Review of Shanghai Airlines flight Shanghai Seoul in Economy

Airline Shanghai Airlines
Flight FM827
Class Economy
Seat 45L
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:45
Take-off 17 Dec 14, 14:25
Arrival at 17 Dec 14, 17:10
FM 28 reviews
tn92
By 1930
Published on 23rd January 2016
2014 EOY Trip Flight #4
I am back for a series of report on the 10 flights we took back in December 2014 for our end-of-year trip. It was a great trip with 4 new airlines, 5 new airports and 2 new cities. The routing was SIN-SGN-TPE-PVG-ICN, GMP-PUS-GMP, ICN-PVG-TPE-HAN-SIN. To visualize the route we took, please refer to the map at the start of the report.

While our plan was only to visit my relatives in Taipei, and spend 10 days in Korea, the routing of our flights became more complicated as we decided to give up the direct flights available, so as to go for cheaper tickets that will also allow us to fly more!

This is a list of all the other reports in this series.

2014 End-of-Year Trip to Taiwan & South Korea
Click Here 09/12/14, SIN-SGN, Vietnam Airlines VN650, A321
Click Here 09/12/14, SGN-TPE, Vietnam Airlines VN570, A321
Click Here 16/12/14, TPE-PVG, China Eastern Airlines MU5008, A330-300
This Report 17/12/14, PVG-ICN, Shanghai Airlines FM827, B737-800
Coming Soon 20/12/14, GMP-PUS, Air Busan BX8811, B737-400
Coming Soon 23/12/14, PUS-GMP, Air Busan BX8816, A320
Coming Soon 26/12/14, ICN-PVG, China Eastern Airlines MU5034, A321
Coming Soon 27/12/14, PVG-TPE, China Eastern Airlines MU5005, A330-200
Coming Soon 30/12/14, TPE-HAN, Vietnam Airlines VN579, A321
Coming Soon 30/12/14, HAN-SIN, Vietnam Airlines VN661, A321

photo 003 Banner 1654 DSC03819 Leaving the Aircraft

Shanghai Airlines FM827
Aircraft Registration: B-5799
Origin: Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, China (PVG)
Destination: Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea (ICN)
Date: Wednesday, 17 December 2014
STD/STA: 1425h (UTC+08:00) to 1710h (UTC+09:00)
ATD/ATA: 1427h (UTC+08:00) to 1750h (UTC+09:00)
Estimated Duration: 01 hour 45 minutes
Actual Duration: 02 hour 14 minutes
Flight Distance: About 514 miles / 827 km

Here is the route map for this trip.

photo 002 Map of Flights_Edited

(Image credit: GC Map)

photo 1205 Slide01


At the end of our transit in Shanghai, we left the hotel just in time to reach the airport 2 hours before our flight's departure. We didn't want to arrive too early at the airport since we had the impression that there weren't much to do there.

photo 1206 DSC03685 Metro Station Exit (UTC0800)

For the return journey back to Pudong Airport, we similarly decided to catch the Maglev train since it'd be cheaper than a taxi ride all the way.

photo 1206 DSC03686 Heading to Maglev Stationphoto 1208 DSC03687 Already Have Our Return Ticket

As far as I can remember, the train frequency on the Maglev line was acceptable; we waited for about 10 minutes on the platform.

You can see from this photo that there were very few passengers using the Maglev service to get to the airport. But even if the line is making losses every year, I am certain the government will do everything to make sure it continues to run no matter what.



Since it's an airport line, luggage racks could be found in all carriages of the trains.

photo 1212 DSC03693 Onboard Luggage Rack

Here are more photos of the train cabin's interior.

I am sure you can easily see how empty the train was. It was almost as though we chartered the entire train. (Well, still not as amazing as how that lucky man who had the whole Philippine Airlines aircraft to himself from Manila to Boracay!)



I took some random footages of the Maglev train ride to the airport. You can hear the arrival announcement when the train approached the airport.



