I recently just flew China Eastern First Class and let’s just say the experience was ‘interesting’. Upon arriving from the flight, I’ve been thinking about what the carrier could do to make their First Class a much better product.
What I was most impressed about was the hard product. With only 6 closed of suites, it’s spacious and comfortable.
However, there are other aspects that could be majorly improved. In this post, I’ll list 5 things that the airline could improve upon and it would ultimately make the product more worthwhile.
The meal services
This I think Is the biggest part of the service that could do with an upgrade. The food was disappointing, that’s already known but I’m also talking about how the service is performed. The variety is ‘ok’ but it’s more the quality of the food that I’m referring to. Do they need to have a Michelin starred menu? No, but the quality could be improved ( an example is my ‘salad’ which consisted of just lettuce). The service is the next talking point. The carrier doesn’t have an al la carte service which is something I’d love to see introduced as it’s used by many carriers now. They also only serve 2 meals, 2 hours into the flight then somewhere around 8 hours in. There’s no pre-landing meals or even decent sized snacks which was really disappointing.
Beverages on board
This didn’t affect me but I could definitely understand if passengers walked away disappointed. The carrier’s First menu consisted of about 5 alcoholic drinks, with only 1 choice of Champagne and the one they offered isn’t too amazing. Keep in mind, it’s pretty difficult to redeem for the product and it’s an expensive fare if you were to buy one. Wouldn’t you think they could put nicer drinks onboard considering the people flying it would be limited? Hell, Singapore Airlines serve both Krug and Dom in First and it’s easy to redeem for!
Clearly outline how to get the middle suites
This is probably the thing that made me shake my head the most. Onboard there is a pair of suites and they can be made into a double bed, similar to Singapore Suites. I asked at check-in if they were taken and she told me they were unoccupied and If I wanted to switch seats I could mid-flight. However onboard was a totally different story. I asked if I could move to the middle seats and was then told I had to pay more for them, What?. I get that some airlines like Swiss charge for superior seat selection but when the seats are free you can’t use them if you’re in that cabin anyway?. I then asked how much they were and they couldn’t understand what I was talking about. Quite a let down as it would have been great to get photos of it and try it.
Now the next things aren’t directed just at First Class but they also need to improve as they are quite big matters.
Onboard wifi is a blessing to have, especially when you’re wanting to write posts etc. If you want to be productive onboard China Eastern using wifi, forget about it. The speeds were that bad it couldn’t load Google, and that’s saying something. They advertise wifi on all of the suites but It doesn’t always work. It wouldn’t even connect to my phone, using my Mac worked but I didn’t even bother after seeing the speeds.
The Inflight Entertainment
In-flight entertainment is a massive part of a long-haul flight, It helps pass time and it’s great to sit and relax and watch something. I always travel with my Mac which has movies and Tv shows on it but I decided to turn on the IFE and see what it was like. I’ll give them credit for their movies, there was a decent selection of English movies and they were somewhat recent. As for TV shows, this is where they really lacked. There were probably 3 things to choose from If I remember correctly, for a carrier flying long-haul to western countries that’s pretty damn poor.
I think these things could be done quite easily but I doubt the airline will improve on their First Class. These things may seem a little excessive but that’s how I truly feel.