Review of China Eastern flight Hong Kong Shanghai in Business

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU724
Class Business
Seat 7L
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:25
Take-off 06 May 15, 09:35
Arrival at 06 May 15, 12:00
MU 173 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 5474
Published on 1st June 2015
Background:

This series highlights a recent trip down to Hong Kong with a brief stop in Shanghai on the way back. This report will cover the short “domestic” hop from HKG to PVG on my way home. There will be a small Hong Kong bonus at the end of this report. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:

Part 1 – NGO-PVG [MU 2692, Boeing B737-800, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-10164.html
Part 2 – PVG-HKG [MU 505, Airbus A330-300, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-10379.html
Part 3 – HKG-PVG [MU 724, Airbus A320, Business] – You are here
Part 4 – PVG-NGO [MU 291, Airbus A320, Business] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-10515.html


Pre-flight:

After two days in Hong Kong with highly variable weather, it was time to begin the trip back to Japan. Since I stayed in the New Territories near my friend’s house, getting to the airport for a morning flight would not be the easiest task to accomplish. I had a complimentary airport transfer with my hotel room so that solved that problem. The driver picked me up at 6:45 and had me at HKG in less than 25 minutes from the Sha Tin area. The airport drop-off area was already getting congested. MU’s check-in counters are located down at the far end of Terminal 1 (near the Regal Airport Hotel).

photo 1

I quickly made a sweep through the terminal to pick up some omiyage for my friends and coworkers in order to pack it into my checked baggage. After that task was accomplished, I headed back to the MU check-in counters. Not very busy at this hour so I was quickly helped. Window seats were confirmed, boarding passes and lounge invitation were handed to me, and I was sent on my way.

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Security and immigration were a little sluggish, but cleared both in 25 minutes dumping me airside. I quickly veered off to the side to check the FIDS.

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There were some windows near the FIDS so I had to indulge in some quick spotting before heading to the lounge. CX runs the show at HKG with only narrow-bodies of regional competitors milling about (like the GA B738 hiding in the foreground).



It was then time to go hunt down this lounge… I knew it wasn't going to be good, but I’m always intrigued by private lounges. So off to the Plaza Premium Lounge we go!

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It’s a short walk over to the lounge. Arriving, there is a nice long line entering, which is always a good sign… It was slow because almost everyone was using it is a pay-lounge (JL sends passengers here too, based on that JL FA cutout).

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The unfriendly agent, takes my invitation and boarding pass, stamps it and then hands it back to me without looking up. It is only 8am, but it already feels like night with this crowded dimly lit room. I circle around and spot some croissants on offer at the empty bar.

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I wait 5 minutes in line to get a cup of coffee and then take a seat in the corner at the only empty table that was free at the time. My only offering:

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Boarding pass and corporate shots (courtesy of HKG’s free WiFi). This time, I get the new MU cardstock. Ode to Kevin with an appropriately timed report from HKG.

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Things started to quiet down around my area near the entrance.

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I got up and did a tour of the lounge. No surprise, but the showers were all out-of-order due to “renovations.” In the back, there was a little eating area with a buffet. This was as close as I could get to the buffet given the number of vultures circling. Next to the buffet, was a refrigerator with drinks. No alcohol was out at this hour.

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And to wrap up this disappointing lounge, here are a couple of other shots from the seating areas showing how crowded it is.

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After 30 minutes in there, I head off to do some spotting as I make my way to my gate, which was going to be paxbus (Gate 521). Up first is a KA A321 with two HX A330s at remote stands. I also spot a UO A320 with sharklets in the distance.

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Looking left and right, the terminal is lined with CX and KA wide-bodies.

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Some of you might have been drawn to the NZ B772 taxing in that last photo, but there was something a little bit more colorful on the tarmac that should have caught your attention. This MU A320 in a very colorful “Enjoying the World” special livery. Knowing my plane was to be paxbus and operated by an A320, I had a pretty good feeling this was going to be my ride up to PVG.

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I then take the escalators down to the paxbus gates.

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Ironic advertisement on the way there. I think the only accurate statement is that it is a “pay-in lounge” since it lacked showers, massage rooms, and private resting areas.

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Turning the corner, there is a long line of passengers getting ready to board a KA flight to TPE.

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My gate is a little bit more tame, with people already forming an orderly line. MU ground crew were going through the lines doing secondary document checks to ensure BPs and passports were in order.

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——————————-

China Eastern Airlines, MU724
Equipment: Airbus A320 [B-6639, “Enjoying the World” special livery, delivered April 2010]
Departure: 9:35 (ATD: 10:08)
Arrival: 12:00 (ATA: 12:07)
Flight time: 1:59

Boarding was called on time and priorities were respected, which is always meaningless when it is paxbus boarding. I got on the bus and took a spot near a window to do some spotting.

