AA767400
Topic Author
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:09 pm

On this grand China trip, I decided to see both Beijing and Shanghai. It just so happened that it was towards the end of the Chinese new year. It all starts at Heathrow with connections in ZRH, and PVG. I must warn you that this is my first trip report, so beware!  

The day starts off leaving the Sheraton Heathrow hotel, and taking the Hotel Hoppa to T1. Me and my friend decided to try out the "The Great British Lounge", BMI's beautiful international lounge in T1. The lounge was clean, chic, and modern. And it offered great views of the tarmac. I apologize for the quality of photos.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16505.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16506.jpg

"The Great British Lounge"

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_0640.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_0642.jpg

Scenes on the tarmac.

LX 317 25/02/10

LHR 0850 ZRH 1135

A320 (HB-IJR)

Seat: 7C Y

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_0643.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16509.jpg

My bird (HB-IJR) arriving from ZRH.

Boarding was pretty easy, and there was a 90% load today to Zurich. The Crew were professional, and efficient. Service consisted of a croissant, and a beverage. Announcements were made in German, and English. It was a quick hop, with some great views of the German, and Swiss countryside.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16512.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16538.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16551.jpg

Views of this sunny day!

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16571.jpg

Always good to get up close and personal.  

So we headed from the hardstand to terminal E. The process was easy, but I assume it will improve when they open the new concourse? I always love the tram from the main terminal to E because of the cow sounds, and images as you travel in it.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16575.jpg

Swiss territory!

I find Zurich to be a pleasure to transit through compared to FRA, or LHR. There is something about this place that seems so right for me. So multicultural, efficient, and clean. And the layout is just the right size. Pretty much just like Zurich the city itself.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16584.jpg

Swiss Lounge in Terminal E.

The lounge was not ground breaking, but adequate.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16586.jpg

My bird with A330's in sync behind her.

LX 188 25/02/10

ZRH 1300 PVG 0740

A340-300 (Sorry, no registration)

Seat: 11K

After a nice glass of wine upstairs, we went over to our gate. The gate was packed with mostly Chinese passengers forming long lines. As usual the rush to board as soon as possible was in full effect. Once onboard we got situated in our sexy A343. We were served pre-departures, and welcomed aboard by our lovely Swiss Flight Attendant. She was from Lausanne, and treated us with genuine care.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16589.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16605.jpg

LX J class on the A340.

Push back was slightly late due to ATC slot restrictions. Once we were on the runway, our A340 rotated for a LONG time before lifting off the ground. I forgot what a lousy climber the 343 is with those hairdryers.  http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16604.jpg

Great views of the Swiss, and Austrian alps on our ascend.

And then the service began. Lunch was served with Swiss style. I chose the spinach tagliatelle with pumpkin ragout and was not disappointed. Sorry, but only took a photo of the salad.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16620.jpg

After lunch, and a glass or two of wine, I settled in. The sun was starting to set, and since I was still on New York time, I passed out for a good 6-7 hours! The J class seats on this A340 or not Swiss's newest, but are angled seats. I had kind of a hard time getting in the right position, but eventually got it in the right position. Another thing that I took notice of was the light blue color of the inner overhead compartment door. Is this because this was an ex-OS aircraft? I know that OS has that color scheme.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16623.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_0653.jpg

Very close to the Himalayas!

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_0656.jpg

Very interesting how both east and west bound ZRH flights were routed over Beijing, and then south to Shanghai.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16629.jpg

Dawn with winglet!

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16628.jpg

Breakfast time! Very delicious, and just the right amount.

One on arrival, we walked over to passport control. One thing about Pudong I find is how Japanese the airport feels. Very Narita like. Customs was a breeze, and off we were to Hongqiao airport. Hongqiao is Shanghai's mostly Domestic
airport. It has a hand full of Korean, and Japanese destinations also. The new terminal in Hongqiao is set to open this month, so I just missed it. The original older terminal we arrived at to make our Shanghai Airlines flight was too small and outdated.

Checking in was chaotic as one would think. Thankfully *Gold is there to help me, and checked in at the premium desk with no line. The process was flawless, and FM is very good with the logistics of *Alliance. Hongqiao has a free for all of gates with airlines. So you will have multiple carriers boarding right next to each other. The lounge here is very outdated. Hopefully with the opening of the new terminal, the new lounge will be better.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16636.jpg

Hongqiao check in area.

