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Cathay Pacific vs China Eastern

Looking for a comparison of Cathay Pacific and China Eastern? Look no further.

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When booking flights from Australia to Europe or Asia, it’s very likely that you will have to choose between Cathay Pacific and China Eastern.

We place the two side-by-side to make the decision simple and stress-free. Read on to find out which has the better range of destinations, aircraft, baggage allowance, special offers, ticket inclusions, inflight entertainment, onboard Wi-Fi, booking system and more.

Cathay Pacific vs China Eastern

FeatureCathay PacificChina EasternVerdict
Where does it fly to?
  • Europe
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Middle East
Cathay Pacific flies to more parts of the world.
What star rating is it?5-star3-starCathay Pacific has a higher star rating.
What classes are available?Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class.Economy, Business Class and First Class.Cathay Pacific has a Premium Economy class.
What is the baggage allowance?Cathay Pacific’s carry-on allowance is 7kg in Economy and Premium Economy, 10kg in Business Class and 15kg in First Class. The allowance for checked baggage is 30kg in Economy, 35kg in Premium Economy, 40kg in Business Class and 50kg in First Class.Typically, the carry-on allowance is one bag up to 10kg in Economy and Business Class and two bags up to 10kg each in First Class. The check-in allowance is 20kg in Economy, 30kg in Business and 40kg in First Class.Cathay Pacific has more generous baggage limits.
Where does it fly from in Australia?Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns Adelaide and Perth.Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Trial flights from Perth are due later this year.Cathay Pacific flies from more Australian airports.
What's the in-flight entertainment like?Films, TV shows, music, games, language learning and flight information.Films and TV shows in multiple languages.Cathay Pacific has a superior inflight entertainment system.
Can I make changes /cancellations?Yes. Cathay Pacific gives refunds for certain ticket types. Changes to dates, times, personal details and special requests can be made online. Fees may apply.Yes. Cancellations and changes can be made online. Fees may apply, and these increase within six hours of your flight’s departure. Refunds are given in most circumstances.Both airlines allow changes and cancellations.
What type of plane will I fly on?Cathay Pacific’s fleet consists of Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 and A330 aircraft.China Eastern has a number of Airbus and Boeing models, but the A380 is not among them.Neither airline uses A380 aircraft.
Which frequent flyer programmes is it with?Cathay Pacific runs the Marco Polo Club, which gives members points for flights with Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and all Oneworld airlines.China Eastern’s Eastern Miles programme allows members to earn points for use with China Eastern, SkyTeam partners, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Japan Airlines.Cathay Pacific and China Eastern both run their own frequent flyer programmes and belong to alliances.
Is there Wi-Fi?Yes. Most A320 flights feature a Wi-Fi entertainment system.Yes. A certain amount of free Wi-Fi is available on most flights.China Eastern has a more comprehensive Wi-Fi system.
Can I price match?Yes.No.You can price match with Cathay Pacific.
Does it serve alcohol?Yes.Yes, but it is often limited.Cathay Pacific more reliably serves a range of beverages.
Is there online chat?Yes.No.Cathay Pacific has live chat.
Does it charge for infants?Yes. Infant tickets must be bought for children under the age of two.Yes. The infant fee is 10% of the price of the adult fare.Both airlines charge for infants.
Does it fly pets?Yes. Service animals can fly in the cabin, while other pets travel in the hold. Prices are calculated by weight.Yes. Service dogs may travel on board, and other pets will be transported as checked baggage.Cathay Pacific and China Eastern both fly pets.
What are my payment options?
  • Credit card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa debit
  • PayPal
  • Union Pay
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayPal
Cathay Pacific offers more payment methods.
Can I book round the world fares?Yes.Yes, through Skyteam.Both airlines offer round-the-world fares.
Can I book multi-city fares?Yes.Yes.Both airlines have multi-city fares.
BookBook with Cathay PacificBook with China Eastern-

Who offers the best price?

Cathay Pacific will price match if you find an identical fare at a cheaper price on an Australian website.

China Eastern, on the other hand, does not price match, so you can’t be sure of getting the best price by booking directly through the airline website. However, China Eastern’s prices are typically cheaper than most other airlines.

The verdict?

We made identical flight searches with Cathay Pacific and China Eastern and found that China Eastern offered the cheapest fare.


Is it a good airline to fly with?

Skytrax lists Cathay Pacific as one of just ten airlines with a 5-Star Airline Rating, while China Eastern is rated 3-stars. The different flight lengths and classes available with China Eastern all receive between 3- and 4-stars, while Cathay Pacific’s lowest rating is 4.5-stars.

On AirlineEquality.com, customer feedback gives Cathay Pacific a rating of 7/10, while China Eastern is rated 5/10. China Eastern has 2-stars for inflight entertainment and 3-stars for food and beverages, seat comfort, staff service and value for money, while Cathay Pacific scores 4-stars for everything except food and beverages, which is given 3-stars.

The verdict?

Based on ratings, Cathay Pacific wins big as the better airline to fly with.

Any other differences worth noting?

While Cathay Pacific is the higher rated airline, for eligible business and first class passengers, China Eastern offers complimentary limousine transfers to and from Shanghai Pudong Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport and all Australian airports.


What are the deals like?

Cathay Pacific’s deals include flights to Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and North America. Flights to Hong Kong can drop as low as $644 return while flights to the UK can go down to $999 return.

China Eastern doesn't feature flight deals as often as Cathay Pacific, however more often than not it’s cheaper than Cathay Pacific.

The verdict?

With a fully-functioning deals page and a variety of offers, Cathay Pacific is the clear winner when it comes to deals.

Top Cathay Pacific and China Eastern deals

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