China Eastern Is On To Us!!

China Eastern Is On To Us!!

116

Oh man, this is about to get good. Over the past 24 hours I’ve written extensively about the China Eastern flight that Matthew and I took yesterday from Los Angeles to Shanghai:

Well, today we’re flying China Eastern from Shanghai to Colombo after spending 20 hours in Shanghai, and stuff got significantly more entertaining… China Eastern is on to us!

Matthew and I were lined up at passport control behind one another. Matthew was in front of me, and when I finally cleared passport control, he was standing there with a guy from China Eastern.

China-Eastern-Ground-Service

Somehow he found Matthew, addressed him by name, introduced himself as the duty manager, and walked us to the lounge.

Once through security we were joined by yet another guy from China Eastern, and now they’re both standing in the lounge watching us.

China-Eastern-Lounge-Shanghai-1

As we walked into the lounge there were quite a few empty plates and trash all over the tables, and he quickly motioned for the lounge attendant to clean that up. About 20 minutes later he came up and said “I noticed you were taking pictures of the garbage, so I just wanted to explain…”

China-Eastern-Lounge-Shanghai-2

I’m not sure whether this is more awkward or amusing… perhaps a bit of both?

Stay tuned! We have a seven hour flight to Colombo, and I can’t wait to see how that goes.

Perhaps we should buy some nicotine patches in duty free for the pilots? 😉

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  1. Kieran Guest

    Both Lucky and Matthew posted about their lounge visit, but there was a bit of difference with this story about the used plates and rubbish. Lucky states there were plates and rubbish on the surrounding tables as he came through the lounge, as if they had been there for some time, but Matthew states that the referred to used plates and rubbish came some time after they entered the lounge and a group of other...

    Both Lucky and Matthew posted about their lounge visit, but there was a bit of difference with this story about the used plates and rubbish. Lucky states there were plates and rubbish on the surrounding tables as he came through the lounge, as if they had been there for some time, but Matthew states that the referred to used plates and rubbish came some time after they entered the lounge and a group of other people left, with the used plates and rubbish cleared only after a brief period. Bit weird...

    Lucky: As we walked into the lounge there were quite a few empty plates and trash all over the tables, and he quickly motioned for the lounge attendant to clean that up.

    Matthew: There were several people in the lounge, but the lounge soon cleared and we were left alone. The people sitting at the table next to us had left a mess and the duty manager aggressively motioned for one of the lounge agents to clean it up when he saw that we were eyeing it.

  2. brad Guest

    LOVE IT! Please keep posting and please be careful. I had already made up my mind never to fly a Chinese airline before this. Now I am even more determined not to because of the over-survelliance on an issue that should be a non-issue.

  3. saii Guest

    @It's Lobster Carnival

    Haha, thanks..

  4. saii Guest

    @Brian @Dirk

    I mean, if all comments are reasonable like the latest two comments made by you guys, I would have not needed to jump out..

  5. saii Guest

    @Joe

    I mentioned multiple times that I fully agree with Lucky for the smoking part. I would say the cigarets smell in many hotels, public restrooms, and some restaurants are the thing that I hate most in China. So obviously, I'm not a guy that get defensive immediately after hearing any criticism of China..

    Also, I think my comments are in a polite way overall.. But it still offended some of you. Meanwhile, nobody had...

    @Joe

    I mentioned multiple times that I fully agree with Lucky for the smoking part. I would say the cigarets smell in many hotels, public restrooms, and some restaurants are the thing that I hate most in China. So obviously, I'm not a guy that get defensive immediately after hearing any criticism of China..

    Also, I think my comments are in a polite way overall.. But it still offended some of you. Meanwhile, nobody had issue with the disgusting comment from Mike S..

    Btw, neither Lucky, nor you, have paid any cash for the ticket.. I do not have issue with this at all. Just want to point out the fact you got wrong.

  6. Owen Guest

    "The Chinese pilots on MU don’t say a word over the PA."

    That would be worth paying extra for.

    @Mark trolling...

    Good trolling.

    @Joe

    If you pay only $2000 for J to China ex USA, you should feel lucky to get any kind of food or service at all. The usual price is over $3000.

  7. emercycrite Guest

    Good to see this unfold. This is at least one good thing to come out of being a social media influencer.

  8. Brian Guest

    @Saii

    I want to gently advise you to step back, remove the emotion, and try to realize that these posts by Mathew and Lucky are NOT an attack on China. If you read his blog regularly, I think you'll have to conclude that while he's opinionated and a tough grader, he's fair to both Chinese, US, and other carriers. He does, for example, have many very positive posts about travel service providers in China. For...

    @Saii

    I want to gently advise you to step back, remove the emotion, and try to realize that these posts by Mathew and Lucky are NOT an attack on China. If you read his blog regularly, I think you'll have to conclude that while he's opinionated and a tough grader, he's fair to both Chinese, US, and other carriers. He does, for example, have many very positive posts about travel service providers in China. For example, https://onemileatatime.com/review-andaz-shanghai/. Likewise, there are literally hundreds of posts here that call out bad service on US airlines or hotels or even lackluster performances by Lucky's loves like Lufthansa, Emirates, or Singapore.

