I needed to visit Harbin, China, which is my hometown in June during the peak travel season. Air China, which has a connection at Beijing, was going around $1,100 to $1,200. China Eastern was about $1,300. China Southern, on the other hand offers Economy tickets around $900, and Biz around $2,300. Just when we were about to book the $2,300 biz on China Southern, I spotted a deal on Sichuan Airlines round-trip for $650, and I immediately jumped at it. I expected a terrible economy product since they use a domestic configured Airbus A330-200 in this route, while the other carriers uses Airbus A380, Boeing B77W, or the Dream)liner. However, I did save about $500 for two.
My itinerary includes two flights, one from Harbin to Jinan, and then Los Angeles after an 8 HOURS layover.
Harbin Taiping International Airport
Starting my journey once again from this tunnel going to Terminal 2 from the parking garage.
Sichuan Airlines check-in. Waited in line for about 10 minutes.
When I received my boarding pass, the seat number reads 3F. OMG! Am I in first class? That can't be it. Being used to the US carriers configuration, which generally has 3 to 5 rows of first class seats. Then I realized that Chinese carriers only has 1 to 3 rows of first class seats. Anyway, 3F is a bulkhead seat located at the first row of Economy class.
Then, another Sichuan Airlines agent took me to the oversize baggage area.
Checking oversized bag. Special baggage = Special seat assignment?
Security was quick, as my flight departs just past noon.
Apparently, you are not allowed to make a face at the camera.
Terminal 2 apron view.
Warning: No priority pass lounge at HRB. The MacDonald's pretty neat for plane spotting tho.
The ceiling of Terminal 2 is supposed to represent a snowflake. Harbin is known for its Ice and Snow Festival. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbin_International_Ice_and_Snow_Sculpture_Festival
Waiting for my flight…
Hey there, Hainan Boeing 787-9 Dream)liner
While I was waiting for my flight, ABC7 sent me a notification about a plane crash in Seattle, Washington. Great timing! Right before my flight!
A Horizon ground staff stole a Q400 turboprop and then crashed it near Seattle. What a pleasant news to hear before my flight!
Here's the article https://www.wsj.com/articles/alaska-air-confirms-unauthorized-takeoff-of-a-plane-in-seattle-1533964025
There he/she (me being politically correct) is, B-6054, a 13 years old Airbus A319.
Here's some interesting background information about B-6054:
Apparently in September 2010, this aircraft encountered microburst on its approach into Wuxi. The aircraft stalled to a speed of 74 KIAS and activated the Alpha Protection function. According to avherald, the aircraft "reached 43.6 degrees right roll, 3924 feet rate of descent, the EGPWS sounded "Glideslope", "PULL UP" and "SINK RATE" in sequence. As the aircraft lost altitude and gradually increased speed, the crew, now manually controlling the aircraft now with flight augmentation computers 1 and 2 inoperative, gradually regained control of the aircraft, arrested the descent at 884 feet MSL and began to climb the aircraft again".
Pretty Scary huh?
Here's the link to the full article http://avherald.com/h?article=46c38481&opt=0
No, my legs were not trembling as I was walking down the jetway after reading about one plane crash and one near crash that happened to the aircraft that I'm about to fly on.
Here's the seat 3F.
Bulkhead seat. I have unlimited legroom today. Cabin: 10/10
Ps: I need to start ot wear jeans next time, my shorts are too disturbing.
Sitting next to the beautiful IAE V2500 engine
Air China Boeing 737-8MAX!!!
Taxing to Runway 05
Holding short of Runway 05. Waiting for the A320 on final.
Getting ready for lunch service
Beverage service. I got peach juice with ice. The peach juice was much better than I expected.
Lunch and refreshment box served
Here's the extremely small but at the same time super delicious "strawberry milk" compared to an iphone 6s
The flight attendant holding a bread basket walked down the aisle and asked me if I would like a piece of potato.
My Chinese isn't perfect, but I could clearly tell the difference between "bread" and "potato"
Doubting what's inside, I agreed to have a piece of "potato"
As it turns out, it is indeed potato! How interesting
Nice job with the creative catering, Sichuan Airlines Catering: 9/10
Catching up on some Sparknotes for my summer assignment.
Taxing past the international gates(there's 2 of them).
Shandong Airlines 737-800
Walking to arrivals
Waiting forever at the Baggage claim.
But no worries, I have only 7 hours to go until my next flight to Los Angeles
Nice short domestic economy flight with Sichuan Airlines. The lack of entertainment was still a pain but it seems to be a norm on all Chinese carriers.