What do you expect when you plan a trip? Good food, no language issues, easy transitions, fearless & comfortable flight journey (if traveling by flight), no delays, luggage limits, layovers of not more than 5 hours and not so expensive tickets of course, right?
These were all what we also looked for when we planned our travel to India in May 2019. I and my daughter (2 years old) traveled by Air China for the first time from Canada (YVR) to India (Delhi). We had booked our tickets from the website http://bit.ly/31Te3wb for approximately CAD 1000/ person.
Initially, our tickets were for July but for some reason, we had to cancel the first one and we rescheduled on May 24th for May 26th. Rescheduling charges were approx CAD100 for two tickets but it was easy & cheap to get the new tickets. And now let's start with the real stuff, shall we?
Air China Airline's Fare Cost
Yes! it is cheaper from a lot of other airlines and that is the reason why I will recommend you to go with the airline only if you are traveling Alone/ In Emergency/ You have International travel experience/ know English. But there are a lot of other factors as well which you should consider, especially if you are booking tickets for spouse/ parents traveling for the first time or someone traveling with children/ old age person alone.
I have 2 incidents to share. 1st Incident: I asked for a cold drink in-flight & was served Alcohol because it is hard to understand for them what we are saying and vice versa.
2nd Incident: I was running like crazy to catch my connecting flight in Beijing (China). After security checking the biggest mistake I did was asking a receptionist for gate no. for my connecting flight. She might have said 16 but due to her accent, I heard 60 & ran like crazy as it was too far from the security checking area. But hey! again I stopped as I am running out of breath, having 2 bags & 2-year old daughter, how far I can run right. For some reason, I looked on the screen and got to know I was going on the wrong way, but the good thing was 16th no gate was not too far from where I was.
So I will say, always cross-check what you have been served or told/ informed.
Food Taste, Quality & Quantity
Food is served according to the country you are departing from that's what I got. Both the time (Beijing – Delhi & Beijing – YVR) food was not at all tasty. We somehow ate the main course just to put something in our stomach. Salad, juices, drinks, yogurt, bun & butter was good all the time in all the flights. The quality & quantity of food & beverages were great.
So if you/ your family are traveling for the first time internationally/ by Air China ask them to have enough of soups & beverages first & then start with the meal. Do not forget to choose a special meal if you are vegetarian and baby food if traveling with a kid who has started having solid.
Security Checking & Transitions
Security checking: If more than 2 counters are open for security checking than it does not take much time. Do not keep food & liquid items & other things which are not allowed with you so it will not take much time. Security checking goes very smoothly at Beijing airport so you do not have to worry much.
Transition: I repeat do not take help from airport staff (Read 2nd Incident to expect the consequences) rather ask for help from the fellow passengers for the help, who is going to catch the same flight or see for the flights and gate no. on screen & signboards.
Journey Comfort & Flight Saftey
As we traveled in Economy class I will review only that. The seat was comfortable. The screens were working properly. Flight attendants were treating us well. Safety instructions were given properly but again I did not get anything because of their accent. If traveling for the first time & understand Chinese it's good but if you do not then read the instructions carefully provided on the seat screen.
What I did not like at all is always the announcements were done in Chinese first & then in English so it took a lot of time for me to take action. In case of emergency, it will be a real disaster if you do not know Chinese.
Always try to keep layovers of 5+ hours if you are booking the flight tickets for someone traveling with kids or for senior citizens. My flight (YVR – Beijing) was delayed in YVR. So I had to run & go upstairs & downstairs (as no elevator & ramp was working in Beijing Airport) to get the security checking done & catch the connecting flight.
Best & Worst Thing About the Air China Airline Website
The best thing is Customer services are really good. You can contact Bejing airport & get to know whether the passenger got the connecting flight or not by providing them the correct passenger details.
The worst thing is If you book your ticket by yourself on website then only you will be able to see the flight status & select seat on your own. If you call the no provided on website and book tickets, you won't be able to get the status & seat no all.
While writing this Blog I lived the travel again. This is all the points which came in my mind to share & thing to review. If you have any questions (silly included) do not hesitate to ask them in the comment box below, I would love to answer all of them.
My one-liner about Air China: Value for money.
Please do me a favor by sharing your good & bad experience with Air China Airline in the comment box below so we can help more people & keep them updated. Share this blog with others who are looking for Air China review & let them decide about the bookings.