Beijing Dallas Beijing –
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 – American Airlines Dallas Fort Worth to Beijing
Date: February 26, 2016
Flight: American Airlines
From: Dallas Fort Work – DFW
To: Beijing – PEK
At the time of booking. I requested to use a system wide upgrade for the flight. I remained on the waitlist until check-in, where I was transferred to the airport list. Approximately 40 minutes before the flight while I was checking the American Airlines app, I noted that my seat had changed and I was assigned 4L which meant my upgrade cleared at the gate.
I approached the boarding area and found it to have very few other guests present. It appeared that boarding stated 15 minutes earlier. There were a few other guests in line; however, the majority of the other guests had already boarded the flight.
The gate area offered a large picture window where you could view the Dreamliner being prepared for the flight. The gate area was clean and in good condition. I noted on the monitor that about four or five other guests upgrades had cleared as well.
I joined the line and was greeted within one minute by a gate agent who scanned my boarding pass and verified my identity before inviting me to board the airplane. I walked down the jetway and found a short line just outside the airplane.
One flight attendant was stations by the door and she welcomed me and she looked at my boarding pass before instructing me which was to walk to get to my seat. The aircraft was boarded via Door 2 which was located in between the two business class cabins. My seat was located in the forward section.
I located my seat and discovered that it was a rear facing window one.
The seat was a pod like business class seat that was fully lie flat. A large video screen was located in front of the seat which popped out from the side of the seat.
The seat was controlled by a panel to the right. The seat offered several preset positions as well as the ability to manually adjust it to my comfort.
Another remote control was present to my right as well which was a large touchscreen panel one that controlled the video programming, lights and flight attendant call button. The television monitor was also touch screen.
The seat offered two outlets as well as two USB outlets. Bose headphones were also provided at the seat. In addition, a blanket and pillow were also provided as well as an Amenity kit as well as slippers.
The seat featured two large windows that were controlled by a dimmer at the bottom of the window. One of the windows offered a view of the wing and the engine while the other offered a clear view outside the aircraft.
The seat is setup so it is directly facing the person in seat 3H. That is the odd thing about the rear facing seats. When you look forward you look directly into the person in the center section as that seat is forward facing.
I stored my belongings and within a minute or two a flight attendant greeted me warmly and she offered a welcome beverage. There were three options, Champagne, Orange Juice or water. I selected champagne.
The Champaign was served chilled and it was dry and had a good taste.
I reviewed the menu and noted that it was in English and Chinese. The meal service on the flight included three meals as well as a snack station that was available throughout the flight.
The menu also included a wine list as well as a beverage list.
All of the meal items were described well within the menu and the food all sounded good.
For the first meal there were four options for the entrée including steak, duck, fish and vegetarian.
The flight attendants circulated the cabin and they picked up the welcome drink glasses. In addition, one of the flight attendants greeted me at my seat and she used my name and offered a choice between the entrees. I requested the duck and she thanked me. She asked me to enjoy the flight.
The boarding process ended shortly after I boarded the airplane. A few announcements were made before the door was closed.
The flight attendants prepared the cabin for take off and they showed the safety video. One of the flight attendants opened my video screen when the video was on.
There was a short taxi before the plane was up in the air.
My seat at the window offered an excellent view of the wing which bends upwards as the plane takes off. In addition, the fact that the seat was rear facing made the experience enjoyable.
I looked out the window for a while and watched the plane climb.
Shortly after take off, the flight attendants automatically dimmed the window shades; however, I was still able to see out the window.
Once the plane reached its cruising altitude, the flight attendants made a few announcements as well as the Captain welcomed everyone on board the flight.
Once the announcements were over, a flight attendant approached my seat with a hot towel. The towel had a pleasant scent.
It was quickly picked up by another flight attendant.
I was then offered a table cloth followed by a choice of beverages. I requested Champaign. The flight attendant thanked me and she poured the glass for me. She also offered a glass of water. In addition to the beverages, a small container of mixed nuts was provided.
The Champaign had a good taste and flavor and the nut mixture was fresh and it also had a good taste.
A few minutes later, a flight attendant returned to my seat and she provided the appetizer and salad together on one tray. The flight attendant offered a choice between an Asian Ginger Dressing or a creamy one. I requested the Asian one. The flight attendant poured the dressing before placing the tray in front of me. She offered another beverage at that time and she refilled my water glass.
A minute or two later another flight attendant presented a basket with bread and offered me a choice of one. I requested a roll and she provided it and she asked me to enjoy the meal.
The appetizer was a Flaky Tomato Tart with grilled artichoke heart. The appetizer was small in size. It consisted of a small tart that was topped with cheese as well as sundried tomato. The bread was served at room temperature and cheese and tomato mixture had a good taste and flavor. The grilled artichoke was served chilled and it was marinated and seasoned well. The appetizer had an excellent taste and flavor and it was presented neatly.
The salad consisted of a mixed greens, sundried tomatoes and shaved parmesan. The lettuce was fresh and it had a good taste. The cheese was generously shaved over it and the sundried tomatoes were fresh. The dressing was tangy and it had an excellent ginger flavor. The portion size was small and it was presented attractively.
The bread was served warm with butter. The bread tasted fresh and it had a good flavor.