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Once we filled up, it was a short drive out to our waiting A320. On the way, there was some CX spotting that left me with some envy (CX B77W > MU A320).

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Arriving at our plane, I was the third person off the bus, but casually walked to the side to do some photography while the masses piled onto the plane. This is quite the “fun” livery.



I then worked my way to the front side of the plane and did some more photography. I don’t see any pilots in the cockpit, that’s a slight worry. There was a KA A333 and UO A320 nearby. It was at this point the ground crew guy finally broke his silence and told me “no more photo” and pointed at the stairs. I obeyed his request and joined the queue.

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Boarding in a hoard, there was no special recognition. Just the alternating “??” and “welcome aboard” with a faint smile. This FA wasn’t overly friendly like on the previous flights, back to reality with MU. The J-cabin on the A320s has two rows in a 2-2 configuration. Here is my seat for this flight. Preplaced on the seat is a pillow and blanket.

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Yikes, seat pitch is not generous, no better than European J at 36 inches. The bonus is this fancy little entertainment box that impedes the legroom of the window seats. The little footrest is misaligned with the seat so it is practically useless. In the seatback is preplaced a pair of slippers, headphones, and newspapers. As has been consistent on MU, they only preplace these items in occupied seats so I knew there will be no neighbor on this flight (or will there be?). Again, MU is a little strange in that they preplace 3 English newspapers in my seatback.



After the first bus finished loading, the FA came out, greeted me, and asked me what I would like to drink. She then returned with my glass of orange juice and an oshibori on a platter.

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While waiting for the second bus to arrive, I do some spotting out the window. I should get a job at HKG, these guys sure have the life! I want to spend the day kicking it back on a tug watching some planes take-off. He should probably wash those socks though.

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Okay, back to spotting some planes. The KA 333 parked next to us gets backed up.

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Then some more envy sets in as a bunch of CX B77Ws mill around the tarmac.

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After the second bus loads, the FA comes out and asks me if I will be dining today and then presents me with a menu for this flight. Again, drink menu is located inside and is identical to the previous flights. The first red wine that is blurry is “Jacob’s Creek Winemaker’s Selection Shiraz Cabernet.” I guess flights leaving at 9:30 get lunch service, I would have preferred breakfast in this case for some congee.



Lunch orders were taken, the front door closed, and we began our taxi out to the runway. It was a long wait to takeoff, there were maybe 8-10 planes ahead of us in the commercial queue, but we also had to alternate with 4-5 planes in the cargo queue.

Here is some spotting as we wait to take-off.

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It was finally our turn and we head off on our westerly departure. It was very, very cloudy at this point so I have no useful photos from the takeoff out of HKG. Instead, I’ll introduce the seatback contents. There was an Oriental Sky magazine, a clean bag, two duty free shopping catalogs, and the safety card for this A320.



Leveling off, the left side of the cabin is fast asleep. We had a segregated cabin. The J load was 6/8 on this flight and there were 3 Chinese passengers on the left side and 3 Western passengers (two Germans in front of me) on the right side.

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The FA comes out, hands immigration cards to the foreigner side of the cabin, then returns to the galley to prepare for lunch service. The IFE is switched on.

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A brief seat tour. There is only one screen located on the bulkead of each side. It plays an episode of Tom and Jerry followed by some actually interesting programming highlighting winemaking in Italy (even the FA thought this was interesting, she stood in the aisle watching the program for about 20 minutes after lunch service). Recline is quite modest at only a couple of inches. The center console is very minimalist with a small cubby and flip-out cup holder. The outer armrest had a single button to control recline; it was very nice of them to simplify the seat controls for the elderly passengers.



About 20 minutes into the flight, the meal service begins with the FA coming out and laying down my tablecloth. This was followed by distribution of my aperitif (longjing tea), an oshibori on a platter, and a packet of mixed nuts (not pictured).

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I was the only awake passenger, the Germans also passed out after takeoff. My meal tray was then brought out followed by a basket of warm bread. I had ordered the “king prawn in crab cream sauce with brassica fried rice.” So first impressions of the tray: the main doesn’t look like a very good portion-size. Four shrimp are okay, but one piece of broccoli? The plate looks so naked. The shrimp were plump, I was happy with the cook on them (not rubbery). The crab sauce was good and had some roe in it. I thought the starter was the best part of this tray. The little salad in the back was fine, but the duck and mango rolled in cucumber was excellent. This starter just highlights how much MU has improved their presentation. The fruit plate was quite full and included kiwi. The rice was good (I would have preferred plain steamed rice) and the garlic bread was good. Really, the only big disappointment on this tray was the main; it needed more vegetables to fill the plate. One piece of broccoli is not sufficient. During my meal service, my tea was refilled twice so the FA was alert.



Everyone can relax, the MU napkins have everyone’s favorite button hole.

