It was my unusual trip on Air China from Shanghai Pudong to Fukuoka, Japan. I flew this flight on August 31, 2013, while my final destination is Nagoya. Thanks to sold out direct flights back to Nagoya and Tokyo, I had to fly this flight followed by a connecting ANA flight back to Nagoya from Fukuoka.
I sat on the emergency exit row seat, 19L, a little more spacious than the other regular seats. The flight took only an hour so it did not matter if you were sitting on a premium seat or not. Since it was my first time to Fukuoka from Shanghai, the passengers were different than the other CA flights to Japan. Interestingly, Japanese passengers looked a bit creepy to me as Fukuoka was probably well known as a gang city.
They talked a lot during the flight and smelled smoky. It seems they were the part of gangs. From their hairstyle to their appearances, I was quite scared but somewhat I really wanted to talk to them. By the way, I am not writing to tell the Fukuoka people in this article. Let me get back to the main discussion.
As the flight went only one hour, the meal was very simple: drink and a tuna roll sandwich. I saw at least six female attendants serving all the passengers on A320-200 aircraft. I wonder why they needed many attendants for such a small plane but maybe because of no layover for the flight attendants at Fukuoka. They have to fly back to Shanghai on a return flight.
The service on board was poor as usual on any CA flights. Some young attendants showed some professional attitude toward passengers but the others showed almost no motivation to serve passengers. Compared to the other Asian carriers, Air China service would probably the worst one.
Thickets price on Air China is still reasonable compared to Japanese airlines but it is better to pick Japanese carriers if you fly a little longer flights, such as to Tokyo. I really wonder why Air China itself does not realize its poor performance on board and tries to deliver better services to passengers.
Although this article is listed in the Travel section, the company should improve its services if Chinese economy really wants to break through to a higher income economy. Without the improvement of human behavior, in this case CA flight attendants, the Chinese economy would be trapped in the middle-income level.
In order for China to reach higher standard of living, China will have to increase “efficiency” or “A” (in my case, “E”) of the Cobb-Douglas form of function. This Air China story should have negative impact on the “efficiency.”