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Topic: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: vivekman2006
Posted 2012-09-22 12:08:22 and read 22127 times.

To the US on United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!


BACKGROUND


I had a business trip lined up to my company’s office in Iowa. This meant a long process of booking air tickets, planning accommodation, airport transfers, etc. Out of these, choosing the right airline was the first and most important step. All travel arrangements are handled by our efficient Travel Desk, but I was free to give them my preferences.

After a long process of selection (or rather elimination) involving multiple permutation & combination, I finally decided to take “The Non Stop” My tickets were booked on United’s 15 hour Ultra Longhaul flight from Mumbai to Newark! My routing was BOM-EWR-ORD-CID – a total of three flights and a travel time of 24 hours, 19 minutes!

This would be my first ever Ultra Longhaul Flight and I was excited for sure!

United’s non-stop to EWR – UA 49 was originally designated CO 49 before United and Continental merged to form “The New United”. It was and still is operated by Continental’s GE-90 powered 777-200ERs. The crew on this flight also belongs to pre-merger Continental. This non-stop service was started a few years ago, when a handful of other operators started India-US non-stops. The other non-stop services between BOM & the US were by Delta & Air India both operating to JFK. Delta later routed the non-stop to its hub in Atlanta before discontinuing the route. Air India too shifted the flight from JFK to EWR.

There have been a few reports on these other ULH flights, but I believe this would be the first trip report on United’s BOM-EWR Non-Stop!

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PREPARATION


UA 49 departs BOM at 2300hrs. This means that I have the whole day to pack my stuff for the month long visit to the US. I had to ensure that I restricted myself to one checked bag and that too up to a maximum of 50lbs (approx. 23kg) to stay within UA’s free baggage limit. Packing done, I decide to check if the incoming flight – UA 48 was on schedule. I log on to United’s website and I am shocked to see that it shows up as cancelled!

I make frantic calls to United’s call centre and the following conversation ensues:

Me: “I am flying on UA 49 to Newark tonight and the website shows that the incoming flight – UA 48 is cancelled today! Does this mean that tonight’s UA 49 is cancelled too?”

UA: “Let me check on that”

After a few anxious moments,

UA: “Sir, your flight tonight is on schedule.”

Me: “Are you sure? How can you operate the flight when there is no inbound aircraft?”

UA: “Umm, give me a minute to check on that”

After a minute,

UA: “Don’t worry sir; the flight is leaving on time!”

Me: “Where will you get the aircraft from?”

UA: “Sir, last night’s UA 49 was cancelled due to a technical issue, so that aircraft is already at BOM.”

Me: “Ah I see! So you guys fixed whatever needed to be fixed, correct?”

UA: “Yes Sir”

Me: “OK, Thanks for your help!”

UA: “Sure Sir. Have a nice flight!”

Now I am sure that a majority of my co-passengers wouldn’t have these anxious moments because they weren’t aviation geeks like us. Who would track the incoming aircraft to gauge the status of the outbound except nuts like us? Sometimes ignorance is bliss…

The rest of the day passes quickly, and soon it is time to leave for the airport.

REACHING THE AIRPORT


The company car arrives at the right time to pick me up. I am travelling to the airport during the evening rush hour, so I have kept a little bit of a buffer just in case we get stuck in traffic. And we do encounter some heavy traffic on the way to the airport. Nevertheless, I reach the airport on time.

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Most international long haul flights depart BOM during the night, so the rush hour at the airport is just beginning. As is the case with any airport in India, there are hordes of family members bidding farewell to their sons/daughters/husbands/wives/brothers/sisters/friends, etc. I put my bag on a trolley and walk towards Gate A, where United’s Check-In counters are located.

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CHECK-IN


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There is a long queue at Check-In and three counters are assigned for Economy Class today. United’s Mumbai based ground crew come along, check passengers’ documents and ask a couple of mandatory questions about their baggage.
The ground crew also inform passengers that tonight’s flight is absolutely full (understandable, since the previous night’s flight was cancelled) and there is a chance that some passengers might be offloaded and accommodated on UA’s partners’ flights. I explain my routing to them and they ask me to speak to the check-in agent.

