Air China is the national flag carrier of China and one of the ‘big three’ Chinese airlines, the other two being China Southern and China Eastern. The airline has a massive fleet of modern Airbus and Boeing planes and operates out of hubs in Shanghai and Beijing, the latter of which it connects with Auckland. The airline leads the Chinese industry in safety standards and innovation, and is a member of the Star Alliance network alongside Air New Zealand.
Name: Air China
Hubs: Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu
Rewards Program: Phoenix Miles
NZ Routes: Auckland to Beijing
Partners: Codeshares with Air New Zealand and is a Star Alliance member
Classes of Travel: Business and Economy
Meals: Western and Asian style meals and drinks (non alcoholic) are included. Special meals available.
Entertainment: Movies, TV shows, music and games included with personal seatback screens.
Luggage Allowance: One piece of checked luggage up to 23 kilograms and one piece of carry on up to 5 kilograms included on all Economy fares. Increased allowances apply for higher classes (see below).
Seat Selection: Your House of Travel consultant can assign seats on most flights for no extra charge.
Connectivity: WiFi available on flights for a fee.
*Please note all the above info is for flights to and from New Zealand.
New Zealand: Auckland to Beijing.
Beijing: To all major cities in China, as well as throughout South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia. Several routes offered to the US and a dozen or so to Europe.
Business Class: In Business Class you receive an a-la-carte meal service with alcohol, a larger seat with a 180 degree pitch and extra luggage allowance of one checked piece up to 32 kilograms and one cabin pieces up to 7 kilograms.
Beijing Capital Airport: Is the second busiest in the world with a whopping 86 million passengers going through here annually. That’s about 13 million more than London Heathrow in third place (and 10 million behind Atlanta at the top of the list). Air China operates out of Terminal 3 which is modern and was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The terminal has a massive retail area which when combined with the foodcourt, is larger than Auckland’s Albany Mall and Christchurch’s Riccarton Mall. The foodcourt alone has 72 different eateries. WiFi is available throughout. Connecting through the airport is sometimes tricky as the signage can be confusing, and people often end up in the wrong queue. Avoid this by frequently checking you’re in the right place with the staff members who manage the queues. Delayed flights are common across China, and frustrated passengers often take it out on stressed staff, however if you’re a typical friendly Kiwi, it’ll go along way. It should also be noted that security at Chinese airports is tight, and it’s normal that you’ll be asked to show your passports/tickets two or three times, even if just transferring. If stopping over, New Zealanders are allowed 72 hours in Beijing without having to apply for a visa.