phenomenon.

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Next up was security. This was very odd. After the customary boarding pass check, you are let into a small cordoned off pen. Once there are around 30 people in the pen, they open the cordon, and let you wander over to whichever x-ray queue you want. It seemed utterly pointless.

Still, the requisite 30 people soon filled our pen, and I was through security and into the airside area fairly quickly. Again, like landside, nice and airy, and a lot more going on than at KIX. Plenty of seating too.
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FIDS


My 1755 to CGO
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Thankfully, I had lounge access via Priority Pass at one of the generic airport lounges. It wasn’t the best, but far from the worst place either. I was able to get online, charge my gadgets, and have a drink.
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My gadget bag courtesy of Vietnam Airlines.
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I managed to fall into a infrequent traveller trap, and forgot that my laptop time hadn’t been updated. I throught I was late, so packed up and hurried off towards my gate (at the far end of the concourse). I stopped to check the FIDS and realised I still had an hour. Doh! I was right next to the China Eastern lounge. I walked up, showed my boarding pass, and was waved in. Wonderful.

The MU lounge was pretty packed, but I managed to find a seat
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The catering was a bit better than the common lounge, with a noodle station in operation, and Western beers.
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Forty minutes before departure I left the lounge and wondered down to the gate. CZ, like all Chinese operators, know how to do a nice special livery. They just all seem very reluctant to spruce up the standard livery.
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My 737
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Boarding was a bit of a mess. There was a priority lane, but it merged with the main queue, and the staff weren’t checking who was eligible to use it. Queue lots of moaning, and a long time to board.

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September 2013
Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) – Zhengzhou (CGO)
Shanghai Airlines FM 9323
Scheduled: 1755-1945 (1h50m)
Actual: 1808-1937 (1h29m)
Boeing 737-800 B-5077
Economy

.





View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Yang Wei
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Yang Wei




This evening’s flight was completely full, and the staff seemed rather stressed and harried
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Pushback
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Bye!
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A nearly on time departure
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Another flight, another lunchbox
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Bread, peanuts, water, cucumber and preserved vegetables
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And a choice of rice or noodles with mystery meat
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And tea and coffee…no beer on offer this evening


The meal was ok. Chinese airlines do seem to vary quite a bit in their catering, and even within an airline they change a lot. Whilst the quality isn’t the best, quantity for a relatively short flight is good.

There’s not much to say about the rest of the flight, other than I was told that mobile phones can’t be used at all on Chinese airlines, even with flight mode on. Is this a real policy? On another major Chinese airline, not only have I been seen using my phone by crew, but I even had a group photo with the crew taken on my phone! (and theirs!).

Nice and early we began our approach to Zhengzhou, landing a few minutes early.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/IMAG3025.jpg

The terminal was clean and shiny….like I mentioned before, this was the first domestic airport I ever arrived at in China over 10 years ago. I was hoping to remember something from before, but I couldn’t.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/IMAG3026.jpg

Sadly, Zhengzhou can join Nanchang on the list of airports with a taxi mafia….no one would use the meter, so I had to get the bus into town. I managed to get completely disorientated, and then couldn’t find a taxi from where the bus dropped me to get me to my booked hotel. I admitted defeat, and checked into the first hotel I saw.

The view from my hotel over the main square in Zhengzhou…grimy (and not just the window)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5195.jpg

The Provincial Museum – actually, this was pretty good, and just about the only reason to spend any time in town
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5196.jpg

A typical Chinese street
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And then welcome to Kaifeng…this is the China one dreams about. It does exist, but sadly this China is thin on the ground.
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After a few days in Kaifeng, I got the bus over to Luoyang, then down to Shaolin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5282.jpg

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And the “monks” doing a performance…pretty impressive
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And no performance in China is complete with some audience participation
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5341.jpg

With all the excitement of Shaolin and Kaifeng over, it was time to head onward to Beijing, by way of Luoyang Airport, a new airport for me, and 45th airport in China.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Outside LYA
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5347.jpg

There is only a common check in area for all flights. With my AF Gold card, I join the supposed Sky Priority line, although I doubt anyone else in the line is really eligible. All the queues more at the same slow pace. When I get to the front, I find out why…all flights are delayed, and the PEK flight has no departure time. Urgh. Sadly, this is far from uncommon in modern China, where the military control the skies (leading to airspace closures with no notice), and where weather can cause havoc, especially with the humidity in the summer.