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I ordered a post-lunch coffee, which was delivered quickly along with a post-meal oshibori on a platter. At this point, the rest of the cabin started to wake up from their catnaps so service was beginning for everyone else.

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It was at this time, a seatmate showed up. A deadheading pilot came out of the cockpit and made himself comfortable in the empty seat next to me. Shoes came off, the seat went into recline, and he sat there reading a flight manual.

After serving the the rest of the cabin, she came back with a tray with two ice creams on it and asked me to pick which flavor I preferred. So, again, we will be served an ice cream that didn’t appear on the menu. This is the typical regional dessert; it is almost always Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Even though it was served on a plate, it was served Y-style with the pre-packaged plastic stick.

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I decided to upgrade myself to Y+ by using the metal spoon that came with my coffee.

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After seeing my ice cream, the deadheading pilot called the FA over and asked for one too. She brought out an ice cream for him, he looked at the flavor, grumbled something to her, and then gave her a “shoo away” hand gesture when she responded. Company image concerns?

Nothing to see outside so I decided to head to the lavatory. My seatmate decided he didn’t want to get up, so he rotated sideways in his seat putting his legs up over the armrest and into the aisle. MU pilots keeping it classy.

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The lavatory was clean and unremarkable.

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I spent the rest of the flight watching the aforementioned special on winemaking while working on a crossword puzzle in the newspaper. The FA proposed a refill for my coffee when it was empty.

We had no moving map on this flight so it was hard to tell where we were. However it’s a pretty short flight so we were soon descending into Shanghai, which meant my seatmate got up and returned to the cockpit.

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It was hazy in Shanghai (no surprise), but I was able to spot the Pentagon (or at least its Chinese cousin).

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Even caught an air-to-air with a FM B738 that crossed perpendicularly underneath us.

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We then crossed PVG to align for a landing from the west.

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Artistic shot of the passenger in 7A peeled to the window on arrival along the murky Huangpu River.

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A shot of the cabin upon touching down, which was about 10 minutes behind schedule due to the traffic at HKG. Taxing back to the terminal, we can see a VS A346 lifting up while another MU A320 taxis past us.

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Has anyone else noticed these mannequins at PVG before? There are a couple of them tied up near the runways? Are these scarecrows?

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I can’t tell you what this is, but it looks like a B77W in a ST livery.

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Reaching the hazy terminal, we see a JL B738 and a MU B738 in “Yunnan Peacock” special livery.

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We pull into our gate at Terminal 1 next to the cargo container graveyard.

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Deplaning, the FA thanks me and we head up the HSBC jetbridge. The walk to immigration isn’t too long. The line is short, and I’m given my temporary transit visa without any problems. Interestingly, there is no city listed on this visa, I guess I can go wherever I want as long as I fill in the blank.

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I then take the escalators down to the baggage claim. No bags to pick up so I’m out through customs quickly and quickly make my way towards the Maglev train to head into the city on this 6-hour layover.



Thanks for reading this report and please stop by for the continuation of this series as we finish up with the final leg from PVG to NGO. If you aren't interested in tourist bonuses, then please scroll down to the bottom for final ratings.


—————————-

Just a short little bonus from this trip down to Hong Kong, it was grey and rainy 90% of the time I was there so not the best for capturing its natural beauty.

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View of the Shing Mun River running through Sha Tin from my hotel room.

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The only sunny photos I took were while walking though the campus of Chinese University of Hong Kong (also in the Sha Tin area). Very beautiful campus.



The Chi Lin Nunnery and the attached Nan Lian Garden.



Downtown Hong Kong viewed from Kowloon.

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How many Japanese companies can you spot?

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Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower

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Hopefully next time through Hong Kong the weather cooperates for a trip up to Victoria Peak. Thanks for taking the time to read my report, until next time!
See more

Verdict

China Eastern

5.1/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew4.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.5

Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited The Travelers' Lounge (East Hall)

4.2/10
Comfort4.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services4.0

Hong Kong - HKG

8.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Shanghai - PVG

8.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

We start to come back to reality in this report, not a bad performance from MU, but not a memorable one either. It felt like a very functional flight that got me from Point A to Point B with minimal fuss.

Cabin comfort: Finally we hit rock bottom with MU, the old A320 cabin. The 36 seat pitch is not acceptable for a J-cabin in Asia. Cabin visually looked to be in OK condition, but it was pretty cramped feeling with reduced space at my feet due to the entertainment box. The seat itself is an old cushy recliner and that aspect of comfort was fine. My unwelcome guest mid-flight also degraded my flight comfort.

Crew: Never really engaging, but did her job without any fuss. Faint smile boarding and during service. Never rude and kept my glass refilled. I don't think I have ever seen a FA stand in the aisle mid-flight and watch TV for 20-minutes before. That is certainly a first for me. I would rate her service a 7, BUT, the etiquette of the deadheading pilot is what is dropping this to a 4, he was in uniform and shooed a FA away with his hand in front of passengers.

