Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Other Asian, Australian, and South Pacific Airlines
Reload this Page >

Thoughts on China Eastern and Chinese airports by a first timer

Thoughts on China Eastern and Chinese airports by a first timer

Reply

Old Dec 15, 16, 11:02 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 42
Thoughts on China Eastern and Chinese airports by a first timer

I just got back from a flight on China Eastern, from Lax to CNX, with a connecting flight at Shanghai on the outbound and Kunming and Shanghai on the return. Reading reviews, I had concerns about China Eastern, particularly their on time performance. I've mainly flown Northwest, then Delta, Eva, China Air and Japan Airlines. China Eastern compares favorably with all of the above. Of course, I had no delays on any of the segments, so I can't comment on their customer service. I didn't find the flight attendants distant towards non Chinese, the seats were fine and I don't mind beer at room temperature. The bags took a little longer than normal to arrive at CNX, Kunming and LAX, with Kunming being the longest at 35 minutes (not that big of a deal to me). The Chinese airports are a different matter. Having to go through both immigration and security at every leg is a pain. It's not very well marked on where to go. On the return through Shanghai, you have a long walk from the plane to the departure area. I wasn't sure if I had to change terminals (I didn't) and had to find someone that spoke a little English to ask. You have to find area K and the International Departures line nearby and then go through immigration (don't discard the departures card that I thought would be asked for in Kunming but was needed at the Shanghai airport; I still had it but had to rummage through my pockets to find it). I'm used to going through Narita and it's a close walk to security. And then to gates. On the it's my own fault item, I push the limits with my carry on luggage. It's 2 inches too long and has to go in sideways. The flights to and from LAX to and from Shanghai were near full but the other 3 segments a little over half full. The only place that I had a problem was on the return at Shanghai, where a security man at the start of the line at Departures (near area K) said it was too big and I had to check it. I talked to 3 different people with China Eastern and 2 said that the bag was fine and 1 said that she thought that it was a little big. I asked her how much it would cost to check it and she said 1,000 yuan ($145.00). The bag and the contents weren't worth $145.00, so it I ready to leave the 8 year old bag and carry on what I could. This all took an hour and by the time that I went to the departures area, the original security man was gone and no one said anything. The $145.00 that I saved will go towards a new, regulation sized carry on (I have a house in Chiangmai and tend to bring things from the U.S. that are needed and expensive in Thailand; going back to the U.S., the bags are either empty or full of old items at house that may have sentimental value to my Thai wife but have little real value). Also, at least for the 3 segments that I took flying out of Shanghai and Kunming, busses were used to take passengers to the plane. This should be noted for those with a problem handling stairs, but didn't affect me. In closing, if I can save $250 plus on a ticket from LAX to CNX on China Eastern, I'd fly them again, particularly knowing the ropes at Shanghai and Kunming airports. However, if the price was right, I'd also fly to Bangkok, spend a day there , and fly on to Chiangmai. For me, if the flying experience is comparable, price will determine which airline I'll fly.

Last edited by Dean1953; Dec 16, 16 at 4:45 am
Dean1953 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 16, 16, 8:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: ATL
Programs: DL SkyMiles DM/MM, Peninsula regular, amanjunkie
Posts: 5,677
For the benefit of future readers, what class were you ticketed in?

There is a side door at PVG to pass from arrivals back over to departures with just a security check, no immigration or baggage claim to deal with. I take it you didn't find this. Best way to find it is to go to the China Eastern transfer desk, confirm your BP, and ask them to point you to the transfer passage. This is now fairly formalized, though nowhere near as clear and well-marked and efficient as at Narita.
MegatopLover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 16, 16, 2:56 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 42
I was booked into basic economy through a consolidator, Justfly. It was strange, landing at Shanghai on the way to Chiangmai and on the return, coming from Kunming. In the first instance, it was a shorter walk to an area where, if you went left, you went through the transfer line. If you went right, you were in line for a 24 hour visa. I was directed to the right line and then pointed to the other line by the official in charge of granting 24 hour visas when I got to his booth. On the return to the U.S. at Shanghai airport, I've already described my long walk. Good to know that I don't have to do that again.
Dean1953 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 16, 16, 9:59 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ONT, LAX
Programs: UA1k 2.5MM, AA Plt, peasant on everybody else, elite something or other at a bunch of hotels.
Posts: 4,308
Might I also add a suggestion that you use paragraphs? Your write-up was hard to read as submitted.
1kBill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 16, 8:44 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 554
Originally Posted by MegatopLover View Post
There is a side door at PVG to pass from arrivals back over to departures with just a security check, no immigration or baggage claim to deal with. I take it you didn't find this. Best way to find it is to go to the China Eastern transfer desk, confirm your BP, and ask them to point you to the transfer passage. This is now fairly formalized, though nowhere near as clear and well-marked and efficient as at Narita.
I disagree. The transfer route in PVG T1 is extremely well marked - both overhead and on the floor. Better than NRT.
fpmurphy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 16, 12:18 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: ATL
Programs: Delta Plat
Posts: 5,236
Originally Posted by fpmurphy View Post
I disagree. The transfer route in PVG T1 is extremely well marked - both overhead and on the floor. Better than NRT.
I have never seen an Asian gateway where transfers were not well marked.

I have seen EU airports where it can be confusing.
exwannabe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 16, 6:33 pm
  #7  
Moderator: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: MPC,CA,MU,AF
Posts: 7,934
Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I have never seen an Asian gateway where transfers were not well marked.

I have seen EU airports where it can be confusing.
There are problems in Asian gateways too. I have seen signs disappearing after following them for a while, making me wonder if I take a wrong turn somewhere.
cxfan1960 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 16, 6:35 pm
  #8  
Moderator: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Programs: MPC,CA,MU,AF
Posts: 7,934
Originally Posted by MegatopLover View Post
For the benefit of future readers, what class were you ticketed in?

There is a side door at PVG to pass from arrivals back over to departures with just a security check, no immigration or baggage claim to deal with. I take it you didn't find this. Best way to find it is to go to the China Eastern transfer desk, confirm your BP, and ask them to point you to the transfer passage. This is now fairly formalized, though nowhere near as clear and well-marked and efficient as at Narita.
But OP was transiting international-to-domestic and domestic-to-international. He should go through immigration. Shouldn't he?
cxfan1960 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 16, 7:00 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 42
The only domestic to domestic leg that I took was on the return, Kunming to Shanghai. The other 3 legs were international. I also picked up my luggage in Kunming, since it was an overnight stopover. Like I said, on the return, I followed the crowd and after a long walk saw most of them heading towards Terminal 2. I took the escalator up and ending up in the Departures check in area. I honestly didn't see very many signs and when I asked someone directions, it was usually someone working at an unrelated job at the airport. Not like Narita, where there is an airline employee usually just before the transfer line, waiting to look at your ticket.
Dean1953 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread