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CA986 SFO > PEK in J: 744 Reviews? Upper or lower deck?

CA986 SFO > PEK in J: 744 Reviews? Upper or lower deck?

Old Aug 4, 13, 12:17 pm
  #1  
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CA986 SFO > PEK in J: 744 Reviews? Upper or lower deck?

Hi. I just booked SFO > KUL through PEK in business. Really excited, but SFO > PEK is on the Air China 747-400. I did a lot of searches already, mostly found outdated info.
I wanted to know if anyone could review this flight in business class. Also, there is a choice between upper and lower decks? Interestingly, downstairs, the J class is in front of F class on this config. http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Air...ng_747-400.php
I've never been in the nose, but I have been upstairs. Any takes on upstairs or downstairs?
Any other info would be great. I'm on Singapore for the PEK > KUL btw.

How are the lounges in PEK, I will be there for some, but looking forward to practicing my mandarin, so maybe I'll walk around a lot?

Thanks everyone.
heybrian is offline  
Old Aug 5, 13, 9:19 am
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I would pick the lower deck Biz. It is in the nose as you already knew and it is much quite.

It is the newer 747 that used on PEK-JFK compared to the old, crappy 747 combi.

Lounge in PEK is okay, some food and drinks. Better than UA lougne in SFO.
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Old Aug 5, 13, 6:26 pm
  #3  
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I've flown the combi before lax > pek in Y. I had a whole row though, so wasn't crappy even in Y. I like the fact that they have a tea menu. And I'll def stay away from the Great Wall wine, that's funny actually. Is the nose quieter than upstairs really? Would service be better upstairs?
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Old Aug 5, 13, 9:27 pm
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From what I've read, the J class upstairs has a bit of extra space between the seat and the window for additional storage.

Some useful reviews I've found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mKs6dFCWn4

http://upgrd.com/sitinfirst/mixing-b...ess-class.html

Storage box info at http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Air...ng_747-400.php
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Old Aug 7, 13, 12:34 am
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Looks like Air China has some newly configured 747s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GMjltRgMyQ

Edit: Woops, that is China Airlines

Last edited by heybrian; Aug 7, 13 at 12:43 am
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Old Aug 9, 13, 6:32 pm
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I'm on CA986 this Sunday. I flew this in F about 8 weeks ago when it was STILL the Combi (first in the nose on lower deck). It's now listed as one of the regular 747-400's with Biz both in the nose and the upper deck and first mid cabin (close to this).

I've done the upper and lower decks and don't find much difference, upper deck service to me seems to go a little quicker - could just have been crews I've had on upper deck.

Any questions anyone has reply here and I will post an update after Monday US time (12th Aug)
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Old Aug 10, 13, 1:46 pm
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I'm thinking about booking CA986 First, looking forward to your report. Hopefully, it has fully flat seats in First.

Last edited by imm2b; Apr 15, 14 at 11:45 pm
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Old Aug 10, 13, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by imm2b View Post
I'm thinking about booking CA986 First, looking forward to your report. Hopefully, it has fully flat seats in First.
If you can get a good fare in first, go for it. I had the older F seat in the Combo 8 weeks ago and for the price no complaints from me.

I'll verify tomorrow, but assume that new F seats are in mid cabin F area on the 747-400
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Old Aug 12, 13, 7:05 am
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CA986 SFO-PEK Mini Update (Aug 2013)

Just completed CA986 SFO-PEK

Other than the inbound being VERY late due to bad thunderstorms on it's departure the flight went fine (UA PEK-SFO inbound was also very late on the 11th)

Was on the Upper Deck, 2nd row from front of cabin. Was quiet, no issues with being on upper deck. Older style 170 degree angled seating - found it easier just to recline like a lounger and leave it at that. LED mood lighting in the upper deck and lower deck biz/first cabins.

We had a good Cabin crew in our cabin who were friendly and specifically the FA we generally dealt with had good English skills

First on this aircraft was mid cabin and was a full flat product, seemed newer than the 747 Combi first, on par with the 777 first cabin.

Meal service was fine, better selection than United for Asian style dishes with a Steak bernaise served as Western selection on main meal.

L'Occitane amenity kit and Sleeper suit handed out.

IFE was OK but not exceptional a few recent western films. I had my own media player so didn't really use it except for Air Show.

In the Beijing T3 Biz lounge waiting on an onward flight to SIN. Showers in the lounge - ask at reception - not as nice as ANA's showers in NRT or HND but acceptable after a long flight.

On Arrival into T3, I had a connecting boarding pass, followed signs to International Transfer. Line at our arrival time had no more than 3 people in it with 2 agents working transfer immigration. Dropped down into security after that which took 3-4 mins. All in all NOT huge lines so made a connect from landing to lounge in 20 mins or so - WE were late so likely lines weren't an issue.