Meal and catering: This was probably the best tasting meal on MU so far. However, the main was visually a let down and was an insufficient portion-size with the one measly piece of broccoli. Otherwise, MU's presentation continues to look really nice (minus the blue cafeteria tray). The starter was very good. The fruit plate was good and the rice was good (even though I prefer plain steamed rice). Again, it's just an average regional offering that would have been better with a proper dessert and a better presented main.

Entertainment: Personal IFE was non-existent, just the standard programming on an overhead TV. No airline magazine is disappointing, but three newspapers were placed in my seat back.

On-time performance: Arrived 7 minutes late, delayed arrival due to HKG traffic so not really MU's fault.

The lounge? Just look at the pictures. I wouldn't pay money to enter that lounge.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Shanghai (PVG)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 8 avis concernant 4 compagnies sur la ligne Hong Kong (HKG) → Shanghai (PVG).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Cathay Pacific avec 8.4/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 2 heures et 23 minutes.

  More information

26 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 138313 by
    AFGK1 46 Comments
    Hi!

    Thanks for sharing this report with us :-)

    The pitch looks pretty cramped for a business class.

    What is the IFE box for if there is no IFE???

    the only big disappointment on this tray was the main; it needed more vegetables to fill the plate I agree with you, I thought the main was just an appetizer, what a shame..

    I think the product overall looks like a Y+ product more than a J product

    After seeing my ice cream, the deadheading pilot called the FA over and asked for one too. She brought out an ice cream for him, he looked at the flavor, grumbled something to her, and then gave her a “shoo away” hand gesture when she responded. What a rude pilot, the management should have fired him for acting like a master..... :-(

    Sha Tin looks pretty busier than the last time I have been there

    See you soon :-)
    • Comment 317835 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Thank you for reading the report and commenting!

      The pitch looks pretty cramped for a business class.
      - This is the worst pitch I've seen in an Asian J-cabin. Still better than European J and on par with US F, but not acceptable for Asian J.

      What is the IFE box for if there is no IFE???
      - It might be for the seats power supply (there were power outlets on the front of the middle console), there was also audio outlets/controls so those need wiring as well. Either way, it should not have been place in front of one of the seats. It should have been positioned in front of the middle console as to not interfere with either passenger's legroom.

      I agree with you, I thought the main was just an appetizer, what a shame..
      - Yes, the starter was almost the same size. All they had to do was put two or three more pieces of broccoli on the plate and I wouldn't have complained.

      I think the product overall looks like a Y+ product more than a J product
      - Yes, the hard-product is not that much different from long-haul Y+. More importantly, other than catering, there is little difference between Y and J on the A320s as far as cabin comfort.

      What a rude pilot, the management should have fired him for acting like a master..... :-(
      - Unfortunately, work place standards differ greatly from country to country, but it's certainly not a very nice way to treat a coworker.

      Sha Tin looks pretty busier than the last time I have been there
      - My first time to that part of HK, very nice area with all the mountains.
  • Comment 138316 by
    eminere™ 271 Comments
    Great report.

    That VS aircraft looks like an A346; those engines look large.
    • Comment 317833 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Thank you for reading the report :)

      I agree with you, those engines are too big for an A343, but it didn't look long enough for an A346. I tried to check to see what VS uses on this route, but the A340s are gone :( It's now B787-900 service to PVG. I switched the text to A346 since that's probably correct.
  • Comment 138338 by
    Rl 777 802 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this report!

    Had a feeling that this flight would be like a 'classic' MU flight and I guess that's pretty much how it was I guess.

    That seat pitch was really crappy for a J seat in Asia, that box makes the legroom even worse.

    What? Was that the main? Very disappointing, thought it was an appetizer or something like that when first looking at it.
    The rest of the meal doesn't look bad though.

    Very unprofessional behaviour of that deadheading pilot, that was not nice at all.

    Nice spotting shots from HKG and PVG!

    Thank you for the bonus from Hong Kong.

    See you in the next one!

  • Comment 138339 by
    Rl 777 802 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this report!

    Had a feeling that this flight would be like a 'classic' MU flight and that's pretty much how it was I guess.

    That seat pitch was really crappy for a J seat in Asia, that box makes the legroom even worse.

    What? Was that the main? Very disappointing, thought it was an appetizer or something like that when first looking at it.
    The rest of the meal doesn't look bad though.

    Very unprofessional behaviour of that deadheading pilot, that was not nice at all.

    Nice spotting shots from HKG and PVG!

    Thank you for the bonus from Hong Kong.

    See you in the next one!
    • Comment 317832 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Thank you for your comments!

      Had a feeling that this flight would be like a 'classic' MU flight and that's pretty much how it was I guess.
      - It was bound to happen :) That said, it's not terrible, but it's also not a premium product. When you compare this type of product to US domestic F, it's not 'that' much different.