    Your posts - and the other posts by China apologists here - are doing far more to make China and the airline look very, very bad. Uncivilized really. If you want people to think that China is filled with thin-skinned, petulant, xenophobic people who leap to defend poor service and liars, you're doing a great job. I hope that isn't the real China. I prefer to think of China as having thousands of years of culture or an economic growth machine for the last 40 years. You know a place I would like to visit even if service standards won't always be to my liking.

    1. Dirk Guest

      +1 to what Brian said. And I'll add that many of us Americans who travel to Asia regularly will go out of our way to travel on Asian, rather than American, carriers, so this is nothing about racism, xenophobia, or national pride. I would like nothing more than for the mainland Chinese airlines step up their game so they are on the same level with Cathay Pacific which is getting most of my business these...

      +1 to what Brian said. And I'll add that many of us Americans who travel to Asia regularly will go out of our way to travel on Asian, rather than American, carriers, so this is nothing about racism, xenophobia, or national pride. I would like nothing more than for the mainland Chinese airlines step up their game so they are on the same level with Cathay Pacific which is getting most of my business these days. This won't happen unless criticism is welcomed and constructively responded to.

  9. Joe Guest

    @saii
    I'm sorry but if you pay $2000 usd for a business class ticket you should not be getting folgers in a cup even if they give you extra flavor crystals. No that is not spoiled or entitled. If I pay that much I am expecting more. Thats pretty black and white.

    Also, he didn't complain about western food. He complained about the food in general. As you can see in his 3+ articles...

    @saii
    I'm sorry but if you pay $2000 usd for a business class ticket you should not be getting folgers in a cup even if they give you extra flavor crystals. No that is not spoiled or entitled. If I pay that much I am expecting more. Thats pretty black and white.

    Also, he didn't complain about western food. He complained about the food in general. As you can see in his 3+ articles it wasn't just western food. Its a legit review like any restaurant review. Stop being so defensive.

    I myself am chinese and I have a lot of chinese friends like you. The moment I criticize china in any way shape or form I am considered brain washed and no longer chinese because apparently I am white inside. You probably have the same reaction as my friends when we travel, the first thing they want is chinese food. Hello we're in paris, lots of french food ?!?!? Its this over the top nationalism that makes me crazy. yes people in the US do the same and I criticize them in the same way.

  10. Mike S. Guest

    Avoid Mainland Chinese carriers like the plague:

    * poor customer service

    * dirty

    * rude and disrespectful mainland Chinese passengers (now you know why Hong Kongers are embarrassed to be associated with their mainland cousins).

    Do not confuse Taiwanese carriers (which are much better) such as China Airlines and EVA with mainland Chinese carriers.

    1. Joe Guest

      Just for the records, some of Taiwan carrier has one of the worst safety records in the world.

  11. It's Lobster Carnival Guest

    saii says:
    ... "But I don’t like his attitude that he is complaining/joking at all different things in China now. It’s just not the attitude that a public figure of the global frequent flyer community should have."

    Saii, meet the internet.

    Internet, meet Saii.

  12. saii Guest

    @Tom,

    Maybe I missed some, but I haven't noticed any comment saying that the China Eastern crew don't ever smoke on the plane.. I think many just mentioned that from their experience, they haven't noticed any. Meanwhile, many others mentioned they've noticed.. Again, I'm fully with Lucky on this issue.

    I actually don't fly Chinese airlines much, mainly because it's cheaper and the schedule is more flexible to fly with the US airlines from/to my...

    @Tom,

    Maybe I missed some, but I haven't noticed any comment saying that the China Eastern crew don't ever smoke on the plane.. I think many just mentioned that from their experience, they haven't noticed any. Meanwhile, many others mentioned they've noticed.. Again, I'm fully with Lucky on this issue.

    I actually don't fly Chinese airlines much, mainly because it's cheaper and the schedule is more flexible to fly with the US airlines from/to my small town in US. And I guess the truth is, regardless of what happened to Lucky, there is very small chance that Americans are actually going to choose the Chinese airlines, unless the price is just much cheaper :)

  13. Paul Member

    Haha this is awesome. They sent corporate minders to "escort" you. btw, what was the official explanation for trash and dirty dishes?
    Also, are they going on the flight and watching you during the flight as well?

  14. Tom Guest

    saii: The reason why you're wrong? All those posts to the effect that no one (meaning, I guess, the pilots) ever smokes on China Eastern. Yeah, right.

    In American poker, something specific like that that tips you off about more important things is called a "tell.

  15. Unhoeflich Guest

    Last year in Beijing I found a simple restaurant that had dumplings with shrimp, leek, egg, and garlic. I still dream about them sometimes.

  16. saii Guest

    @Tom

    Come on, let's be reasonable. Just like Americans, we, Chinese, love our country. I agree with Lucky's complain about the smoking part. But I don't like his attitude that he is complaining/joking at all different things in China now. It's just not the attitude that a public figure of the global frequent flyer community should have.

