My first domestic flight in China

To date, all of my travel in mainland China has been by train or bus. My flight today from Shanghai to Chengdu was my first experience with domestic air travel. I arrived at the airport an hour early, as suggested, only to learn that check-in closes 45 minutes before departure. With more than 100 people ahead of me in line waiting for economy class, there was no way I would make it in time unless I bypassed the economy line, and headed directly toward the first-class counter, where there were exactly zero people in line. The seemingly incredibly bored employee more than willing to spend three minutes printing my boarding pass and taking my bag.

While boarding, there was a heavy haze of what appeared to be smoke, but in reality it was just the plane’s climate control pumping cold air into the cabin. At times the haze was even thicker than it appears in the photo, making it difficult to read the seat numbers through the cold air.

I slept, and woke up in southwestern China.

Air China, Shanghai to Chengdu.

Sculpture at Pudong International Airport; Shanghai, China.

Sculpture at Pudong International Airport; Shanghai, China.

Landing in Chengdu; Sichuan province, China.