Updated on August 20, 2017
Flight Log of China Eastern Airlines Flight 718 / 5186 from Chicago O’Hare to Beijing via Shanghai on April 10/11th, 2017
5 nights, some tourist sites, a few meetings with friends and countless Pokemons later, I was on my return trip to Beijing on April 10th.
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Part of my reason for staying five nights at Chicago was due to their 600 dollar allowance on travel. China Eastern only released their promotion fares for mid-week flights.
Since my Airbnb room was at Rogers Park in North Chicago, it was quite a detour to ride metro to the airport. So under the advice from Google Maps and my host, I reached the airport with a combination of bus and metro, which saved me lots of time.
And I knew I shouldn’t have too much expectation in China Eastern’s catering, so I stocked my backpack with food from McDonald’s and Subway on my way to the airport.
After reaching O’Hare Airport T4, the crowd at the departure hall wasn’t nearly what I was expecting. (Maybe this is because Americans were pretty efficient at checking in and security-checking people?) The guy at check-in desk informed us out of his way that there’s a storm coming later in the afternoon, so they wanted to send our plane out early, and so would our boarding be.
And, due to limited resources of Shanghai customs, my bag was only checked to Shanghai.
After boarding, I found the load factor was pretty decent (but far from full), an absolute contrast to online comments that China Eastern was transporting seats on the inbound trip from Chicago.
That day we only used 3 kilometers of 3.9 of runway 28R. So the China Eastern crew learned it the American way to expedite takeoff?
And I was stunned that the tiny blue package in the lower-left could extend into a full-size wet napkin.
Then, something about the onboard WiFi. With the experience on my outbound trip, I waited until cruising to try connecting to it, and the website told me they couldn’t find my passport number in the system…… Well, after meal services I and under curiosity I tried again, and found this time it worked.. So did China Eastern required its cabin crew to manually enter everyone’s passport numbers and seat numbers into the WiFi database at cruising?
I thought that day I left my beloved earphone in Chicago O’Hare Airport (onboard the flight when I couldn’t find it, I was under the fantasy that I might somehow put it in my checked bag by mistake, and I would reunite with my earphone at Shanghai), so throughout the flight I watched my ample store of videos and movies with China Eastern’s bargain earphone (which got two pins by the way, so I only got sound from one of my ears).
We were chasing the sun throughout the flight, so I didn’t open my window shade much, so there were few photos.
Not until we came close to Shanghai to find the typical polluted Chinese skies.
And there’s never enough jet bridges in Pudong, so even we were giant 77W we were reduced to apron parking.
But at least we didn’t need to wait for the shuttle bus.
Upon getting my checked bag I searched it through for my earphone, and found it wasn’t in it. Oh, I lost my beloved earphone…
Then it’s flight MU5186 to Beijing. Since it’s a narrowbody jet at Shanghai, without doubt it would be a bus gate. Although our plane arrived early sitting on the apron, due to air traffic control our boarding was still an hour late.
By the way Pudong Airport’s bus gates under China Eastern Operation was, I shall say, dirty at best.
It was a 14 hour flight from Chicago, and my body was still adjusting to the jet leg, so that night I basically slept throughout the entire flight to Beijing. One thing I still remembered that now China Eastern began to provide snacks (some bread) besides drinks on their night flights.
I guessed it was late in the day and there wasn’t as much contest for runways as in the day, so we amazingly we landed on runway 36L, which saved as half an hour of touring the Airport while taxiing. Although we were still parked at the apron and took a shuttle bus ride to the terminal.
After that I bought airport bus tickets from their rude-as-usual counters, and called an end to this trip to Chicago.
Flight Log of China Eastern Airlines Flight 718 / 5186 from Chicago O’Hare to Beijing via Shanghai on April 10/11th, 2017 by Huang's Site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.