I’ll be real with ya’ll: this isn’t a bad lounge. Its really not. But when its a FLAGSHIP CARRIER’S FIRST CLASS LOUNGE you expect there to be r̶h̶i̶n̶e̶s̶t̶o̶n̶e̶ diamond-studded swans. Andd a gourmet sushi buffet that is only accessible via the lounge’s heated lazy river. But no, this is more or less a standard lounge. It has what you need, its not shabby at all, and if you go in with your expectations set somewhere in the middle, you’ll come away happy. This Air China First Lounge Review – Beijing (PEK) is to make sure you do exactly that.

The Facts – Air China First Lounge Review – Beijing (PEK)

lounge entrance
prepare to be bathed in the purest of mediocrity

There are two ways into this lounge, card access, and airline access. As the above picture indicates, there are quite a few random airlines that contract with this lounge. The lounge accepts Priority Pass. You may not pay cash to enter, however. You gotta be in the club, bro. The lounge is open from 6 am to 10 pm every day.

The Space – Air China First Lounge Review – Beijing (PEK)

seating area at the lounge
So many choices, but then, they’re all the same.

It wasnt as bleak as the photo suggests, really.

The food – Air China First Lounge Review – Beijing (PEK)

an excellent air china first class soup
Just like momma used to make it.

The food isn’t bad. Its really not. It is buffet style, and there isn’t much of a service, but there is a live cooking station where you can watch the chefs do their thing through the window. You can also linger at the window and pounce on whatever hot dish they pass out. You can also special-request specific items, like the soup above, which really was above par, and well-plated to boot.

As you’d expect, the fare is standard chinese, with lots of stuffed buns and meat sauces. There are also breakfast items, as well as ceraal and the life.

Moderately well-presented spicy diced chicken with peanuts.
Okay, these were good though.

The drinks

There are no bartenders. There isn’t even anyone to serve you a drink. This is a DIY affair. Thankfully, it’s not BYOB, so you can mix and match a range of standard alcohols and juices and drink until you can’t taste how bad your own concotions anymore.

For those not looking to completely dehdrate themselves before a long flight, you’ve got plenty of sodas, coffee, and tea, alongside beer and the hard stuff. Note, though, the water imported from france. Très chic.

liquors in the air china lounge first
The wine had hints of schnozzberry

The internet

Nothing to write home about, but the internet was entirely functional. No issues.

The restrooms and showers

showers at the Air China First Lounge Review - Beijing (PEK)

Happily, this lounge has an excellent shower. There are just one or two cabins, but they didn’t seem to be a very hot commodity. The staff were very attentive, and the products were excellent and nicely arrayed. This was a pelasant space to wash and brush away all my accumulated economy-class travel odors.

toiletries at the Air China First Lounge Review - Beijing (PEK)

Final Thoughts

This is a decent, respectable lounge that any mid-range airline should be content with. Is it really first class? not so sure. But hey, you had some bao, a shower, and you’ve got places to be, anyways.

I do want to leave you with one final thought: what’s up with massage chairs? so many lounges have them but, really, have you ever seen anyone actually sit in them and turn them on? Much less three people at once? Better to do it Indonesia-style, or even Jamaican style, and just have a full on massage table. Just saying.

massage chairs in the air china lounge

Final Grades

Alcohol: 3/5
Total Score16/30