Review of Shanghai Airlines flight Singapore Shanghai in Economy

Airline Shanghai Airlines
Flight MU546
Class Economy
Seat 69L
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 04:40
Take-off 11 Nov 23, 10:35
Arrival at 11 Nov 23, 15:15
FM 30 reviews
wmx.the.flyer
By BRONZE 1896
Published on 2nd December 2023

introduction


Welcome, everybody, to this new Flight-report! In this review, I will be taking you along with me to fly with China Eastern Airlines in economy class on the Shanghai Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Singapore to Shanghai Pudong (浦东).

This review will cover the airport experiences in Singapore and Shanghai Pudong, as well as the onboard hard and soft products. I will also share some of my experiences with Chinese trains after the flight, in the Bonus section, so be sure to check that out as well.

For each aspect of the experience, I will rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. The final score for the full experience is out of 100. 


booking the flight


This is the outbound flight of an almost-two-week trip to Shanghai (上海) and Jiangsu Province (江苏), of China. For this trip, I chose China Eastern Airlines (中国东方航空), a Shanghai-based full-service carrier, also China’s second largest airline with 623 aircraft in their fleet (just behind Guangzhou (广州)-based China Southern Airlines (中国南方航空) with 658). China Eastern is also a member of SkyTeam alliance, so passengers who are part of frequent flyer programmes with airlines such as Delta and Air France-KLM can also collect miles/points on China Eastern flights. 


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When it came to actually booking the flight, I first tried using China Eastern’s official website. However, the website was very slow and glitchy, and frequently crashed. I eventually accepted that I could never get the job done on the official site, so I went over to Trip.com instead, and booked the return tickets for ≈CNY3200/≈EUR410. Booking the flights on an external site certainly came with some shortcomings, such as the inability to access the ‘manage booking’ functions on the official China Eastern site. I am grateful though, that I could at least select a seat any time I wanted. 


departure airport


I arrived at Singapore Changi International Airport’s Terminal 3 around 2 hours before scheduled departure time. At this hour, the airport was far from packed, but there was still enough human traffic to keep the airport running. 


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Check-in

The lines at check-in took around 15 minutes before it was my turn. Once I was called, it took mere seconds before my boarding pass was handed to me and I was instructed to head over to Departures. The kind lady at the check-in counter seemed quite apologetic that the gate for my flight was among the furthest in the entire terminal, and advised me to head there with plenty of time to spare. Check-in scores 8/10. 


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Immigration

After a quick manual boarding pass and passport check, I was directed into the immigration hall. I headed to the electronic gates as usual, and the passport scan was as routine as I could’ve liked. When it came to the face scan, though, the machine somehow failed to scan my face (?!), even after multiple tries from different angles and distances. Eventually, a tired officer came by and let me through the gate, and directed me to a counter for a manual procedure. There, the officer scanned my passport, then my face, and finally my fingerprints. A green light illuminated somewhere, and I was given the green light ;) to go airside. I’m certain that this is just an anomaly, but immigration will score 3/10 here. 


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Airside

The familiar sight of the carpets and the cool jazz playing away on the speakers welcomed me back airside for the first time in 5 miserable months of being on the ground. Changi’s Terminal 3 is truly quite spectacular, and is certainly among the best airport terminals I’ve set foot in. Immediately, the familiar Louis Vuitton advertisement display comes into view. This thing has been there for ages now, and was also seen in 2021 when I flew SWISS’s A340 from Singapore to Zurich. 


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I started my journey to my distant gate, A18, one of the furthest in Terminal 3. The trek brought me past an array of duty-free shops, restaurants, and I even raced with one of Changi’s Skytrain inter-terminal light rail service (I lost miserably). I stopped by one of countless beautiful toilets in the terminal, which itself was playing some jazz music, is furnished with gorgeous plants, and constantly kept spotlessly clean. There were even select cubicles featuring toilet seats with bidets, something that’s not yet too common outside Japan. I did not take any pictures in the toilet, for obvious reasons.  


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Airside experience scores a solid 9/10.

