Once I cleared security, there were plenty of signs to the Air China first-class lounge, though the construction on the ground level partially obscured some of them. Right in front of door two are the 12 first class seats, spread across three rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. He was home and asleep on the couch well before I made it to my airport hotel for the night. This aircraft features 10 First Class flat bed seats, 42 Business Class angled flat seats, and 292 standard Economy Class seats. Learn More . When I landed at New York-JFK, Leo’s new family was waiting for me as soon as I exited customs. There’s no way around the fact that mainland Chinese airlines have an abysmal reputation, especially compared to nearby competitors like Cathay Pacific and EVA Air, who are among the world’s best. I can’t remember ever having to wait before to check in to a first-class lounge, and it appeared that some people were even being turned away (though as a ticketed first-class passenger I had no problem getting in). Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Australian flag-carrier Qantas also retired its 747s earlier this year. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. My menu showed a few different choices for dessert, but the flight attendant simply asked me, “Do you want some cake?”(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy.). It’s the -400 version that is currently the hottest, because with only 3 planes in the fleet remaining, it is not only harder to catch than the 747 … CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. The orange pillows and headrests on each seat added a nice pop of color, as well. So where in the world could you still fly on one of the most recognizable and beloved planes through history, should you so desire? The 747-8i – essentially a stretched next-gen version of the popular Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet – contains first, business, premium economy and economy class across a … The aircraft had departed from Taipei at 16:22 local time. I also have to applaud the crew on this flight for hustling to truly execute a dine-on-demand experience, as it seemed like all six passengers in the cabin were on different eating and sleeping schedules. Lines were mercifully short, but I didn’t see any expedited security line for premium-cabin passengers like they have at Shanghai Pudong (PVG). At the moment, they are operating on domestic routes, mostly out of Beijing. The flagship of Air China's fleet, the Boeing 747-400 plane is used on Air China's international routes, such as SFO-PEK, and offers three classes of service. JetPhotos.com is the biggest database of aviation photographs with over 4 million screened photos online! With business class separated from us by just a thin curtain, the flight attendants frequently darted between the galley and the business-class cabin, which got disruptive at night. We use ads to keep our content free. They only loaded one size for men, large, and these just barely fit me. We ended up paying 81,000 LifeMiles and $54 for the 13-hour flight, a price that’s much closer to the 75,000 miles you’d normally pay in business class. Both the business- and first-class lounges were accessible to Priority Pass members and Star Alliance Gold passengers, which made for a decent-sized crowd. Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half, so at 1:30 p.m., our original scheduled departure time, I made my way to the gate just in time to see our beautiful 747-8 taxiing in. However, only one of them, VT-EVA, is currently listed as active. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy.). The rescue organization handled all of the logistics for Leo and covered the cost of checking him in the cargo hold with Air China. There were about 100 to 150 passengers in the lounge when I was there, so it was hard to find a seat near an outlet. Next came a small salad with a choice between balsamic or Thousand Island dressing. While the carrier has not disclosed any plans for its jumbos, it is difficult to say how many will return to active service. Air China’s 747-8 aircraft feature 12 first class seats, 54 business class seats, 66 premium economy seats, and 233 economy seats, for a total of 365 seats. April 25, 2012 in Commercial. The accident occurred 10 hours into the flight. But instead of a closing door, all you got was a small closet, big enough to hang a jacket and not much else. The Boeing 747SP-09was 350 miles (560 km) northwest of San Francisco, cruising at an altitude of 41,000 ft (12,500 m). Note that Air China is slowly introducing their new First and Business Class seats on the Boeing 747-400s and this seat map shows the current older generation seats. Marketplace Masterstroke: Cathay Pacific Adds 10 747-8 Freighters to Fleet. But it also has some of the newest 747s on the market, so you may be able to hitch a ride on one from San Francisco (SFO) or New York City-JFK (JFK) to Beijing (PEK) for some time. While seven of them are listed as parked, the remaining