Welcome to this fifth report of my recent trip to China. This is the return long haul leg from PEK to AMS and will be the final report of this series as I have reported the leg to MAN on other reports.
We arrived at PEK from our connecting flight from XIY and due to separate bookings we had to collect our baggage and head back landside to recheck in. (From previous experience I think this would have been the case anyway arriving from a domestic to an international flight).
We passed the China Southern booking desks on our way to the check-in desks.
This is the land-side departure area
And the departures board, you can see my flight CZ345 at 00:30
At the check-in desks I used the sky priority desk with my silver status and avoided the short queue for standard passengers.
We were still very early for the flight but headed off to the emigration and security check. This proceeded swiftly too, no doubt due to the other passengers not having yet arrived.
Air-side in PEK
We passed the time in the shops and had some food. Surprisingly there wasn't much of a selection.
Eventually we decided to go to the gate.
The ground staff were beginning the preparations.
The aircraft was also ready and waiting for us at the stand.
The other passengers were arriving too and beginning to queue.
We let the queue go down slightly before boarding.
On board, the flight seemed to be about half full. I had a window seat. The centre seat was free but I had a neighbour in the aisle seat. Still it meant I would be able to spread out a bit during the night.
Being on the lower deck of the A380 I also had the advantage of extra space between myself and the bulkhead.
The usual magazines and safety instructions were present in the seat pocket.
Headphones, blankets and a pillow were provided on the seat on arrival.
I was sitting just over the front of the wing, this would be my view tonight.
The IFE screen was of a reasonable size.
The film selection also seemed much better than the outbound flight.
This would be our route tonight
I got a little glimpse of the 1st class cabin when the curtain was open.
Shortly after take off the meal service began. Luckily due to my booking with KLM my request of a vegetarian meal was met and I got served before the normal meals
Western style dumplings with a kind of stew. It tasted fine.
Randomly, not too long after main meal when the crew were preparing the cabin for bedtime, i was handed a sandwich.
Other passengers didn't seem to be provided with anything. I can only imagine it was an alternative to the night time snack selection for the other passengers.
The night flight passed smoothly and I had a pretty decent sleep as I could spread out into the middle seat.
Morning arrived somewhere over Estonia.
Breakfast was served. Spaghetti - not the most common of breakfast items, but it also tasted fine.
An hour or so later we arrived about an hour early into AMS.
I said I wouldn't be reporting the final leg from AMS to MAN as the was a pretty standard flight. The weather however was very clear that morning and we had a great view of the UK flying above the Humber estuary with a great view of Hull, the Humber Bridge, along the M62 motorway. It was so clear I could exactly see the house I grew up in where my parents are still living!
Beijing - PEK
Amsterdam - AMS
This was a pleasant flight home with CZ. As the flight wasn't full this gave me chance to spread out and have a good attempt at a sleep.
The catering was fine and I even got a random bonus midnight snack :P
The flight landed early so that was a bonus too
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