      That seat pitch was really crappy for a J seat in Asia, that box makes the legroom even worse.
      - This is the worst J pitch I've ever seen in Asia. It's slightly worse than US domestic F, which is usually 37/38. The offset footrest and supports really made the window seat uncomfortable since you couldn't easily stretch your feet out in front of you, it had to be angled to the side.

      What? Was that the main? Very disappointing, thought it was an appetizer or something like that when first looking at it.
      The rest of the meal doesn't look bad though.
      - The quality of the shrimp was very good (the last leg of this series will showcase a very different quality of shrimp, lol). The duck/mango wrapped starter was very good and a creative item by MU. If the main was fuller, it would have been rated much higher. The ice cream for dessert is exactly the same that is served in Y, it's not a J dessert (one trolley with trash was pulled into the front galley, so I saw what the Y meal trays had on them).

      Very unprofessional behaviour of that deadheading pilot, that was not nice at all.
      - I have a big problem with this type of disrespectful behavior in general, but the fact that this happened in a work place makes it that much worse.

      Thank you for the bonus from Hong Kong.
      - Very grey unfortunately, I have a long layover in HK later this summer when I fly back to the US to visit family so hopefully it will be nicer weather to do some more stuff outdoors.
  • Comment 138341 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    I quickly made a sweep through the terminal to pick up some omiyage for my friends and coworkers
    - You are one thoughtful friend and co-worker.

    The unfriendly agent, takes my invitation and boarding pass, stamps it and then hands it back to me without looking up. It is only 8am, but it already feels like night with this crowded dimly lit room.
    - That sets the tone for your experience. This lounge looks depressing. Reminds me of a bar stuck in the back of a LAS hotel that has seen better days.

    I think the only accurate statement is that it is a “pay-in lounge” since it lacked showers, massage rooms, and private resting areas.
    - Isn't that deceitful advertisement? Wait, we are not the U.S. so we can not sue for false advertisement.

    This is quite the “fun” livery.
    - Nice rainbow on the tail. Is it to celebrate diversity? :P What is that caricature supposed to be on the engine?

    It was at this point the ground crew guy finally broke his silence and told me “no more photo” and pointed at the stairs.
    - Did they say please or they just barked?

    Yikes, seat pitch is not generous, no better than European J at 36 inches.
    - That looks tight!

    Again, MU is a little strange in that they preplace 3 English newspapers in my seatback.
    - Maybe they used a crystal ball and found out that you were a gaijin or gweilo in this case. ;)

    She then returned with my glass of orange juice and an oshibori on a platter.
    - Impressive for pre-departure.

    ..and then presents me with a menu for this flight
    - Nice touch.

    So first impressions of the tray: the main doesn’t look like a very good portion-size. Four shrimp are okay, but one piece of broccoli? The plate looks so naked.
    - I agree. They need to add some more fillers, but overall a decent meal tray and definitely a step in the right direction.

    I thought the starter was the best part of this tray. The little salad in the back was fine, but the duck and mango rolled in cucumber was excellent.
    - Sounds delicious and worthy of a premium cabin.

    I ordered a post-lunch coffee
    - Looks like oil spill.

    A deadheading pilot came out of the cockpit and made himself comfortable in the empty seat next to me
    - No greeting or acknowledgement? Very brusque if you ask me.

    This is the typical regional dessert; it is almost always Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
    - Perhaps it is popular with the Chinese market.

    and then gave her a “shoo away” hand gesture when she responded.
    - Boorish and classless. I guess elitism was never eradicated under communism.

    The lavatory was clean and unremarkable.
    - Soap tablets instead of liquid?

    Beautiful spotting and bonus as usual. Thanks for sharing Michael.
    • Comment 317836 by
      jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
      Unfortunately, not a menu you can take with you. So I had to be quick to photograph it before it was taken back.
      - That sucks. I like collecting menus and boarding passes. Come to think of it, it's kind of cheap to reuse a menu like that.

      I appreciate your enthusiasm for my reports!
      - That's because they are worth getting enthusiastic about. ;)

    • Comment 317830 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      You are one thoughtful friend and co-worker.
      - It's part of the culture here so it has become second nature to never return to NGO empty-handed. Friends always get better gifts though ;)

      This lounge looks depressing. Reminds me of a bar stuck in the back of a LAS hotel that has seen better days.
      - Maybe not as seedy as a LAS hotel bar... But it did feel more like a bar than a lounge. It wasn't really that big, but very crowded. I don't like lounges that are purposely dark on the inside. I'm not a bat, I like daylight. You might say the difference between the CX Lounges and this one is night and day.

      Wait, we are not the U.S. so we can not sue for false advertisement.
      - But we can sue McDonald's for that hot coffee that scalded me...

