Air China Business Class Not So Good Review
Reviewing a recent Air China Business Class flight produced some not so good results. When traveling international flying in Business Class is a luxury that can be well worth the cost. Using points can be a great value and is typically the best way to purchase international business class tickets. Each airline’s business class product has typical similarities, like lie flat seats, meals, premium drinks and cocktails, in flight entertainment, etc. Some airlines do have a better business class product by differentiating themselves by providing a more VIP experience with travel gifts, excellent customer service, lounge access, preflight snacks and drinks, superior dining, etc. There are a lot of good airlines that have a good to great business class product and then there are some that have ones that aren’t worth the money or a waste of good points. Air China seems to fall under the category of a poor value for the money.
We really enjoy trying different air lines when we travel international so we can try out their business class experience. We also like trying out different airport lounges that they give us access to. If you are going to travel on vacation for a great experience why not make the whole trip, including the travel, a great experience. We do typically always use points, unless we can catch a great dip in price which happens. You just have to shop during various times of the day and often because they don’t last. We have had some amazing travels on airlines like; Swiss Air, ANA, Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, etc., which all have amazing business class products
“No lounge access, poor boarding experience, poor customer service, average meal experience, and fend for your self drinks really makes us have to give Air China a thumbs down!”
Air China, where we did use points thankfully because we would have been mad if we spent cash, was a let down experience. There were some good aspects but not compared to the lack luster performance of a VIP experience. The check in process was alright and relatively fast using the Premium lane, but we had to wait until 3 hours before the flight because they didn’t have any employees at the counter prior. This was a bummer because we wanted to check bags and go into the lounge since we were at the airport early because of a transfer (we came in the night before on a correct airline and stayed at a Marriott located at the airport we were at). We had to hang out in the ticketing area until they opened.
We were excited to experience the Air China lounge which was near our gate but it was closed during normal morning hours and opened right when we were to board (only open from 12:00pm to 8:00pm). This is strange since we have never seen any lounges not open in the morning hours (usually opening by 6:00am at the latest). Luckily there was an American Express Centurion Lounge, which we are huge fans! If you fly in or out of airports that have Centurion Lounges or their newer partnership with Escape Lounges it’s worth having an American Express Platinum or other card that gives you access to their lounge products.
When it came time to board it was chaos. There was no real line formation rather than just a massive pile of people in the airport walk way. Normally airlines will have posted lines by either class, priority boarding, or rows, etc. within the gate area. Air China had the gate area roped off and everyone just burned up in the walk way making it extremely difficult for passengers of other airlines trying to get to their gates without having to keep saying excuses me, excuse me please while pushing their way through the crowd. When boarding began there was no organization and people just pushed their way to the agents checking passports and boarding passes just to let the passengers into the gate area. With business class typically always provide priority boarding but not with Air China.
The meal came rather fast after taking off. The food was good but not great. Basically a simple meal that wasn’t anything special or better than what you can experience in most Premium Economy seat on many airlines. The craziest thing was they never came by with a drink cart before, during, or after serving the meal? We had to ask for a glass of wine and a cocktail which they didn’t bring any bottles but made it in the galley, so we had no idea what we were being served nor had a choice of brands.“…in the end you get what you pay for on Air China” Click To Tweet
When my wife asked for a glass of wine they literally tried to give here a soda and acted like they didn’t have any wine at all? She had to keep saying, “I want a glass of wine.” They final just walked away and brought her a glass. They knew what she was asking for but I guess they are trained not to give anything of value away? If we wanted another we had to go to the galley ourselves to ask for it. They didn’t come by with any desert which was a big flop in our kids eyes for sure. Again it was a very basic meal service. Not coming by with the drink cart during the flight was really annoying to say the least.
The inflight entertainment was good and worked fine and the seats were comfortable. The flight itself was smooth. But the business class experience was lacking. At the end of the flight we saw the staff resold the blankets and put them back in the overhead to be ready for the next flight. That means no washing and more than likely the ones we used where just that, used! No lounge access, poor boarding experience, poor customer service, average meal experience, and fend for your self drinks really makes us have to give Air China a thumbs down. We did use points at a good rate which we were thankful for because if we had paid money we would have been real upset. Other than the seats there wasn’t anything more that we got flying business class. Air China does have some cost competitive flights around the world but in the end you get what you pay for on Air China or get even less than you pay for in some cases!