Lounge:Air China Business Class Lounge Where: Beijing (PEK) – International Terminal
Seating: We were surprised to hear from others that it can be a chore to try and find a seat inside the Air China Business Class Lounge at Beijing Airport. Why? Because unless we’re just fooled house-of-mirrors style by all the twists, turns and hidden corners it seems to have a lot of them.
Made up almost entirely of early 2000’s style deep leather loungers, seating is sectioned well into different spaces for solo flyers and different sized groups. Most chairs show a little wear but are still in good shape and are plenty comfortable. A few newer looking black leather seats are scattered throughout the space.
The are a few bar seats here but they’d be awkward to utilize. The few we saw were lined up along what appears to be a tended bar. It’s not tended at all. The “self-serve” sign is easy to miss so I can see passengers already in the know being asked to fix those who don’t a drink. Might be a good way to make tip money if you’ve got a long layover.
Food/Drink: I had seen pictures of this lounge’s mealtime buffet at Boarding Area partner site One Mile at at Time and it’s not at all what we found on this nighttime visit. Even though we missed an official mealtime spread, there were snacks and small sandwiches (crust removed!) at different stations throughout the space.
Grown-ups get to serve themselves to bottom shelf spirits at the odd bar setup toward the back of the lounge.
Wi-fi/Connectivity: We were too tired to figure out the kiosk registration required for internet access. With a good signal and free international data built into our mobile plan, tweets, e-mails and surfing were done via smartphone.
Powering up might be difficult at busier times, power outlets are found along the wall but not close to every seat. Look behind seats and tables for best results.
Service: I didn’t come looking for smiles without a joke and I didn’t have one to tell in Mandarin, so…no smiles. The only words spoken to me at the desk was a stern”We don’t make announcements” as the agent handed my boarding pass back to me. Enter expecting efficient service without hugs and lollipops.
Showers: 2 tiny showers are here to battle with your fellow passenger for. We didn’t get to see them but Wanderlusty has a full review of JUST the showers.
Summary: I don’t know that I’d bother with the sleeping cabs or waiting at busy times for a shower, but we were plenty comfortable here just relaxing before a flight. If you’re here during non-mealtimes the benefits still include drinks and smushy meat sandwiches. So fix an ice cold Gordons & Tonic and nom denture-free on beef & Wonder bread.
Rating: 2 hops (of 5).
How to get in: A business class ticket aboard Air China or a Star Alliance partner should get you in as will your Priority Pass membership.