Air China

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Seat Comfort 12345
Staff Service 12345
Value for Money 12345
Customer rating from 644 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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6/10

"left a lot to be desired"

(Panama)

Trip Verified | Air China started flying to Panama a couple of times a week, and I decided to try them to travel from Panama to Qingdao. The ticket price was very reasonable (1000 dollars cheaper than the nearest alternative) and my previous experience on Air China 777's was pretty good. I regret to say that the overall experience left a lot to be desired. The plane was fine. Their B777 Business Class is in a 2-2-2 configuration which is not fabulous but is perfectly comfortable. The seats are good. The planes lack wifi, which is a real pity, but otherwise there is a good IFE system. The crews work hard and try to please. They lack coordination and finesse in the sense that they bring you the meal, and 20 minutes later, after you're finished, they pass out the bread. But those are minor issues compared with the real problem of this flight. The routing goes through Houston (they call it a "Technical Stop" but there is nothing technical to it). Get your stuff. Get out of the plane. Pass US immigration. Wait for your luggage. Clear US Customs. Then haul your luggage to a different terminal to Check in all over again. Clear security again. Then wait for the flight. The experience was horrible! It is clear why they have to leave set aside 4 hours for everyone to pass immigration and get their luggage and check back in. If they had arranged the "Technical Stop" through Canada, it would have been much simpler, I think. You still need to clear immigration, but at least you don't have to wait for luggage, clear customs and then find a different terminal! In Mexico you don't even need to clear immigration during the stop. The same circus happened in Houston on the return trip. So while it's great that the Air China have started flying to Panama, they really need to re-think their routing, because what they have is awful. Ideally, they would use a 787 and fly nonstop, but if a stop needs to be made, the worst place to make it is in the US. They would have been better off doing the technical stop in Mexico or in Toronto. It's a pity, since they're spending a lot of money to develop the route, and their equipment is good, their safety record excellent, their employees work hard and are professional, and the whole experience gets botched by their choice of "Technical Stop". I hope they rethink it.
AircraftBoeing 777-300
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RoutePanama to Qingdao via Houston - Beijing
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"do not fly Air China"

(United States)

Not Verified | Newark to Manila via Beijing. We arrived to Newark via United, plane was on time. At check in Newark was informed the plane from Beijing to Manila would be late therby missing connection to Manila. We and 45 other passengers were given option overnight in Beijing or wait 11 hours in Newark airport for next flight to Beijing. The attendant said she would be back. She returned to tell us that now the other flight was overbooked and layover no longer possible in Beijing. Here take the 15$ meal coupons and wait here in Newark, and by the way you have to keep your luggage with you. 15$ only buys fast food in a US airport inally they changed again said they would put us on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong to Manila. We still waited 11 hours had to go thru Cathay Pacific was great very helpful. We got to Manila after spending 11 hours in Newark thanks to Air China. I believe Air China uses "load levelling" we have heard of them doing this a lot. We bought the tickets in October 2018 for a January 17, 2019 flight. On the return trip our reservations said Feb 4 (we verified these at Manila hotel) at Manila airport, we are told reservations were changed Dec 1 2018 to Tuesday Feb 5 supposedly by email we did not see? We told them our previous story and they insisted we go on Tue February 5 so another day forced to wait in Manila. They made no effort to accomodate us or upgrade us coming home. That flight was ok and uneventful. The Manila to Beijing portion was on half full leading us to wonder how full was the previous days flight. Bottom line do not fly Air China unless you like being jerked around on both ends of your flight.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteNewark to Manila via Beijing
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
2/10

"was very disappointing"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Beijing to Vancouver. My connecting flight from Beijing to Delhi was three hours late which resulted in me missing my Bus from Delhi to Punjab which I had booked tickets for. While coming back the flight was again delayed from Beijing to Vancouver. We were supposed to catch our connecting flight at 1200hrs on January 22, when we saw that flight is late we kept asking the crew that how we will catch our next flight but they kept saying we don’t know anything. Throughout the flight we kept worrying about our further arrangements. Although when we came to Vancouver we were told that we were transferred to next connecting flight at 1500 hrs. We were very disappointed with the whole experience. In addition vegetarian meal was very disappointing as well.
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteBeijing to Vancouver
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
6/10

"it was far from being a nightmare"

(France)

