david31998
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:49 am

Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:09 am

I have worked in China the past 12 years and have often flown on domestic Chinese flights. My advice is to stay away from Chinese carriers, if possible. The planes are typically clean, the FAs beautiful, and while the food is awful, the onboard service is generally ok. However, the Chinese have not figured out how to deal with customers when the unexpected happens, which of course, is common when flying. One of the characteristics of Chinese culture that drives westerners crazy is that the Chinese tell you what they think you want to hear (to make everything seem ok) instead of telling the truth. So when they tell you the delayed flight will take off soon, it means nothing.

My most recent example was earlier this summer when my flight from Nanchang to Beijing was delayed. They airline rep. repeatedly told us over a period of several hours, "leaving soon, leaving soon." The flight was 7 hours late and I got to my Beijing hotel at 3:30am. So my advice is stay away. Maybe they will improve their business model and how to deal with customers and customer complaints during the next few years. But for now, stay away. Any one with similar experiances out there?
 
TuRbUleNc3
Posts: 459
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:13 pm

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:19 am

I remember a case being on tv ..im not sure if it was a chinese airline or a hong kong airline, but they used to use polystyrene cups (talking years ago now) and i remember someone showed it and it was disgusting as they would wash and reuse them. You could see the teeth marks from other passengers in the cups.

Anyone remember this at all and can say which actual airline it was?
 
BAxMAN
Posts: 654
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 7:51 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting David31998 (Thread starter):
My most recent example was earlier this summer when my flight from Nanchang to Beijing was delayed. They airline rep. repeatedly told us over a period of several hours, "leaving soon, leaving soon." The flight was 7 hours late and I got to my Beijing hotel at 3:30am. So my advice is stay away. Maybe they will improve their business model and how to deal with customers and customer complaints during the next few years. But for now, stay away. Any one with similar experiances out there?

Errr, what non-Chinese options does anyone have when they wish to fly from Nanchang to Beijing?
I need to get laid
 
david31998
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:49 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:34 am

Quoting TuRbUleNc3 (Reply 1):
what non-Chinese options does anyone have when they wish to fly from Nanchang to Beijing?

Of course, all domestic flights are Chinese. I always try to take an overnight train when traveling in China, and sometimes I take long-distance buses. The passenger trains do a nice job of being on time, are comfortable, always clean (at least for the first few hours), and typically cost less than one-half of the airfare. Trains are not a good option if you are alone do not speak Chinese. If, however, you have a tour guide or are with a Chinese companion, take the train.
 
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Aeroflot777
Posts: 2960
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:19 pm

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:31 am

I've flown Chinese domestic flights 3 times and they were just like any other domestic flight I've been on in the USA. Professional staff, clean planes, and great service. International seems good too! My MU LAX-PEK-PVG flight in 2002 was still the best flight I've ever had to this day! I don't really know what problems you seem to be having...

Quoting David31998 (Thread starter):
One of the characteristics of Chinese culture that drives westerners crazy is that the Chinese tell you what they think you want to hear (to make everything seem ok) instead of telling the truth. So when they tell you the delayed flight will take off soon, it means nothing.

That is most definitely not a Chinese characteristic. This happens daily all over the world...  Yeah sure

Aeroflot777
 
bubbles
Crew
Posts: 1124
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RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:48 am

Quoting David31998 (Thread starter):

If you like, you could post your complaint to a Chinese forum. I know one - http://bbs.feeeco.com, where you could raise this issue and lots of personnel (FA, pilots from Chinese airlines) would read.

By the way, I fully understand your concern and frustration.

_Hongyin_

[Edited 2006-08-31 04:50:13]
 
NZ747
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:01 pm

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:45 pm

I flew China southern domestically last September, and noticed on all my flights that the english was terrible. The english safety announcement was unclear and their verbal sentence structure is just wrong. On all the flights, as soon as we hit the runway, the passengers started getting out of their seats, getting their cabin baggage, and lining up towards the door when we were still going 100kts down the runway. I got funny looks from the passengers as I was the only guy sitting down. The flight attendants did nothing. Is this normal in China? I big safety issue...