Sorry for the very poorly done video! xD I am attaching one more professionally done video on YouTube so that you can get a better idea of just how fast these Maglev trains are. (Don't forget to continue reading my report after the video!)




photo 1224 Slide02


Frankly speaking, if you don't have many bags, the Maglev train is really a fairly convenient way to get to the airport. The only downside is that you have to get to Longyang Road station first, which probably is quite a distance away from the city centre.

photo 1225 DSC03701 Arrived at Pudong Airport

Walked towards terminal 1 and tried to find our flight information, but it wasn't displayed yet, even though it was already two hours before our flight's departure time.

photo 1225 DSC03702 Heading Towards Terminal 1photo 1227 DSC03703 FIDS for Domestic Flightsphoto 1227 DSC03704 FIDS for Intl Flights (Our Flight Not Shown Yet)

Here are two photos of the airport's departure hall. It wasn't very brightly lit and seemed a little dark inside, as a result. The design of the roof left a lot to be imagined as well - don't quite like it personally.

photo 1232 DSC03708 PVG Departure Hallphoto 1241 DSC03715 Roof Design Not Very Nice


photo 1238 Slide03


Anyway, it wasn't too hard to find the common check in area for MU and FM flights to Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, South Korea and Singapore. Passengers on the Macau flight were directed to the self check-in kiosks.

photo 1239 DSC03711 International Economy Class Check in

Since it was a common check in zone, the queues for economy class were naturally quite long. But fortunately, it took just a mere ten minutes or so before we reached the end of the queue and got ourselves checked-in on FM827 bound for Seoul-Incheon!

First time on Shanghai Airlines.
First time to Seoul! I was definitely quite excited!

photo 1240 DSC03713 Long Queuephoto 1242 DSC03716 Long Queue But Moving Fastphoto 1253 DSC03717 Our Turn Soon

Went straight to the immigration queues upon receiving our boarding passes. Let's hope that the queues for security and immigration don't take too long as well - never a fan of queueing! You would say, oh come on, no one will call themselves "a fan of queueing", but come to Asia and you will know this isn't true. Haha!

photo 1301 DSC03718 Heading to Passport Control

Like I said, this was a "dark" terminal…

photo 1302 DSC03719 Very Dark Inside Terminal


photo 1313 Slide04


Alright, and then we are done with all the departure formalities! Good efficiency here, and let's hope it will be the same 10 days later as we will be going through all these again.

photo 1314 DSC03720 Cleared Immigration (Edited)

Anyway, the design of the boarding pass was slightly different as compared to the one we received at Taipei the day before.

In Shanghai, your boarding pass will be torn twice (left and right sides) before you actually board the aircraft.

photo 1316 IMG_0089 Boarding Pass (Edited)

One more hour to departure.

The airside area was relatively small and there weren't much that interest us. Also, the boarding gate indicated on our boarding pass was changed to 26 after we cleared immigration. Was still wondering if Gate 215 was a remote stand actually. Oh well, no chance to get a good photo of my aircraft today.



Since we were in Economy flying on a SkyTeam airline, we had no lounge access and could only sit and wait for boarding to commence.

Thankfully, wifi was available but I can't quite remember how good the speed was. (Sorry… That's the problem of writing a report so many months after the trip - I still have lots to catch up and I will try my best to get them all up on FR soon!)

photo 1443067581-3755890170_nphoto 1339 DSC03728 Quite A Lot of Seats Availablephoto 1346 DSC03729 Our Gate

Here's our aircraft which will bring us to Seoul! I'll come back to it in a while. Meanwhile, I searched for more angles to do some spotting but this was the best I could get. And I gave up after a while.

photo 1346 DSC03730 Our Aircraft B-5799 B737-800 FFL Jul 2013

Twenty minutes later, at about 2.06pm, boarding commenced.

photo 1406 DSC03731 Boarding Commencing Soonphoto 1407 DSC03733 Queue First


photo 1408 Slide05


Boarding was conducted based on row numbers. I guessed that we will be the first to board after the elite members since we were seated in the back rows - and I was right.

photo 1409 DSC03734 Boarding Started

Now, a bit more about the aircraft operating FM827. This B737-800 was really new at that time, just about 1 year 5 months old. And it bears the registration B-5799. It's also fitted with the Boeing sky interior which you will see later.

photo 1410 DSC03735 Our Aircraft Again

Here's the second boarding pass check and after that, both sides of our boarding passes were torn off.

photo 1410 DSC03736 Another Boarding Pass Check

One last shot to prove that this really isn't a spotter friendly airport. (Sigh)

photo 1410 DSC03737 Just Cannot Get A Good Shot

We found our seats and got seated quickly. These purple seats were quite comfortable and the seat pitch was okay too.

photo 1412a DSC03740 Onboard


photo 1412b Slide06


FM827 pushed back at about 2.27pm and began its taxi to the runway 4 minutes later. We taxied for 30 minutes before finally reaching the threshold of the runway.

