Review: China Eastern - Business Class - Boeing 777-300ER - Shanghai PVG to New York JFK


Trip Report Index:

Introduction
China Eastern - Business Class - Boeing 777-300ER - New York JFK to Shanghai PVG
China Eastern - Lounge 36 - Shanghai Pudong Airport
China Eastern - Business Class - Airbus A320neo - Shanghai PVG to Chiang Mai CNX
Thai Airways - Royal Orchid Lounge - Chiang Mai Airport
China Eastern - Premium Economy - Airbus A320neo - Chiang Mai CNX to Shanghai PVG
China Eastern - Business Class - Boeing 777-300ER - Shanghai PVG to New York JFK

Flight Details:

China Eastern Flight 587
Shanghai (PVG) to New York (JFK)
Depart: Sunday, July 28 at 11:30 AM (Actual 11:19 AM)
Arrival: Sunday, July 28 at 2:25 PM (Actual 2:13 PM)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 16L (Business Class)

Booking:

Although we passed through Shanghai on our way to Chiang Mai, this flight was booked separately as a one way ticket back to New York. While this flight also cost 85,000 Delta SkyMiles, China Eastern charges a fuel surcharge of 1678 CNY (~$244), bringing the fees total up to 2010 CNY (~$290).

In addition to my other flights, I also contacted the China Eastern team in NYC via email to confirm seat reservations. I selected 16 and 17L, like on the outbound. We tried to change upon check-in at the airport, but was informed the flight was completely full.

Check-In:

A first for me, but I arrived to the airport about an hour and a half before the flight. Given that I'd have to clear immigration and security, I was a little nervous.


There's a pretty large SkyPriority section at Shanghai Pudong Terminal 1. Once inside, we had to go to the side that was specifically marked for America flights. The line was short, with only a few people ahead of us, but still managed to take about 10 minutes.


We were suggested to check our bags, as the agent said they were overweight and we may be forced to gate check them.

Security was quick, as was immigration. We were through at 10:15 AM, meaning we had about 15 minutes until boarding. We decided to head to lounge to grab a quick snack. I reviewed the lounge in depth before, but this time it was packed to the brim with almost no seating. Nothing else to report, really.

Boarding:

Boarding began promptly at 10:45 AM with SkyPriority. Since we had visited the lounge before, we were a little further back in line. At the boarding door, I was directed to pass through, but was not escorted to my seat. Due to that, I got much better photos of the cabin. Our plane, B-7343, was a Boeing 777-300ER delivered to China Eastern in May of 2016, making it just over three years old.

Cabin:

The walk to my seat began through first class.



Business Class came next.


It was nice to see the cabin all lit up, as the last time it was dark the entire flight outside.


About two-thirds of the way back, we found our seats.


16L was still missing a window. Waiting at the seat was the same amenities - water, headphones, slippers, a pillow and amenity kit.




Up above in the overhead bins was the comforters.


I snagged one right away so I wouldn't have to worry about not having one. The amenity kit was the same, stocked with L'Occitane products.



The slippers were comfy and came in a bag to store your shoes during the flight.


A few minutes later, we were offered a pre-departure beverage of orange or apple/lemon juice. I chose the latter because the stirrer was just so cute.


My husband asked for champagne and they brought it quickly.


Due to the width of the 777, the footwell was quite large and not restrictive at all.


The seat had a ton of features, like outlets, remotes and controls.



Flight / Meal Services:

At 11:07 AM, 23 minutes ahead of our scheduled departure time, it was announced that boarding was complete. The safety video was screened, but this time the crew came around and unlocked our monitors. As we waited to leave, the crew came around with towels.


I used it to wipe down my seat again, which was not as dirty this time.


Empty glasses were collected, and we backed away at 11:19 AM. As we headed to the runway, I requested pajamas, which were promptly brought.


Our taxi to the runway lasted about a half hour. We passed some great planes on the way there. Like a  brand new Delta A330-900neo.


Take off was around 11:48 AM and the meal service began shortly after. Here were the menus for this flight.







