Juneyao 787 Business Class Review Bottom Line
A stunning cabin with elegant finishes will greet you on the Juneyao 787 business class. However, the airline flies the plane to a very limited number of destinations outside of China. Friendly crew, confusing wifi, and a small snack round up this late departure domestic China flight.
The Good: One of the most elegant 787 business class cabins out there. Friendly and attentive crew.
The Bad: Confusing wifi, which felt like you could easily be hacked and limited IFE.
The Noteworthy: Although the IFE could improve content-wise, the quality of the screen was superb.
After spending a few hours at the Air China Lounge, where I was yelled at for taking pictures, I walked the half a mile distance to get to the Juneyao Airlines gate. The airport was a mess. The concourse was overly crowded, it was stuffy and there was nothing to do. I sat by the gate for about 20 minutes before boarding began, expecting to just listen to music. However, while I waited, a spectacle involving a passenger, her companions, police, and a police canine occurred about 20 yards from me. Although I did not understand what happened, or how it started, it seemed that the woman was caught with contraband (nothing serious based on the cops’ reactions) and was distraught. The companions pleaded with the cops, and in the end, she was taken quietly away. It was odd, to be sure, but the cops were so calm and reassuring that I may have well misread the whole situation.
By the time boarding began, the economy queue had crowded up, and the business class line was empty. I handed them my boarding pass and I walked to the few-months old aircraft.
The first thing I noticed when I stepped on the aircraft was the smiles on every crew member. They welcomed me aboard and showed me to my seat: 8L. The cabin was spotless, although it might seem bland, I found it to be elegant. The seats’ colors contrasted and made it feel homey. There are 8 rows of 1x2x1 alternating seats, similar to the ones you will find on Delta’s new aircraft. I was upset that the windows had an odd sign on them that did not allow you to take photographs.
The seat itself is quite comfortable, upholstered in leather. Each seat had a high-resolution IFE screen, plenty of storage space, and seat controls. There was also a power port and a USB port. The seats were fully flat but were not as comfortable as you’d expect for a very long haul flight.
Usually, you wouldn’t expect there to be any amenities on such a short (1h10m) flight, right? Well, Juneyao had a small comfort kit, slippers, and headphones waiting for you at your seat.
Departure and Take Off
While the cabin continued to fill, the flight attendants came by and offered a hot towel and a welcome drink. I chose orange juice and it was placed on a branded paper coaster. The cabin ended up almost entirely full, with only 3 empty seats. We taxied to the runway without any delays and were off to Shanghai in a matter of minutes after leaving the gate.
Dining, Service, and IFE
As soon as we leveled off, the cabin crew began the inflight service. There were no options, but each passenger got a cold sandwich with a ramekin of fruit and packaged nuts. It took the crew 20 minutes to complete the service, with drink orders, too. Although the food was bland by all standards, I appreciated the gesture, since most carriers will barely offer you a choice of beverage.
For the remaining 20 minutes before we began our descent, I reclined my seat.
About 40 minutes prior to arrival, the captain requested that the crew prepare the cabin. It seemed odd, but I stopped questioning things while in China. I find it best to follow rules and avoid any issues with anyone. After all, it’s their country. During our slow descent, I browsed the IFE and noticed it was poorly stocked. I would find myself bored on a flight longer than a few hours.
Service throughout the flight was kind and attentive, even though there were some communication issues.
I left the flight with positive impressions about Juneyao Air. Their crew was friendly, the cabin was elegant and the food was appropriate for a 10:15 pm departure. Would I fly them again on their 787? Yes, if it’s a short enough route. I would, however, hesitate to fly them on a longer flight, given there are few IFE options.