December 5th, 2011 / by / in: travel / No responses

Finally, the entry where we fly home! Of course, no one loves a 13-hour flight in economy, but the trip home ended up being pretty awesome. And when we got home after 18 hours of being in the air and who knows how many hours of travel time, I said, “I could totally get on another plane right now.” You know, because I’m insane.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). This new terminal (Terminal 3) was built for the Olympics so it’s very pretty and shiny. I love new airports!

Obviously NOT waiting in that long line in the background, thanks to Star Alliance Gold status. “I might be flying in economy, but at least I’m not in line with those people,” I said, like the snob that I am.

I think Mike is giving me a “why are you being such a snob?” look. Whatever! Thanks to my travel hacking skills, he’s NOT WAITING IN LINE.

The terminal is pretty. I wandered around a bit and bought more BB cream at the duty-free. I love you, Asian makeup!

Comfortable chairs for lounging in the terminal. They’re kind of private (there’s dividers between all the chairs), so they’re perfect for sleeping. Why couldn’t any of the airports I’ve had to sleep in before have had these?

Looking down from the Air China Business Class Lounge.

The lounge wraps all the way around — it’s huge!

Mini sandwiches! Mike has some weird love for crustless white bread.

The self-serve bar, which I did not use. I almost never drink when flying. I got drunk during a boring delay once and was filled with regret for most of the five-hour flight. I am not a fan of hangovers on airplanes. I’m also prone to excess, and I don’t want to end up like these guys. But sometimes I have a little Baileys in my coffee.

Better than free mini sandwiches is free DIM SUM. DIM SUM! At the back of the lounge is a sushi and dim sum station.

Seriously, United Club, you need to step up your game. Air China has free dim sum and you barely even have free crackers. International lounges are the best.

Email + dim sum = winning pre-flight combination.

I had noodles.

It was actually Mike’s birthday, so the dessert is warranted! (What, no candles?)

Chinese Coke and photo editing on the plane.

The flight attendant handed me the white form, which you only fill out if you’re not Canadian or American. Because you know, obviously I couldn’t possibly be a Canadian or American citizen. And she didn’t ask me either — maybe I don’t speak English! Mike got the blue form because he’s white so of course he’s an American or Canadian citizen. I will chalk your laziness up to racism, United!

Landed in San Francisco.

We were supposed to get on a flight to Seattle from San Francisco, spend the night in Seattle, and fly home to Toronto the next day. But! One of my favourite things happened — United was looking for volunteers to be bumped. YES. I love being bumped. In fact, I live for it. The flight to Seattle was oversold and we immediately volunteered. The best part was that they offered to route us to Toronto that day — on a flight two hours later. So basically for sitting in the lounge for two hours, we got $800 in travel vouchers, a free flight direct to Toronto, and upgrades to first class. Score.

Of course, we did just get off a 13-hour flight, so we were kind of tired. Sleeping in the United Club. Where are those PEK lounge chairs when you need them?

People were staring at my carry-on bag. Because it’s awesome, right?

On the plane — my beloved warm nuts. (Note: I am not the only one who loves them.)

A pretty gross salad with dramatic lighting. It was supposed to be a Cobb salad, but I don’t think United knows what a Cobb salad is.

Toronto! Descent into YYZ.

And then we were home! A day early, and fistfuls of travel vouchers richer. Considering the travel vouchers we ended up getting, the trip ended up basically being free. Sometimes being obsessive pays off.

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