My turn to check-in comes after nearly 20 minutes of waiting. The check-in agent assures me that I would definitely get on this flight, as I had two more connections to make. My check-in bag makes the weight cut, and I am handed my boarding pass and departure card.

After filling out the departure card, I make my way to Immigration which takes less than a minute to complete!

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After this follows another queue for Security Check. This takes around 15 minutes, after which I am released into the world of Mumbai Duty Free!

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Directions to the lounges at BOM

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I always make it a point to check out the prices at the BOM Duty Free stores, to compare it with the ones at my destination. I have noticed that BOM is consistently cheaper than most of the airports I have been to – including DXB and BKK!

A view of the F&B area

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Not having enough time to visit my usual Clipper Lounge, I walk towards Gate 2A, from where UA 49 would depart tonight. Gate 2A has a secondary security check point to cater mainly to the US bound non-stops. I go through the whole drill of removing my belt, shoes, etc. which takes another 10 minutes. After this, I sit down inside the security hold area and wait for the boarding call.

My boarding pass

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/BOM-EWR%20Aug%202012/10_zps3716f41c.jpg

The holding area is completely packed, and I am curious to know if UA had indeed offloaded a few people. I wonder if the B777-200ER was capable enough to haul 250 odd passengers & crew and their luggage, along with a belly full of fuel across 7000 miles to EWR.

BOARDING


Sector: BOM-EWR
Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA 49
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Registration: N77019
Scheduled Departure: 2310 Actual Departure: 2330
Scheduled Arrival: 0520 Actual Arrival: 0452
Seat: 44K



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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
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Photo © Helmut Schnichels



The scheduled boarding time of 2220 comes and goes, but there is no sign of boarding. Finally UA announces a 15 minute delay for boarding which makes the wait a bit longer. Anyway, boarding finally begins at around 2245 with a sequential boarding process announcement. I was part of “Boarding Group 5” which meansthere is still some time to go before I get on the plane.

Finally boarding for our group is announced and I walk across the aerobridge and on to my first ever Ultra Longhaul Flight. I am greeted by a senior non-smiling FA and directed towards my seat.

As expected, the flight looks completely full, and passengers are still stowing their carry-on bags in the overhead bins. It takes another 5 minutes to make my way to my seat on the absolute last row of the 777. Thankfully, I have an aisle seat in a group of only two seats, which means I could easily stand up and walk around on this insanely long flight!

Boarding is completed by 2315, which means that we would depart slightly behind schedule. The First Officer comes online, welcomes us on board, announces the flight details and mentions that we were now ready and waiting for clearance to push back.

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THE FLIGHT


We finally push back at around 2330 and I prepare my ears for the sweet GE-90 startup “moo”. Sure enough, the massive power plants come alive with their trademark mooing sound, and UA 49 is ready to undertake another 15 hour marathon run to EWR.

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We soon line up on Runway 27 and with a mighty roar, rocket into the night sky. After a minute or two of heading west, we bank right and set a north westerly course.

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It is now time to explore the IFE, which consists of PTVs with AVOD. It is going to be a long night ahead – literally, and the IFE better be good.

I browse through the Movies on offer. There is a wide choice of movies spanning a variety of genres. Note the "Time to Destination" on the top right corner!

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I select “The Hunt for Red October” starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin.

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The crew comes out with the meal carts around 30 minutes after take-off. The meal service begins from the front of the aft cabin where I am seated, so I would be one of the last ones to be served. It takes roughly 30 minutes for them to reach me and by then, they have run out of the non-vegetarian option!

I settle for the vegetarian dinner consisting of a salad, cottage cheese gravy, cauliflower & capsicum gravy served with rice along with a bun and some yoghurt. The “dessert” is a packet of chocolate chip cookies, which I thinkis a really poor choice on United’s part.

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Look at that chilly!

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United charges $7 for an alcoholic drink ($6 for beer) in Economy Class. I choose Absolut with Sprite.

