Old Jun 24, 16, 3:46 pm
  #1  
samwise6222
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New York
Programs: AA Exp / Marriott Titanium / MLife Gold / Hilton Gold / Hyatt Explorist / United Silver
Posts: 899
From Snoopy Museum in Tokyo to Charlie Brown Cafe in Seoul to Copacabana in Brazil

Flights Taken
China Eastern 777 J (JFK-PVG) (70,000 Skymiles + $230 per person)
Delta 777 J (PVG-NRT)
Air Busan A320 Y (NRT-PUS) ($70 per person)
Delta 747 J (ICN-DTW) (70,000 Skymiles + $10 per person)
Delta A321 F (DTW-LGA)
American Air 777 J (JFK-GIG) ($450 + SWU)
American Air 777 J (GIG-JFK)

Places Stayed
Hyatt Regency Tokyo (P+C)
Park Hyatt Tokyo (Virtuoso + DSU - special thanks to Ben (pricesquire who booked this for us )
Park Hyatt Busan (Chase Annual Free Night)
Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro (Buy one night, get one night free promo + DSU)


Preface

Earlier this year, AA had a fantastic fare between various US cities to Brazil for around $400-$500. And Brazil's unilateral waiver of visa for US citizens during the summer made it even more attractive to visit Brazil for the first time in my life, notwithstanding all the issues you hear from the media.

So in February 2016, I booked my long weekend trip to Rio de Janeiro.


...
...
...

Then in March, my sister informed me that she was engaged!!! and getting married..... in June..... half way around the world. Of course. My life wasn't going to be that easy

So I had to whip out my Delta Skymiles... and what do you know? 2 J seats to Asia in China Eastern available!!! 2 J seats on Delta coming back available at 70k miles!!

Hallelujah! It's a miracle. J award seats available at the low rate. I felt so lucky that on that day, i ended up buying 2 Mega Million tickets, and trying for Hamilton lottery tickets (I didn't with either.. obviously)

Anyhow: here I start - my two weeks of New York -> Shanghai -> Tokyo -> Busan -> Seoul -> Detroit -> New York -> Back to work for a week -> New York -> Rio -> New York trip.

I will try to save you as much of (1) lounge photos and (2) blurred food photos as there are so many people who can take better picture of them than I can


China Eastern to Shanghai and Delta to Tokyo


Many people rate China Eastern's products as "Good hard product/ Bad soft product" and I agreed with that assessment. Just one comment on lounge though - at JFK they use Air France lounge, which gets insanely crowded around midnight with multiple international flights cramming into that tiny space... so lounge was quite... Sad!

... and it can sometimes get tacky with what I call excessive lightshow (which went for a while... for a post-1AM flight .








And yes, it is indeed true that you get restaurant-style laminated (or laminated-feel paper?) menu that they will reuse it for the rest of the year.


One thing I did love about them was a drink option other than typical water / oj / champagne (we are both mildly allergic to sparkling wine) that a lot of airlines offer as a pre-departure drink. Wasn't quite sure what it was, but it was certainly yummy!


One of us is allergic to peanuts, and it is always our pet peeve when flight attendants push a tray of peanuts without asking (even when we have told them before...). I did really appreciate where they said "MU strives to avoid using peanuts in our meals..."


However, I must ding them on their headphone... It looked crappy. It felt crappy. The sound coming out from it was crappy.


I was a big fan of their bathrooms... it was already kept clean and always smelled nice! On the cleanliness scale, I will put it right above United's Global First cabin bathroom.

Food
That's where I will ding them the most. I picked the Chinese option, while my SO picked the Western one.
Living in New York, and going to Chinatown on a regular basis, I didn't expect to feel grossed out by their food... but everything in this picture was pretty inedible to me, at least. Scallop was very very fishy, and the blop of object tasted like... gellatin.


Main was a bit better, but in the end, the tastest part of the meal was the bowl of white rice.


Their brekky was a bit better. (Congee + pickles + bun)

IFE
I still disagree with Martian being categorized under Comedy... but I digress..



China Eastern runs a new 777-300 on this route, so the screen was big & fairly crisp.


China Eastern has free Wifi for its passengers to use... but (1) you are behind the great firewall of China and (2) it wasn't easy to connect if you are not pre-registered... I asked flight attendants for help, but in the end, they gave up as well \_(ツ)_/


For now... good night!

Transfer in Shanghai - a Nightmare


Transfer is PVG is horrible. There's no other way to put it. While I had heard about seamless transfers at PVG, my experience was that (1) I had to go through immigration and customs and (2) transit desk was insanely crowded where you didn't feel safe even if you had 4 hour transit time... and mind you - we were in Skypriority!

We could not reach the skypriority lane (see the diagram above) as it was blocked by other people, and in the end when we reached it, we were told that they couldn't access our reservation since our next flight was with Delta.

When we tried to exit the customs area, the security agent was not letting us leave without a boarding pass.... while the transfer desk agent was telling me that they can't issue a boarding pass.

In the end, I had to go "DUIBUQI DUIBUQI NO CHINESE" and push/ shove my way out. (I don't know what I was thinking...but I was tired...)

If you ever transfer in Shanghai, and have to go through similar route and see a long line at the transit desk, it will probably be much quicker to exit the customs area, and recheck at the departure level.


We had a little bit of time, so we took a quick trip on Maglev and came back..



Delta - ahh small of home

Thank you for the lounge pass.. but because of long security and immigration line, the flight was boarding as soon as we got to the gate


Delta runs old 777s on PVG-NRT route which shows some sign of aging... But my experience with Delta crews were much better than what I had with MU's - especially after they disappeared during the middle of the flight until the breakfast time.


Our flight was delayed by over an hour as we were waiting to take off. No it was not the notorious Shanghai air traffic congestion - but rather a case of exploding toilet. It turned out someone stuffed so much toilet paper in the toilet, that it ended up clogging the system... and caused a giant leak in the economy section. Multiple times, the flight attendants announced people seated in certain areas to move all their personal items to the overhead bin because the carpet was soaking with.... you guessed it.. toilet water!


Fairly decent meal... I would rate it at

KE Y food = JL Y food > DL J food > MU J food

tbc...

Last edited by samwise6222; Jun 24, 16 at 4:26 pm
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