Airline: China Eastern Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus 330-200 (A33E)
Route: Sydney to Shanghai
Seating: Business class
Fare: A$2,140, one way
Flight Time: 10 hours and 40 minutes
Passengers can enjoy the Qantas Lounge when flying out of Sydney airport. The Pudong China Eastern lounge is not quite as comfortable compared to the Qantas lounge. I would advise you arrive at the airport as late as possible. Use the WiFi, get yourself something to drink and get on the plane when they say you can board. It’s much more comfortable on the plane than in the lounge. The business class cabin has a two by two by two configuration.
The seats on board my aircraft were very comfortable with nice pillows and blankets. There was plenty of room for everything and the bedding was long enough for me to lie my 200-centimetre body flat in the bed.
The service was excellent. The flight attendants were polite and courteous and always smiled. They were regularly checking if I needed anything and were bringing me fresh tea throughout the flight. Check in was easy and I breezed right through. There was no line and I was in and out in five minutes.
I’m not going on flights expecting a lot from the food. I usually eat at the airport lounge and get on the plane to just relax. The food was fine with both Chinese and Western options. On a Chinese airline, I choose the Chinese options. It gets me feeling like I’m “there” faster.
The entertainment was fine. There were fairly large screens and enough of a selection of movies and shows to keep me occupied. I usually don’t rely on the airline’s flight entertainment to keep me occupied though and I choose to bring my own books and iPad movies.
Business class passengers are allowed one piece of 10 kilogram hand luggage, two pieces of 32 kilogram each when flying to North America and one to two pieces weighing 30 kilograms total for all other destinations.
The frequent flyer system from China Eastern Airlines is known as the Eastern Miles Club. Members earn points through travelling with China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, China United Airlines and other partner airlines, as well as hotel reservations, financial services, catering services, car rental services, telecommunication services, and relaxation and health services. The bonus points can be exchanged for passenger tickets, cabin upgrading, excess baggage fees, gifts and more.
My main gripe is that the departure lounge is below standard. A few more selections on the entertainment system would be welcomed too.
For the most part, my flights both to and from Shanghai took off and arrived on time.