Flight-Report

Review of Sichuan Airlines flight Harbin Jinan in Economy

Airline Sichuan Airlines
Flight 3U8690
Class Economy
Seat 3F
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 01:56
Take-off 11 Aug 18, 14:26
Arrival at 11 Aug 18, 16:22
3U 13 reviews
Harry_He
By SILVER 309
Published on 22nd January 2019

Summary

Booking



I needed to visit Harbin, China, which is my hometown in June during the peak travel season. Air China, which has a connection at Beijing, was going around $1,100 to $1,200. China Eastern was about $1,300. China Southern, on the other hand offers Economy tickets around $900, and Biz around $2,300. Just when we were about to book the $2,300 biz on China Southern, I spotted a deal on Sichuan Airlines round-trip for $650, and I immediately jumped at it. I expected a terrible economy product since they use a domestic configured Airbus A330-200 in this route, while the other carriers uses Airbus A380, Boeing B77W, or the Dream)liner. However, I did save about $500 for two.


Routing


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My itinerary includes two flights, one from Harbin to Jinan, and then Los Angeles after an 8 HOURS layover. 


Harbin Taiping International Airport


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Starting my journey once again from this tunnel going to Terminal 2 from the parking garage.


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Sichuan Airlines check-in. Waited in line for about 10 minutes. 
When I received my boarding pass, the seat number reads 3F. OMG! Am I in first class? That can't be it. Being used to the US carriers configuration, which generally has 3 to 5 rows of first class seats. Then I realized that Chinese carriers only has 1 to 3 rows of first class seats. Anyway, 3F is a bulkhead seat located at the first row of Economy class.  
Then, another Sichuan Airlines agent took me to the oversize baggage area.


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Checking oversized bag. Special baggage = Special seat assignment?


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Security was quick, as my flight departs just past noon. 


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Apparently, you are not allowed to make a face at the camera.


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Terminal 2 apron view.


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FIDS
Warning: No priority pass lounge at HRB. The MacDonald's pretty neat for plane spotting tho. 


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The ceiling of Terminal 2 is supposed to represent a snowflake. Harbin is known for its Ice and Snow Festival. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbin_International_Ice_and_Snow_Sculpture_Festival


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Waiting for my flight…
Hey there, Hainan Boeing 787-9 Dream)liner 
While I was waiting for my flight, ABC7 sent me a notification about a plane crash in Seattle, Washington. Great timing! Right before my flight!
A Horizon ground staff stole a Q400 turboprop and then crashed it near Seattle. What a pleasant news to hear before my flight! 
Here's the article https://www.wsj.com/articles/alaska-air-confirms-unauthorized-takeoff-of-a-plane-in-seattle-1533964025 


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There he/she (me being politically correct) is, B-6054, a 13 years old Airbus A319.


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Here's some interesting background information about B-6054:
Apparently in September 2010, this aircraft encountered microburst on its approach into Wuxi. The aircraft stalled to a speed of 74 KIAS and activated the Alpha Protection function. According to avherald, the aircraft "reached 43.6 degrees right roll, 3924 feet rate of descent, the EGPWS sounded "Glideslope", "PULL UP" and "SINK RATE" in sequence. As the aircraft lost altitude and gradually increased speed, the crew, now manually controlling the aircraft now with flight augmentation computers 1 and 2 inoperative, gradually regained control of the aircraft, arrested the descent at 884 feet MSL and began to climb the aircraft again".
Pretty Scary huh?
Here's the link to the full article http://avherald.com/h?article=46c38481&opt=0
 


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Boarding


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No, my legs were not trembling as I was walking down the jetway after reading about one plane crash and one near crash that happened to the aircraft that I'm about to fly on.


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Here's the seat 3F.


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Bulkhead seat. I have unlimited legroom today.  Cabin: 10/10
Ps: I need to start ot wear jeans next time, my shorts are too disturbing. 


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Sitting next to the beautiful IAE V2500 engine


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Safety demo


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Air China Boeing 737-8MAX!!!


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Taxing to Runway 05


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Holding short of Runway 05. Waiting for the A320 on final.


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take-off



Climbing


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Getting ready for lunch service


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Beverage service. I got peach juice with ice. The peach juice was much better than I expected.


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Lunch and refreshment box served


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Lunch
Beef option
 


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Here's the extremely small but at the same time super delicious "strawberry milk" compared to an iphone 6s 


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Overhead panel


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The flight attendant holding a bread basket walked down the aisle and asked me if I would like a piece of potato.
My Chinese isn't perfect, but I could clearly tell the difference between "bread" and "potato"
Doubting what's inside, I agreed to have a piece of "potato"
As it turns out, it is indeed potato! How interesting
Nice job with the creative catering, Sichuan Airlines Catering: 9/10


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Cabin shot


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Bathroom tour


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view outside


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Catching up on some Sparknotes for my summer assignment.


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Descending


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On final


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Spoilers alert


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Taxing past the international gates(there's 2 of them).


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Shandong Airlines 737-800


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Disembarked


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Walking to arrivals


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Waiting forever at the Baggage claim.
But no worries, I have only 7 hours to go until my next flight to Los Angeles 


THE END

See more

Verdict

Sichuan Airlines

7.5/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew8.0
In-flight Entertainment3.0
Meal/catering9.0

Harbin - HRB

7.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness9.0

Jinan - TNA

4.4/10
Efficiency0.5
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Nice short domestic economy flight with Sichuan Airlines. The lack of entertainment was still a pain but it seems to be a norm on all Chinese carriers.

Related

3 Comments

  • Comment 484950 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 233 Comments

    A single cooked potato for catering? Can't recall I ever heard someone else writing about it.. Though the catering was quite extensive I must say for a flight of less than two hours. Definitely seems much better than your previous reports regarding China Southern and Air China. Good read tho!

  • Comment 485052 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hi Harry_He!

    Thanks for sharing this penultimate report in a long series. I’ve often seen 3U at YVR, and wondered about them, but this is my first time seeing much about them.

    “Warning: No priority pass lounge at HRB. The MacDonald's pretty neat for plane spotting tho.”
    - I’ve spent some pleasant afternoons having Mickey D’s fried and spotting, so I’m not gonna judge.

    I remember that Horizon story. Truly a sad and bizarre chapter.

    That story about its approach to Wuxi is scary indeed. The flight deck crew for that flight definitely deserved praise for that performance. And a very stiff drink.

    “Ps: I need to start ot wear jeans next time, my shorts are too disturbing.”
    - I resemble this remark. I don’t know why, but I’m loathe to wear shorts in-flight, even when it would be season- and route-appropriate.

    Peach juice sounds lovely. I wish more airlines feature this. I’d partake. Catering looks very reasonable for a two-hour flight.

    “The flight attendant holding a bread basket walked down the aisle and asked me if I would like a piece of potato.”
    - And it actually was a potato. I don’t know much about traditional Chinese cuisine. But how odd, indeed. I wonder what that’s all about.

    Thanks for an entertaining read, and I look forward to seeing how Sichuan looks like on the longhaul segment back to LAX. Happy flying!

    • Comment 485069 by
      Harry_He SILVER AUTHOR 11 Comments

      Hi hometoyyz
      Here’s the link to my report on Sichuan Airlines A330-200 long haul economy class from LAX to Jinan https://flight-report.com/en/report/34347/Sichuan-Airlines-3U8700-Los-Angeles-LAX-Jinan-TNA

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