FM 9103 26/02/10

SHA 1130 PEK 1350

767-300ER (No reg.)

8K Y class

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2448.jpg

My FM 763 waiting for me to take me to Beijing!

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16640.jpg

FM 763

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16644.jpg

View on the tarmac.

Once on board, we were greeted by two Crew members. FM's 763s our outdated. The plane needs a refurbishment soon! The seats however were pretty comfortable. Crew members were not friendly, and indifferent. We had to wait about 45 minutes at the gate due to Chinese ATC. Once airborne, the Crew got started with their service. The toilet facilities on this plane were old and dirty. They had no paper towels to dry your hands with, and the soap was a hockey puck that laid on top of the basin. The service consisted of a beverage, with Beef noodles. It was pretty nasty. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the contents inside. But trust me, this is not something you would want to see, or smell for that matter.   

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16642.jpg

Forward section of economy class.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16647.jpg

Larger aft section of economy.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16667.jpg

Lunch. It was terrible. Sorry for not taking a photo of the actual meal.

We began our descent, and arrived at the massive Beijing Capital airport. This place is HUGE! With plenty of space to roam and relax. Somehow I found the place a little too big.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16697.jpg

My bird parked after arrival.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16996.jpg

Colorful Air China aircrafts.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16706.jpg

PEK arrival area.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16983.jpg

Curbside at PEK.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16987.jpg

Check-in area at PEK.

Baggage retrieval was smooth and quick. We grabbed a cab to our hotel in Beijing. China is incredible. Beijing is beautiful this time of year with the snow and lack of crowds at tourist attractions. The Great Wall was fantastic, and with the snow made it even more magical. We flew down to Shanghai on an Air China A340-300 a couple of days later. Air China was much better than FM I found. I did not take to many pics of that journey, so no report on that. Shanghai was also great. I enjoyed the Chinese experience, and would love to come back soon. Next time I will visit Xian and the terracotta warriors, as well as Lhasa in Tibet.

I leave you with some photos of my trip. Hope you enjoyed my first trip report. Next time I will make sure to take better pictures.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2462.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2463.jpg

Mutianyu 慕田峪

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2498.jpg

Snacks.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2533.jpg

Forbidden City guards.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/IMG_2539.jpg

A gilded lion in front of the Palace of Tranquil Longevity.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC16938.jpg

Lanterns for the new year.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC17178.jpg

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/Lion764/China/SDC17162.jpg

  
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nethkt
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:36 pm

And now I want to visit PEK!
What a way to travel from London. You could just simply do BA LHR-PEK!  
But I am sure you want it STAR ALLIANCE WAY  

Thanks for the report.
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3720
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:34 pm

Quoting nethkt (Reply 1):
What a way to travel from London. You could just simply do BA LHR-PEK!  
But I am sure you want it STAR ALLIANCE WAY  

Well, Air China has daily LHR-PEK flights, and they fly their new A330 on the route, so Business is quite nice (although maybe not as polished as LX).

Quoting AA767400 (Thread starter):
Customs was a breeze, and off we were to Hongqiao airport.

You know you can fly from Pudong to Beijing, saving you the schelp across Shanghai?

Quoting AA767400 (Thread starter):
Air China was much better than FM I found.

it used to be the other way around, CA was pretty terrible (often still are), but FM I generally find pretty good (although their B767 are quite long in the tooth). The CA crews generally have better English skills.

Quoting AA767400 (Thread starter):
The service consisted of a beverage, with Beef noodles. It was pretty nasty.

Its nice to get a hot meal on a shorthaul domestic flight though!

Quoting AA767400 (Thread starter):
Next time I will visit Xian and the terracotta warriors, as well as Lhasa in Tibet.

I leave you with some photos of my trip. Hope you enjoyed my first trip report. Next time I will make sure to take better pictures.

A trip to Lhasa and Xi'an are a must. You're photos are great - can't wait to head back top PEK next month!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1608
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:44 pm

You are a good salesman. Now I also want to visit Peking.

I am a little worried about connecting in Zurich as I have to do it with a 90 year old requiring wheelchair assistance / GVA - ZHR / VNA. Am I correct you often have to get on a bus and then take a train? It's OK for most people but in my situation it may be a nightmare.
 