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One observation here – the FAs seemed to be engaged in their own conversation (read gossip) while serving the passengers. And they were talking loudly, not whispering. Every now and then they would pause for a few seconds, ask a passenger what they wanted, and go back to their chatting. They were talking to each other even while handing out the meal trays or glasses of drinks. They didn’t even respond when the passengers thanked them! How rude!

The meal is decent, nothing too great about it and I finish it off while watching the movie. After the movie ends, I decide to see where we were.

Still a long way to go!

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I am surprised to see that we are now flying over Iranian airspace near the town of Mashhad. Do American carriers routinely fly over Iran?

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The FAs go through the cabin distributing snack packs consisting of a potato sandwich, a packet of chips, a bar of Kit Kat and a bottle of water. Something to munch on in case you feel hungry later on.

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I try to catch some sleep, as I am feeling pretty exhausted. I can barely sleep for an hour in that cramped seat.

Still more than 8 hours to go!

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We are now flying over Western Russia

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These ULH flights get boring after a point, as there is nothing much to do. IFE helps, but only to some extent. How many movies can you watch at a stretch? With these thoughts running in my mind, I try to get some more sleep.
I wake up when we were flying over Norway. I must have slept for an hour and a half!

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Opening the window, I can see daylight and clouds below us! It is summer, and the night lasts for barely a few hours in this part of the world.

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A welcome sight as opposed to the continuing streak of darkness that accompanies this flight!

Seven more hours to go before we land! And we’ve been airborne for eight hours! This is a flight that never seems to be ending.

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IFE time again. This time I decide to watch a TV show and choose an episode of “Friends”

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“Friends” keeps me entertained for a couple of hours, and now we are flying over the Atlantic Ocean, just south of the coast of Iceland.

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I am tired of sitting and I get up and visit the restroom and I find it decently clean. Maybe it is because everyone is sleeping now. Let’s see how it looks like before landing. I stand for some time in the rear galley to stretch my legs. I ask a male FA for coffee and he promptly makes one for me. We chat about the flight and I tell him about my love for aviation among other things. Then I ask him if he and the other crew were part of Continental before the merger. He smiles and responds in the affirmative, and then adds “I hope it always remains that way!” Hmm, did anyone say merger?

What should I do now, I think. OK, let’s watch another movie. I choose “The Italian Job” starring Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron.

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My seatmate who is an Indian student returning to college in New York alerts me to a spectacular view outside the window. This is a snow-capped peak near the Icelandic coast. Is it an active volcano too? Who knows?

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/BOM-EWR%20Aug%202012/33_zps7045df69.jpg

When the movie ends, I take a look outside. The daylight has started to fade away as we fly near Greenland and head south. No more views outside the window! Huh!

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I decide to watch yet another movie – my third one for this flight. I choose “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” this time. Although I have seen it already, the fast paced action keeps me entertained for the next hour.

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About two and a half hours before landing, the crew begins the breakfast service. People start waking up slowly and there is a queue for the restrooms.

The breakfast consists of a minced chicken cutlet and omelet served with boiled veggies along with fruit cuts, yoghurt, a croissant and a cup cake. It is average but since I am quite hungry, I devour it quickly. This is followed by another round of coffee.

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As I finish my breakfast, we are about to cross the Canadian border and enter the US. This is the final leg of what seems to be a never ending flight. There is now a buzz in the cabin as the crew go around distributing US arrival and customs cards.

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The PA system comes alive with the FO announcing the beginning of our descent into Newark. The crew walks through the cabin and prepare for landing.

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It is still completely dark outside but I can make out lights of towns passing below us as we approach our destination. With a series of wide turns, we line up on the runway.

ARRIVAL


At exactly 0452 local time in Newark, nearly 14 hours after our departure from BOM, our mighty 777 makes a smooth landing. The reversers shatter the pre-dawn calm at the airport and we quickly exit the runway.

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After taxiing for nearly 7-8 minutes, we dock at our assigned gate. The engines shut down and the sound of a hundred seat belts clicking reverberates through the cabin bringing an end to my first ever Ultra Longhaul flight!

