Review of China Eastern flight Shanghai Singapore in Business

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU543
Class Business
Seat 2J
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 5:25
Take-off 17 May 16, 00:05
Arrival at 17 May 16, 05:30
MU   #69 out of 107 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 110 reviews
pertristis
By 1159
Published on 14th May 2017
This is the second flight report from a trip last year from New York to Singapore and Bali. These flight reports will eventually cover:

16/05/2016 MU588 JFK-PVG Business
17/05/2016 MU543 PVG–SIN Business (This Report)

18/05/2016 KL835 SIN-DPS Business
20/05/2016 KL836 DPS-SIN Business
22/05/2016 MU546 SIN-PVG Business
22/05/2016 MU297 PVG-JFK Business

After arrival into PVG, transferring passengers have to stop by the transfer desk. The process is less than seamless (a process I'll miss tomorrow on another MU run, as I'm taking advantage of Shanghai's 144-hour visa program), as there was a queue and nothing really resembling a Sky Priority line (although there was supposed to be). Like basically everywhere else, one has to clear security again. Thankfully, I didn't pick up any sharp objects on the flight from New York.

PVG was undergoing renovations when I arrived, and much of Terminal 1 was dotted with temporary walls.
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I like the general feel of PVG. It's fairly bright (even at night) due to creative lighting fixtures, and fairly open given the high ceilings. There are, of course, some of the usual trappings of modern airports, including a Starbucks. No word whether this Starbucks offered the unicorn frappuccino.

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There were also priority chairs for the pregnant, elderly, and disabled.
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Terminal 1 is interesting in that there are about eight trillion lounges, and China Eastern are very particular about which lounge particular passengers use. The lounge that is shared with Delta? Right out. And Lounge 19B and 20? They're right next to each other, but I was only allowed enter one of them (19B I believe, but these lounges may be fungible, so it might not matter.)

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The lounge itself? Well, there was a lounge. With chairs. And food. And some drinks. But that's about it. For lounges, this lounge is about at the totem poll.

The lounge is small, with low ceilings. Not shown, but a few of the seats are very threadbare, with absolutely no support on the seat. It's great if one wants to fall into the seat, but I'd rather not.

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The food area is small, limited, and not particularly attractive, although functional.

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The lounge did have dragonfruit, which is always a happy day. I also had some meatballs and rice and a Tsingtao.

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When boarding was about to start, I made my way to the gate. Remember how I said the terminal was bright and open? That only applies to the single- and double-digit gates. The triple-digit gates are in a dungeon swarming with people.



After fighting my way through the crowds, it was time to board. Unfortunately, there was no jetbridge.

This bird would be taking me to Singapore.

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China Eastern's A330 business class is laid out in a 2-2-2 pattern, with angle-flat beds. For a 3,700km flight, the seat was fine; for a longer flight, I would have strongly preferred a fully flat seat. The seat was comfortable; even though I had crashed for a long, long time on the JFK-PVG leg, I still managed a few hours of sleep on the way down to Singapore.



Bonus points if you can spot my Israeli badge of honor.

Leg room was plentiful. This is my 1.96m frame full stretched out with the seat in takeoff/landing position.

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The seat next to me was in a state of a bit of disrepair.

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Champagne and an oshibori were served on the ground. As per usual, I partook in both.

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Cheers.

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The windows weren't exactly the best for plane spotting, as you can see.

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The safety video featured two bespeckled and suspender'd individuals.

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Something I didn't mention in the last report: While on the ground, China Eastern plays an audio tape of the "flight member responsible for security on today's flight"—a gentleman speaking in fluent, unaccented U.S. English. China Eastern plays the same recording on every. single. flight. It wouldn't be so entertaining if it didn't use some amusing turns of phrase: "No jostling for position on the plane." Really, who uses that language in the United States?

After takeoff, a very, very light meal was served. A snack? It certainly wasn't a full meal, which was unfortunate, because I could have used a full meal. Notice the dumpling. It's the same dumpling that was served with breakfast on the previous leg. The difference here: This one was much fresher, and I didn't feel like I needed a pickaxe to eat it.

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As I mentioned, I decided to get a few hours of sleep. When I woke up, we were on descent into SIN.

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Here's one more shot of the cabin.

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And final approach.

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I don't remember anything about SIN immigration in 2016, which suggests it was uneventful.
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Verdict

China Eastern

7.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment10.0
meal/catering3.0

First Class Lounge 19B

2.8/10
Comfort1.5
meal/catering4.5
Entertainment3.0
Services2.0

Shanghai - PVG

5.4/10
Efficiency2.5
Access7.0
Services3.0
Cleanliness9.0

Singapore - SIN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

The meal could be more substantial, even for a night flight. The lounge needs to be updated (spoiler: it was, and the MU lounge I visited a week ago was much better). Other than that, no real complaints.

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