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sultanils
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Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:19 pm



i n t r o d u c t i o n


你好or Nǐ hǎo fellow aviators!

This report is about another 5th freedom flight in Europe, one that has started not too long ago: Air China has introduced a PEK-VIE-BCN-VIE-PEK service which runs 4 times a week flying utilising an A333 aircraft. They also run a PEK-MUC-ATH-MUC-PEK service but the timings and prices for connecting flights were more favourable for the BCN-VIE runs.
So traffic rights for the VIE-BCN-VIE sector are secured and thus a nice way for us aviation geeks to sample an exotic airline and a widebody aircraft on a relatively short route not far from home. I chose to travel on the BCN-VIE sector, which allowed me enough time before and after the flight to construct a suitable schedule for a day trip:

BRU-BCN on Ryanair B737-800 (from BRU, not from CRL),
BCN-VIE on Air China Airbus A330-300,
VIE-STR on Germanwings Airbus A319 and
STR-BRU on Eurowings for Germanwings on CRJ900.

A few weeks before the actual flight, fellow a.netter MIAspotter, who is a Barcelona resident, decided to join in as well   

p r o l o g u e


Here’s a collage of my journey to BCN with (the new) Ryanair. I secured an exit row seat at booking to make the flight a bit more comfy which was a good decision. It was a nice and tranquil flight, no annoying PA’s but some things like the ‘on time arrival fanfare’ and the ‘scratch card lottery’ never change  


BRU to BCN
FR2917
Boeing 737-800 EI-DLY
STD-STA 06h25-08h25
Y class
seat 16F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrea Tabanelli-Lugo Spotter



The actual flown route as recorded by a gps.






Departing BRU.










Arriving BCN.







b a r c e l o n a e l p r a t a i r p o r t


A good few minutes after disembarking I find myself already landside at the arrivals area of the lowcost terminal T2 at BCN.




There’s a free transfer bus that connects T2 (where I am) and T1 (where I need to be) which runs almost permanently. Note that the info was displayed but cameras do strange things when photographing electronic displays 


The journey takes about 10 minutes to complete in a packed bus.


Then it’s out of the bus and into the terminal to find the check-in area. Air China does not offer OLCI from BCN so the manual way it is. I hold a seat reservation so procuring a window seat may not be an issue today.


I am quite early - the flight doesn’t leave for +2,5h - and the area is not too crowded. After a 5 minute wait or so I’m attended by a friendly male agent. Within a minute I have my boarding pass and desired seat    The flight is fully booked from BCN.




Then about half an hour later, my buddy MIAspotter trickles in. Despite the fact that check-in has a solid line now, he is attended within a good 15 minutes.

Off we go to security.


We first decide to go into the lower level which is the Schengen area to see if we can spot our vessel.


Now let’s see, where is she?


Ah, found her! No need to hide yourself madam  


This is the best view we can get as she’s parked at a rather inconvenient spot, at least from a spotter’s perspective.


2 other heavies are parked at the other side.


Our gate is E74 which is located behind the immigration desks, so that’s where we go.




Good views, also from this area! Note the big Air Europa bus which is scheduled for a BCN-MAD shuttle service.



Delta to JFK.


United to EWR.


And finally in all it’s (mediocre) splendour is here, no thanks to the extremely dirty windows, our ship to VIE.




The desks are set up for boarding.


Meanwhile we strategically position ourselves at the front to be able to board early and get some interior shots. We’re also right next to the departure runway which sees a coming and going of planes, ready to leave Barcelona behind.






Oops, wrong forum   



The boarding starts which is basically a free for all despite the fact that the agent invites status holders and travellers with infants first. We also take the splurge and are amongst the 1st pax to enter the (filthy) boarding bridge.







C_Air-China-Logo
BCN to VIE
CA842
Airbus A330-300 B-5912
STD-STA 11h30-13h45
Y class
seat 60L


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mats Salder



The actual flown route as recorded by a gps.



o n b o a r d f l i g h t # 8 4 2


A male and female FA are at the door, welcoming and directing pax to the right aisle. No dice in turning left though...


B-5912 is only 0,5 years old and factory fresh delivered to Air China. It shows, the interior looks immaculate   


A few and more Nǐ hǎo later, I’m at my seat. A pillow and blanket are placed on the seat cushion and headphones are packed and provided in the seat pocket.






The IFE unit is under each individual seat but doesn’t take away your foot space.


I immediately notice how little personal space there is, Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me   

The tray table is small.


A view accross the cabin.


The PTV’s show some kind of ‘nature collage’ which is accompanied by soothing boarding music.




The seat pocket is well stuffed, too bad the magazine is only in Mandarin or alike so it’s a no read.


Some branded stuff.






I nearly break my neck for this shot to show you the power ports. Unfortunately I don’t find a USB port 


This control unit is also placed quite awkwardly, not that you should use it by incident, but you have to turn your head in an uncomfortable angle just to see which button to push. Note also the dual jack headphone socket.


The load is indeed high and the FA’s are helpful in stowing everyone’s stuff in the bins.


At about 11h25, that captain comes on with a welcome speech in fluent English and German (!), no Chinese (!) and tells us we’re good to go but unfortunately we’ll have to wait another 25 to 30 mins at the gate due to ATC restrictions and a busy airspace. Also the leading FA welcomes us aboard.


During the cabin secure check, it strikes me how strict the FA’s are with the use of smart and other phones, the use of them is not permitted during the flight, not even in flight mode. At a given moment, one of the leading FA’s stands next to a Spanish pax instructing him several times to switch it off and not leaving her position until she actually verifies herself that the device is powered off.

So what do you do when you have to wait? Look outside perhaps?




And indeed, after a good 25 mins, things finally start moving   






The taxi to the runway is only short.




We hold some time at the threshold while this Lufty bus lands on the other side of the airfield.


Off we go for what will be a powerful takeoff! Make some noise Rolls Royce 










The engines continue to make a loud noise, until we reach cruising alt, then the noise dies down.




Now, let’s start some IFE, shall we? It’s a touchscreen system and it is well responsive. An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information   






Other options include a reasonable selection of international and Chinese movies and series and even an e-reader.






‘Sorry, only noodles sir, is that OK for you?’ It is, but what if I should say no...  Lunch consist of stir fried beef & vegetables & noodles, potato salad, raisin cake, a bun and a drink of choice. Interestingly, still water is served directly with the meal whereas the drinks cart comes along a while later. No tea or coffee afterwards, only on demand  


Oh yes, the lunch is very tasty yet the noodles are quite oily.


When nature calls, you gotta go, so I’m off to the loo.




Here’s an overview of the full aft cabin. Interestingly, there are no toilets in the back of the plane, only in the middle. Note the curtains on the right side, they mark the seats that are used as crew rest area (3 rows). Passengers were allowed to sit there though for this flight only.


With the lunch devoured, it is time to get back to the order of the day, as we initiate our descent into VIE.




Nearly there.


Sailing between some cloud layers, things get a bit bumpy.








Soaring past the Neusiedler See.




Feels like Belgium in Austria  




We land in Vienna after 1h42 in the air.