    Also, I don't like the feeling that people here believe any comments not fully in-line with Lucky's opinion...

    @Tom

    Come on, let's be reasonable. Just like Americans, we, Chinese, love our country. I agree with Lucky's complain about the smoking part. But I don't like his attitude that he is complaining/joking at all different things in China now. It's just not the attitude that a public figure of the global frequent flyer community should have.

    Also, I don't like the feeling that people here believe any comments not fully in-line with Lucky's opinion are from the Chinese government. China and Chinese government are just not evil like many of you guys imaged. You guys are more than welcome to take a US airline to China and take a look.

    Full disclosure, I have no connection with the Chinese government or any Chinese airlines. I'm just a frequent flyer who was born in China and have stayed in US for 10 years. I fly 100k+ miles a year, mostly between US and China.

  17. Bob_NL Guest

    @jung *Ding-Dong* This was selvice message flom Easteln China Aillines....

  18. Jung Guest

    @David, it is true that all asian countries lounges are all better than the us carrier flagship lounges, and service, good food or not is really bias if you're westerns, but one thing for sure they at least serve some sortof hot food, unlike here in US , chips , biscuits and fruits. Personally I have been to air china first class lounge, and I love it, because you could order a la cart off...

    @David, it is true that all asian countries lounges are all better than the us carrier flagship lounges, and service, good food or not is really bias if you're westerns, but one thing for sure they at least serve some sortof hot food, unlike here in US , chips , biscuits and fruits. Personally I have been to air china first class lounge, and I love it, because you could order a la cart off the menu (gotta love their onion rings).

    Now as far as garbage is concern , I agree, Lucky may came conclusion too soon, have you been the lounge for some time period and notice it wasn't picked up for that whole time frame? Because you should see the United lounge in Chicago, its like in a Zoo full of left over cups and banana peels and maybe like 1 janitor work her butt off restocking granola...

  19. Tom Guest

    Dear Credit: A straight non-troll post (and a pretty good one at that)? I think someone's sold out . . . and it ain't Lucky.

    All Lucky's loyal readers know that his best posts are just like this series -- a rolling series of service disasters.

    But here's a serious note. I've learned something here: the huge number of false-flag posts from Chinese sources here are a little scary, or a lot scary. The weirdest...

    Dear Credit: A straight non-troll post (and a pretty good one at that)? I think someone's sold out . . . and it ain't Lucky.

    All Lucky's loyal readers know that his best posts are just like this series -- a rolling series of service disasters.

    But here's a serious note. I've learned something here: the huge number of false-flag posts from Chinese sources here are a little scary, or a lot scary. The weirdest one was from the "American" who called the lav "the toilet." Yeah, right. Not a native speaker.

  20. saii Guest

    @David,

    Then, I guess your taste is against many authentic Chinese food. Cantonese food is actually not that popular in China comparing to Sichuan style or many others. I'm not saying this is your fault that you don't like most authentic Chinese food. But I don't believe it's the fault of the lounges in China as well..

  21. Joe Guest

    So much self-importance, hilarious and pitiful.

  22. Robert Guest

    Are they from MU's PR department? I hope so!

  23. David Community Ambassador

    @saii I've never had great food in China north of Guangzhou. Edible but unmemorable.

  24. saii Guest

    @David,

    As I mentioned above, the Air China First Class Beijing T3 lounge. The beef noodle soup there is very delicious. Give it a try next time! I mean, I assume you'd like to try some Chinese food in a lounge in China.. If you are with the attitude that you can only accept western food, never mind..

  25. David Community Ambassador

    @Mark I thought it was "niao" in Mandarin or "leew" in Cantonese.

  26. saii Guest

    @bangkokiscool

    That's just simply the truth. How many lounges in China and US have you been in? I travel between US and China frequently! Most lounges in US do not even offer meals other than some snacks and soups.

    The Air China first class even let you in just with the Priority Pass. I just simply googled the following link with some photos for your information. I did not really read the following article though.

    @bangkokiscool

    That's just simply the truth. How many lounges in China and US have you been in? I travel between US and China frequently! Most lounges in US do not even offer meals other than some snacks and soups.

    The Air China first class even let you in just with the Priority Pass. I just simply googled the following link with some photos for your information. I did not really read the following article though.
    http://upgrd.com/pursuedadventures/lounge-review-air-china-first-class-lounge-at-beijing.html

  27. Mark Guest

    @David - "pee-pee" is the Chinese word for urine

  28. David Community Ambassador

    @Mark you're working on your PhD but you're using a toddler's version of the word urine?

  29. David Community Ambassador

    @saii Which lounges in China serve better food and drinks? Cathay's lounges in Hong Kong and outstations wouldnt count. Bread served first is common among many restaurants and airlines, similar to peanuts and pickled vegetables in Chinese restaurants so I think it's a perfectly valid complaint. I wouldnt expect Western food in a Chinese restaurant. However, MU is offering the option there so what is wrong with Lucky expecting a decent meal? There's a different...

