New Direct Flights from Manila to Kunming, China via Lucky Air (Budget Airline Review)

There is a new route from Manila airport, and this is to Kunming City in Yunnan Province, China thanks to Chinese budget airline Lucky Air, the subsidiary of premium full-service airline Hainan Airlines that was recently in the news for its new chic haute couture cabin crew uniforms. This new route started on 26th May 2017.

 

Luckily, Lucky Air (see what I did there) offered really low promotional introductory fares, so I found a companion to join me and we decided to go to Beijing for him to see the Great Wall for the first time as well as check what there is to do on our stopover in Kunming.

 

For my airline review, I will keep it brief by listing the Pros and Cons of this budget airline:

 

PROS:

  • As the first Chinese budget airline flying to Manila, the carrier offers affordable fares to major (Beijing, Shanghai, etc) as well as minor (Xian, etc) cities of China
  • FREE baggage allowance (1 piece at 20 kg per head for international flight bookings; none for domestic)
  • FREE bottled water – finally, a budget airline that understands the budget traveler
  • Some in flight entertainment by means of overhead screens
  • Unique selection of in-flight meals for sale; however at RMB 38 / USD 5.70 prices are not that friendly. Bottled drinks are reasonably priced though.

 

CONS:

  • Only RMB cash is accepted on board. If you do not have any RMB, you will starve (unless you find another passenger to exchange your money with)
  • Similar to Cebu Pacific, this airline does not have direct access to the boarding gate and requires taking a shuttle to where it’s parked. It is also parked at the furthest possible spot away from the airport, so boarding takes a long while.
  • Long connections are possible at Kunming Airport, Yunnan, China where there is absolutely nothing to do in the city, although the city has lots of volunteers for travelers. The airport restaurants are exorbitantly expensive and the money changers charge a huge commission.
  • Check in counter at NAIA airport opens 2 hours before the flight (compared to the usual 3 hours) so don’t arrive too early

 

Based on this unbiased review, will Lucky Air be lucky enough to have you fly with them soon? Comment below! 🙂

 

Feature on the new route on the airline magazine
Good morning, Manila!
Passengers being loaded into Lucky Air from Kunming Airport
Passengers being loaded into Lucky Air from Kunming Airport
Headrest promotion for Lijiang, another city near Kunming in the Yunnan Province
Free bottled water… ON A BUDGET AIRLINE!? Unbelievable! Makes you feel lucky you flew with Lucky Air.
The airline magazine (mostly Chinese with some English) and the budget airline in-flight dining menu
Unique Chinese dishes for you to try, including Kung Pao chicken
The meal comes in a package that looks like it belongs in a supermarket freezer, but the taste is actually not bad.
Generous serving of rice and sauce lol
One of the most affordable aircraft die-cast planes I’ve seen for sale on a flight: RMB 90 which is about USD 13.50
The gigantic Kunming Airport

 

(Note: This is a self-funded trip, not a sponsored post.)

 

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