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UA Economy Plus CMH-SYD (First Trip Report)  
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16289 times:

I have been reading and enjoying the trip reports in this forum for a couple of years and finally decided to add my contribution to this great site. I, just like those of you reading this, have two favorite things: planes and airports. And a third favorite thing: thinking about planes and airports. 2009 has been a great travel year for me, with trips to Singapore, Italy, Shanghai, Crater Lake, Oregon, and a day trip to Philly to earn my Premier Executive status with UA for the first time. I travel for vacation and recreation only, and used my 80,000 frequent flyer miles with UA's Mileage Plus program for a free ticket to Australia. It was a breeze to book the trip on United's website, and after a $100 convenience fee, I was ready to fly! I had planned to call an agent to help with booking, but since my trip could be booked only using United's routes, I didn't need any additional assistance. It couldn't have been easier redeeming my miles through their website. This is a nice feature for most travelers to use, booking on line. Something we now take for granted, but it is so helpful when it goes smoothly.

My booking was simple. CMH to DEN to LAX to SYD. And my equipment got progressively larger as I headed west: 737 to 757 to 747. Now I love that kind of math! I am so familiar with flying out of Columbus, Ohio, the pre-flight routine there is always breezy and easy. It's nice to be able to park in a $6 dollar a day long-term lot, and have non-stop access to all to most of the countries major aviation hubs. CMH is a solid if unspectacular airport, and does the job for me well every time. It always deserves a healthy nod for its steadfast representation of this countries mid-western practicality. It is like a reliable old Ford. It always gets you where you want to go.

There was no one at the Premier check-in line, although about 15 travelers waited in the economy line to my left. I was waved toward an agent and requested my boarding passes (I had checked in on-line earlier) and checked one bag through to Sydney. My agent was very professional and placed an orange Priority label on my checked bag, attached to the bar-coded sticker. First time I had ever seen this, must be the norm for Premier Exec's? I waved good bye to my new suitcase, and headed for the B Concourse. As usual with TSA security at CMH, they got me through with efficiency and kindness. They know their job and perform it well. Less than a couple minutes clearing security, and I was passing the old Skybus gate (now Midwest Connect) and off to my gate.

September 26, 2009
Route: CMH-DEN
UA 765
Equipment: 737-300
Registration: N335UA
Seat: 3A. Economy Plus
Board: 3:47 p.m. On time.
Wheels-Up: 4.17 p.m., about 10 minutes late.
Touchdown:5:01, about 30 minutes early.
Load factors: First class 50%, Coach roughly 50% full.
Notables? My last ride on a United 737, although I didn't know it at the time. All UA 737's due to be retired soon, from what I've read on A-Net.

We watched the rain fall as we waited for our ride to arrive at gate B-29 at CMH. She cruised in as the gate agent gave us prompt updates about its arrival and our scheduled departure, saying the plane was a tad late but we should still be in for an on-time departure. I like CMH because you have a great look at the runways and gate areas, and I always appreciate the chance to see the ground operations in full swing. Here is our soon to be retired 733,

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N335UA 737 Arriving in the rain.

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Our pilot doing his rainy walk-around.


We boarded quickly and were pushing back before you had time to buckle up (almost). Our Denver-based flight crew made the announcement, "Thank you for joining us for our service into Denver. Yay, we're going home!" That is about as much intercom personality as I have ever heard from a UA F/A. The cabin was from the old-school, and if you are familiar with United, then you will be familiar with this dated, but clean cabin interior.

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Older version interior on my final ride on a United 737.


We lifted off in the rain and were on our way, with Channel 9 as pleasant background noise to my daydreaming mind. I love Channel 9, and never find it boring. I wish other airlines would allow something that many of aviation enthusiasts enjoy so much. The service was beverage only for us in Economy, and it was efficient and done with little fanfare, just how I like it. I was in Economy Plus, but I'm only 5' 7", so perhaps I enjoy the extra legroom a bit less than a taller individual. I declined a second offer of drinks later in the flight, and enjoyed reading and gazing at the heartland 36,000 feet below us.



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Irrigation at work.


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Flying over the interior of the U.S.


