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- Tried & Tested
Recently, I was on a scheduled flight CA 404 from Singapore to Chengdu departing 0200 hrs. A day before my flight, I tried to check-in on-line to make sure that I can have my preferred seat. But upon checking the availability of aisle seats, to my surprise there was none and only one window seat was available. For this cabin, there are only 8 seats (2 rows of 2-2 seating). I suspected they must have kept some seats for its premier frequent flyers or passengers with infants. I then went into the booking session on-line to check how many seats were still available for booking in this flight. There was one seat remained to be sold. That confirmed my suspicion. So I aborted the on-line check-in and try my luck at the check-in counter.
The check-in was at the premier check-in area (caters for a handful of other airlines) of Terminal 1. I liked the premier check-in area as one can be seated while the checking in is in progress. There is a fridge filled with soft drinks although one is unlikely to have to wait too long. I got my aisle seat (1c) which was great.
After clearing immigration, I proceeded to the lounge (location: turn left immediately after immigration and head for the first escalator on your right. The premier lounge is operated by SATS as Air China does not operate its own lounge in this country. This lounge also serves some other airlines passengers. No boarding announcement service in this lounge. Nothing great about this lounge but I like the fact that it is not crowded most of the time I visited there. There is a fairly good selection of newspapers and magazines, By the way, copies of “Business Traveller” were on the racks. Food was not very appetizing to me. I helped myself with red wine and nuts.
Without boarding announcements, I ended up being the last passenger to board. My jacket was not taken voluntarily so I had to ask for it to be taken. Still the archaic seats with limited recline. The seat next to me was vacant which is good as so no one has to jump over my legs to get to the aisle. Amenity bags ( L’Occitance) were given but there was no shaver inside. There was no shaver in the wash room either. Given the timing of the flight, shavers would be much appreciated by male passengers.
Pre-flight drinks and hot towels were offered. After taking off, I had my supper or rather breakfast which was not very appetizing. I realized that Air China do not offer ice-creams for desserts for business class cabins even on other flights which I have flown. After supper I slept until it was almost time for landing. IFE was still very laid back which I did not bother.
Touchdown was quite on time around 6.30 am at Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu.