Review of China Eastern flight Guangzhou Wuhan in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU2541
Class Economy
Seat 34A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 03 Oct 14, 15:35
Arrival at 03 Oct 14, 17:05
MU   #66 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 164 reviews
pwecar
By 3165
Published on 3rd October 2014
Bonjour~
This is my first TR in FR. After spending some time exploring the forum, I found that there weren't many views from Chinese or reports about Chinese airlines(mostly with bad reputation…). Therefore I decided to bring some opinions in my perspective. Today I'm taking a rather short flight from my base airport, Guangzhou, to Wuhan, my father's hometown.

To get to CAN I took the airport express. It is actually a long-distance coach service, unlike many other airports.
photo IMG_20141003_102857
The legroom is surprisingly good, comparable with many Economy Comfort seats.
photo Screenshot_2014-10-03-10-30-33
Free Wi-fi is available onboard, a rarity in China. Sadly it didn't work all way long.T_T
photo IMG_20141003_122420
Finally got there!
Though flying in economy, you still can enjoy priority check-in and lounge service with something like Priority Pass. Dragonpass, my choice today, is a more popular product in China with more coverage than other competitors.

With the premium service, I can relax at the dedicated waiting area where an agent handled everything else for me, like printing BP and checking luggage.
photo IMG_20141003_122905
A news and magazine stand is also set.
photo IMG_20141003_123147
Taking the cart to the security. That costs 30RMB if you pay separately……Ugh.
photo IMG_20141003_124451

There is no dedicated line for card holders but for airport express passengers. There are two different sections in CAN. Section A, in the east side, is for international flights and all other domestic flights. Section B, in the west side, handles all flights for Skyteam members and their subsidiaries.

After security another cart would take me to the entrance of the lounge.
It's actually China Eastern Airlines lounge, but it wasn't in the database. Hope it can be added in time~
The entrance of the lounge, in new logo. Recently MU had introduced an all-new livery and brand logo. Well, I don't like the livery but feeling OK with the new logo.
There are two separate lounges for First/Business pax and other paid pax, including PP and Dragonpass users, located in the right side.
photo IMG_20141003_151246(1)

It's a rather small lounge. Fortunately there were plenty of seats at the time I arrive. The decoration is also quite elegant in a traditional Chinese style.

Hot lunch is available from 1100 to 1300. Luckily I grabbed some food before the time. Not many options available but enough for a simple meal. Here's everything they offer:
photo IMG_20141003_125857(1)

After all it's a domestic lounge for card holders. At least it's much better than the lounges by American airlines that don't offer anything fresh.

Some junk food for a la carte. There's also a fridge filled with soft drinks and beers, the only alcoholic beverage here.
photo IMG_20141003_130435(1)

Workstations.
photo IMG_20141003_130543(1)

Something bad…..Don't wanna comment on this.
photo IMG_20141003_130949(1)

My seat and the flight information.
photo IMG_20141003_125536(1)

Front desk of the lounge.
photo IMG_20141003_151032(1)

^_^
photo IMG_20141003_131603(1)

Had a cup of espresso. Honestly, not good.
photo IMG_20141003_143545(1)

The connecting speed was OK, I watched some online videos on Chinese website and it worked well.

An agent came to inform passengers that their flights had started boarding, yet a little annoying as she talked to pax quite loudly.
With that I made my way to the gate, B225.
photo IMG_20141003_151612

My ride today, B-5589, a 2.5-year-old B738.
photo IMG_20141003_151822(1)

Another B738 next to us.
photo IMG_20141003_151728photo IMG_20141003_151742photo IMG_20141003_151844

Shot from the jetbridge.
photo IMG_20141003_152004

My seat today, 34A.
photo IMG_20141003_152249photo IMG_20141003_171909(1)

Legroom shot. I found pretty acceptable with 31' pitch+17' width, probably because I'm not really a tall guy, only 176cm. The cup holder wasn't in the back of the tray table.
photo IMG_20141003_152229

Safety instructions. Sorry for the sun shade.
photo IMG_20141003_152334photo IMG_20141003_152352

The headlines today. Chinese Perspective.
photo IMG_20141003_152448(1)

The safety demo, in cartoon style, was updated with new logo.
Despite being a rather new aircraft, this one didn't have latest mood lightning or bigger bins.
photo IMG_20141003_153227

Nothing spectacular in the lavatory.
photo IMG_20141003_161902

Nor for the meal. That's everything I had due to the flight duration and timing. The bread and cake were rock hard and tasteless. Well, better than nothing!
photo IMG_20141003_162842(1)

The in-flight magazine. I did't spend much time on it, as a movie was airing on screen. However no earphones were handed out. Still sounds reasonable for a 80 minutes flight.
photo IMG_20141003_170711(1)

Moments before touchdown, slightly delayed. Wuhan, known as the city of river, owns hundreds of lakes, including this one.
photo IMG_20141003_171033photo IMG_20141003_171100

I didn't expect an array of 747s in the cargo ramp.
photo IMG_20141003_171245

It's my first visit to the new terminal of WUH, completed in 2008. In fact the most convenient way travelling btwn Guangdong and Wuhan is the high speed train called CRH harmonious, yet it's extremely difficult to get a ticket during the Golden Week, the National Day holiday.