    @saii Which lounges in China serve better food and drinks? Cathay's lounges in Hong Kong and outstations wouldnt count. Bread served first is common among many restaurants and airlines, similar to peanuts and pickled vegetables in Chinese restaurants so I think it's a perfectly valid complaint. I wouldnt expect Western food in a Chinese restaurant. However, MU is offering the option there so what is wrong with Lucky expecting a decent meal? There's a different between a poor meal and an edible but unmemorable meal.

  30. Mark Guest

    @Chris - I did field work in China for my PhD in Anthropology.
    I learned that they Chinese, they play joke, they put pee-pee in your Coke.

  31. bangkokiscool New Member

    OMG I just laughed so hard at "lounges in China serves much better food and drinks than the ones in US". These people cannot be taken seriously.

  32. Credit Guest

    Unfortunately for lucky, if he changes his review and starts giving glowing reviews to mainland airlines we will think he sold out.

  33. saii Guest

    @Dirk

    I don't get the logic that I can agree with Lucky's complain about the smoking but cannot believe some other complains "look funny". Yes, the western food that Lucky received may not be good. But as I mentioned, if you choose to go to a Chinese restaurant, you cannot always expect great western food there, right? There is no concept of appetizer in Chinese food. So complaining serving the bread after 10 minutes of...

    @Dirk

    I don't get the logic that I can agree with Lucky's complain about the smoking but cannot believe some other complains "look funny". Yes, the western food that Lucky received may not be good. But as I mentioned, if you choose to go to a Chinese restaurant, you cannot always expect great western food there, right? There is no concept of appetizer in Chinese food. So complaining serving the bread after 10 minutes of appetizer in a Chinese airline does look funny to me. As a global frequent traveller, you must be able to at least adapt this, right?

    I just don't like the attitude Lucky is putting into this series. He is complaining/laughing at all different things now. You mentioned "uncollected trash is not in all airport lounges". That's simply not my experience. And just being reasonable, you don't even pay tips to the servers in the lounges. And you expect them to always clean your trash right after you leave in all lounges? One thing I'm 100% sure is that, at least the lounges in China serves much better food and drinks than the ones in US.

  34. David W Community Ambassador

    @saii These are all valid complaints - Lucky uses this blog and his job to be able to review airlines and should point out all the good and bad from his point of view. Whether you agree or not is a different story. Furthermore, Delta is deepening their partnership and MU is expanding in NA. If they are to capture the American market, there are certain adaptations they must make in order to succeed.

  35. chris Guest

    @Mark
    Care to explain in details?

  36. Mark Guest

    Be careful. I've heard they they often put pee-pee in your Coke.

  37. Stanley Guest

    It seems like that China Eastern is letting you guys use the No.20 Lounge, which is primarily reserved for international first class passengers rather than business class... It looks like they're really on to you guys :)

  38. dmodemd Guest

    They will surely try and convince Lucky to turn around his review the "easy way" before they try the "hard way". Expect to see a reversal / explanation / excuse for the bad review shortly..... or no more posts at all...

  39. Maria nugroho Guest

    Go Lucky/Ben,

    Tell us how this unfold. Frankly, after reading your post china estern is a big NO for me. I have no intention of flying long haul or short in a cigarette smell cabin. EVER! Thanks for callinf them out and put it on ur blog for ur readers.

  40. Imperator Diamond

    I am wondering if the managements of Royal Air Maroc and PIA are sweating bullets right now.

  41. Dirk Guest

    @saii

    You agree that some of Lucky's criticism has some merit. What's the problem then and why does his other criticism "look funny" to you? The food he was served looks disgusting and the service was unacceptable. MU has espresso machines but their only for the crew? The crew lying about the smoking onboard? Uncollected trash is not in all airport lounges, but usually is in the ones where service standards are lacking. This speaks...

    @saii

    You agree that some of Lucky's criticism has some merit. What's the problem then and why does his other criticism "look funny" to you? The food he was served looks disgusting and the service was unacceptable. MU has espresso machines but their only for the crew? The crew lying about the smoking onboard? Uncollected trash is not in all airport lounges, but usually is in the ones where service standards are lacking. This speaks volumes about the MU culture. Competition for premium air travelers' money is brutal. MU had better get its act together if it wants to compete with other airlines trying to get our business in the U.S.

  42. JW Guest

    @JimC, I think weibo requires a registered account to read the posts. I saw some screen captures of posts talking about Lucky being the princess on a pea again and uses different standard in his review. It seems to me the fact that in some parts of the world there's almost zero tolerance for smoking may not be universally acknowledged.

  43. RakSiam Diamond

    Wow. Surprised at all of these comments that Lucky and Matt should just suck it up and stop complaining. If I paid (and even if I didn't) to fly on a longhaul with constant cigarette smoke I'd be pissed off too. Some people are very sensitive to smoke. It's a health hazard for everyone on the aircraft. Frankly I am shocked that it is legal for the pilots to smoke on the aircraft.

    I...