My bag is tagged with a priority tag, and I’m given a window near the front as requested.



I ask about a lounge, and am told that there is one I can use. Wonderful.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5349.jpg

Sadly, all suitcases are x-rayed there and then. My half-finished bottle of Russian Standard I bought in KIX causes the security people to go into meltdown. They say it cant fly. I say it’s already flown up from SHA-CGO. They again insist it’s far too dangerous, and isn’t allowed in China. I again remind them that it has already flown in China, and the people in Shanghai didn’t mind. Sadly, they are insistent. I remove the bottle from the bag, and my suitcase continues its merry journey, complete with a different plastic bottle of vodka inside (I’d siphoned off some vodka for the weekend in Nanjing, and not drunk it). So, vodka in unsealed bottled is ok, as long as it’s not glass….

Landside
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FIDS
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5352.jpg


Security is quick, and I’m soon airside. With an unknown delay, I’m keen to find the lounge. I’m not happy when I see this:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5351.jpg

There are no staff around to ask to unlock it, so I head up to the main departures area. Thankfully, there is another identical lounge up here. The friendly lady on the desk smiles, and welcomes me in. The room is not terribly big, and there are precious few chairs left. Thankfully I find one in a corner and settle in. There is no buffet, but a cu[p of tea and a saucer of (tasty) snacks are brought over. More might be available on request?
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There is not much to do. There’s no wifi, so just play games on my phone. Eventually the Shanghai flight is called to board. One benefit of this lounge is direct access without having to go into the main waiting area.

The lounge after the Shanghai flight was called
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5357.jpg

In the end, the delay of unknown length became just an hour…not too bad. Lucky I wasn’t in too much of a rush.

Boarding 30 minutes after our STD
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5361.jpg

I was very happy to see the plane in the flesh….my first flight on a sharkletted Airbus! This was the second sharkletted Airbus in the MU fleet, and was less than 2 months old when I flew her.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5360.jpg


September 2013
Luoyang (LYA) – Beijing Capital (PEK)
China Eastern MU 5696
Scheduled: 1030-1155 (1h25m)
Actual: 1128-1253 (1h25m)
Airbus A320 with Sharklets B-9950
Economy

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View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © LiJichun
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © KingOfATC



I was welcomed onboard. The cabin was clean and fresh (as one would expect for a brand new plane).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/DSCF5362.jpg

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Outside, the Shanghai MU flight and the Guangzhou CZ flight behind
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Safety card


And magazine


The load wasn’t too heavy, and I ended up with a row to myself. Safety demo done, we pushed back.

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During my research before the flight it emerged that LYA, despite not ranking high for passenger numbers (a lowly 65th), it’s actually the 4th busiest airport in China in terms of aircraft movements, thanks to it being the main location of the Civil Aviation Flight University of China. as such, there were plenty of props filled with budding pilots around.
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An hour late, we’re off
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Twenty minutes after take off, lunch is handed out. A typical snack box, plus some hot stodgy fried rice.
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Tea and water
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The meal was ok….no more no less.

Reading the Global Times. I’d never seen this paper before in China…it’s a much better read than the China Daily.


IFE was in the form of a violent HK movie
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Before long we began our descent into a horrifically murky Beijing. The air pollution in Beijing really needs to be sorted out. Disgusting!
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Can the tower see us?
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We got a good gate right next to the centre of the terminal – not too far to walk to baggage reclaim
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Arrivals. LYA is the 1155 flight
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I decided to take the gamble on the road network, and grabbed a taxi and headed into town…big mistake, the 20 odd mile journey took nearly 90 minutes. To confound it, the taxi driver didn’t know where he was going, so I ended up having to get out and take the metro one stop to my hotel…Urgh.


So, what did I think?



Shanghai Airlines were ok. The crew were grumpy, but the catering was adequate. An early arrival is something on a bonus in China nowadays.

China Eastern…..thanks for sending the sharket plane! Otherwise, not impressed with the delay, but it really comes part and parcel with China today.

Flying domestically in China keeps evolving. Some newer airports, some worsening delays, some newer planes, even worse catering. I just wish that they would come up with some clear and sensible rules regarding security (flying with liquids and phones in plane mode). Wishful thinking!

As always, all comments and questions welcome, and thanks for reading about my latest trip! The next part will pick up at the welcome meeting for the North Korea Aviation tour which took place later that evening. Watch out for some retro Turpolevs, Ilyushins and Antonovs!