Security + Gate Area

After around a 10-minute walk (I’m a fast walker, and others may take up to 20 minutes), I reached the security checkpoint for my gate. This gate area is a combined space for gates A16-21, and at that time, there were 3 flights departing from these gates: My flight, China Eastern MU546 to Shanghai, Singapore Airlines SQ245 to Brisbane, and Citilink QG523 to Jakarta. Passengers of all three flights squeezed through the same security checkpoint, which was made up of 3 lanes, though the process was still quite efficient. Once through, though, passengers are left in a confined hall with no toilets, though there is a duty-free store that sells basic amenities.  


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Gate Area can be improved: 6/10.

DEPARTURE AIRPORT SCORES: 7/10 


flight and aircraft information


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Flight information

Flight date: 11/11/2023

Airline: China Eastern (中国东方航空) (MU/CES)

Operated by: Shanghai Airlines (上海航空) (FM/CSH) *

Flight number: MU546

Route: Singapore (SIN) – Shanghai Pudong (PVG) **

Scheduled Departure Time: 10:10 (UTC+8)

Actual Departure Time: 10:35 (UTC+8)

Scheduled Arrival Time: 15:15 (UTC+8)

Actual Arrival Time: 15:15 (UTC+8)

Scheduled Flight Time: 5h05min

Actual Flight Time: 4h41min

Aircraft information

Aircraft Registration: B-20CD

Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Engines: 2× GEnx-1B74/75

Line Number: 871

First Flight: 05/07/2019

Aircraft Age (as of flight): 4 years 4 months

Aircraft Delivered: 16/07/2019

Seating Configuration: F4J26W28Y227 ***     

*Shanghai Airlines (FM) is 100% owned by China Eastern Airlines (MU), so MU frequently schedules some of FM’s 7 B787-9s (B-1111 which features a ‘100th Shanghai Airlines aircraft’ sticker, B-1112, B-1113, B-208X, B-20AJ, B-20CD which is the aircraft featured in this review, B-20D8) for MU’s B787-9 flights, since MU deploys their own 3 B787-9s (B-206K, B-208P, B-209N) out of Kunming (昆明), Yunnan (云南) Province, for their Yunnan sub-company. Both airlines’ B787-9 aircraft have the exact same interior (since they are essentially the same airline).     

**Shanghai Pudong (浦东) is the international airport that serves the Shanghai area, and is 32km from the city. The other Shanghai airport, Shanghai Hongqiao (虹桥), which is closer to the city centre at 13km and has its own railway station, serves mostly domestic flights.     

***The 4 ‘first class’ seats are more like a ‘business plus’ product, being at the bulkhead and hence first row of the main business class cabin and using the same Thompson Aerospace Vantage XL seats as the rest of business class, but with much larger footwells and IFE screens. Passengers in those seats pay a significantly higher fee but receive the same business class service. 


pre-departure


Boarding

Business class passengers and SkyTeam status holders were called to board first, followed by the economy passengers in groups according to rows. The last 10 rows of economy (66-76) were called first, so I was among the first to board the aircraft.

Welcome Onboard

Once onboard the aircraft, two flight attendants stationed at door L2 warmly welcomed me onboard. I was then greeted by China Eastern Airlines’ boarding music, which comprises 3 pieces, each with its own personality and style. The pieces are: An instrumental rendition of Jay Chou’s “青花瓷” (meaning traditional Chinese blue and white porcelain, often referred to in Western countries as ‘China’) released in 2008; Bandari’s “Annie’s Wonderland” released in 1998; and a Chinese-instrumental rendition of Anita Mui’s “似是故人来” (meaning ‘Seems like an old friend has come’, and featured in the 1991 Hong Kong film ‘Twin Bracelets/双镯’).
I walked through the galley and turned right, and walked through the premium economy cabin, three rows of Thompson Aerospace MiQ seats arranged in a pretty standard 2-3-2 formation. These seats appeared to be made of leather. I could not see the business class seats as the business class cabin is between doors 1 and 2. 


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I then navigated through the forward economy cabin, where the seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration, before finding my window seat, 69L, in the rear economy cabin. I estimate the load factor on this rather busy flight to be 90-95%.
Occupying the aisle seat wash an older Asian man who spoke Mandarin Chinese with the flight attendants, but read Japanese scriptures during the flight. In the middle seat was a Korean man (based on his phone language settings and boarding pass for a connecting flight to Seoul Incheon) whose age I could not tell, for he had fully covered his face and skin due to a ‘sun allergy’, which he explained to me when whispering into my ear, telling me to fully dim my window…    


cabin + seat


Let’s take a look at China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines’ B787-9 economy class cabin and seats.


