What Have I Got Myself Into – China Eastern First Class Booked

by Zac George

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was actually excited to review China Eastern First. From what I’ve heard from many people, it would be an ‘interesting’ experience. Well, I just booked it…

The most comments I got were about the soft product. The language barrier is apparently very big and I may have trouble with that. The second thing is the food onboard, I’ve been told that’s it nothing special and go in with an open mind.

China Eastern First Class

Besides that, the hard product actually looks pretty good. The cabin has only 6 seats and the two middle seats can be joined together to make a double bed, very similar to Singapore Suites.

For the flight, I used a total of 152,000 Qantas points which may sound like a lot but for Qantas but that’s pretty average. Availability on China Eastern First is wide open on most routes that it operates on, probably because no one actually goes out of their way to fly it 😉

China Eastern First Class

Why China Eastern First Class?

I’m flying this to U.S and there’s a reason I’m doing it. Sure, I could have taken Cathay First ClassVirgin Australia Business ClassSingapore Suites or 100 other products but it’s something different and I’ve only seen 1 review of it online so I thought it would be cool to do.

This will also be my first time on China Eastern and visiting Shanghai which will be interesting.

Have you flown China Eastern First, if so what was your experience like?



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Ian March 25, 2017 - 9:20 pm

I flew coach and found it just fine (Shanghai to Kunming)

Hey Debra March 26, 2017 - 1:05 am

I flew coach as well and it was fine. Going to China food onboard was typical airline food however coming back to USA a little different. Again. It was fine. All part of the adventure! I’ve been to China twice and I am booked for a third trip for Fall 2017. You will love it Shanghai is wonderful but do see other parts of China, intra flights are cheap and fast trains are cheaper!

Bill n DC March 26, 2017 - 2:53 am

You go, Zac! ✈️ A younger ‘Lucky’ 😎

John Qiu March 26, 2017 - 3:19 am

China is an uncivilized shithole. Good luck.

Ben March 26, 2017 - 4:26 am

@Ian: Which aircraft did you ride on for Shanghai to Kunming? International ULH experience would be probably different from domestic.

@Zac: I flew MU B773 JFK/PVG and A330 PVG/TPE or SHA/TSA quite a few times and have upcoming trips again, all in paid J/I. Hard product generally is good on their new B773 and I prefer the mini cabin of biz class, which is located right behind first class. The IFE collection isn’t superb but it keeps me entertained. The headphones suck though and a few sets I had were broken. No one really sat in first class except for the crew for resting. No cig smell from the galley or cockpit, contrary to what other bloggers reported. Food was fine for the most part. I’d suggest you choose Chinese food all the time. After all, it’s a Chinese carrier.

Regarding language barrier, there’s none. Granted that I speak Mandarin to the FAs but I hear them chatting with English speakers too. I had more language issues with Aeromexico, both in J and Y.

A330 biz seat config varies from aircraft to aircraft. On the short haul (Shanghai to Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo), it’s usually 2-2-2 angled flat, unless there’s an equipment swap or an idle new A330 with 1-2-1 reverse herringbone right after or before a long haul that’s put on a 1.5-2 hr short haul to neighboring Asian capitals. If you’re departing from Australia, wouldn’t the aircraft be A330 w/o first class?

Additionally, MU usually offers discounted biz class from North America to East Asia, like 50% less than DL, CX, NH, JL, BR, CI…etc. And first/biz pax can request free limo/car service to/from airports in the US (SFO, LAX, ORD and JFK) as well as in Shanghai. So that’s a great deal for revenue ticketed pax, in addition to 150-200% MQM for US-based DL elites. Lastly, I receive 30K-40K SkyMiles as a DL PM / DM.

Chris P March 26, 2017 - 7:12 am

I did business LAX PVG SIN and SIN NKG LAX in January. 777-3 and 332, then 320 to a 332. I recall the western food was fine on the NKG LAX segment, but I had language troubles on LAX PVG and was not sure how to order snacks when I woke up. Coming from SIN to NKG I had a bus to myself and an empty immigration hall as the only business passenger on the flight. Beds over the Pacific were as good or better than the United products I have been on on the last year. Delta was very generous with miles credit. Immigration/Security at PVG was a mess but I would fly them again.

Jc March 27, 2017 - 4:57 am

Many friends warned me about flying china eastern flew coach lax to Shanghai had no problems, actually would fly them again and recommend to friends

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