Route: Beijing Capital Airport to Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
Departure date and time of flight: 22:00 on the 9 May, 2015
Flight Number: CA1708
Flight duration: 1 hour 55 minutes (delayed by two hours due to heavy traffic in Beijing)
Class: Economy Class
Aircraft type: Airbus A320
Punctuality of the flight:
As is normally expected in Beijing, the flight was delayed by over two hours due to the traffic and the weather conditions en-route to Hangzhou. On top of that, out gate was also changed at the last minute without much information. It has become such as common occurrence that hardly anyone complains (and that, too, at an airport as Beijing, which is notorious for having delays and being part of bad weather conditions).
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
This was one of the last flights into Hangzhou Airport- we arrived at 2am…since the airport is way out of the city, so there are no night-time curfews (as is the case with most airports in China).
The journey from the airport to downtown Hangzhou (well, Binjiang) gets the taxi to be dragged along the empty, and sometimes dusty/rocky, roads. Instead of waiting for an official taxi, I decided to take the plunge and chose to accept an offer of 90RMB from a private taxi (normally, it should cost around 120RMB (£12, US$18). The private taxi may not match up UBER, but it had no seatbelts, and he drove at around 90mph in the dark lanes from the airport to my home in Binjiang in under 15 minutes (THAT would be deemed impossible with a normal metered taxi…it usually takes around 45 minutes on a normal day and around 30 minutes on an empty road).
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Drinks, excluding alcohol, included tea and coffee were served. The beautiful thing about flying with Air China domestically is that they are one of the few airline companies in China that offer sugar and milk powder separately.
Comments regarding the first meal:
Just a strawberry muffin and a simple bun was offered.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks were offered after the meal. No alcohol was served, but plenty of milk, coffee and tea. Loved it.
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
The IFE system was only activated once during this flight- prior to take off (for the safety demonstration). The PVT screens are not placed behind every seat but overhead.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The cabin crew were professional and polite. Just a normal flight, without any incidents. The level of English spoken was good, too. This was the last flight of the day for the crew (they, too, had been working since 5am (I started at around 4am)). If anyone thought the life of a pilot or cabin crew is one of luxury then you are wrong - well, it can be fun but they make it look fun and enjoyable- the reality is much more worse (just ask the cabin crew who work for Qatar Airways, for example).
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
This Airbus A321 aircraft for Air China has a seat configuration of 3-3 with an all economy seat set up. The plane was very clean and had the latest IFE system installed. The staff were professional and could speak some adequate amounts of English.
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best):10
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
Special thanks goes to
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
Proud media partner of QATAR AIRWAYS