    Wow. Surprised at all of these comments that Lucky and Matt should just suck it up and stop complaining. If I paid (and even if I didn't) to fly on a longhaul with constant cigarette smoke I'd be pissed off too. Some people are very sensitive to smoke. It's a health hazard for everyone on the aircraft. Frankly I am shocked that it is legal for the pilots to smoke on the aircraft.

    I personally have no intention of ever going to China so I suppose I am lucky that I won't have to deal with this.

  44. mike Guest

    Wow, if I was in China, I'd wait till stateside before posting that. That Tiananmen Square little thingy would kinda make me keep my mouth shut.

  45. bcnfly Guest

    They are probably making sure you leave China and never come back!

  46. saii Guest

    @beth have you ever been in a lounge? I saw uncollected trash in every lounge I've visited..

  47. Dirk Guest

    @lookback

    Are you trying to sound like an MU pilot or Chinese censor? Your attitude is very closed-minded for a purported American. Most of us believe in examining our problems and trying to fix them, not sweeping them under the rug with self-censorship. There are plenty of discussions about "our own pile of mess" elsewhere. This is a travel blog, so the spotlight is on MU here. When MU starts selling tickets to Americans and...

    @lookback

    Are you trying to sound like an MU pilot or Chinese censor? Your attitude is very closed-minded for a purported American. Most of us believe in examining our problems and trying to fix them, not sweeping them under the rug with self-censorship. There are plenty of discussions about "our own pile of mess" elsewhere. This is a travel blog, so the spotlight is on MU here. When MU starts selling tickets to Americans and operating flights out of our airports, we have every right to examine their service with our "Western eyes" and discuss it here. The Chinese culture you refer to is on reflected the service relin the Taiwanese airlines, but sadly not those based in the PRC. The pilots on EVA and CI would never be caught smoking in the cockpit. Ask yourself why this might be. As for me, I now will not fly MU and am telling everyone I know to avoid it.

  48. saii Guest

    @JimC As a Chinese, I do not defend China Eastern for the smoking part. I hate smoking in public areas a lot. But complaining the western food, coffee, and how they serve the bread after appetizer just looks funny to me.. If you prefer western food, you should not choose one Chinese airline, just like when you choose the restaurant.

  49. beth New Member

    What exactly was his explanation for the trash? Is no one else interested in that?

  50. JimC Guest

    @JW, would you have a link to the Weibo post. Would be interested to see what's being said about Lucky's situation. Thanks.

  51. saii Guest

    Is this the main source of you guys' income? You just keep flying and blackmail the airline once you find any "problem" (the problem may not be against the law or any regulation, but certainly against your arrogant western value.)

  52. JimC Guest

    I never thought too much about the purported legion of people from China posting in forums to reply and defend against anything critical of the country, but looking at the replies here and other forums, I would have to say it sure seems that's a true phenomenon.

    Annoying to see the blind response to anything critical to China. It actually just makes me have an even lower opinion of a country that needs to operate...

    I never thought too much about the purported legion of people from China posting in forums to reply and defend against anything critical of the country, but looking at the replies here and other forums, I would have to say it sure seems that's a true phenomenon.

    Annoying to see the blind response to anything critical to China. It actually just makes me have an even lower opinion of a country that needs to operate in this way.

    Anyways, really enjoying the live blog posts and looking forward to resolution of this situation. I, for one, am glad to know about the smoking by the crew. Lots of other airline options, will stay away from mainland Chinese airlines for longer, I can't stand smoking, much less trapped in a plane with it.

  53. changger Guest

    One of the things that Chinese people love to do is complain and everything and anything. Maybe Lucky's got a little Chinese in him. :)

  54. Donna Diamond

    Let's hope it's the VIP treatment and not anything scary. It's telling that they're harassing the messenger and holding blameless their horrible flight crew. Stay safe.

  55. JW Guest

    Some weibo post titled "the $5 champagne princess strikes again" probably alerted them

  56. lookback Guest

    whatever has been going on for 1.3 billion people over 2-5 thousand years is their own business. if you go there follow their custom, don't bring the purported western view/attitude and thinking you are doing a favor to institute/demand a change for the benefit of people living or tourists visiting there. Who cares how long have they been smoking? How about we check our own pile of domestic mess?

  57. Robert Hanson Diamond

    I'd be careful, it's not really clear yet what this escort is all about. It doesn't really seem it's to make sure you have a better than usual flight, or the lounge would have been cleaned up before you arrived. There is a possibility that they are pissed at the loss of face you have caused them, and they are watching you, hoping you step out of line enough, perhaps even accidentally, that they can...

    I'd be careful, it's not really clear yet what this escort is all about. It doesn't really seem it's to make sure you have a better than usual flight, or the lounge would have been cleaned up before you arrived. There is a possibility that they are pissed at the loss of face you have caused them, and they are watching you, hoping you step out of line enough, perhaps even accidentally, that they can have you harassed, or even arrested. Remember that you are in a heavy handed dictatorship and the only rights you have are the ones they choose to give you.

  58. Jeff Guest

    If you don't have snapchat, please think about getting one to share some of this. I would definitely be concerned about sharing the VPN stuff while in China. I would have waited until I was out of China to post that, but that's just me. Will be interesting to see if there is any blowback from the airline about the crew or pilots smoking.

