Takeoff from Manila was scheduled for 6:30 am. There were three pilots who seemed somewhat young, and a small flight crew for this 737-800 without winglets, which was almost 10 years old and weirdly painted in "Silver Peony" style.
Boarding was done by zones. The organization was flawless and it went quickly. Then, while the passengers were getting settled, there was a period of confusion where the head cabin attendant was especially tense, frantically running up and down the center aisle and the flight attendants were beaming – strange on Air China, a smiling stewardess, right? It turned out to be about the mother of a Filipino family and her daughter who was doubtless mentally handicapped. We learned that the latter had endangered the security of the flight. She had tried to open an emergency exit. Really? She was actually seated far from the security exits. They were trying to expel the poor woman who was asking for help from the other passengers. The cabin attendant yelled, "Sit down immediately," when a passenger tried to understand the situation.
After about thirty minutes, the woman and her daughters were expelled from the plane military-style. Roll-out, takeoff, no in-flight entertainment, everyone slept, turbulence, straight flying, re-turbulence and landing. Air China remains a good airline, the food is OK and the pitch was generous for a single-aisle plane.
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