Before we get going with the flight, let's take a quick look at the cabin of this Shanghai Airlines B737-800 aircraft.

Sadly, this aircraft didn't feature personal TV screens but it was not really surprising since I've read many other reports featuring flights on Chinese airlines operated by narrow body aircrafts.

Entertainment was available on the overhead screens at least, but no earpieces were distributed on this flight.

photo 1412c 1600 DSC03790 IFE

The legroom seemed to be marginally better than some other airlines operating B737-800 (think: Malaysia Airlines - you can see my MH B738 report here).

photo 1412d DSC03741 Legroom

A sneak peek of the Boeing sky interior. In this photo, boarding was still going on and it actually took quite a while to be completed on this flight.

photo 1413 DSC03743 Boarding in Progress

The seat back features our beautifully-designed-commercial-advertisements, of course! (You know what, I'm fluent in Mandarin since I was born, but I don't quite get what this advertisement is about… Investments? Maybe?)

photo 1413 DSC03744 Seat Back

We had a huge tray table, which was good - better than that on LCCs, definitely. But later on during the meal service, it was proven we don't really need such a big table on this flight.

photo 1414a 1605 DSC03801 Table

On the headrest, the words mean literally, "Shanghai Airlines welcomes you", i.e. Welcome Onboard!

photo 1414c 1607 DSC03806 Headrest with Welcome Messagephoto 1414d DSC03745 Head Rest

On the overhead panels, there were the air vents, reading lights and call buttons.

photo 1415a DSC03746 Overhead Panelphoto 1415b 1606 DSC03803 Overhead Panel

One more look at the relatively comfortable seats before we move on with the flight proper. Our comfort level improved further on this flight when the boarding process completed with the window seat next to us remaining to be empty!

photo 1415c DSC03748 More Seat Views (Quite Comfortable)photo 1418 DSC03750 Window Seat Remained Empty


photo 1501 Slide07


30 minutes after taxiing, we were finally on our way. I guess this was already considered an on-time performance for the airline(?)

photo 1443067605-95709479_n

After we were airborne, I naturally moved to the window seat and then started taking photographs of the beautiful blue sky outside.

While I fly at least twice every month, I am actually quite unfamiliar with the window seats since I usually prefer the aisle seats when traveling alone.

That probably explains why I always feel a little excited when I sit by the window, even until today.

photo 1521 DSC03751 Airborne (Taxi Took Very Long)

For this flight, it was made even better because we had three seats to ourselves.

photo 1522 DSC03755 Quite Comfortable Economy Seats

I couldn't find online what exactly was the seat pitch for economy seats on this aircraft, but it certainly felt better than the usual 31" on many other airlines' B738s.

photo 1522 DSC03756 Legroom Was Quite Okay Too

The previously-mentioned Boeing sky interior was switched on.

photo 1523 DSC03757 Boeing Sky Interior

And then we continued to enjoy the best scenery outside!

photo 1523 DSC03758 Fluffy Clouds

After the aircraft levelled off, the FAs distributed three documents to each passenger:
⁃ Arrival Form
⁃ Customs Declaration Form
⁃ Health Declaration Form

photo 1525 DSC03759 Arrival Cards and Custom Documents

And then the meal service began!

Usually when I fly, I always look forward to the meals regardless of what airline I'm travelling with. While it may not always be nice, I'm always still glad that at least there's still food to satisfy my hunger.

In this instance, I was still looking forward to the meal but at the same time told myself not to have too high an expectation for the meals served out of Shanghai on Shanghai Airlines.

