A Pleasant Redeye In China Eastern First Class

Hello from Shanghai! I’m slowly working my way back to the US, and am flying from Singapore to Los Angeles via Shanghai. One cool thing about this routing is that both of my flights are operated by Boeing 777-300ERs, featuring first class suites. As y’all know, my past experience in China Eastern business class left a bit to be desired, so I was curious what their first class would be like.

The first class cabin is really spiffy-looking, with just six suites. There are two rows of seats along the windows, two seats in the center, and then probably the widest walkway I’ve ever seen between aisles.

The suites are already showing their age, though they’re spacious and comfortable. Perhaps my experience was even better since I was the only one in first class.

While the first class cabin was in fact sold as first class, it seems like they didn’t actually differentiate the service in any way. I can’t hold this against them too much, since it looks like they only very rarely fly 777s between Shanghai and Singapore. So the menus, amenities, drinks, and food, were all from business class.

What was the amenities like on this 4hr15min redeye? There were slippers, eyeshades, and a dental kit.

Then there was a basic pillow & blanket. The pillow was quite nice, while the blanket was basic, though this was obviously just their standard shorthaul business class bedding.

Even though the experience wasn’t differentiated much, they still tried to add a few cute touches to the service, like arranging cans of soda in a cute way at the front of the cabin. LOL!

Breakfast was the meal on this flight (it left at 12AM and arrived at 5AM), which I found a bit odd, but…

For breakfast there was some yogurt and fruit to start.

On the menu I saw that there was a seafood noodle dish, though the crew said that unfortunately they didn’t have it available. So I ordered the omelet instead, which had salmon in it, and which was fairly decent.

Graciously the crew mentioned that one of their crew meals was a seafood noodle dish, and offered it to me. So I tried it, and it was excellent, much better than the omelet. Goodness, China Eastern crews eat well!

I slept for the rest of the short flight, though due to the short duration and early landing preparations, only got maybe 90 minutes of sleep.

The crew was exceptionally well intentioned. They weren’t the most polished, but I had two flight attendants taking care of just me, and they were both lovely.

Let me say that I’m not sure if they flagged me in the system or not, and that’s not me trying to deny special treatment here. After my last experience you’d think they would have flagged me, but I’m not sure they did. The crew was really, really nice, though they didn’t drop any hints about knowing what I was doing, etc. Furthermore, I wasn’t met upon landing by an escort, or anyone (like last time), which would have made it more obvious.

So overall this was about as pleasant as a four hour redeye will get. I’m curious to see what China Eastern first class is like on the flight to Los Angeles, where presumably they’ll have the “proper” first class experience.

If it has better food, champagne, and amenities, while having equally good service, without constant smoking in the cockpit, I’ll be impressed.

Comments

  1. I fly first class 90% of the time. Never tried this airline but I am a big fan of Cathay. The food they serve is so good. Also I always make sure to arrive 10 hours before departure at HKG airport to enjoy the first class lounge food (The Pier and the Wing for those who ask).

  2. Was it mu j when crew lied to you and kept cappuccinos themselves? I guess they could give up seafood noodle this time.

    How much demand is there for magazines in French on sin-pvg route?!

  3. @Maverik Seriously, who cares about the demand for French Magazines on this route? The food is the most enjoyable part

  4. @Luxky it does flag you. not only China Eastern, all Chinese airlines crew have iPad that record information about customers who compliantled in the past.
    Chinese airlines may not be best in service, but they are leading in terms applying big data and AI technologie in industries, They do have a lot of cool software on their iPad to provide them lots of interesting analytics.

  5. Endre, I love your usually pointless and off-topic bragging comments. Arriving 10 hours before departure just to enjoy the lounge? Keep it up!

  6. @Endre, you fly first class 90% of the time yet you feel the need to come to the airport 10 hours earlier for the Wing and the Pier?

    Neither lounge serves the same champagne as in the air for first class and the food is mediocre at best.

    Either you don’t fly very much or you don’t fly first class as I don’t know anyone who would fly first class that often and spend 10 hours in a CX Lounge out of choice. It isn’t the Air France First Class Lounge in Paris or LX First Class Terminal

  7. @Endre

    “Also I always make sure to arrive 10 hours before departure at HKG airport to enjoy the first class lounge food”

    Might as well make the most of it haha Although I think HK is too fascinating a city to spend 10hrs in the airport.

  8. @Ben

    I remember there were two American bloggers, a young couple, one with Exec Plat status, that purposely scheduled an 8hr stopover in HK to raid all the lounges. It’s a trend, I guess.

  9. Love reading comments from haters who can’t afford First class as I do. I find the food in the lounge in par with onboard. Perhaps you think it is not as good because you only experience first class once per 2 years after you have accumulated enough miles through various schemes to avoid the cattle class you are used to. I bet you guys are also not happy with Trump being in charge LOL

  10. Anyone can say they fly first class without providing any proof.

    Even Lucky, someone who we know spends tons of time flying in premium cabins, wouldn’t show up that early to visit a lounge.

    You’re just a troll who wants attention and can’t really prove to us that you fly that much. But hey, keep up with the lovely fanfiction, it makes the comments section much more fun.

  11. The food on China Eastern is absolutely disgusting. I am guessing Signapore Changi Airport catering is an exception. You PVG-LAX flight will be disgusting. I could not eat a thing on my flight except the fruit bowl.

