Beijing Meet-Up Thread — Post Your Flights Here

Filed Under: Travel

It’s now official that a lot of us are headed to Beijing thanks to American’s ~$450 business class mistake fare.


As I wrote about earlier today, one of my favorite things about these big mistake fares is the camaraderie of it all. Thanks to these fares, hundreds of us end up in the same city around the same time, and in many cases even end up on the same plane.

I’ve been on flights that have by chance had a dozen blog readers on them, and that’s always a hoot.

Given that hundreds of us are headed to Beijing between now and the end of May, I figured I’d create a meet-up thread.

If you’d like to participate, please post in the comments section below:

  • The dates you’re flying both your outbound and return segments
  • Whether you’re flying the flight to/from Chicago to Beijing

In other words, you could leave a comment like:

I’m flying from Chicago to Beijing on April 1 and from Beijing to Dallas on April 5

As you guys comment I’ll be updating the chart (at the end of this post) with your usernames below, so that we can see how many people are booked on each flight. If you’ve left your details on another post, please add them here as well so we can keep things organized.

If y’all are interested, I can also set up a Google Group so we can coordinate possibly meeting up on the ground. Or if anyone has better suggestions, please let me know.

If nothing else, seeing how many people are on your flight is a good way to gauge your upgrade chances to first class on the longhaul flight. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hope to see some of you onboard and in Beijing!

DateAA 187 Chicago
to Beijing
AA 88 Dallas to BeijingAA 186 Beijing to ChicagoAA 89 Beijing to Dallas
26 MarchRob
27 MarchMonica B
28 March
29 Marchevan
30 MarchAng
31 MarchAdamX
1 AprilJason
2 AprilAndy G
3 Apriljetsarefast2
4 AprilSam
5 AprilPoint Princessevan
Monica B
6 AprilLuke
7 Apriljetsarefast2
Andy G
8 AprilAdamX
Point Princess
9 April
10 AprilPedro
11 Aprilthyeri
12 April
13 AprilScott
14 AprilErica & Hans
15 AprilAng
16 AprilDannyLuke
17 April
18 AprilLxf
19 Aprilthyeri
20 AprilDanny
Erica & Hans
21 AprilJasonLxf
22 AprilCheryl +1
23 AprilAdamDW
24 April
25 April
26 AprilMarky
27 AprilRaja
John Perri
28 AprilAdamDW
Cheryl +1
29 AprilMommalovestotravelMarky
30 AprilShahir
John Perri
1 MayGlobal Highlander +1Raja
2 May
3 Maycocobird
4 Mayavi
5 MaySergio TShoshana
6 MayPeter +1cocobird
7 MayMichaelPaul M.Shahir
8 MayAndrew L
Golfingboy +2
9 MayeapMommalovestotravel
10 MayRachidchicago2worldSergio T
Global Highlander +1
11 MayRye
Paul M.
Golfingboy +2
12 MaySarah
Andrew Leap
13 MayKoolFatKat
Aaron G
Travis Swanson +7
hoosiereph +3
Peter +1chicago2world
14 MayDiondi
15 May
16 MayAdam
17 MayRichard
Aaron G
18 MayBen
Natalie +1
19 MayKohei
Emily G and Louie F
BigLivingSmallPrice +1
20 MayMikeMilly RKoolFatKatTravis Swanson +7
21 MayAndrew B
Tracy T.
22 MayPL
Jennifer @ Jetsetters Homestead
23 MayStu
Jon PKohei
24 MayRaspy + 1atlvoyager
Emily G and Louie F
BigLivingSmallPrice +1
hoosiereph +3
25 MayAlex
Jason D
Tracy T.
Andrew B
Jennifer @ Jetsetters Homestead
26 MayFrequent MilerPL
27 MayKyle Stewart +2Milly RJason
28 MayhaoRye
29 MayFrequent Miler
Jason D
30 MayStu
Raspy + 1
Natalie +1
31 Mayhao
Jon P
Kyle Stewart +2
1 Junepanzer1945


  1. Remember to bring your masks! I would recommend N95 masks. Try to put it on immediately after you landing. Beijing / Shanghai’s air pollution can jet you really badly without protection.

  2. I didn’t get in on the deal but I will be in PEK from 3/23-4/2. If there is a ground meet up, feel free to include me.

  3. @ YWang — So you’re flying from DFW, or totally separate from this fare? If you’re flying on AA out of ORD/DFW, which dates?

  4. @Lucky chance of getting compensate ? I am sure you have bought paid ticket in the past on transpacfic routes. Are you going to claim your compensate?

