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Old 2nd October 2018, 04:50 PM   #16
shikhargpt
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Having lived in China and travelled extensively on domestic and international (thankfully short haul) flights, I'd avoid them. Transit in China especially.
Crews were usually great but it just isn't a great experience. Neither on board nor on the ground.
I think for $600 cheaper per person than the next available flights, I am going to find it hard to resist this deal! I don't think that convenience and comfort is worth that much, especially after having been through outfield .
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Old 2nd October 2018, 05:28 PM   #17
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I think for $600 cheaper per person than the next available flights, I am going to find it hard to resist this deal! I don't think that convenience and comfort is worth that much, especially after having been through outfield .
Long haul Y is torture already anyway. I personally don't need additional misery. But good luck to you. Hope it turns out ok for you.
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Old 2nd October 2018, 08:05 PM   #18
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Long haul Y is torture already anyway. I personally don't need additional misery. But good luck to you. Hope it turns out ok for you.
I'm a small guy, sleep easily anywhere and love spending time at airports to spot. Lived through worse (1AM to 8AM layover in Jaipur) too, so I think CA will be a definite step up hahaha.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 12:57 AM   #19
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Thanks for the brief review of CA and the TR link, yflyer! Just a question, on the website it seems that it says travelers can use transit lounges for connections >4h. Is my reading of that right, or does that lounge usage come with a catch?
Sorry, not familiar with transit options for CA...not sure what their transit lounges are like although the Air China CIP lounges are quite decent.

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Thinking of doing a multi city now! SIN - LAX via PEK, and SFO - SIN via PEK on CA. 747-8I sector from SFO - PEK!
748i? I would be willing to make a very big detour for an opportunity to fly a 748i!

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Long haul Y is torture already anyway.
I respectfully disagree... (Unless you are in a middle seat of a 10-abreast 777 or 9-abreast 787, in which case I wholeheartedly agree...)

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...sleep easily anywhere...
No doubt a skill picked up, or at least perfected, during your NS days
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Old 3rd October 2018, 04:47 PM   #20
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I respectfully disagree... (Unless you are in a middle seat of a 10-abreast 777 or 9-abreast 787, in which case I wholeheartedly agree...)
It's all relative. About 5 years back, I did a JFK-LAX flight in the middle seat of a UA 757. That was a lot more painful than the middle seat experience on a more recent SIN-LAX on a UA 787. The latter was perfectly acceptable, even for a six-footer like me. It's all about what's on the IFE system.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 11:52 PM   #21
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Sorry, not familiar with transit options for CA...not sure what their transit lounges are like although the Air China CIP lounges are quite decent.
I Googled it, they do offer it! The lounges are like a transit hotel room, with a bed, WiFi, TV, and a shower. Any class can book as long as you call before you fly. That's awesome.

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748i? I would be willing to make a very big detour for an opportunity to fly a 748i!
Damn right! I can't wait. Will only be my third-ever 747 flight; the first pair was on an SQ 747-400 in 2002 to and from Sydney.

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I respectfully disagree... (Unless you are in a middle seat of a 10-abreast 777 or 9-abreast 787, in which case I wholeheartedly agree...)
I have no problems with either hahaha, but middle seats I hate because they're not windows


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No doubt a skill picked up, or at least perfected, during your NS days
Hahahah you got me there.
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Old 4th October 2018, 09:18 AM   #22
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I Googled it, they do offer it! The lounges are like a transit hotel room, with a bed, WiFi, TV, and a shower. Any class can book as long as you call before you fly. That's awesome.
I stayed at such an establishment at T3 in PEK. It was landside, not airside as I had to get a visa to collect luggage and check it back in but SQ couldn't accept my luggage during the earlier flight check-in due to airport rules, meaning I had to wait landside for 6 hours and I'd only had 2 hours of sleep on a red-eye.