On the way for our parking spot at 1 of the satellites. Here’s a Peoples Viennaline Embraer.


The F terminal and home of Austrian Airlines & Star Alliance partners - at least some of them.


The apron is quite busy.




Everyone has to leave the plane during the stop and the PEK bound pax are asked to remain seated and let the VIE bound pax disembark first. Of course, everyone obliges   and I nearly have to fight my way through to the exit.

You can change surf for fly 


We pass through the business section, which looks to be not well loaded.




On the way out of the plane, I’m reunited with MIAspotter who has spent his journey in seat 45A.

v i e n n a i n t e r n a t i o n a l a i r p o r t


We walk together until the immigration control booths, where we bid adieu as his next flight is to FRA and mine is to STR. Thanks again for the good company MIAspotter we should do this again anytime sooner or later  


For me, gate F04 is the next destination.


VIE’s dubious signage doesn’t prevent me from taking a shortcut by bus.


Oh look, it’s B-5912!



e p i l o g u e 1


The journey home on Germanwings will be featured here, just like in the prologue, in summary to make the report complete.


VIE to STR
4U2755
Airbus A319 D-AKNU
STD-STA 16h45-17h55
Y class
seat 25F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Bravo Muñoz



The actual flown route as recorded by a gps.










Departing VIE.








Arriving STR.





e p i l o g u e 2



STR to BRU
4U2164
CRJ900 D-ACNN
STD-STA 18h40-19h40
Y class
seat 11F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Mahu



The actual flown route as recorded by a gps.










Departing STR.










Arriving BRU.







c o n c l u s i o n


I quite enjoyed my maiden flight on Air China. The newish plane,nice cabin and good catering certainly contributed to that. Still there’s room for improvement, mostly in the seating comfort department. The lack of personal space was striking and as I already mentioned, I’m not looking forward to a longhaul flight in these seats. Moreover, the awkward way of reclining/sliding forward reduces the little room even more. What I also did miss was a USB port, but given the strict onboard policy on portable-devices-that-one-can-call-with, I’m not surprised they forgot to install those  

谢谢您的阅读 or Xièxiè nín de yuèdú or Thank you for reading and any comments are appreciated and gladly answered!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:50 pm

Hi Nils,

you're quick with writing, not sure if I like the new style with these pictures, a bit too arty maybe? The CA pictures real good, clean windows on a new plane is what we want in the end and so you were lucky  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me

Normal pitch, most European airlines have 31-32" as well. Slide forward is getting standard more and more, even CX has it in Y, and I was on some other companies as well (I think MH new cabin on the 738, HX on the A330 etc.)

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I nearly break my neck for this shot to show you the power ports. Unfortunately I don’t find a USB port

Well, give me those power plugs any day over those 'stupid' USB ports, which are of no use to me. I will not download my content on the IFE system anyway, and..., charging from USB ports is mostly not possible. The power plugs do their work (when turned on by the airline...).

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Interestingly, there are no toilets in the back of the plane, only in the middle.

Not unusual. CA probably had a large galley in the back of the cabin, and a 4-6 toilets in the middle cabin? I've seen it more, just depends on airline preference.

Good that you had a nice day out!
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
The777Man
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:29 am

Hi Nils !

Thanks for a nice report with nice pictures!

Good to see you try another wide body flight within Europe.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
A few and more Nǐ hǎo later, I’m at my seat. A pillow and blanket are placed on the seat cushion and headphones are packed and provided in the seat pocket.

Looks nice and familiar; basically the same as on their 77W that I took a few years ago.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
let’s start some IFE, shall we? It’s a touchscreen system and it is well responsive. An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information   

Looks the same as on the 77W as well. Nice! But content could be better.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Sorry, only noodles sir, is that OK for you?’ It is, but what if I should say no...  Lunch consist of stir fried beef & vegetables & noodles, potato salad, raisin cake, a bun and a drink of choice. Interestingly, still water is served directly with the meal whereas the drinks cart comes along a while later. No tea or coffee afterwards, only on demand  

Still very nice for a short hop within Europe……..

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
not sure if I like the new style with these pictures, a bit too arty maybe?

I have to agree with Eric here; not a fan at all of those small pictures. Way too artsy for me.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Normal pitch, most European airlines have 31-32" as well. Slide forward is getting standard more and more, even CX has it in Y, and I was on some other companies as well (I think MH new cabin on the 738, HX on the A330 etc.)

Agree with Eric here as well; normal these days. Slide forward is very common on long haul aircraft nowadays.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Well, give me those power plugs any day over those 'stupid' USB ports, which are of no use to me. I will not download my content on the IFE system anyway, and..., charging from USB ports is mostly not possible. The power plugs do their work (when turned on by the airline...).

I'm happy with either power plug or USB port. I've had no problem charging from either kind. I've never been able to watch any of my content thru the USB port though but that's okay.

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:24 am

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Hi Nils

Hi Eric, thank you for your comments.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
not sure if I like the new style with these pictures, a bit too arty maybe?
Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
I have to agree with Eric here; not a fan at all of those small pictures. Way too artsy for me.

Trying something different doesn’t hurt anyone, does it   No problem if you don’t like it, I wanted to make the report complete and not too long, this way I feel I have succeeded in that without emphasizing too much on the less interesting flights.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Normal pitch, most European airlines have 31-32" as well. Slide forward is getting standard more and more, even CX has it in Y
Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Agree with Eric here as well; normal these days. Slide forward is very common on long haul aircraft nowadays.

I know, but can I just say I didn’t like them   It was my first time experiencing these seats.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Well, give me those power plugs any day over those 'stupid' USB ports, which are of no use to me. I will not download my content on the IFE system anyway, and..., charging from USB ports is mostly not possible. The power plugs do their work (when turned on by the airline...).

The power plugs do their work, sure, as most of the time, the USB ports as well. On LH, EY and WY I could perfectly use the USB for charging. Also, whereas power ports can be a hassle with adaptors, USB is universal.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 1):
Not unusual. CA probably had a large galley in the back of the cabin, and a 4-6 toilets in the middle cabin?

I know it’s not unusual, different airlines, different preferences in cabin config. But the galley wasn’t that large in the back, not like for ex on AZ’s T7 I saw last year.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Hi Nils !

Hello Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Thanks for a nice report with nice pictures!

No problem.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Good to see you try another wide body flight within Europe.

That was exactly the purpose of this day.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Looks nice and familiar; basically the same as on their 77W that I took a few years ago

Good to see some consistency here  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
But content could be better.

I didn’t explore it much as the flight was too short but I did see a movie or 3 that would appeal to me.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
very nice for a short hop within Europe

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
I've never been able to watch any of my content thru the USB port though but that's okay.

Me neither, I don’t use it for that purpose either, solely for charging if possible.

Thanks for taking the time to comment guys.

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:57 am

Hola Nils!

Nice insight in this brand new flight.

Good to see you enjoyed a great day of flying around Europe.

The plane looks great but when they park in those corners it is really difficult to have good views especially in the mornings when all the American friends come by.

