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Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

New York
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Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

Hi, am in the throes of planning a trip to China. Looking at different flight options.

There are 2 affordable biz class options for my dates. The first one is Air Canada Executive First - LGA/YYZ/PEK going out and PVG/YYZ/LGA or EWR on the return.

For a comparable price, I am also being offered Air China - JFK/PEK going out and SHA/PEK/JFK on the return.

My first thought was to say a flat NO to Air China as I've read blogs with horror stories about dirty planes and bad food (and I have to say I'm not too thrilled at the prospect of using them for a couple of our internal China flights, if the reviews are anything to go by). But I read how they have introduced new B777-300 planes for JFK-PEK which have full flat seats in biz class. And the thought of flying on a new(er) plane with flat seats and at least one of the legs being non-stop sounds tempting.

To anyone who flies to China often or who has tried both - what do you guys think? Should I play it safe and stick with Air Canada who I understand has a good, consistent biz class product? Or is Air China a good option now? Thanks!

Winnipeg
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11. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

I forgot to mention that was the total cost for BOTH of us on AC. I just checked Air China again and cost was 12700 (for 2 of us), and it is for an inferior product. On the way there, you go Winnipeg-Vancouver-Beijing-Shanghai, with only the Beijing-Shanghai leg being First, the rest are Biz class. On the way home from Beijing there is only 1 stop in Vancouver, but again it is Biz class all the way. For that much dough, I want my lie flat bed!

New York
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12. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

Definitely. I wouldn't have booked Air China if they didn't have the new planes on my JFK flight. Not worth it for old style seats, that's for sure!

Winnipeg
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13. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

The International flights were on a A330 Air Bus, not quite the same product....

Vancouver, Canada
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14. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

I thought this was worth posting...

I haven't flown Air China. I always fly "China Airlines economy." I've flown economy Air Canda years ago and never again. Needless to say.. it was terrible. It's good to know about Air China because because "China Airlines" is sooo different!

China Airline is the opposite of Air China ..good to know! China Airline is awesome! ~ They feed you well. You get the best price and the price never changes. They do not have promotions. It’s always $1100. But the thing is with China Air - once it fills up it’s full. You get VOD (video on demand) which means you can stop the movie; go to the bathroom or stretch your legs and pause the movie until you come back. Some English movies but the movies are only changed once a month.

(I’ve flown Cathay Pacific, & Japan Airlines with a promotion and never again!) Bad slow service on board, very little food and snack, always really late arrival contraire to flight schedule, no VOD and these were the same prices as China Airlines regular price.

Unfortunately China airlines doesn’t allow pre-booking and pay later. You pay when you book but they do the most for you. The plane does fill up (especially in peak season.) They Post their flight schedule in Aug/Sept for Dec/Jan. As soon as they post it – book it! They bring in extra flights but if you paid in November for Dec; you’re going to be on one of the extra flights – meaning you paid last so we are changing your stop in Taipei from 2 1/2 hours to 8 hours before flying onward to Bangkok.

Edited: 22 June 2013, 20:10
New York City, New...
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15. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

I thought this was worth posting...

-----------

Confused me. Air China, China Airlines or China Air? The latter doesn't exist btw.

China Airlines are Taiwan based so it's irrelevant and it seems as though your post is about economy class but the OP is asking about business class.

New York
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16. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

Yes I was confused too. I have heard that China Airlines is good too but since it is Taiwan-based, it does not apply to people who are considering trips to the PRC which is completely different from Taiwan.

On another note - since Air China does not have their own lounge at JFK, can I just use any Star Alliance lounge at Terminal 1 in JFK? If I have a choice, which one would be best? Thanks!

Brisbane, Australia
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17. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

How was the Air China flight?

New York
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18. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

Hi, I've been meaning to post a trip report since I got back but work and life have been getting in the way! Overall, it was a very good experience! I'll break it down across the three flights I took:

JFK-BJS - Check in was chaotic at JFK with the biz class desk off to the side - very obscure. Air China doesn't have its own lounge and the Lufthansa lounge which is used for afternoon flights wasn't open yet (I was on the noon flight) so we used the Alitalia lounge. OK, nothing special. The actual flight made up for that. Great seats, in a 2-2-2 config. Seats are light gray and go full flat, very comfy. I slept 7 hours going out, which is a record for me on flights! We were provided very nice PJ's with a mandarin collar, your choice of red or blue and red slippers. Food was excellent, lots of choices, I loved the three-cup chicken dish! I mostly stuck to Asian food. Entertainment was decent - they have nice large 15'' screens but the line-up is mostly geared to the Mandarin-speaking market. I wish there had been more English language choices but I still found enough to watch. Blankets and pillows were great. We took off and landed half an hour late. Plane was a 777-300ER and looked pretty new, maybe about 6 months old. Pilots spoke excellent English but some of the flight crew struggled with the language - but enough to get by.

SHA-BJS - Great expeperience! Check-in at SHA was very quick and this airport is much faster to reach than PVG as its closer to town. Small but nice lounge and free wi fi, albeit with a staff provided password which is odd. Good selection of soft drinks although nothig was really cold. Although this was a domestic flight (to connect to BJS-JFK), it was served by a 777-200 which had been retrofitted with the same light gray full-flat seats used on the flight coming over. Air China calls this domestic first class. It was an early morning flight so after enjoying a very lavish breakfast, I snoozed for an hour and literally woke up as we were landing. Take off was right on time, we landed about 15 mins early.

BJS-JFK - used the big Air China lounge. Big disappointment - the lounge is not properly airconditioned which made it stuffy, despite being very large. OK snacks and drinks, again nothing really cold. Free wi fi. Nice loos though! More just a place to pass the time as opposed to enjoy. The return flight to JFK was again very good, mostly a repeat of the outgoing one. We were about an hour late taking off, and landed about 30 mins late. This crew spoke the best English out of all three flights.

In summary - I paid a reasonable price for biz class and felt like I got very good value for money. The new planes are very good and the seats very comfy, allowing you to sleep well on loooong flights. I felt like the seats and food were top-notch but the entertainment should have been better. Crews were all smiling and friendly but sometimes struggle with communications with non-Mandarin speaking passengers. I haven't flown SQ recently, but comparing with CX, I would say that Air China lacks the sophistication and polish of CX, but its an overall strong product. And flying non-stop at least one way was a huge relief. They also promptly credited my Star Alliance account. Biggest thing was, they were reasonably punctual at all times. I had been nervous about that, having heard horror stories of long delays, so that was a big plus point!

Birmingham, United...
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19. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

Great report thanks!

20. Re: Air China new biz class vs Air Canada biz class?

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