  5. 6 May DCA 12:50pm CHI 5:20pm Return 13 May PEK 10:10am to CHI
    Do you recommend any good private tour companies? Would like to do 2 days Beijing and then fly/train to Terra Cotta warriors in Xi’an and if possible Shanghai then train back to Beijing. Not sure if its realistic!?

  6. Lucky,
    1st trip
    Sergio +2 april 29 sfo-hnd-pek
    May 04 pek-hnd- sfo.
    I know this is a weird routing but we got this for cheap as well on JAL!
    2nd trip
    May 5th DCA-ORD-PEK
    may 10th PEk-ORD
    Add it up. When are you going?

  7. Peter+1 – I would not do the train from Beijing to Xi’an – I have done it before and it is LOOOOONG, even if it stays on schedule (mine did not). Fly, it is worth every penny.

    You can always work with a travel advisor to do private tours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. @Peter, Having traveled a lot in China, I think squeezing Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai in could be a bit tough. There’s a solid 2-3 days worth of “must see” places in Beijing, not including the wall. You may still see some of the effects of the labor holiday (April 28- May 4), which can make travel in China all but impossible. That being said, high speed rail is a great option since the trains actually run on time and the train stations in both Beijing and Xi’an are somewhat more convenient than the airport (less of an issue in Shanghai). If you’re feeling adventurous, overnight trains are perfectly comfortable and can save a lot of day light time. For all three, hiring guides within the city will be much cheaper than using a packaged tour for everything and it is certainly possible to get around without a guide if you want.

  9. American
    Seat 10A , 9A, 9B

    Seat 9E, 9D, 9B

    2 Adults 1 Child. Staying at the Double tree Hotel

  10. May 8 DCA-ORD-PEK (AUS-DFW-DCA positional flight)
    May 12 PEK-ORD-DCA (DCA-DFW-AUS positional flight)

  11. RE: masks. I lived in Beijing for 6 months and have visited shanghai, you do not need to ever wear a mask, unless you have very sensitive lungs or something like asthma. 98% of people will have zero issue.

    Congrats on getting a great flight. Beijing is an amazing place!

  12. I forgot to mention I have 2 other readers traveling with me.
    Shahir + 2

    April 30
    May 75

  13. Shahir damn right we’re travelling together…lets see if Joe posts

    April 30
    May 7

  14. DFW-PEK on May 23
    PEK-ORD on May 31

    Have onward travel to ICN and TPE (already been to PEK based on the $450 fares from PHL last year)

  15. DFW-PEK: May 9
    PEK-DFW: May 12

    (Note to Lucky: I have never been able to post with my primary e-mail, as BoardingArea has always flagged it as spam. How do I get this fixed once and for all?)

  16. @ eap — Hmmm, not sure why that would be. Let me forward that over to the tech team at BoardingArea and see what they can do.

  17. May 22: 187
    May 25: 186

    Torn between the great rates at the Swissotel and the point option at the Park Plaza. Any advice?

  18. @Lucky
    By mistake you place my return flight on May 28th under AA186 (ORD) not AA89 (DFW). I am on flight AA89 for the return. No problem I know this these posts get confusing quickly and you have a lot of comments to process.
    Thanks in advance,

  19. @Lucky : By mistake you put my return on 4/26 (same day as my outbound). It’s 4/29 PEK to ORD. Thanks for putting this all together!

  20. Iโ€™m flying from Washington to Chicago to Beijing on April 23 and from Beijing to Chicago to Washington on April 28

  21. Wasn’t able to get in on the deal after trying at the tail end so have to stick with my award ticket. But I will be in Beijing btw 4/14 and 19th so lease keep me informed if there is a meetup in Beijing. Thanks.

  22. > @ Ben โ€” Amazing return routing

    Uh, yeah I’m a moron. Obviously of the two of us, you are the smart one.

    5-18 AA187 (right)
    5-21 AA186 (right)
    5-25 AA89 (right)
    5-25 AA186 -> 5-28 AA186

  23. 5/16 – DCA-DFW-PEK

    5/21 – PEK-ORD-DCA

    Thanks for posting this and putting it together. Would love to meetup with anyone in Beijing!

  24. Got an amazing deal on JAL during this fare mistake so we will be doing:

    Apr 29 – SFO-HND-PEK (JL 1/AA 8400 and JL 21)
    May 4 – PEK-HND-SFO (JL 22 and JL 2/AA 8401)

  25. Flying from DFW to PEK on 5/11 and PEK to DFW on 5/16.

    Ben, thank you for posting this amazing fare and all the organizing!

