Airline seats are narrower, less leg room, and stuffier than those in the west. Be prepared, there is not much choice here.
Domestic air travel on major airlines is SAFE in China – due to sudden growth of the industry, the major airlines tend to use newer planes, and opt for A300’s or B747’s largely on most routes. Airlines are reasonably good – but be warned on smaller city routes, delays and cancellations are the norm.
Remember your flight number, and listen careful to Chinese announcements referencing the number (in Chinese in smaller airports).
The “air corridor” between Shanghai and Beijing is heavily restricted with only 2 flight paths, that unfortunately intersect over a military training area near Qingdao – as a result, flights between the 2 cities are quite often delayed by 30 minutes to a couple of hours while they await clearance.
Enjoy the pre-flight announcements regarding “please do not throw coins into the airplane engines for good luck” and “please do not open the emergency exit doors on ground or during flight for fresh air” (sic).
Planes will be held in China for Government officials. So if flying around National Day (October) or National Peoples Congress time (Jan-Feb each year), expect more delays than normal – particularly with flights to or from Beijing.
Air China 1st Class “Window” Seat. haha
Pack light and warm (remember domestic airline luggage limits of total of 20kg), Many times you’ll be forced to carry your luggage up & down stairs — for instance in subway stations and train stations. If possible, consider ultra-light 4 way roller suitcase.