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Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

New York
posts: 80
reviews: 13
Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

Hi, a few quick questions. My mom and I are going to China next month. While in China, our 4 domestic flights will be on Air China in economy. We are both Star Alliance Gold-equivalent (she thru Miles and More, me thru United). I know we can check in at the business counter, but had a couple of other questions:

- Can we use the business lounge before the flights? Or is that only for Air China's own FF Gold pax?

- The Air China web site is a little confusing about baggage. I know we are normally allowed one piece of 20 kgs each in economy. What is the extra baggage allowance - is it by weight or piece?

- Lastly, is there any chance of our getting upgraded? I usually get upgraded on US domestic flights about 50% of the time, but is that something Air China would keep for its own FF Gold members? To be clear, we are NOT expecting any upgrades, but it sure would be nice if it happened :-)

Thanks! And if anyone has traveled Air China domestic recently, do please share your experiences. Our flights are all quite short - 2 hrs or less. Is there food? Personal TV's? Are the seats comfy?

7 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,170
reviews: 5
1. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

If you are Star Gold then you may use the Air China business lounges. I've used these at Shanghai (very nice) and Hangzhou (it was somewhere to sit).

I don't know about extra baggage allowance, though CA's website makes no mention of additional allowance for *G's in economy - airchina.us/en/…allowance-domestic.html

As far as I'm aware there are no upgrades available unless you use the Star Alliance mileage upgrades, which I think are only available if you purchase full fare economy tickets. That said, for flights of 2 hours or thereabouts there really shouldn't be a problem sitting in economy.

I've flown CA one or twice a year on domestic (including HKG) flights. The A320/321's that I've flown have overhead screens only. The food is fine, and flight attendants were very pleasant. Overall I rate them pretty well, and they are constantly improving.

Rancho Cucamonga...
posts: 1
2. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

Sounds like you're going on the same trip I went on two months ago.

I can't answer your first question about star alliance perks.

On my trip, i made sure my checked piece was <20kg. Extra baggage is by piece (and then by weight if you go over).

Every flight was delayed at least one hour, so just bring a book or good conversation.

There was food, every flight.

I only recall a personal TV on the flight from LA->PEK(Beijing)

The seats were nothing special. Not worse or better than I had experienced before.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 10,232
reviews: 182
3. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

It sounds like you've been given very accurate advice about lounge access - for future reference, I use the lounge finder site where you can look it up yourself. I think there is a StarAlliance app that does the same.

staralliance.com/en/…

New York
posts: 80
reviews: 13
4. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

Thanks everyone! Good to know we have lounge access. I actually also found the answer about the extra baggage allowance on Air China's web site - this is from their Chinese site, not the US one, but the page is in English. It says that Star Gold members (I assume that's Star Alliance Gold) are allowed to check one additional bag of 20 kgs. So in case Mom or I go crazy shopping in China, we can just bring an extra bag and won't need to be concerned about baggage fees! :-)

airchina.com.cn/www/…

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,170
reviews: 5
5. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

You're welcome, and thank YOU for that link confirming the allowance for Star Golds.

New York
posts: 80
reviews: 13
6. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

I meant to follow up and forgot - I did call Air China and they confirmed one extra piece of baggage per pax on domestic flights for Star Gold pax even in economy. Just wanted to make 100% sure. So now my mom is getting excited as she can do more shopping, LOL! I may be in trouble now!:-)

Edited: 9:34 pm, July 16, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1
7. Re: Star Alliance Gold, traveling on Air China domestic

How did it work out for you? I am *G on United and living for a while in China. I am on many Air China flights, some are code-shares. Sometimes I am refused access to the AirChina *G lounge if I am travelling on a code share (purchased under the AirChina flight number, but operated by another carrier.)

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