When I arrived in Beijing from Singapore, I went to the China southern check in desk at their terminal and didn't know what was going on. I checked in and they told me that they had my reservation, but there were no flights attached (or something like that). A service agent with terrible english (funny thing was, he noticed I was from NZ and told me he studied here for three years..) came out and took me to about three different customer service agents. When I tried to explain what flights I should have been on they couldn't understand me, so I had to write it down. At the end, I just left it in the hands of that guy and went with the flow. The whole time I didn't know what was going on. They just said to come back later... Turned out they put me on a later flight. I only figured this out when they printed my ticket.

NZ747
 
UpperDeck79
Posts: 1062
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:14 pm

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:54 pm

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 6):
I flew China southern domestically last September, and noticed on all my flights that the english was terrible. The english safety announcement was unclear and their verbal sentence structure is just wrong.

And how are the Chinese announcements on domestic flights in NZ?
AY and ANA rock!
 
bubbles
Crew
Posts: 1124
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RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:52 am

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 6):
I flew China southern domestically last September, and noticed on all my flights that the english was terrible. The english safety announcement was unclear and their verbal sentence structure is just wrong.

English is not widely used domestically in China.

Even most of Chinese youths start to learn English since middle school, there isn't much environment for them to really practise English - I mean, listening and speaking in daily life. 99% TV programs are in Chinese, no school course is taught in English, except English course. I am a Chinese. Once I came accross a Hungarian when spotting planes at Beijing Airport. We talked in English - actually we had to - on our way back downtown. I would like to use your words - I got funny looks from others as I was a Chinese speaking English on the street. This may sound funny, but that is the reality. What I said here is not to criticise anything, but just for giving you some sense about the circumstance.

In domestic flights, Chinese passengers, of course, won't really care about any announcement in English, whatever it says, whatever its English is right or wrong. Some public transportation in Beijing also provided English announcements, such as, in subway, buses. But mort of commuters are Chinese who don't care about that, either. There seems nothing we could do about it. Just feel sorry for your feeling and experience.

_Hongyin_
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:25 am

Quoting David31998 (Thread starter):
Any one with similar experiances out there?

I'm in the middle of compiling a TR on this, so won't go into every detail here.

I travelled CDG - PVG a couple of weeks ago, on Air France Ticket stock, but on the China Eastern code share service.

Firstly, no reservation in the system at check-in, even though I had a pre-assigned seat, paper ticket and printed confirmation. The AF guy on check-in said it happens all the time that reservations made with their flight numbers are routinely "lost" by MU.

Boarding: There was supposed to be a seperate access point to the gate for F & J class, but as soon as it was opened, everyone ran for it and no-one from MU made any attempt to stop them.

Once everyone was onboard, there were no pre-departure drinks. It was then announced that we had a 4 hour ATC delay. About 90 minutes into the delay, we were presented with trays of food in J class. It looked like we were getting a snack to while away the time, as there were no menus and no drinks. Minutes later, I was presented with a dish which the F/A announced was Chicken.

2 hours late, we commenced push and start.

No sooner had I been given the chicken (and I hadn't started on any of the tray) than it was promptly removed again as we commenced taxi.

A F/A then came down the cabin with a bottle of $2 Rioja white wine, asking if anyone wanted any.....!?!?!

We departed nearly 3 hours late.

For the entire flight, until breakfast, we had no food whatsoever - the "snack" had been our dinner, which had all been thrown away in preparation for departure.

After the Rioja wine, there was no more, neither red nor white, and when asked about champagne, the F/A just giggled.

There were no amenity kits.

Whilst most people were sleeping, they suddenly put on all the lights in the middle of the night and announced that we WOULD participate in their inflight fitness and exercise programme. I have never seen anything onboard an aircraft so comical than the entire F/A crew located throughout the cabin perform exercises to the video on the screens. If it hadn't been so funny, I would have been fuming over the unexpected wake-up call.

MU have a fantastic aircraft in the A346. It is almost criminal that they serve up such substandard cabin service onboard it. I now fully understand why regular premium passengers on the route choose Air France (there were 3 people in J) over China Eastern, as the return on Air France was infinitely superior.