  26. 4 of us, DCA-DFW-PEK on 5/13, PEK-DFW-DCA on 5/24 (onward transit, so we will not be in PEK in the interim)

  27. Am I really the only one that has a problem with this? Taking advantage of what you know to be an honest mistake and benefiting from it financially just seems unethical to me. I know many of you may see this a “faceless corporation” which deserves whatever it gets from its error, but I assure your there are real world consequences to this. Tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue equates to jobs lost for real people. This was certainly American Airlines’ fault, but you have a choice as to whether or not you wish to profit from it and enrich yourself at the expense of others. Maybe it’s because I’m a father, but I’m trying to walk through how I would explain this to my sons: a company made a mistake, I knew it was a mistake, and I elected to benefit from it regardless of the consequences for the employees of the company who made this error. That’s not a conversation I’d be comfortable having with them. You may feel differently. Have a nice flight.

  28. Ben – I very much appreciate you posting my comment and fully understand others view this differently than myself. I’m certainly not an apologist for the airlines (or any companies) but I do work for a large company where just recently I was forced to lay people off over literally a few hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue lost. I can’t imagine how much this is going to cost American and people at the company – real people with kids, parents to care for, etc. – will have to pay for every mistake fare that they honor. I just wouldn’t feel okay with benefiting from something I knew would contribute to their difficulties. Yes, I know I sound judgmental, and yes, I know I sound holier than thou. I got it, but that’s truly not my intention. I just really enjoy your blog and the balanced perspective you bring and felt compelled to at least throw my two cents into the conversation. I’m sure I’ll get an earful for it from your other readers but thanks for the fair hearing.

  29. I have the following to add to the schedule
    Mar 31 ORD-PEK
    Apr 3 PEK-ORD

    Apr 4 ORD-PEK
    Apr 7 PEK-ORD

    May 3 ORD-PEK
    May 6 PEK-ORD

    May 19 ORD-PEK
    May 22 PEK-ORD

    I have the following schedule showing the lodgings that I will be using and also the private tours I have arranged. The lodgings are reasonably priced (ranging from $65 to $135) and highly recommended on Trip Advisor (90 percent or above would stay there again) and Expedia with staff that speak English fairly welI. I wanted a bit of local flavor, so a couple of them are in hutongs.

    I would be happy to split the costs of the private tours (tour guide and private car) for anyone that is interested in going with me. The guides have excellent English.

    Lodging – Michaelโ€™s House.
    April 2, visit the Tiโ€™an Men Square, Forbidden City and old Beijing hutongs
    Lodging – Park Plaza
    April 6, Temple of Heaven and Lama Temple
    May 5, Mutianyu Great Wall. There are several sections are opened to public. I suggest Mutianyu section, which is further and less crowded.
    Lodging – Hotel Courtyard 7
    May 21, Summer Palace and Panda Garden.
    As a tour guide, our daily rate is CNY500(USD82).
    A private car with a driver costs CNY600(USD100) for the city tour each day and CNY750(USD125) for the Great Wall tour, including gas, toll and parking.
    The airport transfer, we usally charge CNY300 (USD50)for one way. But because you have so many airport transfers. I will give you a discount, CNY240 for one way (USD40).
    You will pay your own entrance tickets and meals. We will recommend some good local restaurants where you can order what you like.

  30. Iโ€™m flying from Chicago to Beijing on May 13th and from Beijing to Dallas on May 17th. Staying SPG, haven’t decided where.

  31. Just noticed my itinerary I posted earlier wasn’t entirely accurate. ORD both ways for me. Will miss the extra miles from DFW!

    16 May: DCA – ORD – PEK
    21 May: ORD – PEK – DCA

    BTW interesting discussion on the ethics of all this. I definitely fall in the camp of, happy to book, but wouldn’t complain to DoT if they had canceled my itinerary.

  32. March 26, flt 186 ORD-PEK
    March 30, flt 187 PEK-ORD

    April 11, flt 186, ORD-PEK
    Apr 15, flt 187, PEK-ORD

  33. Hey Lucky could you move my name on May 22nd from the DFW-PEK to the PEK-ORD column? The 22nd is my return flight. Thank you sir

  34. Is there a google group? Any recomondations on a private tour company that handles Beijing, Xian, Shanghai tours? We only have 6 nights and flying in and out of Beijing.

  35. So this is great, and I really appreciate you taking the time to put this together, but what use is it if we don’t have a means to contact those on our flights / those in China at the same time as us? It would be great if we could somehow use this information to meet up for a meal or drink, or to share some bubbles on the flight over/back. Any ideas? Cheers!

  36. ^^ I agree with Dave. It’d be awesome to get in touch with those who have overlapping visits to Beijing.