  59. Louis Chiu Guest

    @Jason
    Of course, They are the big brothers, Monitoring everything in and out.

  60. Jason Guest

    I personally know a Cabin Service Manager from China Eastern and she told me that they found out Lucky's post even before landing cuz he posted with their wifi service.

  61. Bob Trial Guest

    @Bricksoft...I don't see why the publicity hurts travelers? Have you even flown MU before? The smoking sucks and it happens ALL. THE. TIME. So what if your "nothing will change for the rest of us" scenario is most likely. I can't see any negative coming for the rest of us, this is a new approach, and there's even a real chance this public shaming makes them lose face and forces some pilots to think twice...

    @Bricksoft...I don't see why the publicity hurts travelers? Have you even flown MU before? The smoking sucks and it happens ALL. THE. TIME. So what if your "nothing will change for the rest of us" scenario is most likely. I can't see any negative coming for the rest of us, this is a new approach, and there's even a real chance this public shaming makes them lose face and forces some pilots to think twice or else maybe they'll get publicly shamed at some unexpected point in the future. Guaranteed those pilots on his flight at a minimum just got reprimanded or most likely fired. It's definitely not a negative for the rest of us who don't quite have the megaphone Lucky does.

  62. THEsocalledfan Guest

    Ben, best stuff I've read here in years. (You will never top the prostitute post in the room next door....) Keep it up!

  63. Andy Guest

    I can already see what the comments of the review of the flight to Colombo looks like.

  64. J Guest

    Based on Matthew's post, this was clearly a service recovery attempt by China Eastern. Instead of locking you up in a Chinese jail for disturbing the crew and acting like detectives on an airplane, they gave you VIP treatment. Kudos to the airline as they could've turned a blind eye to your endless ranting. Why are you making a huge scene out of this? What are you trying to accomplish?

  65. Larry Member

    "Captain, you can't smoke today on the way to Colombo."

    "Why not?"

    (Explains)

    "Oh for f**k's sake. Can we just have them arrested?"

  66. Bricksoft Guest

    Why do people think this is a sign that China Eastern are making changes or improving because of Lucky's previous posts.

    My take is that the current trip and any future trips by Lucky will be monitored and extra care will be taken to ensure that Lucky's experience on the airline will be faultless. Management will see this as a way to get a good review on the blog.

    Nothing will change on any other...

    Why do people think this is a sign that China Eastern are making changes or improving because of Lucky's previous posts.

    My take is that the current trip and any future trips by Lucky will be monitored and extra care will be taken to ensure that Lucky's experience on the airline will be faultless. Management will see this as a way to get a good review on the blog.

    Nothing will change on any other China Eastern flight.

    Crews that operate flights with Lucky may now be under orders not to smoke on the flight. If the crew find out why this is happening and who caused it then lucky's meal could have the addition of the "special" sauce.

  67. Bill Guest

    You'd better not eat the food on the plane!

  68. bangkokiscool New Member

    Whenever I fly China Eastern (which is often because of their prices and schedule) to China, I pack my own water and food even though I fly business class. They do hand out eye shades and ear plugs, so it's lights out for me the entire flight. The bed is good, everything else about the flight is totally forgettable. If I'm lucky I won't be woken up by smelling cigarette smoke, but 9 times out...

    Whenever I fly China Eastern (which is often because of their prices and schedule) to China, I pack my own water and food even though I fly business class. They do hand out eye shades and ear plugs, so it's lights out for me the entire flight. The bed is good, everything else about the flight is totally forgettable. If I'm lucky I won't be woken up by smelling cigarette smoke, but 9 times out of 10, I will be woken up several times smelling the cigarette smoke from the cockpit. The last time I flew MU, it was on a 2-week old 77W from YYZ, and the pilots couldn't get the right engine to start after pushback. They went back to the gate, and before the boarding door opened they were able to get it started. So I do wonder about the pilots at MU generally. I've only flown on MU once with a foreign pilot -- I know because he spoke to us! The Chinese pilots on MU don't say a word over the PA.

    My guess is that MU is currently ruled by several factions. There are obviously some smart people at MU who have pushed for expansion into NA with great planes and great hard products. They've invested billions into those 77W planes and they're really nice! Then there are some factions on the service and pilots side, who haven't caught up with where the industry has gone and think they are still flying in 1970.

    The reality is that it's 2016, and MU wants to be a globally competitive carrier. It's opening new routes to NA including Chicago this year. Upstarts like Xiamen and Lucky are nipping at their heels, and even Air China (which has banned smoking in the cockpit) is becoming more competitive. To the China apologists, I hope you all realize that Ben is doing MU a huge favor. If MU can use Ben's publicity to finally push out some of those who have resisted change in the company and allow MU to break through to the next level, MU could be a really competitive airline. You all should be cheering for Ben, not tearing him down.

  69. Jay Jay Guest

    @travel4b: thanks for the info! Emirates it is, then! :) (my favorite First Class bed is Lufthansa, but sadly they do not fly to Australia anymore, and cut down on FC everywhere, unfortunately.)

