review: China Eastern B737 Economy Class Chengdu to Diqing
Good that we left Chengdu on that day as it was raining cats and dogs.
After 30 minutes ride from the hotel, the driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal. I was happy to see this emptiness in this terminal which meant no waiting, faster security etc. Unfortunately, when we got to the right one, it was the opposite. The crowds were massive. Check-in took more than 30 minutes and security check a bit less than an hour.
It felt much better once inside. Most people were heading to their gates than visiting those attractive none-duty-free shops. It was puzzling to me seeing so many overpriced retail stores (Hugo Boss, Tumi ...) despite the lack in demand. The hand creme from L'Occitane -I was trying on- was runny and yellowish. Assumingly, it had been there a long time ago.
I visited one of the First Class Lounges using my Priority Pass. It was adequate. The Pizza Hut was probably more luxurious than this lounge including a four course menu from garlic bread, garden salad, customized pizza to breadsticks with Nutella (just an example), yum!
The boarding process was smooth. Once everyone had seated, safety video was showed and we were airborne. During the flight, the FA distributed snack boxes consisted of a muffin, a sweet roll, some salted peanuts and a bottle of water. I thought the muffin was really fluffy, soft, moist, buttery and sweet; the other stuff was not so much. 90 minutes went by quickly and we landed at the Diqing airport.
We were quite happy with China Eastern considering I was sceptical about Chinese Airlines besides Cathay and China Airlines. This trip was booked through Ctrip.com, a Chinese version of Expedia. It was CNY 450 (EUR 60) per person, which was at least EUR 30 cheaper than other OTAs (Online Travel Agents).