Beijing American PEK DFW –
I recently went on a weekend trip to Beijing on American Airlines. The trip included travel on the 787 Dreamliner as well as exploring two hotels in the city.
The trip report will include the following posts:
Beijing Trip Report – Air China First Class Lounge in Beijing
Beijing Trip Report – BGS Lounge in Beijing
Beijing Trip Report – American Airlines Beijing to Dallas Fort Worth
Beijing Trip Report – American Admiral’s Club at DFW
Beijing Trip Report – American Airlines Dallas Fort Worth to Minneapolis
Beijing Trip Report – American Airlines Beijing to Dallas Fort Worth
Date: February 29, 2016
Flight: American 262
From: Beijing – PEK
To: Dallas Fort Worth – DFW
I requested a SWU upgrade at the time of making the reservation. A couple weeks after I made the reservation, I received an alert that upgrade inventory was available so I reached out to American via Twitter to inquire, and the customer service team said the space was available and they processed the upgrade at that time.
I arrived at the airport about 3 hours before the flight. I utilized the Airport Express train from the city. The train ride lasted about 30 minutes. The first stop was at Terminal 3 which was where the flight was departing from.
I entered the terminal and located the check in counter where the flight was operating. When I arrived there was a medium size line for the economy cabin and there was no waiting in the premium line.
I approached the premium line and a colleague greeted me and she asked if I was flying to Dallas. I said yes and she verified that I had Priority Access. I said I was in the Business Class cabin. She thanked me and invited me up to a desk.
Once I arrived at the desk she asked for my passport. I provided it and she thanked me. The colleague asked if I had any bags to check. I said no and she thanked me. The colleague provided my boarding passes as well as an invitation to the Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air Lounge. The colleague thanked me and wished me a good flight. The check in process was complete within five minutes of me entering the terminal.
I proceeded to the immigration and security area. That first required taking a train ride to the E gate areas. The train arrived quickly. One it departed it took about 10 minutes to get to the gate area.
Upon arrival, I entered a long line for immigration. There were only a few agents working at the time. The line moved slowly and after about 30 minutes I was able to clear immigration.
The immigration line led way to another long line for security. That line moved very slowly and the process took another 35 minutes.
Once I exited security I entered the terminal and decided to check out some Priority Pass lounges as I previously visited the Cathay Pacific lounge. The two lounges that I visited were the Air China First Class Lounge and the BGS Lounge.
After I visited the two lounges I made my way to the gate area. Boarding had already began and the majority of the guests had already boarded the plane when I arrived.
I joined the line and was greeted within about 30 seconds by a gate agent who took my boarding pass and returned the sub. The agent also verified my identity before inviting me to board.
Once in the jetway there was an additional security screening before I could enter the plane. No liquids except for the 3oz bagged items were allowed on the plane.
I entered the plane and a flight attendant greeted me by Door 2. She asked to view my boarding pass. After I provided it she informed me to cross over and then turn left in order to reach my seat.
I was assigned seat 3L which was a forward facing business class window seat.
The seat was setup similarly to the outbound flight. Because it was a forward facing seat there was also a shoulder strap that was required to be worn for taxi, takeoff and landing.
The seat was preset with an amenity kit, menu, Bose Headphones, blanket, pillow, slippers and a bottle of water.
The seat offered a view of 1.5 of the windows with another partial if you look around the console.
The video monitor had a clear picture and was High Definition. The remote control and the touch screen functions worked without issue.
I got comfortable in my seat and within a few minutes a flight attendant greeted me and he offered a pre-departure beverage from a tray. The options were Campaign, Orange Juice or water. I selected a Campaign. The colleague thanked me and he asked me to enjoy it.
The boarding process continued and the flight attendants greeted the other guests in the same manner.
Newspapers were offered by one of the colleague and three options were provided. I declined the newspaper and the colleague thanked me.
The menu was clean and it consisted of three meal options with one large meal and two smaller snack options.
The menu also offered similar beverage selections from the flight to Beijing.
Shortly before the plane departed the gate, the flight attendant approached my seat, greeted me using my name and he asked if I had a chance to review the menu. I asked his opinion between the sea bass or the chicken. The flight attendant informed me that the seafood was typically dry. I requested the chicken. He thanked me and he asked for my preference on the salad dressing. I requested the Asian option. The flight attendant thanked me after I placed my order.
The Cabin was prepared for departure and the safety video was displayed followed by a few announcements.
The airplane left the gate ahead of schedule but there was a lengthy taxi to the runway. The Captain made an announcement and he said that the same runway was being used for departures and arrivals so there was a short delay. It appeared that after each plane took off there were three of four landings before the next plane took off.
Soon enough we were cleared for takeoff and we were up in the air.
During the initial part of the takeoff there were some good views out the window of sunset.
Once we were in the air, there were a few announcements. The Captain made a brief announcement and he said he would keep the announcements to a minimum. But he informed the guests about the flight information that was available on the video monitors. The Captain thanked everyone and wished them a chance to relax and to enjoy the flight.
The meal service began a few minutes later with a hot towel. The hot towel was clean and it had a pleasant scent.
A flight attendant picked up the towels and then setup the place mats
Once the place mats were distributed, the flight attendant returned and he offered a snack of nuts as well as he offered a beverage choice. I requested Champagne and water. The flight attendant provided the two glasses and he thanked me.
