Review of China Eastern flight Singapore Shanghai in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU544
Class Economy
Seat 40J
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 05:25
Take-off 21 Dec 15, 00:55
Arrival at 21 Dec 15, 06:20
MU   #102 out of 138 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 153 reviews
FiamaArin
By 8725
Published on 11th January 2016
SIN - PVG MU Y / A330-200: HERE
PVG - NRT MU Y / A330-300: SOON
NRT - PVG MU Y / A321-200: SOON
PVG - SIN MU Y / A330-200: SOON

This was my annual family vacation and for 2015, we're headed to Japan! We were originally headed to Spain but some issues at home caused us to cancel our original plans and once the issue was resolved, we booked the best deal we could find which was China Eastern to Tokyo.

China Eastern Airlines
MU 544
Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) - Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)
A330-200
B-6546
Economy Class


China Eastern departs from Terminal 3 of Changi Airport. Check-in is at Row 10. We decided to head to the airport earlier to check-in our bags and grab a meal before the flight. One long queue leads to the 3 open check-in counters with another one dedicated to Skyteam Elite and Business passengers. Seems like the flight is going to be full.
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Headed to Four Fingers chicken at Basement 1. One of the best fried chicken chains in Singapore at the moment. You've got to check it out if you can.
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Boarding pass with flight information.
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Flight is departing from Gate A16 tonight and a long walk just isn't my thing so late at night. Fast-forward on the Skytrain.
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FIDS on the flight. MU544 actually continues on to Chongqing after Shanghai.photo IMG_4218

We're approaching tomorrow and boarding time.
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Boarding isn't even announced and this happens. The ground staff had to force people to move to allow from Business and Skyteam Elite members priority boarding. First time I've seen this so bad at Changi. Sometimes I feel the people from China have no chill.
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Boarding commences and we're on our way in.
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A quick shot of the Business Cabin.
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The Economy Cabin. Arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.
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Took my seat quickly as people were still boarding. The IFE seems nice and the seat seems nice on first impression but will be hard to sit on for long journeys. 32 seat pitch is decent for 6 foot me.
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Pretty dark out at Changi.
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Reading materials and headsets are in the front seat pocket.
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A closer look at the Welcome screen.
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A forward view from my seat.
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The safety video is play upon push back. Once in Mandarin and once in English.
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Takeoff and climb were normal but the IFE wasn't turned on and the cabin was really warm even with the air nozzle opened to the max. Not to mention, the air from the nozzle was pretty warm too.

After about 30-45min, the IFE system is finally turned on. Dived straight in to the flight maps.
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Flying away from Malaysia now.
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Some detail on the flight.
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Interesting. This program comes with a map of the pilot, starboard and port view. Downside, you can't control the program and it runs on an autoloop.
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Exploring the IFE.


And diving straight into The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
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The cabin lights start to come on as the in-flight service begins.
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Options for supper are Fried fish with steamed rice and vegetables or Chicken and mushroom pasta. Accompanied by a shrimp salad, fresh fruits and a roll.
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Overall, I preferred the fish. It was tastier. The pasta was pretty bland.
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The trays are collected and we've crossed the halfway mark of the flight.
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Obligatory toilet visit. Spartan toilet, no amenities to speak of.
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Returned to catch another film. This time, it's Inside Out.
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Took a quick 20-minute nap after the movie and woke up as the plane started its descent. Cabin lights come on as the crew makes the final checks.
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-rumble, rumble- Ladies and gentlemen, we have now arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Please stay seated as we taxi to the gate…
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Disembarkation is announced.
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A look at the plane which brought us here. She does look pretty.
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Verdict

China Eastern

6.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering6.0

Singapore - SIN

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Shanghai - PVG

6.1/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

First time on China Eastern and although it didn't disappoint, it didn't impress either. The IFE didn't come on till pretty late into the flight and was turned off the moment descent began. Not sure why, Chinese regulation? Service was okay, didn't see the cabin crew much but I expect that for a red-eye flight. Catering is okay on this flight. Overall, It wouldn't be my first choice unless I get a good deal.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Shanghai (PVG)

4 Comments

  • Comment 156337 by
    sweetsonata 8 Comments

    Thanks for the IFE tour. I've always had the impression the IFE on mainland Chinese airlines tends to be rather bland; I am, thankfully, now proven wrong. The fact that it didn't start up until 45 minutes into the flight is a big detractor, though. Have you experienced anything like this on other flights?

    The catering actually looks rather good compared to some other airlines, especially the fried fish. The portions offered appear to be more or less almost on par with SQ's cispacific offerings (though the latter will almost always win in the catering department).

    How were the crew on this leg?

    Thanks for sharing your experience, an enjoyable read! Always nice to see a FR from a fellow Singaporean on this site.

    • Comment 333803 by
      FiamaArin AUTHOR 64 Comments

      Hi! Gate A16 didn't have the best view of the aircraft so I was quite surprised as well. I guess since MU owns FM, they share all of their planes.

      Thanks for enjoying my report. Stay tuned for more to come.

    • Comment 333727 by
      FiamaArin AUTHOR 64 Comments

      From my experience, SQ, KLM and AF's IFE seem to work gate-to-gate. The selection, though not the most updated, was good enough for me as I'm not one to visit the cinemas. I usually catch up on movies in-flight. On my return leg(PVG-SIN), the IFE seemed to come on much earlier and was turned off only at the gate. Seemed a tad inconsistent.

      The crew were pleasant enough, offering water once mid-flight. Many people were sleeping so I don't think they saw a need to walk through much. Replies were curt though not overly rude but I've come to expect this from most Chinese carriers. Definitely no match for SQ, EK or other airlines.

      Nice to meet you too! It seems rare to find a fellow Singaporean with similar passions. :D

    • Comment 333730 by
      tn92 164 Comments

      Hi fellow Singaporeans! 🇸🇬
      Yeah man, every time I see SIN I will definitely click the report first.

      Nice report here and look forward to seeing more from you!

      It's kinda interesting that FM aircrafts are operating MU flights! Is it a norm? I'd be a little surprised if I see a Shanghai Airlines aircraft at Changi Airport. xD

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