After I finished the salad and appetizer, the flight attendant approached me seat and she offered to remove the dishes. I accepted and she thanked me. She also offered another glass of wine. I accepted and she thanked me and provided it.
The entrée was served a few minutes later and it consisted of a roasted duck breast with curry lime sauce, coconut jasmine rice and broccolini with peppers.
The entrée was served hot. The duck was cooked well and it had an excellent taste and flavor. It was cut into small pieces. The rice was light and fluffy and it had a hint of coconut. The rice went well with the pork. The brocollini was served warm and it was seasoned lightly. The brocollini had a good taste and flavor. There were a few small chopped peppers mixed with it as well.
A flight attendant checked back with me during the meal and she refilled my water glass and asked if I needed anything else. After I declined she thanked me.
After I finished the meal, a flight attendant promptly removed the dish and tray and she asked if I would like dessert. I accepted and she offered ice cream with a variety of toppings, a cheese plate or a raspberry tart. I requested ice cream with fruit. She thanked me and asked if I would like another beverage. I ordered a Bailey’s on the rocks. She offered one or two Baileys. I requested one and she thanked me and she served both items and asked me to enjoy them. In addition, the flight attendant provided a water bottle.
The ice cream was served chilled and it had a rich vanilla flavor. The fruit was mixed berries that were sweet and also had a good taste.
After I finished the dessert and beverage, a flight attendant offered to remove my placemat and clean up the table. I accepted and she removed the remaining items before asking if she could bring anything else. I declined and she thanked me.
During the meal I watched a movie on the video screen. The picture quality was HD and the touch screen was responsive. The entertainment system offers a large selection of movies both new as well as classics. I scrolled through all of the options and selected a few to watch for the flight and marked them as favorite. The audio quality was good and the noise cancelling headphones worked well during the flight.
After I finished the movie, I converted my seat into a bed using the controls. They functioned well and the seat became a lie flat bed. I slept for a few hours. The seat was comfortable and I was able to rest well.
About halfway through the flight a flight attendant approached my seat and asked if I was interested in a snack. I accepted and she offered a choice between two chilled options. The first option was a chicken wrap and the other option was shrimp with noodles. I requested the shrimp with noodles. She thanked me and asked if I wanted a beverage. I requested a Coca Cola. The flight attendant thanked me and she served the items together on a tray with a small fruit plate. In addition, the soda glass and can was placed on the tray. The flight attendant asked me to enjoy.
The shrimp were served chilled and four small shrimp was provided on the plate. The shrimp were seasoned with lemongrass and they had a mild flavor. The shrimp tasted fresh. It was served with Lijiang noodles. The noodles were fresh and tender and they were served with micro greens. The dish had a good taste and flavor. The fruit plate was also chilled and a variety of fresh fruit it was provided. The fruit all had an excellent taste.
A flight attendant picked up the tray a few minutes after I finished it. She asked if I needed anything else.
I continued to relax and I took another nap.
When I woke up I did some work on my laptop before watching another movie.
During the flight, I periodically looked out the window and saw some of the amazing scenes as the plane was up in the air.
I briefly visited the snack station and found some pastries, chips, cookies and crackers available in addition to small fruit cups. In addition, water bottles were available with glasses. I had a glass of water but was still full from the meals so I did not sample any of the options.
About an hour and 20 minutes prior to landing the flight attendants returned to the cabin to offer a snack service.
At first a flight attendant provided a hot towel. Once that was picked up, another flight attendant approached my seat, offered me offered a choice between eggs or shrimp fried rice. I requested the shrimp fried rice. The flight attendant offered a beverage and I requested orange juice. The flight attendant provided it and she thanked me and asked me to enjoy the meal.
The snack consisted of fried rice with mushrooms and vegetables with three small pieces of shrimp on top. The fried rice dish was served hot. The rice was flavorful and the mushrooms were fresh. The shrimp was also fresh and it had a good taste and flavor. The snack was served with a side salad with Caesar dressing. The salad was a mixture of lettuce and a few vegetables. The salad was served chilled and it had a good flavor. Cheesecake was provided for dessert. The cheesecake was served chilled. The cheesecake was creamy and it had an excellent taste. The orange juice was fresh and it had a good taste.
Shortly after I finished the meal, a flight attendant removed the tray.
About 45 minutes before landing, the flight attendants requested that the Bose Headphones be returned at that time. They made an announcement and asked for the passengers to use their personal headphones for the remainder of the flight.
The Captain made an announcement about arrival information followed by the flight attendants preparing the cabin for landing.
The flight landed ahead of schedule and after a short taxi the aircraft arrived at the gate. A gate agent made an announcement to provide information about baggage claim and for transitioning passengers.
As I exited the plane, three flight attendants greeted me and they thanked me for my business and they wished me a good day.
I followed the signs to immigration which took about five minutes to clear before I had to take a train to the main terminal for customs.
There was no waiting at the customs area and I walked out into the airport.
The airport was busy with activity. I followed the signs to the airport express train and I purchased a ticket and utilized that to go into Beijing.
It was another great flight on American Airlines. I thought that the flight attendants were welcoming and they were attentive during the meal services. It would have been nicer if they would have circulated a little more frequently and offered additional water or other beverages but otherwise it was a good flight. The seat was comfortable and I was able to sleep for about four hours total. I looked forward to the return flight.