  12. I’m surprised Lucky wanted the seafood noodles, he almost always selects the Western option on Asian flights and never touches rice.

  13. “he almost always selects the Western option on Asian flights”

    Wrong. How many posts have you read on OMAAT? 3?

  14. Maybe they clamped down on the smoking pilots or perhaps you got lucky this trip. In any event, it sounds like a much better experience.

    As for the comments on lounge food, I’ve never been impressed with any lounge offerings. The bar is set rather low in my experience and the comparisons of a quality lounge offering are made only between other airport lounges and not among quality restaurants.

  15. @Endre – if you’re so wealthy, there are plenty of excellent places to spend 10 hours that aren’t an airport lounge. But apparently money is a bit short with you so you choose to spend that time where you can get free stuff.
    Keep dreaming – someday you just might be a true success.

  16. Hitting up HKG FC lounges is a joke. Any OW Emerald has access. It doesn’t require flying First at all. What a dumb thing to brag about.

  17. Not to mention one must have an extremely boring and unremarkable life if they prefer to spend 10 hours in HKG airport instead of in the city of Hong Kong itself.

  18. Lounge food, even at Pier first, is decent fare, but far from great. The food is catered by Plaza Premium (soon Sodexo), and can’t be compared with the best for from a top tier city like Hong Kong.

  19. Hong Kong is a great city? Why? Just another over crowded, over priced city.

    At least endre is being smart with his money.

  20. Hi Ben,
    I think it will be useful when you write a full report of this to talk into the detail of the booking process (more detail than usual), as I always saw award booking on other skyteam carriers (round trip only) via KE site possible but as of now it is no longer the case, why? Basically here are my questions:
    1) Booking other skyteam partners via KE miles are forced to do round trip, can it be open-jaw?
    2) Booking other skyteam partners via KE miles, can still do online or need to call only?
    3) If need to call, do I need to have miles transferred ready before making the booking or I could just hold the reservation and then transfer then call again to ticket it.

    I made a booking via KE miles before but on KE metals so it was simpler and everything can be done online as most people know.

    Basically, I have tried about 20 International First class products, but yet to try MU and SV, so I am wondering I could kill two birds in one stone by flying CAN-PVG-LHR/LHR-JED-CAN on MU F and SV F in one booking, but then if I could so open-jaw, I could get to my destination easier.

  21. Waiting for the other crazy shoe to drop…

    Endre says:
    February 5, 2018 at 8:31 am
    Love reading comments from haters who can’t afford First class as I do… I bet you guys are also not happy with Trump being in charge LOL

    *thud*

  22. Lol now we long for the days of credit… even debit’s quips are usually funny. Endre isn’t even a good troll. I’d even guess he’s never paid for intl F. “The food they serve is so good.” Lol, excellent observation from reading blogs. Put your money where your mouth is, you squid.

    Like Barrabas from long ago, the people would like to trade Endre for credit.

    Thanks Lucky.
    Oh and good review. We kind of forgot about the point of the post.

  23. I just have to shake my head at how many of you are taking Endre’s post seriously. Clearly a troll post with 0% seriousness.

  24. Next time u can try the domestic flight with China Eastern, also pretty good, they improved a lot. Thanks and have a nice day^^

  25. SUGGESTION:

    I get that your blog and lifestyle are all about reviewing airlines and their products and flying non stop around the universe, BUT here’s a thought:

    Instead of always doing back to back flights and only focusing on the flights themselves, why not start a trend of articles on this blog of “10 hours in Hong Kong” or “5 Must Do Things on a Layover in Singapore”? That way you’re not just flying flying flying without enjoying these amazing countries, and you expand in content for the blog and make it more fun. Let me know what you think.

    I already love this blog, but the rare times you write about your experience in a city outside of an airport lounge or an aircraft is a good breather.

  26. I just flew China Eastern last week, in business class, JFK-PVG-SIN-PVG-JFK. After hearing all the bad review, especially about the smoking pilots I entered into my trip with low expectations. I was blown away by the food, service, and arriving early every single flight. What was different than I expected was that on the PVG-SIN and return portions, they used a Shanghai Airlines jet and crew they were 100 times better than China Eastern, who were excellent in the first place. And all attendants spoke some to a lot of English so that was not a problem. And I smelled 0, yes zero smoke in the cabin. I also used their lounge in Shanghai where I grabbed a shower both going and coming back, and it was so spacious with every seat having power outlets. I would not hesitate to fly on them again. I am actually looking forward to it, especially due to the fact that you end up with DL Medaliion Miles, regular miles and over half what you need in MGD,s to reach Diamond. It’s a formula they use based on the percentage total miles flown and class of service. Anyway, while it is a long way to fly, and it only cost me $2300 RT, I am going to look for another one of these mileage runs.

  27. @Scott I am glad to hear that you love flight that operate by Shanghai Airline. Shanghai Airline was original a star alliance member but joined skyteam after the merging with China eastern airline. As a local shanghai residence, we recognize Shanghai airline is much better that China eastern. however, it starts to drop as there is not really much resource from China eastern for route resource and the jet… However, the service should retain at a higher level.

  28. The hard product is definitively superior, sleek and private. Does anyone know who manufactured the suites?

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