Well - at least there's food, right? This fact alone beats many other "full-service" airlines out there in the market today.

photo 1526 DSC03761 Meal Service Commenced

Before the FAs reach our row, more window views for now!

photo 1534 DSC03762 More Window Viewsphoto 1534 DSC03763 Definitely A Cloudy Day

One thing I realised on this trip was that many Chinese and Korean airlines display aircraft registrations on the wing. Not sure if there's any specific reasons to this, but it definitely helps us in identifying our aircraft better. (:

photo 1534 DSC03764 Wingshot

Alright, our turn soon!

photo 1535 DSC03765 Getting Our Food Soon


photo 1536 Slide08


Here's the box of food we received.

photo 1537 DSC03766 Here It Is

The design you see here is a photo taken at The Bund, the famous waterfront area in central Shanghai.

photo 1537 DSC03767 In A Box

And there's some interesting "Aviation Information" printed on the inside of the box.
⁃ What is air traffic control?
⁃ When there's no rain visible, why can the flight still be delayed due to "bad weather"?
⁃ Why require passengers to wait for such long durations in the aircrafts?
⁃ What are flight delay insurances?

These are definitely questions that passengers frequently ask FAs when their flights within China gets grounded and delayed indefinitely. We have heard a lot of times that FAs tend to distribute these meal boxes on the ground if the aircraft was to be delayed for long durations.

That probably explains why we are seeing these questions on the meal box!

photo 1537 DSC03768 With Some Aviation Info

And now, the food. The sandwich was bad, and the rest of the foods were edible but just not good.

photo 1538 DSC03770 And the Food

Plastic utensils and wet tissues.

photo 1538 DSC03771 Cutleryphoto 1542 DSC03773 Wet Tissue

At this point, we were already in Korean airspace, overflying Jeju Island.

photo 1443067622-836601018_n

And then we have the announcement from the flight deck by the captain - which appears to be quite rare on Chinese airlines, isn't it? Most of the time the cabin service manager will be the one making the announcements on behalf of the pilots.



Visited the lavatory and was quite surprised to see a bar soap provided instead of the usual liquid hand soap. I will never touch that bar soap.



The cabin view. This flight was just about 60% full - quite a light load on this very popular route. I am guessing many people may not be aware that Shanghai Airlines operate on this route as well.

photo 1553 DSC03781 Cabin View

Weather in Korea seemed much less cloudy; at this point I was hoping to see some snow covered landscape later.

photo 1555 DSC03782 Lesser Clouds Now

A Chinese variety show was being broadcasted on the overhead screens and I observed many passengers watching it attentively even without earpiece.

photo 1557 DSC03784 Chinese Shows on TVs

I wasn't too interested in the IFE so I just continued looking around the aircraft. The last time I flew on a B738, I was curious about what this thing on the ceiling was and posed that question in my blog. Turns out these are life rafts for use during an emergency landing on water.

photo 1558 DSC03787 Emergency Life Rafts

Snow! It definitely looked really cold in Korea. Both of us are Singaporeans and even though I am a half-Taiwanese, we have not yet seen snow before in our lives. HAHA, you see, that's the thing about staying near the equator. When many of you crave the "comfortable, warm and sunny weather" in Southeast Asia, we just can't wait to get out to somewhere cold!

photo 1559 DSC03788 Snow

Now we are left with the last thing to review - the seat pocket contents, which weren't very exciting but still worth a look I guess!

photo 1601 DSC03792 Seat Pocket Contents

First up, the in flight magazine which had a beautifully drawn cover page.

photo 1602 DSC03793 FM Magazine

The contents, however, weren't too interesting and I simply just flipped to the airline's network map. The map however was a little weird - it was strictly speaking not a map since the background was all blank.

photo 1602 DSC03794 Route Map

We can roughly picture the shape of China since this is supposedly the domestic network "map".

photo 1603 DSC03796 Is It Even A Proper Map

There were two different duty free shopping catalogues.

photo 1603 DSC03797 Other Publications

This. Is the safety information card.
Okay, I have no comments about it.

photo 1604 DSC03798 Safety Info Card Iphoto 1604 DSC03799 Safety Info Card IIphoto 1605 DSC03800 Safety Info Card III