This isn't Asiana or ANA or Singapore Air Biz, but even my co-worker commented that it was a nice change from the inconsistent flights we get on United. I wouldn't have a qualm flying CA over UA, if you give me the choice of SQ, OF course I will fly them.

Any questions, let me know
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Old Aug 12, 13, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by NickP 1K View Post
Just completed CA986 SFO-PEK

Other than the inbound being VERY late due to bad thunderstorms on it's departure the flight went fine (UA PEK-SFO inbound was also very late on the 11th)

Was on the Upper Deck, 2nd row from front of cabin. Was quiet, no issues with being on upper deck. Older style 170 degree angled seating - found it easier just to recline like a lounger and leave it at that. LED mood lighting in the upper deck and lower deck biz/first cabins.

We had a good Cabin crew in our cabin who were friendly and specifically the FA we generally dealt with had good English skills

First on this aircraft was mid cabin and was a full flat product, seemed newer than the 747 Combi first, on par with the 777 first cabin.

Meal service was fine, better selection than United for Asian style dishes with a Steak bernaise served as Western selection on main meal.

L'Occitane amenity kit and Sleeper suit handed out.

IFE was OK but not exceptional a few recent western films. I had my own media player so didn't really use it except for Air Show.

In the Beijing T3 Biz lounge waiting on an onward flight to SIN. Showers in the lounge - ask at reception - not as nice as ANA's showers in NRT or HND but acceptable after a long flight.

On Arrival into T3, I had a connecting boarding pass, followed signs to International Transfer. Line at our arrival time had no more than 3 people in it with 2 agents working transfer immigration. Dropped down into security after that which took 3-4 mins. All in all NOT huge lines so made a connect from landing to lounge in 20 mins or so - WE were late so likely lines weren't an issue.

This isn't Asiana or ANA or Singapore Air Biz, but even my co-worker commented that it was a nice change from the inconsistent flights we get on United. I wouldn't have a qualm flying CA over UA, if you give me the choice of SQ, OF course I will fly them.

Any questions, let me know
CA isn't a bad airline-the worst part is probably entering China.
(And you get to use the YVR MLL if you have lounge access. Can't speak for SFO, though I would suspect the very bad UA RCC.)
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Old Aug 12, 13, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by NickP 1K View Post

First on this aircraft was mid cabin and was a full flat product, seemed newer than the 747 Combi first, on par with the 777 first cabin.

Any questions, let me know
Thanks for the report Nick.

Do you know if the 747 Combi is used often on SFO-PEK or is it hit or miss?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 14, 13, 12:24 am
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Thanks for the report, NickP 1K. I'm booked for the same flight, but am connecting to TPE on EVA. First time at PEK, any tips for lounges or the airport in general? Will I need to get my luggage if it's all on one reward itinerary? Also, what's the best seating configuration for me and two children in J? Thanks!
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Old Aug 14, 13, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
CA isn't a bad airline-the worst part is probably entering China.
(And you get to use the YVR MLL if you have lounge access. Can't speak for SFO, though I would suspect the very bad UA RCC.)
Yes it's UA lounge in SFO, THOUGH we were able to use the SQ SKL in SFO prior to closing (it closes right as the SFO-ICN-SIN first leg departs)

Nice surprise if you continue on past PEK (I was to SIN then KUL), the SIN lounge for CA is now the Cathay joint run Skyview Lounge which has showers and a near Cathay experience (minus noodle station), Cathay staff are also in the lounge.
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Old Aug 14, 13, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by love2ft View Post
Thanks for the report, NickP 1K. I'm booked for the same flight, but am connecting to TPE on EVA. First time at PEK, any tips for lounges or the airport in general? Will I need to get my luggage if it's all on one reward itinerary? Also, what's the best seating configuration for me and two children in J? Thanks!
I suggest doing the lower deck nose area middle area last rows aisle seats if you have a group. Put the older one on their own and the younger with you. You will NOT be able to do 3 people together as it's 2-2 upper deck or 2-2 and 2-2-2 in lower deck.

On bags through: if it's one itin then Air China WILL check bags through no issue. I've checked bags through from Air China to EVA before no issues
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Old Aug 14, 13, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by imm2b View Post
Thanks for the report Nick.

Do you know if the 747 Combi is used often on SFO-PEK or is it hit or miss?

Thanks!
I think Combi is gone, this PEK-SFO-PEK route seems to be the last North America route with the 747-400 all others are A330 (YVR) or 773. I can assume some point in the future this last 747-400 will go to.

As a side note we flew the A330 from PEK-SIN and it was an exceptional aircraft. Comfortable 180 degree seats, more modern IFE, more modern aircraft on par with anything we've flown and for this specific flight we flew a great crew.
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