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China Eastern Airlines Business Class Flight Review London to Shanghai PuDong

CABIN FLOWN

Business Class

ROUTE FLOWN

London to Shanghai PuDong

DATE

26th September 2010

REVIEWER

E du Plessis

FLIGHT RATING

China Eastern Airlines China Eastern Airlines customer 2010
3.0 Star Rating: Average

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China Eastern Airlines Business Class Flight Review London to Shanghai PuDong


DEPARTURE SERVICE

Check in at London Heathrow Terminal 4 was easy to find, service was quick although lacking much real interest from the staff. The staff made no mention of the fact I could use the FastTrack security lane, or the SkyTeam lounge for business class passengers.

No queues for fastTrack and was into the SkyTeam lounge 5 minutes later. The lounge was quiet at this time of day, and the food counters were actually quite well stocked - different from previous visits in the evening. Enjoyed a nice snack of boeuf bourguignon accompanied by a nice red wine. Lounge was well stocked with newspapers, seating was comfortable. Washrooms were clean. No boarding calls are made in the lounge so you have to keep an eye on the screens. Luckily my China Eastern flight was boarding from a gate opposite the lounge and the boarding process was easy with a priority lane for business class.


CABIN APPEARANCE

Relatively modern A330-200 aircraft, the cabin was quite bright and with only 4 rows of seats in Business class did not feel too cramped. The washrooms are standard size, and no real amenities offered for Business class. The cabin was clean and staff were diligent at clearing away debris, discarded newspapers etc.


SEATING COMFORT

Seats are arranged 2x2x2, and are the angled flat variety. In the sitting position, the seat cushions are very firm, and seat width is not great. In the full angled-flat position they are not good, in that no matter how hard you trty, you will end up sliding down as you sleep or doze. After some adjustment, you can get the legrest horizontal and a slight backrest incline that is more comfortable. Certainly not the best business class seat, and hope that they might install proper flat-bed seating in time.

A nicish white duvet was supplied for the sleep period, and small pillow was reasonably comfortable.


ONBOARD CATERING

No menus were offered or available which is a surprise for long haul business class cabin - I have experienced this on other China Eastern Airlines flights. Staff came around the cabin to explain the choices, but got these completely wrong anyway, so it was more by luck than design that I got a beef entree. Meal presentation is not to Business class quality, and a slightly jazzed Economy style and that was a real disappointment. All of the food was edible, but this did seem to be a cheap meal by business class standards, and certainly not memorable. The staff did rush through the meal service, considering that this was not that late a flight - 2130 departure. Breakfast was a forgettable meal - after being told I was getting an omelette, was served some mushy tuna dish. Coffee and tea of a poor quality and not properly hot.


INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

AVOD was available, screen size quite limited by 2010 standards. A fair choice of western / international movies etc by Chinese airline standards, and some short features. Headset was of a lower standard and not to business class quality.


CABIN STAFF SERVICE

Staff were all polite and obliging, some with rather limited language skills. The service was generally efficient and fast, and those are two important attributes. It lacked much in the way of personality or true staff sincerity, and did not for example match staff service I experienced on Hainan Airlines during a recent trip in China. Capable and perfunctory is the best description.


FLIGHT ARRIVAL

No PA advice from Captain about arrival times or weather but this seems to be the norm for Chinese airlines! Why can they not try to offer some level of information or contact with the passengers. Flight was slightly early, quickly to an airbridge and deplaning 15 mins ahead of schedule. As a Sunday pm arrival into PuDong airport, there were no immigration queues and was outside the terminal within 12 mins of deplaning.


CUSTOMER TRIP VERDICT

The flight was on time, and reasonably comfortable. Service as mentioned was functional. Overall this China Eastern Airlines trip was too forgettable, and this airline does need to up its game, having regard to all the competition around China and Asia.

 





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