Some other aircrafts in WUH.
photo IMG_20141003_171542photo IMG_20141003_172300(1)photo IMG_20141003_172539(1)

It took around 15 minutes to find my luggage.
photo IMG_20141003_173215(1)

A classic joke if you can read Chinese. Have a guess~
photo IMG_20141006_003710(1)

And that's it! Thanks reading! Comments are welcome!
See more

Verdict

China Eastern

6.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering5.0

China Eastern Lounge

5.6/10
Comfort5.5
Meal/catering5.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services5.5

Guangzhou - CAN

6.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness7.5

Wuhan - WUH

3.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access3.0
Services3.0
Cleanliness3.0

Conclusion

China Eastern did an OK job in such a short flight: OK hardware, OK entertainment, and OK service, yet that's everything, nothing too spectacular.
The same thing applied to their lounge: nothing exceptional nor too bad. But still way better than outside!
CAN, showing its age, still created a good atmosphere for travelling. The cons are also quite obvious: long walk and lack of entertainment, if you don't want to pay RMB in those overpriced shops and restaurants(except Starbucks and Subway).
It's my first visit to WUH, everything was fine until I stepped out the terminal and was welcomed by stink from a nearby farm......The first impression is really bad.

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 119415 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9939 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your first report and welcome.

    There's plenty of reports about chinese airlines on FR.com, but most of them are in French...

    I didn't know about the Dragonpass card : how much does it cost and what are its benefits ?

    There's nothing exciting about the lounge... At least it provides seats, food and beer. Lol

    Was there a drinks selection offered by the crew with the meal box ?

    I flew MU just once, in 2012 between HKG and XIY and it wasn't a bad flight.

    See you for your next report.

    • Comment 302747 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Thanks for paying a visit to my report!
      Of course there was drinking service before distributing the meal box. Choices were soft drinks, coffee, tea and herbal tea.
      As for Dragonpass, it was a cooperated service with my parent's credit card. The card holder can bring any number of guests with him. Annually we got 8 credits where each time visiting domestic departure lounge costs 1 credit pp and for int'l departure lounge 2 credits pp. Other benefits are limousine service, airport concierge and more. You can find out more at http://en.dragonpass.com.cn/index.

      pwecar

  • Comment 119441 by
    directorphilip2 82 Comments

    Nice report and i can see a bit of my thumbnail on your laptop of my trip haha so this means im famous in china now

  • Comment 119474 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Hi there! Great first report. As Numero_2 pointed out, most of our reports on Mainland Chinese airlines are in French, so thanks for adding to the English database! We have a lot more reports on Taiwanese flights as our number one contributor on FR hailed from there. You summed up your flight very well, everything seems just OK. But even this OK service in Asia, is better than Good service on a US airline :-)

    I added the China Eastern lounge to the database for you and added it to your report. Thanks again for sharing this first report with us and I hope to see many more!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC / Community Manager

    • Comment 302832 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Hello Kevin!

      Thanks for helping adding them!

      I personally fancy many stuffs in US yet their airlines are excluded from my list...

      The hard products of Chinese airlines have caught up with the industry, but for the soft products like servicing they're way behind other east Asian operators. Comparing to Taiwanese fellows that also use mandarin as mother language, mainland operators don't offer a truly international service, which has been criticized by most foreign passengers.:(

  • Comment 119478 by
    marathon GOLD 9604 Comments

    I keep being puzzled by MU's poor rating in FR's rankings. It may not be the most attractive airline in the world, but it provides in my opinion much better service than many European airlines, not to mention American ones. Maybe a culture gap...
    I find MU's logo and standard livery ugly, but they do have nice special liveries, like that one.
    The meal is somewhat standard for a Chinese flight below 1h30'. Not very attractive, but better than the two small cookies they give in France.
    I can read Chinese, and I love these warped Chinglish translations. The carefully hot water of fountains in airports is a classic, but I found much more creative ones. Sadly, they tend to disappear. I once read a tongue in cheek reader's opinion in the China Daily calling for their preservation as cultural heritage.
    Thanks for your report; it's great to welcome another contributor based in the Chinese speaking world !

    • Comment 302835 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Marathon???!
      That misspelling joke is quite old fashioned, so I'm so surprised that it is still misleading others today. It's fine and fun reading them in papers and social media but not in real guides.
      The old livery is truly disastrous where the new one ruined by the plain logo and stupid font. Can't understand keeping the old, boring font. Actually the new logo is OK on paper but terrible when painted on the tail.
      Again ??????! ^_^

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