In addition to the other parts of this series, I’ve got three further trips planned:

A weekend in Jersey on BA in Y and J


Catching the LAN 787 between Madrid and Frankfurt in Business, along with some BA and AB feeder flights


And my winter getaway to Burma on a combination of BA, Saudia and Malaysia Airlines in a mix of Business and Economy
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/nk/burmamap.gif

Some of my other TRs:



#3: JAL Osaka-Shanghai, & The Chinese Bullet Train
#2: ANA & Peach. B747-400D HND-CTS-KIX + Hokkaido trains
#1: The Reindeer Route to Tokyo. AY 320 & JL 787
Jetstreaming to Anglesey with Citywing CWL-VLY-CWL
The Norwegian 787 Dreamtour – LGW-OSL-LGW
East Meets West with Cityjet. Inaugural LCY-DRS, NUE-LCY
Auf Wiedersehen FTL! LH/LO/OS LHR-DUS-WAW-VIE-LHR
Off to Zimbabwe, Part 3: Etihad JNB-AUH-LHR
Off to Zimbabwe, Part 2. BA/Comair, JNB-HRE, LVI-JNB
Off to Zimbabwe, Part 1. EI & EY, BHX-DUB-MAN-AUH-JNB
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 3, BDS-LIN-LHR
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 2. MXP-NRT-FCO-BRI
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 1. LHR-FCO-GOA
Dubrovnik with British Airways. Club on the B734
Autumn Asia Part 10: Take me home Saudia! DEL-RUH-LHR B777
Autumn Asia Part 9: Air India 787. Calcutta - Delhi
Autumn Asia Part 8: United Airways DAC-ZYL, Jet Airways DAC-CCU
Autumn Asia Part 7: Going Beyond Expectations. MH KUL-DAC on the A330
Autumn Asia Part 6: Silk Air and Firefly around the Malay Peninsula. SIN-LGK-SZB
Autumn Asia Part 5: Fine Dining on Scoot. TPE-SIN on the 777
Autumn Asia Part 4: First with Cathay Pacific: HKG-TPE F on the B744
Autumn Asia Part 3: Around China with KN, MU & CN
Autumn Asia Part 2: JALing it to Beijing. JL HND-PEK 772 Business
Autumn Asia Part 1: Limoncello with Alitalia. BA/AZ LHR-MXP-FCO-NRT
Va BeNe with Cityjet. RTM-LCY Fokker 50
Truly Great Britain: FlyBE EDI-IOM on Saab 340 & BA IOM-LCY on Saab 2000
Cyprus with Aegean. Business on the A321, LHR-LCA-LHR
Scotland In A Day: FlyBE GLA-BHD-LGW. DH8 & E190
Tegel A.Net Meet. SN LHR-BRU-TXL, LH TXL-BHX
Bye Bye Baby: easyJet LTN-BFS, bmi Baby BHD-BHX
Air One and Alitalia to Sicily – LGW-MXP-PMO-LIN-LHR
Part 12: Sun Air of Scandinavia & BA, DUS-BLL-MAN-LHR on the J31, D328 and A320
Part 11: Thai Airways BKK-FRA, B77W First Class & LH FRA-DUS Business
Part 10: Thai Airways Kathmandu-Bangkok, B772 Business Class
Part 9: Yeti Airlines “Everest Express” on the J41
Part 8: Biman Bangladesh A310 Dhaka-Kathmandu
Part 7: United Airways ATR Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar & Regent Airways Dash Chittagong-Dhaka
Part 6: Biman Bangladesh DC10 Calcutta-Dhaka
Part 5: SpiceJet B739 & Jet Konnect B738 Calcutta-Bagdogra rtn, with Darjeeling
Part 4: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class Singapore-Calcutta
Part 3: Sriwijiaya Airlines & Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER Banda Aceh-Medan-Jakarta-Singapore
Part 2: Valuair/Jetstar Asia SIN-MES and Garuda MES-BTJ
Part 1: U2 LTN-BCN, SQ BCN-SIN 77W Business
Africa Part 7: British Airways Club Europe B767, LCA-LHR
Africa Part 6: LX ZRH-ATH, A3 ATH-LCA. A Greek Tragedy
Africa Part 5: Dar es Salaam – Nairobi – Zurich with Swiss First
Africa Part 4: Fly 540 DAR-ZNZ in Y, and Zanzibar photos
Africa Part 3: ET KGL-EBB-ADD-DAR-ZNZ, A to Z with Ethiopian Airlines in C
Africa Part 2: SN BRU-BJM, SA BJM-KGL, Business to Burundi and Rwanda
Africa Part 1: BD LHR-CMN, TP CMN-LIS, SN LIS-BRU in Y and C
A.net meeting in snowy Tallinn. U2/FR STN-TLL-LTN
easyJet and bmi up to Aberdeen, LTN-ABZ-LHR
The Costa del Sol with British Airways. LGW-AGP-LCY
Mysterious Moldova (and Transnistria). Lufthansa LHR-MUC-KIV
BA to the Austrian Alps. LHR-MUC, INN-LGW