Trip Verified | Paris CDG to Taipei TPE via Shanghai PVG, 18h journey including a 5h layover. Was a bit worried about flying them when I saw how cheap they were compared to other airlines, and because both their website and app make no sense in both French and English. It looks like the Chinese version went through a translating software and left that way. Playing around clicking on everything through their app made me realise I was admissible to free VIP lounge access due to the length of my layover, that was not long enough to be allowed out of the airport (EU citizens can request free 48h visa for any international transfer in any major Chinese city, HongKong/Macao/Taiwan included, but the customs decide if they will let you out or not by judging how long your layover is). Online check in on the app crashed, and made me wait a bit longer at CDG for manual check in. And my flight wasn't eligible to online check in anyway because there is no baggage drop counter for Air China at CDG. Went through a messy process but always on time. They did check the weight of my hand luggage. On my way inbound clerk was new and asked me if I was ok getting my luggage back in Shanghai and re-checking it in. I said no, she went for help and managed to check my luggage for transfer. Was a bit longer than usual but it saved me the hassle. Boarding was only 20 minutes before departure but it didn't make them late. Layover in Shanghai was a long process through customs and health check. Then despite being economy I had free access to VIP lounge with free food, drinks and bathrooms with showers. Food buffet was like a good hotel breakfast buffet. Everything was comfy but WiFi was pretty bad though. The snack on my short flight from Shanghai to Taipei was just not edible though. I still don't know if it was supposed to be cold noodles or celery because it was tasteless and texture was like plastic. It was a snack and I wasn't hungry thanks to the lounge buffet so whatever. Boarding and unboarding in Shanghai was always by bus, so boarding time was 1h before take off. Aircraft was old 330-200, had crumbs everywhere and the old carpeting smell. Seats were clean but definitely old (especially when deploying my tray). Seat and legroom felt a bit cozy but it didn't feel tighter than other companies. IFE's touchscreen was dead on both ways and I had to use the buttons on the armrest to use it, and it was laggy but usable. I pre ordered a fat free meal, got steamed fish and pasta with veggies and plain tomato sauce and mushroom omelette outbound, fried tofu noodles and carrot puree with veggies on my way inbound. Looked way better than the other regular meals (greasy noodles and porridge). No snacks. Drinks were served 4 times, no black tea, only green tea, and would often come to suggest drinking water. Staff were not smiling but they were efficient and not being rude, I was fine with that. They also prevented two passengers from fighting. In the end it wasn't my best flight experience, but it was far from being a nightmare. And to be able to travel to the other side of the globe for the price I paid with lounge access, I definitely recommend it.
AircraftA330-200
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteParis CDG to Taipei via Shanghai
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"Awful experience"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | London to Shanghai via Beijing. Awful experience. Maybe I was on an older plane, but they had no USB ports in business or economy. This is unforgivable, it’s now become a basic requirement. Their mobile app is unfriendly to use, couldn’t change seats easily. They clearly haven’t bothered to look at the apps of the Middle Eastern airlines which are flawless in design and experience. No travel kit for economy passengers, not even a toothbrush. Again, a basic requirement which most other competitors provide on long haul flights. Antiquated entertainment system. In summary, they have a long, long way to go.
AircraftA330-200
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteLondon to Shanghai via Beijing
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
3/10

"worst experience so far"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Beijing to Vancouver was my worst experience so far. While waiting to take off, 3 passengers cancelled so i requested to be transferred but the male flight attendant told me to stick to my original seat assignment but even upon pleading him it was due to a medical condition, he left by saying he will see what he can do, and after that i never heard any word from him or even a follow up. I also observed how disorganized the flight attendants during the meal distribution. Due to several special meal requests from other passengers, staff were skipping one row from another and during my turn when asked for my choice for a regular meal the attendant left to attend to another special meal request leaving me hanging without food tray and waited for few more minutes. When finally i was handed my food tray and started to eat, a second food tray dropped upside down into my lap leaving me startled and mad with no apologies coming from the attendant. As i started to clean and pick up, the attendant only said its okay and she will take care of it later. I also observed they were more enthusiastic in serving their Chinese passengers. On the second meal service, the chicken dish i was served has the same sauce/taste from the first meal beef dish served, When i asked for another option, i was given a beef over pasta dish and ended up tasting the same beef dish topping from first meal served and lost my appetite for good.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteBeijing to Vancouver
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"They are unprofessional"

