Review of Sichuan Airlines flight Jinan Los Angeles in Economy

Airline Sichuan Airlines
Flight 3U8699
Class Economy
Seat 10A
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 11:58
Take-off 11 Aug 18, 23:49
Arrival at 12 Aug 18, 20:48
3U 15 reviews
By 1430
Published on 18th February 2019


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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.


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After arriving from Harbin, I tried out some local donkey meat at TNA.

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Guess what? Sichuan Airlines won't  let you check-in until two hours before departure. I sat on an airport bench for 5 HOURS.

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Check-in for my flight was only available between 2125 to 2255…
Passengers were kept outside of the International concourse by armed border guards…

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There's a priority pass, however, I couldn't get into the International concourse by some weird airport rule.

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Finally after 5 hours, I'm in the International check-in area.

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Check-in was pretty quick. It took me about ten minutes and another ten for them to search my checked bag.

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"Huge Baggage"? LOL

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Getting my bags searched

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There were only two international gates at TNA. I checked out the neighboring gate. A 90 minute flight to Seoul was delayed by 7 HOURS and was still sitting at the gate.

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At my departure gate.

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Computing Everywhere

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Boarding B-8962, a 1.6 year old Airbus A330-200 delivered fresh to Sichuan Airlines on April 19, 2017.

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Here's my seat, 10A
Unfortunately mine for the next 12 hours. 

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My knees were pressed against the seat in front of me after placing my "homemade" amenity kit in the seatback pocket. And I was only 5'6" According to Google Flight, Sichuan Airlines' A330 has pitch of 31" in Economy. I was not surprised since this aircraft was supposed to fly Chinese domestic flights, definitely not a 12 hour transpacific flight.   

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View outside my window

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And yes…This aircraft is less than 2 year old… 
The IFE appears to be older than me myself.

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Push back

A very amusing safety video

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And we're off the ground

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Dinner Service

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The main course, which appeared to be noodle, was sticky and dry. It was okay but borderline to inedible.

Entertainment:Here's the only 18 English movies available onboard. All seemed pretty boring except for "Rascal Rebel Rabbit". The IFE system is basically useless. Unacceptable for a 13 hour flight.  Verdict: 2.5/10

Here's the Airshow. Again, very old IFE technology for a less than 2 year old aircraft.

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Woke up with 3 hours to spare.

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Inside US airspace

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The seat "broke" overnight…
The only somewhat advanced technology is the USB port…   Verdict: Seat: 2.5/10  

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Dinner was served. And, yes…there's a part of a cucumber. Isn't cucumber a vegetable instead of a fruit? The main course was just okay. Knowing that I was going straight to the IN-N-OUT by Spelvuda, I barely ate anything.  Catering: 5/10
It's kinda Ironic though since Sichuan Airlines is known for its unique food offering. 

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No individual air nozzles

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Almost there

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And…the airshow broke with 646 km left to destination…

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Flight attendants spraying something before arrival

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QR code. Only one small problem.
Wait, Sichuan Airlines, did you know that none of your aircrafts has wifi?

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Flying over Culver City…I think?

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On final approach.

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Taxing to the west remote gates.

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I tried my best to blur their faces…
Super accurate emotions after spending 12 hours in this dystopian aircraft.  

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Cramped bus as usual.


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Spotting at San Diego

See more


Sichuan Airlines

Cabin crew7.0

Jinan - TNA


Los Angeles - LAX



This flight from Jinan to Los Angeles is probably my worst flight (out of 23) in 2018. The product on this very young aircraft was outdated for 2018 standards. One of the other two Chinese airlines that fly A330s into LAX, China Southern, which offers 32" pitch with Recaro CL3710, a 12 inch HD touchscreen IFE, wifi, and good catering on its LAX-SHE route. However, considering the relatively much lower price I paid for this round trip ($650), I got what I paid for. Sichuan Airlines got me and my bags from Harbin to Los Angeles in one piece. Sichuan Airlines will soon fly its brand new A350-900 on the TNA-LAX and HGH-LAX route, so I would expect a huge improvement over its current domestic A330-200.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 489234 by

    Man so sad you have such a sad flight experience, to me HAINAN, EMIRATE, CATHAY PACIFIC, SI CHUAN ARE ALL BRAGGING!!!!!
    Emirate/CX, well they are only good about lounge services, other than that, the onboard another disaster... 90% of emirate business class dishes are just curry/rice, which you can buy for 10 bucks on the ground.....

    HaiNan/SiChuan, all bragging, TBH, even worse then CA /MU.

    The only good chinese carrier is XIAMEN airline, my friend boarded it from YVR-XMN last month in economy, FREE WIFI all the way, and the food presdentation is gorgeous!!!

  • Comment 489257 by
    marathon 9830 Comments

    3U started operating its first long haul route back in mid 2012; I can't believe such amateurism after 6 years of experience. They fully deserve the grades you slapped them with. I hope for them that they read your report and act upon it.
    (I flew several times with MU long haul and enjoyed it; I had a disappointing experience in CX's infamous and short lived herringbone cabin layout)
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 489258 by
      STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 48 Comments

      I think CX and EK have nothing other than its lounges.... They feed Business Pax as rabbits, especially CX.....I would definitely not fly with them, I mean there are tons of OneWorld carriers out of HKG.... For EK, many of its flight departs around mid night, at least all asian flights bound to DXB, so really, nothing much to be cared about, the only thing for red eye flight is, to sleep.... Catering on EK is always like Chicken curry stuff, which i can buy for less than 10 bucks on ground.

  • Comment 490161 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6105 Comments

    HI Harry_He, nice interesting report. There aren't many reports on Sichuan Airlines, especially on long-haul, so it's interesting to see. It's a shame that the service is below expectations and the cabin does indeed seem a bit old school for a newer aircraft (minus the USB ports).

    Nice planespotting in SAN! I See you went to the In-N-Out on Sepulveda at LAX, any spotting pics from that trip? Would love to see them :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

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