Air China, Business class
Guess who got upgraded for the flight back? This time I was bumped up due to an overbooked flight (similar to the only other time I’ve been upgraded before), although instead of giving me a new boarding pass, the air staff scrawled my replacement seat number on the existing stub. It also turns out that my earlier experience in Air China’s business class was really limited to seating – I’m guessing everyone else around me on that day had economy tickets, too!
The first sign that I was experiencing a different class of service was the offer of a drink at the start of the flight – not from a trolley, but from a little tray. Nothing terribly fancy, but similar to what is done with Singapore Airlines.
I know I’d dissed Air China’s business class seats earlier, and I’m still pretty surprised that there’s no personal entertainment system (just projector screens) in business class (and even first class!) – but I’m revising that opinion – these seats are pretty comfy when you’re tired from a day’s travelling. They recline further back than a normal economy seat, and the fluffier pillows provided really do make a difference. Nowhere as good as a flat bed, but still – pretty good!
The food, of course, is another key difference between the different seating classes. Fancy menus, tablecloths, proper crockery – presentation’s vastly superior outside of economy class. The food itself was pretty good – I got soup wontons for supper, and while again not quite Singapore Airlines standard, I could imagine being served the same stuff in London’s Chinatown (read: pretty decent, but not spectacular).