Review of Air China flight Tokyo Beijing in Business

Airline Air China
Flight CA184
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 04:00
Take-off 21 Dec 17, 08:30
Arrival at 21 Dec 17, 11:30
CA   #79 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 170 reviews
toyion
By 3612
Published on 16th July 2018
Hello everyone!

After reading AVIONERO's report on Air China by chance, I was motivated to share my flight experience on Air China from Tokyo to Beijing. Everyone knows Air China is not a very reputable airlines, and probably won't expect such much when flying them (and so do I, just because of their unbelievable cheap tickets. Of coz we don't expect Air China to be on par with premium airlines such as Cathay, Singapore or ANA, but was it really so bad? Let's take a look! :)

This itinerary was from Tokyo to Hong Kong, via Beijing. The round trip business class ticket including tax/surchanges was 73,840JPY (~655USD), and accumulate 125% ANA mileage so I think it was not a bad deal.

Still an early morning, I reached Haneda Airport at 7am.
Air China's check-in was handled by JAL ground staff, smooth and no complaint at all.

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Haneda Airport Intl Terminal

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Business class check-in

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Got my boarding passes for CA184 HND-PEK, and CA109 PEK-HKG

Still got a little time to hop the ANA Lounge.
There are two ANA lounges for the international terminal, one on the 'right side' after passport control, near gate 110, larger in term of size (but seems more crowded!). Another one is located on the 'left side' after passport control which a bit smaller in size, near gate 144. My gate was 142, so the one on the left fits me well.

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ANA Lounge is located on 4/F

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ANA Lounge

ANA Lounge, in Japanese's simple and neat design. Food options were not as outstanding as CX's lounge in HKG but not bad at all. A few options of Japanese Sake was also available, not to mention a variety of soft drinks, beer and alcohol. I'll let photos to speak, rather than my words :)



Just a few words on their washrooms, clean enough to carry out any medical operations here lol

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ANA Lounge's washroom

After grabbing a simple breakfast from the lounge, time to move myself to gate 142.
The Air China A321 was in my sight.

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Gate 142

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Air China A321 (B-6595)

Stepped into the aircraft and sit down. Slippers, pre-flight drink and menu were provided. The seat was an ordinary recliner seat as expected on a narrow-body jet, but comfortable for a short regional flight.

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Air China A321 Business Class

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Air China A321 Business Class

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Pre-flight drink

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Menu and wine list

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Breakfast was served on this flight

The flight took off from Haneda at 9:06am Tokyo time, en-routed over Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Fukui, and then Sea of Japan, Korea airspace, finally China airspace before landing at Beijing.

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Taking off from Haneda

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Over Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

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A closer look on my seat 2A

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CA A321's safety instruction, and inflight magazine 'Wings of China'

Breakfast service was started just the flight was over the Sea of Japan. Chinese and western options were available and I opted for the western one. The meal seems prepared in Japan from the taste, milk and dressing packaging. A nice and decent breakfast :)

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Had a cup of green tea before the meal

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CA184 breakfast, western option

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CA184 breakfast, western option

After the breakfast, reclined my seat and took a nap.
Pulled up my window shield, yellow and ashy air!
Yeah we're approaching Beijing Capital Airport!

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Approaching Beijing

Landed at Beijing at 11:30am local time. Noticed the aircraft landed after me was the North Korea's flag carrier - Air Koryo Tu-204!

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Air Koryo Tu-204 (P-633)

My flight was parked at an outer bay, which passengers would be transported back to the terminal by buses. Business class passengers got a 'VIP minibus' as well.

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Walking out of the aircraft

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VIP minibus for business class passengers

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VIP minibus for business class passengers

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Beijing Airport

My connection time to my next leg was short, and the transfer security check at PEK was chaotic. The outcome was that my luggage wasn't traveled in the next flight, which i'm going to tell the story in the next report, CA109 Beijing - Hong Kong! :)
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Verdict

Air China

6.5/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.0

ANA Lounge Haneda - International

8.0/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services8.5

Tokyo - HND

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Beijing - PEK

5.6/10
Efficiency4.0
Access7.5
Services5.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

I have flown Air China for a few times, including economy and business, and the reason were just their attractive prices. I would say what you'll get is really depends on your luck. I met really nice crew members, but also really rude crew members too. So it's difficult to make a general conclusion. But at least for this flight, I was satisfactory with what I paid. Another concerns (although not directly related to Air China) are the notorious air traffic control delay over China airspace, and the ground handling (be mentally prepared for lost/delay luggage).

Information on the route Tokyo (HND) Beijing (PEK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Tokyo (HND) → Beijing (PEK).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Japan Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 4 hours and 5 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 454451 by
    Howardts1 1 Comments

    I flew Air China alot got nothing but, good things to say about them.

  • Comment 454463 by
    bgboiflyer 37 Comments

    Wonderful experience, I had a good one as well on board their economy product. Too bad PEK is a bit awful. I hope the new Daxing airport is a lot nicer

    • Comment 454598 by
      toyion AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Hi Bgboiflyer, thank you for your comment!
      Premium airlines such as CX, SQ, NH are already heavily commented by flyers from all over the world.
      So sometimes it would be interesting to give a try on airlines such as Air China :)

  • Comment 454515 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 45 Comments

    Really Nice Report! Congrats!!

    I have booked CA business class from PEK-HND on May, 2019, through CA miles, I mean literally alot, which I could have booked TG F class from NRT to BKK... However since I have to wait for my connection to YVR.....

    First, I love the NH lounge. It is sufficient, and sake/curry truly reflects Japanese tradition and culture. Champagne in NH business lounge?
    Second, what do you think catering on CA flight to HND? My flight leaves PEK around 1PM....Do CA serve champagne once onboard?
    Third, what do you think of transfer @ HND?

    • Comment 454602 by
      toyion AUTHOR 47 Comments

      I'm not an alcohol lover, but from my memory seems there was no champagne provided in ANA lounge? (Of coz ANA Suite Lounge does), i'll check it out next time.

      For the catering, really depends on your departure time, for morning flights such as CA184, meals are loaded from Tokyo becoz the aircraft stay overnight at HND (or NRT), if you depart at noon or later, the aircraft probably just arrived from Beijing, meals are also probably loaded from Beijing. I flew CA926 from NRT to PEK in J last year, which departed at 15:15, I was quite sure the meal was prepared on China side from the taste (really tasted weird!)

      So I have no idea coz I'm Tokyo-based, I have never transited at HND :)

      Look forward for your flight reports on CA!

  • Comment 455133 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4906 Comments

    Hi Toyion, thanks for sharing this very nice report with great pics! It's nice to see so many positive reports on Air China lately. Hopefully it is a sign that service levels are improving overall.

    Great report!

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