Airline: Hong Kong Airlines
Equip: Boeing 737-800
Route: HKG - PVG
I wasn't planning on doing a trip report for this flight, as it was at night and I wouldn't be able to take a lot of pics. But I was very impressed with UO, so I'll write a short note.
I thought UO was an LCC, as it was the cheapest option between Hongkong and Shanghai. However, I now realized they are far from being a budget airline.
I checked in at the Hongkong MTR station in the city in the morning, so I don't know much about the ground service experience. The only thing to note is the following: UO's check in counters are at Terminal 2 in HKG, but of course all the gates are accessible from Terminal 1. I made the mistake of going to the gates through Terminal 2, which meant a ride on a train to get back to Terminal 1. I think if people are checking in in the city, it should be made clear that one can reach the gate via Terminal 1, which also has the advantage of all the shops that are prior to the gate. I was lucky I got there relatively early, so I had time to go back up to the area just past security in Terminal 1 to do some last minute shopping.
The flight was delayed by about one hour, although the airport counter employees were very vague on the details (including the length) of the delay. When we finally boarded I noticed there were two rows of C (or perhaps sold as F) and I realized they were not an LCC. Also, one of the crew members was standing at the entrance of the jetway greeting pax. The rest of the crew was also very welcoming and were trying hard to get everyone settled to be able to leave as fast as possible.
After we pushed back the FAs came around giving everyone blankets and earphones.
The captain came on the PA and apologized for the delay. He came on twice more during the flight, something that hardly ever happens in China.
Not too long after takeoff the meal service began. I expected a small and stingy meal box like ones served on MU. Not quite. There was an option between beef noodles and chicken rice. This came with fruits as well as a warm roll served from a basket. With the meal came the drinks service, and requests for more than one drink were taken with pleasure. After the meal one of the FAs came around with a tray serving coffee and later serving green tea.
After the trays were cleared, another FA came around giving everyone fortune cookies (this is the first time during my 4 years in Asia that I've seen a fortune cookie here. I thought it was an American thing - even my Chinese girlfriend thought it's an odd practice, but maybe it's a Guangdong thing). After the fortune cookies an FA came around twice offering glasses of water.
All in all I was very impressed with UO. I believe they are owned by Hainan Airlines (wholly or partly?) as their livery is like HNA and they seem to codeshare on many flights. I will have to try HNA some time. Anyone tried then? Are they any good?