two are operating flights to leisure or other destinations. The kit itself was a pretty cheap and lightweight material, though it certainly included all the basics: hand cream, lip balm, toothbrush, eye mask, etc. Lufthansa leads the way with new 747-8 Intercontinental. *Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Even better, we were able to take advantage of a 10% off sale that Avianca LifeMiles was running on select routes to bring the cost down even further. We ended up paying 81,000 LifeMiles and $54 for the 13-hour flight, a price that’s much closer to the 75,000 miles you’d normally pay in business class. The 747-8 is also scheduled on flights from Shanghai to Guangzhou twice daily. Air China is now the proud owner of a Boeing 747-8 – the first airline in Asia to operate the passenger version of the new-generation jumbo. The most I’ve ever had before was four, and as someone who places a lot of value on the free entertainment that a window provides, this made me very happy. Air China still operates a fleet of three 24-year old Boeing 747-400s and a full seven of the newer 747-8s. Meanwhile, the airline has said that it will not retire the Queen early and will phase out its 747-400s by mid-decade, as was always the intention. It would probably be hard to fit the huge Air first class seats in the nose of the aircraft. I can’t say enough good things about this dish: The shrimp was spicy without being overpowering, and I loved the green peas and lotus root (my favorite vegetable). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Only, all but one are freighters. Aviation Photo #6240119 Boeing 747-89L - Air China [ Medium Large] Tweet. View our latest valuations here. Air China’s 747-8s have a peculiar layout. But since moving to Shanghai about a year and a half ago, I’ve been curious about testing this widely held assumption myself. Learn More . This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. There were two bathrooms in the galley area behind first class. About two hours before landing, the lights were turned on for the prearrival meal. Air China Fleet of B747 (Active) - Aviation website for aircraft and airline information (flight, photo, travel, fleet listing, production list of Airbus Boeing Douglas Embraer Dash, ATR, Sukhoi, Saab...), plane photos, flightlog database, aviation news, civil aviation forum, aviation store. 1 The average fleet age is based on our own calculations and may differ from other figures. Immediately after that, my table was set and I was offered a trio of canapés: beef pastrami, marinated scallop with salmon roe and lobster with cranberry. Please Support us by turning off your adblocker. The airline had only brought back the two quad-jets, officially taken out of service in March, to assist in cargo efforts. With just a few tweaks here and there, Air China is not that far off from offering a highly competitive first-class experience. At the end of the day, some of the same factors that make Asia the best continent for short-haul flying work against it for long-haul passengers. To the left of the seat was a small storage compartment, big enough for your wallet and phone but not much else. It recently replaced the jumbo with A350s on some of its routes out of Frankfurt. Air China 747-8 first class cabin Air China 747-8 first class cabin Image credit: seatguru.com. I liked the design, including the red piping and patterned buttons. I ended up ordering the Sichuan Kung Pao shrimp, which the flight attendant confirmed when she was taking my order. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. Both were a decent size. While most 747 fans look forward to grabbing a seat on the upper deck or in the nose of the plane, this is the only aircraft I know of where the first-class cabin isn’t actually the first one on the plane. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Currently the bureau is a one persons dream. In my experience, Asian airlines don’t differentiate between their short-haul international premium-cabin passengers (like those flying two hours from Beijing to Seoul) and long-haul passengers, like our flight going to New York. If you’re traveling from China to the U.S. and want to volunteer your time to rescue a dog in need, you can reach out to email@example.com and mention The Points Guy in your email. Would you travel with an airline specifically to get the chance to fly on the Queen of the Skies again? It also has ten passenger 747-8s. