After spending 5+ hours in transit at the Pu Dong International Airport, Shanghai, instead of a China Eastern Airline aircraft, we were boarded into a Shanghai Airlines B767 aircraft on our direct flight to Colombo.
When we boarded the China Eastern flight to Shanghai in Auckland, en-route to Colombo, I was taken aback when the Boarding Agent informed me that seats could not be reserved in the flight to Colombo.
There were no issue about the flight except for two glaring differences in service levels between China Eastern Airline and Shanghai Airlines:
1) Drinks were served in plastic cups that were about 4" high but only 3/4 of the plastic cup was filled
2) Headphones were not given to any passenger in the Economy class: we watched a Chinese movie in total silence
3) The flight traversed the Indian sub-continent without heading over the Bay of Bengal from Yangon to Colombo
It is my belief that Shanghai Airlines is the low cost option from China Eastern Airline and as such passengers are treated accordingly. However, we could not complain about the in-flight menu.
If I could have taken the Sri Lankan from Shanghai to Colombo, I would have had a better experience, no doubt.