We flew from Xi’an to Shanghai with Shanghai Airlines. When I was initially searching for internal flights all the airlines seemed so expensive on my usual haunts like Google Flights and Skyscanner. After some researching I found out China has their own comparison sites that actually offer cheaper seats. The most popular seemed to be Ctrip which is very easy to use and follow. It does feel a little dodgy as you don’t really get a confirmation or ticket emailed to you but once you get to the airport everything is fine. The only other issue was the Chinese airlines themselves. I’d heard mixed reviews about their service and poor experiences people had but boy was I wrong! All my plane encounters (bar one) were great and the staff onboard all my flights were lovely and attentive.
To kick things off though it’s Shanghai Airlines as mentioned. When we got to the airport our flight wasn’t on the board and we weren’t sure where to go. It turns out that Shanghai Airlines are part of China Eastern Airlines and they share their flights/bookings. Once we figured that out and checked in at their desk everything went swimmingly well. Our plane was a 3 seat, aisle, 3 seater and pretty packed with people. The decor was this lovely royal purple and everything felt very bright and colourful. The plane wasn’t the most modern as it had these flip down cup holders and overhead tv monitors that came down for the safety demo – but nothing looked old or worn out. The legroom was alright considering and the seat actually quite comfortable.
The biggest surprise for me was that considering the flight was only two hours we got a drinks snack service – and it was included! I was expecting to have to pay for additional treats but a usual drinks cart came by with juices, water and fizzy drinks, and everyone got a free hamburger bun snack thing. Neither Adam or I still know what it was but the outside was a hamburger roll and the inside contained a mix of potato and eggs. It wasn’t the best thing in the world but the surprise of it made for a funny moment and they didn’t even have to give us anything at all. All the staff were friendly and the whole experience beat my low expectations. It wasn’t a ten out of ten by any means but considering I was envisioning something awful, I was one happy bunny.