I was able to score some suite upgrades that made my long-haul journey to and from much more pleasurable, but while in China, I had a few segments on Air China in the economy class. I snapped a few pictures, and here’s a smattering of them.
My Air China itinerary segments included HKG-PEK, PEK-PVG, and PVG-PEK. Below are some pictures from HKG-PEK. I don’t remember what kind of plane we were on, but it definitely did not have any sort of new or interesting configuration whatsoever. It was a widebody plane, and none of the seats had any sort of IFE. Leg room was decent but not great. A hot meal was served, but I didn’t find it too appetizing.
After a week in Beijing, I popped down to Shanghai for the weekend. The Air China plane was larger on this one. I believe it was an Airbus A330, and it was painted in the Star Alliance design I have seen from time to time. We boarded this plane via bus, and come to think of it, I think all of my intra-China Air China flights were boarded from a bus.
There was some IFE on this flight, but a lot of the buttons on my controller didn’t seem to work right. This is the same controller style that Air Canada uses for their Executive First Suites. I played with it a bit, but the picture quality wasn’t that great, there was a lot of glare, and the flight was too short to make it worth it. Leg room was quite decent, but there was an electronic box that limited the amount of stowage space I had in front of me. Despite how short the flight was, they did come by with little hot pork buns for everyone. I didn’t really like mine, but that’s just personal preference.
I did not snap any pictures of my final PVG-PEK leg, but it was pretty uneventful. Despite that plane being an even larger A340, it had no IFE in Economy class. I’m not sure what the newest Air China plane configuration is, but there seem to be a few out there in action. I flew Air China so I could get the RDMs / EQMs on United, but be careful if you book an Air China flight hoping to do the same: depending on your fare code, you might get partial or no credit. I was on unfortunately high fares so I received full credit for my flights, but there is no 100% elite bonus for United elites.