A lil info about me first...
First off, I am NOT a travel snob. I have nothing against people who are, if you can afford to always fly first class on the best airlines more power to you! I won't judge you if you don't judge my extra cheap ass. With that said, before I fly anywhere or try something new, I often ask groups or look for reviews about airlines or things to do. One of my favorite groups is Black Travel Movement on Facebook, simply put, its like a huge family of hilarious travel lovers. I have noticed there are a couple of "fancy" people in the group. You know, the ones who would NEVER fly Spirit airlines (or any discount airline for that matter) who have global entry, have been to numerous countries and look down on you a lil bit cause you're only flying to Chicago on Frontier for your spring break as opposed to the Amalfi Coast. I have love for them just like I have love for the road trip travelers, even though that's not necessarily MY thing.
I am at a place in my life where I'm doing OK, you know, that comfy spot where I can afford groceries but I sometimes complain about the prices and buy the off brand. The reason I can afford to travel as much as I do to cool places is for several reason, because I live below my means, I save for travel, and most importantly I find super cheap flights and accommodations (I will write more on these topics later).
Before I went to Japan, I never thought it would be something I could afford to do. I honestly started looking on a whim and was extremely surprised when I found the flight I took. The flight was $450 round trip from LAX to Osaka Japan through China Eastern Airlines. Afraid to lose my lil change on a disaster of a flight, I headed over to the groups to ask if I should fly with China Eastern. A very nice guy in the group immediately told me, "No, don't do it, pay more and book with American or a better airline!" I tried to find similar flights with a "better airline", but all comparable flights started around $900 which was way more than I wanted to pay. I decided to ignore the advice, go for it, book the flight and hope for the best. I'm glad I did.
And Here's the Review!
When I purchased my ticket, I had some issues using the company's website, it was kind of confusing. Because of that I booked through Orbitz (I will NEVER do that again, but that's a story I will tell you all later). There was an error through Orbitz, they put the wrong last name on my ticket. I had to contact customer service, there was no service given. If you are booking with this airline double and triple check that you have everything right, because they won't help with any problems. Its also smart if you can get some type of vacation insurance that will cover you, because China Eastern won't really help and the only advice they could give me was cancel and rebook.
Once I got my problem solved, everything was ready to go. The check in and boarding process went smooth for me. The plane was huge and looked really good. There is a first class in the front, business class in the middle, and broke ass people like me sat in the back.
Each seat had an entertainment center with a remote that had games, movies, TV shows, and a link for in air shopping. Everyone was given the standard blanket, pillow, and head phones for the flight. There was also a USB plug for charging and free WiFi. I did not try the WiFi out because I don't travel with a laptop, I don't know how you all do it, but the guy next to me said the reception was just "OK". On this trip I learned that in China (and on their flights) you cannot have your phone on at all during the flight, not even in airplane mode, until you get to the gate. This was strongly enforced, people who are caught get in big trouble, I don't wanna go to jail in China.
The selection of movies was good enough to keep me entertained for 13 hours. There were 2 meals and several snacks that were served during the flight. The meals were ok, I never expect airplane food to be Gordon Ramsey quality and my mother would scream at me if I didn't pack snacks, she raised me better. Some of the options were peanuts and small sandwich's for snacks. For the meals there were things like chicken or tofu with noodles, beef and rice, all meals came with sides like fruit or salad and dessert. There was free wine, which I gladly took advantage of and with my seat reclined the time on the plane flew (the pun was intended, yes I think I'm funny).
Really, my long flights with them were pleasant. There were plenty of flight attendants and whenever I needed something they were easy to get a hold of. I told them the reason I was flying was for my daughter's birthday (she got to come on this trip) and the flight attendants put together a little present for her with a toy, snacks and a card, it was really sweet. I would definitely fly with them again, and the fact that it was an amazing deal made it even better. There were no hidden fees, I had two carry on's and two checked bag that were free, nothing was lost or damaged.
The moral of the story: If you're not "Bad & Boujee" you should definitely try the discount airlines and don't let the people discourage you. If you are a lil' extra fabulous, you can still fly this airline in business class for a reasonable price and I think you would have a good experience. I strongly advise you know terms and what to expect before you go. Are you a travel snob? or a discount lover? Let me know below.