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I am dead tired and look forward to getting off this aircraft. I have two more flights ahead of me, and I need a cup of some really strong coffee.

I am one of the last ones to exit the aircraft, and I thank the crew as I walk out. I am greeted by wide smiles, perhaps the first genuine smiles I saw from the crew on this flight!

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Hope you guys enjoyed reading this rather long, or should I say Ultra Long Trip Report? But then, a 15 hour ULH flight deserves a suitably long report, no?

Comments welcome!

My Previous Trip Reports:

Namaste Delhi – The Terminal 3 Experience
Experiencing Emirates Business DXB-BOM A340-500
Discovering Emirates - BOM-DXB - 777-300ER
Flying The Good Times: BLR-BOM On Kingfisher A320
To Bangalore on Jet Airways B737-800
The Kingfisher Experience: BOM-SIN-BOM A330-200
BOM-HKG-BOM Cathay Pacific B744/A333
Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air
BOM-HYD-BOM On Kingfisher + Spotting At HYD
BOM-DEL On Air India, Brand New A321
BOM-GOI-BOM On IC. A320/A300B4
BOM-DEL-BOM On IC A320/AI 743 Combi DEL Fog
BOM-KUL-PEN-KUL-BOM On MH/Air Asia
BOM-AMD On Air India 743 Combi Upper Deck
BOM-CMB-BKK-CMB-BOM On SriLankan Airlines

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: eaa3
Posted 2012-09-22 14:07:59 and read 21788 times.

http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss57/vivekman777/BOM-EWR%20Aug%202012/33_zps7045df69.jpg

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
My seatmate who is an Indian student returning to college in New York alerts me to a spectacular view outside the window. This is a snow-capped peak near the Icelandic coast. Is it an active volcano too? Who knows?

Great report. Actually the snow-capped peak (it's a glacier) that you were looking at is the one and only Eyjafjallajökull that caused the shutdown of air traffic all over Europe in 2010. The other glacier in the right lower corner is the Mýrdalsjökull glacier under which Katla lies. Katla is the bigger of the two by a huge amount. These two volcanoes are interlinked through a system in the ridge that connects them. Historically when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupts it's followed in the next couple of years by an eruption from Katla which is a much bigger (more ash). Here is a picture from the last eruption, which was in 1918.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-09-22 15:26:02 and read 21611 times.

Hello

Great report of a PMCO flight. Thanks for the effort
Looks like not so much has changed from the CO-days.
Good to see you got quite a bit of food on this ULH flight, as it's almost 15hrs


greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-09-22 17:39:29 and read 21290 times.

Thanks for the report. I thoroughly enjoyed the same. I have been a Global Service member of United for a long time and of late seem to be only having mediocre flight with them. I am probably one of the minority of people who actually think the United staff were a hell lot better than the Continental ones. Next year will probably be the first when I switch my primary account from United to Turkish.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
One observation here – the FAs seemed to be engaged in their own conversation (read gossip) while serving the passengers. And they were talking loudly, not whispering. Every now and then they would pause for a few seconds, ask a passenger what they wanted, and go back to their chatting. They were talking to each other even while handing out the meal trays or glasses of drinks. They didn’t even respond when the passengers thanked them! How rude!

= This is incredibly poor of them ... especially at past midnight!

Thanks for sharing this.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: Windowseater
Posted 2012-09-23 07:17:49 and read 20431 times.

Great report Vivek - I've always been a big fan of reading TRs featuring ULH flights out of India.

UA certainly seems to have delivered an under par performance, but then I wasn't really surprised - just out of curiosity, did you choose the UA option only because of the 15-hour flight attraction or was it the cheapest?

Did you consider the 9W option via BRU - it's a one stop but the product/ service would have certainly been of a better grade than UA in Y?

Cheers,

Windowseater

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-09-23 07:21:15 and read 20425 times.

Hi Vivek,

really interesting report about this ULH flight - I don't want to make such long flights in Y Class any more. The catering in general looks okay, but...

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The “dessert” is a packet of chocolate chip cookies, which I thinkis a really poor choice on United’s part.