      Nice rainbow on the tail. Is it to celebrate diversity? :P What is that caricature supposed to be on the engine?
      - It's a blue Gumby? No idea, but when I saw this party wagon parked out on the tarmac, I got excited. Not sure if that type of diversity is openly celebrated in China.

      Did they say please or they just barked?
      - Do you need to ask? Please is not in most people's vocabularies :)

      Maybe they used a crystal ball and found out that you were a gaijin or gweilo in this case. ;)
      - Yes, the first thing that comes to my mind is to think that this is racist, judging a passenger based on name, but at the same time I'm happy to get three newspapers to read. I'm used to racism living here, so I try and give them the benefit of the doubt.

      Impressive for pre-departure.
      - Consistent PDB service on all the MU flights.

      Nice touch.
      - Unfortunately, not a menu you can take with you. So I had to be quick to photograph it before it was taken back.

      I agree. They need to add some more fillers, but overall a decent meal tray and definitely a step in the right direction.
      - This is the most premium cabin meal I've been served on MU. The shrimp were big/plump and the duck/mango appetizer was excellent. The empty main plate is what upset me. The number of shrimp is okay, but that's essentially all that was on that plate!

      Looks like oil spill.
      - Definitely instant coffee, they switched from Nescafe to Valdez ;)

      No greeting or acknowledgement? Very brusque if you ask me.
      - Didn't even ask if it was okay to sit down, just plopped down without saying a word.

      Perhaps it is popular with the Chinese market.
      - Very popular in Japan too, but we get the green tea flavor.

      Boorish and classless. I guess elitism was never eradicated under communism.
      - It's not acceptable to treat a coworker like that (this is a workplace), that's why it is very disconcerting.

      Soap tablets instead of liquid?
      - Oh yeah, forgot about that! Yeah, there was a little hand towel and a bar of soap. That was a nice touch. I just used the regular hand soap though.

      Thank you for all of your comments Adan, I appreciate your enthusiasm for my reports!
  • Comment 138356 by
    SMilano 1284 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this nice report !

    Classic flight with MU.
    This J doesn't look good for a asian J...

    Nice spotting at HKG and PVG :)

    See you ;)
    • Comment 317828 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Merci pour vos commentaires!

      Classic flight with MU.
      - Unfortunately, this is a standard MU flight and what one should expect on a Chinese carrier. It wasn't terrible, but it also doesn't entice me to fly with them again (I didn't have a choice this time).

      This J doesn't look good for a asian J...
      - This flight with 36 seat pitch and no personal IFE is completely non-competitive in the Asian market, very antiquated. Other narrowbodies have newer cabins, like the B738 I had in Part 1 with 50 seat pitch and a personal IFE. Catering is pretty standard for HKG-PVG, CX/KA/HX don't serve anything much better.

      Nice spotting at HKG and PVG :)
      - Thank you!
  • Comment 138360 by
    Numero_2 TEAM BRONZE 10477 Comments
    Thanks for sharing !

    I quickly made a sweep through the terminal to pick up some omiyage for my friends and coworkers -> Again ? You're so kind with your colleagues.

    I knew it wasn't going to be good, but I’m always intrigued by private lounges. -> I can say the Plaza Premium isn not a nice place to stay at. lol
    No alcohol was out at this hour. -> Alcohol is available at the bar only because it's not free for everybody visiting the lounge.
    And to wrap up this disappointing lounge, here are a couple of other shots from the seating areas showing how crowded it is. -> The same happens even at 10pm…

    The flight itself is more what we usually expect from MU. Not really the airline of my dreams. ^^
    • Comment 317827 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Merci Clement^^

      Again ? You're so kind with your colleagues.
      - It's culture. My coworkers expect them, but don't thank me for them^^

      I can say the Plaza Premium isn not a nice place to stay at. lol
      - I think this probably a universal statement for Plaza Premium Lounges at all airports.

      Alcohol is available at the bar only because it's not free for everybody visiting the lounge.
      - The bar was closed at that hour.

      The flight itself is more what we usually expect from MU. Not really the airline of my dreams. ^^
      - This was very on par with CA service^^ At least MU safely got me to PVG without any stops in KWL ;) MU service is generally is acceptable, but the variance in their hard-product is what makes it difficult. Each of the three flights thus far have had very different cabins, there is no consistency.

      A+
  • Comment 138364 by
    lagentsecret 12184 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this FR

    One of the worst lounge I've never visited

    No alcohol was out at this hour.
    Alcohol is not free for paying passengers so you have to ask the bartender if you have an airline voucher

    I like the livery

    Back to the MU basics lol

    The pitch is way too tight

    The meal is quite appetizing even if the main is a bit doesn't have a good portion-size

    The FA is rather attentive when she is not watching TV

    The pilot is classy : good job MU !

