Air China First Class to Beijing

We headed out of the secured terminal area to check in at the Air China counter. There were only a handful of pax checking in and no one at the First Class counter where a pleasant UA agent checked us in and issued our boarding passes in less than 90 seconds.
 

And Mrs. SFO has decided to go unblurred, as long as she likes the pic. 
Back in the Global First Lounge, the GFL dragon announced that boarding has started for our flight. Gate 96 is conveniently located next to the GFL.

From my earlier walk-around.

San Francisco-Beijing
Air China 986
2:50P-5:55P +1 (sked)
2:40P-5:20P +1 (actual)
September 16, 2014
First Class
Seats 2DH
 
I used 140,000 Mileage Plus miles (70K x 2) for this trip, booking the tickets just before the MP devaluation. Boarding had indeed started by the time we arrived. A great start as two jet bridges were used today, one for Business and Economy and the other just for First Class... which today mean just one other person. 

Only 8 seats in First, two rows of 1-2-1.

We each had our own newspaper stand at our seats. 

Seats controls showing a little wear.

Pre-departure beverage including nuts. Champagne was poured in the galley not at the seat... so no idea what it was.

PJs and amenity kits. I'm not really an XL yet but Mrs. SFO chose for me. 

Said content. Meh.

As is normal for Asian airlines, no one minded as I walked around the cabin during push and taxi to sit in a window seat.

Great views from our taxi and take-off.

 

After take-off, my first G&T of the day, with lemon... and a cherry?? 

Since we had eaten lunch at Yankee Pier only three hours before departure, we asked to hold our dinner until 6PM. In the interim, we watched a movie. IFE quality was excellent and the controls very responsive. Eclectic selection of movies from around the world, heavy on Chinese movies... although not many with English subtitles. I watched a hilarious French comedy, 100% Cashmere. And a B+ on the IFE guide.

While we deferred dinner, it did not stop our FAs from taking our dinner, wine and 2nd meal choices while we were still on the ground. Mrs. SFO played along while I selected my main and told our FA that I would choose the wine and 2nd meal later. Today's menu...

And wine list, all French except for a few Chinese wines...

I chose the Chinese menu options today. And so our food orgy began.

Indeed I ate the baby squid head although I didn't realize it until after Mrs. SFO told me. 

The soup was delicious.

The main was a huge portion of Barbecue duck and halibut, although the halibut looked and tasted more like chicken.

For dessert, a choice of three cakes, fruit and/or an AA-type cheese plate

And a lovely Jasmine Tea to finish.

Filling out our arrival card. Loved the "Settle Down" choice. 

Mrs. SFO moved over to her bed in 2A while I worked a little more. Then decided to sleep. Was going to have him make my bed in one of the other unoccupied seats... which had now been occupied by pilots... presumably the back-up crew.  Off to the lav while our FA made my bed.
 

The bed was very comfortable and I slept for 5 hours.

Around 90 minutes from landing, our 2nd meal while watching the 2014 Brit Awards.

With Mr. 2J now in 1J, I moved over to 2J for landing. Mrs. SFO to 2A.

As the first ones off the plane, not much traffic in front of is on our way to Customs and Immigration.

Very nice modern terminal.

Passport control was a breeze. A first for me... rate your customs agent? 

Then down to the train platform for the ride to Baggage Claim and exit.

Talk about packing them in.

Another great sign. 

 

Shortly after we got off the train, we met our tour company rep.

And then our guide and driver for the next four days.