Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
BRU-IAD-LAS On UA In C / Y+ (+PIX)  
User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10510 times:

Somewhere in april I booked myself a little trip to Las Vegas with United Airlines through Connections.

Flight: UA951
From: BRU
To: IAD
Plane: B777-222
Registration: N775UA
Time departure (scheduled): 12h00 (CET)
Time departure (actual): 12h07 (CET)
Time take off: 12h11 (CET)
Time arrival (scheduled): 14h23 (ET)
Time arrival (actual): 14h09 (ET)
Seat: 13J (business class)
Load: F: 80% / C: 70% / Y(+); 70%

1) Prior the flight

Arround 07h30 I left my home for an half an hour drive to Brussels Airport. This time I would place my car in the Car Hotel. After finding the car hotel (just follow the diversion) I left my car behind and hopped on a shuttle to the airport itself.

I checked the load of the flight through KVStool before I left home and saw that there were plenty of seats available in the C cabin. Knowing that UA sells those seats for a reduced price I decided to go early to the airport to grab such a seat. At the UA ticketing desk I asked for the upgrade and they told me that the fare was 506 EUR to upgrade my flight to business class. The connecting flight to Las Vegas didn't have business class but only an Economy Plus section. This added another 42 EUR to the fee. But hey, since i'm above 2m tall I'm happy to accept it. After chosing seat 13J for the flight to IAD and giving me a aisle seat for the connecting flight in economy plus new boarding passes were issued. Unlike some other airports the ticketing desk at BRU still uses gold boarding passes for premium classes and regular blue ones for economy (plus). The friendly staff told me that the checkin would be opened in about 40 minutes and that she would check me in allready so I could only drop my bags.

After grabbing a coffee from Starbucks (damn, they have really good coffee) I went to the dedicated bag drop line where I waited a bit till it finally opened at 09h sharp. While there were people working at the economy line and the business line I had nobody working the bag drop line. Finally another one showed up and got me through pre security screening. I left my bags and finally went tot the dedicated Star Alliance lounge. Star Alliance carriers are using the BMI lounge and compared to other lounges (BA / Jet Airways) it was very disappointing... It was very small, only a small offering of some crackers, a bit of cheese and some beverages were offered. I don't know if free internet was available but I was able to connect to a Telenet hospot which didn't cost me anything due being a Telenet customer.

A bit before boarding started I went to the gate where preboarding just had started. Since nobody needed to use preboarding actual boarding started with First/Business/UA elites and Star Alliance Gold. I quickly grabbed my seat and was pleasant surprised that the seat next to me remained vacant. UA is still using the old C seats but I'm happy with that, they are very comfortable and have plenty of leg room available. Even when someone in front in reclining you still have plenty of room available. UA is also still using the old IFE system with some films and series on loop with a very tiny and bad quality screen. Fortunately UA is upgrading his long haul fleet but the 777 fleet will be last to be upgraded. It will probably take a while before we see those planes on the BRU-IAD route.

A pre takeoff beverage was offered with a choose between orange juice and "champagne" (which is actually American sparkling wine) or water. Strange thing is these beverages were offered in plastic cups while real glass was used inflight. Also a newspaper was offered in the premium cabins and the remaining ones were distributed through economy plus.

After a short taxi we could turn directly on the runway and starting takeoff. I love it when you don't have to wait. After a short and powerfull takeoff we were airborn in no time. Soon as we reached 10.000 feet the flight attendants started with a beverage service. I choose for a gin with tonic. The gin was emptied in glass of ice and topped with a bit of tonic and after that the can of gin was taken... Hmm... Bad start... I do like gin tonic but I don't like a bunch of gin with a drop of tonic. The second time I ordered another one but requested to mix it myself. Much better so   Lunch service started soon but since I'm not that fond about airline food I just declined any food and started to watch some series on my netbook.

The staff was very friendly and very dedicated, one seemed to be a bit worried that I didn't want to eat and came to ask on a regular base if I didn't want anything to eat... After I explained that I just don't like eating on a plane he seemed to understand it and decided to let me alone. He mentioned if he changed my mind that I just needed to call and he'll make something for me. Love that dedication! You can say a lot about UA but certainly not that they aren't dedicated to do their jobs! At least in the C cabin...

