Is China Eastern's customer service really this bad?

Old May 3, 18, 8:06 am
  #1  
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Is China Eastern's customer service really this bad?

i flew MU
I flew MU on April 23 from LAX-Shanghai-Kunming (overnight)-CNX. I checked 2 bags and only one showed up in Kunming. I filed a missing bag report and also reported it in CNX. I was assured that MU would contact me by phone or email when the bag was found. No one ever contacted me so I contacted CNX again and contacted MU at LAX. They said that the were strictly sales agents(even though the phone's directory listed them as customer service). I sent 3 emails to 3 different MU branches and got a reply today;
" Dear Passenger,

Upon our investigation on your missing baggage, it did not pass the baggage transfer security check at KMG airport. Please contact the baggage department in KMG airport at 0086-871-67081286 with case number DAH KMGMUxxxxx for option to retrieve your baggage.BEST REGARDS
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES"
i call the number and spend 10 minutes es talking to lost baggage, giving them asked for information. He won't send my bag to CNX but tells me to call lost baggage at CNX and have them request that the bag be sent to CNX. Fortunately, I've been doing this since yesterday. What are the odds of ever seeing my bag again (preferably before May 8, when I leave for Bangkok and then the U.S. What are the odds of ever seeing my 2.DeWalt 18 volt rechargeable batteries (the only thing in the bag that remotely might be considered a security risk)? I know what the odds are that I'll ever fly China Eastern Airlines again.
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Old May 3, 18, 1:06 pm
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MU customer disservice - sounds about right.

But a limited defence of MU, baggage handling is typically a function of the airports, not the airline. Although the airline is responsible for your baggage, the actual mechanics of what physically happens is governed and managed by others. Can MU influence the process - yes. Could better checks have identified that your bag had not been loaded - yes. Could they be helping you more to sort it out - yes. But were they actually responsible for the mishandling - probably not.

Good luck trying to resolve the situation.
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Old May 3, 18, 2:50 pm
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These are Lithium-ion batteries ? Lithium Battery Transportation Safety | China Eastern Airlines

If so, and they're deemed prohibited as luggage by KMG airport, how do you propose they get it to you @ CNX ?
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Old May 3, 18, 7:03 pm
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Good luck finding the bag OP. But be prepared to file a claim with your insurance company or MU.
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Old May 3, 18, 7:34 pm
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DeWalt cordless batteries aren't lithium . I've taken them 6-7 times over the last 15 yeas to my house in Chiangmai, mainly on U.S. and Tapei carriers, with no problems. Most of what was in the suitcase are presents for friend in Chiangmai or clothes that I was going to leave in storage at my Chiangmai house. I don't want them returning the bag to me in the U.S. I would like the actual bag back. I won't blame MU over the security issue but they have now known about it for 11 days and it took an email from me (and 15-20 calls) to get them to respond. I'll call CNX lost baggage every day until Tuesday about noon to see if bag came in on morning Kunming flight. After Tuesday, I'll file a claim. If I fly MU in the future, I'll fly both directions through BKK and skip Kunming with the stopover. No batteries in luggage, either checked or cattyon (I had them in carry on up to arriving at KCI airport, where I asked TSA agent whether I should carry them in checked or carry on and decided to put them in Checked luggage).
A side question. I bring virtually nothing back to U.S., except for some toiletries and 3-4 pairs of Thai shorts. My Thai wife wants me to bring back Thai food, which her friend that lives here has already brought by enough to fill one suitcase. There is only processed food, no fruits or vegetables. I'll declare it at LAX and am prepared to spend some time in inspection but will I have a problem with China Eastern at Check in at BKK or will the bag not show up at LAX, sitting at Shanghai because of airport authorities? Thanks!


Originally Posted by Virginia Emery View Post
These are Lithium-ion batteries ? Lithium Battery Transportation Safety China Eastern Airlines

If so, and they're deemed prohibited as luggage by KMG airport, how do you propose they get it to you @ CNX ?
the logical thing would for the Chinese to keep the batteries and send the bag with everything else. From what I understand, Chinese low level airport officials won't make that decision and possibly incurring some other Chinese official's displeasure. They will just let the bag rot in Kunming.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; May 7, 18 at 2:49 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts from same member
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Old May 4, 18, 9:36 pm
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It turns out that I was misled. The bag is in Shanghai, not Kunming. I found this out through contacting lost luggage at CNX, run by Thai Airways. They contacted China Eastern in BKK, who found the luggage. China Eastern in Shanghai has a problem with lithium batteries, like the one in the Samsung tablet, car batteries and some disposable chargeable AA and AAA batteries. They have gotten hot and exploded in the past. Here is a picture of one of the two cordless batteries that were in my suitcase: [img]webkit-fake-url://d7ac96c3-2de5-47d1-b6cb-36984228a699/imagejpeg[/img]
I've brought the exact same battery to my Chiangmai house at least 6 times over the last 12 years, on 4 different airlines (none of which were China Eastern Airlines, nor did I fly through China up to now). The Thai airline's lady that is helping me gave me China Eastern's email address in Bangkok She told me to write them, give them the number off both my baggage claim and the lost luggage, and tell them to send bag to Chiangmai as soon as possible (presumably without the batteries).
Ill wait to see what happens. If I don't pick up bag by Tuesday morning, I'll go with Plan B, and file a claim for compensation for the bag and contents. If they send me the bag without batteries, I'll still go with Plan B and file for compensation for not receiving bag within 7 days (hopefully, that will come close to paying for batteries). If bag arrives with everything, all is forgiven and I'll never fly China Eastern again.
the only thing useful that I found out about the taxing, time consuming ordeal is never contact China Eastern within the borders of China. They are worse than useless. They give you wrong information. I am going to give the China Eastern customer representative at LAX a tongue lashing that he or she will remember for a long time.