I paid a reasonable amount for that transit hotel. Without a doubt the most horrible room I've ever had the misfortune to stay in. The furniture predated the airport, the bottled water wasn't complimentary even though the tap water was undrinkable and the shower was disgusting beyond belief. The TV remote didn't work and there wasn't even a bedside lamp. I hope your experience with a free transit lounge is better, but I wouldn't get excited about it until you see it!

Oh, the other thing to remember about Chinese wifi is that almost everything you want to access will be blocked. If you use international roaming with a daypass from your telco, regardless that it goes through the same communications tower as local phones, your foreign phone will be able to access anything it would normally.
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Old 4th October 2018, 10:38 AM   #23
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I stayed at such an establishment at T3 in PEK. It was landside, not airside as I had to get a visa to collect luggage and check it back in but SQ couldn't accept my luggage during the earlier flight check-in due to airport rules, meaning I had to wait landside for 6 hours and I'd only had 2 hours of sleep on a red-eye.

I paid a reasonable amount for that transit hotel. Without a doubt the most horrible room I've ever had the misfortune to stay in. The furniture predated the airport, the bottled water wasn't complimentary even though the tap water was undrinkable and the shower was disgusting beyond belief. The TV remote didn't work and there wasn't even a bedside lamp. I hope your experience with a free transit lounge is better, but I wouldn't get excited about it until you see it!

Oh, the other thing to remember about Chinese wifi is that almost everything you want to access will be blocked. If you use international roaming with a daypass from your telco, regardless that it goes through the same communications tower as local phones, your foreign phone will be able to access anything it would normally.
Ah, good idea to temper expectations, yeah.
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Old 5th October 2018, 11:11 AM   #24
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I'm not sure if it's worth getting a transit hotel for such a short layover (your itinerary suggests ~6 hours). As SQ228 says, it is likely to be dump (not unreasonable given the ticket price). You'd be losing a lot of time waiting for the shuttle, getting checked in, etc and in all likelihood they will insist that you're back in the airport 2 hours before the flight leaves.

You have some other options:

1. If you have a Singaporean passport (I'm assuming you do given your NS service), you don't need a visa, so you can clear immigration and go landside. Within walking distance to T3 (on either sides of the terminal) are 2 fine hotels - the Hilton and the Cordis (formerly the Langham). I'm not suggesting you get a room here (they are expensive) but rather, use their facilities to rest and recharge. Both have decent lobby cafes with comfortable seating and good (but somewhat expensive) restaurants. There is a frequent shared airport shuttle servicing both hotels if you don't want to walk.

2. If you don't want to leave the terminal, you can also try some of the restaurants at the landside departure level. They are nothing to shout about, just your typical casual airport restaurants. My colleagues and I have tried most of them, and the Korean Bibigo is our pick.

3. You can stay airside. Go through the transit security as quickly as possible, and get to the departure level. Choices at the T3E departure level are not too bad. They have 2 Starbucks outlets, but I prefer the coffee at Costa Coffee. But all of them tend to be crowded. There's a Crystal Jade and a Thai Express, if I remember correctly. And lots of lots of shopping.
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Old 5th October 2018, 11:12 PM   #25
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Solid advice, 259850! Although just a minor correction -- the Air China transit hotel is in T3 itself, so all I have to do is go from Intl Arrivals to Intl Departures and go near gate E10. So travel time won't be a problem, and I'll probably end up checking it out anyway (it's free, so might as well include it in my TR).

Link to the Air China transit lounge info page.

TripAdvisor review is very favourable.

If I go SFO first, though, it will be a 9h layover from 6AM to 4PM. What would you recommend I do, without spending?
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Old 6th October 2018, 09:55 AM   #26
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Solid advice, 259850! Although just a minor correction -- the Air China transit hotel is in T3 itself, so all I have to do is go from Intl Arrivals to Intl Departures and go near gate E10. So travel time won't be a problem, and I'll probably end up checking it out anyway (it's free, so might as well include it in my TR).

Link to the Air China transit lounge info page.

TripAdvisor review is very favourable.

