This weekend, I flew roundtrip from San Francisco, CA to Honolulu, HI aboard United Airlines. Here it goes:
FRIDAY, 07 JANUARY--
Arrived at SFO airport at approx. 5:30p, parking in the long term parking area, directly under the "jumbo" runway. I took the bus into the terminal, checked in, and then proceeded to gate 80 for my 7:15p departure aboard UA63, a 747-200 to Honolulu. I sat at the gate for a bit, and toured the United Terminal. As it was dark, planes were pretty hard to see, but I did get a good look at a KAL 777-200, Eva Air 747-400, and an Asiana 747-400 parked across the runways being serviced before they would be towed to the international building for their flights.
As I was on standby, my name was called, and I got my ticket for the flight, seat 3E, and aisle seat on the right hand side of the 747 in First Class. The announcement was made for FC and BC pax to board, so I scooped up my bags, and got into the line to board. We boarded through door 1L, so it was a short walk to my seat. I but my bags above me, and then removed the pillows and blanket from my seat, also putting them above me.
The flight pushed back 10 minutes late (due to delays arriving) at exactly 7:25p. We taxied out to runway 28L, and with a 30 second take off roll, we were airborne at 7:36p. After takeoff, I raised the footrest, and reclined the seat just a tad until the initial beverage service commenced.
We were offered a beverage with a ramekin of mixed nuts and dried tropical fruits, and then we had our meal:
To start, we were offered the Asian Spinach Salad with either a Ka'u orange creamy wasabi or miso-honey vinaigrette dressing (I chose the vinaigrette). After we finished and the salad dishes were cleared, they began with the entrees. I had the Ka'u orange-glazed grilled chicken breast with kapakahi mashed potatoes, baby bok choy, and julienned red bell peppers (Mahi Mahi or Macadamia nut sesame crusted port loin were the other two options). Following the entree, we were offered an ice cream sundae of Ben & Jerry's Vanilla and Chocolat ice cream with hot fudge sauce, a wafer, and whipped cream. Finally, the dinner service was completed, and I sat back and watched the feature film, Double Jeopardy.
Approx. 1 hour before arrival into Honolulu, Mrs. Fields oatmeal cookies with milk were offered.
We started our descent into Honolulu, and landed on the "Reef Runway" from the West, touching down at 9:57p Honolulu time (a -2 hr. time difference), pulling into gate 12 next to N152US, as NW DC-10.
SUNDAY, 09 JANUARY
I woke up bright and early, and went to breakfast and then for a last hour or so on the beach before I went back to the hotel to change and checkout for the return flight. This time it would be the 1:30p flight, UA60, aboard a 747-400 that would help us hop the pond. This time, it was light enough for me to get the registration, which I believe was N178UA (or something with those #'s!).
I checked out and then grabbed a cab, arriving at the airport at about 11:30a-just enough time to snap a few pics and visit the airport museum. I checked in again, except this time, my prospects for getting on the flight were very bleak. First Class and Business Class were booked about half full, however Economy Class was overbooked by 35 or so--those aren't good numbers for standby! As the flight was full, I waited for quite a while--they had made the "everyone is welcome now" announcement, and then following that one, they announced by name. I ran up to the podium, and grabbed my ticket, seat 4E, right infront of door 1R, in the First Class cabin. I was elated to get this seat as I had not yet been in FC on the 747-400OB (OB is a UA-designated seat configuration with brand new seats with every feature imaginable)! I once again put my bags as well as my pillows and blanket into the bin, and sat down to a nice glass of guava juice before departure.
We pushed back at exactly 1:30p HNL time, and at approximately 1:37p, we began our 30 second takeoff roll down the reef runway.
To spare you some reading time (and me some typing time), I will sumarize the inflight service by typing the menu. "*" denotes my choice.:
>Bella Mushroom Salad--seasonal greens with grilled portobello mushrooms and peppers roasted in garlic and oil, with either Sam Choy's wasabi vinaigrette* or ginger pesto dressing.
>Strip steak with stiitake mushroom buttercream sauce, served with oven-roasted red potatoes and frest hreen beans amandine
>Lava-dusted chicken with poha berry sauce, enhanced by macadamia nut basmati rice and a carrot and zucchini saute*
>Lobster Wellington, a puff pastry filled with sauteed lobster, scallops, and shrimp and a medley of spinach, onions, and wild rice, complemented by dill cream sauce.
Wahiawa pineapple cheesecake*
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL:
Mrs. Fields cookes warm from the oven*
Before dinner was served, the FA's came around with the movie bin containing 20 different movie choices which could be played on the built-in tape player, connecting to the PTV (I chose Notting Hill--excellent choice considering the other movies). You had the choice of either these movies, or the nine-channel system (4 movies, 5 [2-hr long] short subject titles), or the 14 channels of audio.
After that was all said and done, it unfortunately began time to land. Our scheduled arrival time was 8:18p, San Francisco time, however, we had to hold due to fog at SFO, so our actual arrival time was approx. 8:40p. We taxied to gate 86 I believe, and the aircraft at the staging area (KAL, Eva, etc.) were the same types, in exacly the same postitions as when we left on Friday.
And on that note, I will bid everyone a goodnight!, and say thank you for reading this.
(a very tired) FLY777UAL