The best seats in business class on Air China's Airbus A330-200s

By Chris Chamberlin , May 19 2016
The best seats in business class on Air China's Airbus A330-200s

Flying from Sydney and Melbourne to Shanghai and Beijing, Star Alliance member Air China's Airbus A330-200s offer every business class traveller a fully-flat bed, but whether you'll get a good night's sleep is another matter.

That's because the airline employs a 2-2-2 layout at the pointy end without direct and uninterrupted aisle access for all, which for some passengers means stepping over somebody or being bumped as others do the same.

Australian Business Traveller combs through the seat map to find the best seats of the bunch, along with those that are best left untouched.

Air China Airbus A330 business class: best seats

15D, 15H: These seats are your perfect all-rounders. As the centre pair, having direct aisle access isn't an issue here as each seat exits to a separate aisle, which means nobody stepping over or bumping you.

You're also away from the galleys and lavatories, and being in the back row you're seldom passed by others, which make these our top pick on overnight flights.

12D, 12H: Situated in the forward business class cabin, you'll experience many of the same advantages as in row 15, but with slightly more foot traffic thanks to there being rows of seats both in front and behind you.

Any other D/H seat: Seats in the other rows are closer to sources of noise and light – being the galleys and lavatories – but again with the advantage of being on your lonesome in each aisle.

Avoid rows 11, 14: Located at the bulkheads, these seats have fold-up entertainment screens as opposed to a seatback monitor, which needs to be stowed for take-off and landing.

But as Air China's entertainment system is disabled for take-off and landing, that's less so an issue than its smaller 12.1-inch size...

... versus a larger, and fixed, 15.1-inch screen you'll get in rows 12, 13 and 15:

Avoid the window seats: We've routinely found that on Air China daytime flights – when there's actually a view to enjoy from the window seats – the cabin crew insist that shutters be closed anyway, taking away the sole advantage of sitting further from the aisle.

Also read: Air China A330 business class review: Melbourne-Shanghai

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Air China - Phoenix Miles

05 Jun 2015

Total posts 11

Row 15 seats are sometimes blocked for crew rest. I've been on flights where at least 4 of the 6 are used by pilots. Also Row 15 can be quite noisy if there are babies on board in ecomony, i think the bassinets are right behind you. 

NZ

16 Oct 2015

Total posts 10

Flew on one of these PVG FRA last year. Rudimentary in every respect except food, which was dire. 


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