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Seat Details:

Seat: 69L (Starboard-side window seat, don’t ask why I chose 69L)

Seat Type: Slimline 

Seat Model: Collins Aerospace Pinnacle 

Seat Pitch: 31”

Seat Width: 17.3”

Recline: 3”

Class: Economy (Y)

Cabin: Rear economy cabin (between doors 3 and 4)

Seating arrangement: 3-3-3

Features:

4-way adjustable headrest:    


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Retractable bi-folding table:


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11.7” HD touchscreen IFE display:


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USB-A Socket:


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*No individual air nozzles were implemented on the aircraft, meaning the cabin did run quite hot under the blazing Singaporean sun during boarding, though the cabin was kept at a comfortable temperature during the flight. 


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Some thoughts about the seat:

Seat Comfort: The seat was generally well padded and was comfortable. Headrest provides a lot of support. 9/10


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Legroom: The 31” seat pitch was good, and provided plenty of legroom for me to stretch my legs. 8/10

Seat Storage: There is a large seat-back pocket in front which is large enough for most personal items. The left side of mine seemed slightly dislodged, and was unpleasant to look at. 7/10 


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Recline: Pretty standard recline, though I did not quite make use of it for the majority of the flight since it was a daytime one. 7/10

THE CABIN + SEAT SCORES: 8/10
 


taxi + takeoff


We pushed back soon and the safety video was shown. The B787-9 safety video is essentially the same at both airlines, with just the aircraft liveries differing in the films with accordance to the respective airline. The safety video itself is cartoon based, featuring some pretty realistic animations of the aircraft and cabin. It ran at just the right tempo and does not have too many little details that draw passengers away from the important messages conveyed. It was quite demoralizing, however, when they played the entire safety video for the second time… just how hard is it to put English subtitles over a Chinese-audio safety video?  


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During our taxi, we taxied past Terminal 1, as well as runway 20C, which is currently blocked off with tiny red barriers. I assume this is because of the runway’s close proximity to the construction site of the future massive Terminal 5, which is planned to handle more than all the current terminals do, combined.  


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Right in front of us was PK-MYF, a 30-year-old Boeing 737-400SF, operating cargo flights for My Indo Airlines. 


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In line behind us was N29985, a 3-year-old Boeing 787-9, about to fly a 14-hour trek across the Pacific to San Francisco as flight UA2. 


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We taxied the full length of the airport and lined up with runway 02R for our 10:35 departure out of Singapore, 20 minutes behind schedule. 


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flight path


Now is a good time to take a look at our flight path. Our route out of Singapore took us over Malaysia, the South China Sea, just to the east of Vietnam, before reaching Chinese airspace. Here, we turned slightly east to fly along the coast, before making a few more turns to comply with China’s notoriously strict airspace rules.  


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We initially leveled off at 33000ft during the climb, but then climbed further upwards to 39000ft, where we remained for the majority of the flight. Once over Chinese airspace, we made a couple ‘steps’ down, briefly leveling off at 35000ft, 31000ft, and 25000ft before landing in Shanghai. 


lunch service


Approximately 45 minutes after takeoff, the lunch service started. The cabin crew members pushed two trolleys up each aisle, one for the food, the other for beverages. 


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The meal was neatly placed on a single tray, with the main dish being served in an aluminium container, and the sides in cute little plastic dishes with an elegant gold trim. There was plastic cutlery provided, with surprisingly no chopsticks, as well as a wet wipe and a small tub of water. 


