Review of China Eastern flight London Shanghai in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU552
Class Economy
Seat 68A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 11:30
Take-off 24 Feb 17, 21:00
Arrival at 25 Feb 17, 16:30
MU 169 reviews
By GOLD 771
Published on 7th July 2021

destination: the land of khmers

Hello everyone!
Back in 2016 a very good friend of mine had the idea to go to Cambodia amongst us 6 friends… He used to work there and knows well the country. What we didn't know at the time and found out later is that he also proposed his girlfriend on a beautiful beach!
I just wanted to share this little story to bring a bit of romance into this world of kerosene! 

Flying blue Miles earned with this flight: 1382
Status earned: 12 XP

photo shanghai

We booked our tickets back in october 2016, after a quick compare on skyscanner, it quickly appeared that British Airways was a bit too expensive, so were Singapore Airlines and that China Eastern Airlines was offering a really cheap return ticket - a real bargain! I never flew with an asiatic carrier before, but as they were part of Skyteam I thought this was a good opportunity to increase my Flying blue miles! 

photo routing-49309

China eastern airlines isn't the best user friendly website, and there was no application at the time… In fact it really felt like completely out of time as you had to phone a call centre to book seats in advance and to have your boarding pass issued to your email directly - see below. 

Not much of a surprise but I don't speak Mandarin - I could only understand the weather forecast emoji ! :p 
I guess that would have been fine for pre-2000 - at least it brings some nostalgic times! 

photo boarding-pass-1

The flight is operated on an A330-200, that was replaced later by the much larger B777-300ER. The type has a mixed configuration of 230 to 264 seats, which is quite a lot for such a short cabin..

photo china_eastern_airlines_airbus_a330_300-30928

at london heathrow

Like almost of Skyteam members, our flight was departing from Terminal 4, the terminal opened in the 80's by Prince Charles and Princess Diana as an international hub for British Airways. 

We arrived on time, had a  bit of food at Le comptoir libanais - for some reason i was really starving and heard that catering on board was a bit light.. 

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If i remember correctly boarding happened respecting priorities - I didn't pay any attention at the time as I was on the "explorer" level of flying blue - do you remember that sweet and innocent time?

onboard the a330-300

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My travel companion and I were seating towards the rear of the aircraft.
The seats seemed somewhat average / ok for this flight. 

There wasn't any announce in english - all in chinese up until the safety videos.  

photo dsc_001899

Aircraft: Airbus A330-343
Registration: Culdn't remember sorry!
Engines: 2x RR trent 772
 Age: 10 Years
Layout: 300 seats
Observation: With the new livery

The Avgeek bit
Here is one of the 27 A330-200 and 24 A330-300 (with a further 3 on order) of the chinese airline based in Shanghai. hina Eastern airlines joined Skyteam in 2011 and has since became a key player in Skyteam, sharing bonds of AF-KLM and Delta, joining a enhanced cooperation between the four airlines. The airline once relied on A340 and A330 for its long haul routes, now has retired its A340 and uses its A330 for domestic or immediate neighbouring countries, B777 and A350s now replacing the former.

Boarding music wasn't the best - at least i guess it was cheap(er) since they saved on the singer! 

We had the pretty old safety video displayed - that i managed to find for you on youtube 

We shortly after took off. 

The crew immediately after started to provide food - and as I was told the portions are not huge but it was actually decent in terms of taste. 
What stroke me is the effort they made for every thing to look like some sort of geometrical form: a flower, squares, rectangles… reminded me of my childhood!! 

The crew didn't appear to be at their ease with english - the discussion was limited to greet us and ask us if the food provided is ok… 

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The IFE display is actually featuring a lot of options, although all the movies were in chinese, and not all of them were subtitled in English… That was a bit of disapointment there since the flight was 11hours..

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There was of course a live map where you could follow the progress of our plane.

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Shortly after dinner we were asked -rather -  ordered to shut the windows… That was a first for me - up until this occasion my only experience flying long haul was only with Air France or British AIrways where the crew can have a bit of a chat with you and is here to provide a certain service to the customer.. In this case it felt more like they were in charge of the cabin - and that they should have under control everybody in economy so that the process can be strictly followed. 

You are probably thinking I am exagerating at this point and if an evidence would be needed is the next picture:
Everyone's movies were bruptly interrupted before breakfast and replaced with compulsory relaxation moves for head, hands etc… And so imagine the situation where you barely wake up the crew - not only does the moves too but GET EVERYONE to do it too - including myself

That certainly didn't help my morning mood - I must admit I am weak and could be grumpy!! 

In a word I really felt the cree in charge of our cabin were all called either Monique and Karen!! 

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Time now to review the magazine of the flight: heavy, a lot of pages, a lot of ads, and unfortunately very little translated into English..

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So I was mostly looking at pictures..! 

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Look at this domestic map of national destinations: crazzzzzy there are like hundreads!

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I am sorry I didn't take a picture of the second service, but fear not, you didn't miss much of the breakfast…

The crew soon after started again to roll out the military processed preparation of the cabin crew and I couldn't help noticing the crew member in charge of our section of the cabin must have been grumpy too as she was easily shouting!

Captain made a good approach and a sweet landing onto the parallel left runways of Shanghai Pudong airport 

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at shanghai pudong airport

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The plane taxied a very short time and to my surprise we parked quite far away from the terminal building… I was really expecting that for such an important destination we wouldn't have to wait for buses…

The positive was the view I had from our bird… 

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China Eastern

Cabin crew2.0

London - LHR


Shanghai - PVG



My first flight with MU - ok - the fare was a really good thing but it didn't feel like there was a good customer service.

Information on the route London (LHR) Shanghai (PVG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 3 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Shanghai (PVG).


The airline with the best average rating is Virgin Atlantic with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 11 hours and 16 minutes.

  More information


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