Review: Air China B737-8, Shanghai – Beijing, China

There’s nothing like straight forward service and Air China was no exception. On our flights with them, we got used to a “no nonsense” experience with the just the essentials made available to travellers.


This post is one chapter in our Around the World in Star Alliance First Class via China, Thailand and Spain. This trip was booked using Air Canada Aeroplan miles. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Read more from this trip:

Review: Air China, Boeing 737-800, Shanghai – Beijing

We headed down to board at the time listed on the boarding card and discovered that most, or all of the plane, had been boarded a head of us. We also quickly discovered that we had been down gauged from a Boeing 777-300 that we had booked, to a small Boeing 737-800 in the standard 3-3 configuration. Oh blah. 

Air China
PVG-PEK (Shanghai Pudong International – Beijing Capital International)
CA 985 – Economy Class (Y)
11:30 AM – 01:45 PM
May 9, 2012
Booked: Boeing 777-200/300
Flown: Boeing 737-800 
Time to Board

I know that taking photos of law enforcement and military are usually large no no’s overseas, but I couldn’t help but sneak a shot of this outfit. He was checking passports / ID cards prior to getting on the plane. 

The economy seat was pretty standard and set in a comfortable purple tone.

Air China Seat

It was a smoggy departure out of Shanghai this morning. This was like many of our other Chinese adventures; the skyline is grey and not like the crisp greens we see at home in most parts of North America.

Departing Shanghai
On the Flight Climb departing Shanghai Pu Dong
Smoggy Skies outside of Shanghai

Food and Beverage:

We had a Chinese meal of noodles, carrots and yoghurt to accompany the 90 minute flight. There was no western option.

Air China Domestic Meal Service

We landed at the massive Beijing Capital Airport – the second largest airport terminal in the world behind Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson and the busiest airport in Asia. 

Arriving to Beijing Capital
Beijing Capital City Transfer Train Station

Overall:

Air China domestic is a pretty straightforward way of getting around China. While the flight itself isn’t super luxurious, it is a reasonable alternative to taking the train. The service is pretty transactional and you’ll end up at your destination without much issue.


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