...that "dessert" is indeed ridiculous.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
United charges $7 for an alcoholic drink ($6 for beer) in Economy Class. I choose Absolut with Sprite.

And that's a rip-off!


PH

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: karan69
Posted 2012-09-23 12:05:46 and read 20004 times.

Hi Vivek,

Nice report and just as long as your flight .,

I found the snack bag an interesting move from UA especially given the competition prefers keeping snacks at their galley

keep them coming

Karan

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: blrsea
Posted 2012-09-23 12:14:10 and read 19990 times.

Nice report Vivek. It is a shame that UA charges for alcholic drinks on LH & ULH flights too. What made you chose UA over BA/LH/AF where in you could have reached ORD with just one stop in Europe without having to endure 15 hours on the flight? You could have got better luggage allowance too if you so wanted.

How were the choices of movies/tv shows on the IFE? Was it as good as SQ/EK?

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: EL-AL
Posted 2012-09-23 13:29:33 and read 19875 times.

Hey,

Thank you for very well written report, I felt as I was flying with you. I must say that I HATE those kind of flights - on long flights I will always choose a day flight - so I can get a good night sleep - and for such a long distance I would rather break the flight to 2 parts and connect somewhere.

Thx for shearing.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2012-09-23 14:59:12 and read 19741 times.

Cookies for desert is standard on all US airlines. You are really lucky. You were not served lettuce as a starter. UA are very very generous with their lettuce.

To India I would avoid a US carrier and pick JET even with 1 stop.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: wingsofman72
Posted 2012-09-24 11:35:26 and read 19090 times.

Great report, interesting to see how BOM has changed in the 5 years since I was last there, and what the service is like now on the new UA. I have flow both J and Y on CO before and the service was always good to/from India

I intended to do a trip report on this flight as I was on the Inaugral trip in 2007, but was so tired from working there that I slept about 10 of the 15 hours!!

Here is a video of the talkeoff on that flight, although I am sure yours was much longer since the first flight only had about 75 people on it if I remember correctly.

http://youtu.be/UchXrvpWp6k

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: justbala
Posted 2012-09-24 14:56:01 and read 18925 times.

Nice TR, Vivek, although like wht many people mentioned here US carriers are my last option when it comes to ULH!!  

BTW noticed that the FF details on your boarding pass was left unflilled. It would be sheer waste of miles esp on ULH. I would recommend TK, where this US trip of urs could make you Silver straight away  

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: vivekman2006
Posted 2012-09-24 20:50:34 and read 18663 times.

Quoting eaa3 (Reply 1):
Great report. Actually the snow-capped peak (it's a glacier) that you were looking at is the one and only Eyjafjallajökull that caused the shutdown of air traffic all over Europe in 2010.

WOW! So it was the Eyjafjallajökull after all. I am happy to have got a shot of the now (in)famous volcano.  
Quoting eaa3

(Reply 1):
Historically when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupts it's followed in the next couple of years by an eruption from Katla which is a much bigger (more ash).

Oh! So we better get ready for another shutdown then? 
Quoting MSS658

(Reply 2):

Great report of a PMCO flight. Thanks for the effort
Looks like not so much has changed from the CO-days.
Good to see you got quite a bit of food on this ULH flight, as it's almost 15hrs
greetings
Marc

Thanks Marc. Yes, the quantity of food was adequate.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
Thanks for the report. I thoroughly enjoyed the same.

Thanks Alex!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= This is incredibly poor of them ... especially at past midnight!

Completely agree!

Quoting Windowseater (Reply 4):
Great report Vivek - I've always been a big fan of reading TRs featuring ULH flights out of India.

Thanks so much!

Quoting Windowseater (Reply 4):
just out of curiosity, did you choose the UA option only because of the 15-hour flight attraction or was it the cheapest?

UA was the cheapest option for the entire routing - BOM-EWR-ORD-CID. Other airlines gave me a fare only till ORD and I would need to purchased ORD-CID separately. LH was pretty expensive for the entire routing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Hi Vivek,
really interesting report about this ULH flight -

Thanks PH!  
Quoting PlaneHunter

(Reply 5):
...that "dessert" is indeed ridiculous.