Interestingly enough, catering out of China Eastern's largest hub, Shanghai Pudong, featured lackluster catering. As you can see, every entree option came with simple sides of steamed rice and vegetables, rather than a variety like on my trip over. 32 minutes after take off my meal and beverage order was taken. A hot towel was served ten minutes later and another twenty minutes later the table was set.


I selected an unoaked chardonnay, which was pretty good. The appetizer tray came ten minutes later, which was the same for everyone - lobster. There was a soup choice, and I selected the corn soup.


The lobster was a little bit tough, but was still good. I liked the soup, which was served with crispy croutons in it. Next, a pass of the warmed bread basket came.


Flight attendants saw my appetizers were finished and cleared my plate. I tried to order another glass of wine, but was told to wait. My entree came moments later.


I ordered the braised pork ball with crab meat. While this a traditional Chinese dish, it just felt so... lackluster for international business class.


It certainly wasn't bad by any means, but mashed meat doesn't scream luxury. Although the flight attendant had told me to wait to order wine, she came with a refill. Once I was done eating, everything was cleared and I waited for dessert. First came a cart with fruit and cheese.


Everything was placed individually on my tray table, which was nice. The cheeses were okay and the fruit was fresh. On the flight out, the cheese was sliced in the aisle. This time, it was all pre-plated. Last, a dessert cart came with an option of ice cream or a hazelnut tart.


I chose the tart, which was really delicious.


The meal service ended with a pass of Ritter Sport chocolates.


I wouldn't say this meal service was bad, but it wasn't as good as the way out. The catering was lazy and the pace was slow. Our flight was just under 14 hours and this meal took over 2 and a half hours. I went to the bathroom once the lights dimmed.


The bathroom was clean and still in good condition.


It smelled nice, too.


I reclined my seat and tried to get a little rest. Unfortunately, it was 3:00 PM Shanghai time and I was not tired. Before I knew it, the lights came on and there was another smaller meal service. We were half way through the flight and dinner was up next.


Once again, service started with a towel. I ordered a red wine and the stir fried beef. The flight attendant had trouble understanding which wine I wanted, as my menu had gone missing, but she said, "You had red wine before, I can bring that one?" Great. Although there was a little language barrier, she was proactive in trying to figure it out.


Everyone's meal began with fruit and a small beef and vegetable salad.


I honestly wasn't very hungry, so I only picked at it. My entree came moments later.


The beef came with lo mein and a side of vegetables.


Some pieces of the beef were juicy and tender, while others were tough. The bread basket passed while I ate.


My plate was cleared upon request. This whole meal service took about an hour, much faster than the first one. At this point, I was tired since it was night time and I slept for the next four or five hours.

I woke up about two hours before landing and saw everyone was eating. Confused, I called over a flight attendant. While this was not technically a meal service, everyone happened to order off of the anytime menu. My husband and I each tried to order congee, but was told there was only one left. I was offered a sandwich and accepted. About 15 minutes later, it showed up.


I received two tiny sandwich triangles. There was some questionable ham product on it and what tasted to be mayonnaise. It was fine, but I was expecting something maybe a little larger. As I was eating, the crew collected the headphones and pushed my monitor closed. We were still about 45 minutes from landing, so my remaining entertainment was in the sky.


We broke the clouds and had a gorgeous view of the New York City area.


We flew in an interesting pathway.


We had a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline through the haze. We touched down at 1:57 PM, just over 14 hours after we took off. We had a 15 minute taxi to our gate at Terminal 1. Along the way we passed some Delta planes at Terminals 2 and 4.


Then, we pulled past the random assortment of planes at Terminal 1.


We ended up next to a Korean A380.


Deplaning took a few minutes, as did immigration.

Bottom Line:

Our last China Eastern flight wasn't as great as the others, but still wasn't bad. The food was uninspired, but we had a nice crew, a lay flat bed, a nonsmoking flight (thank god) and an early arrival. I still wouldn't hesitate to fly China Eastern, for the right mileage price or cash price.

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