Review of China Eastern flight Xi'an Shanghai in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU2151
Class Economy
Seat 68H
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 31 Oct 18, 09:00
Arrival at 31 Oct 18, 11:20
MU   #39 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 169 reviews
Aigle_voyageur
By GOLD 710
Published on 29th April 2020

Introduction


Hello everyone and welcome back to my journey in Republic of China I did two years ago. After our international flights with Lufthansa, it is time to report the first of my two chinese domestic flights, with China Eastern Airlines.

When I bought this circuit, I knew there shall be two domestic flights but I had no information about the carrier. So I asked to the Tour-Operator which airline will operate these flights. He answered he doesn't know and I must ask to the guide once I'm there. Okay…

But when I asked the same question to him, He didn't answer at my question at any moment while he was supposed to know the answer. Either, he didn't listen to me or he evaded my question. It was only when we were heading to Xi'an airport (XIY) that he finally gave the answer I've been waiting for so long !!


OUR ROUTE


Routing


The departure from Xi'an


Because our flight departed at 09.00 A.M, I had to wake up at 05.00 A.M to check I forgot nothing because we are leaving one hour later.

That's why the website's home page you can see down below was taken the day before at night.


photo une

While we were on our way to the airport, the guide chatted with the group in aeronautics but he also talked about the Lion Air crash that happened a few days ago and did 189 victims. Personnally, talking about news sure is good to know but I really don't think it is a good idea talking about air crashes especially when we're about to fly.

We are arriving at at the airport's T3, which is MU's terminal for its domestic flights.


photo en-route-vers-xiyphoto arrivee-au-t3photo mu-land

Just before we can go inside the terminal and reach MU's check-in area, we must pass a security control. It shall be fast enough.


photo interieur-t3

Despite the presence of self-check-in machines, the entire group went to the desks for our check-in.



My suitcase got a bit heavier since the beginning of the trip but its weight was still under the baggage allowance. If most of european airlines accept a baggage up to 23 kgs in economy class without charges on a domestic flight, most of chinese airlines accept up to only 20 kgs. And if the weight is over that limit, extra charges are very expensive.


photo poids-de-ma-valise

Something I found strange: once my baggage has been sent, the check-in agent required me to step aside, so that he can check-in the next passengers. But when he did make that request, he didn't give neither my boarding pass, nor my passeport. And when I finally get them, I'll ask him what kind my seat is, he'll never answer. I'll just have to find out by myself.

Travelling documents. For now…


photo bp-72481

As our guide mentionned on our way, The boarding gate is H01. He also precised it shall be a paxbus boarding. Once everyone has been ckecked-in, he will guide us until the security point.

By the way, the guide seems very in a hurry to get rid of us, he's pushing us to pass the security controls. Because the boarding starts in one hour, I know already I had plenty of time to take my breakfast before passing the security. But the guide insisted and even used pushed me by using force. I really didn't like this…

Even if my travel companions were waiting for me behind the security, I tell them to go ahead and I'll catch them up quickly. I'll meet them again once at the bording gate. Boarding starts at the same moment the check-in closes. In other words, 40 minutes before the flight departure.

The FIDS confirms our boarding gate.



A few photos from airside.



We're passing by the MU's domestic lounge.


photo mu-lounge-80

To the lower floor.


photo vues-airside-4

We arrived in front of our boarding gate, which was still busy at boarding the flight before ours. In other words, we still have 40 minutes to wait before our boarding starts.


photo porte-dembarquement-attente-61

A319 MU leaving.


photo a318-mu

A320 MU wearing its old livery registrated B-6929 heading towards Shenzhen (SZX), Guangdong.


photo a320-mu-vintage-1photo a320-mu-vintage-2photo a320-mu-vintage-3

Something original: Nearby our boarding gate, you have like a "babyroom". Convenient for taking care of your baby without disturbing the other passengers.


photo coin-pour-garder-bebe-74

Onboard the swallow


Boarding starts and priorities aren't respected. That's somehow normal for a paxbus boarding, especially when there aren't paxbus for Business Class customers. Something I found strange, there aren't ID controls at the boarding unlike in Europe.


photo embarquement-lance-57

The boarding agent will rip a part of my BP.


photo bp-dechire-1-fois-finale-22048

Onboard the bus, we are reaching the international terminal. A Hainan Airlines's Boeing 787-9 alongside our aircraft, B-5941.


photo notre-avion-voisinphoto ci-avion-anglaise

The good thing is that nobody will tell me "no photo".



