Review : China Eastern, Business, Shanghai-Hong Kong, A330

Second last step of my stay in Asia with a return to Hong Kong from Shanghai in business class on China Eastern.

Check-in and ground experience

We are in the beginning of morning and strangely the airport is not very busy.

Enregistrement PVG

Not much waiting in the priority lines at China Eastern either.

Enregistrement PVG
Enregistrement PVG

The check-in is done seated, it is pleasant.

Enregistrement PVG

Very courteous and efficient staff, the formalities are done in no time. If you can check in online, it’s a shame you can’t get your boarding pass in Wallet on iPhone.

Police and security checks are done in an equally smooth manner. I make the same remark as when I arrived a few days earlier: people are often worried about the formalities and the length of time it takes to go through the various controls and everything is surprisingly fluid. They know how to put the right number staff in place and finally it goes surprisingly well considering the amount of traffic.

I find myself “Airside” and there are already more people.

Boarding PVG

Let’s go to the China Eastern VIP lounge which I have already reviewed here. Really uninteresting.

Boarding

I follow the signs that indicate the direction of my boarding gate, some gloomy corridors that bring me to the lower level…. it seems like boarding by bus.

Boarding PVG

And it’s the case.

Boarding PVG

We board on time and the order of priorities is respected Elite and business passengers first. However, I find it stupid in general for a bus boarding: making the premium passengers get on first means that they will get off the bus last….. Totally counterproductive.

We are made to wait in the airlock without calling the economy passengers. And then a bus arrives and I change my mind: premium passengers have their own very comfortable minibus that leaves before the eco passengers board. It’s still a boarding by bus but it’s still much more pleasant.

Boarding PVG
Boarding PVG

We thus arrive at the plane which as for my arrival of Seoul is an Airbus A330. The opportunity once again to praise the Asian airlines who do not hesitate to put such aircraft with “real” business cabins on medium haul!

Boarding PVG

This aircraft has 8 rows of business class for 30 seats. On the other hand, unlike my Seoul-Shanghai game, the configuration is no longer 2-2-2 but 1-2-1, more in line with current standards.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

And if the outbound seat was a well-known product found, for example, in the Turkish Airlines business class, this one is just as well, since it is the Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus that equips the Air France B777s in its “Best” configuration.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

A less reworked and improved version than on Air France but the base is the same. For example, the “China Eastern” version lacks a lot of storage space and it’s not very convenient.

As soon as I sit down I get my oshibori.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

The seat and screen controls are grouped on the side, above the small shelf.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

Nothing but classic.

No more than on the outward journey I am not convinced by the selection of films offered even if the screens and interface seem to be of better quality on this more recent cabin.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business
PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

We are distributed the menu before the takeoff.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

Very good for such a short flight, especially the 3 choices of dishes.

Because of the bad weather in Hong-Kongon, we were delayed by 30 minutes, so we waited quietly parked near the runway threshold until we were “released”. What actually happens after 30 minutes.

The takeoff is done without problem.

Strangely the cabin is in night configuration whereas we are in full day.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

The flight attendants will be quite aggressive on closing the window blinds as soon as the required altitude is reached.

Flight and meal

Because of the duration of the flight, the orders were taken on the ground and the service started very quickly. The table is set and I am offered a first drink. For lack of carbonated mineral water, I’ll settle for a “water soda”, which is pretty much the same.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

Then the wine is served and the cabin is lit.

For me it will be “red thai curry”.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

First, they bring us a selection of hot breads.

The trays are brought by hand, then the plates. No trolley service.

The appetizer is a bit bland, but the cabbage will eventually save the tasteless shrimp.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

No towels to clean your fingers after the starter!

The chicken will not be very spicy. The vegetables were a little too crunchy for my taste and the rice was very sticky. Acceptable.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

We will say that the taste is better than the visual.

An ice cream to finish.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

A “good” meal in the end, neither catastrophic nor really great. There is still room for improvement on this side for the Chinese airline, but at least it is easy to eat and the service is rather pleasant.

Not much else to report… I’ll finish up by reclining my seat to watch videos on my iPad.

PVG-HKG MU 701 China Eastern Business

Nothing notable until the end of the flight. We shall thus arrive with 30 min of delay for a flight of 2h00 (or 2h40 “block”).

The staff

I found the staff more experienced and professional than on the outbound trip. The service without trolley is still more pleasant. On the other hand, the attitude can sometimes be a bit rigid, especially when it comes to closing the window blibds, for which a passenger was severely chastised in public.

Bottom line

Nothing exceptional but a very correct performance on this relatively short flight. Still room for improvement on catering and attitude but the experience was better than on the outbound flight.

For the record the full routing :

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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