Experience With Hainan Airlines (HU)

Old Feb 7, 17, 12:19 am
  #1  
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Thumbs down Experience With Hainan Airlines (HU)

MVP Gold, Just my experience of the partnership for a recent flight to/from China. Several findings:

1. They actually don't allow Alaska MVPG to use their lounge
2. They occasionally change your selected seat and give to other people who pay extra, without letting you know
3. Their airport staff can be quite unprofessional and dishonest.

It was my second time to use Hainan airline to travel to China. Since this time I traveled to Xian, Guangzhou and Beijing, so tried all 3 times to use their lounges with the Alaska MVP gold card. Xi'an ok, but both Guangzhou and Beijing got rejected. Called Alaska airline, they suggested me to complaint to Hainan airline and but mentioned Alaska can do nothing about it. I also called Hainan airline just to figure out where is the problem, they suggested me to ask their own mileage program for a reason and then transferred my call. Since I can't input their mileage program number, it basically hang up after the transfer. So still don't know why their lounge doesn't accept MVPG.

I picked seats on their website after booking with them. On the returning flight after checkin, I notice my seat has been changed from aisle D to window seat A without letting me know. I talked to their airport staff, they told me they changed the plane, and the new plane has no D seat anymore. They put me in another aisle seat 59G after I requested, which is at the last row right besides the toilet.

After I board, I found the flight is exactly same as the one I booked, and there are D seats. I asked their flight attendant, and she told me that their airport staff will occasionally put people in the front row to the back if someone else would pay extra for that front seat you already select.

Anyway, doesn't quite feel the partnership bring you any values other than the mileage. Next time would definitely try JAL to travel to asia.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by gongbo View Post
After I board, I found the flight is exactly same as the one I booked, and there are D seats. I asked their flight attendant, and she told me that their airport staff will occasionally put people in the front row to the back if someone else would pay extra for that front seat you already select.
Sounds like commonly observed Chinese business culture to me. Next time bring your own bribe money.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 9:53 am
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Lounge access is still a relatively new benefit, so I'm not too surprised to hear that Hainan hasn't communicated it very well to their people. For that matter, they may have just been jerking you around because of capacity problems. You really need to escalate that within the Alaska Mileage Plan to ensure it gets fixed. A deal's a deal, so I'd say they owe you some miles for that hassle to make you whole.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Sounds like commonly observed Chinese business culture to me. Next time bring your own bribe money.
Who do you slip the 50 to? GA or check in agent? How do they know who offered more?
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by gongbo View Post
MVP Gold, Just my experience of the partnership for a recent flight to/from China. Several findings:

1. They actually don't allow Alaska MVPG to use their lounge
2. They occasionally change your selected seat and give to other people who pay extra, without letting you know
3. Their airport staff can be quite unprofessional and dishonest.

It was my second time to use Hainan airline to travel to China. Since this time I traveled to Xian, Guangzhou and Beijing, so tried all 3 times to use their lounges with the Alaska MVP gold card. Xi'an ok, but both Guangzhou and Beijing got rejected. Called Alaska airline, they suggested me to complaint to Hainan airline and but mentioned Alaska can do nothing about it. I also called Hainan airline just to figure out where is the problem, they suggested me to ask their own mileage program for a reason and then transferred my call. Since I can't input their mileage program number, it basically hang up after the transfer. So still don't know why their lounge doesn't accept MVPG.

I picked seats on their website after booking with them. On the returning flight after checkin, I notice my seat has been changed from aisle D to window seat A without letting me know. I talked to their airport staff, they told me they changed the plane, and the new plane has no D seat anymore. They put me in another aisle seat 59G after I requested, which is at the last row right besides the toilet.

After I board, I found the flight is exactly same as the one I booked, and there are D seats. I asked their flight attendant, and she told me that their airport staff will occasionally put people in the front row to the back if someone else would pay extra for that front seat you already select.

Anyway, doesn't quite feel the partnership bring you any values other than the mileage. Next time would definitely try JAL to travel to asia.
Next time, just show them the printout from the AS website. Hopefully the lounge lady knows English.