Another airport agent is located in front of the stairs and will rip my BP once again.


photo on-remonte-53photo on-remonte-change

Let's reach our aircraft.


photo on-remonte-2-52photo passerelle-aveugle-1

Our aircraft's nose.


photo notre-avion

Hainan Airlines's Dreamliner we saw earlier.


photo meilleur-angle-de-vue

Boarding into a blind jetbridge.


photo passerelle-aveugle-2

This is all that remains about my BP…


photo bp-dechire-2-fois-finale

Availiable press.


photo presse-disponible

Door moment.


photo porte

A "welcome" carpet is set in front of the door. Friendly greetings with a chinese background music.


photo tapis-de-bienvenue

We're passing trough the Business class cabin in 1-2-1. How odd, I feel like I already saw the flight attendant's uniform somewhere…


photo cabine-j

The economy cabin. It is configurated on 2-4-2 until row 71. From beyond and to the last row, it's in 2-3-2.


photo cabine-y-96

View on my seat, 68H. An aisle seat. This aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi onboard.


photo mon-siegephoto rangee-du-siege

The legroom is very satisfying for a 2-hour flight.


photo le-pas

Vomito bag.


photo vomito-bag

Safety card.


photo safety-card-1photo safety-card-2

The IFE is responsive.


photo ife-au-depart

The IFE's remote. I won't use it at any moment.


photo telecommande-1photo telecommande-2

Winglet shot where the "swallow" is proudly shown.

The window seat shall be inoccupied until boarding complete. I would try to ask the crew if I can take the window seat but an American tourist group had been faster than me and took possession of the seats after receiving the cabin crew's approval.


photo le-winglet

We're pushing 5 minutes in advance. Safety video started on the IFE but this one will be immediately switched off once the safety instructions are done.


photo safety-video-2photo safety-video-3photo safety-video-1

Taxiing is going to last 25 minutes. We're leaving Xi'an at 09.20 A.M sharp.

Bad point for MU
: The IFE won't be operational until 9.40 A.M. To make things simple, there are already a 45 minutes loss as for the entertainement. Besides, no headsets were given and there are two plugs. You can use your own headset if you have one, but you can hear from ONLY one side.

The entertainement program seems rather generous.


photo ifephoto alerte-generale

Good point for MU: I notice we can hear video games soundtracks. And on top of that, those ones were created by Yoko Shimomura, a very famous musician in the video games's universe.


photo selection-musique-jeux-video

If you are interested in, you can hear one of these wonderful soundtracks.



A cold towel is given.


photo serviette-fraiche

Trolleys are out. We can choose between continental meal and an asian one. I'll get the continental one without even saying a word to the flight attendant. I suspect my neighbor chose the meal for me. We can make the difference from continental meals to asian ones by the colors though : Yellow for the asian meal…


photo les-galleys-sont-de-sortie-76photo 20181031_102533-boite-asiatique

… and red for continental meal. As for the drinks, I chose a glass of water.


photo 20181031_100530-boite-occidentale

Cheers. If the glass is in plastic, we can still see MU's logo.


photo 20181031_100649-sate

The meal before opening…


photo selection-occidentale-avant-ouverture

… and after opening.


photo selection-occidentale-apres-ouverture

Zoom on the main course. Which is an omelette with a sausage and potatoes.


photo plat-chaud

Good thing : The meal was good. I didn't take the omelette because I don't digest it correctly.

Apparently, my travel companions had difficulties to speak with the crew and received the asian selection and they didn't like.

My neighbor's asian selection. I'm not totally sure, but I think it was a rice congee.


photo selection-asiatique-11955

Flight attendants are giving refuelings. I shall take another glass of water. Communication this time weren't as easy as earlier.


photo compactage

Start of decent. The cabin crew will check the cabin and ask me to remove my headset.


photo debut-de-descente

The roof. By the way, the "fasten your seatbelts" signal was on during the entire flight. But it didn't discourage passengers to go to the toilets.


photo plafonnier

We are now approaching SHA.


photo on-approche-de-notre-destination

10 minutes before touchdown, IFE are once again disabled. MU clearly wants to limit as much as possible the use of the IFE.


photo ife-au-depart

The Arrival at Shanghai


While we're reaching our parking, I had just enough time to flash this aircraft. This is B-5976, MU's A330 wearing Toy Story's livery.


photo a330-livree-toy-story

The same aircraft's drawing on the left side.


photo b-5976-left

Fuselage shot of our aircraft.


photo fuselage-shot-arrivee

The neighbor, in maintenance.


photo a330-arrivee

A last view of our plane, heading back to Xi'an (XIY), Shaanxi. And it's just getting started because once back, it's a great journey that awaits it: its next destination is Sydney, (SYD) Australia via Wuhan (WUH), Hubei, known to be Covid-19's birthplace.


photo derniere-vue-de-lavion

The way to the baggage claim is quite long.