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Air China serves Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2007, which retails for about $130 a bottle. Typically, first class is located in the nose, such as on Lufthansa’s latest jumbo. Economy has 292 seats in a 3-4-3 config; Business class has 18 seats in a 2-4-2 config; First class has 10 seats in a 2-2-2 config; this is pretty standard for these aircraft. The presentation had been nearly perfect up until this point, but there’s no reason to serve dressing in a plastic container like that in first class. One of them is something so rare these days as a 747-300. Had I not scored a seat on the upper deck, I think I would have been perfectly happy in the nose.Meanwhile, the two rows of 2-2-2 business seats just behind felt a bit too ordinary. At the moment, they are operating on domestic routes, mostly out of Beijing. In fact, from the time I checked in to the moment I boarded the plane, my experience as a first-class passenger was absolutely identical to that of an economy passenger with a Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Amex Platinum. With airlines around the globe retiring their older 747-400s in favor of more fuel-efficient planes, these three airlines will be the last ones to operate the beloved Queen of the Skies into the next decade and hopefully beyond. This leads to crowded lounges (before you add in all the Priority Pass members) and a ground experience that’s simultaneously excessive for those short hops and not quite enough for long-haul passengers. Our five year old 747-8 is the second youngest of the six in Air China’s fleet. Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Next was an asparagus cream soup, a perfect pairing with the garlic bread and not nearly as heavy as it sounds. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. This is where I’m a little conflicted about Air China. Journalist - With a Master's in International Relations, Linnea has combined her love for current affairs with her passion for travel to become a key member of the Simple Flying team. Air China is one of just three carriers (along with Korean Air and Lufthansa) to order the next-generation 747. On Air China’s plane, there were 12 business-class seats there, instead.Since I entered through the forward door, I had a chance to check out all of the premium sections. I understand why Air China would want to drive incremental revenue from its lounges by opening them up to Priority Pass members, but this makes the experience feel much less exclusive. Capacity : First Class : Business Class : Premium Economy Class: Economy Class: 365 : 12 : 54 : 66 : 233 The meats were fresh and delicious, but the bread they were served on had a grainy taste that competed with, rather than complemented, the flavor. Before we pushed back, a flight attendant came by to offer me pajamas. The Air China 747-8i has 233 economy seats, each of which are 18 inches wide and 31-33 inches in pitch. Next I was served an appetizer of prawns with orange slices and a small side salad. The seats were spacious and private enough (though a closing door would have been nice), and both meals really blew me out of the water. My first impression of Air China’s first-class product was that the cabin itself felt nice and spacious. Air China Fleet of B747 (History) - Aviation website for aircraft and airline information (flight, photo, travel, fleet listing, production list of Airbus Boeing Douglas Embraer Dash, ATR, Sukhoi, Saab...), plane photos, flightlog database, aviation news, civil aviation forum, aviation store. In this case I had the honor of transporting Leo, a drop-dead gorgeous, 2-year-old lab who was being rescued by the Forever In My Heart Foundation in New York to train as a service dog for a disabled veteran. Limited Western-food options and a forgettable ground experience. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. The Air China Boeing 747-400 features 344 seats in a 3 cabin configuration. Sign up to our daily aviation news digest. Shortly after settling in, I was offered a glass of Champagne and a hot towel. I was completely stuffed at this point, so I passed on the cheese plate and went right to fruit and dessert. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. The Air China 747-400 (registered B-2445) departed from Madrid’s Barajas International Airport at 14:11 local time on Saturday. Air China's first Boeing 747-8i takes to the skies this week, with an all-new interior created for the Chinese flag carrier by JPA Design. Cash prices on this route tend to sit just above $10,000, giving us a phenomenal redemption value of 12.6 cents per mile. After dropping Leo off, I took the train to the international concourse and cleared customs. Twelve, in fact. Air China's Boeing 747-8 is a 4-class aircraft that seats a total of 365 passengers. The flight attendants did a good job keeping them clean and shooing away all the premium economy passengers who kept trying to use them. Air China CA1313 PEK-SZX, on board former Chinese Air Force One B-2472, it was re-configured to F10C42Y292 in August 2020. I have no complaint here, but I will say that Air China missed an easy opportunity to differentiate its first-class product. This … The German flag-carrier has stored all of its twelve 747-400s and 12 out of its 19 747-8s. She initially said that the first meal would be served at 5:30 p.m. (nearly two hours after takeoff), but I asked if it would be possible to eat right away, and she happily obliged. Speaking of windows, I ended up with between four and a half and five windows, depending on where you decided to draw the lines between rows. The only airline in the region to fly the aircraft type is Korean Air. At this point, I was also offered a personal breadbasket including a sesame roll, a pretzel roll, two pieces of garlic bread and a bagel (an odd choice to accompany my Chinese lunch). (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy. Unfortunately, they are all also listed as parked. Before my flight, I was able to preorder my meal online. Throughout the meal, the flight attendants were proactive about refilling my Champagne, though rather than bring the bottle to my seat, they just disappeared into the galley and returned with a new glass. In our case, the lower deck has the most private configuration. 