Airline: Shanghai Airlines
Flight: FM9339 (code share with China Eastern)
Sector: SHA - NNG
Equip: Boeing 737-800
Dep (Act): 7:30am (7:25am)
Arr (Act): 10:25am (10:15am)
Dropped off at the airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Getting up for this flight was the worst part! I had to get up at 4am for the car to pick me up at 5am and drop me off at the airport 30mins after that, which was too early for the 7:30am flight as the counters for China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines were closed. Finally around 6:30am the counters started to open and I headed to the business class counter to check in and ask if it was possible to get an upgrade. Initially the check-in agent said upgrades were only available for members of Shanghai Airlines frequent flyer program. Then he gave me seat 4F, which I thought was in the F cabin (there is no domestic C/J class in China, as in the US), but it turned out to be that F was rows 1 – 2 only.
Check in rows
After this I went through security and headed to lounge V2, the Shanghai Airlines lounge. There was a problem with the door, so instead we had to use lounge V1, which was for all other airlines (except FM and Star Alliance). The lounge was OK, an improvement over what is found at T1 in terms of cleanliness (probably because it is new), but nothing to write home about. At least beverages are free.
Entrance to the Lounge
Food at the Lounge
After this I went to buy some magazines as I realized I would have nothing to do on a 3 hour flight, which would be very boring.
The flight itself was OK. The breakfast service was coffee and a small box with a croissant and a banana. I slept most of the way since I was so tired, so there are not much pictures or a story behind it.
The airport in Nanning was small for a provincial capital (Guangxi) and not as new as most other airports in China. I quickly got my bag and took the booked car to the hotel.
Landing in Nanning
Nanning from the hotel
Airline: Xiamen Airlines
Sector: NNG – SZX
Equip: Boeing 737-400
Dep (Act): 8:45pm (9:30pm)
Arr (Act): 9:45pm (10:45pm)
After two days in Nanning, it was time to fly to Shenzhen to spend the night there and then drive over to Hongkong.
I asked the driver to pick me up at 6pm, as the airport in Nanning is quite far from the city. It took us nearly an hour to get to the airport, as traffic was quite heavy. When I got to the airport, it was a bit confusing to know where to go, but then I realized there were only about 4 or 5 check in desks being shared by all the airlines, so I just had to rock up to the one with the shortest queue.
Check in Rows
Check in was done quickly and as usual I asked for an upgrade but failed. Then again, it turned out to be that this aircraft was all Y class.
I was a bit hungry and very sleepy, so I went past security in search for a café where I could have a coffee and a place to sit. I found one just in front of my gate, gate 3, and had a coffee and some sweet bun while I waited for the flight to board. Boarding was to start at 8:15pm, but even before that I heard over the PA that pretty much every flight departing Nanning was delayed by 30mins “due to aircraft delay”. This is odd. 30 mins seems like a short delay to affect every single flight in and out of an airport. Either way, at 8:15pm there was an announcement on the PA that our flight would be delayed by 30mins. Argh… By 8:45pm, the airplane was just pulling up to the gate, so I knew it would be further delayed, but there was no announcement for this, and in the end we boarded a few minutes after 9pm.
The flight was nothing special, other than it was quite bumpy. It was exactly one hour long and I believe there was a small meal box served, but I was too tired and slept the whole way, so I didn’t really eat. Xiamen Airlines are somewhere between a small legacy carrier and a LCC, so not much was expected from them anyway.
Shenzhen is a nice airport. Big and modern, as most of the new airports in China are. After landing I quickly went down to baggage claim to get my bags and by that time the driver was calling me like crazy as he wasn’t aware of the flight delay.
Shenzhen is surprisingly a very nice, modern, and green city. The Shangri La was about 40mins from the airport, on the way to Hong Kong, which was convenient as the next morning a car was picking me up at 5am to take me there. By the time I checked in it was nearly midnight. I was lucky in that I was upgraded to a very big suite (I nearly couldn’t figure out where the room was!) but unfortunately I could only enjoy it for the 4 hours that I spent there.
Suite at Shangri-La
Suite at Shangri-La