expired MEL/PEK/XIAN Return $387pp @ Hainan Airlines

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As a serial travel deal lurker and after reviewing the Urumqi post earlier, I thought i'd have a look at other destinations with Hainan.

I haven't had a desire to go to China and Urumqi looked fantastic but a little remote… So after a bit of digging, at $387pp return for two cities (Beijing and Xian) on a full service airline, I couldn't resist.

To get these prices Booking dates are:
Mel - PEK 4 Sep
PEK -XIAN 9 Sep
XIAN - MEL -11 Sep

I also checked some dates in October and they were similarly priced (maybe $50 more).

It's the same price to fly Mel-PEK return so essentially this is a free flight to XIAN
The price to fly open jaw from Mel - Pek and Xian - Mel is $460!
You could catch the Bullet train from Beijing to Xian but its about $100 extra and 5 hours so we decided on this (free) flight instead. It seems check in for the bullet train also takes time so there is no real time benefit compared to flying.

I chose to fly back from Xian as there are direct flights to Melbourne on Monday and Thursdays. Direct outgoing flights from Mel to Xian are on Sat and Tuesday but prices are the same to fly on to PEK so I decided to fly on to Beijing on the outgoing leg.

I think there are also direct flights to/from Syd but i'm not sure from which airport and which days.

Not sure when this deal finishes or if this is standard pricing? I couldn't find any reference on their website.

Hope this helps someone and maybe ill see you on the Great Wall or Huashan!

Edit: Visa fee is $110 for single entry in person. $130 if sent via post. Standard service is 4 days in person. 10 if by post. There is a expedited service but it costs more (obviously) might want to keep this in mind when booking.

Hainan Airlines

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closed Comments

  • +1 vote

    Just a note for those who are interested.
    Some international planes do not have a plane monitor.

    •  

      whats a plane monitor?

      •  

        the monitor in front of your seat

        • +15 votes

          oh haha… i thought it was some sort of black box safety thing haha… not as bad as i thought.

        •  

          @Bellpop: it's a serious concern. No IFE and you're not allowed to use your phone. Surrounded by the noises of the other pax clearing their throats for 10hours and you have the very definition of hell.

          I got told off for using my phone on Air China. For the rest of the flight the asshat flight attendant made it his job to personally watch me and make sure I didn't try and use it to listen to music.

          Plan ahead. Take an iPad or laptop.

        •  

          @ChickenTalon: wait, you can't use your phone but you can use a tablet or laptop? Guess I'll whip out my laptop terminal and use vim to edit some documents…

        • +2 votes

          @1Cawk:
          I learnt from a flight attendant that this is a China aviation law, so all Chinese airlines (and I suppose other airlines in China) need to follow it.
          Better have an iPad/tablet….

        •  

          @spaij: Thanks for the heads up! Guess I'll load up some stuff on my kindle as well

    •  

      I travelled to Europe and North America earlier this year and just watched content on my iphone. This was with a full complement of media on the IFE

      I made a couple of these so I didn't have to hold the phone :)

      https://macgyverisms.wonderhowto.com/how-to/next-time-you-fl...

      •  

        I travelled to Europe and North America earlier this year and just watched content on my iphone

        Curiously, you can't do that on Chinese Airlines (domestic and international). Phone use is prohibited, even for watching videos or taking photos. Tablets are ok (even those with SIMs).

        •  

          Ohh no! Need to load up the tablet then! I do recall reading this a while back. Will have to check the status before I leave. I recall it was being reviewed.

        •  

          @Onnzo:

          It's still enforced as of May 2017!

        • +1 vote

          Yes I got warn twice when use my iphone on southern china air. They strictly not allow use of mobile phone even on flight mode. This apply to all airlines in China.
          I went with Hainan airline once, their planes are very old, outdated, more like third hand plane from other international major airlines. Service wise I am surprise they do better than Southern China air. Food is also better than other Chinese airline I flew with before. Note even with seat entertainment system the movie select is really bad, it about 5 watchable movies to me. So better bring your own tablets. Value for money wise its really good.

    •  

      For those planes without IFE, You will be provided with an iPad full of entertainment content.

  •  

    It's a pity (AFAIK) Beijing won't have the 144 hour visa on arrival until the end of this year, otherwise one could combine it with a 72 hour visa in Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors. Unfortunately one cannot have an X hour visa if going back to the same origin, it has to be a third country or region.