  37. @Lucky, I missed the mistake fare, but I will be in Beijing between 4/11-4/23. (4/6-4/11 in Seoul, 4/23-4/30 in Tokyo, if anyone is interested). It will be great to meet fellow travelers. Fluent Mandarin and English speaker here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. JFK-ORD-PEK April 26-May 1
    JFK-ORD-PEK May 18-22

    Staying Grand Hyatt and Park Plaza – splitting each stay

  39. I shall be going DFW to PEK 5/20
    retiring on 5/27 PEK to ORD. Excited to meet/hang with anyone!

  40. Lucky. What would happen if I purposely missed my DCA-ORD leg and instead flew from LAX -ORD to catch the PEK flight?

  41. Probably skip out on the return to DCA and just fly back to LAX from ORD…..its the end of trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. April 3: ORD-PEK
    April 5: PEK-HKG (1st time visit)
    April 6: HKG-PEK
    April 7: PEK-ORD

    May 23: ORD-PEK
    May 26: PEK-ORD

  43. Looks I will be the first to fly on this fare (according to schedule at this time!)


    Don’t have Chinese visa so forced to fly somewhere else after my 72 hour transit is up or begins.
    Might find me most likely in Bangkok or Hong Kong for few days in between my PEK flights.

  44. Ugh, long day today… I meant:

    April 13th 187 DCA-ORD-PEK
    April 16th 186 PEK-ORD-PEK

    Thanks, Lucky.

  45. Is there a ground meet up? I am in Beijing 3rd, 4th and 5th Apr. I was born and raised there and moved to England 16 yrs ago. Would love to meet ppl from this blog. @lucky are you there that weekend? I am staying at Sofitel Wanda Plaza. Trust me, this hotel is where you need to be, if you have not yet booked your accommodation.

  46. Southwest DAL to DCA 5/24 (positional)
    Only Plat. No SWU for me.
    AA1035 DCA to DFW 5/25 (1st)
    AA89 DFW to PEK 5/25 (Business)
    AA88 PEK to DFW 5/29 (Business)
    AA2439 DFW to DCA 5/29 (1st)
    Southwest DCA to DAL 5/30

  47. Thanks for this calendar! Could you please add me and my friend to the calendar? Emily G and Louie F May 19-24 through Chicago. Thank you!

  48. Unfortunately I was late to the game but if anyone is looking for a Chinese tour guide, please let me know. I have a very good friend in Beijing who is has been working at CITS (China International Travel Service) for several years and also offers private tours. Goes without saying that he speaks excellent English!

  49. April 27 DCA-ORD-PEK
    May 5 PEK-ORD-DCA
    (likely will head out of beijing, have been there and don’t feel the need to spend much more.)

  50. Here now after a mostly lovely flight. The AA crew was stellar. Food (steak with mac and cheese) was unmemorable. Wine flight was stupendous but they need to upgrade the champagne. Seat 3A was broken. No lie flat. Any thoughts about writing to AA to ask for refund of swu because of that malfunction?

  51. @ Heather — If you couldn’t recline then that seems totally reasonable. Happy the crew was good, at least!

  52. Please add Maureen to the following dates:
    AA 187 ORD-PEK 4/26
    AA 186 PEK-ORD 5/1

    Also Daniel to:
    AA 187 ORD-PEK 4/26
    AA 186 PEK-ORD 4/29

  53. @Jeff same dayes as me! Would be great to meet up for drinks. Anyone else fancy ground meet up during Easter weekend? My email is jake dot xu at gmail dot com

  54. Sorry meant to post this follow-up on this thread not the other:

    First let me start to say that service was excellent there and return with a crew led by Slack (different name but she surely didnโ€™t slack off). They were phenomenal.

    As I mentioned earlier, my F seat was broken and I was going to request one SWU back. Well I did and American said no. They did offer 5k points. What do folks and Ben think? Settle or reply back that the amount is disappointing.

  55. 5/6 ord-pek (with two others)
    5/12 pek-ord (with two others)

    5/20 ord-pek (solo)
    5/23 pek-ord (solo)

  56. Sorry Ben, I screwed up. I’m actually flying on IAD-DFW on May 13th and DFW-PEK on May 14th. We are still retuning PEK-DFW on the 20th. Will you please update? Still group of 8 total. Thanks!

  57. 5/20 DCA – Ord – Pek
    5/28 PEK – ORD – DCA

    trip actualy starts cvg-dca early am 5/20.

    looking for hotel forbidden city area, and looking to get tour ideas. first visit to china

  58. Here now after a mostly lovely flight. The AA crew was stellar. Food (steak with mac and cheese) was unmemorable. Wine flight was stupendous but they need to upgrade the champagne. Seat 3A was broken. No lie flat. Any thoughts about writing to AA to ask for refund of swu because of that malfunction?

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