Beijing to Shanghai, a return trip on China Eastern

MU5118 Beijing Capital T2 PEK – Shanghai Hongqiao SHA
09 September 2010
Scheduled ETD/ETA: 16:00-18:10
Airbus A330-300 B-6083
Seat No: 19J

After a few days of travelling around Beijing, it was time to return to Shanghai, and I will be taking China Eastern once again. Collected our tickets from the ctrip.com counter at the airport and checked in for the flight. With just 2 pax travelling together today, we got the side window and aisle seat. Check-in was fast and efficient, and so was immigration. Yup, there’s still immigration even for domestic flights in China. Inside the terminal, it was a comfortable enough and my uncle wanted to get some coffee while we waited. In the waiting area, Apple’s iPads seems to have been bought in large volumes by Chinese frequent flyers. Everyone seems to be connected to the wi-fi and I decided to do some surfing on my own, but seems to have trouble getting online. I got help from a very nice airport attendant who provided me with an access code. Apparently, there are some do-it-yourself kiosks to get access codes for accessing the wi-fi within the departure area. A bit inconvenient for travellers especially if they don’t speak Chinese. But the helpful staff at the airport made up for this slight inconvenience.

After a short while of surfing, we headed over to the gate for boarding, and we were quite early, managing to queue in the front of the line. Newspapers were provided at racks before boarding and passengers also had a choice of some magazines, though they were all in Chinese. Boarding was orderly and comfortable enough, similar to that in my flight to Beijing from Shanghai. Very soon, we were seated within the cabin in what is a relatively full flight. Our departure was slightly delayed due to the taxi queue in the tarmac for the runway, and on the way to take off, there were lots of other China-based airlines like Air China and China Southern. What I remembered was the short time it took for boarding to be completed and to take-off, which was all a very efficient process and really great performance by a China airline.

Shortly after take off, the flight attendant started to get busy on serving meals for the packed flight, and I only remembered the Noodles with Beef choice which I ordered. Compared to the meal offering on my trip to Beijing, this one was a bit of a disappointment. The seaweed salad was nice though, as is the small bowl of melon on the sides. There were coffee and tea served after the meal, which was another great offering for a short flight. There was some time for a short rest after the meal before our descent into Shanghai. The late afternoon descent meant that passengers on the window side were treated to some magnificent sunset views of Shanghai during landing. Throughout my return journey, one could say I was relatively impressed with what China Eastern managed to offer to passengers on this packed flight between Shanghai and Beijing.

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