A short while later, the flight attendant returned and he poured additional Champagne in my glass and presented the tray with the salad and appetizer. The flight attendant asked me to enjoy the meal.
Another flight attendant approached within a minute and presented a bread basket and he asked me if I wanted a roll. I requested a garlic roll. He presented the roll. The bread was soft and warm and it had a mild garlic flavor. It was served with chilled butter.
I always wonder why American serves the appetizer and salad together. It would be so much nicer if they served one course at a time rather then serving them together. The tray would look nicer with only one plate on it as well.
The salad was served chilled and it consisted of a mixture of lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, mushrooms and bean curds. The lettuce was fresh and it was served chilled and had a good taste. The tomatoes were chopped neatly and they had a sweet taste. The cucumbers were fresh and they had a good taste as well. The bean curds were chilled and they were fresh and they added a crunch to the salad. The dressing was tangy and it had a good ginger flavor. The portion size was medium. It was presented attractively in the dish.
The appetizer was Peking Duck which was served chilled with a sweet sauce including Hoisin and small cubes of pineapple. The duck was tender and it had a mild flavor. A few pieces of duck were provided and they were cut into small pieces. The sauce was fresh and sweet and the pineapple had a fresh taste. The appetizer was presented attractively and it was garnished with micro greens. The portion size was medium.
A few minutes after I finished the appetizer and salad, the flight attendant returned and he offered to remove the dishes. I accepted and he thanked me.
He returned after another few minutes and provided the entrée. It was served without chop sticks so I asked if I could have some. The flight attendant said that was not a problem and he returned within a minute and he presented them and asked me to enjoy the meal.
The entrée was Sichuan Chicken that was served with black sesame rice and mixed vegetables. The chicken was served hot. The chicken was cut into small pieces and it was served with a mild tomato based sauce. The chicken was fresh and it had a good taste. The rice was sticky and it was also served warm. It was light and fluffy. The vegetables were fresh and they consisted of mushrooms, onions and garlic. The vegetables were fresh and they had a good flavor. The portion size was medium and the dish was presented attractively.
The flight attendant returned after I finished the entrée and he offered to remove the dish. I accepted and he thanked me and removed the tray. The flight attendant asked if he could bring me dessert. He informed me that there were three options including ice cream, a fruit tart or a cheese and cracker tray. I requested ice cream with the berries. He also offered whipped cream and nuts. I declined the additional toppings and he thanked me. The flight attendant also offered more Champagne. I declined but requested more water. He thanked me and he provided the water within a minute.
About five minutes later, the flight attendant returned and he presented the ice cream. He asked me to enjoy it.
The ice cream was served extremely cold but it had a good vanilla flavor. The ice cream was topped with berries. The berries were sweet and they had a good flavor. The portion size was large. It was presented in a glass cup.
Once I finished the ice cream a flight attendant approached me and he offered to clear my tray. I accepted and he thanked me. The flight attendant asked if I needed anything else.
During dinner, I watched a movie on the video monitor. The movie I selected was The Intern. The movie was funny and it had a good story line. I enjoyed it and it went by quickly.
After the movie was complete, I worked on my laptop for a while before making my seat into a bed and taking a nap for a while.
I slept for a good portion of the flight which was good because I am usually not one to be able to do that on a flight.
When I woke up there was about two hours remaining on the flight.
I relaxed in my seat and watched a movie.
I briefly stopped by the snack area and found a variety of items available including sandwiches, cakes and desserts. In addition, fresh fruit was available as well as a snack basket.
About an hour and a half prior to landing, the flight attendants changed the colors around the cabin and they lightly turned the lights up as they prepared for the pre-arrival meal.
A few minutes later, a flight attendant approached my seat and greeted me. The colleague offered a choice between an egg dish or a pork one. I requested the pork meal. The colleague also offered a choice of beverages. I requested a white wine and was given a choice between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. I requested the Sauvignon Blanc. The flight attendant placed the tray with the meal on my tray table. The flight attendant asked me to enjoy the meal.
The meal consisted of Pork with Capital Sauce. I thought that this pork dish was the best item that I had during the flight. It was full of flavor and was much better than the dinner entree. The pork was served hot and it was cooked well. The pork had a good taste and flavor and the sauce was tangy. The pork was served on top noodles and bok choy. The noodles and the bok choy had a good taste. The dish was also served with a side salad with vegetables and tomatoes. The vegetables were fresh and it had a good taste. A ginger dressing was served with it that also had a good taste. In addition, a small cheesecake with berries was served. The cheesecake was chilled and it was rich and creamy and it had a good flavor.
The wine was served chilled and it had a good taste and flavor.
After I finished the meal the flight attendant returned and offered to remove my tray. A few minutes later, the flight attendants picked up the Bose Headphones and an arrivals video was displayed on the screens.
The Captain made an announcement about the flight and the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing.
The flight landed ahead of schedule and there was a short taxi to the gate.
As I departed the plane the flight attendants thanked me and they wished me a pleasant day.
I made my way to the immigration area and utilized the Global Entry terminal and proceeded to customs and I made my back to the security line. The process was efficient and I returned to the terminal within 10 minutes of departing the plane.
Overall it was a good fight. I felt that the flight attendants were more attentive then on the flight over. They made a good job of making me feel welcome. The seat was comfortable and I was able to sleep for a good portion of the flight. Overall the experience was enjoyable. I looked forward to my next international flight on American.