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Starter: Salad

The appetizer was a small, cold salad which consisted of cabbage, carrots, and onions. While it was fresh, there seems to have been noticeable amounts of vinegar mixed into it. While I appreciate the acidity vinegar can bring to salads, this was slightly too astringent for my taste, and hence not my favourite. 6/10 


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Main: Chicken with rice

Interestingly, there seems to have only been one choice for the main dish on this flight. This was a chicken dish with white rice, a single piece of broccoli, a small slice of red pepper, and an olive. The chicken was quite tender, with the sauce providing plenty of flavour to the rice and vegetables as well. My only complaint would be that the portions were too small for me. 9/10 


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*The weirdo seated next to me didn’t seem to like the dish, taking mere nibbles before handing the tray back to the air steward, wasting all the food in the process. It is possible that most foreigners find it hard to adjust to the taste and textures of food on Chinese airlines, and in this case, I would say the sauce for the chicken was slimier and gooier than what I’m used to, though I had absolutely no problems clearing the dish.

**Many passengers seemed excited when the air steward announced ‘chicken rice’ to them individually (directly translated from Chinese, which is 鸡肉饭). If you don’t know, Chicken Rice (otherwise known as Hainanese Chicken Rice) is one of Singapore’s most famous and popular dishes, and is quite different from the chicken and rice dish that was served on this flight. As such, many passengers, including the poor sod seated next to me, were visibly disappointed when they opened the aluminium lid on their dish. 

Side: Packaged bread roll

A packaged bread roll with some salted butter was provided on every tray. The bread roll tasted alright, and the butter provided some rich creaminess to the otherwise dry bread. 6/10

Dessert: Watermelon and pineapple

The watermelon pieces were fresh and juicy, the pineapple slices provided some fantastically acidic and crunchy contrast. Wonderful mix, and demonstrates the beauty of simplicity at its best. 9/10  


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Beverage: Orange Juice

By the time the beverage trolley arrived, I was already finishing my main dish, which was later than ideal. I opted for an orange juice, which certainly tasted like concentrate, was thin, quite sour, and has that slight bit of tangy bitterness. Still, I quite enjoyed it, as I always do with a lovely cup of orange juice in the sky. 7/10 


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LUNCH SERVICE SCORES: 8/10 


amenities


No amenity kits were provided in economy class on this flight. The contents of the seat-back pocket included a safety manual, an in-flight magazine, and a waste bag. Cheap wired earpieces were handed out by the crew during the earlier stages of the flight. These earpieces had two plug pins, one for each side, which meant trying to use it on other devices with only one plug and without an adapter, would be quite painful.

Likewise, no pillows or blankets were provided on this flight due to its length and time, though I’m sure the crew would be able to provide you with any bedding if asked nicely.

Lavatories

Lavatories were kept clean throughout the flight and were well stocked with toiletries. I love the little mosaic-style tiles that China Eastern implements on the floors in the lavatories. 9/10 


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AMENITIES SCORE: 6/10 


in-flight entertainment


IFE System

Each economy seat comes equipped with a 11.7” IFE Touchscreen and has really good image quality while being very responsive. The selection of entertainment options, though, especially those catered to the western audience, was rather bland, with just 13 western movies on offer. Other than movies, some Chinese TV shows, as well as a broad selection of music, was available too. The in-flight map was also quite fun to play with, coming with multiple camera angles, with the cockpit HUD view being my personal favourite. 


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IFE System scores 6/10.

Just a side note, I found the descriptions under the western movies to be quite funny due to just how little effort was put into writing them. “A hilarious journey with Mr. Bean”, “An Oscar winner that takes you on an adventure” … LOL 


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Onboard Wi-Fi

Passengers in economy class get free access to the onboard Wi-Fi for 10 minutes. However, do note that the onboard Wi-Fi has the same limitations as in the rest of Mainland China, so many websites and apps such as YouTube are blocked and unusable. For full-flight access, one could pay online, though I would not trust the website given how glitchy it is. 


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Wi-Fi gets a 5/10.

Onboard charging

A USB-A socket can be found under each IFE screen, though I could not find any Universal Power Outlets. There were also two headphone jacks to support the cheap-ish wired earphones handed out during our climb. 7/10  


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 IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SCORES: 6/10 


sleeping experience


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Since it was a 5-hour daytime flight, and I had a pretty good night’s sleep the day before, I did not find the need for any deep sleep on this flight. Still, during the later 2 hours or so of flight time, I decided to get some shut-eye and rest (like many other passengers), since the IFE system didn’t quite interest me too much. With the help of one of my Qatar Airways business class eye masks, I had complete darkness around my eyes, perfect for some rest, though the cabin wasn’t too bright anyways to begin with. 


