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Airlines In China  
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

There seem to be a multitude of airlines in China. Any advise which ones are the best and which ones to avoid?
I am taking several inter-china flights and they all look the same to me. Anyone has experience with China Eastern and China Southern?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineInitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1053 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Quoting WROORD (Thread starter):
Anyone has experience with China Eastern and China Southern?

I have only flown CZ before and I would categorise them under the "best to avoid" category. All 6 flights with them were less than satisfactory.

Trip reports here

Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)

The seat pitch was terrible. No IFE, unless you want to count the overhead screens with the faulty headphone jacks. Food is normal but on my SIN-CAN leg it was terrible and the first time in my life I left food behind on the tray as I usually gobble up everything I see.

On the other hand, HU seems great for long haul. Haven't tried them yet though.



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineUA191 From Canada, joined Apr 2010, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2994 times:

Quoting WROORD (Thread starter):
I am taking several inter-china flights and they all look the same to me. Anyone has experience with China Eastern and China Southern?

They are most certainly not the same!
I have tried HU's trans-con & domestic/intra-asia flights, they definitely have the best product and value for $.
I have also flown with Air China, China Southern & China Eastern, wich are all owned by the communist party.
The other three are very similar with just some minor differences & in my opinion, should be avoided.

If you must fly CZ, I suggest you spring for their Y fare & sit in 'Premium Economy', it's worth it on flights over 1 hour.



UA Global Services, DL Platinum Medallion, AC Super Elite - I love flying!!!
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6265 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

I have flown Air China several times, and it's not great, but it always got me there more or less on time. That being said, the flights were always better when they were operated with Shandong Airlines metal.

Hainan is probably the best I have flown on, maybe tied with Xiamen Airlines. I had very good flights with both, though Hainan was just one experience, and Xiamen has been 3 or 4 satisfactory experiences.

China Southern, I only flew once, it was fine but not great. The crew was awful, but that's largely a trend in China.


User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2905 times:

Quoting Initious (Reply 1):
I have only flown CZ before and I would categorise them under the "best to avoid" category. All 6 flights with them were less than satisfactory.

I loved your trip reports. Thank you for sharing them!


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

Hi there

I live in Shanghai and I travel domestic in China (both Y and F) about three times a week on average, mostly on MU, but on occasion on CA and CZ, and very rarely on H0.

CA is probably the better among the three major carriers (with the assumption that FM is now fully part of MU), and this is probably because they belong to Star Alliance. I would say CZ come in second and MU last. Every time I fly MU I fly in F, but generally they have the old seats, which are not that comfortable, the "meals" are probably equally to BOB in Y on airlines in the US. CA and CZ meals in Y (I fly Y+ on CZ, the only airline in China to have Y+) and they're slightly better than MU, but not that much greater.

I would say MU seems to experience much more delays than CA or CZ, but then to be fair, that is because during the Shanghai Expo there was a huge increase in the number of pax / flights through PVG and SHA, and on average I experienced delays of 1.5 hours due to "traffic control."

The IFE on domestic airlines will be some travel show or some other variety show in Mandarin. The inflight mag is also in Mandarin only.

If you have any other specific questions, please go ahead and ask. As I stated above, I travel domestic within China about 3 times a week and have been doing so for the past 6 - 9 months.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ HKG-SIN | VF SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN-SYD
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2886 times:

I managed to dig out all my domestic trip reports, they span from end of 2008 to present day:

China Spring Airlines: 9C8901 OCT/10 SHA – MIG Y C (by Coal Nov 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
China Eastern: MU5203 05/MAY/10 SHA – LZH Y Cabin (by Coal May 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
Exercising At The Airport Part II (Pics) (by Coal May 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Exercising At The Airport Part I (Pics) (by Coal May 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
SHA-NNG-SZX On FM/MF (by Coal Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
SHA-PEK On Air China 777 (Pics) (by Coal Jul 12 2009 in Trip Reports)
Rare Air China Domestic: Beijing - Datong (Pics) (by Coal Nov 21 2008 in Trip Reports)

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ HKG-SIN | VF SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN-SYD
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

Coal,

Great reports keep posting new ones! I do have a question about fares - it seems to me that they are just the opposite the US meaning higher far in advance and cheaper as it gets closer to your departure? How do you buy your tickets on airline sites or travel sites like ctrip? Is there a big difference between Y and F service wise? Thanks for your help!


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Hi WROORD

Well I travel 90% for work, so not sure how they book it. I do know we always get upgraded to F on MU as long as the ticket is issued within 3 days of departure. I wouldn't pay for an F seat on a domestic flight. The seat is slightly bigger, but not much more recline, the meals in F are generally very poor, and there is no additional IFE.

I generally book on Ctrip because they seem to show much more flight availability than Expedia or Travelocity. You are right that there are some last minute cheap fares. But what I have done in the past is when I book a flight and the fare later becomes cheaper, I just call Ctrip and ask for a refund of the fare difference.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ HKG-SIN | VF SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN-SYD
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2830 times:

Quoting Coal (Reply 8):
I just call Ctrip and ask for a refund of the fare difference.

That was my plan, but was not sure that they would do it. Thank you again for all your help! It does look like MU tends to have the cheapest F class, now I know why.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1944 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2805 times:

Quoting WROORD (Reply 9):
MU tends to have the cheapest F class, now I know why.

If you have more cash than you know what to do with, spend it. I have plenty of cash, but the last thing I would do is spend it on an F ticket for a domestic China trip, unless the trip is over 3.5 hours, but that would probably be if you are going to Lhasa, Urumqi, or perhaps Lanzhou, which I doubt is the case.

Actually contacting Ctrip is surprisingly easy, considering how poor customer service is in China generally. You can do online chat, email, call their toll free number, or even contact them via Skype. Like I said, I have asked for refunds on fare differences once or twice, and it always worked. Just make sure you keep monitoring the flights. I think you can even change the flight timing in case it's another flight that has the fare difference.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ HKG-SIN | VF SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN-SYD
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 915 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2731 times:

Hi Coal,
Again thank you very much for your help!


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