Air China and a layover: what to expect.

Hello all!

Thailand’s been a blast so far! We are just about one week into our 3-week trip and I’ve been crazy busy with vlogging lately. Here’s my Thailand playlist from my YouTube channel if you’re curious how we’re getting on. The playlist starts with my packing list and then goes into my (almost) daily vlogs:


The 30-hour journey from Dundee, Scotland to Bangkok was no doubt tiring but we didn’t have any issues apart from Air China’s strict hand luggage weight requirements and dealing with China’s airport security.

Unbeknownst to us, hand luggage on Air China must weigh 7 kilos or less. This isn’t much if you’re used to packing everything you own in one backpack, and especially if you’re carrying laptops and cameras! Fortunately, they allow you to carry on an additional small bag as long as it weighs 4 kilos or less. We had to unpack and rearrange our belongings to take up four bags between us instead of just two before checking into our flight. This doesn’t make sense to me because our bags ended up taking up more space on the plane, but that’s how Air China operates!

We also had a minor issue with our vegan meals aboard our flights. We requested vegan meals in advance (when we initially booked our flights) because Air China had vegan meals listed as an option. We were served three meals total: two on the 10+ hour flight taking us from London to Beijing, and one on the 5+ hour flight from Beijing to Bangkok. The first meal was completely vegan (as far as I’m aware) and tasty in my opinion. The second meal included a non-vegan croissant and yoghurt cup (both labelled with non-vegan ingredients), so clearly there was a misunderstanding about vegan vs. vegetarian food. Our third meal was also vegan but not as tasty as the first.

Even though the food was tasty enough for me to eat on the plane, I’d much prefer to have my own food. We brought homemade veggie sushi with us the morning we headed to the airport but ended up eating them all before we boarded the plane. Next time, I’ll make more so we don’t need to rely on airline food alone.

We also brought some fruit with us, but since we had a layover in China, we had to eat all of it before landing in Beijing. China restricts imported produce (as well as other materials and substances) so make sure you research this in advance!

Our layover in China was annoying since we had to go through airport security again. Security wasn’t a breeze at all since we had to wait in a long queue to get our passport checked and then Chinese security personnel wanted to examine every metal and electrical object in our bags, including spoons, spare change, and camera chargers. We had to practically empty our bags and everyone was patted down. They considered confiscating my rechargeable battery as well but after some deliberation, they returned it. It took us an hour before we were at the departure gate for our second flight. Luckily, we still had an hour before our flight departed.

So lesson learned! Even though I can’t really complain about Air China as an airline since our seats were comfortable, the flight attendants super friendly and attentive, and our flights were on time, I don’t think I’d want to fly through China again just because I wouldn’t want to risk missing my connecting flight. We have the same layover on our return to the UK except we only have an hour to spare. Hopefully, we can make it through security without a hitch!


Next on my blogging agenda: our arrival in Bangkok and the day we spent there, the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai fruit markets, and my favourite vegan eats! I’m planning on posting up reviews for all the vegan places we’ve tried in addition to any other useful travel info for Thailand as soon as I get a chance.

Until then, I hope you check out my videos! As always, feel free to keep in touch with me on social media.

Thanks for reading!

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