(United States)

Trip Verified | Delhi to New York via Beijing. My experience with Air China was horrible. I won't recommend it to anyone. They are unprofessional, not ready to listen to anyone. They changed my boarding pass to another flight. My transit time became 11 hours from 1.5 hours because of this. Didn't give me lounge at first. There was no food arranged by them. No internet. They owe a responsibility to arrange lounge, food, hotel if they are the one changing anyone's flight. Ground staff wasn't listening to anyone. Now after boarding to this changed flight, I got to know that my meal preference were not mentioned in crew members chart. And because of their unexpected change I missed my following flight. They didn't compensate even for that. At New York airport when I tried to explain it to their staff, he gave me one email address to file complaint. Guess what, that email address was not for complaints. It was for baggage claim. Now I had to call their office many times to get right email address. Meanwhile I was directed from one place to other. When you call their phone number, in normal business hours their automated system says " you are calling outside business hours please call again later." They do not understand English properly. Their services are poor. Won't fly with them ever. Once was enough for me.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteDelhi to New York via Beijing
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"This is the worst airline"

(New Zealand)

Trip Verified | Auckland to Tokyo via Beijing. This is the worst airline of the modern aviation industry. They just took this whole thing to the next level. Everything was horrible starting from Check-in -> Landing. I request for a special meal due to food allergies, they told me that system does not allow them to put a request and simply hung up on me! Gave me no alternatives. I even sent an email to them but as their services are so poor they did not bother to reply. When I asked the flight attendant regarding the meal options, she had no idea what lactose allergy is and she does not speak English. She gave me bread rolls with butter for the dinner. The way food was served as if they are doing a banquet dinner and wants to get over it as soon as possible On my way back from Beijing, Air China lost and damaged my bags. I went to the complaint, they brush me off by saying no English, No compensation or resolution. I got told to get things done in Auckland. I called their Auckland office and left a voice message but no one called me back, as usual, they did with the email. Beijing (PEK) Air China staff is extremely rude, heavily lacks communication and customer service skills. On return from Haneda - Japan to Beijing, I missed my flight connecting flight as I had only 70 minutes layover and my first landed when connecting flight check-in gate was closed. That's when Air China lost my bags but when I found them the following day they were damaged too. I got put on a different flight bag home following and my bags did not arrive on the same flight. They arrived the following day. Disappointment after disappointment. Please do not travel on AIR CHINA if you do not want to spoil things such as your mood, money etc. I would not give them any star but the system does not allow.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteAuckland to Tokyo via Beijing
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
6/10

"an average flight"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Booked with Air China mostly for their competitive price. The Airport check in process was acceptable, although a bit understaffed with only 3 counters open for a 300 seat aircraft. The ground staff were very nice to have allocated me an emergency exit row seat, free of charge. Upon boarding one thing that was immediately obvious was the unusually hard cushioning on the seat back, upon close inspection there appears to only be about half a centimeter of foam. The inflight entertainment system also performed mediocrely, with laggy inputs and in this flight in particular requiring 3 separate reboots, with each taking about half an hour. The food and drinks is pretty much what you will find on an international flight like this, although lacking in western style food in general. Overall an average flight that I would recommend if you are either an international studnet or traveling on a tight budget.
AircraftA330-300
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteBeijing to Melbourne
Date FlownJanuary 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
7/10

"Air China was the cheapest airline"

(Indonesia)

Trip Verified | Jakarta to Tokyo via Beijing. Air China was the cheapest airline for our flight to Japan. Check-in process was perfect and boarding procedure commenced very organized. Cabin crew greeted us with smiles offered help to passengers who needed assistance to place the carry on baggage. As for inflight service, the crew showed some dedication. Seats were okay for first hours during flight, however after second to final hours of flight, the seat could not provide enough comfort and lumbar support to rest (unlike for example SQ or EK which adds much comfort to their seats). Meals were fine although they were not perfect. Drinks were served. In conclusion, Air China is for passengers who seek low cost flights with full service. As for transiting in PEK, I should say transferring passengers must be ready to endure the complicated process before boarding to your onward flight.
AircraftA330
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJakarta to Tokyo via Beijing
Date FlownDecember 2018
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes