Review of Xiamen Airlines flight Shenzhen Shanghai in Business

Airline Xiamen Airlines
Flight MF8378
Class Business
Seat 14L
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 19 Jul 23, 11:55
Arrival at 19 Jul 23, 14:15
MF 17 reviews
offvoice
By 463
Published on 7th February 2024

This report was initially published on the French version of Flight-Report


CONTINUATION OF THE CHINESE ROUTING


I continue to share some updates from the aviation scene in the Middle Kingdom.


This flight was booked directly through Xiamen Airlines' website while in China. I never received an email confirmation, only an SMS sent to my Chinese colleague's number (it wasn't possible to enter a foreign phone number on the site at the time of ticket purchase).

This flight takes me to Hongqiao Airport, from where I will then head to Pudong Airport to catch flight AF111 to Paris the same evening, and continue to Casablanca, my final destination.


Routing

  • AF1597 - Eco - Casablanca → Paris - Airbus A320 Not available
  • AF116 - Eco - Paris → Shanghai - Boeing 777-200ER Not available
  • CZ3875 - Premium Eco - Yiwu → Shenzhen - Boeing 737-800 Past
  • MF8378 - Business - Shenzhen → Shanghai - Boeing 787-9 You are here
  • AF111 - Eco - Shanghai → Paris - Boeing 777-300 Not available
  • AF1596 - Eco - Paris → Casablanca - Airbus A320 Not available

ARRIVAL AND CHECK-IN


My colleague picks me up around 9:30 AM to leave downtown Shenzhen (FuTian) from Hotel V, which I recommend if you're visiting the city


photo img_5732photo img_5733

We quickly head to the airport via the city's broad avenues, arriving swiftly at Terminal 3 of the airport, the only terminal open to commercial flights at that time.



The drop-off area is busy, as it's vacation time in China.


photo img_5750

The entrance is imposing, and like in most airports across the country, an explosive and luggage check is conducted at the entrance before accessing the terminal.


photo img_5751

Not having checked in, I quickly glance at the FIDS to find my zone, which will be zone C. Note on the right side of the FIDS the international flights, still few in number departing from SZX, which is quite close to Guangzhou, better served in international network.


photo img_5754

Not much wait, but no Priority access at these counters.


photo img_5755photo img_5756

Boarding pass collected! Note, the gate access plan is printed directly on the BP. Indeed, there are 3 zones at SXZ. 2 zones for domestic flights, and one zone for international flights (including HK and Macau)


photo img_5759-28727

The access plan is also reminded on the floor


photo img_5761

Note the food court land-side, upstairs. However, air-side options are plentiful.


photo img_5760

I head towards security and pass through without issue. A dedicated access is available for J PAX.


photo img_5762

SHENZHEN VIP LOUNGE 1


photo img_5764

I go to the lounge branded by China Eastern and Hainan Airline. Xiamen eligible passengers have access to this one. It's also accessible for 200 RMB.


photo img_5773

The lounge isn't very large, but it's not crowded at this hour. There's a very basic offer, however it includes a noodle bar, as is often the case in China.



Here they are


photo img_5772-25969

Having some time to spare, I start exploring the terminal, which is huge. The first part resembles a luxury mall.


photo img_5774

It features numerous premium brands



I pass by my gate, the plane is already there, it arrived this morning from Shanghai. Unfortunately, the airport structure is not very spotter-friendly from this side.


photo img_5779

It's a friendlier on the other side


photo img_5786

I continue to explore the place.



It's now time to head to the gate. Only two zones are set up.



BOARDING


Boarding starts on time, via a semi-blind jetbridge


photo img_5797

An opportunity to see our neighbor, another 787, departing for the same destination (Shanghai Hongqiao) 1.5 hours later.


photo img_5798

Two jetbridges are set up


photo img_5799

I'm the first to board the aircraft


photo img_5802

ON BOARD


The welcome is warm (but laborious in English - I later learned I was the only foreign passenger on the flight), a flight attendant leads me to my seat and shows me the amenities (blanket, pillow, bottle, slippers - what more could you ask for on a 2-hour domestic flight…)


photo img_5804photo img_5806

The cabin makes a very nice impression for such a short flight, even if cleanliness is not really on point.


photo img_5818

Some seat details, with of course an amazing seat leg room!



Plenty of storage is available



However, I wasn't able to get the WiFi to work throughout the flight, since it requires a Chinese phone number.


photo img_5824

A hot oshibori and a welcome drink are distributed while boarding continues. I take the opportunity to put on my slippers


photo img_5817photo img_5831photo img_5823-21808

Reading material is available, including a condensed version of the day's newspaper!



Safety demonstrations are done on the IFE, which is available in several languages, including French.


photo img_5841photo img_5842

However, it remains inaccessible on the ground.


The selection is quite wide, and even includes some French movies.


photo img_5846

Meal order is taken on the ground, and will be served a third into the flight.


It's time to push back next to this 777 departing for Beijing. Chinese airlines use a lot of widebodies on "flagship" routes.



Quick taxi to the runway



We line up and take off.


photo img_5866photo img_5867photo img_5868

Visit to the bathroom (with window) before the service. It's clean and spacious, but we cannot see any specific markers of a Business Class washroom.


photo img_5877

The crew wastes no time and sets the tables for lunch, starting with a beverage


photo img_5883

Then a tray service as below. The choice was between rice or noodles, and beef, fish, or chicken (which caught my attention). The meal is plentiful and tasty.


photo img_5887-24004

The service finishes at the start of descent.


photo img_5889

Kiss-landing without any issues and a quick taxi to our gate.



It's time to say goodbye to our bird of the day, I have a 9-hour layover to switch airports. I take the opportunity to visit Shanghai a bit!


photo img_5905

Flight plan below


photo screenshot-at-jul-21-12-16-35
See more

Verdict

Xiamen Airlines

9.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering10.0

Shenzhen - SZX

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Shanghai - SHA

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Traveling on a wide-body aircraft for short flights is a real pleasure. This was my first flight with Xiamen Air, and I think I'll prefer them if given the choice for a long-haul to China in the future. The cabin is in good condition, the service is excellent, and the crew is very pleasant, despite an obvious lack of English training. Being a Flying Blue member, I can also enjoy miles and XPs. Shenzhen Airport is modern and has everything one could need!

Related

4 Comments

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

Login to post a comment.