There were two more sets of publications in the seat pocket. One was apparently a China Eastern newsletter, and the other was a publication by the China aviation authority.

photo 1606a 1641 DSC03811 More Publications in Seat Pocket


photo 1606b Slide09


On this flight, the mood lightings were only switched on for a short while, thereafter, the typical white lights took over and remained switched on for the rest of the flight.

photo 1607 DSC03805 Mood Lighting Turned Off

This view outside of the window was really making us very excited for our next ten days in Korea!

photo 1607 DSC03807 Covered with Snow

The sun was setting and that was just making everything look even nicer.

photo 1609 DSC03810 Beautiful Horizon

Here’s our approach route into Incheon Airport.

image


photo 1639 Slide10


And here we were in Incheon Airport. There was quite a delay in our arrival time that day, presumably due to the long taxi duration back in Shanghai, since we actually pushed back on time. We eventually touched down in Incheon only at about 5.39pm - that was almost 30 minutes after the schedule arrival time.

photo 1648 DSC03812 Arrived at ICN


photo 1649 Slide11


After another 10 minutes, we reached our gate at 5.50pm.

photo 1650 DSC03814 Disembarking

We did not make any plans for our first night in Seoul, so we just took our time to disembark. While waiting for everyone to get off the aircraft, I took more photos and I thought that the sky that day was really gorgeous!

photo 1652 DSC03815 We Took Our Timephoto 1652 DSC03816 Sky was Beautiful

We were the last few to get off the aircraft, but we still had to “hold” on the aisles for quite a while due to this lady’s ignorance. She was blocking at least 8-10 people but that probably was none of her business.

photo 1655 DSC03820

Off our aircraft and the first plane I saw was this beauty! When will I get a chance to fly on Korean Air…? It’s one of the airlines that I really want to try out but just cannot find the chance to do so.

photo 1655 DSC03821 We are in Korea

And this was this iconic screen in Incheon Airport, where they display the flags of South Korea and the country which the flight originated from - in this case, China.

photo 1656 DSC03823 Welcome to Korea

I had a very good first impression of Incheon Airport. Everywhere was brightly lit (unlike Shanghai’s PVG) and there were lots of space to accommodate all the passengers arriving in Seoul. (This is especially important given that many people travel around in the world via ICN on either OZ or KE.)

photo 1656 DSC03824 Towards Immigrationphoto 1658 DSC03826 A Long Walk

After walking pass the health declaration counters, we still needed to get on to the shuttle train back to the main terminal. It was a quick ride taking about 3-5 minutes.

photo 1703 DSC03831 Passed Health Declaration Counterphoto 1704 DSC03832 Turning Leftphoto 1706 DSC03835 To The Shuttle Train Platform

And this is a photo of us arriving at the main terminal. There were two Korean Air FAs in this picture.

photo 1709 DSC03837 Arrived at Main Terminal


photo 1719 Slide12


Queue for passport controls were quite long and it took quite a while for us to get through.

photo 1720 DSC03839 Passed Immigration

Our bags appeared in about 5 more minutes and then off we went into the arrival hall.

photo 1721 DSC03840 Waiting for Our Bagsphoto 1727 DSC03841 Did Not Take Too Long (Arrival Hall)

The arrival FIDS were showing many flights arriving at ICN that evening. Really an extremely busy airport - the arrival hall alone was huge.

photo 1728 DSC03842 Arrival FIDS


photo 1736 Slide13


We decided to take the limousine bus direct to our hotel.

photo 1737 DSC03843 Bus Ticketing Counterphoto 1738 DSC03844 Quite a Queue

And Route 6015 was the bus we took. All bus routes were clearly presented on such signs in at least 3 different languages - Korean, English and Chinese.

photo 1747 DSC03847 The Bus We Took

Seats were assigned when we bought the tickets so every passenger will be guaranteed a seat on the very comfortable bus - you will see some photos of the airport bus soon.

Anyway our destination was in the heart of Seoul at Euljiro-4-Ga (일지로4가).

photo 1750 DSC03848 Bus Tickets

A day before, we began our journey a few days ago from Singapore, and then to Taipei, Shanghai and finally Seoul. Coincidentally, the temperature in these cities also got from Singapore’s hot tropical climate, all the way to Korea’s sub-zero temperatures (in Celsius). It felt refreshing and super cool since this was the coldest both of us have every experienced. But at that moment, all that we wanted was to dash onboard the bus…

photo 1751 DSC03849 Bus Platforms (It Was Freezing)photo 1801 DSC03851 So Warm on The Bus

I must say that both airports in Seoul - Gimpo and Incheon, are really very well-connected to the city and all the other parts of the country. There are just so many modes of transportation you can choose to get to and fro the airports. In the recent years, you can even catch a high speed train directly from Incheon Airport.

This was the bus route clearly displayed in the bus.

photo 1848 DSC03853 Bus Route

As the number of cars on the road increased, we knew we were nearing the city. The bus ride was quite comfortable but a little bumpy.

Here are just a few more photos of the bus. Towards the end of the journey, every other passenger got off and we were a little worried about missing our stop. Thankfully, announcements were made in many languages upon reaching each stop.




photo 1930 Slide14


3 hours after touching down at Incheon Airport, we finally checked in to our nice and warm hotel!

photo 1931 DSC03864 Checked In

It was almost 9pm in Korea and we were super hungry. Immediately after dumping our bags in the room, we walked out to the streets for a good meal - and we weren’t disappointed!

photo 1941 DSC03867 Dinner Menuphoto 1941 DSC03868 Side Dishes

Sweet and sour chicken.

photo 1946 DSC03870 Tang Su Yok

Jja Jang Myeon - a noodle dish with black soybean paste. It was extremely tasty and filling!

photo 1949 DSC03872 Jja Jang Myeonphoto 1950 DSC03874 Tasty Food

That’s it for now! We had a great time in Seoul and were scheduled to fly to Busan in 4 days; I will come back with that report soon!

(To be continued)


This report was completed on 3 February 2016.
Originally posted in Traditional Chinese on http://tn92.pixnet.net/blog/post/305214030.
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Verdict

Shanghai Airlines

6.5/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Shanghai - PVG

8.0/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Seoul - ICN

9.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

If not for the fact that FM codeshares with MU (since MU owns FM), I don't think I would have thought of booking a flight on FM. While my previous flight with MU exceeded my expectation, this flight on FM from Shanghai to Seoul kind of met my expectations. I have done quite a bit of research prior to this trip and knew that we need not expect amazing food for a flight departing from Shanghai, and also that delays are just as normal as any other thing at the airport. For this particular FM flight, the seats were comfortable - and having an empty seat was a perk definitely. The crew did their job professionally but did not appear after the meal service was completed. There was a meal, and TV programmes were shown on the overhead screens (though no earpieces were provided). We departed on time, but arrived 40 minutes late - the crew didn't explain anything about it though.

----------

The departure experience from Pudong Airport was pleasant. Everything went by smoothly and without any hiccups. Like I've mentioned in the report, the Maglev line is a good way to get to the airport, but you will have to transfer at Longyang Road Station - the only other station on the Maglev Airport Line.

----------

I am not exceptionally amazed by Incheon Airport, but it was clean, bright, and really huge. The terminal is nicely designed and I liked the wooden flooring at the immigration area. Definitely wouldn't mind transiting in ICN in the future!

Information on the route Shanghai (PVG) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 5 airlines on the route Shanghai (PVG) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Korean Air with 8.0/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 51 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

  • Comment 156648 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9940 Comments

    Thank you Kevin !

    Nice report with a lot of details, as always.

    I'm slightly disappointed from what you got on this flight. CA offered me a hot meal from PEK to GMP. (http://flight-report.com/fr/report-8168.html)

    If you like snow, come to Switzerland ! XD

    An opportunity to fly KE is for your next trip to Korea. Haha

    • Comment 334367 by
      tn92 AUTHOR 165 Comments

      Thank you! =D

      Yeah I was kinda disappointed with the catering too, but I knew what to expect actually.

      I definitely will want to visit Switzerland one day! But I will have to wait till I start working and save up enough.

      See you around! I am posting my next FR in a few minutes.

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