Our flight was from Sydney to Shanghai and due to depart at 11am. At check in our desk clerk (an Aussie) indicated we had the two seats near the window we had requested. The plane was an Airbus with a 2-4-2 seating configuration so we were greatly disappointed when we got middle row seats despite having requested the two seater configuration over 6 months before when we originally booked. I asked if there were any seats available in business class, there were but they wanted $1500 aussie dollars for each of us which I thought too much. However, things didn't turn out too badly as only three of the 4 seats were taken so there was a bit of extra room to move the legs around. Economy is always tight and if you pay for a cheap fare then that what you have to expect....The plane was fairly new and very clean.
We departed around 11.15 am and the crew were friendly, but not much English but enough . A meal was served after one hour. Nothing flash...two choices offered. Noodles with braised beef or seafood. I took the beef being a bit worried about seafood on a plane. The beef came with a bun and some watermelon as a desert. I had one glass of red wine. beer was also available and soft drinks. The food was quite ok without being exciting. Lights were dimmed after about 4 hours and water was offered in plastic cups on a regular basis.Our flight overall was much better than I expected as I had read a considerable amount of reviews on various websites saying how bad the service and flights were. We arrived at Shanghai about 40 minutes late at around 8pm due to some strong headwinds. Overall I was quite happy with China Eastern Air and the service offered . It offers very competitive prices on the various websites and I would certainly travel again with them especially at the prices they offer. Don't be put off by the negative reviews. The Australian service is good and a solid 6.5-7/10 overall.