    Gorgeous air to air, congratulations

    See you soon (or not) for a next FR (Who could know which one !)
    • Comment 317826 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      007, thank you for your comments!

      One of the worst lounge I've never visited
      - LOL, I'm glad I could check that one off the list for you^^

      Alcohol is not free for paying passengers so you have to ask the bartender if you have an airline voucher.
      - There was alcohol behind the bar (visible in my photos) and my boarding pass was stamped for free alcohol, but the bar was closed. That's why I said there was no alcohol available.

      Back to the MU basics lol
      - Yeah, the honeymoon is over...

      The pitch is way too tight
      - Long haul Y+ has better seat pitch on most carriers.

      The meal is quite appetizing even if the main is a bit doesn't have a good portion-size
      - This had some of the best ingredients of my MU meals I experienced. If there was a couple more pieces of broccoli to fill the plate this would have been a much better meal service. A main should not be the same size as a starter.

      The FA is rather attentive when she is not watching TV
      - Or getting berated by pilots.

      Gorgeous air to air, congratulations
      - I was lucky I had my camera in hand, perpendicular air-to-airs are almost impossible to catch since they are moving so fast relative to your plane.
  • Comment 138381 by
    East African 1597 Comments
    Thanks for this great FR with clear pictures
    Nice for you to get a wide body outbound and a special livery now, but about comfort it's night and day...!
    Interesting to see what the Plaza Lounge looks like, they should remove Premium lol, i can see that i have not missed a lot during my last departure from HKG, what a relief ;-)

    • Comment 317931 by
      East African 1597 Comments
      Yup you are very right! the A330 was scheduled for a flight at 12ish but we ended up on an A321... too bad!
      After checking my pictures, interestingly i ate the very same dessert and main course, probabbly because your flight was 3 days prior mine. Your thoughts are much appreciated - thanks for that !
    • Comment 317968 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      i ate the very same dessert and main course, probably because your flight was 3 days prior mine.
      - I think these menus get reused on a weekly basis so it's not surprising. You had a different starter?
    • Comment 317881 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Merci pour vos commentaires!

      Nice for you to get a wide body outbound and a special livery now, but about comfort it's night and day...!
      - Just demonstrates how variable the MU hard-product is. You have to be very careful to pick flights based on the aircraft they operate, I would never take an A320 with MU again until the cabins are refurbished. I considered taking the early morning flight at 7:30 (A321 operated), but worried about getting to the airport early enough from the far end of the New Territories.

      Interesting to see what the Plaza Lounge looks like, they should remove Premium lol, i can see that i have not missed a lot during my last departure from HKG, what a relief ;-)
      - It was very small compared to the number of people in there. There was no chance to lounge in that lounge.
  • Comment 138396 by
    cobra 3582 Comments
    Thank you Mickael !:))

    Always a pleasure to read your FR

    Premium Plaza is not a lounge, it's la Cantina in Mos Eisley, personal blaster mandatory!! :)))

    This MU plane livery is funny, and contrary to the usual ugly chinese liveries, it's refreshing

    Pitch is a bit short

    Catering is not bad, especially the starter. Main dish is the void paradise with poisonous shrimps
    Fruits plate seem comprehensive

    Flight attendant not on the top, and a good example of social interaction in modern China betwenn FA and a superior^^

    Nice bonus on Hong Kong even with an unshiny weather. Nightview must be superb and full of lights

    Next flight on the same basis, or more on the first good flights?^^

    See you




    • Comment 317880 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Merci beaucoup pour vos commentaires, Cobra^^

      it's la Cantina in Mos Eisley, personal blaster mandatory!! :)))
      - Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes weren't there :(

      This MU plane livery is funny, and contrary to the usual ugly chinese liveries, it's refreshing
      - This definitely rates as the best special livery I've ever flown on. How many planes have rainbow vertical stabilizers^^

      Catering is not bad, especially the starter. Main dish is the void paradise with poisonous shrimps
      - Starter was excellent and the best thing served by MU on my four flights. The poisonous shrimps were good, but there was nothing else on the plate...

      Flight attendant not on the top, and a good example of social interaction in modern China betwenn FA and a superior^^
      - Not on the top, but also not bad. It was a very average FA performance for a Chinese carrier, so still better than AZ^^

      Next flight on the same basis, or more on the first good flights?^^
      - No spoilers^^ You will have to wait and find out, but will it be the next NGO85 report?
  • Comment 138446 by
    pititom GOLD 11530 Comments
    Thanks for this great (as usual !) report ! Plenty of superb pictures and enthralling text with them :)

    The lounge is below zero. It would be expected if you were in PVG heading to HKG, but it's incredible when you're in HKG !