After a pleasant flight with only a bit of turbulence we landed ahead of schedule in Washington DC. After passing immigration (which took rather a long time this time due the fact that several other planes had landed) I collected my bad and but it on another belt for my connecting flight. TSA screening went very smooth and I only had to wait a minute or so. Apparently the metal detectors were this time set on a higher sensitivity since they beeped when passing through. After taking of my belt it seemed to work and they adjusted the machine after me (It beeped with every single person passing through).

I checked where my next flight would leave and went to the Red Carpet Club to rest a bit and enjoy a drink.

I'll continue the next parts in other threads.


Some pictures:


BMI Lounge


C-Cabin


Legroom in business class on a UA 777


A quick view on the engine


A view that will be gone in the future... VLM Airlines


The entertainment setup during the flight :mrgreen:



Boarding passes


And then the problems started...

Flight: UA777
From: IAD
To: LAS
Plane: A320
Registration: N407UA (Need to check this) changed to other plane.
Seat: 07C (Economy Plus)
Load: Y: 100%


When boarding was supposed to start nothing happened. A lot of people were standing at the gate but nothing seemed to be hapening. Hmm, not good I thought. After a few moments an annoucement was made that boarding was going to start. Finally everyone got on board of the Airbus which was 100% full, no single seat available. Again nothing happened and a mechanic showed up to check something in the cockpit. He and the captain disappeared and a few moments later an announcement was made that there was a technical issue with the plane. The indicators for the left wingtanks did not seemed to work so the flightdeck didn't get any information about the quantity of fuel remaining in the tanks. They told us that they were trying to solve the issue but that chances were slim that it would work out. Again after some waiting another annoucement was made, this time it was that the plane was grounded and was not going to leave. A replacement aircraft would be available within a couple of hours, everyone was asked to deplane and wait at the gate for further information.

After deplaning a final annoucement was made that there was indeed a replacement aircraft on his way to IAD and it was going to fly us to LAS. I went back to the red carpet club and asked to be informed if news was available about my flight to LAS. Finally an annoucement was given that the gate had changed and the aircraft was due to arrive arround 20h00. Boarding should start arround 20h40.

At the gate no aircraft was to be seen but finally the flight arrived. After a quick cleaning we were allowed to board and the same crew from the grounded plane went inside. The captain appologised and said that he was going to try to catch up some lost time but that the main priority was safety. During the flight every beverage and snack was free of charge as a form of compensation. The captain gave us on a regular base some information about an ongoing NBA game (he seemed to be a fan) and we arrived actually a bit sooner than planned in LAS (although still a few hours behind original schedule).

Just before deplaning the crew annouced that everyone was giving a compensation and needed to go a website to get it. A nice gesture (although the options given were no good for an foreigner like myself).

After grabbing my bag I got a cab and went to THEhotel @ Mandalay Bay were I would spent the next couple of days.

Unfortunately no pics from the second flight but instead a couple of Vegas:


Mandalay Bay


THEhotel


THEhotel entrance through Mandalay Bay


Part of the lobby


Part of the lobby


Mandalay Bay pool area




Some of the species in the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay




Some parts of THEsuite @ THEhotel




Las Vegas

And a final picture:


Empty streets in Las Vegas...

I had a very good time in Las Vegas but unfortunately (or lucky for us, tourists) Vegas is indeed hurting. I've been in Vegas before and it was extremely slow compared to my previous stay...


A return trip will follow later  

[Edited 2009-06-16 02:41:28]

[Edited 2009-06-16 03:11:45]

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10301 times:

Hi Bralo,

Interesting report with great pictures! I enjoyed reading it.

Quoting Bralo20 (Thread starter):
At the UA ticketing desk I asked for the upgrade and they told me that the fare was 506 EUR

Can I ask what the original booking class of your ticket was? I also book my tickets through Connections now and then. I think they have a special deal with UA because their search engine comes up with promo fares you can't find on other popular websites. However, those cheap tickets are always booking class W, and I thought upgrades were not allowed for certain classes?

Looking forward to read about the return trip!

Greetings,

Flanders.


User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10268 times:

Hi Flanders,

It was indeed a W class ticket issued through Connections. I think they have indeed a special deal with UA. The original fare was about 350 EUR including taxes for the return trip. Day after ticketing I passed at the airport to upgrade to Y+. Unfortunately it seems that they don't do it anymore in advance (only online it's possible, but my VISA card arrived a bit to late for that) although they made a note to my booking to put me in Y+ for all the legs. Reading on Flyertalk I noticed that UA did upgrades for cash on several airports but I never saw it in BRU neither I was asked before to upgrade. I just asked the ticket desk if it was possible to upgrade to C instead of Y+ and they told me it was no problem.