The flight was a shade under 3 hours, and nary a bump was felt. We landed smoothly in Denver, and had an extremely long taxi to our gate B33. I counted about 7 minutes on the taxi in. We exited the 737 as the F/A's said their goodbyes. I told the attendant, "Welcome home!' as I exited, and she responded with a genuine smile. Hello Denver!

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Hello Denver, Hello Sunshine!


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Always good to be back in the Mile High City.


This being my first trip as a Premier Exec, I decided to spend some time in the available lounges during my connections. The Red Carpet Club East was my first venture into an airport lounge, and I checked in at the desk with my international ticket and Star Alliance Gold card. The RCC desk staff was very cheery and waved me through and wished me a pleasant stay.

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En route to my first visit to the Denver RCC


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The bar in Denver's RCC.


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Pleasant atmosphere, quiet views from the windows.


The lounge was fairly empty, although it steadily filled during my hour-long stay. Most travelers had their heads buried in their computers, but I loved seeing the action from the B gates 41-46 out the windows below. The televisions had football and racing on the various flat-screens throughout the lounge, and I got to satisfy my football fix for time being. The food was a mix of snacks, veggies, coffee and espresso. I was pretty famished, so I made myself a nice snack to tide me over.

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Since I was very hungry, this snack was much appreciated.


The lounge atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant, and I enjoyed the chance to prepare for my next leg of my journey to Sydney. The only complaint with the RCC was a rather dirty bathroom. But that is usually my experience at most airports, so no big deal (ha). I headed back down the escalators to catch my flight at Gate B38 and took a few pics of my next ride, a Boeing 757.

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My ride to LA, 757!


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N521UA, my 757 to LAX. Love those lines.


Route: DEN-LAX
UA 765
Equipment: 757
Registration: N521UA
Seat: 11J. Economy Plus
Board: 6:05 p.m. On time.
Wheels-Up: 6:45 p.m., about 10 minutes late.
Touchdown:7:31 p.m., about 30 minutes early.
Load factors: First class and coach, 100% full.
Notables? The gate agent came on-board just before liftoff to return someone's passport. Doh!

We taxied to runway 25R and I once again felt the thunderously powerful takeoff of the incredible 757. So many aviation nuts love this plane, and I can understand why. It is sleek and shaped like a bullet and performs like one. Channel 9 was once again available, and the cabin service offered snack packs for $6 or $7. The cabin crew was chatty, friendly and seemed to enjoy serving the passengers. Most were in their 40's and carried a relaxed vibe with them. My experience with UA F/A's has been the older the crew, the more pleasant the service. When I am on a segment with younger F/A's, they seem to be much more impersonal and robotic. Just my observations from a decade of flying UA about 80% of the time. But on this flight, our crew was great. And the captain was amicable with his announcements and demeanor. The cabin was clean, crisp and fresh, and our flight to LA was smooth as glass. It is always amazing seeing the traffic shake along the highways below on our decent into LAX. With the sun setting, LAX was shrouded in fog as we touched down hard, and used some serious reverse thrust to brake ourselves.

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For an aviation lover, a picture that need no caption.


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Sunset upon arrival into LAX




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Nigh-time looking down on LAX


We had to wait about 10 minutes for out gate at Terminal 7 to open up, and I watched the foggy ground operations. "Jumbos in the Mist" was the thought running through my mind, as countless cargo 747's passed within view. Hello Los Angeles!

Once again, I found the RCC in LAX (thankfully near our my departure gate 77) and looked forward to spending my 90 minute layover in rarefied air. But the LAX RCC left a lot to be desired. The agents at the entrance were great though, as my gal checked my documents and stamped my boarding pass with "OK to Board", which was a really nice surprise! And it saved me a trip to the gate, so that was a real treat. But her co-worker at the desk was bitching to a supervisor about his precious break, in front of half a dozen passengers. This was very unprofessional, to the point of being shocking behavior out in public. There is no need for anyone to have to put up with this representative's loud complaining about his job, and I was embarrassed for everyone involved. But my gal was impervious, and she saved the experience for me with her professionalism. "Your flight boards at 10:10 p.m., and we'll make an announcement alerting you. Enjoy your stay in our lounge." The other guy was still bitching as I entered the lounge. It was about 25% full, but was filling up rapidly. But the selection of food was meager, just some nuts and apples, to go with the coffee. The bar was a cash bar, and college football was playing on the television. The lounge has minimalist decor, and has plenty of spaces for the business traveler. But for an aviation lover like, me the view was a disappointment, as the view was of well, not much.

