Air China, Business Class
THE FLIGHT: The ten-hour and 40 minutes Air China flight CA937 from Beijing to London Heathrow Terminal is operated by a new B777-300ER. Air China moved from Heathrow Terminal 3 to the new Star Alliance Terminal 2 this summer.
THE CHECK-IN: The business and first class check-in desks were manned with an abundance of staff. It did not take long for my group to check-in luggage and pass through security. Queues at passport control were frustratingly long, but not bad enough to spoil a slick transit through to airside.
THE LOUNGE: The décor in the lounge looks slightly dated at first glance. It’s a raised, open-plan facility with views to the tarmac on one side and the rest of the terminal on the other. Wifi was fast, and power sockets were plentiful. There was a wide variety of hot and cold self-service food options, both Western and Asian. The bar was also ‘help yourself’ and extremely well stocked with beers, wines and spirits.
THE SEAT:There are 42 seats in the business class cabin in a 2-2-2 configuration. I was sat towards the back in seat 16H. Though the cabin was full there was still plenty of space to move around. There was ample overhead locker space and the touch-screen entertainment system was very easy to use.
THE SERVICE:A L’occitane amenity bag was provided, along with pyjamas, duvet, slippers and noise cancelling headphones for those who wanted to sleep. Like most Far Eastern carriers the crew was exceedingly attentive. Drinks were served prior to take off and throughout the flight. There were both Western and Asian menu choices. I was tempted by the Australian tenderloin, but opted for the duck, noodles and bok choy.
THE VERDICT: An extremely comfortable flatbed seat that enabled me to relax throughout the flight. The food and beverages were of an extremely high standard. The IFE was sophisticated, though did not offer as many new release options as I would have expected.
THE DETAILS: Air China flies daily between London Heath Terminal 2 and Beijing Capital Airport. Including taxes, economy fares starts from £672, business class from £2,537 and First Class from £6,037. see: www.airchina.com.
Reviewed by Martin Ferguson (2014)