The website's home page has been taken the day before our flight for the same reasons as our previous flight.
After an "express" visit of Shanghai and lunch, it is time to go back to the airport. This time, we're going to Shanghai Pudong International airport (PVG).
While we arrived, I could flash our swallow getting ready for its flight.
Funny fact :If we are reffering to news nowadays, more specifically about Covid-19, it may not look like it, but both MU's aircrafts I flew with share a common point :
On the previous flight, when I arrived at Shanghai, the aircraft's next destination after it went back to Xi'an (XIY), Shaanxi was Sydney (SYD), Australia. But the flight didn't go directly to the Oceanic continent; it had to stop by Wuhan airport (WUH), Hubei, before reaching its final destination.
On this flight however, although it arrived at the Chinese megalopolis around 1.00 P.M., the aircraft came from… WUHAN!!! (WUH)
We arrived to PVG's domestic terminal around 2 hours before our depature. Like we saw in Xi'an's airport, a security control must be done before we can go inside the terminal.
Let the sketch comedy begin !
Let's head out to check-in desks, area C.
If I notice self check-in machines, the entire group decided to do the check-in the old way. I shall join them because I don't possess the booking reference that the machine requires. Besides, one of the ground airport's agent started to scowl at me.
Once at the desk, the check-in agent shall be like a bear with a sore head. Although I gave her my passport, she rudly asked my booking reference, which I don't know because the Tour-Operator never gave it to me !!!
When I received my Boarding Pass, I asked "kindly" if my seat is a window seat, she answered yes on a tone implying : " I have things to do so get the h*** out of here! I don't want to see your f****** face again !". And at that moment, she asked me to go to the ticketing office with the BP and without giving me more details about it.
By the way, when I examine my BP, I noticed she manually added all the other names that figures on my passeport next to the checked-one. If someone has an explanation about this, I'm interested to know…
The ticketing desk. The ticketing agent just added a single tampon on my BP.
Once the entire group is checked-in, we're passing the security controls. We ned around 10 to 15 minutes to pass.
Do you have some fire ?
If nowadays, it is forbidden to smoke onboard, we can still bring a lighter in the aircraft in France. It must be inside one of your pockets but not in your baggage, whether in cabin or in the hold.
In China however, the lighter is purely and simply banned from travel.
For the story, one of my travel companions (I'll call him Raul) is a big smoker. When we left Xi'an to reach Shanghai, he had to discard its lighter. And when we arrived, the first thing he did was to buy another one. But now, he had to discard it again. He then had the most brilliant idea ever:
He attempted to break the lighter with his foot but instead of breaking the lighter, he broke his heel. The pain was so powerful he screamt so loudly and walking become very difficult for him. Because of him, the entire group had to slow down and to make more frequent stops to help him temporarily "ease" his pain.
Our flight departs at gate 1. And this flight is in code-share with AF.
An American-type car is exposed inside the terminal.
PVG airside is very impressive in its length.
A hot water fountain.
Let's go to the toilets. Not very clean…
At the end of the terminal, there is an art gallery. I'm not sure it has a lot of success though…
There is a business sector located at the heart of the terminal alongside the waiting area.
The airport is also equipped of free Wi-Fi and plugs. I didn't even try once.
Some seats are a little different from others. Those are giving priority to pregnant women and people who have trouble as to walk. Which allow them to "look on the bright side of life". Don't you think Raul ?
sPOTTING PARTY !!
Since we have plenty of time before our boarding, let's get spotting. Terminal isn't very spotter-friendly but you can still make good photos when you succeed to fit the camera's objective.
A319 MU going to Yibin (YBP), Sichuan.
B-737-800 Shanghai Airlines also going to Guilin City (KWL), Guangxi. This flight departed one hour before ours.
A321 MU heading to Lanzhou (LHW), Gansu.
A350-900 Thai Airways (TG) coming from Bangkok (BKK), Thailand. That one included by a A330 Shanghai Airlines (FM) and a A321 MU.
