Here’s a brief review of a 3h20m flight from Taipei to Beijing I took (as part of my ongoing 2013 trip report).
As I mentioned yesterday, I feel like Air China often receives an unfair bad wrap. A 3hr25min flight from Taipei to Beijing left me very impressed.
In the interest of transparency, I state at the outset that this review has never been published before, but is from October 2013. It is part of my Star Alliance Business Class Adventure in Europe and Asia report. I outline in that post why I post older flight and hotel reviews.
Air China 186
Taipei (TPE) – Beijing (PEK)
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Depart: 1:00 PM
Arrive: 4:25 PM
Duration: 3hr, 25min
Seat: 14H (Business Class)
The seat is lie-flat, but rather than being parallel with the ground (horizontal lie-flat), slopes downward. For a 3hr afternoon flight this is no problem…for a 10hr flight, that’s another story. Air China has retrofitted its A330-300s with horizontal lie-flat seats for longer flights. The pillows were comfortable though the slip cover was like silk: I wonder how often the pillowcases were washed? The blanket was velvet and nice for lounging: not for sleeping.
We had already flown from Siem Reap to Seoul to Taipei on Asiana, so were quite tired. Upon boarding, FAs greeted us and brought slippers to our seat. A large menu card and wine list were distributed and if anything, this impressed me most about the flight.
The menu card was basic enough for a 3hr flight—
But look at the variety of beverages available. Some real thought went into this! Wine, both form France and China, Champagne, spirits, soft drinks, coffee, and an elaborate tea menu.
Service began after takeoff with a hot towel and beverage. No mixed nut or other appetizers were served.
The meal came on a tray and included all three courses. I enjoyed the main course of “onion butter rice with chicken and tomoato brown sauce” despite its lackluster description.
We disembarked by air stairs in Beijing and were bussed to the terminal.
I could not ask for much more on such a short flight. Friendly food, good service, and a comfortable seat left me quite satisfied and looking forward to flying Air China longhaul.