Updated on August 16, 2017
Flight Log of China Eastern Airlines Flight 2602 from Lanzhou to Beijing Capital on October 18th, 2016
My previous flight GS7648 was pretty much on time, so I got nearly four hours of connection time to kill in Lanzhou(兰州) Airport.
Flight GS7648 parked in the old terminal of Lanzhou Airport, and I passed along a transit counter after I got off the plane. Since Tianjin Airlines has some strict rules banning luggage bags as carry-on items, so I checked that bag on the previous leg. But it’s common truth to any intellectual being that checked bags don’t get to belts in Beijing Capital Airport at speed, specially it’s domestic flight into Terminal 2 at night (Yes it’s China Eastern on a flight from Shanghai Hongqiao that taught me this), so I decided to bring that luggage bag onboard on the flight to Beijing. Since I need to collect that bag first, I didn’t pay any attention to that transit counter.
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After getting my checked bags, I went upstairs without a second thought, expecting a departure hall to perform check-in for my connecting flight. It turned out that I was at the old terminal building of the airport, and all the operating check-in counters of the airport were in the new terminal building (even so there were two janitor nannies in the old building sweeping floors that no one would tread on). So against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset I was carrying my suitcases while walking to the new terminal building (, accompanied by a few fellow passengers doing the thing, which meant this must be some design flaw as there’s no indoor passage between the two terminal buildings).
After security I came across a poster stating the airport offered free beef noodles as a local cuisine to all transferring passengers. So I came to a “service counter” and was greeted by a puzzled-looking lady that said, “Oh, you should use the transfer counter… It’s fine with checked bags, we will handle that properly for you…” A sign of an airport eager for passenger volume numbers.
Then under their advice I walked back to the old terminal building in search of the transfer counter. I didn’t found any stairs leading to the ground floor, but a “Lanzhou Airport Transit Lounge”(obviously converted from some outdated premium passenger lounges), which was better than nothing I thought, though it’s barely equipped with anything.
After that it was straight to takeoff. GPS tracking here.
To my surprise, besides beverage services we were each given a Shaqima as desert. I didn’t recall there’s any food offered on my flight from Nanchang to Beijing half a year ago.
Just before landing we passed the city of Datong(大同) (although when taking these two photos we were technically in Inner Mongolia), as I recalled all the fun my friend and I had in this city back in May.
That night the city of Beijing was blanketed in thick, hazardous fog, so I took few photos of the landing process.
One thing to mention, just before landing, I didn’t find the views outside any familiar. I was guessing, are we going to land on the right runway which was 36L? (Half a year ago I flew China Eastern from Nanchang to Beijing Capital, which landed on the wrong runway of 01, and we taxied for an extra half an hour.) It turned out that my dream came true.
Then we taxied towards Beijing Airport Terminal 2. My heart was filled with great joy as I witnessed the plane taxied past narrow-body apron North of Terminal 1. Bingo! Jet bridge!
So to conclude, compare with a similar night flight on China Eastern from Nanchang(南昌) to Beijinghalf a year ago, this time from Lanzhou, the airplane was newer(0.4 years), we got food service, there’s no delay, we landed on the right runway and were blessed with the gift of an jet bridge, what could possibly be better?
Perhaps I was having such a smooth day, that the government of Beijing decided to add some balancing misery to my trip by “graciously” leaving one lane of traffic on its Airport Highway (and other roads in the city). And that sole remaining lane enabled me to get back in town at 5km/h instead of camping in the airport. To make matters worse, the fuel-conserving environmentally-friendly driver of the airport shuttle bus decided, instead of using air-conditioning, to open a tiny window at his side in a dark, humid and heavily-polluted night
while transporting a busful of slaves to town. So in two hours I got from the airport to Friendship Hotel from which point I cycled back to my dorm. (Oh, did the flight from Lanzhou to Beijing also cost two hours?)
Flight Log of China Eastern Airlines Flight 2602 from Lanzhou to Beijing Capital on October 18th, 2016 by Huang's Site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.