If you’ve read the reviews online for China Eastern Airlines you probably haven’t booked with them. Their less than two star rating most likely scared you away. But if you, mistakenly or optimistically booked a flight with Chine Eastern, or are considering it because it’s so damn cheap and really, how bad can it be, unfortunately, according to the vast majority it’s absolutely horrendous.
Some have said it’s better to swim to your destination, others said crawl on their knees.
I’m hoping that these people are travel snobs, but I know that can’t be true given the problems they’re mentioning.
Delayed or Cancelled Flights
Everyone’s worst flight fear, apart from being in an accident, is paying for a flight that you never take, and not being reimbursed for it. Sadly, in many cases, China Eastern is delayed, to the point where connections are missed and money is lost.
Delays are inevitable, but with China Eastern, only 70.22% of flights go out on time, which is below the 76.73% average. Not too bad you may think, but given how terrible the customer service is in incidents of delay or a cancellation, it’s nearly impossible to resolve without wanting to rip your hair out.
Bad Customer Service
I don’t mind a slightly rude air hostess, because I can get over it, so when I read that flight attendants yell at you, barely speak english and throw your food at you (speaking of which, the food is disgusting, back a lunch instead) I didn’t care. I can handle that.
I also don’t care that their telephone service is terrible, because all airlines have disgraceful customer support, scratch that, customer support in general is not a pleasant thing.
What I do care about is resolving issues. If my bags are lost, I want help getting them. If my flight was missed I want help booking a new one. These are areas people have struggled with, and I hope to God I’m not one of them.
One of the other recurring issues China Eastern flyers have had is with visas. In some cases, when a person has a layover in a country like China, the customs agent won’t let that person through without a visa. But wait, you don’t need a visa if you’re visiting for less than a day, so what’s that about? It seems like some of the China Eastern staff may not pass you through if you’re out of the ordinary. Let’s say staying overnight or traveling with a green card.
There’s no real explanation, especially when stories are passed from one listener to another like telephone, but if I’m stuck at my stopover because I don’t have a visa, and I miss my flight and have to buy a new one, I’m not going to be a very happy traveler.
The icing on the cake, as if the delays, bad customer service (and food) and inability to solve issues weren’t bad enough, one of the worst things about China Eastern Airlines is this talent for losing or damaging baggage.
You are allowed a checked bag, for free, but you may not want to take one. That’s because on multiple occasions passengers have complained about lost luggage, and the unhelpful service agents who tell them to leave without it.