Air China 747-8 Business Class CA982 New York JFK To Beijing Capital International Airport
Filmed on Nikon D5500 with Sigma 17-50 f2.8mm lens.
Despite the many negative reviews of Air China, I found myself on a comfortable flight with a very attentive and friendly crew. The crew were all smiles. They refilled/offered drinks constantly and addressed each passenger by name. One of the crew saw me taking videos and so she showed me around the business class cabin. We chatted about her own experiences of being a flight attendant at Air China. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned was that apparently management does not fit in enough beds for the crew in order to save weight, therefore many FAs find themselves needing a first class or business bed to get enough rest to deal with the constantly changing time zones. This also happened at China Eastern where she worked at for four 4 years before changing airlines. This explains previous flight reports on the internet of passengers complaining about sleeping FAs in the premium cabins. Honestly I felt very bad for them and it really is true not to judge a book by its cover since the situation is outside of their control. The FA also told me that they are definitely aware that they are not as good as Singapore or ANA but Air China is trying to improve its experience. During the dessert service, she actually let me take all 3 different desserts (cake, tiramisu, and fruits) when I couldn’t make up my mind.
The bed was completely 180 degrees lie flat. I was able to get about 7 good hours of sleep. I have heard about Air China keeping the cabin too warm, but it was actually perfect on this flight. The duvet was large, soft and very comfortable. My experience was definitely helped by the fact that I had a complete row of business class seat available to me. Seat 11A is actually the most private seat because of the way the row of seats are all angled slightly to the right. Therefore 11A is the most forward of all the seats in the nose of the 747-8. Nevertheless, catering still needs substantial improvement. My first meal was fairly tasty. The chicken was spicy and fragrant but the presentation didn’t look too great. My pre-arrival “chicken” noodle soup was absolutely tasteless even though it looked not that bad. If they can change their business class seats to 1x2x1 rather than 2x2x2 and substantially improve their meals, I would definitely look forward to flying them again.
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