Flying to Beijing
I’m here! My flight (13 hours from Chicago) was long but uneventful. Without in-seat power outlets in economy (seriously, United?), my laptop battery was depleted within the first few hours. If you’re not one for sleeping on airplanes, there are still plenty of opportunities to keep entertained… just bring a few books or take some time to enjoy the view. With retro décor, however, such familiar amenities as in-seat video players were also nowhere to be found. Airlines don’t really have much in the way of extra cash these days to update interiors.
Flying north over the polar ice cap, the sun never sets during an afternoon flight to Beijing. Be sure to request a window seat and don’t be afraid to open the windows once in a while to check out the view. With the smog in Beijing (it really is BAD), it might just be your last opportunity to see a clear sky. Hopefully things will be much better by August, but more on that later. If it’s not too cloudy once your flight passes Siberia, be on the lookout for small villages -- red roofs make smaller towns stand out even from several miles up.