I would hardly call it a "dessert" I had it as a snack a few hours later!

Quoting karan69 (Reply 6):
Hi Vivek,
Nice report and just as long as your flight .,
I found the snack bag an interesting move from UA especially given the competition prefers keeping snacks at their galley

Thanks buddy!

Yeah the snack bag was interesting. Although the snack - a potato subzi filled sandwich was barely edible!

Quoting blrsea

(Reply 7):
Nice report Vivek. It is a shame that UA charges for alcholic drinks on LH & ULH flights too. What made you chose UA over BA/LH/AF where in you could have reached ORD with just one stop in Europe without having to endure 15 hours on the flight? You could have got better luggage allowance too if you so wanted.

How were the choices of movies/tv shows on the IFE? Was it as good as SQ/EK?

Thanks blrsea!

UA was the cheapest and the quickest option for my entire routing till CID. I wanted to avoid LHR (due to the Olympics) and CDG (for the general mess that it is) LH was quite expensive.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 8):
Hey,
Thank you for very well written report, I felt as I was flying with you.

Thanks! Nice to know you enjoyed it.  
Quoting lychemsa

(Reply 9):
Cookies for desert is standard on all US airlines. You are really lucky. You were not served lettuce as a starter. UA are very very generous with their lettuce.


Well, what works in one region may not work in another. The India non-stops are their showcase routes. They need to innovate in order to stay above the competition. Look at EK for an example.

Given a choice, I would take a one-stop option that provides better service than a non-stop with poor service. And its not just about the food. The overall crew behavior and attitude too was nowhere close to customer centric!

Quoting wingsofman72 (Reply 10):
Great report, interesting to see how BOM has changed in the 5 years since I was last there, and what the service is like now on the new UA.

Thank you!  
Quoting wingsofman72

(Reply 10):
Here is a video of the talkeoff on that flight, although I am sure yours was much longer since the first flight only had about 75 people on it if I remember correctly.

Nice video. Our take-off roll was of a similar length too - lift off in front of the Terminal 1B domestic apron.

Quoting justbala (Reply 11):
Nice TR, Vivek, although like wht many people mentioned here US carriers are my last option when it comes to ULH!!  

Thanks Bala! Completely agree with you.

Quoting justbala (Reply 11):
BTW noticed that the FF details on your boarding pass was left unflilled. It would be sheer waste of miles esp on ULH. I would recommend TK, where this US trip of urs could make you Silver straight away  


Ah, I masked out the FF details before posting it here. I am a member of A3 (Aegean Airlines) and I am Star Silver already!  

Cheers,
Vivek

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-09-26 14:58:35 and read 18142 times.

Hi vivek,

Very nice report enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing.
This sure is an ULH flight, man it indeed never seemed to end. Dont see myself sitting in a Y seat for 15 hours!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Delta later routed the non-stop to its hub in Atlanta before discontinuing the route

Well they actually still fly to ATL from BOM except it isn't non-stop anymore but via AMS

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
“Sir, last night’s UA 49 was cancelled due to a technical issue, so that aircraft is already at BOM.”

hmm 2 cancellend flights right after each other.. interesting

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
One observation here – the FAs seemed to be engaged in their own conversation (read gossip) while serving the passengers. And they were talking loudly, not whispering. Every now and then they would pause for a few seconds, ask a passenger what they wanted, and go back to their chatting. They were talking to each other even while handing out the meal trays or glasses of drinks. They didn’t even respond when the passengers thanked them! How rude!

That is very unprofessional!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
This time I decide to watch a TV show and choose an episode of “Friends


Good choice!

Thanks once again for sharing

cheers,

Brendan

[Edited 2012-09-26 14:59:12]

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2012-09-26 21:29:50 and read 17997 times.

Hi Vivek,

Nice to see the first long haul on the BOM-EWR sector. Great report with some nice pictures.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
This would be my first ever Ultra Longhaul Flight and I was excited for sure!