FR is trying hard to freshen up their image, the website and the possibility to book seats has added some value to the company, I see that the behavior (lottery, ontime fanafarre....) on board has not changed though.

Despite the good looking seats CA seems to offer a limited space on board. I wonder, if they serve a hot meal on the sector BCN-VIE, do they serve another one after leaving VIE plus a breakfast before landing? These must be the most fed passengers on one single flight.

Glad to see you had these combination of aircrafts on your day, almost all brands involved. Good!

I certainly liked the pictures lay out... Especially the opening picture, really well done.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Traveling is Living)
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:56 am

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Hola Nils!

Hey Roger!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Nice insight in this brand new flight.

Thanks, I’m glad you liked it  

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
The plane looks great but when they park in those corners it is really difficult to have good views especially in the mornings when all the American friends come by.

So true and MIAspotter also told me right away that it was parked at the worst possible location.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
FR is trying hard to freshen up their image, the website and the possibility to book seats has added some value to the company, I see that the behavior (lottery, ontime fanafarre....) on board has not changed though.

The new FR is definitely an improvement over the old one. The website looks much better and indeed the assigned seating is the best change ever. Also on early and late flights they keep the PA’s limited and at lower volume. No complaints from me over this flight!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
I wonder, if they serve a hot meal on the sector BCN-VIE, do they serve another one after leaving VIE plus a breakfast before landing? These must be the most fed passengers on one single flight.

I wonder about that too. I’m sure they won’t receive another hot meal? Dunno, really...

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
I certainly liked the pictures lay out... Especially the opening picture, really well done.

That’s good to hear. I won’t do this every time I guess but this way I thought you’d get a good impression on the other flights beside the Air China one.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Roger!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
lychemsa
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:45 am

Very interesting. Did many get off in Vienna and what was the fare.

The SWISS A330 also have toilets in the middle and the seats are also cramped. The armrests cannot be completely raised which is annoying.

[Edited 2014-08-22 02:46:35]
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:58 am

Nice report Nils! Looks like you had a pleasant flight with CA! Nice that they serve a full hot lunch, rather than just a snack.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I immediately notice how little personal space there is, Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me

Oh dear, that doesn't sound too nice. It looks likie they've also changed C class, with the seats now being flat rather than slopey

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
During the cabin secure check, it strikes me how strict the FA’s are with the use of smart and other phones, the use of them is not permitted during the flight, not even in flight mode. At a given moment, one of the leading FA’s stands next to a Spanish pax instructing him several times to switch it off and not leaving her position until she actually verifies herself that the device is powered off.

Ha, it's so variable. SOme staff just don't care, other are very militant. On CZ I had crew taking photos with me on mobile phone, and other staff saying I couldn't use my phone to even listen to music....
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
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newbief1yer
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:08 pm

Great read Sultanils, and very interesting route.

Interesting to note MU to Rome from BCN. Did not know of that 5th freedom in Europe.

The AVOD looks slick, although the same cannot be said about the seats. It does looked a bit cramped.
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:27 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):
Did many get off in Vienna and what was the fare.

I can’t really tell as everyone had to get off and basically ignored the FA’s request to let the VIE bound pax off first. Fare was a bit under € 100.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):
The SWISS A330 also have toilets in the middle

Toilets in the middle and in the back have my preference so less people congregate in those areas. Only imagine being at the bulkhead having people queue for the toilet all of the time, annoying!

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 8):
Great read Sultanils, and very interesting route

Thanks newbief1yer, good to read your comments!

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 8):
Interesting to note MU to Rome from BCN. Did not know of that 5th freedom in Europe.

I guess it’s more a codeshare than a 5th freedom route, AZ operates this one, flight #177.

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 8):
The AVOD looks slick, although the same cannot be said about the seats. It does looked a bit cramped.

AVOD is quite ok indeed but the seating is not, at least not for me...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Nice report Nils!

Hey Gabriel, thank you!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Nice that they serve a full hot lunch, rather than just a snack.

Indeed, nothing beats a proper meal on a short flight 

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
It looks likie they've also changed C class, with the seats now being flat rather than slopey

Oh, have they? For the better then? I’m not into that kind of stuff  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
SOme staff just don't care, other are very militant

Then I must label the staff on my flight as ‘militant’ (to the bone)   

Thanks for taking the time to comment guys!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:23 pm

Hi, N.,

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
谢谢您的阅读 or Xièxiè nín de yuèdú or Thank you for reading and any comments are appreciated and gladly answered!

Thank you for the time to write and bring it together with the pictures.
A good read it was.
Well done with the routing. And a really good idea to catch one more big bird the short way around Europe.
Good to see STR this way, you know, I´am there, too, but early in the morning.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
jwhite9185
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:54 pm

Hi Nils... Good story. Although I kinda already heard a similar one last week! Air China look decent enough on this short hop. They give more of a service than LA do on their 5th freedom anyway. I only received a sandwich there.

Nice way to present the pics from the other flight too - and glad they got a mention! Otherwise I might have assumed you walked all the way from Antwerp to Barcelona...
 
roberts87
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:24 pm

Hello Nils,

Great report as always! Nice to read about Air China's 5th freedom flight between BCN and VIE. A great wat to try them out! Busy pictures of BCN, I had always been there in the afternoon, when all those widebodies are long gone. Finally, cool way of doing the prologue and epilogue!
 
Knightsofmalta
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:34 am

Hi Nils

Thanks for the excellent trip reports. As you know, I really think you're an artist with those lovely title images you produce. I also very much like your new format of presenting the 'supporting' flights in batches to give more importance to the main event.

As for the flight itself, I wasn't even aware of the fact that Air China had started this flight. So how long has this existed for? Other than that, it's nice to see them serving you a hot meal I very much doubt you would have got the same on Austrian Airlines and I'm sure you would not have on Iberia!

Cheers,
William
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:29 am

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
Hi, N.

Hello there Markus!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
Thank you for the time to write and bring it together with the pictures.
A good read it was.

No problem, the pleasure was all mine  

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
And a really good idea to catch one more big bird the short way around Europe.

I thought so too. Air China did a relatively good job here;

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
Good to see STR this way

I’m sure this place is kinda familiar with you?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
Hi Nils... Good story.

Thanks James.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
Although I kinda already heard a similar one last week!

Oh yeah - I heard you met up with mr MIAspotter as well, hope you had a blast!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
They give more of a service than LA do on their 5th freedom anyway. I only received a sandwich there.

They do indeed, of course LAN’s timing is a bit more difficult for a hot meal service? The flight time is about the same though methinks?

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
Nice way to present the pics from the other flight too - and glad they got a mention!

That was my purpose, to give them a mention. Glad you enjoyed them this way.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
Otherwise I might have assumed you walked all the way from Antwerp to Barcelona...

... and back!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 12):
Hello Nils,

Hi Robert!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 12):
Great report as always!

Thanks, me glad you like 

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 12):
Busy pictures of BCN, I had always been there in the afternoon, when all those widebodies are long gone.

This was actually also my 1st time so early. BCN does have QR and EK and the afternoon though!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 12):
Finally, cool way of doing the prologue and epilogue!

