China Eastern Air experience

Old Aug 16, 17, 1:27 pm
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China Eastern Air experience

I am flying on China Eastern business class first time. flying into Shanghai with a 12 hour layover then onto Bali. Fishing for ideas and recommendations while in Shanghai and what overall experience to expect on the flight.

Last edited by ivams; Aug 16, 17 at 2:52 pm Reason: provide more information
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:54 pm
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Where are you flying from?

p.s. welcome to Flyertalk
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Old Aug 18, 17, 3:28 am
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Shanghai is a fairly nice city. From PVG the subway and the maglev train are both quite convenient, though the Maglev drops you off in the middle of the city that then requires a subway connection to get anywhere useful. It's worth it for one experience, but not worth trying to use both ways.

12 hours, assuming daytime is plenty of time to head downtown. Head down to the riverfront, both the Bund side and the opposite side by the giant TV tower are quite nice. Tons of restaurants, shopping, etc. Could also tour a couple of temples if it's your first time to China. Several famous ones to be seen there. Day passes on the subway are quite cheap if you'll be roaming around a bit.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 12:02 pm
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Yari Guy

I am flying from Los Angeles
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Old Aug 18, 17, 9:55 pm
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China Eastern Positives:

1. 777-300 is very nicely furnished. I actually like the tones they used and the plane is decked out a little nicer than others
2. Lavatories on my flight were spotless across the Pacific
3. Reverse Herringbone and good bedding
4. I remember cabin temp was kept cool. Thank goodness for that.

Why I wouldn't fly them again...ever

1. Service Sucks
2. PVG Terminal they use sucks (smells like a trash bin)
3. SMOKING - all flight long and its pungent. On the 737s intra Asia especially bad. On the beautiful 777 it still reeked of smoke the entire 14 hours.
4. Food - Worst I have ever been served on a plane. By FAR the worst. swill..gross...Seems like lowest quality food available to aircraft. They may specially cater just to keep quality below the absolute minimum standard. Again..its SWILL!! Bring your own food

Out of LAX take the overnight flight. This airline is for sleeping. You want to minimize time awake.
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Old Aug 19, 17, 7:08 am
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Old Aug 19, 17, 12:08 pm
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In the air:

The TPAC segments are fine. Seats in C are 1-2-1 lie flats, fairly nice. Movie selection is a bit week if you have already seen many of the released to cable movies already.

Service is fairly "TPAC C" standard. A quick dinner. Then lights out, with another light service prior to landing. They will come by occasionally "at night", but you can of course always ring or get up and ask.

The minicabin (rows 6/7) is nice. Less traffic and also a bit of extra room to put stuff (as all seats are either the first or last row of the "bone").

On the short haul, you are probably in something that is much more like a US domestic F class. Not much to say about this.

PVG is fine, they have a nice new club. But I agree with others that you should go into town. Many flights will use bus gates, but they have a separate bus for F/C so it actually works well.

Oh, food. I have never really been impressed with any airline food. But have to agree that MU is not exactly the best. If you like real Chinese that helps. But even so it is not SQ.

Last edited by exwannabe; Aug 19, 17 at 12:39 pm
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Old Aug 20, 17, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
China Eastern Positives:

Why I wouldn't fly them again...ever

1. Service Sucks

Humm, if you allow for the cultural difference, I find their service to be on par with US legacy airlines or better. Importantly, unless many a flight on US airlines, their FAs can move along the aisles without hitting me with parts of their bodies which shall remain nameless as they pass.


2. PVG Terminal they use sucks (smells like a trash bin)

Huh. Been through T2 a dozen or more times. Smells fine to me but I am used to the smells and sounds of Asia

3. SMOKING - all flight long and its pungent. On the 737s intra Asia especially bad. On the beautiful 777 it still reeked of smoke the entire 14 hours.

I have never smelt cigarette smoke on MU long haul. Did slightly smell it once on a FM flight.

Last edited by fpmurphy; Aug 20, 17 at 7:52 pm
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Old Aug 23, 17, 12:50 pm
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I agree with fpmurphy. China Eastern isn't as bad as some posters make it out to be.

