China Eastern First & Business Class On New 777-300ER

Filed Under: China Eastern, Other Airlines

China Eastern doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for their onboard product. They operate an A340-600 to some destinations in the US, and it leaves quite a bit to be desired, unfortunately. Meanwhile their A330 business class product is much better, though those planes don’t feature a first class cabin.

However, China Eastern is in the process of overhauling their longhaul fleet. Late last week they took delivery of their first of 20 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which they plan to operate primarily between Asia (Shanghai, specifically) and North America. Rumor has it that the 777-300ER will first fly to Los Angeles and then to New York, and that could be as soon as November of this year (though the 777-300ER hasn’t yet been loaded for any longhaul service).

As of the now the plane has just been scheduled for domestic flights designed to help crews get familiarized with the aircraft, on routes like Shanghai to Chengdu.

Here’s a video of their new onboard product:

As you can see, the new 777-300ER will be in a three class configuration.

The first class cabin will consist of a total of six seats, and looks impressive. It actually features a double bed — it’s only the second commercial plane in the world to feature a double bed, after Singapore Airlines’ A380s.

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class

And it does look like all first class seats are fully enclosed.

China Eastern First Class 777-300ER

Then business class consists of reverse herringbone seats.

China Eastern Business Class 777-300ER

China Eastern Business Class 777-300ER

Economy is in a 3-4-3 configuration, so while it’s not the most comfortable product, at least it does have on demand entertainment at every seat.

Kudos to China Eastern, I look forward to flying them. Historically China Eastern releases a fair amount of award availability — often two seats in first class and two seats in business class. Since they’re in SkyTeam, you should be able to redeem Delta SkyMiles for business class on them, or Korean Air SkyPass miles for first or business class on them.

China Eastern first and business class award availability

I look forward to trying out their first class product once they load the 777-300ER into the schedule.

Here’s to hoping they serve better champagne than their Chinese counterpart, China Southern.

China Southern’s Duc de Paris champagne

Between this and also China Airlines’ new business class product, SkyTeam transpacific hard products are certainly improving…

  1. @ Sebastian — The first row is in a 1-1 configuration (there’s a small bar area in the center area, so no center seats), and then the second row is in a 1-2-1 configuration.

  2. issue with KE right now is that chase has been down trying to transfer to KE for several days
    care to shed any light on that issue Lucky?

  3. I guess that offering fully enclosed first class seats in the form of 2 beds with rose petals and champagne will provide extra turbulence to the remaining passengers šŸ™‚

  4. @ Jeremy — I don’t have any light to shed. It’s frustrating and hope it’s back up soon, as I have some Korean Air bookings I’m hoping to make as well.

  5. @ Jeff — Quite a situation over there, but I’m not sure I have much to add, other than rehashing what has been said elsewhere already.

  6. the note under experflyer screenshot… “China Southern first and business class award availability”… shouldn’t it be China Eastern?

  7. “Hey Lucky. Long time reader, and fellow Hong Kong lover. Iā€™m hoping youā€™ll address the situation over there?” HK clown: please leave your politics in your backyard. We are here reading on travel, not your democracy fight.

  8. I think SQ A380 suites and this one have 2 twin beds in the same suite, with a hard partition (easily hidden) in between them.

    The EY A380 Residence, on the other hand, has a true double bed. šŸ˜‰

  9. Great that they are on the way. Between them, China Southern (slightly less fuel surcharges) and China Airlines (converting from JFK-KIX-TPE to JFK-ANC-TPE in October), there are some viable SkyMiles awards out of NYC to Asia with few or no blackout dates.

  10. @ Al — Good point, though at $200 per direction I don’t think they’re horrible, compared to what’s charged between the US and Europe, for example.

  11. The Chase UR to Korean transfer is fixed guys. I was waiting as well and just transferred successfully to Skypass.

  12. Well… the thing about the Chinese carriers in mainland China is that the hardware may be good, however the software sucks.

    The seats may be enthusiastic, but not really excited about their services.

  13. I wouldn’t surprise to see China Eastern become one of the only two airlines that feature a double bed consider its special relationship with Singapore Airlines.

    China Eastern is a huge drama queen…
    It used to cause a drama that almost tears down the Asian airline industry.
    Back then, China Eastern was trying to decide which alliance to join. At that time, almost every airline knows the importance of Shanghai hub.
    At beginning,China Eastern was in a sweet relationship with Singapore Airlines. However, Singapore Airline’s number one enemy – Cathay Pacific didn’t want to see that happen. So Cathay Pacific talked to its close friend and partner – Air China. Air China didn’t want to see that happen either. So it did something sneaky on capital market and blow up the relationship between China Eastern and Singapore. China Eastern was quite angry, and said it can join any alliance but CX’s oneworld and CA’s star alliance. Soon, China Eastern hired a new CEO, which used to be the CEO of China Southern. China Southern at that time has already joined Skyteam. Delta, which had a hub at Tokyo, joined the war. Since Delta’s CEO was a friend with China Eastern’s new CEO. American Airlines was planning to get a new Oneworld partner in northeast Asia, especially Japan Airlines was tied with Delta at that time.However,not only Delta used its connection with China Eastern’s new CEO, Delta also quickly offered to buy all of China Eastern’ old aircrafts, but China Eastern has to join Skyteam. China Eastern, at that time, had no choice but join the Skyteam and somehow became partner with Delta’s old friend – Japan Airlines.

