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Saturday 27 April 2024

Trying Out Juneyao Air 787 Dreamliner Economy Class (Part 1: SIN-PVG)

 Welcome to my trip report on Juneyao Air! 

My ride: B-207N 


I was invited to go to Shanghai and it was an easy decision. All I need to do is to sort out my work at home before confirming my trip. I had a few choices to fly to Shanghai. They are Singapore Airlines, Spring Airlines (Low Cost), Juneyao Airlines, Air China and China Eastern Airlines. Juneyao Airlines and Spring Airlines caught my attention as I had not flown with them before my trip. Juneyao had multiple flights a day on the Shanghai (PVG) to Singapore route with some days 3 times and some with only 2 times. Most of the flights were dominated by the A320/A321neo but because the airline does not display the aircraft types on the flight, I had to do some manual search by Flightradar24. I tried using Expertflyer but the website was not able to access the seat map of Juneyao airlines, my last resort was contacting the airline regarding the aircraft type of the couple of flights I was keen to fly on, but no response from them. At that point, I was getting fed up and was looking at other options. Air China and Spring Airlines caught my attention and I was quite close to booking with Air China but in the end, flying on a new airline was the deciding factor. 

After booking my flight, I had to wait for Flightradar24 to publish the my departure date and the scheduled aircraft (a week in advance on display usually depends on airlines) and I was pleased that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was operating on both flights I picked. Of course the airline can still do an aircraft change but Flightradar24 is usually spot on when it comes to this. 

Checking the airfare of the airline, business class was at a reasonable price but I decided to save up the cash especially after flying back from London not too long ago. Considering the date I booked was quite last minute, I paid about S$400 plus for this return flight and it was considered not a bad deal. 

Fortunately for me, the flights I chose were operated by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (HO1603/1604) and this flight number was discontinued in April. I did a check on the flight schedule after my flights, the Boeing 787 operated on HO1601/1602 on certain days and on random flights on other flights so do check with flightradar24 for the history of the flight if you are planning to fly with them for this aircraft type. 

Anyway without further ado, let's begin this trip report with Juneyao Airlines! 

About Juneyao Air

Juneyao Air was formerly known as Juneyao Airlines, is based in Shanghai China. This airline was set up in 2005 and started operation a year later. The main hubs for this airline are Shanghai Hongqiao and Shanghai Pudong airports and is a connecting partner for the Star Alliance which means you are able to earn benefits (miles, lounge access, priority check-in and boarding ..etc) flying with this airline if you have status with any of the airlines in the alliance. Currently operating a mix fleet of Airbus A320 and A321ceo and Airbus A320neo and Airbus A321neo and the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, it operates flights on both domestic, regional and international routes, making its presence felt at both Shanghai airports. 

Juneyao's mobile app/website 

Booking with the airline was not an issue, I was able to manage my booking but was not able to select the seat as I tried numerous number of times, I was sent to a page without the seat map. Was it a technical issue? Probably. I tried another way by registering with the airline's membership but I could not as I needed a local chinese number in order to do so. 

Apparently Economy L class is one of the lowest tier in the airline's fare system so maybe that's why I wasn't able to select a seat online. However, I tried doing the online check-in and not surprisingly I failed to do so as I needed to add a local chinese mobile number, certainly not a foreigner-friendly airline, that's for sure.

The website/mobile app is basic and for the mobile app version, only mandarin version is available. 

In the end, I decided to do an early check-in at Jewel and hope to get a window seat. 

On the day of departure 

I did a check on the aircraft scheduled to operate my flight, the honour went to B-207N.

Even though my flight departed in mid afternoon, I decided to check in early in the morning at the Jewel early check-in kiosk. Juneyao Airlines' operating hours at the counter is from 0930 to 1230 and 1615 to 1915. 

You can connect to Jewel from Terminal 1, 2 and 3. If you are coming from Terminal 4, you need to take a shuttle bus over to either terminal 2/MRT or 1/Jewel and connect to Jewel from either one of these terminals.

Welcome to Jewel! 

Juneyao Air had one counter opened and the friendly staff granted my window seat wish and I had my boarding pass without issues. 

As I didn't have any check-in baggage, I was given the green light to carry this 7.3 kg cabin baggage on board. 

My boarding pass for the flight! 

The Dragon is the year of 2024 for Chinese Lunar New Year.

This is the viewing gallery at terminal 1. 

I went out of terminal 1 departure hall where I took the shuttle bus to terminal 4. Terminal 4 is the only terminal not connected to the skytrain system. Inconvenient to say the least. 

This is Terminal 4 

In my opinion, it has the nicest terminal interior. 

This is the land side, departure hall.  

For now, the airlines operating to this terminal are Air Asia Group, Jetstar Asia, Juneyao Air, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Vietjetair, Jeju Air and Vietnam Airlines. 

Quite a spacious terminal! Complimentary airport wifi is available.  

This is Juneyao Airlines check-in counter. You need to check-in over here if your flight is departing in less than 3 hours. 

I went out to have a quick look at the exterior of the building. 

This terminal has 3 levels. 1st level - arrival hall, 2nd level - departure hall and 3rd level - restaurants (landside) and lounges (airside).