Speaking of, it's on its way to its destination.
A350-900 Vietnam Airlines (VN) going to Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville (SGN), Vietnam. Nice try as to escape "Eagle"'s sight…
777-200ER Air Canada (AC) coming from Toronto (YYZ), Ontario. It still wears the older "freezy" livery…
A321 China Southern (CZ) coming from Canton (CAN), Guangdong.
A321 MU wearing retro livery in its last meters.
Airbus A340-600 Lufthansa (LH) coming from Munich (MUC), Germany. And not just any : the registration's D-AIHV, the same one that carried me from Frankfurt (FRA), Germany to Beijing (PEK), Republic of China.
Second Vietnam Airlines's A350-900. But this time, it's heading for Hanoï (HAN), Vietnam.
Onboard the pigeon
If the team and/or avgeeks read this, I precise this isn't a mistake: Although our aircraft is a Boeing 737-800, its registration you saw is the right one. So be careful not to make the confusion between the registration and the previous model : the Boeing 737-500.
Boarding started 10 minutes the scheduled time. If we are still boarding the old way, the boarding agent take your boarding pass violently.
And there's once again a part ripped of…
Let's head out to our aircraft. We're boarding via a blind jetbridge.
Door and playstation moment.
The "welcome" carpet is set.
Greetings with a smile. We passed in front of the Business Class cabin, which is quite intimate (only 3 rows).
Here's my seat 42L, for the next 3 hours.
For 1m80, the legroom is comfortable but it became painful after 2 hours.
Clean test, checked.
View on the wing, winglet, our neighbor and of course, the original registration… ;b
the headrest can be adjusted.
A possible recline of the seat.
Bad point for MU: No IFE at your seat. It shall have consequences on the entertainement's note…
… as well as these useless commands. Besides, no headsets were given, whether during boarding or during the flight, that's even more useless…
On the other hand, nobody will occupy the middle seat… Except maybe a foot…
… or this big carry-on suitcase. Fortunately, it shall go to the baggage racks.
The crew informed passengers of a delay but their English-speaking was so bad I will never know the disruption's reason.
Mini-televisions are out to show the safety video and are immediately set back once it's done.
A few minutes later…
Okay… Hard to say that 20 minutes might be a few minutes. we pushed back 20 minutes after the scheduled time of departure.
Last view of our aircraft, B-7635 that is about to leave to go to Dayong airport (DYG), Hunan.
Anti-noise plugs are set and ready while the captain turned on the aircrafts's reactors.
The inflight experience
Once again, taxiway is as busier as ever. We ned almost 25 minutes to reach the runway. You can see on the next pictures how night didn't waste any time to obscure the sky. On top of that, I got a dirty window, so I couldn't get high qualtiy photos.
The only aircrafts I could take are this MU's 77W taking off…
… and landing of F-HPJD, AF's 4th A380, ensuring AF flight 116 from Paris (CDG), France. (The best quality picture I took).
At times I wrote this review in French, it was the next superjumbo to be remove from Air France's superjumbo fleet after F-HPJB, that after 10 years to fly around the world, is now scrapped at Knock's airport (NOC), Ireland. Rest in peace. :'( Another interesting fact: F-HPJB did one last flight between the 31rd of December 2019 and the 1st of January 2020 before it officially left the carrier. And that flight was a Paris Charles-De-Gaulle - Shanghai Pudong - Paris Charles-De-Gaulle.
Two more aircrafts before we can enter the runway and go. A Spring Airlines (9C) and an Air China (CA).
Goodbye PVG. With a 50 minutes delay…
Televisions are once again out 15 minutes around after we took-off. It shall most of time be advertisements but they also show a few of famous "just for Laughs" pranks.
Mayday !! Mayday !! Mò ní kè's presence detected !!
