Air China Brings 777-300ER To San Francisco

Air China has announced some noteworthy schedule changes starting in February, per airlineroute.net.

Air China will fly the 777-300ER to San Francisco as of February 11, 2014

I recently flew one of Air China’s new 777-300ERs from Paris to Beijing and was rather impressed. It features a nice business and first class product, both of which are a huge improvement over their ancient 747-400s.

Air-China-First-Class
Air China 777-300ER first class

Air-China-Business-Class
Air China 777-300ER business class

Presently Air China flies 777-300ERs to all of their US gateways (Houston, Los Angeles, New York) except San Francisco, where they still fly a 747-400. That will change as of February 11, 2014, which is great news for those looking to redeem miles, as Air China releases a ton of first class award space.

Air-China-Award-Space
Air China 777-300ER award space to San Francisco

However, the schedule only seems to only reflect a 777-300ER through March 29, 2014, at which point it goes back to a 747-400. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or if they just haven’t gotten around to updating the schedule beyond that.

Air China will fly the 747-400 to Tokyo Narita as of February 12, 2014

While I’d rather avoid Air China’s 747-400s on longhaul flights, I always get excited at the prospect of flying first class on a tag flight within Asia. As of February 12, 2014, Air China will be replacing an A321 with a 747-400 on one of their daily Shanghai to Tokyo Narita frequencies. The flight also has a ton of first class award space.

Air-China-Award-Space1 Air-China-Award-Space2

The only part of this that’s truly bizarre is that they seem to plan on turning a 747-400 at Narita in 65 minutes. I don’t think they’ve accounted for the fact that it takes longer to turn a 747-400 than an A321. The route shows a 747-400 through March 29, 2014.

While neither of these changes are earth shattering, I do think they’re both worth a mention.

(Tip of the hat to Apurva)

Comments

  1. SFO-PEK on CA has consistent availability this winter when everything else has dried up, perhaps due to it being old product. Wonder if availability will still be good.

  2. funny how CA opens their new 77W F space like no tomorrow in most routes, but decide to guard JFK-PEK like a private jet … that’s the true “forbidden” pavillion for redemption

  3. are these routes loaded/available?

    Given the devaluation, would you recommend a switch from ANA Business Class DEL-NRT-SFO to Air China First on the new plane?

  4. @paul :

    “Given the devaluation, would you recommend a switch from ANA Business Class DEL-NRT-SFO to Air China First on the new plane?”

    definitely … but keep in mind ATC delays at PEK, so give yourself tons of transit time

  5. What is wrong with the F cabin on Air China’s 747-400s from SFO to PEK? I’m flying that route next month, and I’d like to know what to expect.

  6. Does us airways block CA flights? Using United web site & ANA, I can see availability on IAH-PEK in F & Biz but many agents cannot. No go on long sell.

  7. @ Paul – They should be available, yes. If you can get on the new plane, I’d say first is certainly better than business, and the points premium is relatively small, in my opinion.

  8. I luckily found CA F seats on the flight to IAH yet that means on UA from IAH to BOS. I guess it beats going from JFK to Part Authority to take a bus to MA. CA new F and OZ new F on the same trip 🙂

  9. Looking forward to my trip. UA from LAX-SFO, CA from SFO-PEK, TG from PEK-BKK, TG from BKK-HKG-BKK, TG from BKK-TPE, BR from TPE-PVG, AC from PVG-YVR and YVR-LAX, all in O (or I in the 2-cabin planes)

  10. I am new to using miles for awards. I would like to know application are you using to show first class availability?

    Thanks
    S Kumar

  11. Nevermind on my comment its a moot point. Switched to SYD-BKK-PEK in TG F and PEK-LAX in CA F. No point in paying F award and spend 1/2 of it in business

  12. I noticed it goes back to 747 around Oct. 26 and for Nov. and Dec. Oddly the departure time also changes to 1:50 pm (from 2:50pm) but arrival and travel time remain the same. Do you think they just haven’t actually scheduled what equipment will fly the route at that time?

  13. I am seeing the same thing for the PEK-SFO route, it looks like available on the 777-300 lasts only until September 2014? It goes back to a 747 in October, November, December of 2014. Do you think they just didn’t load the schedule through with the update plane? Or do you think the 777-300 is only temporary?

  14. @Jeremy. I’m booked on the 747 in December. I just called Air China to request seats and asked what aircraft would operate. The agent told me that my flight would actually be a 777 and its just not updated yet. There was a bit of a language barrier, but i’m pretty sure that’s what he meant.

  15. My recent Air China experience in First Class (PEK-IAH): First Class PEK-IAH. Great hard product on the plane, everything goes downhill from there. Same champagne (awful), wine and food from business class, just put in different dinnerware. Food was awful. Service also awful, with flight attendance balking or refusing to do the most basic things: example, I asked only to be worken up two hours prior to landing, they woke me up over three hours prior to landing, only to give me noodles for lunch since it was “all they had” – so I asked for a Bailey’s on ice, but they refused saying that they don’t serve alcohol at the lunch service. I asked if this was a rule, and the attendant said yes, so I asked if she could ask the purser, who allowed it. Wow. Late night snack menu showed many things on the menu, but they didn’t have any of them, all out. They hardly speak english, confuse your orders, forget to get what you asked for, no proactive attention in first class, and I was one of only three passengers with two flight attendance dedicated to first class. When I got up to use the restroom, they were always just eating all the food, never acknowledged me or asked if I wanted anything. Many more stories just like this. Spent over an hour on the tarmac before takeoff, same as last time I flew them (consistently late). There were only two Western new release movies, terrible IFE. An airline best avoided.

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