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed them this way.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 13):
Hi Nils

Hello William.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 13):
Thanks for the excellent trip reports.

Thanks, good to hear you enjoyed the read.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 13):
As you know, I really think you're an artist with those lovely title images you produce. I also very much like your new format of presenting the 'supporting' flights in batches to give more importance to the main event.

Thanks for your encouragement. As you know, I’d like to do things different at times  

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 13):
As for the flight itself, I wasn't even aware of the fact that Air China had started this flight. So how long has this existed for?

It is running since the beginning of June only I guess.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 13):
Other than that, it's nice to see them serving you a hot meal I very much doubt you would have got the same on Austrian Airlines and I'm sure you would not have on Iberia!

Definitely bonus point for the catering here yes. Other ccan take note!

Thanks for taking the time to comment all!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1777
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:24 pm

Hi Nils!!

Nice little report on Air China's new 5th freedom flight, and of course your usual hop around Europe to get to your flight. Just amazes me how it is so easy in Europe to just fly around with sometimes all on the same day.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Here’s a collage of my journey to BCN with (the new) Ryanair
Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
I wanted to make the report complete and not too long, this way I feel I have succeeded in that without emphasizing too much on the less interesting flights.

Love the collage of "low cost photos" at the beginning and end  . Though I am glad the main feature film was in full screen format!! Great set of pictures and I agree the collage helped not having to emphasize too much on the less interesting flights.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information   

Ooh I do like those maps, looks like you can do such more than just zoom in and zoom out.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Note the curtains on the right side, they mark the seats that are used as crew rest area (3 rows). Passengers were allowed to sit there though for this flight only.

Those curtains looks really tacky! Maybe have their crew change out of their uniforms (like Etihad does) and then help them blend in with the passengers. Closing off an area like that can give an uncomfortable feeling, like when an emergency is on board and one is forced to close off an area for privacy.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
EL-AL
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Thx for great report.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
This report is about another 5th freedom flight in Europe, one that has started not too long ago: Air China has introduced a PEK-VIE-BCN-VIE-PEK service which runs 4 times a week flying utilising an A333 aircraft. They also run a PEK-MUC-ATH-MUC-PEK service but the timings and prices for connecting flights were more favourable for the BCN-VIE runs.

I never heard of this route till now, shamefully.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The seat pocket is well stuffed, too bad the magazine is only in Mandarin or alike so it’s a no read.

I don't get it. I had the same on Transaero and Aeroflot with only russian inflight mags, don't they look for tourists too?

Look like you a nice ride, with great verity for airplanes for intra-Europe flight. Thank you for shearing. How do you record your airport taxi by the way? Jonathan
every day is a good day to fly
 
pokfur
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:16 pm

Hello Nils!

Nice report you've got yourself here. Lucky (or unlucky?) you, got the new and updated cabin! I had the older cabin on my flight from Munich to Athens, which didn't have the slide seats. They were perfectly comfortable though, with large IFE screens as well!

I really like the collage you made of your connecting flights. Very artistic   

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I immediately notice how little personal space there is, Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me   

Personal space? This is Economy!!    And many airlines use such slide seats, SQ included. I personally think they're fine though.

Looks like Air China gave you a nice enough flight on this short sector! Food-wise, probably more than any European carrier would dream of giving haha.

Thanks for writing it up! I enjoyed reading it.

Cheers!

pokfur
 
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OA260
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:02 pm

Hey Nils  

Great report as always. I have been waiting for this one ever since you told me you were going on it. You didn't disappoint. Also loving the new layout and design of this TR. You seem to have a natural talent for these unique concepts. Keep up the great work.

Always nice to take these flights without having to endure long haul. Great that you were able to experience it with another Anetter too.


Anyway already looking forward to the next one.

Regards

Philip  
 
emek96
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:36 pm

Hi Nils!

Great report about an airline which was nearly unknown to me before. Cabin and seats of this Air China bird are looking great, and especially clean! Food seems to good as well, on a flight on OS your lunch would have been a tiny and dry sandwich!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Here’s an overview of the full aft cabin. Interestingly, there are no toilets in the back of the plane, only in the middle.

Isn't this standard on the A330s? I've never seen toilets in the back of an A330 either.

Vienna airport looks terrible as always, I think (at least the new part) is quite a cold place thanks to grey plastic everywhere.

Thanks for the report!

regards
Elias
Lufthansa is the best airline in the world!
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:11 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Hi Nils!!

Hello flightsimboy, thank you very much for stopping by.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Nice little report on Air China's new 5th freedom flight

Thanks again, good to know you enjoyed it.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Just amazes me how it is so easy in Europe to just fly around with sometimes all on the same day.

Haha, a bit of scheduling and puzzling and your good to go, I’m sure it’s possible in Canada as well!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Love the collage of "low cost photos" at the beginning and end . Though I am glad the main feature film was in full screen format!! Great set of pictures and I agree the collage helped not having to emphasize too much on the less interesting flights.

I’m glad you liked it this way: focus on the main course without forgetting the side courses  

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Ooh I do like those maps, looks like you can do such more than just zoom in and zoom out.

Me too, although nowadays I have my own map on my cell phone as I try to log the actual flight path.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Maybe have their crew change out of their uniforms (like Etihad does) and then help them blend in with the passengers.

Could be but in this case I doubt it  

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 16):
Thx for great report.

No problem  

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 16):
I never heard of this route till now, shamefully.

Really? Also not the ATH-MUC tag on which has been around for many years now. Well, in any case, I’m glad I was able to introduce it to you then.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 16):
I don't get it. I had the same on Transaero and Aeroflot with only russian inflight mags, don't they look for tourists too?

Not a single word of English in the mag. How difficult can that be...?

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 16):
How do you record your airport taxi by the way?

I use the Viewranger app on my phone - in flight mode of course with a cached map. Works perfectly but the phone has to be steady and close to the window to receive gps signal which is not easy...

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
Hello Nils!

Hi pokfur, thanks for stopping by!

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
Nice report you've got yourself here.

Thanks again, good to hear you enjoyed it.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
Lucky (or unlucky?) you, got the new and updated cabin!

Lucky, definteily, the hardware was pretty fine, except for the limited seating space.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
They were perfectly comfortable though, with large IFE screens as well!

Ah, that’s good to know.

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
I really like the collage you made of your connecting flights. Very artistic

Me glad you like, I love to do things different at times  

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
Personal space? This is Economy!!

I know but still. 1 or 2 rows less can make a huge difference! Besides, cramming 60+ rows in an A330, you ask for trouble 

Quoting pokfur (Reply 17):
Food-wise, probably more than any European carrier would dream of giving haha.

True, all credit to CA for that. Not one carrier does that on this route or any other short Euro route for the matter.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Hey Nils

Hey Philip!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Great report as always. I have been waiting for this one ever since you told me you were going on it. You didn't disappoint.

Thank you for your kind words  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Also loving the new layout and design of this TR. You seem to have a natural talent for these unique concepts. Keep up the great work.

I like to try new things, also makes a change for my readers. You know the saying: standing still = going backwards (or something like that)   

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Great that you were able to experience it with another Anetter too.

Yep, MIAspotter proved to be an excellent partner in crime!

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Hi Nils!

Hi Elias, thanks for dropping a line.

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Great report about an airline which was nearly unknown to me before.

Thanks, I’m glad I learned you something on Air China, they were new to me as well.

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Cabin and seats of this Air China bird are looking great, and especially clean!

An immaculate cabin on a newish plane, brownie points for CA in that department.

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Food seems to good as well, on a flight on OS your lunch would have been a tiny and dry sandwich!

Not many airlines do this anymore. And the meal was very good as well   

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Isn't this standard on the A330s? I've never seen toilets in the back of an A330 either.

I don’t think so. The LH A330 and also the IB A340 all have toilets in the back of the plane as well. Gives a good excuse if you want to take a pic from the back: head to the loo!

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Vienna airport looks terrible as always

I like it, especially the lounging chairs.

Thanks for taking the time to comment all!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi Nils,

excellent report about that nice 5th freedom flight! I also like your picture collages - very innovative and efficient way to cover standard flights.

Air China's product looks fine, quite similar to what I experienced a few years ago on a PEK-MUC flight. I like the new seat color, but legroom used to be more generous.

The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332 (by PlaneHunter May 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
They also run a PEK-MUC-ATH-MUC-PEK service but the timings and prices for connecting flights were more favourable for the BCN-VIE runs.

MUC-ATH would be an interesting flight, but horrible departure time. And yes, quite expensive, for whatever reason.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
And finally in all it’s (mediocre) splendour is here, no thanks to the extremely dirty windows, our ship to VIE.

Ah, they should think about a window cleaning joint venture with the FCO guys...  

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
At about 11h25, that captain comes on with a welcome speech in fluent English and German (!), no Chinese (!) and tells us we’re good to go but unfortunately we’ll have to wait another 25 to 30 mins at the gate due to ATC restrictions and a busy airspace. Al

Numerous foreign pilots have been hired by Chinese carriers in the last few years.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Now, let’s start some IFE, shall we? It’s a touchscreen system and it is well responsive. An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information

Cool!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:11 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Hi Nils

Hello PH, thanks for stopping by.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
excellent report about that nice 5th freedom flight! I also like your picture collages - very innovative and efficient way to cover standard flights.

Thank you, the collage seemed a nice way to make it complete. Don’t think I will do it every time I guess.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
I like the new seat color, but legroom used to be more generous.

The cabin looked very good indeed. I remember reading your report. Shame about the lack of space.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
MUC-ATH would be an interesting flight, but horrible departure time. And yes, quite expensive, for whatever reason.

I didn’t really check the price for MUC-ATH as the timings were not good in the 1st place and also ATH sees less and more expensive flight options than BCN, hence my pick for BCN. Price was a bit under € 100 one way.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Ah, they should think about a window cleaning joint venture with the FCO guys...

A disgrace it is 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Numerous foreign pilots have been hired by Chinese carriers in the last few years.

That explains a lot, the captain sounded very much like an Austrian or German guy.

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
MIAspotter
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:48 am

Ni hao ma Nils!!

Finally I can reply to this fantastic report, I am now back home and on my ´puter... trying to quote-reply to threads on an iPad is kinda annoying.

Anyways, it was a nice little trip made more enjoyable by your company, shame we could not sit nearby but with a full flight we can consider ourselves lucky we snagged window seats.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
A few weeks before the actual flight, fellow a.netter MIAspotter, who is a Barcelona resident, decided to join in as well

Good company, A330, exotic carrier, all that for 93€ how can I say no to that! 
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Then about half an hour later, my buddy MIAspotter trickles in. Despite the fact that check-in has a solid line now, he is attended within a good 15 minutes.

Yeah, I was worried it would take ages with the massive amounts of luggage some of them passengers had!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The boarding starts which is basically a free for all despite the fact that the agent invites status holders and travellers with infants first. We also take the splurge and are amongst the 1st pax to enter the (filthy) boarding bridge.

LOL I remember that... we cut the queues... because we can.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
B-5912 is only 0,5 years old and factory fresh delivered to Air China. It shows, the interior looks immaculate

I was very surprised, the cabin was really nice, quite hot at the time tho.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I immediately notice how little personal space there is, Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me

I know, I also felt very cramped, not good for the long haul to China, QR birds have more space.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
During the cabin secure check, it strikes me how strict the FA’s are with the use of smart and other phones, the use of them is not permitted during the flight, not even in flight mode. At a given moment, one of the leading FA’s stands next to a Spanish pax instructing him several times to switch it off and not leaving her position until she actually verifies herself that the device is powered off.

Very strange procedure, but oh well... we must comply.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Now, let’s start some IFE, shall we? It’s a touchscreen system and it is well responsive. An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information

It´s not ICE, it´s ok but I found that they didn´t have much content.

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/04AE77E0-7E64-4C7E-A102-68E81D3DEC59.jpg[/img]

I believe an A330 cockpit does not look like that at all  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
‘Sorry, only noodles sir, is that OK for you?’ It is, but what if I should say no...  Lunch consist of stir fried beef & vegetables & noodles, potato salad, raisin cake, a bun and a drink of choice. Interestingly, still water is served directly with the meal whereas the drinks cart comes along a while later. No tea or coffee afterwards, only on demand  

I did get the Chicken Rice, it was tasty!

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/442ED4E1-0E0A-439E-947A-77075AD2C539.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/493DD431-F38B-4FF2-AF38-C4472DE22C2E.jpg[/img]

Bread roll was rock solid, salad was edible... raisin cake was meh... not bad for the flight and of course much better than what you get on OS LOL.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
On the way for our parking spot at 1 of the satellites. Here’s a Peoples Viennaline Embraer.

And this OS Retro on the other side...

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/903A023A-A02D-491D-B130-33F0557AFD75.jpg[/img]

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
On the way out of the plane, I’m reunited with MIAspotter who has spent his journey in seat 45A.

Yup, this was my view...

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/FF3D4362-5C77-423D-BD30-9257A925CF1B.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y243/A330Driver/Mobile%20Uploads/Random/8093B80A-DC52-4601-96B5-291445BD0714.jpg[/img]

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
We walk together until the immigration control booths, where we bid adieu as his next flight is to FRA and mine is to STR. Thanks again for the good company MIAspotter we should do this again anytime sooner or later

Well, turns out my flight to FRA was delayed and got re.routed to LHR via MUC, thus missing on an E170 flight and logging LCY, oh well... at least I ended up in London.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Oh look, it’s B-5912!

I saw it on my way out to MUC, tried to get a pic but I was sitting in 1A and the FA was buzzing about.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 4):
Despite the good looking seats CA seems to offer a limited space on board. I wonder, if they serve a hot meal on the sector BCN-VIE, do they serve another one after leaving VIE plus a breakfast before landing? These must be the most fed passengers on one single flight.

I saw a video on youtube of the VIE-BCN and they do serve breakfast.

Quoting emek96 (Reply 19):
Isn't this standard on the A330s? I've never seen toilets in the back of an A330 either.

