5 Things China Eastern Could Improve Upon In First Class

by Zac George

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.

Suite 1A

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.

Lettuce Salad…

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!

Perrier Jouet

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.

Middle Suites

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

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.

Suite 1A

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.

Entertainment Screen

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.

Do you think these are reasonable changes?

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Alex May 1, 2017 - 2:39 am

Dude, you’re posts are fantastic and quite refreshing! I can definitely tell from your posts that you have a passion for flying. Keep up the great work!

Zac George May 1, 2017 - 2:41 am

Thank you very much Alex, appreciate the kind words 🙂

dj May 1, 2017 - 3:27 am

I am a Chinese but I will not fly any of Chinese carriers other than short transit. Pardon my impatience, but the long haul in F & J are a waste of points and miles & mental torture. Not physical because the quality of hard product can be easily achieved, while the service/attitude/food is a notch below even the US big three. They can improve still in the years ahead, but I dont need to wait.

Taiwanese airlines, on the other hand, is totally different. Think of them as along the lines of CX, SQ, GA, TG, NH, JL, OZ…these “smaller” countries offers great airline experience because they don’t fake service.

phoenix May 1, 2017 - 8:35 pm

“Taiwanese airlines” as in BR and CI. Both are solid from what I read elsewhere, easily the match of CX/NH/JL.

Alvin | Young Travelers of Hong Kong May 1, 2017 - 4:21 pm

No damn it couldn’t load Google. You know the Great Firewall still applies on China Eastern planes, right?

Apart from that, nice review 🙂 Time to try business class now!

Zac George May 1, 2017 - 11:48 pm

I was using a VPN which could have contributed to the speed 😉 I don’t know if I’d go back for round 2…

Sam May 2, 2017 - 5:19 pm

You’re not their target customer. They couldn’t care less about these issues that you have identified.

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