The Air China First Class Lounge at Beijing Capital Airport is located airside (after security) in terminal 3, near gate E20. It’s located on the second floor of the international terminal and is only available to first class passengers on Air China or Star Alliance flights and (surprisingly) Priority Pass members. I don’t know how Priority Pass scored this lounge but it’s one of the better lounges that Priority Pass members have access to. Star Alliance Gold members not flying first class don’t even have access to this lounge. They have to use the Air China Business Class Lounge located by gate E19.
The Air China First Class Lounge is open from 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM and the Business Class Lounge is open from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM. On this trip, I was connecting from my first class flight from Los Angeles to my business class flight to Seoul with a three hour layover.
Upon arriving into Beijing, I followed the signs for the transit desk, cleared security and made my way to the Air China First Class Lounge. Even though I was technically supposed to use the Business Class Lounge, the desk agent allowed me to access the First Class Lounge using my arriving boarding pass. Luckily she let me in because I didn’t know I could use my Priority Pass to gain entry until I sat down to write this review. If she denied me entry, I wouldn’t have even questioned it and would have walked my butt over to the Business Class Lounge.
The lounge itself is fairly spacious and even with first class passengers, jokers like me and Priority Pass members granted entry, the lounge never got busy, crowded or loud at all. Beijing’s terminal 3 is a massive space with high ceilings and the open-air design of the lounge made it feel spacious and bright. The lounge was defined into specific areas for dining, lounging, resting and working.
The mezzanine-style lounge is beautiful and has a park-like setting. The mahogany walls, leather chairs, and clean colors created a warm yet elegant space and even though the trees were all fake, they still complimented the décor of the lounge quite nicely. The large windows let in a lot of natural light and was great for plane spotting with views of the control tower, runway and boarding gates.
As you enter the lounge, the business and rest areas are located to your left (quieter side) and the rest of the lounge is located to your right (less quiet). The rest area had small, individual sleeping rooms (enclosed on four sides but no ceiling) with either a massage recliner or day bed and the business area had several desks with partitions and PC computers.
The main seating area is located in the middle of the lounge with a variety of chairs, sofas and recliners, a semi-enclosed TV room and an enclosed courtyard like space. There are also a bank of secured storage lockers that are large enough to fit your carry-on bags.
The bar and dining areas are located at the far end of the lounge. The buffet spread at breakfast time was really good. There was a selection of western breakfast items such as scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs and chicken sausage and Chinese items such as congee with all the toppings and dim sum. There were also other items such as fresh fruit, crackers, cookies, pastries, desserts and other packaged snacks. The bar had a good selection of teas, beers, wines and hard spirits and the refrigerators are stocked with sodas, juices and water.
There were several shower rooms that were stocked with O branded bath and body products. They weren’t the best products but they got the job done. When I arrived, I requested a shower room and was given one without a wait.
WiFi was provided throughout the lounge but it was VERY spotty and super annoying as hell to gain access. First of all, you have to scan your passport into this machine and it spits out a WiFi access code for you to use. Using the access code, you can then connect to the WiFi but it won’t last very long. I got about 10 minutes of use before getting booted. After getting kicked off a couple times, I just gave up.
There were universal electrical outlets around but they were not plentiful throughout the lounge. I eventually found two in the main seating area but they did not work. The third one did. And Europeans and Chinese travelers can rejoice, there’s an enclosed smoking room here for you to use. They did not make any boarding or gate announcements so you will have to monitor the flight information boards yourself.
Overall, this was a nice lounge and I was quite surprised by it. Unlike in the air, their ground catering was tasty and plentiful. The lounge was spacious and had all the amenities that you would expect from a first class lounge. I enjoyed it and am glad to know that even though I won’t be flying Air China’s first class any time soon, I can still get into the lounge with my Priority Pass membership.
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Other trip reports in this series:
- Introduction: How we booked our trip using United miles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at LAX
- Air New Zealand Lounge at LAX
- Air China “Forbidden Pavilion” first class Los Angeles to Beijing, Boeing 777-300ER
- Air China first class lounge at PEK
- Air China business class Beijing to Seoul, Airbus A330-300
- Hilton Seoul
- United Airlines “BusinessFirst” Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita, Boeing 787-8
- Asiana business class lounge at ICN
- Asiana business class Seoul to Tokyo Narita, Airbus A330-300
- Conrad Tokyo
- Hilton Tokyo
- ANA business class lounge at NRT
- Thai Airways “Royal Silk” business class Tokyo Narita to Bangkok, Boeing 747-400
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge at BKK
- Thai Airways “Royal Silk” business class Bangkok to Auckland, Boeing 777-200
- Hilton Auckland
- Emperor Lounge at AKL
- Air New Zealand Koru Club Lounge at AKL
- Air New Zealand “Business Premier” Auckland to Shanghai, Boeing 777-200
- Air China business class lounge at PVG
- Air China business class Shanghai to Taipei, Airbus A330-300
- EVA Air Evergreen Lounge at TPE
- EVA Air “Royal Laurel” business class Taipei to Los Angeles, Boeing 777-300ER