So, 1st time on UA Mainline, 1st time on a 737-500, 1st time going to US in 8 years, 1st time to California, 1st time to DEN... ok thats enough 1sts
Arrived at T1 about 9am, checked in ok. The flight is running about 20 minutes late the agent tells me but my connection should be fine, got seating group 2. Cleared US Immigration with no problems, security ditto. Went to gate 163. No plane there, board showing UA7763 to IAD? Well the agent showed up about 9:30 and changed it. When the plane finally did show up i was surprised to find it was a 737-500, it was scheduled as a -300. Turns out the scheduled -300 went Technical at ORD and they subbed the -500 on short notice.
Boarding was ok, i was the 2nd group 2 person through, 19F is near the back of the -500. Someone else took 19D... no one in 19E. 19E is the only Economy class seat empty, though there are 4 middle seats in EconomyPlus.
Push back and taxi were non-eventful, the pilots executed a rolling takeoff on 23.
Got some interesting stuff on channel 9... Anyone know who uses the callsign SuperReach?
Got routed Direct Dubuque about 15 mins after takeoff, this would take us over Michigan, just north of GRR, across to MKE and on.
The flight was non-eventful until around the Grand Rapids area. Chop started and got steadily worse. The flight crew were asking for better altitudes but not many presented themselves below FL420, which was too high for us. We ended up on a wrong-way clearance on FL370. We held 370 until descent.
Past Dubuque and the chop died some. Descent and Approach into Denver was fairly boring, cleared onto 17R.
Taxied to gate B44 just over 3 hours after leaving YYZ and deplaned.
Dep Gate B22
N315UA, Boeing 737-322 OC
Departure Time: 1355 local scheduled, 1400 actual
N315UA... of all the planes. I've seen this 737-300 almost everywhere i ever went in the US United flies: MSP, ORD, TPA, MIA, GEG... and now im going to fly on it.
B22 is a loooooooong bleepin way from B44. Got there just in time to hear that the flight was overbooked. They were bumping everyone they wanted to EconPlus (100k/Star gold). No chance for me so sat down and waited. 1st time seeing DEN, interesting place but the endless United and Frontier flights for boring fast. Lufthansa was about the only interesting aircraft there. Decided to get my Camera out, only to have it flash a weird code at me and switch off again when i tried to power it on... greeeat.
Boarding started right at 1325. 22A is waaay at the back of course. Both seats next to me remained empty a good long while. Alas 2 large muscual gents took them. Turns out they were 2 of 8 Navy divers on board. But 3 guys with wide shoulders... wasnt the most comfortable place to be at a window seat...
Pushed back about 5 mins late due to boarding delays, quick taxi to runways 25 behind a Northwest A320 and United Express CRJ. The Takeoff roll was long, over half the 12000' runway. We climbed quickly to FL310.
Scenery on this flight was great. Aspen, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon. The flight crew seemed to be half asleep, ATC several times had to call them 2-3 times. One LAX controller told them to get on the ball...
anyways, Descent into LAX took us over San Bernardino and Ontario, then onto the approach to 25R right behind Air New Zealand Flight 1.
Taxi to gate 78(?) almost exactly 2 hours after leaving DEN. Deplanning and caught a cab to Santa Monica
(CREW SUMMIT: This portion of the trip report will be posted at a later date possibly, please see site related)
Dep Gate 75A
N532UA, Boeing 757-222 (NC)
Departure Time: 14:35 local scheduled, 1455 actual
Got to LAX early, tried to get on an earlier flight, couldn't, tried economy plus, full for this flight. Oh well. Had to check a bag going back... more on that later. Got Seating group 2 once again...
Security had fairly short lines, didn't have any problems. Terminal 6 needs a bit of work though in that area, everything is crammed together and convoluted to get to. Got a bite to eat then walked down to the end of the concourse, to find the inagural flight to Ho Chi Minh via HKG just getting boarding underway at Gate 76. My gate, 75A, had an A320 at it bound for SFO. Other flights departing for NRT, ORD, JFK, Maui... busy place. 3 747-400s were sitting around the end of the concourse. 1 each to NRT and HKG, 1 was towed away just having arrived from NRT.
Sat and waited... There was a large family travelling on my flight with about 6 kids of various ages causing much grief by running around the crowded central area.
At 14:05 they annouced the inbound aircraft has just landed and 1168 would be about 15 minutes delayed. Figures... The 757 showed up in the new colors at 14:10. They deboarded the ORD pax and crew, and got the plane turned around. Boarding started at 14:30, again i got on as one of the 1st group 2s. Getting to my seat the 1st thing i noticed ws how filthy the wing was. There were lots of black shoe prints all over the spoilers and escape markings. One of the flaps had obviously been replaced recently as it gleamed pure grey while all the adjoining sections were streaked with soot and stains.
The door was held while they tried to track down 2 missing pax. Found them and then we pushed back. On this flight i had an expectant mother next to me who had insisted that he diminutive husband take the aisle seat... grrr.
Anyways, pushed 5 mins to 3 local, and proceeded to taxi all the way around to runway 26L, following a Southwest 737 most of the way (he pulled into T1), takeoff was long and we headed out over the pacific a bit before doing a 180 and flying right over LAX again. leveled off at FL310 and cruised over LAS This flight has some chop but nothing bad. Arrive into 16L, Taxi to gate B43.
Dep Gate B26
N438UA, Airbus A320-232 OC
Departure Time: 1855 local scheduled, 1850 actual
DEN again... shorter walk this time at least. Got to the gate, finding the A320 waiting there already. I had taken the Economy Plus option at LAX for this flight. Chose seat 8A, got seating group 2 yet again. Boarding started a 6:25 local, just as people were starting to mill around about the Baseball game .
Let me say this about Economy Plus... its worth the 19.95 i payed for it. 8A was ok, 8B ended up empty (to guy there moved to 10F because that exit was unoccupied. Pushback 5 mins early and taxi out to Runway 8 in the dark.
Flew at FL370. About 30 mins into the flight the captain came on annoucing to many boos in the cabin that the Bosox were ahead 1-0. He also annouced he was putting the game on Channel 9... this irked me a little as i would loose the ATC feed. But hey, baseball is baseball!
Approach into Toronto took us over Guelph, then Brampton and south of airport before making a 180 over the 401/Allen interchange and coming in on 24R right on time.
Taxi to gate 135 and things start to go horribly wrong. 1st we pull into the gate and then.. well... sit there. The FA comes on an announces that the gate crew is no where to be found! We finally get off 30 minutes later and proceed to Canada customs. Fairly straight forward. Then to Carousel 12 for my bag... which already has about 100 people standing around it and 2 other UA flights posted on it and no bags coming to it... Waited 10, 20, 30 minutes, no bags. 40 minutes and bags for the Chicago flight start to appear... finally got the DEN bags out and walked out. Remind me why i left the 90*F of Socal for the 31*F of Toronto? Nevermind...
Caught a cab home, got there at 2am... and i had to be at work at 10am! yay!
anyways, scoring UA:
Comfort: 3/5, typical economy, EconPlus is nice
Food: NA/5, there wasnt any
Drink: 3/5, typical
Cleanliness: 4/5 i dont care aobut the outside, inside was clean
flightcrew: 4/5, good
ground crew: 4/5
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.