  70. Stvr Guest

    This is hilarious. Good job lucky

  71. Jonathan Member

    Lucky,
    Your posts have already gained social media attention on several Chinese platforms, addressing you as "the guy from the $5 champagne".
    I'm in a pilots' group chat, one guy posted a link to your previous smoking post commenting "what do we say?"

    It does look like you'll be in for a fun trip! ;)

  72. Paolo Diamond

    On any American airline a passenger stalking around the cabin sniffing for smoke, asking questions about the flight crew, being pushy with the chief steward: you would end up being escorted off the plane in handcuffs. Instead you got VIP treatment.

  73. Gaurav Guest

    This gets more entertaining with every post. I am liking the live posts. Keep them coming.

  74. travel4b Gold

    @ Jay Jay

    I hope you are not expecting a soft bed on Etihad's A380. The futon/bed is way too firm in my opinion and the actually bedding doesn't help significantly.

  75. Bob Trial Guest

    Gotta say....I can't see how this hurts at all. I have been on too many China Eastern flights with smoking pilots to count. It sucks. The entire front of the cabin reeks of smoke when they do it. About time someone made MU lose face. Hands down the biggest joke of the mainland Chinese big 3.

  76. Louis Chiu Guest

    This is a very typical PRC way of dealing with problem. They don't address the problem but they will make sure that person who discovered/reported this problem vanished. Or at least harassed until that person is unable to complaint anymore.

  77. travel4b Gold

    "Somehow he found Matthew, addressed him by name..." How did he do that? Very creepy unless I'm missing some obvious explanation. Add this to the list of reasons I'm looking forward to my first visit to Taiwan this fall but have zero desire to go back to mainland China again.

  78. Andrew Guest

    Report every detail back to us! We eagerly await!

  79. Jay Jay Guest

    PS: Aargh, did not mean Novotel, but Sofitel, sorry....

  80. Jay Jay Guest

    Damn, this comes too late - I cancelled a trip on China Eastern for September just yesterday (after reading your blog entry)... Should probably post my real name and then see what happens regarding the VIP treatment of China Eastern.... :)

    By the way, yesterday I flew Singapore Airlines First Class from Auckland and also had the Champagne tasting, thanks for putting the idea into my head... :) Krug wins hands down. Wow! And...

    Damn, this comes too late - I cancelled a trip on China Eastern for September just yesterday (after reading your blog entry)... Should probably post my real name and then see what happens regarding the VIP treatment of China Eastern.... :)

    By the way, yesterday I flew Singapore Airlines First Class from Auckland and also had the Champagne tasting, thanks for putting the idea into my head... :) Krug wins hands down. Wow! And the Caviar is actually better than on Emirates, in my mind.

    By the way, the Novotel Hotel seemed quite nice, other than that, Auckland did not impress me much. And to be honest, next time I will still book Emirates again, the Singapore bed is way too hard, and I actually think the hard product in First Class is better on Emirates after all (will try Etihad 380 soon, though). (Btw, as a side note, on four flights I was not able to buy that Hello Kitty doll on SQ-In-Flight-Duty-Free!!!)

    Keep it up, Lucky!

  81. Tomas Guest

    Loving it! Keep posting!

  82. Desi Guest

    Lucky, Please post only positive things while you are in China, express real feelings after you leave China, including Chinese aircraft.

  83. Peter Guest

    Has the flight left PVG yet?

  84. Maggie New Member

    Believe it or not, and I say this without a drop of jest, I seriously believe it was mentioning the relationship with Delta that may have spurred some action here...

  85. Lively Guest

    Great post! Hopefully China Eastern will continue to improve. But what's going to happen to the quality of their service when you're not there to report?

  86. Navin Guest

    Frank, u should be banned from this website. Leave if you don't like it!

  87. Frank Guest

    You really should be banned from all airlines, not only United.

  88. dmodemd Guest

    ...and I am sure the Chinese Government is onto you too. They are watching carefully those that spread information on online media that disparages China and its businesses. Can be considered illegal in China.
    Interesting they knew when you came through passport control.
    Hope you make it out.

  89. Debit Guest

    If they are reading your blog, they 've read this one as well by now.

  90. Brian Guest

    I'm confused, on the last post there were a number of commenters attempting to explain away any service deficiency and accuse Ben of being racist. They all must be sleeping as I don't hear any of those cries now.

  91. Credit Guest

    They will be bringing the hot Chinese girls out now to seduce you. They know white man's weakness. The one thing that makes white man sell his country. Wonder if they know you guys are gay. Now that should be a good read.

    Don't censor it. Write it.

  92. Bored Now Guest

    how about stop moaning,. you paid for a cheap ticket, on a flight which has a completely different culture, everyone knows your trying to get free miles or a refund, maybe they know how you did it in the US and that's why they don't compensate you anymore.

    Its as funny as Citi pulling their advertising on you

  93. Flyingfish Guest

    If Lucky's review are a good wake up call for the chinese airlines, i view it as a positive.

