Spring Airlines is China’s first and only privately owned low-cost budget airline that operates from its base at Shanghai Hongqiao airport with a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. As of April 2011, the Spring Airlines fleet consists of 22 Airbus A320-200 aircraft with an average age of 4.5 years, each of which provides space for 174 passengers in an all-economy class cabin layout. Spring Airlines calls its economy calls ‘Common Class’. Cheap as chips, this low-fare Shanghai Hongqiao based carrier has come on leaps and bounds. You can customise your seat selection and the good thing is that they fly to most of the major airports that people have heard about. Spring AL and its service would put most European and American carriers (low-cost and flag carriers) to shame.
Route: Shanghai Hongqiao airport to Guangzhou Baiyun airport
Departure date and time of flight: 13:10pm on the 17th April
Flight Number: 9C8855
Flight duration: 5 hour and 15 minutes (Actual flying time was 1 hour and 50 minutes)
Class: COMMON CLASS
Aircraft type: Airbus A320
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight departed late because of bad weather conditions in the Guangzhou airport area. Therefore instead of being held up in a holding stack, the pilot decided to make a intelligent move and stay on the ground at Hongqiao airport until we had the all clear for a straight approach into Guangzhou Baiyun airport. The cabin crew apologised for the delay before departure and even after we arrived at Guangzhou. When I mean they apologies, they really apologised by standing in the middle of the cabin and bowing their heads towards the passengers. It has to be understood that the delay was not the fault of Spring Airlines, but of the weather (and nothing can be forced upon when nature strikes).
The above case was just an exception. However, overall their punctuality rate is far better than most domestic Chinese carriers are.
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
Normally for most domestic full-fare paying airlines, passengers can check in 45-minutes before take-off but for those travelling on Spring Airlines irrespective if they are flying within or outside of China, they have to check-in at least 90-minutes before departure.
Passengers travelling on Spring Airlines are only allowed to take a maximum of 15 KG (this includes on board luggage and luggage in the hold). Anything over this amount has to be paid for. Though sometimes as an exception (and depending on the mood/personality of the check-in staff) this rule is waived as a goodwill gesture. For this flight, I had 22 KG, and the check-in person still allowed me to take the luggage for free (plus my laptop and camera bags which I took on-board). Although as media for Spring Airlines, this may have been a relaxed rule for me as an exception. After all, they did give me the best seat on the plane too (1A).
Comments regarding the pre-meal Service:
Passengers have to purchase their food and drinks on Spring Airlines. Overall, it has to be said that the quality of the food and drinks is far better than that provided for free on other airlines within China. Here are some examples of the type of food available:
Approximately an hour and a half into the delay, and as a goodwill gesture, the cabin crew offered complimentary mineral water (by ‘Dew Ice’, a brand of the Coca-Cola company) and a packet containing two orange flavoured muffin cakes.
Comments regarding the First meal:
Comments regarding the drinks service:
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any):
Comments regarding the second meal (if any):
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The cabin crew were very professional, kind and courteous. There is some advertising of the in-flight food and duty-free after take-off, but it is only for around 5-10 minutes (nothing as bad as what have written on various airline quality websites). Throughout the process of the plane being delayed, the staff kept very calm and kept reassuring the passengers. The difference between most state owned airlines and privately owned airline companies such as Spring Airlines is that on Spring Airlines, for example, the passengers are kept well informed of any problems and issues. Whereas on most state owned flights there is no information given to the passengers, and everyone is just kept waiting in frustration.
Improvements that could be made:
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
Spring Airlines have a 3-3 configuration on their Airbus A320 aircraft in a one class setting (known as ‘Common Class’ on Spring Airlines). The Spring Airlines brand is becoming well recognized throughout China for its efficiency, comfort, and offering a high quality of customer service. The seats are all very clean and covered in the company’s bright green colour with yellow lettering of ‘Spring Airlines’. The aircraft cabin has a fresh feeling to it with a nice fragrance smell as well. The toilets are also kept well clean.
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best): 9
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.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
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