Beijing 2016 – Chicago to Beijing

This post is written by Katie about her flights to Beijing for the World Robot Contest. 

Tuesday morning we took the 4:30am hotel shuttle from the Super 8 to ORD. The shuttle was full, but got to the airport quickly.

Once at the airport, we checked our bags and headed through security. Once through security, we spent the remaining time before my flight walking around the airport.

My upgrade cleared for my Chicago to DFW flight shortly before boarding began. I waited with JT at the gate as long as possible and boarded at last call.

Breakfast on my flight from Chicago to Dallas

The main first class flight attendant on this flight was efficient and friendly enough. I ordered coffee and the egg strata for breakfast (a fruit plate was the other choice). The egg strata came with a small fruit plate, roasted potatoes, sausage, and a choice of biscuit, roll or chocolate croissant. I went for the biscuit, which was warm, fluffy, and soft. Overall, breakfast was great!

My invite card to Flagship First dining in the Admirals Club

Once I arrived in Dallas, I walked to the D concourse and headed to the Admirals Club. As an Executive Platinum, I was invited to visit the Flagship Dining room.

I had a small breakfast in the Flagship First dining room

Breakfast food was still being served at 10am, so I enjoyed some yogurt and a fruit cup. While eating, I noticed my system-wide upgrade had cleared for my flight to Beijing! With a 14 hour flight ahead of me and a completely packed flight, I was really really happy to get the upgrade.

I enjoyed a welcome glass of champagne during boarding

I arrived at the gate before boarding was scheduled to begin, but was surprised to see the main cabin already boarding. This meant I had no time to take clean shots of my seat. Boarding went by quickly. After boarding was complete, they said they needed one person to exit the plane and get an $800 voucher due to the plane being overweight. This seemed unlikely – as one person should not matter on a 787 – but no special passengers seemed to board in the offloaded passenger’s place.

AA Business Class seat on the 787

My 6A business class seat was nicely laid out and spacious. There were two universal outlets and two USB chargers. The seat had great amenities including slippers, a full size pillow, nice noise canceling headphones, a bottle of water and a fluffy duvet. The seat adjustment screen was simple and easy to use, while the in flight entertainment screen was large and clear.

Departure drinks and warm nuts
Appetizer, salad, and pretzel roll
Salmon main course
Ice cream sundae – aka sugar island

Lunch service started with a warm towel followed by drinks and warm nuts. Next the appetizer and salad were served. There were four meal choices – I went for the salmon. The rice was not very good, but the salmon, carrots, green beans, and spaghetti squash were great. For dessert, I had AA’s famous ice cream sundae with strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and nuts.

New Google Fi phone charging next to my new Kindle

I read on my new Kindle Paperwhite for a while after dinner, blogged for a bit, and then decided to sleep. I had trouble falling/staying asleep and decided to read with about 8 hours left.

Mid-flight snack – I should have just skipped it…

Snack service occurred with about 6 hours remaining. Only wraps were left when they got to me. The fruit plate that came with the wrap was fresh and tasty, but the actual wrap was soggy and contained too much soggy yet hard rice. The accompanying noodle salad tasted terrible as well, with hard cold noodles.

View from my bed 🙂

After the snack, I tried to sleep again and had better luck. I managed to sleep off and on until two hours remained in the flight. Strangely, I kept waking up with painful sinuses and alternating between sweating and freezing.

Arrival meal

The arrival breakfast meal – eggs and bacon or shrimp fried rice – was served about 90 minutes before landing. Both meals came with a small greens and tomatoes salad and a piece of cheesecake.

I was happy to get the upgrade on the 787

I really enjoyed my seat. It was the perfect width and had a nice amount of storage space. Once I fell asleep, I slept pretty well. The service on the flight was good for AA, but nothing particularly noteworthy. As usual, the mid flight meal would have been better skipped. All in all, a really enjoyable flight!

The air quality was abysmal upon landing in Beijing – the sun wasn’t even visible

I took my time deplaning, and then waited for Josiah and Josh (my two teammates on this trip) once I found space to do so.

Leave a Reply