I can't get no Jetisfaction: LH LGW-FRA inaugural
Colombia Part 4: Colombia to London via FRA/MUC/HEL on LH & BA
Colombia Part 3: Colombia with Avianca (AV). SMR-BOG-MDE-BOG
Colombia Part 2: Colombia with Avianca (AV). BOG-MDE-CTG
Colombia Part 1: London to Colombia via ARN/MUC/FRA on BA & LH
USA and Mexico Part 4, British Airways Mexico City – London, World Traveller Plus
USA and Mexico Part 3: Around Mexico with Aereo Calafia Cessna 208B & Viva Aerobus B733
USA and Mexico Part 2: Sightseeing tour of SAN, and AA San Diego - LA – Dallas - San Jose Cabo
USA and Mexico Part 1: easyJet Luton to Paris, and BA Paris to San Diego via LHR in World Traveller Plus
British Airways to Scandinavia (LHR-CPH,GOT-LHR)
Where’s my bag? British Airways, Milan to London
What airline am I flying again? Bmi/Lufthansa Italia LHR-MXP
Albania and Macedonia: Austrian LHR-VIE-TIA, Macedonian Airlines SKP-ZRH, Swiss ZRH-LCY
Part 1, Lufthansa London-Munich-Frankfurt-Nanjing, Economy Class A321 and A343
Part 2, Cathay Pacific Shanghai to Tokyo via Hong Kong, Business Class A330 and B747-400
Part 3, ANA Boeing B767 Tokyo to Shanghai, & Air China Airbus A340 Shanghai to Beijing, Business Class
Part 4: Chinese domestics, inc. Joy Air Xi’an MA60, Tianjin Airlines ERJ, and China Express Airways CRJ
Part 5: Lufthansa Beijing-Frankfurt-London City, Economy Class A388 and E90
5 Countries, 5 Flights, 5 Days, with Ryanair (FR)
bmiFriday: Welcome to Sunny Norway, London to Bergen, A319)
Royal Jordanian, London to Aqaba via Amman. A330 and A320
Royal Jordanian, Amman to London, A330
London City to Antwerp with Cityjet and the Fokker 50
Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR, A319 and Dash 8
British Airways, Iberia & Binter to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, LHR-MAD-TFN-LPA-MAD-LHR, A320,ATR, A321
British Airways, London To Amsterdam, LGW-AMS-LHR, B737 & A321
British Airways up to a snowy Glasgow, with a change of flights and delay, LHR-GLA-LCY A321 and E90
Turkish Airlines Business Class from London to Istanbul. From Terrible To Fantastic
Turkish Airlines Business Class from Istanbul to Batumi (Georgia). Not again!
bmi Business Class, Tbilisi to London via Azerbaijan
Tallinn to London, with Estonian Air and BA, via ARN
Cuba! BA/IB London-Madrid-Havana, Business Class
Aerocarribean, Baracoa to Havana
Asia Trip, Pt 1: Qatar Airways Business Class (LHR-DOH-ICN)
Asia Trip, Pt 2: China Southern and Hainan Airlines (A321/A346)
Asia Trip, Pt 3: Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong to Penang
Asia Trip, Pt 4: Qatar Airways Economy (HKG-DOH-LHR)
A weekend in Transylvania with Blue Air (LTN-SBZ)
Helsinki for the weekend on BA and KF
Easter in Ukraine with Austrian
UAE and Oman with BA and Air Arabia. Y & Y+
HKG-LHR-HKG Air New Zealand, Premium Economy and Economy
US Airways LGW-DCA-MSP-LGA-LGW
London Heathrow - Zurich - Venice on Swiss Business for the weekend
Chasing the Eclipse on China Eastern
Taiwan: EVA Air (HKG-TPE rtn), UNI Airways (TSA-HCN), Daily Air (TTT-KYD rtn)
UA HKG-SIN-HKG Y Class, SQ KUL-SIN C Class
Bangkok to Beijing, Egyptair Business Class
Air China Beijing to Harbin, B777 Economy outbound, A330 First Class return
Tiger Airways, Singapore to Darwin return
A selection of Chinese Domestics; China Eastern, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines
Hong Kong to London on Singapore Airlines (744/380/77W)
Qatar Airways Beijing-Doha-London Heathrow (A330/A340)
Air China First Class. Beijing-Guilin via Xi’an
Armenia with Austrian Airlines. LHR-VIE-EVN
Round Asia Trip. URC-HTN,OSS-FRU,ALA-URC-LHW-KMG-JHG-KMG-SYX,HAK-NKG-PEK-NRT-LHR,
Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lucky Air, ANA, Economy and Business Class.