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cabin crew


As we draw ever so closer into Shanghai Pudong, this is a great time for me to share some of my thoughts on the cabin crew of this flight.

Service speed

Requests by the passengers were often immediately fulfilled. Meal service was really quick, and the meals got to each passenger a lot faster than what I usually observe on other airlines. The drinks trolley was slightly slower, though, but my orange juice still arrived on time as I was enjoying my meal. 9/10

Service attitude

The flight attendants were hardworking and very diligent, while maintaining their friendliness and demonstrating the fantastic Chinese hospitality. They granted any reasonable requests from their customers. Special thanks to the male air steward who handed me a cup of water filled to the brim during boarding, after I asked for some H2O during boarding when the cabin was stifling hot under the Singaporean sun. 9/10

CABIN CREW SCORE: 9/10 


approach + landing


During our descent into Shanghai Pudong, an announcement was made that due to local regulations, an insecticide had to be sprayed in the cabin. Soon, a male flight attendant came up the aisle, holding an aerosol in each hand, and spraying the overhead stowage areas. This was quite an interesting spectacle, since it does not occur too frequently. 


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The spoilers activated and the flaps came down, and we were soon on final approach into Shanghai Pudong’s runway 35L, and we touched down at 15:15 local time, bang on time.


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We parked at gate D87 in Terminal 2, which is one of the furthest from the immigration hall, but in a relatively close proximity to B-5943, a China Eastern A330-200 featuring the eastday.com special livery.


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China Eastern has implemented a number of special liveries on their fleet of 30 A330-200s, (B-5920 which wears the ‘WorldSkills Shanghai 2022’ livery, B-5931 which wears the ‘People’s Daily Online’ special livery, B-5943 which wears the ‘eastday.com’ livery; B-5908, B-5949, B-6538 which all feature a SkyTeam livery; B-5902 wore the Greenland Group special livery until 04/2023). 


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Even though we touched down on time, there was only one jet-bridge, which connected to door L2. Business class passengers were granted priority to de-board first, and they took some time before the economy passengers could move. I waited at my seat for around 20 minutes from the moment the parking brakes were engaged, until I could stand up to get off. 


arrival airport


I made my way off the aircraft into the jet-bridge. All passengers were led through a very long corridor before we finally turned left into an immigration hall, after around a 10-minute walk.   


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 The foreign passengers were then guided toward a series of booths for fingerprint collection before entering China. This was fortunately when the airport was less busy, so I was right through.

Immigration 

Facing the immigration hall, all foreigners turned right, where there was a desk loaded with arrival cards tucked away in a corner, where passengers had to fill out before heading to the counters. My usually observant eyes somehow managed to miss this, and proceeded to queue for immigration without an arrival card.   


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After around 20 minutes queueing (there were only two lanes opened for foreigners), it was my turn at one of the counters. To my utmost shock, I realized that I had missed one of the most important parts of the arrival process, and was ushered to the desk with the arrival cards. A kindhearted guard who was on duty nearby offered to help me skip the queue when I came back with a filled-up arrival card to skip the by-now long queue, which was a gesture I greatly appreciated.

Once back at the counter, my documents were scrutinized by two immigration officers on duty, who appeared to have been chatting about their personal lives and joking around while working. They seemed to poke some fun at my ‘places you have visited in the past 2 years’ section, which included Singapore, UK, USA, Iceland, Qatar, and Tanzania, hence resulting in the column completely filled up (combined with my large and slightly messy handwriting).

Immigration scores 7/10. 


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Once past immigration, I was greeted with a desolate duty-free hall. I made my way past the closed shops, down the escalator, where the arrival hall was. I skipped right past the baggage belts, since I had no checked-in luggage. It was a quick walk through customs, and I headed to the Maglev station (which I will talk about later in the Bonus section).

ARRIVAL AIRPORT SCORES: 7/10 


my final ratings


Airports

Airport Experiences: 7/10

Hard Product

Seat Comfort: 8/10

Sleep Comfort: 8/10

In-flight Entertainment: 6/10

Aircraft Comfort: 8/10

Aircraft Cleanliness: 10/10

Soft Product

Lunch Service: 8/10

Amenities: 6/10

Other Service: 8/10

Cabin Crew: 9/10

OVERALL RATING: 78/100  


conclusion


So, that was a look into my economy class experience on China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 from Singapore to Shanghai Pudong!