Welcome to your very first ULH flight!! May you have a lot more to come  
Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
I decide to check if the incoming flight – UA 48 was on schedule. I log on to United’s website and I am shocked to see that it shows up as cancelled!

Me: “I am flying on UA 49 to Newark tonight and the website shows that the incoming flight – UA 48 is cancelled today! Does this mean that tonight’s UA 49 is cancelled too?”

UA: “Sir, your flight tonight is on schedule.”

Me: “Are you sure? How can you operate the flight when there is no inbound aircraft?”

UA: “Sir, last night’s UA 49 was cancelled due to a technical issue, so that aircraft is already at BOM.”
Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The ground crew also inform passengers that tonight’s flight is absolutely full (understandable, since the previous night’s flight was cancelled)

So then you were probably tracking the wrong flight then? Perhaps the flight from the day before?

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
As is the case with any airport in India, there are hordes of family members bidding farewell to their sons/daughters/husbands/wives/brothers/sisters/friends, etc.

Looks like due to your business trip you were spared the traditional send off yourself lol.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Gate 2A has a secondary security check point to cater mainly to the US bound non-stops.

Always these little extras on flights to the US

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Note the "Time to Destination" on the top right corner!

Awesome time of 14hours and 59 minutes.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
I settle for the vegetarian dinner consisting of a salad, cottage cheese gravy, cauliflower & capsicum gravy served with rice along with a bun and some yoghurt. The “dessert” is a packet of chocolate chip cookies, which I thinkis a really poor choice on United’s part.

The famous Amul butter can be seen there too.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
United charges $7 for an alcoholic drink ($6 for beer) in Economy Class. I choose Absolut with Sprite.

Charging on flights that are non-US domestic too.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
One observation here – the FAs seemed to be engaged in their own conversation (read gossip) while serving the passengers. And they were talking loudly, not whispering. Every now and then they would pause for a few seconds, ask a passenger what they wanted, and go back to their chatting. They were talking to each other even while handing out the meal trays or glasses of drinks. They didn’t even respond when the passengers thanked them! How rude!

Well you were after all on an American carrier, and not the likes of SQ, MH or TG for that matter   

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The FAs go through the cabin distributing snack packs consisting of a potato sandwich, a packet of chips, a bar of Kit Kat and a bottle of water. Something to munch on in case you feel hungry later on.

That was a nice touch. Etihad has two seperate rounds of ice cream and sandwhiches, not forgetting their dedicated dessert service!!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Seven more hours to go before we land! And we’ve been airborne for eight hours! This is a flight that never seems to be ending.

Welcome to that feeling that really makes you want to scream lol.....Yes seven hours more to go with eight hours already passed.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
These ULH flights get boring after a point, as there is nothing much to do. IFE helps, but only to some extent. How many movies can you watch at a stretch? With these thoughts running in my mind, I try to get some more sleep.
I wake up when we were flying over Norway. I must have slept for an hour and a half!

They seem to have a pretty decent IFE system. Sometimes with less to choose from makes it easier to watch a lot more!!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
I ask a male FA for coffee and he promptly makes one for me. We chat about the flight and I tell him about my love for aviation among other things. Then I ask him if he and the other crew were part of Continental before the merger. He smiles and responds in the affirmative, and then adds “I hope it always remains that way!”

At least you got one nice FA!!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The breakfast consists of a minced chicken cutlet and omelet served with boiled veggies along with fruit cuts, yoghurt, a croissant and a cup cake. It is average but since I am quite hungry, I devour it quickly. This is followed by another round of coffee.

Was the breakfast two choices. In that case it would have made no difference if they started this round from the back.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
At exactly 0452 local time in Newark, nearly 14 hours after our departure from BOM, our mighty 777 makes a smooth landing. The reversers shatter the pre-dawn calm at the airport and we quickly exit the runway.

How can the time at origin and the time at destination be the same at 0452?

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
I am greeted by wide smiles, perhaps the first genuine smiles I saw from the crew on this flight!