    Has anybody experience with these X hour visas? They would save a hefty visa fee, over $100 for single entry.

    • +1 vote

      I have not used one, but I have been to China with a proper visa once. According to my readings, any of the passes 36/72/144 can only be used in your first airport of arrival into China. Therefore on this deal, only Beijing. You won't be allowed to board a flight to Xi'an airport unless you have a proper visa.

      Edit: According to https://hu.fltmaps.com/en/int Hainan actually doesn't fly direct to Beijing only to Xi'an so on this deal you can only use the 72-hour visa for Xi'an and then you would be force to transit to Beijing before you fly to your next destination but you can visit Beijing on the way back.

      So what you could do is for example go MEL-XIY-xPEK-NRT (Tokyo) or ICN (Seoul) then on the way back go NRT/ICN-PEK-xXIY-MEL.

      •  

        Thanks. It's pity the rules are unclear at the edges. I suppose to be safe one could see Xi'an and then go on to say HK before returning to Australia.

        It's also unclear if this can be combined with the VoA of Hainan for the first part of the trip.

  •  

    Also note that Hainan have a $50 discount voucher (Targeted - I'm guessing by searching for Hainan/Chinese flights) that can be collected through Facebook. I have not tested whether these work.

    •  

      Would be great if you could find it and share!

      I did a quick google for vouchers but couldn't find one. Decided that it was cheap enough already so didn't waste any time looking further. Will remember to check Facebook too next time.

  •  

    WOW! thanks heaps for sharing! Please share more when they come up this cheap— really appreciated!

  •  

    Anyone concerned about safety and quality of service on these cheap Chinese flights?

  •  

    HI all,

    We will be flying Sydney => Changsha => Shanghai on 26 Dec 17
    The return trip will be Shanghai => Changsha => Sydney on 8 Jan 18, all with Hainan Airlines

    We are planing to booked Shanghai => Osaka on 27 Dece 17
    The return tirp will be Osaka =>Shangai on 7 Jan 18.

    Does anyone know if we can use the 24 hour transit visa on arrival on 26 Dec 17 and departure on 7 Jan 18. Or would it be prudent to apply for 2 entry tourist Visas instead (I have done some research but still no sure, see:
    https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/free-72hour/fa...

    Thank you in advance

    •  

      Goodness, that's a circuitous way of getting to Japan!

      Does anyone know if we can use the 24 hour transit visa on arrival on 26 Dec 17 and departure on 7 Jan 18

      Good question, keep in mind if you can't use a transit visa you'll need a double entry Tourist Visa .

      Also remember if our transit time is greater than 6 hours in Changsha you're entitled to a free airport hotel when you fly Hainan.

      • +1 vote

        Thanks for your comment and information about the free airport hotel Ash2000. Much appreciated. Cheers.

        Zan5hin, comment is unpublished, does anyone know what this means?

        •  

          Zan5hin, comment is unpublished, does anyone know what this means

          He typed a message, but then requested it be deleted.

        •  

          Thank you for explaining. Very much appreciated. Cheers

  •  

    Do they serve chicken?

  •  

    Anything for Sydney to Xian/Bijeng on the 24-30th

  •  

    I took up a deal and wnt SYD to Changsha to Beijing to Xian to Sydney for $308 return. You are NOT allowed to use your mobile phone on the plane even in flight mode to watch shows (although u can try to hide it) though ipads and laptops is fine. This airline was totally fine for the price and the food surprisingly good if you like Chinese. Also free booze and luggage.

  •  

    Post trip review for anyone interested.

    The planes to/from Melb are pretty dated. There is IFE but mine didn't work on the way there. I couldn't be bothered moving or asking to get it rebooted and just slept or watched stuff on my Laptop. On the way back it was working and the plane was slightly newer but still dated.

    The flight form Changsha to Beijing was on a new plane. Perfect everything… The flight from Beijing to Xian was again on a newer plane and all was good.

    Food was edible and they were good with drinks. Service was fast and cleaned up quickly.

    At these prices I would fly with them again but I don't have any desire to go back to China! As someone mentioned - bags are not checked through, you have to collect at your initial Chinese destination.

    Definitely not a 5 star airline by Western standards but decent enough at this price.

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