[img]webkit-fake-url://be2e8d07-e2a1-4e29-9d63-32686e1e9723/imagejpeg[/img]

I don't know how to post picture of my cordless batteries but I posted the link:
[img]webkit-fake-url://1f9e3264-7332-44db-b997-fd767d090bb4/imagejpeg[/img]

Last edited by NewbieRunner; May 7, 18 at 2:50 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts from same member
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Old May 5, 18, 11:58 am
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I suspect the batteries were never in play.

On initial contact all MU said was the bags had not clearer KMG transit.. Well, since the bags were still in PVG, they obviously were not held at KMG for batteries..

Lost bags happen. But I agree with OP that MU did a poor job on service recovery. It is always on the airline to find the bags.
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Old May 5, 18, 10:48 pm
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The bag arrived yesterday at CNX and I picked it up this morning. Nothing was missing, except for the 2 DeWalt batteries. A note written in Chinese was in the bag, presumably their explanation on why they confiscated them. I'll file when I get back to the U.S. for compensation because the bag was missing for over 7 days. Hopefully, that will come close to paying for the batteries. By the way, on the claim check on the bag, it clearly lists my phone number and email address, which they never bothered to try. MU has the worst customer service of any airline that I've dealt with.
The bag was initially held by security at Shanghai (the Chinese paperwork left in the bag was from Shanghai) but I think that most of the time, the bag was sent on to Kunming and sat there until MU at BKK told them that I wanted bag sent to CNX, which they did on Saturday

Last edited by NewbieRunner; May 7, 18 at 2:51 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts from same member
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Old May 6, 18, 12:35 am
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Good luck in getting your bag back, it must have been a big drain on your time and your patience. At least the staff at CNX staff were able to unravel the mystery of where the bags were and assist you.

If you need a translation of the Chinese that's probably easily done in CNX - there are so many tourists from China there these days lol
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Old May 6, 18, 4:44 am
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Did you claim and recheck your bag in Shanghai?

They have battery scanners at check-in, in China. Once, a friend and his wife who was connecting from an international to a domestic flight at PVG, the alarm went off because of some rather risqué toys in their baggage which lead to a rather awkward encounter with the guard who checks the bags that set off the alarm.
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Old May 6, 18, 5:48 am
  #11  
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No, I flew LAX-Shanghai-Kunming-Cnx. I had to pick up bags in Kunming because trip overnighted in Kunming.
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Old May 6, 18, 11:34 am
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Service recovery is usually non-existent when there are IRROPS or similar things for all the Chinese Airlines. You might get your way in better if you speak Mandarin (or get someone who speaks Mandarin and talk to them with force) and also holds a Platinum status with China Eastern, though. Sometimes it's better when the ground handling is another airline.
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Old May 6, 18, 3:43 pm
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Better in carryon in Asia

In Asian airports and their airlines, I find they screen for batteries and often call them power banks and set top limit at 20,000 mAh that is permitted on their flights. I never put any type of battery in my checked luggage as airports scan and can inspect your checked bags after you dropped them off. I've been stopped at security in Asian airports after my carryon had be scanned to inspect my battery. At least if they want to confiscated it I can question it or would know they took it.
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Old May 6, 18, 6:45 pm
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I finally ran across some articles about battery packs and limit of 160 wh (whatever that means). The Chinese are the primary country setting these restrictions. If the battery pack isn't labeled so they can see the limit is at 160 or less, they will take it. On carryon, you are allowed 2 cordless type batteries. I've never had any problems going through either Japan and Tapai, and I've been bringing batteries for 14 years. I had originally put them in my carryon and, at my first flight segment at Kansas City, I asked a TSA agent whether it would be better to carry batteries in carryon or checked. He didn't give me a definitive answer, so I switched them to checked. Having the batteries taken was bad. Keeping my bag for 2 weeks with no communication (they had phone number and email address) is unconscionable and will result in a compensation complaint filed by me the day that I set foot at LAX
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Old May 6, 18, 7:26 pm
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Calculations

After checking in and going through Narita sceening, I was asked if I had a battery in my carryon and was asked to show my extra battery. There are 2 ways to calculate a lithium battery, in mh and mAh for travel. In the States it is 100-160 mh and in Asia such as Thailand, they say in mAh. 20000 mAh divided by voltage which is 220v there gives one 90.90 mh. The United States FAA required all lithium batteries to be in one's carry on and is forbidden in checked luggage. Just Google "lithium battery FAA" and see. The leading smart suitcase manufacturer that had lithium batteries built in to their suitcases just went bankrupt this week because of this.
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