    The seat is no better than European J ? I think it's been a long time since you sat...tried to embed yourself in an European J seat :) It's not great on Asian standards but believe me, it's good enough :)

    You demonstrate a sharp knowledge of the French reports of the site, pointing from the shirt hole to the obnoxious non-rev neighbor ;)

    The catering does look good. Of course the taste may be another story. But at this time, I would have been grateful to MU not to deliver a basic breakfast.

    All in all, it's not bad at all. But HKG-PVG sounds like a very important line and maybe some effort could be made to improve the overall feeling of that flight.

    Thanks again for sharing :)
    • Comment 317966 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Merci beaucoup de vos commentaires, pititom!

      It would be expected if you were in PVG heading to HKG
      - Hmm, difficult decision. MU Lounge #22 or Premium Plaza Lounge...? I might actually pick the MU Lounge #22 and risk the food poisoning because at least it has lights ;)

      I think it's been a long time since you sat...tried to embed yourself in an European J seat :)
      - Given the other aircraft MU operates on this route, the A320 is the worst. My score also reflects the unwelcome seatmate I inherited.

      You demonstrate a sharp knowledge of the French reports of the site
      - Merci!

      The catering does look good. Of course the taste may be another story.
      - Visually, MU has been fantastic. The taste is probably close to what you would expect from a Chinese carrier ;)

      All in all, it's not bad at all.
      - This series really changed my view of MU, I always had such negative impressions of them. Compared to US carriers, they actually are good (they just look bad compared to their Asian rivals, all things are relative). They have a really young fleet (~5 years average age), but lack a lot of hard-product consistency though the fleet. Their website is utterly useless and the lounge situation is an abomination so there are obvious issues with MU that need to be resolved before they are ever taken seriously.
  • Comment 138462 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 6921 Comments
    Awesome report as always. How funny that my HKG-DFW report was on the home page as you were flying out of HKG. I bet my lounge hopping made you envious sitting there in the Premium Plaza lounge, lol. So actually, I think the Premium Plaza lounge does have showers, rest areas, etc, but they are Pay-in as well, as in pay separately, I believe.

    Oh look you got a Gay-Pride plane :-P How appropriate in the month of June, LOL. You'd think with only 2 rows of J that they could afford to give better pitch than that. I thought US had tight pitch up front, yeesh. And what the heck is that IFE box about...there's no IFE!?

    I have no problem with staff sitting up front (that is, if all upgrades have cleared--yes, I know they don't have Elite upgrades in China)--However, I do have a problem with some pilot coming out of the cockpit after takeoff and plopping down next to you when you thought the seat was empty. It's just bad form and a let down. Would have been different if he were there from the get go.

    Meal looks visually appealing despite the small portions. Again, my judgment has been corrupted by crappy domestic F meals. Speaking of US domestic F, ice cream for dessert is so US Airline-esque. You are so fancy with your Y+ ice cream upgrade, lol.

    That's a pretty sweet air-to-air shot you got there. I never seem to get lucky with the timing on those and tend to miss them.

    Nice bonus pics. A lot look very similar to mine...yeah, Hong Kong is not a big place. Have you been to the Big Buddha before. Did that a few years ago on the crazy suspended glass-bottomed cable cars. Aside from almost having a heart attack, it was a cool experience going up there.
    • Comment 317967 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 2024 Comments
      Thank you for your comments Kevin :)

      Yeah, I saw the QF Lounge as soon as I went through immigration and thought of you, but then I arrived at the plaza premium lounge and was met with shear disappointment. I considered just going to the CI Lounge (I think they are the only ST member that runs a lounge at HKG, all other ST are all contract lounges), but decided to do my due diligence and try the Plaza Premium Lounge. The showers were there, but were all closed with signs saying they were under renovation.

      Yeah, this was quite the party wagon, definitely the most memorable special livery I've ever been on. Reminds me of the old University of Hawaii uniforms when they were still the Rainbow Warriors.

      It's not just that he sat down next to me, he didn't ask even acknowledge me. There was no hi or do you mind?, it was just him coming up taking the seat and making himself comfy next to me. That's what annoys me, a lack of respect to paying customers. Not to mention his behavior the rest of the flight...

      Visually MU meals are great, but the taste is what you'd expect from a Chinese carrier. It's just hard for them to compete in Asia, if you put MU in the US, they'd probably be a top carrier. This cabin doesn't really reflect what they have to offer and is a very old product, but I think they are refurbishing their narrow-body planes to get new cabins (like in Part 1).

      The air-to-air was a lucky catch. I just happened to have my camera ready at the exact moment and still almost missed it. When it is coming head on at 300+ mph on takeoff it's not the easiest to capture. Hopefully it will make up for all the repulsive night shots in the next report ;)

      New Territories were very beautiful, first time to that part. If you like hiking, you could spend a lot of time up there in the outdoors. It has such a different feel from HK/Kowloon. I haven't been to the Big Buddha yet, maybe I'll do that next month during my stopover (if the weather cooperates).

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