I managed to do a bit of spotting at PEK
before my flight - you can see the pics at the link below. In addition - I managed to take (what i consider) an excellent video of our landing into Chongqing - from descent right until turnoff from the active runway. It's all at this link below;
Beijing's airport was extremely busy this morning - both in the domestic and international sides of the single terminal building. The good thing about checking in here, was that specific flights did not have assigned check-in desks. You could check-in at any desk. It certainly beats waiting for the check-in counter to open if you arrive early - like i did!
The counter i went too was manned by a trainee - with a supervisor closely watching her every move from behind her. She did quite well, except that she almost forgot to attach the luggage tag receipt to my ticket. This would have been a problem when retrieving the luggage at the destination as the security check each bag vs. the receipt before you can leave the airport. Luckily, the supervisor noticed the mistake as I was just about to walk away from the desk!
As i checked in quite early for my flight which was scheduled at 11:45, I decided to go out a do a bit of spotting!
Identity check and Security screening was very swift (but perhaps not as detailed) considering the number of passengers!
I was pleasantly surprised to find the english-language China Daily in a newspaper stand outside the a/c as we boarded. However, once i looked at it, I found it was three days old!
Again this was a completely full flight. However, there were no tour groups on this flight - seemed to be a lot of business people! We began our pushback and the FA
's came on with a lengthy welcome announcement (the recording is available for you to listen to) and following that they showed the safety video - first in Mandarin and then in English. I guess there was a problem with the VCR because once the briefing finished, the tape rewinded itself and started playing all by itself! The FA
's weren't amused and couldn't figure it out! The co-pilot then came out to solve the problem! We all watched the safety briefing 4 times!
I must say that this flight was a bit better than my flight into PEK
from Hangzhou. The FA
's were very friendly, and one of the cute ones even spoke pretty good English and even some French (I was reading a French magazine). They made one drink round before lunch and another one after.
There was only one choice for lunch. Pork meatballs with gravy and rice. Served with Dried beef salad, jello, bun, and watermelon slices. It didn't look too great but on the most part was quite ok. I decided to try the famous Chongqing beer with my lunch - quite watery/piss like! I don't recommend it!
The flight was relatively smooth and it was pretty cloud-free outside until we approached Chongqing! CKG
is known for being shrouded with fog and mist all the time - it's a mountain city. To tell you honestly, I was a bit nervous, knowing all the mountains around, and the almost zero visibility! We broke thru the cloud cover probably 300feet above ground level and made a smooth landing into a very damp Chongqing airport! (Watch the video!)
The airport was pretty quiet at this time. We taxied past the new terminal which is due to open at the end of the year. I also spotted two Russian made aircraft belonging to "Air Great Wall" - but one of them was gone when i left Chongqing!
As I was leaving the aircraft, the cute FA
said to me "Au revoir!", i replied "Merci" and she said "Avec plasir!" - How good is that for a farewell! Do the do that on Air France!?
The old terminal building is very hospital like in its interiors. But it was only a very short walk from the a/c to the baggage claim.
The bags took some time to arrive and when they did, it was soaking wet!
Overall Verdict - 7.5/10
Good Points : French speaking FA
, good meal service, clean cabin and toilets.
Bad Points : Old newspaper, guy in front of me who reclined his chair to the max during lunch, dried beef salad, wet luggage!