Also before AS partner with HU, there is no way for me to enter my AB FFP during a HU booking. I contacted HU, and they asked me to contact AB FFP instead

Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Who do you slip the 50 to? GA or check in agent? How do they know who offered more?
Probably both plus the FA, better bring more than 50 RMB
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:41 pm
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That's disappointing - my wife and I are flying them business class on award bookings. Hopefully things don't go sideways for us. Fortunately it's only a one way booking (seattle to shanghai), and we are flying Singapore Air on our return leg from Tokyo (with a shuttle in between)
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Boykin View Post
That's disappointing - my wife and I are flying them business class on award bookings. Hopefully things don't go sideways for us. Fortunately it's only a one way booking (seattle to shanghai), and we are flying Singapore Air on our return leg from Tokyo (with a shuttle in between)
With J ticket you and your wife should be fine. Problem usually happens when flying coach with your MVP Gold.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Boykin View Post
That's disappointing - my wife and I are flying them business class on award bookings. Hopefully things don't go sideways for us. Fortunately it's only a one way booking (seattle to shanghai), and we are flying Singapore Air on our return leg from Tokyo (with a shuttle in between)
There aren't any really bad J seats vs another (unless sitting with a baby in the bulkhead) so don't foresee a problem there. No problem on my LAX-CSX flights.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Sounds like commonly observed Chinese business culture to me. Next time bring your own bribe money.
Yeah, welcome to China Ask them where the complaint office is...

Seriously, there have been many problems reported with Chinese airline partnerships with US airlines... worse things like: not being able to get mileage credit, having award tickets mysteriously cancelled with no notification, etc... lounge access or seat assignments are the least of the problems.

Having a business class reservation can improve your odds much more. The term "VIP" is something you want to try and use in communication with them to get access to higher level benefits. Be sure to have documentation in writing (card) of your status as well as documentation from that airline on partner benefits in hand.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
Yeah, welcome to China Ask them where the complaint office is...

Seriously, there have been many problems reported with Chinese airline partnerships with US airlines... worse things like: not being able to get mileage credit, having award tickets mysteriously cancelled with no notification, etc... lounge access or seat assignments are the least of the problems.

Having a business class reservation can improve your odds much more. The term "VIP" is something you want to try and use in communication with them to get access to higher level benefits. Be sure to have documentation in writing (card) of your status as well as documentation from that airline on partner benefits in hand.
Agree wholeheartedly on the VIP thing. It's a cultural difference with parts of Asia...act like a VIP and you'll get treated one.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
Agree wholeheartedly on the VIP thing. It's a cultural difference with parts of Asia...act like a VIP and you'll get treated one.
Sadly, that depends on your race too especially in Shanghai. I had a few bad experiences there
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Old Feb 7, 17, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Jma12 View Post
Sadly, that depends on your race too especially in Shanghai. I had a few bad experiences there
Not really, dress in a sharp suit, expensive shoes, with designer luggage in-tow and you will be treated with respect.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 10:09 pm
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Originally Posted by AKLifetimeFlyer View Post
Not really, dress in a sharp suit, expensive shoes, with designer luggage in-tow and you will be treated with respect.
Is that really what it takes to treated with Respect in China? How funny
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Old Feb 8, 17, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by flyupfrnt View Post
Is that really what it takes to treated with Respect in China? How funny
Yes it is, image is EVERYTHING! As for the race comment, I don't see that, in fact I think I get more respect as a westerner. I have some funny stories, but that would be digressing [wear some sunglasses and act like a cop and you ARE a cop ]

Back on topic, I have heard that Hainan right now is the best Chinese airline right now but still not up to Western standards in some areas. Try to fly business if you can to get better treatment. There are great deals booking into R (which is really a discounted fare class) that give you amazing (probably errant...shh) mileage return on AS.

Allow a LOT of time for connections in China as the air traffic control system is a mess and long delays are commonplace, especially by late morning on.
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Old Feb 8, 17, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
Yes it is, image is EVERYTHING! As for the race comment, I don't see that, in fact I think I get more respect as a westerner. I have some funny stories, but that would be digressing [wear some sunglasses and act like a cop and you ARE a cop ]

Back on topic, I have heard that Hainan right now is the best Chinese airline right now but still not up to Western standards in some areas. Try to fly business if you can to get better treatment. There are great deals booking into R (which is really a discounted fare class) that give you amazing (probably errant...shh) mileage return on AS.

Allow a LOT of time for connections in China as the air traffic control system is a mess and long delays are commonplace, especially by late morning on.
Yes, westerner gets more respect there and I am Asian. Thank you for proofing my point.

Now back to the airline. I do think overall, HU is the best in China out of the 4 airlines, and they do have sales from time to time to rack up those AS miles . However, like you mention some area needs improvement.
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