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If you're planning to fly on China's cheapy carrier, Spring Airlines, the person welcoming you at the aircraft door could be a maid or butler. No, the low-cost carrier isn't upping their game with white glove service in the skies, but they are having a little fun.
Spring called upon their fans via their Facebook page to suggest themes for flight attendant costumes, the post was accompanied by a young lady attired like a french maid. Some people took it seriously, offering up themes like traditional Chinese Opera, schoolgirl outfits and Star Wars as themes, others found it pretty offensive.
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This week seems to be new airline week—or at least new to us—as we’ve shared the secrets to a cheap Europe vacation thanks to XL, a frugal find to visit down under, and today we want to talk about Spring Airlines. Just like everyone else this week they have some pretty cheap airfare—like around $100 roundtrip before taxes—but any money you save on airfare you’ll be blowing upon arrival. That’s because these planes are going to Macau.
In case you haven’t heard, Macau is like the Asian version of Vegas, so expect plenty of gambling, boozing, and spending—all while having an awesome time of course. Spring Airlines is looking to cash in on the booming travel market, as they just started up service between Shanghai and Macau each day of the week.
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It was a crazy idea floated around by Airbus back in 2003, and it's rearing its ugly head again, but this time as an actual desire of airlines; it's standing-room only seating, and will we ever hear the last of it?
Perhaps most anxious to inconvenience us further is the Chinese Spring Airlines, which has such an influx of passengers that instead of adding more flights by buying more planes, they've instead turned to Airbus to develop a way to pack those extra passengers on existing planes. The plan so far is even more of a cattle-call than trying to board a Southwest flight:
Well, that PRC government just kills all the fun, doesn't it? Besides the infamous firewall, they're also watching your wallet. And they don't want too little coming out of it when you plan your next vacation.
Spring Airlines, a Chinese LCC based in Shanghai, was just fined $20,000 for selling 13-cent tickets on its Shanghai-to-Jinan route. Those tickets usually cost $116 one-way, and laws prevent discounts of more than 45% on government-regulated prices. According to the BBC, Spring "was the first Chinese airline to announce a budget-ticket price policy in a domestic market dominated by state-run carriers."
Chinese mainland carriers are notorious for their mostly poor service, food, and cabin products, so perhaps the government was scared of losing that reputation for value. On Spring Airlines, flight attendants apparently "check the condition of the toilets after each passenger." Now that's service!
[Photo: Java Cafe]
· Chinese airline fined for selling 13-cent tickets [CNN]