The bus shuttle service to Terminal 1/Jewel and Terminal 2/MRT are located at the arrival hall. 

This is the arrival hall. 

There is a pick-up area for 3rd party transport system such as Grab. 

The overview of the departure hall landside at Terminal 4. 

As I was hungry, I decided to go to Astons to enjoy some western food. 

I ordered the seafood spaghetti set which includes a soup and drink. 

Once done, I made my way to the airside. 

Some benches have charging ports, do look out for them if you need to charge your devices. 

This is the airside of the departure hall. 

Gate G and H are located in this terminal. 

Lots of duty-free shops and lots to walk about in this part of the terminal.

The shophouse replicate does look nice. 

Unlike the other 3 terminals, security check is done after the passport control and that is great because you can basically wait anywhere until the time for boarding and I prefer this arrangement.

There is even a video game section (below). 

It was quiet at that time with only 3 wide-body flights (Korean Air, Cathay Pacific and Juneyao Airlines) happening at that time. 

Air Asia and Jetstar dominates this terminal. 

The walk from the passport control to Gate 21 takes about 15 minutes.

The lounges are located at the 3rd level of the airside. 

There is a slide linking to the bus gate area and I was really tempted to go on a little ride but because I had my cabin baggage with me, I had to skip. 

Beautiful, isn't it? 

This is the 3rd level where the lounges are located. 

7-11 Convenient store 

Cathay Pacific Lounge 

The overview of the terminal 2 airside at the central section of the airside. 

 Plenty of natural light certainly brightens the terminal. 

There is a resting couch in this section. 

At terminal 4, an international foodhall is located at the 3rd level on the airside section, last chance to enjoy local food before departure.

This is where my boarding gate is. 

Cathay Pacific A350-1000

This is Korean Air Boeing 777-300 (Non-ER version). 

Finally, it was time to board! Boarding was according to seat numbers and and the airline staff followed strict protocol so some passengers were told to wait as it wasn't their turn to board. 

Welcome on board Juneyao's Boeing 787 aircraft! 

My ride: B-207N (Photo: Luo Chun Hui)

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Livery: Chinese Silk Ribbon
Configuration: C29 Y295
Engines: 2 X GEnx-1B74/75
Delivered in December 2018 
780th Boeing 787 built 
Age: 5+ Years Old (April 2024)
Built in Everett (PAE)

My flight route: SIN-PVG 

Miles: 2,357

My seat: 39A (Photo: Aerolopa.com)

Date of departure: 20th March 2024
Airline: Juneyao Airlines 
Flight: HO1604 
Route: SIN-PVG
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Registration: B-207N
Departure Terminal (SIN): 4
Gate: G21
Seat: 39A
Load: 90% 
Flight Time: 4 hours 25 mins 
Actual Flight Time: 4 hours 32 mins
Schedule Departure: 1630 
Push back: 1629 
Boarding: 1535
Take off: 1647 
Schedule Arrival: 2150
Actual Arrival: 2116 
Departure runway: 02C
Arrival runway: 34L 

Business Class 

There are 29 Business Class seats manufactured by Thompson Aero and these seats are the Vantage XL product configured in a 1-2-1 seating configuration in this cabin. The leather seats are 22 inches wide and can be converted to a lie flat bed with a 78 inches length. Each business class seat comes with a 18 inches HD touchscreen display, small storage compartment and universal AC and USB-A sockets for charging of electonic devices. 

Photo: (Thomsonaero.com)

Photo: (Businesstraveller.com) 

Economy Class 

There are 295 Recaro CL3710 seats configured in a 3-3-3 standard configuration on this Dreamliner aircraft. Each seat get an adjustable headrest, 11.6 inches HD touchscreen display, USB-A socket and can recline up to 6 inches. 

For the airline's in-flight connectivity, WiFi is available on this aircraft with Panasonic company being the supplier for the online connectivity. 

The colour of the seats matches the airline's livery. 

This is my seat (39A) and thankfully I didn't get the windowless seat. 

This seat product is familar to me as my previous 787 flights with the recent airlines I flew (Gulf Air for example) also uses this product in this economy class. 

This is my window seat. 

The seat pitch is around 32 inches, so it was not too bad in terms of legroom space.

Another view of the legroom space, thankfully there isn't any IFE box obstructing or reducing my legroom space. 

The partially dimmed electronic window. 

One advantage about the window shade is even when it is partially dimmed, you are still able to view outside. Do you prefer this technology or the conventional window shade? 

View from my seat 

View of the rear cabin 

The mood light certainly enhance the cabin atmosphere on board this 787 aircraft. 

This is the emergency row seat 

These seats were vacant which allowed me to photograph a few photos. 

My In-flight Experience 

Once on board, I was greeted by the friendly crew who signalled me to my seat. No announcement from the flight crew as all the necessary announcements were done by the cabin. There were times I was able to hear the announcement through the earpiece but some times I couldn't and have to remove my earpiece in order to catch what the announcement was about. The speaker wasn't loud so it wasn't a surprise that I could hardly anything during the flight. 

