Air China Check-in Procedure at SFO
The scheduled departures of China Spree Tours feature transpacific flights with Air China (code CA), which is China’s national airline and flag carrier. Air China operates non-stop flights from San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK) to Beijing (PEK). Air China flight schedules feature Winter and Summer Schedules, which changes on March 11th and November 4th, 2012, in line with Daylight Savings Time. Please read the following information regarding the check-in procedures for your China tours from San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK) and the air travel essentials about your international flights to China.
Download the PDF version of Air China Flight Schedule.
Contact the airline concerned to verify your flight schedule prior to the scheduled departure. Click the links below to check the flights information and schedule to China.
Please also call Air China to verify the schedule you see online.
Contact Air China
Unless otherwise stated, the scheduled departures of China Spree Tours feature transpacific flights with Air China. Air China’s Call Center: 800-882-8122.
|Monday to Friday:||6:00 am to 6:00 pm||Pacific Time|
|Saturday and Sunday:||7:30 am to 4:00 pm||Pacific Time|
Air China operates non-stop flight from SFO/JFK to Beijing (PEK). The flight time from SFO to PEK is about 11 hours 40 minutes. The flight from JFK to PEK is over the North-Pole and the flying time is about 13 ½ hours. You lose a day when flying to China; but you’ll recover this day on your return trip.
Air Travel Basics
We suggest you call your airline 72 hours prior to your scheduled departure to reconfirm your flights. Note it is your sole responsibility to contact the airline prior to departure to verify your flight number, flight schedule, check-in time, departure terminal & gateway, checked baggage and carry-on restrictions, etc. You should also visit TSA website (www.tsa.gov) for the updated travel warning and security measures. China Spree is not responsible for notifying guests of flight changes.
Flight Special Requests
Airline arrangements such as seat assignments, special meal requests, frequent flyer credit, etc., are arranged or determined by the airline. It is recommended that you contact your airline timely to make these special requests. We will notify you, by email, of your e-ticket number when the group tickets are issued about two weeks prior to departure. Our Air Department often secures auto-generated seats; should you want to make a change, please contact the airline directly.
Upon receipt of your China flight e-ticket information, you should call Air China (800-882-8122) immediately to
- Request seat assignment. Bulkhead and exit row seats are only assigned at airport check-in. If you have a medical condition and have a special seating request, you must contact Air China directly.
- Make special dietary request (if applicable) for both the transpacific flight and China internal flights. Note that special dietary requests for China internal flights are on a request basis and are not guaranteed.
- Request mileage credit for your flights
Air China Check-in
Air China Check-in counter opens about 3 ½ - 4 hours prior to departure time. Lines start to form about 1 hour before the official check-in time. We strongly recommend you check in as early as possible. Air China San Francisco check-in counter is located in G3 (Area G, Isle 3) and Air China JFK check-in counter is in Terminal 1.
You may check-in online (airchina.us for U.S. departures; airchina.ca for Canadian departures) between 3-24 hours prior to departure by clicking “Web Check-in”. For assistance, please call Air China at 800-882-8122. As a general rule, the airline may not open all seats for online check-in. If you cannot get the seats you request online, you can try it at the airport check-in.
Air China mileage
Air China changes its mileage accumulation policy on January 1, 2012.
Passengers booked on discounted group airfare with booking class of E and T will earn 50% mileage provided you are a member of Air China member club PhoenixMiles. Most China Spree group airfares fall under this category. Please note that only Air China PhoenixMiles members can earn the mileage for E and T booking class. Though Air China is a member of Star Alliance, United Airlines and other Star Alliance members do not earn Air China mileage points for bookings in E and T class. This practice is dictated by the current contract governing the mileage policy between Star Alliance members and may change at any time. It may be possible that mileage points you earn with Air China PhoenixMiles can be transferred to your Star Alliance membership in the future, but this cannot be guaranteed.
We recommend that you apply for Air China PhoenixMiles membership online in advance. Alternatively, you may join the membership when you check in at Air China counter in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York JFK, or Vancouver, Canada.
To apply online, click the following link:http://ffp.airchina.com.cn/EN/index.jsp, then click Phoenixmiles card application.
To earn your Air China mileage points, you should contact Air China directly by the following two ways:
- Call Air China at 866-882-8122 upon receipt of your E-Ticket number. At the same time, you may request the seating, and place dietary request.
- Present your PhoenixMiles card number to Air China check-in counter at San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York JFK, or Vancouver, Canada.
Passengers booked on all other Air China booking class will earn 50% - 100% mileage points, and you are allowed to accumulate those points to your UA or other Star Alliance mileage programs directly at airport check-in.
Note the booking class mentioned above has nothing to do with where you sit on the airplane and the class of your seat. Mileage points are calculated using the airline booking code and pricing system. Frequent traveler programs are administered by the airlines, and are beyond the control of China Spree. If you have questions or concerns regarding your frequent traveler mileage points, earn, or redeem the points, you must contact the airline directly when you receive your E-Ticket from China Spree. The Air China Call Center can be reached at: 800-882-8122. In order to claim your frequent traveler mileage, you may be required to provide the original ticket receipt and boarding pass, so be sure to save these papers.
Air China & Star Alliance
Air China, Air Canada and United are code-sharing partners of Star Alliance. However, Air China does not allow upgrade to business class using other Star Alliance mileage points (i.e. United or Air Canada mileage). Neither can you get a free Air China ticket by redeeming your Star Alliance mileage through Air China or China Spree.
United and Air Canada mileage points can be used to purchase Air China flights, and can only be done directly with United Airlines or Air Canada.
Baggage Allowance for China flights
Baggage allowance differs for the Trans-Pacific and the China domestic sections of your China trip. Baggage allowance for the Trans-Pacific flight is two pieces of checked baggage per person. Total dimensions (Length + Width + Height) of the two pieces must not exceed 107 inches (273cm); maximum dimensions of single piece shall not exceed 62 inches (158cm). Maximum weight per piece is 50 lbs. Each passenger may carry one piece of carry-on luggage, the combined dimensions of which shall not exceed 45 inches (115cm), plus one personal item.
China domestic flights are more restrictive than Trans-Pacific flights. You are allowed only one piece of checked baggage, and that must not exceed 44 lbs per person. In addition, you are allowed one carry-on bag not to exceed 11 lbs, plus one personal item such as a purse or camera bag. The carry-on must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. The airport authorities seldom weigh your carry-on baggage, but the size of it does matter, particularly when the flight is full. This is the rule. Sometimes it is enforced strictly and sometimes it is not—all depending on the local airport and how full the flight is. The checked-baggage rule, allowing only one piece and its weight allowance are usually enforced, particularly in the inland cities.
Overweight luggage in excess of allowances will incur excess baggage charges payable on site by the passenger. For domestic China flights, you may be asked by the airline to pay fees of approximately $2 to $4 per pound in excess of the weight limit.
Since airline policy changes are becoming more frequent, be sure to contact the related airline directly for the updated information.
Additional airline fees for U.S. & Canadian domestic flights
Additional airline fees for U.S. and Canadian domestic flights to Air China gateways (SFO, LAX, JFK, YVR) may apply at check-in. Fees may be charged by airlines for services such as preferred seat selection and baggage handling. Please note that fees are determined by the airline you check in with and may change at any time. Additional fees for overweight baggage and second baggage are charged and vary by airline. Please check with your airline for weight restrictions. The airline fees are not part of China Spree tour fare. It is our customer’s responsibility to check with the related airline for up-to-date information. Check Airline Fee Chart.
Baggage Lock & Liquids
Per Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you should leave your baggage unlocked for flights to and from a U.S. airport. Or, if you wish to lock your baggage, you MUST use a TSA recognized lock, which allows TSA screeners to open and re-lock your bags for security screening. Ordinary locks will be cut if physical inspection is required. However, China aviation and transportation authorities have a different rule on this issue and your checked baggage must be locked during transportation in China. You only need to lock the main compartment of your baggage. This is a Chinese regulation. If your bag is found unlocked during transit, the airline or the train station will lock it for you and you will be billed for the locks. So prepare locks for the main compartment of each bag and any lock will do.
Liquids & gels over 100 ml must be packed in checked luggage at all airports in both U.S. and China.
Make sure that you have luggage tags for each checked suitcase. A copy of your itinerary and contact information should also go in an outside pocket of your luggage to aid the airline personnel to locate you in case you and your luggage become separated. Never check luggage containing prohibited items (i.e. lighters), valuables (i.e. cash, jewelry, and cameras), fragile items (i.e. undeveloped film, bottles, eyeglasses) or critical items (i.e. medicines, travel vouchers). You should read more information about TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items.
China Spree will not be responsible for loss or damage to your luggage and/or personal belongings. You must report any loss or damage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your insurance provider. If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport.
If you arrange your flight to San Francisco (SFO) or New York (JFK) to connect to Air China flight to China, you should leave plenty of connecting time between flights. Be sure to arrive at your international gateway at least 3 ½ hours prior to departure time. Allow a similar amount of time for the return trip. Please take the following fact into consideration. China Spree is not responsible for any missed connections and/or penalties/loss as a result.
- For transpacific flights, you must allow a minimum of 3 ½ hours check-in time
- For U.S. domestic flights, you must allow a minimum of 2 hours check-in time
- The minimum transfer time between U.S. domestic and international connecting flight is 3 ½ hours
- It takes at least 1 hour to clear the Customs and claim your checked baggage.
Jet Lag Consideration
Jet lag happens when your body's inner clock falls out of sync with daily cycles of light, rest, meals, and as you cross time zones to reach your destination. Symptoms are fatigue, irritability and vague disorientation. You cannot totally avoid jet lag, but you can minimize its effects. Here are some suggestions:
- Get several good nights of sleep before your China Tour departure
- Set your watch to your destination time when you board the plane, and adjust sleep and meals accordingly
- Try to sleep on the plane
- Walk around the plane occasionally, do isometric exercises at your seat
- Drink plenty of water and fruit juice while flying
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks during and after the flight
- On arrival, throw yourself into your new schedule, avoid naps, and try to stay awake until your normal sleeping time at home
U.S. Duty-free Exemption
When shopping in China, keep receipts of all purchases. Upon reentering the U.S, be ready to show customs officials what you've bought. The standard personal duty-free exemption is $800 if you are a returning U.S. resident and the items you acquired abroad accompany you.
Duty on items you mail home to yourself will be waived if the value is $200 or less. Antiques that are at least 100 years old, and fine art may enter duty-free, but folk art and handicrafts are generally dutiable.
Only 1 liter of alcohol and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars may be included in this exemption. Items purchased in "Duty Free" shops are subject to duty if the value of your total purchases exceeds $800.
Family members who live in the same household and are returning together to the United States may combine their standard personal exemptions. Children and infants are allowed the same exemption as adults, except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Please check the updated information on Duty-free exemptions available on the U. S. Customs Service Web site.