Upgrade fares:

BRU - IAD: 506 EUR (from Y (W) to C (NC))
IAD - LAS: 42 EUR (From Y (W) to Y+ (W))
LAS - IAD: Free of charge (From Y (W) to Y+ (W))
IAD - BRU: 645 USD (from Y (W) to C (NC))

I found this a very reasonable price for flying C, even with the old seats...  Wink

So upgrading from a W fare isn't a problem if there are seats available...


My next trip to the USA (Houston) is also booked by Connections with UA. Those tickets (11 tickets, a group of firefighters on a visit to Dallas FD) were issued in V class. It's the first time I don't get a W fare from Connections. I hope to upgrade those flights also for myself since it's definately more pleasant to fly in C, certainly if you are a big boy like me measuring above 2 meters tall Big grin


User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10223 times:



Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 2):
I found this a very reasonable price for flying C, even with the old seats... Wink

I totally agree!  Smile

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 2):
So upgrading from a W fare isn't a problem if there are seats available...

Looking forward to try that myself!


User currently offlineDcajet From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 434 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9441 times:



Quoting Bralo20 (Thread starter):
A pre takeoff beverage was offered with a choose between orange juice and "champagne" (which is actually American sparkling wine) or water. Strange thing is these beverages were offered in plastic cups while real glass was used inflight

Hello there:

No United faux pas, but rather an FAA directive. While on the ground, and for safety reasons, all liquids must be served in plastic containers.

All American - based airlines will not serve you drinks in glassware while on the ground, lest they risk a fine from the FAA.

Regards



"Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten"
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9182 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks, good report & pics, though would have liked to see the UA meal service from BRU.

Off to LAS myself next month, not been for a few years, looking forward to returning.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineCaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8854 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Interesting report, but I was looking forward to pictures of United's inflight product. What type of meals were served? Were menus offered? Were amenity kits offered? I think readers would also like to read about and see what your flights were like in more detail.

User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8590 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Thanks, good report & pics, though would have liked to see the UA meal service from BRU.

Sorry, I didn't take any food during the flight ex BRU. As I don't like airline food to much and I wasn't hungry I friendly declined the food  Wink But next time I'll order the meals and take pictures of it and send ik back again Big grin

Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 6):
Interesting report, but I was looking forward to pictures of United's inflight product. What type of meals were served? Were menus offered? Were amenity kits offered? I think readers would also like to read about and see what your flights were like in more detail.

Like I've said: I don't like airline food and I wasn't hungry at all so I declined the food.  Wink

But... When I was in the US I realised that this would be asked for so I accepted the menu on the returntrip and had some food, which was OK btw.

Amenity kits were offered but I didn't open them yet, the are just in a closet at home, but I'm going to take some pictures of it tonight and post it in the second report.

But don't expect to much from the return trip either, I had some food and slept then all the back untill a few moments before landing into BRU since I was expected in the office about an hour and a half after scheduled arrival time  Wink


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic BRU-IAD-LAS On UA In C / Y+ (+PIX)
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
SEA =>; LAS, On AS In First (Pics) posted Sat Sep 13 2008 20:22:52 by Citation501SP
A Trip To Germany On UA In C + Part 1 posted Fri Aug 22 2008 01:10:13 by N104UA
OKC-ORD-HNL On UA In First Lots Of Pics/Video posted Sun Jul 6 2008 13:37:14 by Ual747
HKG-ORD-DCA On UA In Coach (pics) posted Sat Jun 14 2008 11:45:58 by BZNPilot
SFO-HKG-SIN, SIN-NRT, NRT-SFO On UA In C posted Sat Jun 2 2007 17:51:22 by 3201
RIC - IAD - LHR On UA With Video And Pics posted Sun Apr 8 2007 00:01:29 by Go3Team
IAD-PHL On UA ; NYC-LAX Via CHI-SNT On Amtrak posted Mon Jun 26 2006 02:14:26 by Glid4500
IAD - BLR On LH In Economy (with Pictures) posted Thu Jun 1 2006 16:15:43 by Tifoso
MSP-IAD-EZE On UA posted Thu Mar 2 2006 05:56:30 by USFlyer MSP
DEN-IAD-SCE-IAD-DEN On UA/Shuttle Ame posted Fri Jun 18 2004 03:49:48 by Brick

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format