SAS and Lufthansa Business Class, LHR-OSL-FRA-FRA, B73G and B744



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 510 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Gab,

Very nice report about your set of china domestic flights!
Do they serve this snackbox along with a hot meal on every sector length?

Also very impressive how the blue sky turns into pollution!

Thanks a lot for sharing

Cheers,
Johannes


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Very nice report about your set of china domestic flights!

THanks Johannes!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Do they serve this snackbox along with a hot meal on every sector length?

Like I said, it varies a lot, even within in the same airline. I was surpised to get a hot meal choice on both sectors to be honest

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 2):
Also very impressive how the blue sky turns into pollution!

Impressive, but not very nice!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2148 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Your report encapsulated much of what I love and hate about visiting China. The fascinating history, the food both great and awful, the changes and modernisation. But also the pollution that makes you wonder if you've just lost years off your life, the hassles getting around and the rip off taxis. There is always so much more to see, but sometimes you wonder if it's worth the effort. I'm glad you think it is. Thanks for sharing.


Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Gabriel,

another very interesting review, always good to see reports about Chinese carriers. The food looks unimpressive, but better than nothing.

Nice Sharklet plane, not easy to get I guess considering that MU has the world's largest A320 fleet.


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):

The catering was a bit better than the common lounge, with a noodle station in operation, and Western beers.

Give me a local one over Heineken any day...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
Your report encapsulated much of what I love and hate about visiting China. The fascinating history, the food both great and awful, the changes and modernisation.

Yup, loads to see in China, both good and bad.

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
There is always so much more to see, but sometimes you wonder if it's worth the effort. I'm glad you think it is. Thanks for sharing.

China's worth it, you just need to persevere!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
another very interesting review, always good to see reports about Chinese carriers. The food looks unimpressive, but better than nothing.

THanks Udo. Yeah, the food is not amazing, but better to have than nothing

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Nice Sharklet plane, not easy to get I guess considering that MU has the world's largest A320 fleet.

No, only a handful in their fleet

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Give me a local one over Heineken any day...

Well, after living off them for a fewyears, you appreciate a stronger western beer!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report Gab!

Good to see your destination pics as well.

I experienced first hand the Chinese military taking over the airspace around CAN when I was coming back to Europe in March. 1.5 hours on the ground after our STD and no explanation from the tower for the delay. Frustrating beyond belief and a terrible last impression of China for all those passengers who then later missed their connections (including me) in Paris.

Great to see the A320 with winglets too. Nice catch.

Looking forward to the next instalment very much. Write faster!!!

Cheers Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Nice report Gab!

Thanks James!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
I experienced first hand the Chinese military taking over the airspace around CAN when I was coming back to Europe in March. 1.5 hours on the ground after our STD and no explanation from the tower for the delay. Frustrating beyond belief and a terrible last impression of China for all those passengers who then later missed their connections (including me) in Paris.

I know, it's such as pain. They really need to sort something out about that

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Great to see the A320 with winglets too. Nice catch.

Yeah, I was delighted!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Looking forward to the next instalment very much. Write faster!!!

I'm on it now! I'm finding it hard to write in my old age!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1744 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hello gabrielchew!

How nice to see another portion of Chinese domestics and especially the Shenzhen Airlines one, of which I haven’t seen a TR before. Kinda funny to see even the experienced of China traveller - you! - being lost in translation lol! At least finding the airports was not a problem   Oh and congrats on the MU sharkletted A320, a nice catch!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Bread, peanuts, water, cucumber and preserved vegetables

Looks strange, those meals, but taste is what matters of course  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
So, vodka in unsealed bottled is ok, as long as it’s not glass…

Sounds like a clear misabuse of power imho...