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Touchdown in Los Angeles, looking for the RCC


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Red Carpet Club, rather empty upon arrival.


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Pleasant, quiet, and I liked the curved interior.


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Still, it was nice to be able to read and relax in relative peace, and I headed out to gate 77 for my long-awaited first journey to Australia. The gate area was packed, and I breezed past the others and boarded my big, beautiful 747, my favorite thing in the world.

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Now waiting for my ride to Australia.


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There's my big, beautiful 747, ready for us to board.


Route: LAX-SYD
UA 839
Equipment: 747-400
Registration: I couldn't view the tail, Gate 77 at LAX has no view.
Seat: 21D. Economy Plus
Board: 9:50 p.m. On time.
Wheels-Up: 10:55 p.m., about 20 minutes late, due to a maintenance issue (3 mechanics on board prior to push-back.
Touchdown: 6:08 a.m. September 28, Sydney local time, 5 minutes early.
Load factors: First, Business and Coach were completely, jam-packed full. I couldn't find one empty seat in the coach cabin.
Notables? Our take-off run counted up to 45 seconds before we groaned our way into the air. With a roughly 14 hour flight time, I wonder how much our 747 weighed. 850,000 pounds? And I wonder how much of that weight was fuel?

Ahhhhh!! 747!! The thing I love more than anything, and every time I am fortunate to fly in this gorgeous piece of art, my life seems complete (hee)! Well, it is my happy place, and this flight was a thing of beauty. Our flight time to Sydney was 13 hours and 55 minutes, roughly, and our destination was 7494 miles away, according to the on-board map. Whew! big numbers, and for ultra-long haul lovers, music to our ears. This 744 carried the new premium interior, and the plane was exceptionally clean. I like the muted blue and white tones throughout the interior. The new screens are much sharper than the old displays, and although the Y cabin didn't get the extensive upgrade as First and Business, the new look makes this older 747 seem nearly new.



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Peering into Business Class from my Economy Plus seat.


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My blurry destination. The island continent of Australia.


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Happiness is being inside a 747.


After our 45 second take-off run, we crawled into the air sluggishly, the familiar soft flutter jostling the plane. The plane clearly does not wish to lift-off, but does so because the principals of flight demand it. After about 500 feet though, we experienced the smoothest of climb-outs, and were on our way to the Land of Oz. I've flown seven 744 segments the past year and a half, and I don't remember a quieter flight! Maybe it was just my perception, but this was the quietest ride I have ever had on a jumbo. I know those say the A380 is ultra-quiet, but this was a nice surprise for me.

I didn't sleep on the flight (too difficult for me, sitting upright to doze off), so I read and enjoyed the movies (I paid particular attention to the Russel Crowe flick "State of Play"). I am always jealous of those who can doze away across the Pacific. No AVOD of course, but that is the reality of flying UA. As usual while flying a UA 744, the early portion of the flight was FREEZING! The plane warmed up slowly, but I was regretting not wearing a long-sleeve shirt there for a while. I was loving my blankie let me assure ya. The service was typical long-haul, broken up into 3 main operations (dinner, snack and breakfast). 45 minutes after leaving LAX, the smells of the special meals being delivered alerted us that our dinner was on the way. The offering of chicken or beef (I picked chicken) was the usual bland United Y meal, but it was hot and warmed me up a bit (haa). And since I hadn't eaten since the RCC in Denver many hours earlier, I scarfed down the entire meal. The crew was experienced and seasoned, and did their job with smiles and friendly banter. They really seemed to enjoy interacting with us. One F/A noticed my Regal Air (Alaskan float-plane operation) t-shirt and asked me if I was a pilot. I said alas, no, my inability to master math make being a pilot a tall order, but I embrace traveling and told her about Alaska. She asked me about other places I have been and we had a nice 5 minute chat. Those little moments aboard a plane make the trip a pleasant affair and every F/A has the ability to make make each passenger feel special.