Shamu
So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
 
COEWRPVG
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:29 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:26 am

Greetings to all,

Having just returned from a month of studying and traveling in China, I can truly relate to all of the experiences offered aboved in terms of universal Chinese culture (indifference towards English speakers, general disorganization, etc.). Nonetheless, I would like to present the case that service varies greatly between Chinese carriers; and it is not accurate to make an overarching statement to describe all of them:

Upon traveling from Beijing to Hangzhou, our group of 28 students was divided into two groups for two separate flights leaving within forty minutes of each other, one on a China Eastern MD-90 (this is the flight that I longed to be on, just for the sake of riding upon the rare MD-90), and the other on a Shanghai Airlines 738. Dismayed to hear that I was going to be riding a mundane 738, I made my way to the baggage check-in to find out that the flight was delayed. Nonetheless, we were given an explicit reason and were told that the airplane was currently making its way to the runway in Nanjing (upon landing in Beijing two hours later, it would only need an additional half an hour to turn around). Delays such as this one (weather-related) are not the fault of the airline, and the knowledge of the check-in agent eliminated any anger.

After the delay, we were quickly driven to the aircraft (many domestic filghts depart from remote stands at Beijing Capital Airport) and boarded the cleanest 738 that I had ever encountered. The flight attendents welcomed us in English, wishing us a great flight. Although the overall seamlessness of the boarding process was deterred by the characteristic relentlessness of fellow passengers to sit down, this is not the fault of Shanghai Airlines. After waiting to take-off for about an hour (this is typical at Beijing Capital), we finally took to the skies after watching a safety video that included a very understandable English translation. In fact, it even welcomed us as passengers of the Star Alliance  Wink. Anyway, the flight commenced with a decent meal (although the food was not gourmet by any means, it was still an improvement from the dearth of food available on domestic US carriers other than Continental). The flight attendents (who looked very professional in their new Shanghai airlines uniforms and persistent smiling) understood our requests for certain drinks in English. After an hour and a half, during which I watched a presentation of Shanghai Airlines's induction into the Star Alliance in English, we made our descent into Hangzhou, thus cutting our flying time by almost 45 minutes.

We parked at the gate next to the China Eastern MD-90, which landed around the same time. Hearing reviews from my friends, I can understand the general negative attitude toward Chinese Airlines. The reports I heard ranged from torn seat covers, a foul smoke-like smell in the aircraft, a lack of working vents upon the interminable taxi in Beijing, a complete absence of English skills among all of the crew members, a lack of food and entertainment, and a rude attitude from the flight attendents.

Although some Chinese domestic flights are certainly emulate the epitome of a bad travel experience, some airlines such as Shanghai Airlines truly challenge that stereotype and offer the same prices as its competitors.

COEWRPVG (Petition for EWR-PVG on continental.com  Wink )
 
worldjet777
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:07 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:01 pm

I've travelled domestically in China a few times on my trips over there, and it does seem like there are issues with the entire process.

Yet I did notice that at least with CA and HU there was great care taken to ensure the domestic comfort of the F pasengers, something all but forgotten in the US. Thats a plus!

Here is my advice:

Always work with the people at the airport, and don't clear security until you are SURE everything is good to go. Check the flight, your seats, your baggage to make positive its correct, as they don't seem to mess with reservations after security. Its never bad to memorize a little Chinese before check-in and then say it like a local to the agents, as they take you much more seriously at that point. If you run into a problem, DONT get mad, but work with the agent as best you can communicate. The chinese love to help others and practice thier english, so if you don't have a chinese speaking counterpart, find someone who does. They can help out and usually solve the language barrier issue. If all else fails just sit the problem out as best you can, and remember you are a guest in their culture!

Cheers,
worldjet777
Now Your Flying Smart
 
Elite
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:22 pm

I'm just wondering, but do Cathay Pacific and/or Dragonair fall under the 'Chinese Airlines' category?
 
worldjet777
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:07 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:44 am

Quoting Elite (Reply 12):
Cathay Pacific and/or Dragonair fall under the 'Chinese Airlines' category?

At this point, IMO, they don't. They are both out of HKG, and thier product is far superior to those offered on the mainland. Politically, they just aren't in the same category...

cheers,
wj777
Now Your Flying Smart
 
alfa75
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 11:27 am

RE: Avoid Chinese Airlines

Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:56 am

Quoting UpperDeck79 (Reply 7):
And how are the Chinese announcements on domestic flights in NZ?

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

Cheers!
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