Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:39 pm

Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 11:22 am

i am flying Dragon air from Hong Kong to Bejiing and then return to Hong Kong from Shanghai - anyone flown this airline - what can i expect?

CX Flyboy
Posts: 6086
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 11:43 am

I flew them a couple of weeks ago. If you are expecting service as good as a Cathay regional flight, or SQ or something, then you will be disappointed. No entertainment at all. No headphones, nothng. Food was really bad as well.

However, the flights are short so it didn't bother me too much. If you look at the choice of airlines to fly to PEK and SHA then Dragonair is a lot better than the others. They're perfectly safe so don't worry.
United Airline
Posts: 8849
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:24 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:19 pm

I flew Dragonair to Shanghai before...... I travelled on an A 330-300 and it was good. The food was good and you have headphones...... But no PTV.

Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 5:48 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:47 pm

I used to fly them quite a bit - the main advantage was being able to check baggage right through if the connection into / out of HKG was on CX. Also from my experience, KE are much more likely to get you there on time than CZ, CA or MU etc
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:47 pm

I did flew them in 1996 from Hong Kong to Guilin on an A320. It was a 1h15 minute flight, but it was absolutely horrible.

We boarded by the mobile stairs (whatever you call them) since all the aerobridges were used up at Kai Tak. Boarding was done in a very disorderly manner. The cabin crew were just hanging around at the galley during boarding, oblivious to the fact that there was a bottleneck at the doors due to disorderly boarding.

Nobody was sitting at their assigned seats as a result, and many just sat at the first empty seat they saw. When my mum asked the cabin crew, in cantonese, to see to it that there was some form of order in the cabin, as well as help the numerous senior citizens on board put their hand luggage in the overhead compartments, they replied that it was non of their business.

The cabin crew continued to be rude throughout the flight, throwing the meal trays at the passengers.

On the flight back from Guilin, it wasn't that bad. However, one clumsy flight attendant dropped an entire tray of stuff. Of course, food was all over the aisle. And how did she solve the problem? She kicked the food scraps under my mum's seat, so as to clear the aisle. God, I think even China Southern would have known better!!

Of course, Dragon Air may be an excellent airline, just that the two experiences i had with them really turned me off them. However in terms of safety, I think they are excellent. Which is the most important factor when travelling in China. If I were to travel in China, I would try to avoid the mainland Chinese airlines at all cost due to safety(or, lack of). Is that valid or am I underestimating the safety standards of mainland Chinese airlines?
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 11:26 am

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 2:17 pm

Basically in my experience if you're on an A320 it's very VERY cramped and if you're on an A330 the room is OK. Flying to PEK could be either, from SHA more likely to be a 330. Service is completely average, but it has a very safe reputation.
Posts: 5750
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:43 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 3:13 pm

I flew 10 times on the 737-200's !!, but thats not much help.

My sister in Law, is a flight attendent on KA (First class).
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 12:25 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 6:36 pm

I have been on their A330's - it's a fairly good product for a regional flight.

Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 1999 1:30 am

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:03 pm

KA is good. Even I am a ID90 SA tkt pax.
The crews are OK. You know, on short flight. They have to serve meal and collect them back.
No TV(even large TV) is bad.
Cockpit visit is welcome(Before 911). So, everytime I flew KA, I am landing in the cockpit. Smile
Posts: 5880
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 7:56 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 8:12 pm

Some years ago, I flew HKG-Beijing-HKG on a Tristar 1011 (probably all replaced since then). Coach class was incredibly cramped, much worse than German domestic flights, though the latter rarely are more than 50 minutes, flight to Beijing is around 3 hours. Service was not rude but rather non-existent, which is fine by me, but their stopover program is just great: Top hotels in Beijing (Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza -was sold and changed its name, but still very much recommended-near Tiananmen Square quite cheap, about half the price of European travelling agents) and most other destinations, that's why I chose Dragonair and it was ok overall. Just be prepared to heavy knee-injury if you are 6'2'' like me!!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 1999 12:27 am

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Mon Feb 04, 2002 9:15 pm

To most people's surprise (even to me), safety standards in Mainland China is actually much better than what most people imagine.

Of course if you are talking about a few years ago then obviously it's not that good, but the safety has improved a lot in the last few years.

From what i was told of, the pilot training in China is very very strict. China sends most of the pilots to Australia to be trained, and although generally not very experienced, they are of extremely high standards.

Furthermore, a lot of newly built airports in China uses
the lastest technology in Air Traffic management, and together with the computer systems on all those newest airbus and boeing jets, the air traffic system is one of the most sophisticated in the world- even better than in the US because there are a lot of Old airports and outdated jets and a much busier traffic there.

These acutally came from an australian pilot. He even said that he would put his family on Mainland Chinese carriers anyday if available, rather than on other airlines which we often regard as safe.
Posts: 384
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 9:10 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:15 am

Flew the A320 PEK-HKG . Disappointing, since I was expecting CX standards due to the connection between the 2 airlines. But probably better than the domestic Chinese airlines. Saw the Flight Attendants were using CX manuals but not giving CX service. I don't think they have ever flown the 737-200 as a previous post mentioned.
Cathay Pacific
Posts: 1715
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 1:29 am

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:24 am

they did have 737-200 when they first start up

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cathay pacific, now you're really flying
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2001 9:10 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:26 am


Before 911, Dragonair welcomes cockpit visitings. But after that, it maybe restricted. But give a try anyway!

Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2001 9:10 pm

Something More About Chinese Airlines..

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:40 am

As other boardmates mentioned, Chinese pilots are trained in Australia. You know what you flew on them are those Airbus and Boeing! Those russian made aircrafts are almost dissappeared. But one thing that's true is their language. They rarely speak english. They speak Mandarin when flying domestic flights! So I never think that Chinese airlines are dangerous to fly with!

P.S. China Southern installed PTVs in their B777!!

Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:00 am

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:00 am

I flew KA a number of years ago, and it was simply horrendous. The flight was from Kai Tak to Guilin, and everything from the ground handling agent to the flight attendants on board wasn't what I'm used to. Maybe I'm spoilt by the likes of SQ, CX and TG, but KA was awful. I can't remember exact details, but I think it was an A320 I flew on, there was a mad rush to board the plane and deplane, the FAs were pretty much doing nothing and just standing around talking to each other.

But then again, that's only one single flight. Maybe it was just a bad experience.
SIA fan
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2000 11:56 pm

RE: Anyone Flown Dragon Air

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:07 am

I flew KA only once from Chek Lap Kok to Guilin back in August 2000. Contrary to what people wrote here, it was a pleasant experience. I sat on the biz class cabin, and the A320 was clean, fresh, and looked new. There were a lot of rooms and boarding was done in orderly manner too. FAs were nice and on the short flight they even give you a choice of dinner which was actually good. Flight was smooth, overall if given the chance I will gladly fly with them again.

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