China Eastern does offer a very solid product in economy class, with a decent seat, and good food on offer. I do wish my sun-allergic seat mate had chosen a seat in the centre of the aircraft, though.

It would also have been nice of Shanghai Pudong Airport and China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines to put clearer signage and better inform the foreign passengers on the intricate immigration process when arriving.

Special thanks to The_Muslim_Passenger for helping to identify the seat model, which I initially struggled with.

If you made it so far down, thank you so much! I really hope this review, as well as all my past and future reviews, can help you decide how you want to travel in the future.

Travel safe, and goodbye for now! (Assuming you don’t care about the high-speed trains in the Bonus section) 


Routing

  • MU546 - Economy - Singapore –> Shanghai - Boeing 787-9 You are here
  • MU565 - Economy - Shanghai –> Singapore - Airbus A350-900 Coming soon

Bonus : Click here display
See more

Verdict

Shanghai Airlines

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering8.0

Singapore - SIN

7.9/10
Efficiency5.5
Access7.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Shanghai - PVG

6.8/10
Efficiency4.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

That was a look into my economy class experience on China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 from Singapore to Shanghai Pudong, and I really hope you enjoyed reading this review!

China Eastern does offer a very solid product in economy class, with a decent seat, and good food on offer. I do wish my sun-allergic seat mate had chosen a seat in the centre of the aircraft, though.

It would also have been nice of Shanghai Pudong Airport and China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines to put clearer signage and better inform the foreign passengers on the intricate immigration process when arriving.

If you made it so far down, thank you so much! I really hope this review, as well as all my past and future reviews, can help you when deciding how you want to travel in the future.

Travel safe, and goodbye for now!

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

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 14 avis concernant 3 compagnies sur la ligne Singapore (SIN) → Shanghai (PVG).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Singapore Airlines avec 8.7/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 5 heures et 3 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 640603 by
    Lia_K SILVER 79 Comments
    Hello! It's nice to see a review on Shanghai Airlines' new widebodies. As you mentioned, MU's website is an absolute pain to use/navigate - at least you were able to select a seat online. I tried for over an hour and it didn't even go through in the end! Service onboard looks really nice although I do agree that a lot of foreigners might not be used to the food onboard. They really should add a western/local option, it's a problem on all mainland Chinese carriers.

    Just a side note, I found the descriptions under the western movies to be quite funny due to just how little effort was put into writing them.


    That's hilarious. I guess they were playing it safe and not risk any mistranslations? Or maybe none of the people that wrote it actually watched the film so they just described what's on the tin haha.

    Facing the immigration hall, all foreigners turned right, where there was a desk loaded with arrival cards tucked away in a corner, where passengers had to fill out before heading to the counters. My usually observant eyes somehow managed to miss this, and proceeded to queue for immigration without an arrival card.


    It's quite a common occurrence at immigration points around China. For some reason, they always tuck the cards on a desk without any signage, meaning most foreigners miss it and get turned away first time.

    Nice to see the bonus on the high-speed trains. It's crazy the variety of rolling stock on the high speed lines these days, although it's like Russian roulette as to what train you'll get, especially considering the huge difference in seats between the new and old trains.

    Thanks for sharing!! 谢谢分享!
    • Comment 640605 by
      wmx.the.flyer BRONZE AUTHOR 50 Comments
      Hi Lia, thanks so much for the lovely comment!

      at least you were able to select a seat online. I tried for over an hour and it didn't even go through in the end!


      That’s really unfortunate! MU should really have a larger-scale maintenance for their website soon, since it does seem like it’s been years since MU last did anything like that… the website still claims their 77Ws are brand new!

      They really should add a western/local option, it's a problem on all mainland Chinese carriers.


      As for adding an international/local option for food onboard, I definitely agree with that idea, although I don’t have much faith in the Chinese caterers’ abilities to make them any more suitable for foreign passengers either.

      I guess they were playing it safe and not risk any mistranslations? Or maybe none of the people that wrote it actually watched the film so they just described what's on the tin haha.