1. Food: If you don't like Chinese food, you won't like the food. I'm fond of Chinese food, so I find the food pretty good. I've had western food on the flight also, and it's decent.

2. Service: It's perfectly fine in J. The bathrooms were kept tidy and clean, and my wine and scotch glasses were kept full. Were there some language barriers more some requests, like asking for a gin & tonic? Yes. They're more reactive than proactive, but the same can be said of half of business class attendants.

3. Smoking: I definitely smelled faint smoke on my flight from JFK -> PVG. It's not something I would have noticed though if I didn't read about it on FT and my nose was actively looking for it.
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Old Aug 23, 17, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ivams View Post
I am flying on China Eastern business class first time. flying into Shanghai with a 12 hour layover then onto Bali. Fishing for ideas and recommendations while in Shanghai and what overall experience to expect on the flight.
Are you on China Eastern from PVG - DPS? Transcon from US to China and back was fine. But my PEK - DPS flight was pretty bad. They were only serving beer, wine and Chinese food. Only 1 bottle of white wine the entire flight (it was finished after 4 people ordered for pre-flight). Only a single meal (no snacks) on a 8+ hour flight. No amenity kits, lack of US movies, and crew didn't lift a finger the entire flight. Hard product was fine though.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by Leverage View Post
Are you on China Eastern from PVG - DPS? Transcon from US to China and back was fine. But my PEK - DPS flight was pretty bad. They were only serving beer, wine and Chinese food. Only 1 bottle of white wine the entire flight (it was finished after 4 people ordered for pre-flight). Only a single meal (no snacks) on a 8+ hour flight. No amenity kits, lack of US movies, and crew didn't lift a finger the entire flight. Hard product was fine though.
You must have been on a slower bird. That flight takes under 6 hours from wheels up to touchdown. When I took it last year I thought it was an OK experience for the convenience of not having to transfer. Meal was filling enough and I definitely had enough red wine. The seats in business were slanted though, not MU's new lie flats. I'm not sure if the seats have changed.

Overall I recommend MU to anyone flying to China in business class now. They are better than the US carriers across the pacific and have the same seat as Cathay for a much cheaper price in general. If I were connecting on a tight connection to other places in Asia I'd avoid any Chinese connection due to their horrible air traffic control policies. The smoking does happen and it is noticeable but it doesn't bother me much. If you're really sensitive to smoke then don't fly on a Chinese carrier. Another bonus of MU is free wifi on their 777's which isn't half bad speedwise as long as you don't mind the Chinese blocking of certain websites. I'd rather have the MU wifi speed and price than the junk wifi I paid $29 for on United a few weeks ago.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:29 am
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I had thought the WIFI needed a pass of some sort? Did not even try it on my recent flights.

Is it truly free, or a code that I need to get for free somehow in advance?

And use a VPN back to home/office/whatever. It actually can get performance gains if compressed (though latency still is an issue of course).
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Old Aug 28, 17, 9:42 pm
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I had thought the WIFI needed a pass of some sort? Did not even try it on my recent flights.

Is it truly free, or a code that I need to get for free somehow in advance?

And use a VPN back to home/office/whatever. It actually can get performance gains if compressed (though latency still is an issue of course).
There is an option to register by your seat number once you're on the flight. Put in your seat number, your name and I believe your passport number and you can get online. They limit the number of people who can register but every time I've flown them they say there are more than 100 registrations still available for the flight. The only bad thing is you're not supposed to use your phone, have to use your laptop or tablet, although the times I've done it I've used my phone and just hid it when they walk by.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 2:29 am
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I have flown China Eastern Business class domestically a few times. It is a nice product with excellent service. The lounges at PEK aren't very nice, the food is decent, but they are way overcrowded and the beer is warm.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 8:59 am
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I just flew MU domestic J a couple weeks ago. It's better than any US carrier by miles. Service was all smiles, super friendly and attentive. My tea was refilled multiple times without having to ask for it. Food was good, although there were only Chinese options so you'd have to like Chinese food. I would not hesitate to fly their J or F class again in the future.
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