The crew made many drink runs of water, coffee or juice, and the free booze aboard transpacific flights was available to us. There wasn't 20 minutes gone by where F/A's didn't make an appearance and offer whatever service they could. This was easily the most attentive cabin crew I have ever had the pleasure to fly with, and their chipper attitude made the time fly by. And on a plane the size of a 747, it is nice to be able to get up in-between services, walk around to the back of the plane and stretch out. The snack about 7 hours later was a ham and cheese sandwich, and breakfast about 90 minutes before landing consisted of 2 sausage links, an omelet and potatoes. Quite good actually. But by 5:30 Sydney time I had endured 20 hours of straight darkness, dating back to my approach into LAX. So to see the sunrise peek over the horizon as we descended into Sydney was a welcome, beautiful sight! And wow, holy cow! Hello Sydney!!! Let me say first about our landing at Kingsford-Smith International Airport. The landing was so smooth I missed it. I could not feel us touching down, it was that smooth. Amazing. I love 747s.


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Why, thank you!!


The process of arrival in Australia couldn't have gone better, and the speed and efficiency were most dazzling, frankly. There were no lines at Immigration, and they stamped my passport with nary a question. Down the stairs we waited for our bags to arrive, and a couple customs agents were there asking random passengers if they were bringing in any food, etc. They asked me if I had any questionable items, and they complimented me on being so upbeat and smiley. I replied, "Hey, I'm in Australia, what's not to like?" I told them I had been awake for about 32 straight hours; they got a good laugh out of that. She gave me a stamp so I could breeze past customs after I retrieved my bag. Our bags appeared, and hello priority! my bag was one of the very first off. Who knew? I excited into the arrivals hall, and felt the brisk spring air of Eastern Australia for the first time.

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A dream come true! Me and the Opera House.


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Of course, right after my 6 a.m. arrival, I took the Sydney Harbor Bridge tour. A must do!


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Beautiful Sydney Harbor, 9,800 miles from home.


I had a great time in Sydney, and was blessed with good weather and warm, seasonal temperatures (this was 5 days after the incredible dust storm blanketed the city). Headed out to the Blue Mountains, trekked up to Port Stephens, and explored every nook and cranny that Sydney had to offer. And soaked up the amazingly beautiful harbor on every type of watercraft available. Ferry, sailboat, powerboat, they were all sweet. And I did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb 6 hours after landing at Kingsford-Smith. What a view, what an experience! I had forgotten I had been awake for nearly 40 hours. So 11 days later, I headed back to America, and my great Aussie adventure was over. But a last bit of good fortune awaited me at the airport. An awesome observation deck (Yayy!!) and a beautiful lounge to await my flight back to LAX. The Air New Zealand lounge surpassed the domestic RCC's by leaps and bounds! Free food, free booze and the view of the tarmac, gates and turnaround area were perfect! For plane lovers, what a beautiful place to spot, both the observation deck, seeing half a dozen Qantas tails (747's) at a time, as well as the lounge (hello Singapore A380). I'm glad I planned arriving at the airport 4 hours ahead of my departure, to give me an hour at the observation deck and a couple hours enjoying the food, great German beer and spectacular views from Air New Zealand's sweet lounge. The Aussies on my trip couldn't have been more charming and more friendly, and the staff at the New Zealand lounge couldn't have been more helpful. Thank you Sydney, thank you Australia for a perfect, dream-like vacation. It did happen, right?

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Thank goodness for observation decks!


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Gorgeous 747-400, my favorite thing in the world.


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I don't get to see many 747's at CMH!


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Qantas A380, after being towed into the gate.


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I could have stayed here all day.


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Lovely Air New Zealand lounge. Thank heavens for the Star Alliance!


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Free booze, free food, free views of the runway. Perfect!


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Beautiful day for spotting.


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I had such a wonderful time in Sydney, and perfectly capped off by a lovely view of the Whale Jet.


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This was my ride home, what a beautiful sight.


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The Air New Zealand lounge filling up in the early afternoon.


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Always good to see a Virgin Atlantic 346 too.


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2 United 744's, one loading up, one dropping off.


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Neat collage outside the Air New Zealand Lounge.


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Classic lines, so familiar, so beautiful.


A trip is about expectations, and I realize the international service with United is not up to the standards of other carriers (insert your favorite carrier here). But that is not the question to ask. The question is does United deliver what they promise, in terms of service? My trip was one where United lived up to my expectations, and exceeded them in areas of personal service, and delivering me to my destination with nary a hiccup. Thank you United, thank you for your Mileage Plus program, thank you for your award ticket, thank you for letting a middle-class shlub like me to experience a trip of a lifetime. Thank you for reading my report. Feel free to offer any observations.

And finally, back home to LAX. Well, almost. Still 2,300 miles to fly...

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Passing through LAX on my way back to CMH.



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineA318 From Bahamas, joined Jan 2008, 368 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16233 times:

Excellent trip report!!!!!

It seems like you travel with an open mind, which I really appreciate. So many people tend to get incredibly flustered and stressed out the moment they step foot inside of an airport. Glad to see you had a great trip!



Welcome aboard!
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16184 times:

Thanks so much A318, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I love airports, and have had incredibly good luck (knock on wood) when I am lucky enough to fly. Yes, I see those irritated travelers, and they always bring me a chuckle. I suppose since I am always on vacation when I travel, it takes away the stress a business traveler might feel when something happens to go awry. Thank you.


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineCrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 699 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 16003 times:

Great report. Seemed like you really enjoyed it. One thing though.......flying TPAC without PTVs? That can't be a good way to pass 14 hours!

User currently offlineEAL1011 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15987 times:

Thanks for posting such a fantastic trip report and photographs. I felt like I was along for the ride. How great to read trip reports written by people that love 747-400s as much as I do.
To me, few things compare to watching them or flying on them. Wish I could take that same trip. Regards


User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15958 times:



Quoting Crosswinds21 (Reply 3):
One thing though.......flying TPAC without PTVs? That can't be a good way to pass 14 hours!

Well, they do show 4 movies, a number of sitcoms and 2 one-hour documentaries. But yes, most have been spoiled by AVOD. I'm lucky to enjoy reading since I've been doing that longer than I've been flying 747's! It boils down to expectations, and I haven't had a long-haul flight where AVOD was an option. So I don't miss what I haven't yet experienced.

Quoting EAL1011 (Reply 4):
Thanks for posting such a fantastic trip report and photographs. I felt like I was along for the ride. How great to read trip reports written by people that love 747-400s as much as I do.

Thank you for your kind words, and your compliments. And always great to connect with a fellow 747 lover. Hope you can take a similar trip in the future. Good luck!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineFlyKev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 15924 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Great trip report, with some really good photos.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!
look forward to your next TR.

kev.



The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15909 times:



Quoting FlyKev (Reply 6):
Great trip report, with some really good photos.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!
look forward to your next TR.

Thanks kev, I had a wonderful vacation in Australia, and my flight segments couldn't have been more enjoyable. United has always been so good to me. I've flown 75,000 miles with them in 2009, and they have never let me down. Thanks for commenting. I love visiting your country as well.



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offline767ER From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15815 times:

Hi Michael,

What a thoroughly enjoyable trip report – loved the photos of my hometown. I fly to either LA or NZ a few times a year and have spent many a few hours in the Air New Zealand Lounge at SYD and I agree with your comments. It’s a spotters paradise isn’t it? Did you mange to meet the wonderful UA Rep called Annie in the lounge - what a gem she is



Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15747 times:

Hello Brent, thanks for your kind words. I don't remember the names of agents in the NZ lounge, but both women were VERY helpful, cheerful and welcoming, and they made me feel really special. I'm not used to the whole "elite" lounge experience. I'm a mid-western farm boy, where enjoying all those sophisticated "airs" is frowned upon. So it is always a pleasure when you receive such personal and pleasant treatment. I love your country, but love your countrymen and women even more. Everywhere I travel, I meet Aussies, and without fail they are charming and kind and so real. So to spend an nearly 2 fortnights amongst the Aussies was such a pleasure. You and your fellow Aussies are truly the kindest folks on the planet. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the compliments. Thank heavens for lounges, in which to see the most amazing of craft: 747, 346, 380, 777. Life is good there.


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineAv8rDAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 463 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15351 times:

Great report- looks like something I need to do before I get too tied down. Of course, I'd have to use DL and take DL17 all the way from ATL.

Keep it up!



Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15331 times:

Good to see this trip finally come to fruition. I remember your queries to me about it some weeks back. Glad to know you made it home in one piece! That was a looooooooooooong way to go for you!

Yay, you climbed the Harbour Bridge!!!! Wasn't that an awesome experience? The initial climb up was scary for me looking at the street / sea below through mesh platforms. But once I got to the top, the view was so spectacular I totally forgot about my fear of heights!

And yes, coming from CMH, I can see how seeing so many 747s (and other heavies) all clustered in one location can get you peeing in your pants from excitement. hehehehe...

It was heartening to know UA delivering in terms of in-flights service. My experiences with them numerous times across the Pacific was kinda blah. After that I went over to NWA, but they was no better - actually worse. I guess it was just an adjustment of expectations which was required.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15327 times:



Quoting Av8rDAL (Reply 10):
Of course, I'd have to use DL and take DL17 all the way from ATL.

Thanks, and I highly recommend Sydney if you are so inclined. And, of course, I wouldn't mind flying a 777LR Down Under! Yes, I love 747's, but Triples are pretty freakin awesome too  airplane  .



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15316 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 11):
Good to see this trip finally come to fruition. I remember your queries to me about it some weeks back. Glad to know you made it home in one piece! That was a looooooooooooong way to go for you!

Yay, you climbed the Harbour Bridge!!!! Wasn't that an awesome experience? The initial climb up was scary for me looking at the street / sea below through mesh platforms. But once I got to the top, the view was so spectacular I totally forgot about my fear of heights!

And yes, coming from CMH, I can see how seeing so many 747s (and other heavies) all clustered in one location can get you peeing in your pants from excitement. hehehehe...

It was heartening to know UA delivering in terms of in-flights service. My experiences with them numerous times across the Pacific was kinda blah. After that I went over to NWA, but they was no better - actually worse. I guess it was just an adjustment of expectations which was required.

Yes, thanks for all your advice! I had a wonderful trip, really a dream come true. And you are exactly right about the Harbor Bridge, once you are climbing the arch, it isn't too scary at all. And I always love seeing so many 747's in one place, that is something that never gets old. CMH just doesn't cut it for a heavy lover! I know that for those who fly Singapore or British Airways or Emirates, United in Y might seem like a giant downgrade, but for those who are reliant on their equipment and route structure, they do a good job for us. I don't expect caviar when I fly UA. I merely expect a pleasant flight. And they more often than not deliver. Thanks Ryanair!!! for your reply. I have a long way to go to meet your trip report standards!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26691 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 14989 times:



Quoting HOOB747 (Thread starter):
must be the norm for Premier Exec's?

The Priority tags are for Star Gold, so they are the norm for Premier Exec's.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineDavidCA From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 69 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14916 times:

Your upbeat report was a pleasure to read! It's always nice to come across a report from someone who notices what an airline does do well as opposed to one written by someone who is determined to find fault everywhere. Great pics, too. Glad that you enjoyed your trip.  Smile

User currently offlineARMEDnPISSED From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14889 times:

Great trip report. Like the others said, the fact that you travel (or write) with an open mind makes this that much more enjoyable to read.

[Edited 2009-10-22 00:02:34]

User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 22 hours ago) and read 14289 times:



Quoting DavidCA (Reply 15):
Reply 15,



Quoting ARMEDnPISSED (Reply 16):
Reply 16,

Thanks for the kind words, I love travel so much, its difficult to have a rough experience, no matter what goes wrong. And this trip was certainly a beauty! Love your screen name ARMEDnPISSED!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6891 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 14232 times:

Great report with nice pictures!

Quoting HOOB747 (Thread starter):
It's nice to be able to park in a $6 dollar a day long-term lot, and have non-stop access to all to most of the countries major aviation hubs.

Good pricing. I just paid 50 Euro for five days at MUC - and the parking lot is far away from the terminal.

