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Old Mar 17, 10, 12:35 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Air China business class - what's it like?

Hello everyone.

I was thinking of buying a J class fare to EUR ex Australia - they're on sale at the moment for about $4600 all incl. VERY good value. On Air China.

I was wondering what their product is like - both soft and hard? Seats any good?

And what are the lounges in Beijing and shanghai like? Since the layovers are about 5 or 7 hours - I hope they would be nice.

I have only ever flown SQ, VS, QF and NZ in J class so can compare to these....

Thanks a lot in advance
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Old Mar 17, 10, 4:29 am   #2
 
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The Airbus A330-200s on Australia-PEK feature the new Business Class product but PEK-Europe's J product depends on the aircraft type (flights with the products will be further expanded after the delivery on the A330-300s later this year). Seats are quite nice and IFE is acceptable but lounges in Beijing and Shanghai are quite limited in terms of food selection, similar to UA RCCs in the US. They have free internet and showers though.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...d.main/138883/ is a good trip report for CDG-ATH (now discontinued) with the new products.
Air China Bus class *A lounge: Beijing
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Old Mar 17, 10, 6:24 am   #3
 
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Thanks for your reply.

So PEK to CDG

Or PEK to FRA

Would this be the new J class? on the 330? or the 747 ex FRA?

Thank you!
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Old Mar 17, 10, 12:06 pm   #4
 
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I can't help regarding the planes you will be on. I flew business from SFO to PEK so we were on the 747-400 combi. As far as the lounge in Shanghai, it's nothing to write home about. The lounge we used was upstairs overlooking the concourse. The seats were nice compared to the rest of the terminal, recliners if I remember correctly, the attendants were friendly. There was the usual snack treats, coolers with drinks, cakes, etc. I know that I would not want to spend 7 hours there.

Did not go to the lounge in PEK because layover was only an hour.
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Old Mar 18, 10, 5:19 am   #5
 
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It really depends on your specific flight since both have the possibility of the 74M, with the old product.

FRA - A330 (both, with new business), A343 (with new first/business), 744 (with new first/business), 74M (being retrofitted with new first/business)

CDG - (same as above, except without 744 operating)

New product - http://www.airchina.fr/en/a330.html
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Old May 2, 10, 10:38 am   #6
 
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Another question about CA business service.
I am going to fly CA167 PEK-NRT in "business".
It is on 738. Only 2 class service.
What is it like?

Thanks
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Old May 2, 10, 11:56 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuchung5 View Post
Another question about CA business service.
I am going to fly CA167 PEK-NRT in "business".
It is on 738. Only 2 class service.
What is it like?

Thanks
Similar to AA/UA narrow body F, but with Chinese food.
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Old May 2, 10, 1:41 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Similar to AA/UA narrow body F, but with Chinese food.
Good to know.
Thanks
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Old May 2, 10, 5:32 pm   #9
 
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Few more questions regarding CA service.
What I have is a NH5706, which is CA167. Fare class is D. It is on Boeing 737-800.
1) Can I request for free limousine? Or this just only for long haul International?
http://www.airchina.com.cn/en/travel.../class03.shtml
2) Is there a way I can do seat assignment? If yes, I should call CA or NH?
3) I am assuming that I can use CA lounge, right?
4) There is no FF number in the reservation yet. Should I just call NH? Or I can do this online?

Thanks
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Old May 2, 10, 6:51 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuchung5 View Post
Few more questions regarding CA service.
What I have is a NH5706, which is CA167. Fare class is D. It is on Boeing 737-800.
1) Can I request for free limousine? Or this just only for long haul International?
http://www.airchina.com.cn/en/travel.../class03.shtml
Based on the text of that web page, which could have potentially played a role in your decision to buy a CA ticket, I'm guessing they'll probably send a car for you, if you press the issue. That having been said, I've booked CA D fares to SIN and Japan in the past and have never been offered such. Thanks for bringing this info to our attention; I'm looking forward to your report.

Quote:
2) Is there a way I can do seat assignment? If yes, I should call CA or NH?
You should be able to get seats by calling CA's 400 number.

