2-Air China JFK-PEK in Business Class CA982
5-The shortest visit by an American to the Great Wall
6-Air China PEK-JFK in Business Class CA981
7-Conclusion and Reader Gift
Is it worth flying to Beijing for a one hour meeting? It depends on how much money is involved.
A key rule of any deal is it isn't real (read: isn't going to happen) until the principals have met in person. Virtual as the world may be, when the deals are of the scale that I deal in, you meet in person at least once (or have previously met in person on a differend deal). That essential face-to-face meeting was the purpose of this trip.
I arranged a meeting-before-the-meeting with my local colleagues as well as the mid-level staff at the investor's office for the day before the big meeting. This required leaving New York on Tuesday to arrive Wednesday evening to have the pre-meeting on Thursday before the proper meeting on Friday. While I purportedly deal in high finance, I probably should have dual majored in psychology and protocol, because those are the most critical parts of what I do. The finance part is easy math.
There are two non-stops between New York and Beijing; I went with the Air China flights out of Kennedy (versus the United flights from Newark). This proved to be a mixed decision. We ended up diverting to a different airport near Beijing due to adverse weather on the way out. I still don't know where I was...nor do the flight data websites that I follow have any information.
Thankfully, whereas my company has extremely stingy hotel policies in London, we have a number of top choices to pick from in Beijing. For this trip, I elected to stay at the Peninsula. I've never gone wrong at any of their properties. While this property was different than other Peninsula properties that I've stayed at, I was pleased.
I've been to China before, but my tourist experience has been limited to the Forbidden City. This time, I was determined to bake in some time to see the Great Wall. Though my tour was cut short (more on this later), I'm very glad that I did included the time.
Plenty of congee was had.