Quoting HOOB747 (Thread starter):
As usual with TSA security at CMH, they got me through with efficiency and kindness. They know their job and perform it well.

I have just been to the US again recently and was surprised how efficient and kind the officers were everywhere.

Quoting HOOB747 (Thread starter):
Notables? My last ride on a United 737, although I didn't know it at the time. All UA 737's due to be retired soon, from what I've read on A-Net.

Very nice, a flight to remember.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 19 hours ago) and read 13881 times:

Hey Michael,
A great trip report from a fellow A nutter from CMH. Excellent report. Glad you enjoyed your trip down to the OZ. The Air New Zealand lounge makes the RCC club look like a joke. The 2 pictures kinda sum it up (the Air NZ food picture vs. the snack picture at the DEN RCC)  Smile
I've yet to make it down there; however the thought of going down there on a 747 really is exciting. Although the 14 hr flight with no AVOD kinda sucks. I'm just like you as I can NEVER sleep on planes unless I'm dead tired (having not slept in a day or two) or intoxicated with alcohol in my system  Wink Therefore I like to play around with the AVOD to kill time on a plane, especially if it's a night flight, when you can't even look outside.
Anyways, great report. I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your pictures from Sydney.
and welcome back home to Cbus  Smile Must be nice to be back in cold weather...  Big grin
Cheers


User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 13858 times:



Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 19):
Air New Zealand lounge makes the RCC club look like a joke. The 2 pictures kinda sum it up (the Air NZ food picture vs. the snack picture at the DEN RCC)


Thanks for reading Buck3y3nut, and you are right, the contrast between lounges couldn't be more stark. New Zealand had HOT food, sausages, and tiny omelets, soups and a vast array of free imported beers of every variety. Not to mention wine and champagne. It's like the domestic RCC's don't even try, they put up a few tables and chairs and call it a lounge. But I wasn't complaining, the "lounge experience" was very new to me. And honestly, it is just too difficult sleeping while sitting inside a 747 at 37,000 feet. Simply too exciting. I am a plane geek. I'm glad you enjoyed the report, thanks for commenting. It was a dream trip for sure.



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineLychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1237 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 13823 times:

What does UA seve as a desert? A cookie like most US carriers or a chocolate brownie?

User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 13825 times:

A few more photos of gorgeous Sydney, way Down Under! What a beautiful country!

Big version: Width: 453 Height: 604 File size: 88kb
The 3 Sisters, in Australia's Blue Mountains.


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Hope that rainbow is visible, just above my head.


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Amazingly beautiful harbor, the most beautiful in the world.


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A mama and baby Kangaroo checking me out.


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I took a sail on this beautiful tall ship!


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A Koala and her baby.



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 13808 times:



Quoting Lychemsa (Reply 21):
What does UA seve as a desert? A cookie like most US carriers or a chocolate brownie?


Sorry I didn't have any pics of the plane food, I figured the Y meals didn't rate a pic (ha). The meals were fine, just bland and nothing to shout about. And I recall a brownie for desert, don't recall any cookies.