2 Future records only include new-built aircraft close to delivery and expected second-hand deliveries. After lunch, I had the flight attendant make my bed up. I was even offered a refill before we pushed back, which I find to be a rare occurrence even on five-star airlines like Emirates or Singapore. This was a simple dish, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. ), I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. Aeroflot subsidiary Rossiya operates a fleet of nine about 20-year old 747-400s. Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2007, which retails for about $130 a bottle. Again, a simple dish, but fresh and flavorful. All six passengers in first class on this flight appeared to be traveling solo, but the middle seats featured a retractable divider, making it easy to talk to a companion during the flight. So for zero dollars and maybe 30 minutes of my time, I was able to help save a life and give Leo a bright future and a veteran in need a trusty companion. Normally, I would’ve made a beeline here as soon as arriving at the airport, but I was traveling with a special guest who needed extra help checking in. With eight years’ experience in publishing and citations in publications such as CNN, Linnea brings a deep understanding of politics and future aviation tech to her stories. My first two attempts — flying business class with China Eastern on both a 777-300ER and brand-new 787 — left me sorely disappointed. The regular feature of the Queen of the Skies will be missed by crew and travelers alike. Meanwhile, the carrier operates a 747-400, also over 30 years old, currently flying domestically between Kerman and Tehran. SeatGuru Seat Map Air China - SeatGuru Air China There was plenty of different kinds of seating along the windows and in the interior of the lounge. Asiana has a whole host of 747s. Since Air China is a member of Star Alliance, you can also book this award through Aeroplan (105,000 miles), United MileagePlus (140,000 miles), and Singapore KrisFlyer (140,000 miles). The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. Its lone passengers 747-400, HL7428, is operating routes between Seoul and destinations in China, such as Chengdu and Changchun. The 747-8 daily to Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guangzhou, and the 747-400 daily to … However, that grand old lady is listed as stored, and her future remains unclear. After that, they took Leo to the oversized baggage area while I made my way through security. Be in the know. Fly Air China to Beijing Air China is among those airlines shrinking its fleet of 747s. Seat Map and Seating Chart Boeing 747-8i Air China. This photo is copyright protected and may not be used in any way without proper permission. I was in seat 2L, the right-side window seat in the middle row of the cabin. See, Inside Beijing’s new Daxing Airport, the world’s largest single terminal, Asia the best continent for short-haul flying, Reminder: You don’t have to be on the ‘No Fly List’ to receive an airline ban, Marriott reinstates elite benefit guarantees effective immediately, Check your American Airlines accounts: 2021 rollover elite miles, dollars and segments now posting, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. I would’ve liked fruit and yogurt for what felt like a breakfast meal according to my body clock, but I couldn’t complain about this. Though there were basically no Western shows, the IFE selection included a decent number of Hollywood movies. Air China Air China still operates a fleet of three 24-year old Boeing 747-400s and a full seven of the newer 747-8s. Only supported aircraft types that are active with this airline are included in the calculations. Normally I’d use my own Bose QC35s during a long flight like this, but the headphone jack was in such a small crevice in the pocket next to the seat that I couldn’t get my cord+3 prong adapter in without ripping it. The flight took off to the north and struck the bird at around 4,000 meters. Captain Ho had approximately 15,500 flight hours, including 3,748 … To start, there was a salad with foie gras (which I picked off), and what the menu described as vinaigrette dressing (though the small plastic container I was given tasted more like Thousand Island). China Airlines’ Boeing 747-400s were a common sight in East Asia, frequenting Japan and China. I was honestly surprised that Air China didn’t install closing doors on these seats. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest. Both the bed itself and the bedding were comfortable, but I wished the mattress pad had been wider. Food and beverage was where I had the lowest expectations for this flight and (I still can’t believe I’m writing this), also one of the areas where Air China excelled. September 29, 2014 in Commercial. If you find yourself in India, you can currently catch it daily on Air India’s Delhi to Mumbai route. That being said, there were a few times were the service felt robotic and not especially personal, though I’m not sure how much of that to chalk up to the language barrier. You’ll catch it flying domestic routes to Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Guangzhou (CAN) as well as long haul routes like New York, Frankfurt (FRA) and San Francisco (SFO). Air China’s cabin layout on the 747-8 is unusual. On the other side was a pop-open compartment that housed the IFE remote, the outlet and USB ports, and another small storage area. Air China 747-400 and 747-8 Image by Byangel (flickr) CC licence. For my main, I had the beef noodle soup with vegetables. For your next Air China flight, use this seating chart to get the most comfortable seats, legroom, and recline on . As I was attempting to snap some photos of the food, an agent came up and told me that photography was forbidden. The flight attendant also placed a flower on my table. When a trip home to the U.S. happened to coincide with a award sale from Avianca LifeMiles, I knew it was my chance to finally sample Air China’s first class. There was a gap of about 6 inches between the seats and the window. This … When you combine wide-open award space to the U.S. with the amazing LifeMiles sale we were able to take advantage of, this is a product I really wouldn’t hesitate to fly again. Waiting at my seat upon boarding was a pair of headphones set up on a little stand made out of the case. Instead, Air China’s 747-8 first class was an incredibly enjoyable experience from the minute I boarded the plane. The 747-8 daily to Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guangzhou, and the 747-400 daily to Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Further Reading: Inside Beijing’s new Daxing Airport, the world’s largest single terminal. EI-XLF is flying between St Petersburg and Antalya in Turkey, and EI-XLH flew from Sharjah International Airport in the UAE to Moscow on November 9th. One thing Air China undeniably has in its favor is how generous it is with premium cabin award space, especially on flights to the U.S. We had to go to a special check-in counter, but there was no line, and since the people from the rescue organization were Chinese, they were able to answer any questions from the check-in agent with no issues. The Points Guy will not sell your email. But there was one product I was still dying to try before I threw in the towel: Air China’s 747-8 first class. One thing Air China undeniably has in its favor is how generous it is with premium cabin award space, especially on flights to the U.S. I also found a L’Occitane amenity kit waiting at my seat. The best seats are located in row 48 because of the extra legroom that you’ll experience. I went into this flight expecting, for the third time this year, to be wowed by the hard product and sorely disappointed by the soft product. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. I’ll admit I went in with low expectations, but that made the ensuing flight a much more pleasant surprise. Air China is one of the 3 only operators of the latest 747-8. Instead, the nose and upper deck are home to business class. Even better, we were able to take advantage of a 10% off sale that Avianca LifeMiles was running on select routes to bring the cost down even further. The broth was hearty and flavorful, and the meat was much leaner and better cooked than I was expecting. While many airlines have seen the Boeing 747 bow out of service sooner than expected, some carriers still operate the iconic plane on regular routes. Suffice it to say there were a number of different hot foods, including rice, noodle and meat dishes. I of course made sure to check out the beautiful staircase to the upper deck (right behind the first-class cabin), but unlike on the monstrous A380s, there weren’t any special amenities like a bar or lounge on this plane. On the one hand, service was great. A report in The Aviation Herald details the incident. China Airlines, one of Taiwan's main international carriers, has put their last four Boeing 747-400 passenger jets up for sale; as part of a plan to retire the model from their fleet in the first quarter of 2021, according to the company.. I was also surprised that at the end of the flight, the crew didn’t come around and thank me for flying with Air China or offer any takeaway goodies like a box of chocolates. 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