Hainan Airlines is an airline out of China. They are relatively small with few destinations but good ticket prices to those destinations. They offer the same standard quality provided by many other airlines.

 

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4.7

The Good

Hainan Airlines has fairly competitive prices when compared to other top airlines. When looking at domestic flights, Hainan was almost always the best priced option. They were priced lower than other domestic airlines offering the same routes. When looking at international flights, Hainan was still one of the better options, though not usually the cheapest. Looking at United States destinations, often a larger airline such as Delta, American Airlines, or United were priced cheaper than Hainan though not by a large amount. Hainan would beat out these top airlines occasionally on certain flights at certain times. This makes them, at least based on price, an option for you to consider initially. The Hainan website also offers a number of different promotions and discounts that passengers can use to bring that ticket price down to be the cheapest option available. They also offer a rewards program, the Fortune Wings Club, that would help members receive even more discounts on flights from Hainan Airlines.

Having two pieces of checked baggage is generous for many airlines. A number of airlines only offer one free piece and a few require fees for any checked baggage. Domestic flights on Hainan Airlines are also allowed two pieces of free baggage with a weight limit of 88lbs for first class, 66lbs for business class, and 44lbs for economy class. To have free checked baggage on domestic flights as well as international is a great option. The excessive baggage fees also varies on the country being flown to. For the U.S., the first extra piece of luggage costs $200 and the next and all others cost $300 each. The overweight-baggage charge in the U.S. is 1.5% per kg of the highest one-way published Hainan Airlines fare in Economy Class according to the traveling direction.

Each airport used by Hainan Airlines has their own separate check-in and boarding time limit. If the passenger fails to check-in or board within the time set by that airport, their seat may be forfeited on the flight so as not to delay that flights departure. On flights to the United States, passengers need to check-in at least 60 minutes prior to the flight departure time. Hainan offers a few methods for check-in. They include:

• Online check-in
• Self-service check-in kiosks at the airport
• Check-in desks at the airport
• Mobile phone check-in

During the check-in process, passengers choose their seat on the plane by looking at a map of the seats and seeing which ones are available. Their seat is then known before the boarding process begins to help lesson confusion on the plane. The time that check-in opens varies for each destinations and a list is available on the Hainan website. Many of their check-in options allow passengers to avoid waiting in any lines and allow them to head straight to check their bags, and board the plane. The mobile check-in is done through an app that is available for all IOS and Google Android Applications. The app allows passengers to check-in as well as receive any promotions or special fares. It also shows the flight status so passengers can see whether the flight is going to be delayed.

The Bad

Hainan serves 90 different destinations. Many of their destinations are domestic around the country of China. However, they also offer a number of international destinations including the only available non-stop flight from China to Boston, Massachusetts. They have two Hub’s where their flights originate from, they are Beijing, and Haikou. Having 90 destinations makes Hainan a small airline when compared with other airlines. The top airlines in America generally have over 300 different destinations domestically and internationally. This is more than triple the size of Hainan. While they don’t have a large number of destinations, they do travel to a number of the larger cities in quite a few countries across Europe and in the United States. They also offer non-stop flights where other airlines do not and they are continually getting new routes and destinations as they grow.

Looking at daily flights for Hainan Airlines, they did not have as many on time flights or highly rated active routes that other top airlines have according to Flightstats.com. Many other airlines have on-time percentages in the 80’s such as Delta, which is on time 86% of the time. A number of other smaller airlines also have high on time percentages. Hainan came in a lower than many of the other airlines. They were only on time 71% of the time. 13% of their flights were late, 5% were very late and 9% were excessively late. A number of their most active routes received a low rating out of five stars. Their top flights include:

• Haikou to Shenzhen (4.4 stars, 92% on time)
• Haikou to Wuhan (3.4 stars, 85% on time)
• Shenzhen to Haikou (3.3 stars, 89% on time)

Their lowest flights include:
• Wuhan to Haikou (0.7 stars, 62% on time)
• Beijing to Shanghai (1.2 stars, 67% on time)
• Shenzhen to Beijing (1.3 stars, 68% on time)

These most active routes are mainly domestic flights. They are all rather low scoring when compared to other airline’s most active routes. Hainan only has one flight with four stars and many with only one star. They also have a canceled/diverted flight percentage of 4%.

Hainan Airlines offers many in-flight services to their passengers. Most of their services are standard on many flights. They may not offer as many options as other top recommended airlines. Some of their services include:

• Entertainment: Passengers are able to watch top movies and TV shows in their own language and dialect on their own personal screens on Hainan Airlines. They are also able to listen to a variety of music, play games or read from one of the available magazines that Hainan carries. The entertainment selection includes a number of traditional Chinese options as well as a variety from the rest of the world. The entertainment on Hainan Airlines is very similar to those of other airlines, it includes everything that would be expected on a flight.
• Dining: For long-haul flights, passengers are served a meal on Hainan Airlines. Unlike many airlines that give a variety of options to choose from, Hainan has a featured meal for the day that is offered. They serve traditional Chinese and Western cuisine. Many of their meals come with rice, although a bowl of noodles is always available instead. They also have a selection of different wines for passengers to have with their meal. While their food selection may be smaller than other airlines, Hainan also offers a specialized child’s meal that many other airlines do not. The order must be placed at least 48 hours before the flight and Hainan can offer a customized meal for a child. They also give the option for passengers to request special meals for any dietary restrictions they may have.
• Special Services: First and Business class passengers can enjoy a few extra amenities on their Hainan flight. They can experience the cabin bed making service to sleep through the flight, or request their tea offering service and enjoy traditional Chinese tea service. All classes are also offered a “Travel Housekeeper” product series which includes items such as: comb, nail clippers, memo pad, and sewing kit. Another service offered to all classes on Hainan Airlines is Children’s Toys and Reading Material. A special selection is on board to provide children with the best possible service on the flight making it easier for the children and parents to enjoy. Hainan does not offer any Wi-Fi services or any outlets to use any personal devices while on the plane.

Hainan Airlines opened in 1994 and has provided safe travel for the past 21 years. This is a relatively short amount of time compared to a number of other airlines. Some of the top airlines have been around for over 80 years, so Hainan’s 21 is small when compared to them. They are not a brand new company, but are much younger than other airlines. Hainan has earned a number of different awards for their flight services. Some of them include:

• 2014 annual World Travel Awards, “Asia’s Best Business Class 2014 award
• Named one of the 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands in 2015
• Four consecutive Global Skytrax five-star airline ratings
• Skytrax’s, “Best Airline in China”
• Skytrax’s, “Best Staff Service in China”

Hainan offers oriental hospitality and strives to know the importance of respecting the customer. Their goal is to become “a world-class aviation enterprise and brand for the Chinese nation”.

The Bottom Line

We do not recommend Hainan Airlines at this time due to their inconsistency being on-time as well as their having a limited amount of destinations they fly to.

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1 Hainan Airlines Reviews

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  1. User Score

    10

    November 23rd, 2016 Alma, MI

    I had the best in-flight service I’ve ever received on an airline. I had purchased my flight 6 months prior to the actual trip. My flight was 14 hours and as it ended up, I was 4 months pregnant at the time. I voiced my concerns about comfort to the flight attendant from the beginning, just to make them aware. To my surprise, two very amazing flight attendants Mica and Zoe went above and beyond. I was able to sleep comfortably because they found me a row of seats all to myself. They ensured I was able to eat every meal. I have never received such great service and care. I’m especially thankful for these two and their efforts. Thank you Mica and Zoe!

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