Quote:
3) I am assuming that I can use CA lounge, right?
Yes. Some people like it, but I prefer to spend as little time in the airport as possible (lounge or otherwise). IME, it is often really crowded because tmk all *A and OW airlines use it.

Quote:
4) There is no FF number in the reservation yet. Should I just call NH? Or I can do this online?
Both those methods, in addition to providing your FFN at the check-in counter, should work.
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Old May 12, 10, 4:01 pm   #11
 
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Anyone flown these routes in business that can comment on the seats/food? I can't make the much better alternative, OZ NRT-ICN-DEL, work on my current itinerary.

Air China 0926
Depart NRT 03:15 PM
Arrive PEK 06:10 PM
Equipment: Boeing 767-300 | Duration: 3h 55m | Snack

Connecting to:

Air China 0947
Depart PEK 08:25 PM
Arrive DEL 01:35 AM
Equipment: Boeing 767-300 | Duration: 7h 40m | Snack
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Old May 13, 10, 4:31 pm   #12
 
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JFK - PEK?

Anyone flown Business Class on the 747 route JFK - PEK?

It's either Air China or Continental - and I'd prefer Continental just from a home airport and level of knowledge, but the ticket is almost double the price.

What's the experience like? The seats? Is it possible to get sleep?

Thanks!
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Old May 14, 10, 6:12 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elonepb View Post
Anyone flown Business Class on the 747 route JFK - PEK?

It's either Air China or Continental - and I'd prefer Continental just from a home airport and level of knowledge, but the ticket is almost double the price.

What's the experience like? The seats? Is it possible to get sleep?

Thanks!
Seeing as CA is 1/2 the price of CO while CA is also a part of *A, I would definitely go for it. Well, for the 744, the seats are fully-flat but for the 747 Combi, they're lie-flat (170 degrees).

A very recent photo review here: http://airlineexpert.com/_CA_A343_Fi..._seats_p1.html

Air China, as said in the above review, has a very competitive product in comparison to other international airlines (UA/CO etc., not yet up to the standards of CX).
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Old May 14, 10, 2:06 pm   #14
 
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Air China Business Class really surprised and exceeded expectation PEK-YVR A330-200

My wife put together a blog about our trip on Air China's Airbus A330-200 in Business Class from Beijing to Vancouver, it is located at:

http://www.igousee.com/display_blog....10023&lang=_en

We had several segments on Air China in First and Business class as part of our trip, and this PEK-YVR segment is the last leg. We had very good experience on every segment, and actually was shockingly surprised by the quality level on Air China.

Frankly, we have to admit that before flying on Air China, this is what we thought:
  1. Flight attendant that thinks you are in their way of enjoying their day
  2. Communist era aircraft and non customer-service attitude
  3. Chicken and sheep in cages along the aisle
  4. Lounges that are so smoke-filled that you need to navigate by braille
  5. Food with phonetic translations into English that neither Chinese nor English speaker know what is on the menu

The list could go on, but we really had our eyes opened by our experience, and are almost embarassed to admit our prior ignorance.

While I don't think Air China is aiming at the SQs of the world, and have not
reached the levels of SQ, CX, NH, OZ; I think their goal is the next tier of airlines, and based on our experience, they actually belong in the league.
All of the above listed myths we held were debunked, well, may be except the last item with a minor exception.

We did not fly any segments in coach on Air China, and have certainly heard reports of the not-so-good experience in the back of the bus. However, our interactions with Air China's staff on board, in the lounges, at the check-in counters werer pleasant eye-openers.

I would give Air China a very solid B/B+ score. I will try to post more photo reviews of the in-flight services and lounges on AirlineExpert.com to share with everyone.
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Old May 17, 10, 6:36 am   #15
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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My first experience with CA.
Not really happy about it.
It is CA 167 PEK-NRT on 738.
Seat:
Same as US domestic F. Nothing special.
IFE:
NOT WORKING. No Compensation.
Food:
Food is good in terms of regional J IMO.
Flight:
Delay for about 1 hr delay due to the equipment late arrival. It seems that people in China are ok with this kind of "usual" delay.
Lounge:
Comfortable. Food is not good IMO.
Personal in ground and flight:
People are nice.

I will have some photo later for the menu and seat.
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