Route: Shanghai Hongqiao Airport to Shenzhen Airport
Departure date and time of flight: 20:55am on the 15th of September 2010
Flight Number: FM9379
Flight duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Class: Economy Class
Aircraft type: Boeing 767-200
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight was delayed by over an hour and without any reason given.
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
The check in staff were polite, and very professional. There was no problem what so ever.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Choice of drinks (tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade or Coca Cola). There was no alcohol served on this flight. The orange juice looked like an “orange sludge” that had been out of date. Take a look at the photo and you’ll see what I mean. It was not drinkable- so I returned it back immediately. The cabin crew seemed not to care much and just smiled. Instead I opted to drink just water and even that was with caution!
Comments regarding the first meal:
Dinner (if you call it dinner that is), was served around half an hour after take off. It did not look pleasing and I dare not to eat this kind of food before going to sleep. A cardboard rectangular box was offered for “dinner”. I carefully opened the box to find a whole host of junk food inside.
The first thing I took out of the box was that horrible looking “hamburger”. It was a small attempt by the Shanghai Airlines catering staff to copy MacDonald’s; and what they thought they had succeeded in doing so badly. There was a small wheat bap with a single slice of Chinese style mam that was bigger in diameter than the burger itself. It tasted like chewy plastic. The only kind of fresh food were the 2 slices of melon fruit- and that was it.
I then moved onto the 3 small packets contained inside the box. One of them, would you believe, contained mint flavoured cough drops. Cough drops in an in-flight meal? Are you serious? I thought. What insane person decided that they should start serving Cough drops to passengers on a domestic flight, and that even in a Chinese Autumn (which felt like summer!). The taste was horrible. Even if I had a cough I would take these tablets’ because the taste and the flavour were not good at all.
The other two packets contained “dried and preserved plum” and “sweet and salted walnuts”. Both edible but not required on an in-flight meal. My verdict? If this kind of food started being served on a European flight, there would be widespread complaints and it will make headline news. Perhaps even a lawsuit against the airline. I was not full after eating parts of the provided food and would not recommend it to anyone.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks was offered after the meal. Again no alcohol was served.
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any): None
Comments regarding the second meal (if any): None
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
In this 767 there was no IFE. To make matters worse my seat light was not working (and neither was the seat light of other nearby seats that I tried), the “Channel” and “Volume” button was not working either, and to make matters worse the “flight attendant Call button” was not working either!
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
Some of the staff were professional but their English level was below par international standards- perhaps Survival 2 or A1 in accordance with the European CEFR standard! (For Flight attendants’ the required English level should be around B2 globally!). Two of the flight attendants ignored my calls simply because their English was not good so they could not communicate with me.
Improvements that could be made:
I believe that on Shanghai Airlines, so many improvements can be made. The toilets need to be cleaner. The cabins are filthy and need to be cleaner. The seat IFE needs to be maintained properly. The in-flight food is a disgrace; however I fear that this would not improve as it’s the same for most Chinese airline companies. The staff speak poor English and this needs to be addressed seriously (i.e. what if there is an emergency?). I fail to understand why this airline is part of the Star Alliance- has the Star Alliance group lost their sense of aviation quality?
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The aircraft was not clean. As with most aircraft that are operated by Chinese airlines, the cabin had a strong stench of urine and an air of discomfort. I fail to understand why this is so. The toilets are filthy and had no tissue paper. There was no air freshener and when I asked for one, no one understood what I meant. The seats were comfortable, however I would think twice before flying with this airline company if I have to again. For long haul flights I would refrain from flying with them at all for many of the reasons outlined above (food, smell, health issues, language problems etc.).
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best): 4
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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