From its "real name", « Monique », it's a nickname that appeared in a French review in 2013, and it refers to unpleasant flight attendants, especially from women cabin crew. And since then, the French community still mentions this when there is a bad flight in part due to the cabin crew members.
On US flights in English version, you would know by the name of Karen…
It's dinner time !
Unlike the previous flight where you could choose between asian and western, you can only have the asian meal here.
Flight attendants, without even a word or a smile, are giving boxes so fast like they are throwing a frisbee. I chose a chemical orange juice as this meal's drink.
The meal is a rice cassolette with very small pieces of sausage, carrots and potatoes. With something like chinese cabbage and a liquid blueberry's jelly.
Cutlery is in a bad-quality plastic.
Just one word : Yikes !! On all flights I did until now, this meal was by far, the worst meal EVER ! Only the main course was acceptable. So to say.
While I take my time to at least finish my hotpot, the flight attendants are already picking up the meals. They almost took mine while I was still eating.
Later on, they shall pass again for a refill. I shall then take a bit of water. Once the flight attendans stopped to our row, they took care of our aisle neighbor and once served, they're taking care of the other side and will never come back for my water.
The towel I got in the box isn't a good-quality one and isn't going to improve the final note either.
In order to pass time, I chatted with the group's members about our impressions on this flight. For some of us, the meal we ate earlier was "inedible" already, that I learn that others simply didn't have meals at all !
By the way, the aircraft was a very noisy one compared to the ones we flew with before. But that's somehow normal because we flew only on AIrbus aircrafts until now.
Mood-lightning is on. We have started our descent.
The arrival at Guilin city's airport
We landed 07h53 P.M. and we are escorted by a "follow me" car.
I'm glad we're finally arrived.
Everyone is up.
Last view of my seat.
Disembarkment via a window jetbridge. The crew will thank passengers for flying MU with a smile. But that smile won't convince me to fly with them again. Our aircraft is about to do the last flight of the day by going back to Shanghai (PVG).
From the aircraft to the baggage claim, it's not very long but because of our injured friend Raul, we had to stop frequently so that he can even for a short time feeling better. In the meantime, that allowed our baggage to be quickly delivered and we didn't wait a long time to pick them up.
KWL airport landside.
Our flight's replay
And with that, this is the end of this review. I hope you enjoyed it. If that's the case, don't hesitate to leave a like and/or add a comment. As for me, I'll meet you again at Hong Kong airport for the return flight to Europe with Lufthansa.
Bonus : Click here display hide
Little cooking bonus: Despite we arrived very late due to the delay, we maintained the circuit's scheduled dinner. It shall be far much better than we ha had inflight. This photo can prove it.
Shanghai - PVG
Guilin City - KWL
On the previous flight, MU gave me a rather good impression, that could go til flying once again with this airline despite some weaknesses. But in comparison with this flight, it's like night and day.
Flight attendants were enough "friendly" when I got onboard but once inflight, they weren't friendly at all. Distant, cold, no interaction, they even went to neglect some passengers. From what I saw and heard, I don't see why I shall even give a single point for the greetings.
I still give a point for the catering and more precisely at the main course. But that's the only thing I've taken on all the catering, which was just horrible.
PVG: one of the worst airports I ever experimented. The check-in agent's behaviour is just unaccepatble.
KWL: Much better than PVG. On all points.
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Shame about the bad cabin crew, this seemed much more typical 10 years ago or so, but there had been a lot of noticeable improvement in recent years. Oh well, everyone is entitled to having a bad day I guess, though they shouldn't really let customers see it.
Thanks for sharing!
That's funny because when I just got in and outside the aircraft, they were smiling even "friendly" I might say. but inflight... Still, I can't help but wonder if the destination, more countryside than Xi'an, Beijing or Shanghai, could affect the onboard service and/or flight attendants's attitude as well...
By the way, thanks for the information about Karen. Unfortunately, I didn't even make an American domestic flight...yet. And I don't know when I'm going back to America.
Thanks for your comment Kevin and take care. ;)
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