Qatar has toilets on the rear, and a massive galley.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Numerous foreign pilots have been hired by Chinese carriers in the last few years.

But when we were waiting for boarding, we saw the crew pass by and they were all asian.

Nils, fantastic report, and we definitely need to do it again 

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:03 pm

Quote:
Ni hao ma Nils

MIAspotter, qué bueno de leer su respuesta  

Quote:
trying to quote-reply to threads on an iPad is kinda annoying

iPads are useless things, you should buy an Android, works like a charm   

Quote:
Anyways, it was a nice little trip made more enjoyable by your company

Likewise mi amigo, likewise  

Quote:
we can consider ourselves lucky we snagged window seats

THE most important requisite when flying whatever, whenever: ze window!

Quote:
Good company, A330, exotic carrier, all that for 93€ how can I say no to that!

You simply could not and I am glad you did not!

Quote:
Yeah, I was worried it would take ages with the massive amounts of luggage some of them passengers had!

It seemed you were the only one that wasn’t overloaded lol!

Quote:
LOL I remember that... we cut the queues... because we can.

We can indeed, and sometimes you just have to be a little - let’s say - naughty (or daring)?

Quote:
I was very surprised, the cabin was really nice, quite hot at the time tho.

Indeed, I forgot to mention that! It was tropical inside. I’m glad the cap noticed and turned on the climatizacion. No individual air vents on this one, must be a communist thing  

Quote:
I know, I also felt very cramped, not good for the long haul to China, QR birds have more space.

I’m glad I wasn’t the only who seemed to have trouble to store my legs.

Quote:
Very strange procedure, but oh well... we must comply.

We must and I understand that the use of these things is limited but sure there’s got to be something like a compromise?

Quote:
I believe an A330 cockpit does not look like that at all

More a Cessna iyam!

Quote:
Bread roll was rock solid, salad was edible... raisin cake was meh... not bad for the flight and of course much better than what you get on OS LOL.

Yeah - that bun was like a ton ‘o’ brick, inedible   

Quote:
And this OS Retro on the other side...

Sweet! I missed that...

Quote:
Well, turns out my flight to FRA was delayed and got re.routed to LHR via MUC, thus missing on an E170 flight and logging LCY, oh well... at least I ended up in London.

Heard the story, glad they rebooked you in good manner. Although too bad on missing out on the E170 and LCY. Reason to go back?

Quote:
but I was sitting in 1A and the FA was buzzing about.

Shouldn’t that read: I was too busy messing about with that hot Niki FA 

Quote:
But when we were waiting for boarding, we saw the crew pass by and they were all asian.

True. Although didn’t you hear a German accent? Need to have my hearing checked else...

Quote:
Nils, fantastic report, and we definitely need to do it again

Thanks man, appreciated your company then and your reply now.

Hasta luego!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
akhmad
Posts: 2503
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:59 pm

Haai Nils, 你好

How exciting to experience an European 5th freedom service through your eyes! Boy, did I have some good laughs! 


Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Air China has introduced a PEK-VIE-BCN-VIE-PEK service which runs 4 times a week flying utilising an A333 aircraft. They also run a PEK-MUC-ATH-MUC-PEK

Wow! Impressive how Air China managed to secure those 5th freedom runs.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Here’s a collage of my journey to BCN with (the new) Ryanair.

Artistic!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
but cameras do strange things when photographing electronic displays 

Cameras are more human minded. How about a selfie next time?   


Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The flight is fully booked from BCN.

Air China’s European milk run I would say.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Oops, wrong forum   

  


Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I nearly break my neck for this shot to show you the power ports.

A little yoga won’t harm.  


Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information   

Awesome!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Other options include a reasonable selection of international and Chinese movies and series and even an e-reader.

What about music?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Lunch consist of stir fried beef & vegetables & noodles, potato salad, raisin cake, a bun and a drink of choice.

Yummy! Can you order beer as well?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Of course, everyone obliges   

They just never learn.   



謝謝, Thank you for sharing.
So what will be your next 5th freedom adventure? Garuda?   

Suryo  

There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
MIAspotter
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:23 pm

Nils!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
MIAspotter, qué bueno de leer su respuesta

Gracias! I was aching to reply, just waiting to get home.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
iPads are useless things, you should buy an Android, works like a charm

The day I switch to Android, will be the same day you enjoy a Vueling flight. 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
THE most important requisite when flying whatever, whenever: ze window!

Exactly, and sometimes on the proper side of the aircraft (right side for BCN landings)

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
You simply could not and I am glad you did not!

Could not forgive myself if I missed on that.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
We can indeed, and sometimes you just have to be a little - let’s say - naughty (or daring)?

Yup, we should create a sort of a.nutter pass... and just flash it to the agents and walk right into the plane.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
We must and I understand that the use of these things is limited but sure there’s got to be something like a compromise?

Exactly.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Heard the story, glad they rebooked you in good manner. Although too bad on missing out on the E170 and LCY. Reason to go back?

Yup, luckily everything turned out fine. as for a reason to go back... of course!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Shouldn’t that read: I was too busy messing about with that hot Niki FA

Hmm Hmmm I wished... they sure were fine looking.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
True. Although didn’t you hear a German accent? Need to have my hearing checked else...

Yeah I heard the german announcement, possibly a well travelled captain  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Hasta luego!

Hasta luego! 
Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
So what will be your next 5th freedom adventure? Garuda?

Hmmm....    I hope it goes ahead!

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:00 am

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Haai Nils

Haai Suryo my friend, begitu baik untuk mendengar dari Anda  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
How exciting to experience an European 5th freedom service through your eyes! Boy, did I have some good laughs!

Thank you, I’m happy to read you liked it!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Wow! Impressive how Air China managed to secure those 5th freedom runs.

For us to enjoy, most definitely 

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Artistic!

You know how I like to do things differently sometimes  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
How about a selfie next time?

Sorry, that won’t happen, I’m not a selfie man  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Air China’s European milk run I would say.

One stop only!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
What about music?

Of course, how could I forget, a decent choice of Chinese traditional and non-offensive pop music  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
Can you order beer as well?

You bet, I saw at least 1 Chinese brew on the cart but it was not yet beer time.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 25):
So what will be your next 5th freedom adventure? Garuda?

I do hope so, I have a booking but not yet a day off   

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
Nils!

MIAspotter!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
The day I switch to Android, will be the same day you enjoy a Vueling flight

Let’s make that a mission, shall we 

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
(right side for BCN landings)

Depends on the runway of course, and also of the sun!

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
Yup, we should create a sort of a.nutter pass

We should, where do I sign up?

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
Hmm Hmmm I wished... they sure were fine looking.

Pics or it didn’t happen  

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 26):
I hope it goes ahead!

Me too   

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
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eastafspot
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:39 pm

Hi Nils,

Extremely interesting TR on a route i was not aware of its existence at the opposite of ATH-MUC, thanks for this real eye-opener. Your collage idea is great and brings another perspective to the TR. Is it done manually or Photoshop can arrange and suggest some layouts for you ?
Your pictures are great as usual. A friend of mine living in Shangai suggested me to pay him a visit soon. After reading your TR even on this short sector, Air China does not leave a good impression to me !

