✅ Trip Verified
| Denpasar Bali to Washington via Beijing. Hellish barely begins to describe my one and (hopefully!) only experience with China Eastern. The problems began right from the check in desk; I knew my bags were going to be overweight, what I didn’t know was that this particular airline doesn’t allow charging an extra fee and checking the bags anyway as with practically any other airline. I was forced to open up my bags and repack them, then use two plastic bags the staff thankfully had the wherewithal to provide me to bring the rest of my baggage aboard the plane. The flight was cramped and uncomfortable, and my seat just so happened to be directly in front of the couple traveling with their bawling infant son and the passenger who tilted his seat practically into my lap. I was tired from already having to be up at 1:30 am to catch this flight and it was impossible to get any amount of sleep on board. Had this been the worst of my experiences I might have ended up rating this airline a 4 or a 5, but the real problems began when I got to Beijing. In order to clear immigration at PEK you have to place your boarding pass, photo ID, and passport into a bag and give it to the officer for inspection. When I got the bag back after leaving the immigration office, there was no passport. Worse still, I couldn’t re-enter the office despite it simply being a flight of stairs away. I tried explaining this to the airport staff, who were incredibly unhelpful and spoke next to no English. They generally kept trying to usher me to the terminal to catch my connecting flight, despite my attempts to explain to them that I need the passport to be able to clear customs in the US in the first place. Either way, it felt as though I was going to be stuck in Beijing. I wasn’t wrong. After being sent all around the airport in a goose chase that lasted almost two hours, airport security finally retrieved my passport, and with an hour and a half to spare, I was finally free to check in to my next flight. Crisis averted, right? Well, as it turns out, the check-in desk for my connecting flight was in Terminal 3, which happens to be a 20-minute shuttle ride from the airport proper. Good thing all of this was explained to me in advance by the China Eastern staff- oh wait, it wasn’t! So naturally, after waiting for 10 minutes for the shuttle and then riding it to Terminal 3, I missed my flight (originally to Chicago) because the check-in desk had just closed three minutes prior. Three minutes! I explained to the staff that my family had driven all the way from Ohio to pick me up in Chicago and that I absolutely needed to catch this flight. But for whatever reason, possibly terrible English comprehension, nothing I said seemed to get through to them. They wouldn’t even let me on the flight to Chicago that left a day later - instead, I was haphazardly tossed onto a flight to Washington DC that I then had to wait another six hours for. So in the end, the backup flight (which I wouldn’t have needed had it not been for the incompetence of the immigration staff) was an inconvenience not only to me but to my family. All in all, flying with China Eastern has quite possibly been the most infuriating experience of my life. Trying to find anything positive to say about my experience is nigh impossible, and I would never in good conscience recommend this airline to anyone.