Anyway, once we on our way, the meal service started about an hour and a half into the flight. I was disappointed not able to use the wifi as explained earlier. However, the In-Flight Entertainment system was decent, although the contents were limited. Once the meal service came and done, the crew were on their own most of the time. There was no offering of beverages or anything. One advantage I had on this flight is there wasn't anyone sitting in front of me, that's great as I didn't have to worry about anyone reclining their seat into my precious space! 

For most parts of the flight, it was smooth with just a bit of turbulence during the way out of Changi and on approach to Shanghai. My last trip to Shanghai was with Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 from PVG to BKK and that was more than 15 years ago. Lots of changes have taken place during this period, that's for sure. 

Once we started our descent, the cabin crew appeared and at least they did their job by checking everyone is buckle up before they made their way to their seats. 

More photos of the Economy Class Seat 

The adjustable headseat was easy to use. 

IFE screen's quality is good. 

Legroom space is adequate. 

There is a recline button but I didn't recline so that the person behind me didn't need to be more uncomfortable.

There is instruction on how to connect to the airline's wifi.

Good amount of space on this tray holder. 

What's provided for each passenger? 

A Safety Card

A Disposal Bag

An Earpiece 

A Pillow  

Blanket can be requested from the crew. 

In-Flight Meal 

It contains of a small packet of juice, a packet of nuts, biscuit and the main course. 

I had a choice between beef rice and chicken noodles and I chose the latter. 

This is the overall view of my meal (dinner) 

I chose a cup of apple juice as my beverage. 

In-Flight Entertainment 

The system was easy to use and the touchscreen was responsive.

Limited selection of blockbuster movies were available.

The 3D flight route 

Safety video demonstration

In-Flight WiFi 

This is where you need to key in your details in order to use the Wifi. (Below)

I have to say I like the flight map interactive system. 

The cockpit view - my favourite. 

Juneyao's livery does look spectacular on their aircraft.

Almost there!

Lavatory Check 

The lavatory was clean and spacious. 

There is a bag of fragance and is there for obvious reason. 

Window view (From Take-off to Landing) 

We parked besides Korean Air 777-300. At this point we were waiting for clearance to depart. 

Our taxi to the runway didn't take long. 

Even though we reached the holding point first, we had to allow 2 aircraft behind us (Scoot and Singapore Airlines) depart first. 

This is Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10, departing for Denpasar. 

Scoot's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Once they were gone, we were on our way. 

Powerful take off from these pair of GEnx engines. 

Circling around the Batam area as we had to follow the flow of traffic. 

Sunlight almost gone at this point. 

We were at the gate ahead of schedule and this Emirates Boeing 777-300ER was preparing for departure back to Dubai.

My flight summary 

Welcome to Shanghai! 

It's been more than 20 years since I last stepped into Shanghai and a lot of changed. 

For foreigners, you are required to go to the fingerprint collection machine to get your fingerprint verified before proceeding on the passport immigration control.

Finally after 40 minutes of waiting, thanks to a (fill in a blank) lady who kept arguing with an immigration staff, causing a delay to the queue, I was in the country. 

My accommodation (Shangri-La Qiantan Hotel) 

The cute teddy bears await you at the entrance. 

My hotel was located beside a shopping mall. 

The interior of the room.

My ratings 

Airline Mobile app/website: 1.5/5
Airport Experience (Terminal 4): 5/5 
In-Flight Service: 3.5/5 
In-Flight Entertainment: 3/5
Seat Comfort: 4/5
Cabin Ambiance: 5/5
Cabin Condition: 3/5
Cabin Cleanliness (including lavatory): 4/5 
Punctuality: 5/5
In-Flight Meal: 2.5/5 
Overall rating: 36.5/50 
Percentage: 73%


While I enjoyed my time on board, there are certain aspects which I don't like about the airline and that is the website and the in-flight wifi which one requires a mainland chinese number to register so that you can select seats, check in or use the wifi (complimentary and paid). The airline should consider allowing registered number of the booking to do all that and also be responsive to passenger's enquires on social media. I used the airline's facebook page to contact them with my enquiry and noticed they saw my message but didn't bother to response. 

As for the flight, it was almost full with only a few vacant seats near the rear of the aircraft. My seat mates were a couple from China and luckily for me, they were friendly. As for the airline, it is certainly not Emirates or Singapore Airlines's level but at least it was a pleasant flight. The in-flight cabin crew were generally alright, nothing much to shout about and thankfully, they didn't lock the window shade screen which is great. For the in-flight entertainment system, the content was limited especially for the movies section and the quality of the earpiece was average. Whatever it is, flying on a wide-body is still better than flying on a single aisle for the more spacious cabin, shorter flight time, and shorter waiting time to use the lavatory and for the A350 and B787 aircraft, both aircraft have higher humidity for its air quality, making the passengers feel more comfortable when compared to flying on the non-carbon fibre aircraft. 

Overall, I enjoyed this flight. Was my return flight better? Stay tuned to find out. 

Thanks for reading this trip report! 

For my return flight of Juneyao Air's Boeing 787-9 trip report, click here

Have a good one!

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