Boy, were they happy to get rid of all of you.....Remind me never to fly with United. Definitely not a LAX-SYD-LAX or IAH-DXB-IAH

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: ojas
Posted 2012-09-27 04:48:53 and read 17874 times.

Nice report Vivek and certainly the first on BOM - EWR

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
This would be my first ever Ultra Longhaul Flight and I was excited for sure!

Congrats, but it seems you are not really keen to do more ULHs :P

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
There is a long queue at Check-In and three counters are assigned for Economy Class today. United’s Mumbai based ground crew come along, check passengers’ documents and ask a couple of mandatory questions about their baggage

UA at BOM is handled by Livewell (GSA) and Air India.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
I wonder if the B777-200ER was capable enough to haul 250 odd passengers & crew and their luggage, along with a belly full of fuel across 7000 miles to EWR.

Most times out of BOM, it does not.

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The “dessert” is a packet of chocolate chip cookies, which I thinkis a really poor choice on United’s part.

That is awful

Quoting vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
One observation here – the FAs seemed to be engaged in their own conversation (read gossip) while serving the passengers. And they were talking loudly, not whispering. Every now and then they would pause for a few seconds, ask a passenger what they wanted, and go back to their chatting. They were talking to each other even while handing out the meal trays or glasses of drinks. They didn’t even respond when the passengers thanked them! How rude!

Pretty sad, might as well have 'robotic' FAs than having a bunch who choose to do chit chat while serving meals.

Thanks for sharing.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: Nimish
Posted 2012-09-28 05:25:34 and read 17523 times.

Thanks for posting - loved the TR. I've personally been on a few ULH flights, but that was on TG and SQ - which is a far superior experience to UA. On a side note - I wish I'd known you're flying this sector, I have a couple of drinks vouchers for UA that are probably going to go waste - you could have used them instead of paying $7 for each drink!

What I did like about UA/CO long haul (I've flown them EWR-FRA/ IAH-FRA/ SFO-FRA) was the overall friendliness of the crew. Surprising that the crew was not like that on this flight. The food is generally not too bad either, but the $7 for drinks really pinches.

Topic: RE: To The US On United. BOM-EWR Non Stop!
Username: vivekman2006
Posted 2012-10-02 07:55:02 and read 16968 times.

Quoting adamspotter,reply=13Very nice report enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing.
This sure is an ULH flight, man it indeed never seemed to end. Dont see myself sitting in a Y seat for 15 hours! [/quote]

Thanks so much. Yeah 15 hours is too much even for an aviation enthusiast!

[quote=flightsimboy
(Reply 14):
Nice to see the first long haul on the BOM-EWR sector. Great report with some nice pictures.

Thank you!  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14):
Welcome to your very first ULH flight!! May you have a lot more to come  

Thanks but not on UA please!  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14):
So then you were probably tracking the wrong flight then? Perhaps the flight from the day before?

I was tracking the correct flight. UA cancelled the previous night departure out of BOM and EWR both. The previous night's aircraft operated my flight which would have otherwise been operated by the incoming one (which got cancelled)

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14):
That was a nice touch. Etihad has two seperate rounds of ice cream and sandwhiches, not forgetting their dedicated dessert service!!

Wow - two rounds of ice cream!!!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14):
How can the time at origin and the time at destination be the same at 0452?

Haha, I know. Strange isn't it?

Quoting ojas (Reply 15):
Nice report Vivek and certainly the first on BOM - EWR

Thanks man!  
Quoting ojas (Reply 15):
Congrats, but it seems you are not really keen to do more ULHs :P

Yeah will try to avoid ULHs as much as possible. Maybe one on an EK A380 if possible  
Quoting Nimish (Reply 16):
Thanks for posting - loved the TR.

Thanks Nimish!

Quoting Nimish (Reply 16):
On a side note - I wish I'd known you're flying this sector, I have a couple of drinks vouchers for UA that are probably going to go waste - you could have used them instead of paying $7 for each drink!

Thanks so much for the offer. I am tempted to say - next time, but I will try and avoid ULH on UA as much as possible! 


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