Review of China Eastern flight Shanghai Tokyo in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU523
Class Economy
Seat 41J
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 02:40
Take-off 21 Dec 15, 09:10
Arrival at 21 Dec 15, 12:50
MU 170 reviews
By 2470
Published on 21st January 2016
SIN - PVG MU Y / A330-200:
PVG - NRT MU Y / A330-300: HERE
NRT - PVG MU Y / A321-200:
PVG - SIN MU Y / A330-200:

Part 2 of my journey to Japan. A quick stopover at Shanghai as we proceed on to our next flight. This will be a short report as I spent a lot of time sleeping.

China Eastern Airlines
MU 523
Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) - Narita International Airport (NRT)
Economy Class
Gate 210

Transit passengers are ushered to the transfer desk upon arrival. The queue was quite long when I arrived with only two counters for regular passengers open. One separate counter was open for Skypriority and premium passengers. My experience here was not pleasant to say the least. The counter staff were extremely rude did not seem keen to help. The old couple in front of me were yelled at by the lady for their baggage tags in English even though the couple clearly did not seem to understand it. She then went on to complain to her colleague in a very loud and obnoxious voice which I found distasteful. In my opinion, she could have shown the old couple a sample of what she needed from them instead of raising her voice. Overall, very poor impression left on me for the airport staff.
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A picture of the boarding pass.
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Waiting is done in a small shared lounge on the ground floor. I make myself comfortable on one of the rows of benches and have a short nap. The only bad thing I have to say about this place is that the smoking point is too close and cigarette smoke tends to filter into the lounge.
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Boarding is announced and we make out way onto the shuttle bus.
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A view of the plane as we head on-board. Aerobridges are so overrated. It's so much nicer to see the planes like this.
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Headed straight into the economy cabin. Not the newest cabin but it'll do for a short 2 hour flight. The flight was mostly full of businessmen heading to Japan. Seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 arrangement.
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No personal IFE. So I'll probably spend the rest of the flight sleeping. Also the cup holder squeaks when you use it. Really annoying.
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Seat-back literature. Nothing much interested me.
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The holder was spoilt so I can't really use it to put anything.
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Waiting at the remote stands.
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As soon as the plane levels off, the crew immediately prepares for the in-flight service.
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One single choice for breakfast. Some fried dim sum, pieces of watermelon, jelly and hot tea. The food was acceptable except the jelly was really strange. It tasted thick and powdery. The peanuts were served together with the meal.
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A quick visit to the plane lavatory. It was clean but a notice was pasted informing passengers to throw their trash into the bin and not the toilet bowl.
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Spent the rest of the flight knocked out, getting as much sleep as I could before landing.

Arrival at Narita international. Spotted a Jetstar as we taxied to the gate.
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See more


China Eastern

Cabin crew7.0

Shanghai - PVG


Tokyo - NRT



A comfortable short hop from Shanghai to Japan. Would say it's slightly better than your average LCC but not much else. Food was not massively impressive but the comfortable seats more than made up for it.

Information on the route Shanghai (PVG) Tokyo (NRT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Shanghai (PVG) → Tokyo (NRT).


The airline with the best average rating is Japan Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 48 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 156631 by
    marathon 9834 Comments

    (With regards to the transfer desk experience) In my experience, customer contact is usually good in Mainland China, but when it is bad, the staff can be very rude, and that is compounded with the language and culture gap if any.
    I too like boarding an aircraft from the tarmac, for the same reasons.
    Thanks for sharing !

    • Comment 333924 by
      FiamaArin AUTHOR 69 Comments

      Hi, thanks for dropping by! I did find this experience very unpleasant overall. I'm sure it was pretty distasteful for the other passengers who saw the whole incident too. I was hoping that the other staff could have come over to help but none of them seemed interested in helping to resolve the situation.

  • Comment 156688 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR.

    The regional A330 cabins are old, but the seats look more comfortable than the newer long-haul seats.

    Strange, every time I have been through that dark hallway to the transfer desk at PVG, it has been a ghost town. So I have never really had a bad experience since the staff weren't swamped with people (I wouldn't say they were overly friendly, but they also weren't rude...).

    I always find the dim sum portion sizes to be small for breakfast. Not the best of meals trays I’ve seen on MU.

    • Comment 333979 by
      FiamaArin AUTHOR 69 Comments

      Hi, thanks for dropping by to one of my report again. The old seats are definitely more comfortable. They seem more padded at least. Also, it seem that the flight was mostly filled with transit passengers so the airport probably wasn't prepared for the sudden influx?
      Food portion was small indeed but for a regional flight, I guess it's acceptable.

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