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
BRU-BCN on Ryanair B737-800 (from BRU, not from CRL)

Which airport is the most convenient for you ?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
A few weeks before the actual flight, fellow a.netter MIAspotter, who is a Barcelona resident, decided to join in as well   

Sure a good idea, well done !

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Despite the fact that check-in has a solid line now, he is attended within a good 15 minutes.

Efficient Chinese or Spanish agents ?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
B-5912 is only 0,5 years old and factory fresh delivered to Air China. It shows, the interior looks immaculate

Always nice to get a new plane

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The seat pocket is well stuffed, too bad the magazine is only in Mandarin or alike so it’s a no read.

Well it's the most spoken language in the world, so you should consider learning it anytime...      .

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):

I nearly break my neck for this shot to show you the power ports. Unfortunately I don’t find a USB port 

Incredible for a brand new wide body !

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
At a given moment, one of the leading FA’s stands next to a Spanish pax instructing him several times to switch it off and not leaving her position until she actually verifies herself that the device is powered off.

At least passengers complied with the rules  .

Many thanks for sharing, looking forward to more
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Golden Wings Aviation, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and Uganda Airlines...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki !
 
akhmad
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:22 pm

Haai again Nils,

Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
begitu baik untuk mendengar dari Anda  

Hebat! I didn’t know you could speak Bahasa Indonesia as well.   


Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
For us to enjoy, most definitely 

You bet!   


Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
You know how I like to do things differently sometimes   

I love it!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
I’m not a selfie man  

Fair enough.  


Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
non-offensive pop music   

Like Shakira?   


Quoting sultanils (Reply 27):
I have a booking but not yet a day off   

Hopefully, it will be honored. It would be great to experience Garuda through your eyes.  


Suryo  

[Edited 2014-08-27 10:24:20]
There is no deity except You. Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:55 pm

Hi Nils,

Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Sorry, only noodles sir, is that OK for you?’ It is, but what if I should say no...  Lunch consist of stir fried beef & vegetables & noodles, potato salad, raisin cake, a bun and a drink of choice. Interestingly, still water is served directly with the meal whereas the drinks cart comes along a while later. No tea or coffee afterwards, only on demand

- Catering has improved vastly by the looks of it, I flew CA ATH-CDG a few years back when they ran that route, just a nasty tuna sandwich, and I don't like tuna.

Cheers

Mark
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sultanils
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:39 am

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Hi Nils

Salut Léonard!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Extremely interesting TR on a route i was not aware of its existence at the opposite of ATH-MUC, thanks for this real eye-opener. Your collage idea is great and brings another perspective to the TR.
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Your pictures are great as usual.

Thank you for your nice words!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Is it done manually or Photoshop can arrange and suggest some layouts for you ?

I used Pixlr which is an online editing tool, very handy and intuitive to use.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
A friend of mine living in Shangai suggested me to pay him a visit soon. After reading your TR even on this short sector, Air China does not leave a good impression to me !

I will not say it was bad but there are certainly room for some improvement. I found the USB port and the seating space a missed opportunity.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Which airport is the most convenient for you ?

BRU, definitely!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Efficient Chinese or Spanish agents ?

Spanish mostly but the supervisor seemed of Chinese descent which should come in handy at times  

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Always nice to get a new plane

  

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Well it's the most spoken language in the world

That much is true, but speaking it as a foreigner is an incredibly difficult task - I know from someone at work who has studied Mandarin.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
Incredible for a brand new wide body !

Luckily I could use the standard European 220V port to charge my phone   

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 28):
At least passengers complied with the rules

They had to, she was very stern.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 29):
Haai again Nils

Haai nog eens Suryo  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 29):
Hebat! I didn%u2019t know you could speak Bahasa Indonesia as well.

With a little help from Google Translate 

Quoting akhmad (Reply 29):
I love it!

I’m very glad you do!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 29):
Like Shakira?

If she doesn’t sway her hips too much, I guess it will be OK  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 29):
Hopefully, it will be honored. It would be great to experience Garuda through your eyes.

I hope so to, let’s see in a few days.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
Hi Nils

Hey Mark.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
Nice read and pictures

Thanks, I’m glad you liked it.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
Catering has improved vastly by the looks of it, I flew CA ATH-CDG a few years back when they ran that route, just a nasty tuna sandwich, and I don't like tuna.

Did they do CDG-ATH as well  Wow! A shame you only got a (nasty) tuna sandwich and nothing else. Heck, that flight is even longer than BCN-VIE!

Thanks for commeting (again) all of you!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:26 am

Hi Nils,

Nice to read another one of your reports. Congrats on catching this interesting 5th freedom flight, you never know how long these kind of things operate for so it’s always good to log them when you can and even better with like-minded company.

You can almost smell the newness of the cabin but a shame that it has a few downfalls. The meal is certainly a nice size for the route you flew, but I wouldn’t have fared very well with it  

I like your photo collages and in particular the one of the storm clouds & rainbow on your STR-BRU flight. Very effective.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
There’s a free transfer bus that connects T2 (where I am) and T1 (where I need to be) which runs almost permanently. Note that the info was displayed but cameras do strange things when photographing electronic displays

Glad to know it’s not just my camera!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Oops, wrong forum

You know, during my recent Greek holiday (10 days of which were spent on islands without airports) I really did turn to ferry spotting  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Interestingly, there are no toilets in the back of the plane, only in the middle. Note the curtains on the right side, they mark the seats that are used as crew rest area (3 rows). Passengers were allowed to sit there though for this flight only.

Can the crew really rest properly in such an area?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
We pass through the business section, which looks to be not well loaded.

Those IFE screens look huge!

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
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sultanils
Topic Author
Posts: 1931
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
Hi Nils

Hey Hannah, good to hear from you!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
Nice to read another one of your reports.

Thanks, good you liked it.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
and even better with like-minded company.

Oh yes, MIAspotter and I made up a perfect team of a.nutters - in disguise 

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
The meal is certainly a nice size for the route you flew, but I wouldn’t have fared very well with it

I was sort of expecting a decent lunch and loko what I got, sure a pleasant surprise and one that not many carriers - if not none - will present. Why would you not like it?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
I like your photo collages and in particular the one of the storm clouds & rainbow on your STR-BRU flight.

Thanks, from a smaller pic you can not tell well but indeed it was quite stormy with rain, busty clouds and rainbows, gorgeous!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
Glad to know it’s not just my camera!

  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
I really did turn to ferry spotting

You can team up with OA260 then  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
Can the crew really rest properly in such an area?

I doubt but have they a choice. Last Jan when I came back from DXB on OS, the row behind me was also for crew rest and indeed there was someone sleeping.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 32):
Those IFE screens look huge!

Industry standard I guess?

Thanks for commenting Hannah!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
reifel
Posts: 1540
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:23 pm

Great report Nils. I had this flight booked but had to skip it due to holidays in the US at the same time.
It looks you had a great flight. They offer a great product compared to OS/HG on the same route.