      That’s definitely the case here… While I was in China, I was absolutely shocked by how many translation errors could be found. I guess for MU, it’s slightly better to provide a useless film description here rather than give an inaccurate one.

      For some reason, they always tuck the cards on a desk without any signage, meaning most foreigners miss it and get turned away first time.


      Definitely would’ve been great if they could improve on the signage, but what really shocks me was that a guard who was supposed to check if everyone had what they needed before they queue, also carelessly missed the absence of my immigration card and let me through, which honestly could’ve been prevented so easily.

      it's like Russian roulette as to what train you'll get, especially considering the huge difference in seats between the new and old trains.


      Indeed, that is quite a risky game of luck when booking train tickets in China, especially in higher classes. In the 12306 website/app where tickets are most frequently purchased, they do display the operator, which slightly improves the odds of getting the train model you prefer. I do try to get Fuxing-operated services when I can, since those trains are generally newer than the CRH ones (though unfortunately my favourite one is the newer CRH380D, which is not too common). It would be so helpful for them to display the train model that they plan to use…

      Thanks for reading! 感谢关注!
  • Comment 640709 by
    The_Muslim_Passenger 13 Comments
    The seats are from Collins Aerospace Pinnacle seating. Interestingly China Eastern uses the Safran economy seats on most of their A330 and 777 fleet.
    • Comment 640814 by
      wmx.the.flyer BRONZE AUTHOR 50 Comments
      Oh wow, thank you so much! The Pinnacle seats do look quite familiar, it’s great that you could remind me.
      It is quite interesting that they don’t always keep to one seat manufacturer, especially since they had so many Safran seats on their older aircraft, which are also quite comfortable too.
      Thanks for reading!
  • Comment 641051 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    Awesome report! Love seeing all the good info about Seat manufacturer, seat pitch/width, and IFE and power as you've detailed! You're right, there is no AC power outlet on these aircraft, which is a shame for long-haul flights as you can't power a laptop on USB-A...you can barely power a phone on USB-A...and of course, USB-A is becoming obsolete already with USB-C taking over. It was a trend for a few years to drop AC power and only have the USB under the screen--personally I think that's a bad move from both a cost and passenger experience perspective, as USB-A will soon be unusable for most people, so airlines will have to put in USB-C, essentially erasing any cost-savings they may have had from dropping AC power (which is still very usable universally for all devices).

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 641086 by
      wmx.the.flyer BRONZE AUTHOR 50 Comments
      Hi Kévin, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this review!

      Love seeing all the good info about Seat manufacturer, seat pitch/width, and IFE and power as you've detailed!


      Thanks so much for the reassurance! I always try my best to provide as much technical details as I can, though it can be quite hard to find sources and information sometimes…

      It was a trend for a few years to drop AC power and only have the USB under the screen--personally I think that's a bad move from both a cost and passenger experience perspective, as USB-A will soon be unusable for most people, so airlines will have to put in USB-C, essentially erasing any cost-savings they may have had from dropping AC power (which is still very usable universally for all devices).


      You’re absolutely right about the AC power: it can be so useful to so many people. While it seems convenient, having just a USB-A port is definitely not quite enough for everyone’s needs, and I do believe that many would benefit from having more charging options on board, even if it costs more for the airlines.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!
  • Comment 641569 by
    pheeplanes 22 Comments
    really intresting to experience shanghai airlines b7879 cabin product and intresting trip report compare to my recent flight on singapore airlines to beijing althou for the immigration was quite ok however there one desk with arrival card to fill out even notice the new arrival card doesnt have the departure portion compare to most of my visit before the pandemic likewise for the wifi onboard is limtied espeically connecting to a wifi that dosent allow you to use youtube and facebook unless using vpn and inflight entertainment abit limated to other chinnese carrier especially singapore airines
    • Comment 641700 by
      wmx.the.flyer BRONZE AUTHOR 50 Comments
      Thanks for the comment! Seems like it really is a hit and miss when it comes to how well an airport layouts itself for arriving foreign passengers… every airport has its own problems it seems! And yes, the on board wi-fi does tend to be heavily limited by China on these Chinese carriers, a great reason for some people to choose foreign airlines (such as SQ) above Chinese ones. Thanks for stopping by!

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