Route: Shanghai Hongqiao Airport to Shenzhen Airport
Departure date and time of flight: 15:30pm on the 10th of April 2010
Flight Number: MU5329
Flight duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Class: Economy Class (only one class)
Aircraft type: Airbus A300-600R (a very old aircraft)
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight was delayed by over an hour and a half, and without any reason given.
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece.
Comments on the check- in staff and any issues:
The check-in staff were polite, and very professional. There was no problem what so ever.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Choice of drinks (standard- tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade or coca-cola). As with most of the airlines in China, the drinks (coca cola, orange etc.) were all branded under the China Eastern Airlines logo. There was no alcohol served on this flight.
Comments regarding the first meal:
“Lunch” consisted of a lovely soft cake slice (banana flavor), Apple flavored crisps, a slightly dry cinnamon pastry and beef flavored sweets. It was nothing exciting. It was just your average meal on a domestic flight with China Eastern Airlines.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks was offered after the meal. Again, no alcohol was served.
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
In this very old A300 there was no IFE. To make matters worse my seat light was not working (and neither was the seat light of other nearby seats that I tried), the “Channel” and “Volume” button was not working either, and to make matters even more worse the “Flight attendant Call button” was not working either!
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
As with the standard of the majority of the Chinese airline companies, some of the staff were professional but their English level was below par international standards- perhaps Survival 2 or A1 in accordance with the European CEFR standard! (For Flight attendants’ the required English level should be around B2 globally!). The crew are aware that their airline is perhaps not up to the standards matchable to, say, airlines from western countries or that are seen to be more advanced.
Improvements that could be made:
The toilets need to be cleaner. The cabins were filthy and need to be cleaner. The seat IFE needs to be maintained properly. The in-flight food is a disgrace; however I fear that this would not improve as it’s the same for most Chinese airline companies. The staff speak poor English and this needs to be addressed seriously (i.e. what if there is an emergency?).
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The aircraft was not clean at all. As with most aircraft that are operated by Chinese airlines, the cabin had a strong stench of urine and an air of discomfort. It was the kind of smell you may have got on an old Russian Aeroflot Il-62 or Il-86 aircraft! The seats, and aisles and the toilets were all filthy. I hate to moan and groan about these things but it is important to mention them.
The seats were comfortable but not clean. There was a horrible stench. I would think twice before flying with this airline company if I have to again. For long haul flights I would refrain from flying with them at all for many of the reasons outlined above (food, smell, health issues, language problems etc.).
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best): 2
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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