Review of Air China flight Beijing Wuhan in Economy

Airline Air China
Flight CA8214
Class Economy
Seat 20A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 24 Jul 19, 22:05
Arrival at 25 Jul 19, 00:25
CA   #85 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 169 reviews
Aaro
By 476
Published on 1st August 2019

china 2019 (and d.c. too)


Routing


air china flight 8214 beijing capital to wuhan


After taking the train to Terminal 3-C we went straight to domestic transfers as our bags were being tagged right to Wuhan. We already had boarding passes so skipped the transfer counters. They were fairly empty anyways. Security was annoying because you had to take many things out of your pockets and bags and everyone received a thorough pat-down. It didn't take too long, however, and we were on our way to Gate C25 after a few minutes after grabbing a free luggage cart.


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The sun eventually set at around 7 something. The screens at the gate were still displaying an on-time departure of 22:05 which was good. The gate area had a lot of people sitting in it, but there were still empty seats to be found. My aunt and I went to get some KFC b/c there likely wasn't going to be a meal on the flight. While the arrival of our plane (B-6608) was nearing closer, the 737 headed to Chongqing was yet to depart due to a weather delay. Eventually, around 40 or so minutes before our flight was scheduled to board the screen showed a gate change of C33. While there wasn't an announcement I wouldn't know as we left pretty quickly after having seen it.


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We walked nearly to the other end of the terminal where the non-sharklets A320-200 was waiting. Air China's flights from PEK to WUH are mostly on A320s. Termianl 3-Cs windows aren't very planespotting friendly but Terminal 3-E is better.


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The gate area was pretty empty but eventually people started trickling in. I assume an announcement was made over the PA system. Boarding started on time at 9:35 or so and first/business class passengers were allowed to board at anytime.


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At the foot of the jet bridge there was a cart with a selection of newspapers in Chinese and English.


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I love how most airports in China have glass jet bridges


Air China's first/business class cabin has 8 seats in a 2-2 configuration. Economy is in the standard 3-3 on a narrow body like the A320. There were a couple of pillows and blankets placed on the bulkhead economy seats, and we ended up grabbing a couple. As you can there are also blankets and pillows in one of the over head bins.


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While the seats did look wide and pretty comfortable they also looked pretty worn out and the lack of a headrest made them seem outdated.


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My window seat 20A


Legroom felt pretty average, but it wouldn't be that big of a deal on this sub two hour flight.


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While I originally put my backpack under the seat in front, a flight attendant noticed and asked if I wanted it moved to an over head bin which was a kind gesture. I agreed as the leg and feet room became very restricted with a bag placed in front. Boarding continued quickly and towards the end a flight attendant made an announcement telling everyone to get settled quickly as they were trying to push back the plane earlier. The safety video was screened at the gate, and we departed at 10:09 PM.


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I honestly don't recall much after that because I fell asleep while we were taxiing and only woke up when we were about ready to start descending. Sorry.


While I was asleep flight attendants handed out drinks, and a bag of nuts. Air China usually serves meals on domestic flights, but this one was scheduled late at night, so snack mix there is. Besides, this is what you would get on the U.S. no matter the distance or time :p.


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Air China route map (it was impossible to try and determine lines connecting cities)


Descent started not too long after I woke up. Maybe 10 to 20 minutes after.


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Landing Wuhan airport


I should note even though this was a domestic flight in China every announcement was also read in English which was good for me as I still have a lot to learn in Chinese even though I can speak it.


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We pulled into the gate at 12;24 AM. Coincidentally the plane parked next to us was B-1873, a frame which I previously flew with on the same route in 2014. It's a small plane world I guess XD. 


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My uncle picking us up met us in the jet bridge as he has connections with many police in the city. We were brought to a golf cart where we were able to speed past everyone else. Wuhan recently opened a new terminal less than two years ago, and the new Terminal 3 is much larger than the old Terminal 2 and International Terminal. This is one of the only terminals I know of in China where it doesn't use the split-level departure and arrival system which many others, including Beijing T3 use. The new terminal here is very nice as it is clean, modern, and open. Fear not about the large space as there are moving walkways to speed up your travel.


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Our baggage claim was 16, but we had to wait for at least 10 minutes before the claim started moving.


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WUH has camera footage of your bags being loaded from the cart onto the claim which I thought was pretty cool and had never seen elsewhere.


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Our bags came out relatively quickly and soon enough we were in a Honda Elysion heading to Wuchang where my aunt and uncle would be returning home, and I would be visiting my grandparents. I'll be sure to share photos of the international gates when I depart on my return flight in 2 weeks. So long for now.

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Verdict

Air China

6.0/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi3.5
Meal/catering6.0

Beijing - PEK

7.9/10
Efficiency7.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

Wuhan - WUH

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

As for the seats they were large and comfortable but were outdated as they didn't have IFE screens, USB or power outlets, or an adjustable headrest. The seat pocket was pretty shallow and the plane wasn't equipped with Wifi. I can't comment on the service much as I was asleep for most of the flight, but from what I saw it was good. PEK doesn't have good air condition and most of its shops are located after the security checkpoint. WUH is new and modern, but it might be a pain to connect there. It all depends on where your gate is.

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5 Comments

  • Comment 514387 by
    Oscar 10 Comments

    Hey nice trip report. It's always nice seeing trip reports to/from my hometown :). The cabin does look a bit older but I'm a bit surprised that CA only offered a bag of mixed nuts onboard the flight (I would think that they would provide some sort of snack box with some pastries like MU and CZ do). Hopefully this isn't a sign of price cutting as I still enjoy the hot breakfasts I get on my morning flights from CAN to WUH!

    Wuhan recently opened a new terminal less than two years ago, and the new Terminal 3 is much larger than Terminal 2 and International Terminal. This is the one of the only terminals I know of in China where it doesn't use the split-level departure and arrival system which many others, including Beijing T3 use>

    I'm a big fan of the new terminal at Wuhan as well - feels a lot more spacious than the old T1 and offers some great views during the daytime. This might sound weird but I seem to still prefer the split-level departures and arrivals system as landing in the morning its sometimes hard to get off the plane when there is a large queue already forming for the next flight.

    Hope you enjoyed your stay in Wuhan (and hopefully the weather wasn't too hot!)

    • Comment 514388 by
      Aaro AUTHOR 25 Comments

      It's already too hot, and I want to die. I prefer the single level departures/arrivals as it is nice to see what the terminal looks like if you're departing from the airport as well. On the separate arrival level the views and experience are different. Yeah thanks for reading it's nice to finally publish a review that's not on American for once.

  • Comment 514390 by
    bgboiflyer 37 Comments

    Lucky you guys got to push back early. I have never had that happen domestically, and almost every flight I've been since 2010 has been delayed (all but 1!). The non-split level thing is cool, though I really like the separation concept. Looks like a nice terminal indeed

    • Comment 514391 by
      Aaro AUTHOR 25 Comments

      We actually ended up pushing a couple of minutes late. I don't know if you saw the scheduled departure or not. I always put the scheduled departure and arrival times in the slots. But thanks for reading.

  • Comment 514478 by
    Harry_He SILVER 42 Comments

    NICE REPORT! I actually have just flown a similar product on the CA984 (LAX-PEK) AND CA1643 (PEK-HRB) 2 days before ya...I tried to do the report in my hometown Harbin but the Chinese great firewall didn't let me upload any pictures... :(

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