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China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

Seoul, South Korea
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64 posts
4 reviews
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China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

We're coming from Seoul, S. Korea and the flight to HK through CEA is about half the cost of flying with Cathay Pacific. Anyone have any thoughts about this airline? Thanks in advance.

Calgary, Canada
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627 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

china eastern airlines service no different from other chinese airlines or some north american airlines. no vod. but they do serve meal (unlike north amercian airlines). hard to understand their english announcement.

for half of the price, go for it.

Pleasanton, CA
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38 posts
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2. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

I'd go for it also. We had a two hour flight from Xi'an to Shanghai which left on time, arrived on time and had no problems with our luggage. We were served a hot meal, a snack and two beverages. Be careful with the snack though. I put a handful into my mouth and regretted it for the rest of the flight. What was it...peanuts, red chili and star anise. There's nothing like a lingering heat and licorice flavor in your mouth. I still remember it well.

Hong Kong, China
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5,614 posts
106 reviews
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3. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

China Eastern is one of the 'better' Chinese Airline in terms of fleet and services. Although I wouldn't put it under '1st rated international airlines' category.... Think first rated 'domestic' airlines in terms of services! But I'd go for it if it's much cheaper than Cathay Pacific. HK is less than 4 hours away from Seoul anyway...

Miami Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Shanghai Region
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6,554 posts
150 reviews
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4. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

Same as many average airlines. They do serve meals, but sometimes not too easy to identify. The staff is generally competent, although if you run into a problem, you might have to go to supervisory level quickly to get it resolved.

I have been on them many times and only one time was completely inadequate and that was complicated by the largest snowstorm across eastern China in decades. They had no processes in place to handle the problems, but that is not so strange in today's airline industry.

Your Cathay/Dragonair experience will be far superior, so only you can judge the worth of going from average to well above average. For the short flight, I would go the cheapest way. For a transpacific flight, I would consider carefully.

Hong Kong, China
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7,171 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

Have you looked at Korean Air and Asiana? Not sure what their fares are out of Korea, but from Hong Kong they are general cheaper than CX.

Seoul, South Korea
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64 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

For my dates Korean Air & Asiana are both more expensive then Cathay.

Arcadia, California
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2,627 posts
63 reviews
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7. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

Personally I'd go for it- after all, you could spend that extra money saved for something good in HK, like food or hotel. China Eastern is not bad for shorter flights; it's mainly long haul when the differences really show. Since the flight is of an OK length (plus you get a meal anyway so pretty good) I'd go with China Eastern. You might have some trouble listening to announcements unless they are pre-recorded...which I know some airlines do (e.g. safety video).

Brooklyn, New York
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24 posts
21 reviews
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8. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

good info...how is their fleet of planes from US/China?

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Holiday Travel, Food and Travel, Macau
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28,571 posts
6,438 reviews
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9. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

Cotrips and LoSo12

I suggest you also reference the Air Travel Forum and use the SEARCH function for China Eastern Air travel.

It seems the sentiment from this particular thread seems to be quite positive. This is good to see. However, the general sentiment for China Eastern Air is quite mixed as you will see from the Air Travel Destination Experts (DEs) and regular posters to the Air Travel Trip Advisor Forum.

Do spend some time there as well researching this airline.

Hong Kong, China
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647 posts
50 reviews
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10. Re: China Eastern Air. Thoughts?

I'm not sure if the situation has changed, but FYI, Shanghai Pudong Airport (China Eastern's hub) does not offer airside/sterile transfer facilities (I think only Beijing-Capital Airport has it). Instead, you must exit the airport (& clear immigration, collect your baggage, clear customs) and do the reverse of the above (as well as security check) - quite a hassle IMHO and is one of the reasons I try to avoid them when doing international trips with them ex-Hong Kong.

Also make sure that you check the connection time. China Eastern, like many Mainland carriers, are notorious for delays and cancellations due to the inefficient air traffic control system, not to mention poor 'irregular operations' handling by the airline itself when such a scenario arises. Do a search and make a list of backup flights.

<<Have you looked at Korean Air and Asiana? Not sure what their fares are out of Korea, but from Hong Kong they are general cheaper than CX.>>

Home carriers will almost always be more expensive.