Review of China Eastern flight Hangzhou Beijing in Economy

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU5167
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 12 Dec 14, 11:35
Arrival at 12 Dec 14, 13:35
MU 173 reviews
pwecar
By 2070
Published on 23rd December 2014
Hello everyone and today I'm bringing the second part of my tri-city trip.

Part1: CAN-HGH MU5212 China Eastern A320 http://flight-report.com/en/report-8787.html
Part2: HGH-PEK MU5167 China Eastern A321 [THIS REPORT]
Part3: PEK-CAN CA1315 Air China B748 http://flight-report.com/en/report-8859.html

The two-week training in Hangzhou came to an end and it's time for Beijing.

This is my first departure in HGH, which was extended and revamped in 2012.
The airport is 35km from the place I stay. At 9am I took a taxi for airport and within 30 minutes I arrived at the departure hall.
The ceiling in the HGH new check-in hall is similar to the new SZX T4, both with lots of holes. Even though the hall was still rather dark.
photo IMG_20141212_094716(1)
It took me 15 minutes to go through the security. When I got to the gate I immediately found something bad:
photo IMG_20141212_101843
Luckily it was only estimated for 45 minutes delay. When I checked on flightradar24 for the flight history I've found that the flight got delayed for more three hours twice in a week…..
Though, not a really bad thing for me as I wasn't in a hurry. So I explored the airside of HGH Area B.
The shop and catering variety in HGH is fine, though the prices were just typical airport prices. The only exception might be Starbucks so I ordered a cup of Toffee Nut Latte.

Unlike PEK, SHA, PVG and CAN, you can hardly find a widebody in HGH, therefore the CI A333 was a rarity here.
photo IMG_20141212_105503

While waiting I used the airport free wireless and it worked well even on video streaming. So I watched a NBA match, Cavaliers at Thunder.

Our aircraft, a 6.7 years old A321, had finally arrived at the gate.
photo IMG_20141212_115011

The Classic Shot(I really don't know why..)
photo IMG_20141212_121016

Once aboard I found something in Business Class that might not belong to this aircraft, or this company, or this alliance: Skyward, the JAL inflight magazine was put in the pocket of business class seats. Strangely it wasn't offered in Economy seats so I called a flight attendant to fetch me a copy. She was confused at first until I pointed it out in various(3 or 4) magazines..
photo IMG_20141212_122035
There are rumors that MU may leave Skyteam to join Oneworld. Plus MU and JL are codeshared partners in Sino-Japan routes. There must be a reason for everything……

Reading it is really fun as I've never taken a flight operated by JAL or any other oneworld member. About one fourth of the mag was English material, mostly about the Japanese tourism, food, and culture.

The seat was identical to the previous flight. The legroom was adequate for me(1.75m) but the lack of headrest made my neck uncomfortable.
The wheels were off almost an hour behind the schedule and soon the meal service began. Surprisingly there was only one option available. That's really disappointing though the only choice was tasty.
photo IMG_2284

The weather in Beijing when we were approaching was surprisingly good and clear, the CBD in Chaoyang District was clearly visible on final approaching. This was due to the strong wind coming from the North had blown the haze away so the approach was bumpy.
We bypassed two MU A330s on taxiing.
photo IMG_20141212_145352

Then two CZ A330s. China is really the land of A330s, as all 4 major carriers own bunches of A330.
photo IMG_20141212_145414

We arrived in PEK T2, the Skyteam hub. Though not big nor new as the T3, the T2 is convenient for travelers since you don't need to walk that much like T3.

And that's it. Thanks for your reading!
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Verdict

China Eastern

6.9/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering5.5

Hangzhou - HGH

7.5/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Beijing - PEK

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The only highlight in this flight would probably be the Skyward magazine.
In overall, HGH is good, the ambiance is bright on airside, the wireless is fine for streaming videos, and the shops are with the International standard. The only trouble is you can hardly find a working power socket.
I'm always satisfied with PEK T2 arrival.

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5 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 125054 by
    marathon GOLD 10171 Comments
    A Taiwanese aircraft in Mainland China would have been unthinkable ten years ago. How fast things changed !
    It never struck me that there were many widebodies in China, maybe because I patronized many secondary airports. Traffic keeps picking up, too.
    Thanks for this report !
  • Comment 125099 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
    Thanks for sharing. I didn't know there were rumors or MU switching alliances. It would definitely be a good think for oneworld since it's the only alliance that doesn't really have a presence in the mainland China market. China's had a lot of problems with delayed flights for years now, and it looks like your flight was another victim. Has it started to get better?
    • Comment 307385 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments
      I don't think there's any improvement on punctuality. It even got worse IMO.
      The most popular candidate for mainland Oneworld member is HU as it hasn't joined any alliance. MU is the second due to the JV with QF and codeshares with JL and AY(recent rumors). Yet because of the existence of CX both carriers are not technically possible to join OW: HU(HNA group) has HX while MU and QF have Jetstar HK, both has (or will have) great impact on CX/KA's biggest market.
    • Comment 307409 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6858 Comments
      Thanks for the insight. I didn't think about HU. Being a premium carrier they would be a nice addition to oneworld. I just recently switched from SkyTeam to oneworld, so taking interest in everything oneworld now as I'm less familiar with the alliance.

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