Luckily my teachers are laying off on the homework this week-more time for flight report-yay! I'll start off with a quick synopsis of our train ride between Beijing and Xi'an…it was brutal. First off, it took six hours. The seats were dreadfully uncomfortable, and if the person in front of you reclined, there was no moving from your seat. No power plugs, no PTVs, just a few tiny overheads only playing car commercials and things of that nature. The seats were configured 3-2, md-80 style!
Side note-does anyone else have extreme difficulty uploading pictures to this site? It can upload one at a time, then stops at 100%, and I have to choose all my photos all over again. Help!?
Anyways, onto the planes :D We got to the airport around 6:30am, 2 hours before our flight. Terminal 3 at Xi'an airport was clean, bright, open, and crowded!
We went to the check in area for China Eastern, where we tried a new approach to checking in. We gave one of our chaperones all of our passports, and they attempted to check us in all together. Spoiler alert- IT DIDN'T WORK. We must've stood there for 30 minutes before they finally figured out what to do with us. I guess checking in 1 by 1 at EWR was a better idea. Of course, this meant less time for spotting :( Once through the checkin area, there were tons of shops BEFORE security-huh.
We made our way to the gate- a bus gate, number H03. When we got there, there were no shops in sight, and it was legitimately as dark as this photo shows it to be. Luckily we only had 5 minutes at the gate before they started boarding us onto a bus.
No spotting from this area :(
We sat on the bus for what seemed like forever. We finally started moving, probably went 100 feet, then went into reverse and parked back at the gate for another 5 minutes. ???? We finally set off for real, and had the longest bus ride ever. T3 at Xi'an is on the eastern side of the airport, and they decided to park our plane next to all the planes at T2, on the eastern side. Another instance of ?????. We got off the bus at 08:15, and I made my way back to seat 48a. I had again gotten assigned to 48c, but got lucky and switched to a window seat with a classmate (2 times in a row!). Today's plane was B-2338, a 14 year old A320.
The seats were the complete opposite of slimline, they almost looked like the old recliner seats you see in domestic first, but without all the legroom.
At 08:29 (1 minute before scheduled departure) a FA came on said (in barely understandable english) that there was a mechanical problem and they were checking it out. cool. The windows were VERY dirty and scratched, but I took pictures anyways. Biggest surprise of they day: Finnair flies to Xi'an? as well as Orient Thai, must've been a charter, as I know they don't have any scheduled flights to XIY.
We pushed back at 09:14, 44 minutes late. The FA came on and welcome us aboard this Airbus A3120 I laughed out loud and got a bunch of looks from people around me. Too bad nobody understands AvGeek humor. The overhead screens came down and played a boring safety video. Twice. Again, ????? The plane in front of us, coming from T2 went to 05L, the runway on the western side of the airport, and I figured we would follow, but nope, lets taxi all the way back to where we started and use 05R, where everything was landing. Is this a test of how many times I can use ????? in a single flight report? Oh well. We took off at 09:34, 64 minutes behind schedule. We could have been there by now!
We hit our cruising altitude of who knows what, and the overheads came down and started playing car commercials. Just like the train! Then we got an advertisement for the new 77Ws, followed by an episode of Tom and Jerry (those were the days). Meals started coming at 10:06, unfortunately I was very sick at this time on this trip, so I only had a little of everything (solely for review purposes), or else it would've all come up and been in my lap. This meal consisted of a roll, 2 different types of cakes, a butter cookie, some wasabi chip things, and water. Everything seemed pretty tasty, although not very healthy :/
This made me laugh
As soon as they finished giving out the food and drinks, they rolled the carts up to the front and we got a second round of drinks! I've never seen that before, but I like it! The crew on this flight was very blah. They got what they had to get done, but without a smile or any form of personal interaction. Note the China Eastern writing on the wing (I don't speak Chinese, but I'm going to assume that's what it means)
Now, here's the really interesting part. I made sure to take note of the exact time of this. At 10:52, they came through the cabin, tray tables up, window shades open, seats up, electronics completely shut off, and earbuds taken out, EVEN IF YOU WERE'NT LISTENING TO MUSIC!! I was really baffled by this, and since the cabin crew didn't come by after that announcement was made (and enforced), I just kept everything on. We did a circle (seems weird for such a small airport) and then landed on runway 35 at 11:24- 89 late. whoopee.
Not much spotting was done, but we pulled in next to this guy
And finally, the baggage claim (singular!!) how cute.
Hopefully you enjoyed this report! Comments are welcomed as always :)
See you in the next report!
Xi'an - XIY
Qingdao - TAO
Xi'an Airport T3- Nice, new, modern, clean, a little dark
Seats- comfy! decent legroom
Food- Good but unhealthy
Crew- Seemed like robots, no sign they were enjoying themselves
IFE- Tom and Jerry was a nice touch, but thats only 15 minutes unfortunately
Flight was very late
Overall, not a terrible flight, but not great either
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