If I go SFO first, though, it will be a 9h layover from 6AM to 4PM. What would you recommend I do, without spending?
That lounge doesn't look too bad. I'll be interested to hear any first hand experience you might have. My guess is that it'll be packed though.
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Old 6th October 2018, 02:48 PM   #27
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If I go SFO first, though, it will be a 9h layover from 6AM to 4PM. What would you recommend I do, without spending?
If you have 9 hrs, definitely consider going into the city. The Airport Express gets you into the heart of the city in about 30 minutes for a very modest 25 yuan. From the terminal station, it is easy to get around on the subway. Rides within the city cost 3-5 yuan. Beijing has history, stunning modern architecture (mixed in with the monotonous Chinese urban landscape) and very fascinating people watching opportunities. I can't be more specific without knowing your interests.

If you are an aviation enthusiast, you may be interested in the China Aviation Museum. I've not been there myself but have read good reviews: lots of specimen you won't find elsewhere. The main challenge will be logistics: it's in the suburbs beyond the subway network. You can get a car transfer from the airport. A 45 minute ride which the Didi app is pricing at 150 yuan, so a bit of investment.
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Old 7th October 2018, 11:59 AM   #28
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That lounge doesn't look too bad. I'll be interested to hear any first hand experience you might have. My guess is that it'll be packed though.
I guess so too! But so far what I have read is that anyone who calls before they fly does get a room, so that's good.

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If you have 9 hrs, definitely consider going into the city. The Airport Express gets you into the heart of the city in about 30 minutes for a very modest 25 yuan. From the terminal station, it is easy to get around on the subway. Rides within the city cost 3-5 yuan. Beijing has history, stunning modern architecture (mixed in with the monotonous Chinese urban landscape) and very fascinating people watching opportunities. I can't be more specific without knowing your interests.

If you are an aviation enthusiast, you may be interested in the China Aviation Museum. I've not been there myself but have read good reviews: lots of specimen you won't find elsewhere. The main challenge will be logistics: it's in the suburbs beyond the subway network. You can get a car transfer from the airport. A 45 minute ride which the Didi app is pricing at 150 yuan, so a bit of investment.
Sounds good but my family won't be interested, I don't think haha. All good for me, tho, I can spend a whole day in an airport.
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Old 25th October 2018, 06:18 PM   #29
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China Southern (CZ) 737 MAX 8 and A380 -- yay or nay? It's even cheaper than CA, but narrowbody (albeit new) on SIN - CAN - SIN, and an A380 on CAN - LAX - CAN. Can't find any TRs on the 737 MAX 8, and really not very many about their A380 in Economy either. The layovers are much better too (4h on the way to LAX, 3h on the way back).
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Old 27th October 2018, 07:01 PM   #30
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China Southern (CZ) 737 MAX 8 and A380 -- yay or nay? It's even cheaper than CA, but narrowbody (albeit new) on SIN - CAN - SIN, and an A380 on CAN - LAX - CAN. Can't find any TRs on the 737 MAX 8, and really not very many about their A380 in Economy either. The layovers are much better too (4h on the way to LAX, 3h on the way back).
SIN-CAN is about 4 hours...a bit long for a narrowbody flight, on the other hand, it is always interesting to fly on a new type like a 737 MAX 8...

Guangzhou airport is huge. No idea what the international transit experience is like though. If you have the mindset that this will be an adventure, then you should be fine

I haven't flown the CZ A380, but since the hard product in Y is the same as everyone else's (3-4-3 main deck, 2-4-2 upper deck), it should be comfortable at a basic level.

But I guess the question still remains: with SQ, UA and others offering A350, 777 and 787 services to LAX either nonstop or via very efficient hubs, is the price difference really so significant that you would want to try these alternative airlines and routings? I personally would fly CA just to try a 748i, but otherwise I would stick with SQ or UA to get to LAX...

Going a little off-topic: There are sometimes quite reasonable fares to get from SIN to LAX (And SFO) via SYD on QF / AA...been tempted to try this on some previous occasions...
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