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Air China---anyone flown LAX/Beijing recently

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Hi, Everyone--

We just booked a China Itinerary which we are happy with, and the total cost was manageable in part because we are ticketed on Air China which evidently has a "discount fare" agreement with the agency.

I've been reading through the threads, and it appears that Air China is not everyone's favorite carrier. There have been concerns about broken equipment and lack of maintenance in the restrooms. Others have had complaints about no seatback monitors.

Just wondering if any of you who might have flown from LA to Beijing recently have anything good go say. By "good" I mean "not that bad". Just curious.

My main concern, of course, is safety, and if safety standards are met, I can overlook small things.

I flew Egyptair to Egypt just before all the trouble went down over there, and before leaving I read things similar to what I'm reading about Air China now. Happy to say, the Egyptair flight was fine--comparable to many other ok major long haul carriers I've flown over the years.

Hoping to hear that someone has recently had on ok Air China experience out of LA.

Also, while we on the subject, and I may have to call on this, but can passengers choose their seats before getting to the airport?

Many thanks.