Review of China Eastern flight Sydney Shanghai in Business

Airline China Eastern
Flight MU562
Class Business
Seat 9L
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 10:30
Take-off 08 Mar 15, 12:00
Arrival at 08 Mar 15, 19:30
MU 170 reviews
flywunala
By 16719
Published on 16th March 2015
This report covers my recent trip to Shanghai.

SYD-PVG MU562
PVG-SYD MU 561 coming soon

As usual whenever possible I track the inbound aircraft to find out about any delays and of course the registration of the aircraft.
This is my second ever trip on China Eastern. The first one was between Qingdao and Shanghai in 2003 on an A320. I have heard good feedback about China Eastern recently and I am looking forward to flying on them

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Information board at Sydney Airport. Check in row E

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The check in area looks very empty. It takes me only a few minutes to check in. China Eastern does not offer online checking.

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It is a busy time for the airport (Sunday morning) but with my express card I go throught customs and security rapidly. To get to the gate you need to go through the duty free….

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We will depart from Gate 24, which is traditionally the pier used by Qantas and other one world carriers. China Eastern is part of SkyTeam but they have a close relationship with Qantas and code share agreement.

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The International Terminal is under renovation. The big atrium was actually completed only a few years ago. This time the airport concentrates on improving the passenger experience.
The seating area and the coffee shop have disappeared behind the temporary wall. An exhibition of photos and posters showcasing major destinations serves from Sydney covers the temporary walls.

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A bit of plane spotting before going to the lounge…and it is my lucky day…the all black dream machine is in town, 787-9 ZK-NZE operating NZ103/104 from and to Auckland. A ture masterpiece…

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Colorful Air Vanuatu 737 waiting for a gate - The single 737 in the island carrier's fleet. Flown on it 6 times. This aircraft has one of the 737 highest utilisation in the world.
This aircraft was kept in Sydney during the recent cyclone that hit the island last Friday. A sad time for the country.

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I make my way to the SkyTeam lounge situated near gate 24, which is the gate we will depart from. Just too convenient.

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The lounge provides perfect view on the tarmac, the gate, and the Cargo facilities. Today aircraft is A330-243 B-5941. I always find it more difficult to memorize regio with digit over letters.
The aircraft is 12 month old. Still in China Eastern old color scheme.

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Two Qantas heavies docked at the gates behind us. See how the A380 looks much bigger than the 747-400

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Cargo being loaded

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A Qantas A380 bound ready to take off

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The buffet

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Food with a view

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The bathroom - very design and tidy

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View from the lounge. Sleek design. Very bright. Pleasing to the eye. Great lounge.

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Time to board. Plane spotting again. A new comer in Sydney, Cebu Pacific (Philippines) A330

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Jetstar 787 parked next to us

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And Garuda A330 taking off in her smart new livery

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Walking down the aerobridge

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One of the many smiling faces of China Eastern

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The MU A330-243 is configured with a new Herringbone style business class. All aircraft operating to SYD are.
This is an awesome configuration 1-2-1 giving the window seat a direct aisle access. Best of both world !



Details of the IFE remote

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We are taxiing, ready to take off when I realise the dream machine is about to take off.

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A very smooth take off to the South. As we climb and make a sharp right turn to fly over the airport and track north, I spot the dream machine. A great air-to-air photos!

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The IFE looks pretty impressive

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The Airshow is dynamic. Great 3D animation, However as the flight progresses I find it somehow difficult to have a precise overview at the whole flight path from origin.
The 2D maps seem more appropriate to really gauge the progress of the aircraft. A combination of both 2D and 3D maps would be really interesting.



Very decent choice of movies…I am a fan of French movies, and Claude Lelouch is one of my favorite director. What a treat to be able to finally watch his latest movie.
Sadly it was not as good as some of the older ones….

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Inflight amenities…

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And the pyjama, with the traditional Mao collar shape…
Interesting because it is a day flight. Funny enough I won't be getting a pyjama on the way back, which is a night flight…go figure…!

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The menus



I choose the Chinese meal

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The desert is very good. I ask for both the cheese cake and the ice cream

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I delicne an offer for cheese. However due to some cabin crew poor English skiils, I get a plate…..lol

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Australian outback - North Queensland

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Gulf of Carpentaria

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Leaving Australia and the Australian Far North coast - Tropical clouds formation
One of the few islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria

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As the flight progresses we reach The Philippines

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Just about to fly over Manila

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A second meal service is served as the night fall.

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A big detour to avoid Taiwanese air space….

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And finally it is a straight line to Shanghai after more than 10h flight time
Sadly the IFE is switch off at the top of the descend, which I find a little premature and frustrating

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We land in a storm. It is a very wet night in Shanghai. A short taxiing and we reach our gate

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I decide to take the Maglev fast train. Great experience, altough the darkness of the night prevents me from really appreciate the speed. 301 km/h.
The train goes much faster day time (420km/h)

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The Maglev station. A little narrow to take a better picture…

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View from my hotel room in Pudong, over the river, The Bund and the Puxi area



Pudong. The Jing Mao tower is now dwarfed by the new Shanghai International Tower, second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai !

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Verdict

China Eastern

7.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering5.0

Sydney - SYD

8.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Shanghai - PVG

5.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

Great and smooth trip

Great cabin configuration - new aircraft - great crew, always smiling and helpful, despite some poor English skills. The toilets on board were clean before me by a member of the crew each time I went....

The seat was comfortable, IFE provides a good selection of movies ( 5 French movies for instance).
On time performance was good. The skyteam lounge in Sydney is a real treat.
The food on board was average but I am not a fan of Chinese cuisine...the desserts were delicious.

Did not hear the pilot which was quite unusual.

Shanghai Pudong was busy on arrival, but Chinese immigration is very efficient. Luggage came through very quickly. Taking the fast train was a good option but it terminates in LongYang Road metro station, thus a taxi is required to continue to down town, unless you catch the metro.

I would recommend China Eastern on that sector as a serious option.

Information on the route Sydney (SYD) Shanghai (PVG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Sydney (SYD) → Shanghai (PVG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air China with 7.1/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 34 minutes.

  More information

11 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 131898 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments

    Absolutely incredible pictures. Made reading your report very enjoyable!

  • Comment 131930 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5969 Comments

    Thanks for sharing another great report! Beautiful planespotting...nice stroke of luck seeing the All Blacks NZ 789! I really like the look of SkyTeam lounges. The one in LHR is one of my favorite lounges, after the VS Clubhouse. I'm pleasantly surprised at the level of service from MU in this report--a modern reverse-herringbone 1-2-1 configuration, a decent amenity kit with pyjamas (rare in J), and what looks like nice catering, for those of us who like Chinese food, anyway :-P

    Oh and wow...beautiful pics of Shanghai with no pollution! I guess because it's still technically winter.

    • Comment 312560 by
      flywunala AUTHOR 155 Comments

      Thank you Kevin, yes a very enjoyable and refreshing experience. Understand the CDG/PVG also has the new business class style seat. Also understand that the 777 product which is similar (Herringbone) is even better !

    • Comment 312563 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5969 Comments

      I would imagine 777 in same configuration would be better. After my recent experience with this seat on a AA 77W, I can tell from the pics, the configurations is tighter on the A330...seats more sharply angled and a bit narrower.

  • Comment 131931 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1780 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this report aboard MU's new J-cabin.

    The All Blacks livery is definitely one of the best out there (great air-to-air of this plane too), the old MU livery, not so much. When I first saw the new MU livery, I was pleased they dumped the black nose.

    This cabin is definitely the right foot forward for MU, since they have the worst reputation of China's Big 3 (CA, CZ, and MU). Like most Chinese carriers, hard product is rapidly improving, but the soft product is always a couple of steps behind.

    Kit looks very minimalist, but PJs in J are a plus. I was disappointed when CA stopped giving out the Mao sleeping suits.

    The dishware looks really nice, although there are inconsistencies since you were given wood/plastic chopsticks for the first meal and metal chopsticks for the second meal. Chinese cuisine is not always known to be the most visually appealing so it's very hard to rate, but the meat in your appetizer looks really dry and unappetizing. Presentations for both meals look average, although the dessert looks good.

    The FA must be a mind-reader, she knew you subconsciously wanted a cheese plate.

    A clear day in Shanghai, glad you got a picture to prove they exist!

    • Comment 312690 by
      pwecar 53 Comments

      Actually here in China CA is widely recognized as the worst among the Big3s...

    • Comment 312561 by
      flywunala AUTHOR 155 Comments

      Thank you NG085....you are too funny...Actually he was a he. He must have know I am from the Comte cheese country lol....
      I dislike the old and new MU livery....the new one lacks creativity and is dull at best, however it looks pretty ok on the 777...
      Yes Shanghai was exceptionally clear the whole time (4days), except the night I arrived...shame I did not leave the hotel the whole time!

    • Comment 312562 by
      NGO85 SILVER 1780 Comments

      *egg on face* Sorry, only saw female FAs in your photos, so I assumed and we all know what Oscar Wilde says happens when we assume...

      I have a soft spot for CA's communist livery, so my tastes are questionable. The new MU livery is plain (lead paint shortage in China?) and looks weird on the A321, but I do like the new tail design.

  • Comment 133338 by
    lagentsecret 12360 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    I'm late in reading english reports but it's always a pleasure to read one of yours

    The ST lounge looks great but I can't have an opinion about the food and beverage ;)

    The NZ All Black livery is certainly among the most beautiful liveries

    I'm surprised to find such a modern cabin in a Chinese carrier's aircraft

    The wine list is not on par, at least with the french wine La vieille ferme which is offered in AF Y

    The food doesn't look appealling but the dishware is nice

    Gorgeous pictures of Shanghai

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