Hainan Airlines offers direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, and many European destinations.
Only a few airlines have a 5-star rating, so I was interested to see how the Chinese carrier compared to some of the world’s most delicate, such as Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways. Let’s dive into the detailed review of Hainan Airlines:
- 1 Hainan Airlines Review
- 1.1 The New Business Class Seat in Hainan
- 1.2 Hainan Airlines Lounge in Brussels
- 1.3 Boarding the Hainan Airlines A330
- 1.4 Drink before leaving
- 1.5 Cabin of a Hainan Airlines A330-300 in Business Class
- 1.6 PJs & Amenity Kit
- 1.7 New Hainan Uniforms
- 1.8 Food
- 1.9 Hainan Airlines Offers Complimentary Limousine Service.
- 2 Conclusion
Hainan Airlines Review
We were flying to Brussels in business class on the A330-300, which still has the “old” business class cabin in a staggered 1-2-1 layout, similar to Thai Airways, Etihad, and Emirates. Some routes, like Auckland, have seen the new business class product, and there have lately been some sightings on the Sydney – Haikou aircraft.
I was expecting a last-minute product switch so we could check out the newest business class product, but to my surprise, my aircraft change alert put up in Expert Flyer went off a few days before departure to inform me of a new seat map! The thrill was short-lived, as it returned to the previous configuration 24 hours before departure.
The New Business Class Seat in Hainan
Hainan Airlines isn’t a member of any alliance (yet), but it does have a few exciting partners for point collectors. When traveling with Hainan, you may earn status and points with Alaska Airlines and Virgin Australia (who just established a codeshare).
Hainan Airlines Lounge in Brussels
Hainan Airlines’ business class passengers in Brussels utilize the contracted Diamond Lounge. It’s hardly the most exciting lounge, particularly when compared to Brussels Airlines’ “The Loft,” which has a DIY bar with Belgian beers on tap!
Boarding the Hainan Airlines A330
The boarding procedure was fast since Hainan pre-boarded business class passengers before beginning the economy boarding process, which is a great feature.
When we arrived on board, we were welcomed by the whole crew and cabin manager, who were all delighted to see us, and I knew right away that this would be a fantastic trip!
Drink before leaving
The cabin staff insisted on keeping my luggage for me immediately after boarding; this is something you usually only get in a five-star hotel. A high level of attention and concern was maintained all the way to Beijing.
After flying the brand new Emirates 777 first-class suite from Dubai to Geneva the day before, I have to admit that the Hainan Airlines business class treatment on this trip much exceeded that of Emirates first class. You probably think I’ve gone insane right now, but it’s real.
All of the cabin staff on our trip to Brussels were Chinese, but they spoke excellent English and even gave us a guide to Beijing after learning that it was our first time there! However, Hainan does use an international staff, as shown by the pleasant French guy who looked after our aisle on my trip from Haikou to Sydney.
Cabin of a Hainan Airlines A330-300 in Business Class
The business class cabin is well-maintained, but exhibits wear and tear. Thus the introduction of new chairs is appropriate. That said, it’s an excellent business-class product, and you’ll have enough privacy if you choose a window seat or a middle seat in the middle row.
My brother and I chose the middle seats on our trip to Beijing, which are directly next to each other and with a tiny privacy screen in between them. This is excellent if you know the person next to you, but not so good if you’re seated next to a stranger.
The chairs feature a large side table and maybe completely flat when it’s time to sleep. The side table covers the window seats, while the aisle/window seat is exposed due to the staggered arrangement. Some seats in the center are separated by a large side table and are ideal for solitary travelers.
A single business class cabin with eight rows and 32 flatbed seats is available. I thought the seat to be very comfy for reclining, but if you’re a bigger person, you may disagree.
PJs & Amenity Kit
Hainan Airlines has just launched a new Samsonite amenity package that includes Clarins, a French premium skincare brand, on international flights. The Bvlgari kit, which I also got on the Sydney trip, will ultimately be phased away.
The greatest thing ever is airline jammies (in my humble opinion). On foreign flights, Hainan Airlines provides a set of PJs to business class passengers. They were very comfy, light, and well-fitting. They are now my go-to loungewear around the home, along with the PJs I got on Thai First class.
New Hainan Uniforms
Hainan’s crew uniforms were recently redesigned. They now appear extraordinarily fashionable and beautiful while remaining loyal to their Chinese history. Laurence Xu designed the new uniform, which combines traditional Cheongsam (also known as qipao) features with a Western-style suit for the males.
I was looking forward to their F&B menu onboard after researching Hainan Airlines before our trip. Hainan Airlines employs a professional sky-chef on all international business class flights whose only responsibility is to ensure that you get the finest possible food and beverages!
On the ground, the chef introduced herself and described the wide a-la-carte, dine-on-demand menu. It’s lovely that the menu includes both western and Chinese-inspired choices.
I ordered the braised beef, scallops with black mushroom and soy sauce, and pumpkin and cream soup for my entrée. My main course was grilled salmon with a garden salad.
The most significant part was the dessert when the team set up a complete table for visitors to choose their favorite treat. The salted butter caramel with chocolate praline looked and tasted fantastic. I also received some Haagen-Dazs ice cream for evaluation reasons.
The staff would change our silverware with new ones and bring a fresh hot towel between each meal, which is excellent service. I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten that many hot towels on a business class trip!
Breakfast was provided about 1.5 hours before arrival.
The crew thoughtfully gave everyone landing cards with a beautifully branded pen as soon as they arrived.
We got VIP ground service for our trip, comparable to Thai Airways’ first class ground service (save for the golf cart).
The Hainan ground staff was ready for use on the runway with a private minivan to take us to the main terminal and accompany us from the plane to our vehicle when we arrived at our distant gate.
Hainan Airlines Offers Complimentary Limousine Service.
When traveling business class, Hainan Airlines provides complimentary car service to and from the airport. However, it is only available to a limited number of domestic and foreign destinations, and none of the Australian cities are on the list. Guests in Brussels may travel in a complimentary limo for up to 180 kilometers, which is remarkable given a taxi trip for 30 kilometers costs 90 euros. You may, however, obtain a free pickup from the Chinese airport if you leave from Australia.
We had a fantastic time flying with Hainan Airlines in business class. I was blown away by the crew’s exceptional level of service, which was essential in making the trip a success. In business class, excellent service, delicious cuisine, a compelling beverage selection, and comfy seats make for a winning combination.