    If not, why would the airlines like MU bother to improve on their services?

    Sorry to Lucky haters, but i think Lucky will not risk his reputation to blog about smoking on his previous MU flight, unless it is true.

    And if the flight crew smokes freely, it is a strict no-go for me. And...

    If Lucky's review are a good wake up call for the chinese airlines, i view it as a positive.

    If not, why would the airlines like MU bother to improve on their services?

    Sorry to Lucky haters, but i think Lucky will not risk his reputation to blog about smoking on his previous MU flight, unless it is true.

    And if the flight crew smokes freely, it is a strict no-go for me. And i will avoid the airline completely if they do not wish to do anything about it.

    Seems like MU is now aware, so hopefully something will be done.

  94. Nick Guest

    Per usual, nothing close to the service or experience that a normal person would get.

  95. jwl0404 Guest

    Perhaps you should get a VPN and start posting on Facebook and broadcast through Facebook live video. Would be fun to watch how things unfold!

  96. Andrew New Member

    Ben-It's too bad that they caught on during the trip. It will unfortunately probably influence the service on the next flight to level not indicative of the actual expectation. Possibly, while they're really informative, initial thoughts post should be limited to non-connecting flights?

  97. Andrew Guest

    Another service fail in my opinion. They couldn't get their act together without you guys catching on?!

  98. Zach New Member

    “I noticed you were taking pictures of the garbage, so I just wanted to explain…”

    What was the explanation?

  99. The Gaffer Guest

    Cool - live blogging works!

  100. Oscar Guest

    So great :) and interesting that even deep in china, your blog is read

  101. Ben Guest

    This is hilarious. If they were organised enough to meet you at check-in/immigration, were they not organised enough to radio ahead to the lounge to make sure staff were on the ball with rubbish etc? Surely they do that if some sort of VIP/Senior Exec is expected?
    PS that lounge looks dreadful for a flagship lounge. The CX/KA lounge at PVG is really nice in comparison.
    Interesting to see what the CMB flight...

    This is hilarious. If they were organised enough to meet you at check-in/immigration, were they not organised enough to radio ahead to the lounge to make sure staff were on the ball with rubbish etc? Surely they do that if some sort of VIP/Senior Exec is expected?
    PS that lounge looks dreadful for a flagship lounge. The CX/KA lounge at PVG is really nice in comparison.
    Interesting to see what the CMB flight is like. Its surely a very low value/priority route for them.
    PS - I love these live updates - its very exciting watching your trip unfold as it happens Ben!

  102. Tommy Trash Gold

    If only we could get Matt's review of this flying trailer park.

  103. tony Guest

    great, that will be an awesome trip report..

    meanwhile, MU231 was delayed by 1,5 hours

  104. Neville Fernandez Guest

    If you return to keep us posted :-P
    Bon Voyage

  105. Louis Chiu Guest

    He might not let you leave the iron curtain. Be careful, don't post anymore sensitive stuff before you leave the deepest darkest hell.

  106. SOLTATIO Member

    Having lived in Asia it is great to see someone bringing a voice to the small things and get action. This will surely be a positive change for other travellers much like China Southern probably stepped up their game. No one wants to smell smoke when you've paid a tons or redeemed boatloads of miles for a ticket, especially not in a metal tube speeding through the air.

  107. Chandan Bhat Gold

    Loving this!
    And this really gave me the laugh:
    "Perhaps we should buy some nicotine patches in duty free for the pilots?"
    Also, i wonder how credible the shanghai to Colombo flight will be considering the fact that they're going to try their best to stage it.

  108. Chandan Bhat Gold

    Loving this!
    And this really gave me the laugh:
    "Perhaps we should buy some nicotine patches in duty free for the pilots?

  109. Peter B Member

    HAHA. I'm def looking forward to hear more about the interaction with the MU attendants at the airport.

  110. betterbub Gold

    Because sometimes it takes a good kick in the corporate butt for them to think about their customers. Not always the biggest fan of this blog, but I'm loving this!

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Kieran Guest

Both Lucky and Matthew posted about their lounge visit, but there was a bit of difference with this story about the used plates and rubbish. Lucky states there were plates and rubbish on the surrounding tables as he came through the lounge, as if they had been there for some time, but Matthew states that the referred to used plates and rubbish came some time after they entered the lounge and a group of other people left, with the used plates and rubbish cleared only after a brief period. Bit weird... Lucky: As we walked into the lounge there were quite a few empty plates and trash all over the tables, and he quickly motioned for the lounge attendant to clean that up. Matthew: There were several people in the lounge, but the lounge soon cleared and we were left alone. The people sitting at the table next to us had left a mess and the duty manager aggressively motioned for one of the lounge agents to clean it up when he saw that we were eyeing it.

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brad Guest

LOVE IT! Please keep posting and please be careful. I had already made up my mind never to fly a Chinese airline before this. Now I am even more determined not to because of the over-survelliance on an issue that should be a non-issue.

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Joe Guest

Just for the records, some of Taiwan carrier has one of the worst safety records in the world.

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