Pros and cons of flying Air China from Europe to Japan via Beijing

This article lists the pros and cons of flying Air China to Asia via Beijing airport. Air China is one of the major airlines of the People’s Republic of China. It flies to many cities around the world.

view over japan from air china flight

View over Japan with Mt. Fuji in the distance

Advantages of flying Air China with stopover in Beijing

(1) Inexpensive business class compared to other airlines: The business class ticket from Paris to Tokyo via Beijing is cheaper than an economy class ticket on ANA or Japan Airlines (direct flights to Tokyo).

(2) Excellent business class: flat bed seats, quiet business class cabin with 2-2-2 configuration (versus 2-3-2 of Air France), good service, Western and Chinese food (note: the rice is freshly made and delicious; dim sum for breakfast), pajamas and lovely blankets, L’Occitane beauty products.

(3) Take advantage of visa-free travel to China by stopping in China for 72 hours. If you have never been to Beijing, this is your chance to see the city without the hassle and expense of getting a visa. This is a new visa-free option for travellers.

(4) Beijing airport has excellent duty-free shopping.

Disadvantages of flying Air China with stopover in Beijing

(1) You have to go through immigration inspection and security even though you are transiting to an international flight. What this means is if you have less than one hour between arrival and your connecting flight, you may miss it. The queues are long. You get photographed and your passport gets stamped.

(2) Winter weather conditions may cause travel delays.

(3) Smog in Beijing can also cause cancellations and delays.

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.