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The size and crush of people in China is hard to fathom until you have experienced it. Yesterday I traveled with a colleague from Louisville, Kentucky on the Beijing-Shanghai Air Express (京沪空中快线), a coordination of several airlines providing roughly hourly services between Beiijing (PEK) and Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA). Louisville is commuter jet central so it is understandable that when my colleague heard of the 1 hour 40 minute flight he expected the same.
As we crossed from the jet bridge to the plane I said “‘Is it a 2×2 seating plane?’ will be the line of the trip.”
On we stepped to an Air China 777-20 with 2-5-2 seating. Full on a mid-Saturday afternoon.
He kept raving after, “First class had amenity kits!” “We were served a meal in economy.”
Oh, and Chinese airlines still hassle passengers for having their phones in airplane mode, though enforcement is only by the most stern flight attendants.