    So in summary:
    Cathay Pacific doesn’t like Singapore Airlines
    Singapore Airlines doesn’t like Air China, just check number of their codeshare flights
    China Eastern doesn’t like Air China
    American Airlines doesn’t like Delta

    Today, 2015, Singapore airlines is planning have a revenge. It aims at Cathay Pacific’s direct competitor – Hong Kong Airlines ,which owns by Hainan Airlines (no affiliation yet). China Eastern hooks up with Oneworld’s Qantas, trying to found a Jetstar in Hong Kong. I wonder how will this go, it almost like watcing a Mexico soap opera.

  14. Hi, I love your reports! I am obsessed with cheap business class travel so if i am flying anywhere I always check your reviews first! I wanted to ask you about this new china eastern biz class. I want to fly from england to oz this october but I cant work out when these new cabins are being implemented. Also, is it pot luck if you get a new plane or an old plane? Or are these new cabins on certain routes? any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks so much!!

  15. @ Tasha Q — As of now the only longhaul destinations with the new product are in the US, as far as I know. You’ll want to look for flights operated by 777-300ERs. All of them should feature this product.

  16. Hello,

    Would anyone know what the experience is like in terms of layovers in China for business class travelers on China Eastern? Particularly Guangzhou airport.

    From some things I’ve read online, layovers in some Chinese airports could be a nightmare with delays and confusion as to which gates to go to, etc.

    Would it be different for business class?

  17. @ Traveling Man — Delays and confusion typically aren’t related to class of service. Ultimately the lounges in China typically aren’t as good as in other Asian airports, though it’s still not a terrible experience if you have a long enough layover and aren’t cutting it tight. Wouldn’t hesitate to do it.

  18. Thanks lucky, I’ve seen some great prices for China Eastern business class, so wouldn’t want to pass that up.

  19. Are they flying the 777’s from SFO to PVG? Does the business class on the SFO-PVG flights feature flat beds? Also, I will be flying onwards from PVG to New Delhi. That appears to be a A330 plane. How is the business class on those flights? The price does look attractive and I am wondering whether to take a chance.

  20. @ Naveen — You’ll want to double check the schedule, but it should be a 777-300ER starting soon, as far as I know. The A330 product on the connection should be quite nice as well.

  21. I’m booked on China Eastern for an upcoming PVG-LAX flight in October. The airline’s website is showing the A330 (33H) product with 1-2-1 configuration in business. I can’t seem to find much information on the 33H… seatguru only has seat maps for the 33E and others… any help there? From what I can gather, the 1-2-1 configuration is the reverse herringbone setup like on the 777.

  22. Planning a trip to Shanghai in April 2016-curious if all flights out of LAX to PVG on China Eastern are on their new Boeing 777? I had not read above if you had finally flown business class on their new aircraft?

  23. Any updates on China Eastern’s soft product for Business and First Class? I’m having a difficult time finding anything about their food quality and in flight offerings.

  24. I am thinking about CEA – YYZ to PVG- I have flown business with American and Air Canada. Both were just ok. Can you tell me what you think of CEA? Comfort being a priority and food/entertainment next. We are taking our kids, 6 & 8 and I want to make sure they’ll be able to eat something and stay busy.

    Thank you!

  25. I’m looking to book Heathrow to Phnom Penh in Business with China Eastern.
    Are the reports I’m reading that seat selection is only available at check in accurate. ? Or is this a nonsense. !
    I’ve never come across this before..certainly not in Business at least. ! This might determine whether I book with China Eastern or not.

  26. I just booked Business China Eastern Toronto Shanghai. It’s on the new 777-300. I was able to pick my seats. My agent also sent me a picture of the new seats. It looks good.

  27. Thanks for that. But since my original message, my routing has changed, and I’m now flying LHR/SGN via BJS with Air China. I’ve heard favourable reports about their Business Class on both the A330 and 777, and seat selection available at time of booking.So hopefully all will be well.! Thanks again.

  28. Have been using Air Canada from YYZ to PVG and we now have a China Eastern option and the price is so much better. I can’t find info on the classes but am looking at class I in business and want to be sure it is the lie flat biz class seat. Its on the 777-300

  29. China Eastern First Class JFK to PVG and back.

    Really, really nice to have a door, actual full size bed, and a huge TV monitor. Taken together the best infrastructure between the USA and China, leaving Cathay somewhat in the dust.

    A touch thin on the food and movie selection. Service 5 star!

  30. Hi:
    My niece just flew China Southern 777-300ER from Kuching to Guangzhou to New York and return. She and husband love the business class flat beds. We are still deciding whether to fly China Eastern 777-300 to Shanghai then Singapore and back. In reading some of the reviews online, we are discouraged with “smoking smells” from the start of the flight in the cockpit and also China Eastern using “old” planes with beds that do not lie flat. We also understand that the 777-300 is very different than the 77-300ER, which we noticed, the latter is used more for first class flights and to Guangzhou. Your advice is valuable to us as we need to make a decision soon.
    Many thanks.

  31. China Eastern business class is just ok. The food is scarce and not very good. Dessert for both meals is the same fruit plate. There are no snacks other than Chinese peanuts. The beds are lie flat. 80% of the attendants do not understand English. I flew Cathay in business to Hong Kong and, yes, the food was better, the attendants spoke English but the plane was the same as CE and the service was not noteworthy and rather disappointing. My sister in law just flew business with Hainan Airlines and the business class is similar to 1st with pyjamas, making the beds etc. For her, she thinks the extra stop in Beijing is worth it. I’m going to try them on my next trip.

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