In Vienna, I noticed this bustransfers between the two terminals as well. It's so much better when you still had to walk between the terminals and go landside for some connections. I find Vienna became so relaxed now. Especially the old terminal where now every Niki flight gets a finger position and since they have been able to remove the gate security checks of the past and create a central security check point transferring between AB/HG in VIE takes literally seconds.

Cool routing via STR, too. 4U is able to issue both boarding passes right? They're actually even able to issue boarding passes for UA/AC as you can use them as feeder from i.e. DUS to LHR and then AC/UA to North America, but theoretically also for transfers to UA in other airports, let's say STR, HAM, BER or ZRH,...
I am sure you had a lot of fun transferring in STR as it's VERY easy  
 
ab486
Posts: 179
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:48 am

Hi Nils,

A really lovely read. I must look into doing this route myself.

Did I really see FR using a jetbridge?! I've only seen it happen a couple of times before. I wonder if this is part of all the new changes they're going through?

Air China look decent enough, though I wonder how they would be for the longer sector over to China, as it does look pretty cramped. At least the catering was good and the crew seemed friendly and helpful.

Thanks for sharing,

Adam
 
reifel
Posts: 1540
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:54 am

In Spain for spanish domestic flights especially, Ryanair uses central airports and usually jetbridges indeed  
 
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sultanils
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Posts: 1931
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:20 am

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
Great report Nils.

Hey reifel, many thanks.

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
They offer a great product compared to OS/HG on the same route.

They do, at least in terms of catering and ‘exoticness’ - if that’s a word.

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
In Vienna, I noticed this bustransfers between the two terminals as well.

I barely noticed it at the last minute. Although the busride was only like half a minute, I guess it does save you quite a walking distance. But you have to get through immigration at the F terminal which luckily wasn’t so crowded as in the older terminal.

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
Especially the old terminal where now every Niki flight gets a finger position and since they have been able to remove the gate security checks of the past and create a central security check point transferring between AB/HG in VIE takes literally seconds.

Good to know!

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
Cool routing via STR, too. 4U is able to issue both boarding passes right?

4U does issue both BP’s, yes.

Quoting reifel (Reply 34):
I am sure you had a lot of fun transferring in STR as it's VERY easy

I don’t like STR tat much - crowded, small and not many interesting views - but transfering there is indeed a piece of cake.

Quoting ab486 (Reply 35):
Hi Nils

Hello Adam!

Quoting ab486 (Reply 35):
A really lovely read. I must look into doing this route myself.

Thank you. It is an interesting route and airline, do try it when you have the chance.

Quoting ab486 (Reply 35):
Did I really see FR using a jetbridge?! I've only seen it happen a couple of times before. I wonder if this is part of all the new changes they're going through?

In BCN and MAD, FR does use jetbridges, yes. It is not a part of their ‘new’ strategy so to speak as they use those already for many years.

Quoting ab486 (Reply 35):
At least the catering was good and the crew seemed friendly and helpful.

Yep, that’s indeed where CA excelled.

Quoting reifel (Reply 36):
In Spain for spanish domestic flights especially, Ryanair uses central airports and usually jetbridges indeed

They do indeed   

Thanks for commenting guys!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:38 pm

Hello Nils!

Another great report you made here, really enjoyed it!   Great idea to try this newish 5th freedom flight out. CA has 2 of them now but I still need to try them myself.
Air China looks quite good here except for the lack of space. Always nice to get a warm meal on such a sector  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I chose to travel on the BCN-VIE sector, which allowed me enough time before and after the flight to construct a suitable schedule for a day trip:

BRU-BCN on Ryanair B737-800 (from BRU, not from CRL),
BCN-VIE on Air China Airbus A330-300,
VIE-STR on Germanwings Airbus A319 and
STR-BRU on Eurowings for Germanwings on CRJ900.

You sure are the king of planning day trips 
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Here’s a collage of my journey to BCN with (the new) Ryanair.

I quite like those collages, what do you use to make them?

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The flight is fully booked from BCN.

Good to see such a newish flight is fully booked  
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Note the big Air Europa bus which is scheduled for a BCN-MAD shuttle service.

Wouldn't mind taking that myself!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
United to EWR.

Such a long flight on a 757, ullghh

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
We also take the splurge and are amongst the 1st pax to enter the (filthy) boarding bridge.

Were the window cleaners on strike in BCN
Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The IFE unit is under each individual seat but doesn’t take away your foot space.

The way it should be!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
I immediately notice how little personal space there is, Air China claims a 31-32 inch pitch. Also, the seats are of the slide forward type rather than the traditional recline. Nope, for a longhaul flight, this doesn’t feel good to me

Such a shame. Experienced that slide forward type seat on a LAN A340 couple years ago. Not fun for longhaul flights..

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The seat pocket is well stuffed, too bad the magazine is only in Mandarin or alike so it’s a no read

That is also quite a shame, especially as they are an international airline with flights to the USA!

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Here’s an overview of the full aft cabin. Interestingly, there are no toilets in the back of the plane

No toilets in the back? Quite poor if you ask me!

Thanks for sharing another fantastic report!

cheers,

Brendan
 
CaptainRed
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:22 am

RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:23 pm

Hi Nils,

great report here, and sorry for replying so late, must have missed this report on its first round. Anyway nice to read about your Air China adventure here, of course very interesting for me since, as you know, I have done the other 5th-freedom flight by them recently. Looks like you had an enjoyable flight as well. You also took a nice routing on the feeder flights, with the stop at Stuttgart   .

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
The flight is fully booked from BCN.

Good for them to have a full load on such a rather new route. The MUC-ATH flight I took was not even half full.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):

Oh yes, the lunch is very tasty yet the noodles are quite oily.

Good to see they serve a full lunch on this short sector, and it looks quite good as well.

Quoting sultanils (Thread starter):
Now, let’s start some IFE, shall we? It’s a touchscreen system and it is well responsive. An essential item being the inflight map which is highly customisable in views and information

Looks like you got a new or upgraded system here on your plane. On my flight we only had the standard usual airshow and the system was barely usable. Nice that they have improved here on this point.

CaptainRed
 
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sultanils
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Posts: 1931
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RE: Made In (Air) China: BCN-VIE

Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:59 pm

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
Hi Nils

Hello Captain, thanks for stopping by!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
great report here, and sorry for replying so late

Thank you very much, I’m glad you liked it and found the time to leave a reply nevertheless.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
of course very interesting for me since, as you know, I have done the other 5th-freedom flight by them recently

I know, I read about it lately   You clearly had an older frame judging by the seating and IFE.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
You also took a nice routing on the feeder flights, with the stop at Stuttgart

Germanwings was the cheapest and most convenient option and they route through STR. Glad to have the CRJ900 too.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
Good for them to have a full load on such a rather new route.

Yeah - it was a full house. Mostly pax going all the way to PEK.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
Good to see they serve a full lunch on this short sector

That was nice indeed, quality and quantity were very good   

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 39):
Looks like you got a new or upgraded system here on your plane.

Although the contents did seem to be that extensive, I guess it would surely be sufficient for longer flights. Also the touchscreen was good and the whole system intuitive to use.

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.

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