When I woke up that morning, I casually checked the weather at my departure airport, Haikou. I was hearing a lot more plane noises than usual at the place where I was staying. I wonder why… Sanya was sunny as usual, but the north shore was kinda cloudy. There was a storm approaching. The visibility at Haikou was about 50 meters… ALL aircrafts coming into HAK were diverted (more than 20 of them). PS: CARNOC published an article few days later complimenting how ATC and airport handles this massive diversion very well. Immediately after that, I checked if my aircraft, an A330-300, made it to Haikou okay. My aircraft was operating HU7992 that day, from Rome Frappuccino Airport to Haikou, via Chongqing. And the answer is no. The aircraft was still stuck on the ground at Chongqing by the time we left for the train station heading to the airport… After a 4 hours delay at Chongqing, our airbus finally left CKG on its way to Haikou.
If our HAK to CKG delays more than 60 minutes, we will not be able to make our connection to Los Angeles…I was scheduled land Sunday midnight at L.A. , and I have to go to school the next day… If we miss this flight, I won't be able to make it home until 2 days later, which means that I will still be very much jetlagged when I take the final exams…That's no good. I have to make this connection!
If we were to drive from my grandparents' place to Haikou airport, it would have taken us more than 3 hours. Instead, we took the train from Sanya to Haikou airport station, a short 90 minutes ride. The fare for second class was 95 yuan ($15), and for first class it was 130 yuan ($20).
The station was very modern and spacious, unlike these poor Amtrak stations in the United States…
Legroom is great. Power outlet is present.
Tray table was large and sturdy. What more can you ask for?
241 km/h. There are 2 sections in the first class carriage. The one is the front has blue seats, and the one in the back has blue seats. WHY?
Here is what second class looked like. Pretty crowded due to the narrow seat design.
Beautiful day on the south shore!
After disembarking the train, I followed the sign to get to the airport. It was about 5 minutes away.
Every flight that day was either delayed or cancelled.
The thunder storm had just stopped. The weather is a huge contrast compared to Sanya.
Haikou is a hub for Hainan Airlines Group (HNA). The check-in took only about 10 minutes despite the fact that these counters were crowded with delayed passengers.
Alright let's go to the gate.
Then this happened. Since the agent couldn't check us in for the international leg to LAX, we only got our domestic boarding passes. Because I am a Chinese expat, I am somewhere between a Chinese citizen and a foreigner… I don't have any Chinese identification, so yeah. The guy asked: what are you? My passport won't do anything. Anyways, I had to get a special form of temporary stating that I am a Chinese citizen. I felt rejected by my country…
The weather improved a bit. Fortunately, our flight was boarding on time!
China has a weird duty free policy for Hainan. Even though it is a part of China, any luxury good bought here is not subjected to the 18% tax.
Pretty good weather, eh?
Hainan Boeing B737-800
Hmmm, I wonder if this is by accident or is he just doing it on purpose?
Boarding by bus today. When 300 people are trying to squeeze in one door…
Here she is, B-1048, a 7 months old A330-343E.
Dang, it is always nice to fly a widebody on a short 2 hour flight.
(When you are the only one walking away from the aircraft)
Boarding. This flight was full of southerners, seemed to me that I was the only Manchurian onboard. What happens when you are the only Manchurian onboard a Chinese domestic flight? We will see that soon.
Wow! That massive RR Trent 772B-60
The A330's wings are ginormous.
Last breath of fresh air.
This cabin was equipped with Recaro CL3710, which is my favorite economy seat thus far. CZ has the same seats on their A333E, check out my report here https://flight-report.com/en/report/43029/china-southern-cz610-los-angeles-lax-shenyang-she
Legroom is great!
Bit of an extra space here due to the A330 cabin shape.
Window seat as always.
Then this happened. An old man was lost…He couldn't find his seat, since he didn't realize that this plane had two aisles. He had to go all the way around. The flight attendant was yelling at him instead of assisting him with his luggage…
Hainan themed safety video.
Stunning climb-out out of Haikou. Took off only 15 minutes late. Looks like that I will make my connection! (Spoiler alert)
Wow! That view!
Glad that I chose a window seat!
The airshow system was very good.
I had some water to drink before the meal service.
I got a piece of bread and muffin. Pretty standard so far.
Taiwanese pork rice
It was acceptable. The main course was very bland. Still, it is much better than what you will get on an US airline on a flight of the same duration!
It had a great selection of movies and TV shows. It was more than sufficient for a two hour flight!
It had a decent selection of music, too.
The Long River, Chongqing.
After a smooth landing, we taxied toward the terminal.
And we sat here for about 10 minutes…
And here for another 10 minutes…
Finally, we arrived at our gate. This time, they had trouble disarming the emergency slide… Another 10 minutes…
Since our bag won't go all the way to LAX, we had to collect it then re-check it…
It took about 30 MINUTES for our bags to show up! This is outrageous… Southerners always work super slow and relaxed, and we Manchurians just can't take it. After collecting our bags, we ran to the international terminal. one hour left until our flight to LAX leaves. Will we make it?
Everything was wonderful except for the flight attendants. They were very rude and somehow snobbish (more on that later). First time seeing this on a Chinese carrier.