On the way, I'm spotting this CA's A350-900 and a CZ aircraft behind it.


photo a350-900-ca

The baggage livery however will be fast enough.

Interesting fact: Just before you're leaving the baggage claim, the checked baggage must first be presented to an airport agent. This one scan the passenger's boarding pass and his baggage's tag. Probably to be sure the baggage was well given to the right person.

We are now outside Shanghai Hongqiao airport. This airport is much closer to the capital city than Shangahi Pudong airport (PVG).


photo sha

our flight's flash-back


photo route-xian-pour-shanghai

And that's the end of this trip between Xi'an, Shaanxi and Shanghai. I hope you enjoyed it. If that's the case, don't hesitate to leave a like and/or a comment. As for me, I'll meet you soon for our next flight, between Shanghai and Guilin City, Guangxi.

See more

Verdict

China Eastern

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.5

Xi'an - XIY

7.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.0

Shanghai - SHA

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

For a 2 hour-flight in a wide-body aircraft, I'm rather satisfied despite some flaws. It is too bad not giving headsets onboard or the fact you can't use the IFE when you arrive directly at your seat, which is the case of most of other airlines. Another disappointing point is the check-in agent who didn't answer at my question about my seat.

The cabin crew did a good job despite their English-speaking a little borderline...

Because the flight was in the morning, the airport was very convenient.

At the arrival, the way out and the baggage claim was a bit long but without problems.

Information on the route Xi'an (XIY) Shanghai (SHA)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Xi'an (XIY) → Shanghai (SHA).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Juneyao with 7.0/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 18 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 552812 by
    NewYorker GOLD 160 Comments

    Thanks for this nice report, Aigle_Voyageur! Nice that you managed to score an international configured A330 for such a short flight. That's the first time I've actually seen a western option for a meal on a Chinese flight. which is a nice touch. I've only flown MU and CA in China, and while I'm Star Alliance fanboy, I have to say that I prefer MU's service more, especially when it comes to the crew. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to the next part of the series!

    • Comment 552941 by
      Aigle_voyageur GOLD AUTHOR 679 Comments

      Nice that you managed to score an international configured A330 for such a short flight.

      Although in Asia, we can find medium-haul flights onboard a wide-body aircraft, I was more expecting an A320/B737 than an A330 for this one. Probably because most of european flights are operated in these aircrafts. That said, I was very lucky getting this indeed. ;)

      I just checked MU's flights about this route and they're are all in A321 and 737 (by Shanghai Airlines). Probably due to Covid-19.

      That's the first time I've actually seen a western option for a meal on a Chinese flight. which is a nice touch.

      As for the meal, I saw another review about the same flight (but in French though) it was included with the asian meal and you could choose. I think there were a lot of tourists on this flight and due to Xi'an and Shanghai are both very tourisitc cities we can find western option. Another theory could be the aircraft itself but I have no proofs.

      Thank you for reading my FR and for your comment :)

  • Comment 553033 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5513 Comments

    A very good experience on a Chinese domestic flight! Certainly better than any short-haul flights we have in the US or Europe!

    This aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi onboard.

    Nice, and rare for China, as they were the last to get into the Wi-Fi game, though more and more a/c are being outfitted now. While many Western carrier are stopping capital expenditures and therefore WiFi/IFE refits due to Covid crisis, I imagine some Chinese carriers, being mostly state owned will continue to invest in product to stay competitive, as they have been, albeit slowly.

    Visually, the meal doesn't look particularly appetising, but as long as it was good that is the essential thing. And it's certainly nice to have a full hot meal in Y on a 2h domestic flight.

    The cabin crew did a good job despite their English-speaking a little borderline...

    That seems to be a common theme with Mainland China carriers, but it seems they are improving since they are carrier so many more Westerners now. I imagine they place the more fluent English-speaking cabin crew on long-haul flying.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 553272 by
      Aigle_voyageur GOLD AUTHOR 679 Comments

      Visually, the meal doesn't look particularly appetising, but as long as it was good that is the essential thing.

      True. That said, having a full meal (whether asian or continental) is still better than a ridiculous snack we have in USA or Europe or even nothing though.

      I imagine they place the more fluent English-speaking cabin crew on long-haul flying.

      On that point, I totally agree with you. Because the next flight of this series is one I keep a good memory of it...

      Thank you Kevin for reading my FR and for your comment. ;)

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