DALCE
Posts: 1614
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:45 pm

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:07 pm

Very nice report of a grand trip to China!
Also some high quality photo's included which to me is added value to the story!

ps. The LX 340-300 you flew on was HB-JMA  

cheers,
Joost (D-ALCE)
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
AA767400
Topic Author
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:32 pm

Quoting nethkt (Reply 1):
But I am sure you want it STAR ALLIANCE WAY

I did, however CA does have their A332 on LHR-PEK. The LX flight was available, and CA was not.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
You know you can fly from Pudong to Beijing, saving you the schelp across Shanghai?

The price was much more economical from SHA, than from PVG for that date. Plus I got to visit the old Hongqiao before it is gone.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
it used to be the other way around, CA was pretty terrible (often still are), but FM I generally find pretty good (although their B767 are quite long in the tooth). The CA crews generally have better English skills.


Very interesting. I'm sure FM's newer 738/321 are a better experience. Good to know, thanks.  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
A trip to Lhasa and Xi'an are a must.

I bet, and can't wait! The views most be incredible.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 3):
I am a little worried about connecting in Zurich as I have to do it with a 90 year old requiring wheelchair assistance / GVA - ZHR / VNA. Am I correct you often have to get on a bus and then take a train? It's OK for most people but in my situation it may be a nightmare.

I would allow as much connection time as possible. I took the 0845 flight, but in your case the 0600 would be the way to go. That would allow you plenty of time to transfer over to E, and get some Swiss chocolate as well!

Quoting dalce (Reply 4):
ps. The LX 340-300 you flew on was HB-JMA

I thought so looking at all the pics later. I took HB-JME on the return. These beauties are elegant!

Thanks all!
"The low fares airline."
 
reifel
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:20 pm

Very nice report. I loved Beijing when I visited it 1,5 years ago, we went to Mutianyu as well.

SHA is indeed a very old airport. We had an overnight stay here (the flight was PEK-SHA on China Eastern A340 in the evening and then connecting next day in the morning from SHA to Shenzen on China Eastern A300-600). Honqiao at night is a disaster. We slept in that nasty airport hotel which is linked to the terminal, it was gross. Would never ever recommend it.

China Eastern was fine, especially on the PEK-SHA sector. And yes - I can confirm that the catering in SHA is horrible  

Thanks for sharing!
 
AA767400
Topic Author
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:52 pm

Quoting Reifel (Reply 6):
connecting next day in the morning from SHA to Shenzen on China Eastern A300-600)

Would be nice to get a chance to fly on the MU AB6 before they retire the type. Even if I got my dose at AA of the plane.

Glad you had a great time as well. Beijing really is an underrated destination.  
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ZKOJH
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:51 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:04 pm

very nice report, I just got back from China last week, already miss it. I flew CA from LHR to PEK on the A332. not very good, they need to sort the food out, IFE did not work, no beer etc. for a star alliance airline very poor.
Vietnam time..
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:34 pm

Very enjoyable report. China looks a little chilly at this time of year! Lhasa would be really nice to visit - but by train I think is best. Seat61.com is always a good source for when you go to research it!
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8133
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:52 pm

Nice report & pictures, sure sounds like you had a great time ikn China, which I admit from what I have seen is a lovely country - I need to see more!

Not much detail on the LX flights but seems you enjoyed them, even if the J class seats are the old style. I quite enjoy travelling on LX myself, shame I can't find an excuse to do so more often.

Regards

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
 
AA767400
Topic Author
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:08 am

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 9):
Very enjoyable report. China looks a little chilly at this time of year!

Thank you. It was chilly, but there was something about fireworks for Chinese new year while it was snowing that made it special.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 10):
Not much detail on the LX flights but seems you enjoyed them, even if the J class seats are the old style. I quite enjoy travelling on LX myself, shame I can't find an excuse to do so more often.

Sorry for the lack of detail. Once I post my next report, I'll make sure to add more for sure.

I'm looking forward to trying out LX's newer J seat. Maybe I'll test the waters to Africa with them.  
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MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:18 am

Nice trip report, makes me want to see PEK as well one day.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
kulatict
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:20 am

RE: Grand China With LX, CA, And FM In J/Y.

Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:07 am

nice report... i shot the exact angle of your PEK T3 departure hall's roof curvature

Quoting AA767400 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the contents inside. But trust me, this is not something you would want to see, or smell for that matter.

oh trust me, i live through that on my CA flight on b757 from PEK to KUL...its a 6.30 hour flight and the 4 lavs for the Y class is pretty much close to the nature of China's highway rest area half way into the flight.... eeeccckkkk

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