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 693 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 1 month 18 hours ago) and read 13739 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Michael:
As many have commented, a very nice and balanced trip report, with awesome pictures. I too am a plane geek from many years back, and other than blatant rudeness (rarely encountered) I simply relax and enjoy the flight experience. I don't whine for lack of AVOD; I read airline magazines, travel books and DUH...the infight magazine. Granted 15 hours is a long time on one continuous flight, but a relaxing cocktail or glass of wine, a pillow and a good book, some food and I am a happy camper.
Your pictures are excellent, and for someone planning a trip to Aus/NZ next May your report is jump-starting my plans. Thank you for sharing your experience on a very nice trip, and UA should be pleased to read your positive slant on their overall service.
I am considering UA for my trip via SFO to ride the 744. They currently have a very good fare not matched by others that is swaying my decision to fly them over DL. It will be in the back likely so I know many will say DL's Y product is much better. In bowing to the ride on the 744, I would like to ask you some specific questions about UA's layout and seat choices. May I send you an email to ask a couple questions since you have flown this A/C type with UA so many times?
Thank you again for a great report.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
25 Cmk10 : Definetly one of the best first reports I've ever read. Thank you for sharing!
26 Wouwout : excuse me? convenient for whom?
27 PWMRamper : Amazing trip report, I love reading TR's about UA, and I'm very jealous you went to Sydney, it's #1 on my places to go...once I get the cash I'm gone.
28 YOW346 : Do all mid-western farm boys have flawless language skills? This report was such a pleasure to read! Great pictures, too.
29 Travelin man : Echoing others, thanks for the great trip report. I flew UA to Australia 7 years ago LAX-SYD. I was fortunate enough to be in F (using miles of course
30 WNTex : Great TR! You are a great writer, and I too, enjoyed your approach to air travel--it's refreshing actually. It's always a pleasure to read about trips
31 UALDUDE : Really nice trip report! Please don't make it your last.
32 HOOB747 : Since flying on a 747 will become more difficult in the future (as airlines phase them out), I think its worth the opportunity to enjoy them while th
33 Ryanair!!! : Oh no no no... We write differently and appeal to different audiences. Mine for the loud and obnoxious, and you for the easy laid back Sunday morning
34 HOOB747 : Ha, well, you say loud & obnoxious, I would say observant and very funny! I tell you, I love that accent! I could listen to that dialect all day.
35 Kurt : Great report - you have a refreshing writing style - upbeat and not whinging about every little detail. By the way, you wrote: Next time, keep in mind
36 PI4EVER : Michael: A quick question in lieu of an email. Is Y+ worth the extra $$ for the increased legroom? I understand all other services are standard Y but
37 BA319-131 : Hi, Great 1st TR report, really enjoyed your well balanced impressions of your flights. - I remember the fabric colours well, spent many happy hours s
38 HOOB747 : Wow, I did not know that!!! I am always too excited every time I board a plane to notice such details. But that is great info for the future. Thanks
39 HOOB747 : Thank you Mark, I am lucky enough to have flown each type with United as yourself, and frankly enjoyed each flight. Thanks also for the "well balance
40 HOOB747 : Well Thomas, how tall are you (ha)? Well, your answer doesn't really matter, because if I were in your shoes, I would try and spring for an Economy P
41 PI4EVER : OK kiddo, Y+ it will be, on the aisle in the center section. I'm going to purchase the new Y+ and Red Carpet lounge options since I'll have connection
42 HOOB747 : Correction: A sharp-eyed A-Netter pointed out my seat on the 757 segment of the trip was not a possibility. I actually sat in seat 10F (there is no 11
43 Post contains links and images Kurt : Actually, it's the "Certificate of Sanitary Construction." I'd never taken a photo of one before but I did back in August on N185UA from SIN-HKG. Loo
44 Allrite : Thanks for an enjoyable read with plenty of pictures of the gorgeous 744. You are lucky you had such a quick run through Sydney immigration in the mor
45 HOOB747 : Thank you sir, I indeed agree the 744 is a gorgeous piece of work. I landed just after 6 a.m., and there was no one at immigration when our group arr
46 EwRkId : Awesome Trip Report....makes me want to go to Sydney even more!!
47 HOOB747 : Thank you so much, I hope you get to travel someday to such a wonderful place. It was a dream for me, and a long time coming. Good luck! Australia is
48 PI4EVER : If you are considering Michael's trip on UA as I am, here's some helpful advice. Based on Michael's advice, I went with Y+. A fare no one else has to
49 HOOB747 : Wow, you really embraced the planning! I can relate, nothing like the optimism and exhilaration of planning a trip. Sounds like you'll have a wonderf
50 EwRkId : Good job! Nice outlook and money saving I think a-lot of people could learn from it!!!
51 LH748i : Hi, I am interested in Singapore and Sydney. (I am the NZ-ATW TR-writer, where you posted a few comments recently. Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed it )
52 HOOB747 : Thanks so much Frank, I certainly am a United fan! 2 reasons: I love the 744, and Iove the routes they fly. Especially internationally. I have flown
53 Triple7man : A fully loaded 747-400 tips the scales at 875,000 maximum gross weight. I think the 400ER version weighs a little more. Usually the fuel tanks when f
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