Milehighclub From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2004, 47 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2897 times:
29th March 2004
Departure: 14:45 Arrival 16:28
As anyone who has ever flown out of CAN knows, the Domestic terminal resembles a market with stalls selling everything from the infamous durian fruit, to an assortment of candies, clothes, toys etc!
I arrived at 12:50 at the counter, however the LED screen indicated that the counter would open at 13:20 and close at 14:20. 13:20 came and went, and still there was no one at the counter. Eventually the counter opened at 13:40. Surprising that there was hardly anyone in line at this time checking in for the flight.
Check-in was a painless process - bags tagged and boarding pass in hand within 1 minute.
The waiting room at CAN was absolutely packed. There seemed to be a flight departing every 3 minutes! This airport was busy! I got to gate 14 at 14:05, and from that time to the time that boarding began for my flight - they boarded three other flights using the same gate. From my gate there was a Air China departure to Beijing, China Southern to Hangzhou and China Southern to Beijing.
When boarding opened for my flight, there was a mad scramble for the counter.....don't these people know that the plane isn't going anywhere without them!
After scanning the boarding pass, you are put into a "holding pen" where you wait for the bus to take you to the aircraft.
I must say that i was pleasantly surprised by the service onboard China Southern. Even though it was a short domestic flight - the service surpassed my CX flight from HKG-MNL a month earlier (similar distance/duration). Upon boarding we were greeted warmly by 2 cabin crew. This a/c was configured with 4 business class seats all of which were already occupied. On my seat was a pillow and a pair of those old style pneumatic headphones.
While taxing for t/o, i could see that the domestic terminal was heaving, however the international terminal just had a measly VN airbus and a MAS A330 that had just arrived from KL. Take of was smooth, although there was very heavy cloud cover today....couldn't see the ground again until touch down at PVG.
On-board service was pretty good. Very clear and friendly announcements in english and mandarin by both the flight crew and cabin crew. Two drink rounds and lunch was offered. Lunch was a choice between pork or beef. I chose the pork. My seatmate chose the beef. They both looked similar - sort of like a cake/pate made of pork, served with rice and vegetables. I was a bit apprehensive, but after my first bite, I couldnt get enough! It was great!
Inflight entertainment consisted of a South Korean soft porn comedy (no! i am not kidding!) shown on the frequent overhead screens and 4-5 channels of music - one of which was in english.
Arrival in PVG was smooth and we parked at a remote stand. It was raining quite heavily here and was also completely shrouded in fog. Couldnt even see the control tower.
Bags were on the belt within 10 mins. of disembarkation, and I was in Puxi by taxi 1h20mins after landing.
Overall verdict - 7/10 - would have been higher if not for the delay. American domestic airlines should maybe take a leaf or two out of this airline!
The777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6081 posts, RR: 56 Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2808 times:
Nice trip report ! I flew China Eastern about three years ago SHA-PEK and had a great experience on them as well.
I flew China Southern in Mar98 HKG-CAN-HKG and it was two very short flights; the first only 21 mins on a 777!!! I agree that the current terminal leaves a lot to be desired in CAN but the new airport should be very nice and should open on 28Jun04 from what I have read.
Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....GA, T5, CI and LX 777s
Ariegel From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2742 times:
Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Do you fly domestically in China often? I've been based in Shanghai for the past 18 months, and have always been pleasently suprised by the service levels on all of the "Majors".. Just got back from a round trip PVG-DLC-PEK-SHA last week, and can't say a bad thing about all flights, always on time, clean/new planes, and tasty catering.. Definately something that other airlines should take a look at!!
Ryanair!!! From Singapore, joined Mar 2002, 4652 posts, RR: 27 Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2729 times:
Wow.... it is a surprise and refreshing to hear a good trip report to dispell the myth about how scary Chinese domestic flights are. Looks like CZ have decided to brush up their standard of English as we all know how disastrous direct translations can be.
Do you have an example of their in-flight announcements?
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Milehighclub From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2004, 47 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2651 times:
Thanks for all the comments! I'm actually still in Shanghai and will be flying to PEK on Monday so i'll let you know how that goes. I took a trip on the maglev "for fun" - as i've got too much luggage to take it to the airport. It's out of this world!
As for the inflight announcement the welcome message went something like this "Welcome to all our distinguished passengers and members of our Sky Pearl Club. Our flight to Pudong will take 1h38mins and we will fly over .... and .... Our altitute will be 26,000feet. We have also prepared a lunch service for you in addition to offering several beverages. We wish you a pleasant flight."
Ariegel - Do you know if its possible to fly to Hangzhou from Shanghai - All indications are that the bus or train are the only way to go? Is that true?
Ariegel From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2617 times:
Unfortunately, there are no air connections (yet) between HangZhou and Shanghai.. The train service is just too frequent (and convenient). Catching the express train you can be in HZ in a little over 2 hours..
The maglev is definately something else.. My company has an office out on the pudong side by the maglev line, and it's a lot of fun to walk outside for lunch and catch the train flying by at over 400kph..
The best announcement was one I got on a Shanghai airlines 737-800 from PVG-Dalian last week. Something along the lines of "ladies and gentlemen, we have arranged for some turbulence, please be seated with your seatbelts fastened".. sure enough, a few seconds later, they delivered as promised...
9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1780 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2583 times:
Great report. I flew on CZ last year, and I am amazed with the service on board. In my opinion, they are the best chinese carrier in China. I flew Shanghai to Wuhan (vice versa) 738 and Wuhan-Xiamen (733) and Xiamen to Singapore (A321) . No hesitation to fly on them again.