Birdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3687 posts, RR: 52 Posted (1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 694 times:
So I'm about to book a USA to China flight on LH miles. The main segment is 14-hour IAD-PEK operated by United's 777-200, with a short domestic flight on each end.
So the fare is 40.000 miles in economy which I'm willing to invest (this is a one-way which would be very expensive if paid with money), but business is only slightly more expensive at 67.000 miles. I kind of have the miles lying around, of course I could use them in the future but I could also use them now. Normally when I book flights with money, business is so much more expensive and way out of my budget, but in this case it might be a nice treat on this long flight. So I'm considering it.
Now the thing that makes me hesitate is the bad reviews I've heard about United's 777. Apparently they have 2-4-2 seats. Seriously? In business?
Do you have any experiences with United's 777 business class product? Should I go ahead and book this, or save the miles? Is there any window seat that I can get out of if my neighbor sleeps? Does the seat fold down flat, and is it comfy? Any suggestion which seat I should select? (all seats are still available).
Thanks for your help!
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
jfrworld From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 365 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 660 times:
I support aloges in saying that for an extra 27K miles, I would upgrade to Business First. While I do not think that the service in UA Business First is on par with many of the competing Asian or European C class products, 14-hrs is a long flight in economy. I haven't flown the 777 in 2-4-2 configuration, but I have flown the 744 in 2-4-2 configuration. Try to book an aisle seat along the 2 seat side left or right side of the plane and avoid the middle section. The United C class seat is fully flat with a very large TV. I find it is a bit close at the shoulders, but again, for a 14-hour flight you will appreciate not being in economy. Just my opinion.
roseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9136 posts, RR: 52 Reply 3, posted (1 month 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 652 times:
It is absolutely worth it. United business has full flat seats. Meals are much better. Yes it is 2-4-2 but if you get a window or aisle the seat is good. The way that the seats are shaped means that you have enough width to be comfortable. They aren't as good as the all aisle reverse herringbone seats, but you will enjoy it. You should sleep well and have a good ground experience. For only 50% more! business is worth it.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
aklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 814 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 622 times:
I like the service and the seat is OK but not great. It is a full flat seat so I sleep well, but aisle access from the window requires climbing over someone's feet. I prefer an aisle seat because of that. Either side of the aisle is OK.
The other mistake with that seat is there is no storage space for anything within reach, just the overhead bin and a tiny shelf in front of the seat. In minimal turbulence anything there will fall off.
The rest of the inflight experience, food, entertainment, is fine.
Getting a full night of sleep will pay off when you get to China. You will be able to do so much more the first day or two. Think of the expense as adding another day to your trip. If you have trouble sleeping on a plane get your doctor to prescribe 5mg of Ambien. You have enough time to eat the first meal while watching a movie, get a full night of sleep, and wake up in time for breakfast . You will never want to fly economy again.
I understand the desire for a window seat, I like to look out as well. I have never understood why all IFE systems don't have a TV camera (or 2 or 3) on the belly of the plane with a few channels of outside viewing. It would cost approximately nothing and you could watch while cabin shades are closed.
Schweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 545 posts, RR: 2 Reply 5, posted (1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 584 times:
Quoting roseflyer (Reply 3): It is absolutely worth it. United business has full flat seats. Meals are much better. Yes it is 2-4-2 but if you get a window or aisle the seat is good. The way that the seats are shaped means that you have enough width to be comfortable. They aren't as good as the all aisle reverse herringbone seats, but you will enjoy it. You should sleep well and have a good ground experience. For only 50% more! business is worth it.
Very true. "2-4-2" makes it sound like the cabin would be nasty to fly in, but the reality is quite pleasant, even in a rearward-facing center seat.
One thing I don't like about the reverse herringbone config on some carriers, despite the aisle access, is my seat being angled away from the window. If seated at a window, I like to look out by just moving my eyes or head, not pivoting my body and craning my neck.
Quoting aklrno (Reply 4): I understand the desire for a window seat, I like to look out as well. I have never understood why all IFE systems don't have a TV camera (or 2 or 3) on the belly of the plane with a few channels of outside viewing. It would cost approximately nothing and you could watch while cabin shades are closed.
Aklrno, that is a wonderful idea!! We already have aircraft with tail cams -- I think 772LR/773ERs and A380s offer them as options -- with the view available on IFE. I've seen SQ 773ERs with them.
To have cameras providing side, bottom, and nose views as well should somewhat satisfy those travelers like me who adore gazing at the scene outside the window for hours on end and hate having to close their window shades.
The 787 dimmable windows do take care of the issue of mandatory shade closing...but I've no idea if that feature is to be incorporated in the next-gen 777 or coming Airbus products.
And, even on an aircraft with dimmable windows, a skyshow on IFE with five live view angles would be much appreciated!