Mainland China has a large number of domestic airline companies that provide service all over the country. Sometimes you do not have a choice in your booking options but sometimes you do. If you do, it is nice to know something about the airline you might be flying.
Juneyao Airlines is an air carrier that is based in Shanghai. It operates flights out of Shanghai Hong Qiao International Airport (Airport code SHA) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (Airport code PVG).
Juneyao's Airline code is HO.
I have used Juneyao Airlines to fly from Shanghai to Kunming during my trip to Dali and Xizhou. The following is an overview of the service Juneyao provided.
Checking in with Juneyao
Check-in service at domestic airlines in China is hairy at best, chaos at worst. While lines are meant to be formed, there's a lot of jostling and pushing going on. And no matter what the weight requirements, it looks like everyone else checking in is gratuitously over the limit. Yet, it all works somehow.
Our Juneyao check-in went relatively smoothly despite our being in a group. We were given seats together and the service lady did not seem put out by our request to stay together.
Boarding with Juneyao
Boarding the Juneyao plane in Shanghai was smooth and easy. It pays to be at the head of the boarding line on domestic flights to ensure you find overhead compartment space. (This goes for any airline you fly in China.)
There is a nominal effort to allow people with special needs to board first but basically, boarding is a semi-controlled free-for-all.
First Class in Juneyao Airplanes
We walked through the three rows of first-class seats in the aircraft. The seats looked like Lazy-Boy recliners with little cushions to emphasize their superior comfort to coach.
Economy Class in Juneyao Airplanes
Economy class seats are as you would imagine. They are standard economy-class seats with no special frills. I have been on other Chinese aircrafts where seats in the middle were narrower than the window and aisle seats but happily, this was not the case with Juneyao.
In-flight Entertainment in Juneyao Airplanes
Our airplane was equipped with TVs that folded out of the upper part of the cabin but no earphones were provided to hear whatever was being played.
The Juneyao signature magazine is published mostly in Chinese but some interesting articles are translated into English at the back of the magazine.
In-flight Service in Juneyao Airplanes
In-flight food is something to be avoided in all cases on domestic airlines in China. Nothing about the look of the meal to or from Kunming made me think otherwise.
Juneyao serves tea, water, juices and soft drinks on flights. Alcohol is not served in economy cabins on domestic flights in China. The only exception I have experienced to this rule was on a flight to Qingdao where small sample cups of Tsingtao beer being served in August in celebration of the Qingdao International Beer Festival.
Chinese newspapers were available at boarding. An added perk, attendants gave us non-native-Chinese speakers copies of the Shanghai Daily in English.
Juneyao Airlines Flight Attendants
The flight attendants were very pleasant and helpful. Some spoke English better than others but when I asked for a pillow as I boarded, they smiled (yes, smiled!) and told me pillows were on the seats.
The Juneyao flight and service was very satisfactory. Juneyao Airlines is a discount airline operating out of Shanghai so their prices are sometimes better than other, larger, airline companies such as Shanghai Airlines, Air China or China Eastern Airlines. Given their discount status, however, I did not notice any difference in service or aircraft amenities to other, "non-discount" airlines. Given the option, I would certainly fly with them again.