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinethe777man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Gabriel !

Very nice report with nice pictures !

The flights seem okay and nice with meals and especially the meal on the first flight looks very good. Too bad with the delay but that's so common now in China.

Nice pictures from SHA T2 which is where I arrived last year from PEK on my CA 77W flight.

Pictures from Kaifeng are really nice ! Looks like a great place to visit.

Looking forward to the North Korean report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Hello gabrielchew!

Hi Nils!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
How nice to see another portion of Chinese domestics and especially the Shenzhen Airlines one, of which I haven’t seen a TR before.

Shenzhen Airlines??! Whoa, you must have been reading a different report . I flew Shanghai Airlines   Glad you liked it anyway!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Kinda funny to see even the experienced of China traveller - you! - being lost in translation lol! At least finding the airports was not a problem

Oh yes, sometimes it even happens to the best of us!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Oh and congrats on the MU sharkletted A320, a nice catch!

Yes, a great catch

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Sounds like a clear misabuse of power imho...

Yeah, probably was

Quoting the777man (Reply 10):
Very nice report with nice pictures !

Thanks Lars

Quoting the777man (Reply 10):
The flights seem okay and nice with meals and especially the meal on the first flight looks very good. Too bad with the delay but that's so common now in China.

Yup, lots of delays in China

Quoting the777man (Reply 10):
Pictures from Kaifeng are really nice ! Looks like a great place to visit.

Yeah, i'm happy I finally got to Kaifeng - nice place for a night or two



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently onlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1168 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (11 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hi Gabriel,

Great 4th part of your Autumn Asia series! Nice to see some Chinese domestic flying. The food on both flights looks quite nice, just a shame they didn't taste that good. Shame about the MU delay, but I guess there isn't much you can do about it.. Congrats on catching your first sharkletted Airbus!
Great destinations pictures as well!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I asked about lounge access, but was told that as I was on a domestic itinerary, I couldn’t. Why does Sky Team have this ridiculous policy?

Couldn't agree with you more!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27118 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey Gabriel.  

Great report and love the pictures from China. Flights a mix as you say but interesting despite that.

I also agree about the ST odd rules. Still these things are sent to try us !

Thanks for the report and sorry I read out of sequence  

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (10 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):

Great 4th part of your Autumn Asia series!

Thanks Adam

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Shame about the MU delay, but I guess there isn't much you can do about it.

True, nothing I can do about it, but plenty that could be done about it. China just needs to sort themselves out

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Congrats on catching your first sharkletted Airbus!

I'm v ery happy I got this - not too many of them around

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Great destinations pictures as well!

Thanks!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Couldn't agree with you more!

Very anoying policy - hopefully it'll be improved sometime

Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
Great report and love the pictures from China. Flights a mix as you say but interesting despite that.

Thanks Phil

Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
I also agree about the ST odd rules. Still these things are sent to try us !

Thankfully I was tried, and won! Take that Skyteam!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice read and pictures Gabriel, glad I took the time to follow up on the rest of the reports.

Kaifeng

What a great looking place to visit, thanks for the pictures!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Sadly, all suitcases are x-rayed there and then. My half-finished bottle of Russian Standard I bought in KIX causes the security people to go into meltdown. They say it cant fly. I say it’s already flown up from SHA-CGO. They again insist it’s far too dangerous, and isn’t allowed in China. I again remind them that it has already flown in China, and the people in Shanghai didn’t mind. Sadly, they are insistent. I remove the bottle from the bag, and my suitcase continues its merry journey, complete with a different plastic bottle of vodka inside (I’d siphoned off some vodka for the weekend in Nanjing, and not drunk it). So, vodka in unsealed bottled is ok, as long as it’s not glass….

- As usual, rules are not standard enough, I have had issues with my liquids bag at T5, but only once in 3 years of having it! - staff on the day is the issue IMO.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (8 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
Nice read and pictures Gabriel, glad I took the time to follow up on the rest of the reports.

Well, thanks for commenting! Glad you like it

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):

Kaifeng

What a great looking place to visit, thanks for the pictures!

Yes, it's a nice less hectic part of China. I'd reccommend it

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
- As usual, rules are not standard enough, I have had issues with my liquids bag at T5, but only once in 3 years of having it! - staff on the day is the issue IMO.

Ah people, always the weakest link in the chain!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
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