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United Business DEN-LAX-DEN A320/B777 (lie-flat)  
User currently offlineedds From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 32 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14249 times:

Welcome to my third trip report here on airliners.net.

After a long and very dry winter here in Colorado we decided to take a short vacation in southern California. While accumulation many miles on Lufthansa, my fiance and I decided to use our miles for our trip to Los Angeles. It was quite hard to spend our miles, first we decided to use on our last flight on Condor FRA-LAS for upgrading to Comfort Class which was unsuccessful. Apparently LH has very limited seats on Condor and the earliest upgrade when booking in January was at the beginning of June!!! Then we wanted to use our miles for a hotel in Frankfurt which they advertised on their website, but after already booking the hotel in Frankfurt we got a call from Miles and More and the told us that they don't have this hotel in their program any longer. Then we decided to book a flight on US Airways to St. Thomas which didn't work either. But after several attempts we were able to use our miles for this United Airlines Flight before they expire.

My fiance was at a conference in Santa Fee so she took a flight on the 25 March from ABQ via PHX to LAX the same day in the evening on US Airways CRJ 900 and Airbus A321.

My flight left at 7:33 from DEN. I got up at 4:30 in Boulder, went for a walk with our dog (as he was traveling with us). I left Boulder at 5am by car as it usually take 50 Minutes to get to DEN, but traffic was very dense and I arrived only 45 minutes prior to my flight.

Flight Detail
United Airlines UA 894
Departure: 7:33 AM
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Registration: ???
Seat: 2D
Class: Domestic First


Check in was a breeze. No line at First Class check-in. Economy was pretty crowded as you can see in the back. Staff was very friendly. The pet fee on United is 125$ one way and the lady at check in was a dog lover as she told me all about here two dogs - all in all a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.


No line at security this morning


Nice modern architecture at DIA


Terminal B - The United Terminal.


Very quiet Terminal B this morning, my flight was leaving from Gate B43 this morning


United 777 packed next to our gate, Destination LAX, too - but one hour later.

Boarding went pretty fast, the first time in my life I could use the First Class check-in and not standing in line with the other Economy passengers like usual. Very nice! When entering the plane the flight attendant was very friendly and even made jokes, that was something I usually see on Southwest Airlines but not on United. When she noticed that I was traveling with a small dog, she then told me all about her dog and that her mom is taking car of her dog when she is away. She even ask me if she should bring him some water. That never happened to me on any airline before. The tells me once again that the people really make the difference and not the fancy equipment they use.


Standard domestic First Class Seat. Looks old fashioned but quite comfortable and I am 6.2


I like that my bag pack fits next to the seat. Perhaps nothing special for those of you who travel First all the time but I liked it.


We left the gate on-time


I can't get used to the new United looks.


Nice views of the front range and Boulder in the background


Flying directly over Coors Brewery, the largest brewery factory in the world and Golden, CO


Near Mt Evans


Mt Evans, the highest paved road in North America 14262 ft


Cooper Mt. ski resort


Breakfast was served. Pretty tasty, as nearly everyone in First Class was sleeping the flight attendant ask me if I wanted a second breakfast but I declined as one portion was more than enough.


Grand Canyon in the morning light


Landing in rainy southern CA


Pretty green for LA


Pretty light traffic this morning


American B762 reading for take-off


It has been a long time since I saw a 767-200 at take-off


Our Aircraft from DEN

My bag was one of the first bags which arrived at the carousel. My first impression at LAX was rather mixed. All the facilities looks pretty run down and very old fashioned. After picking up my bag I took the AVIS shuttle bus to pick up my rental car. Reserving an intermediate car I was surprised to see a brand new Ford Mustang Convertible which was reserved for me. I was really exited to try out the new 315 hp V6 base engine  

Here are some impression from our 3 day stay in Redondo Beach and Ojai which is close to Santa Barbara. I was really impressed how green it was!


Hollywood Hills


Clear LA sky, nothing compared to the summer months


Big surf at Redondo Beach


Surf at Redondo Beach


Laguna Beach, my favorite beach location


Santa Barbara


Our B&B in Ojai


Ojai, the most beautiful and peacfull place we have been for a while


Our nice Rental and the very winding road to Ojai, CA. That was fun!


The famous place at LAX


Aeroflot A330-200 on approach


Southwest Airlines

After 3 days in the LA area we were sad to leave green southern CA and heading back to work.

Flight Details
United Airlines 750
Departure: 4:25 pm
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200 ER (new config)
Seats: 9K/9J

Check in was a breeze but staff was not that friendly as in DEN. I don't like the terminal and gate area at LAX everything looks old and run down and very crowed. So we didn't want to spend too much time in the terminal and we were the first who boarded the plane. The plane's interior was brand new and still smelled new. United did a great job in remodeling the interior of the 777. I really like the open space feeling in the Business Class.


My very nice seat for the next 2:20 hrs, (only)


Nice open space feeling, very bright and clean interior


Lots of space to stretch, i would love to have this seat on long-haul flight.

A major drawback on these new lie-flat seat is that there is now storage. So everything must go into the overhead bin during tack-off. As we were traveling with a dog in the cabin that was a major problem. The flight attendant didn't quite know what to do with the situation so they called the station manager. We were told that the reservation team screwed up and there is no way that the dog (in the bag) can be in front of us during landing and take of in First and Business Class equipped with lie flat seats. They ask us I one of us could sit in Economy Plus with the dog during take-off and landing. I am not sure if they handle the situation the same was for the rich and famous but one of us had to move to the back. Is that on every airlines which has lie flat seats installed? So my fiance went to Econ Plus for take off and I went back for landing.


Nice view of the clean engine


EMB -120 to Santa Barbara


Singapore 747-400 waiting for take-off


Little sister in new colors


Still like the old one better


American 767-200


Here we go, powerful take-off


All UA colors at once  
Overview of LAX


Qantas A380 and B744


Nice view of Hollywood

LAX


Stunning view of Venice Beach and Santa Monica


Never saw a wing that clean on UA


Marina Del Ray


I love those big engines


Stunning views of LA


Nice view of LAX while turning east again


Somewhere over the LA area


Leaving the LA valley


Passing close to Lake Arrowhead


Warm nuts after 20 min. into the flight


Seat controls


Very delicious dinner, very filling too.


The came around twice with these tasting cookies


Passing of the Grand Canyon once again

Overall both flights were very enjoyable. We used 35000 LH miles for the flights. This was the first time I few First/Business on an US carrier. I read many negative reviews about the service on UA but I must say I am impressed by their cabin service on this short 2.5 hrs flight. On both flights the cabin staff was very friendly smiled, joked and were very accommodating. The meal service on both flights were excellent and on both flights we were offered a second round of meals. The cabin and comfort of the business class on the 777 was stunning, lots of space and very modern. But the new lie flat seats have a huge draw back for those of us traveling with a pet or extra carry on luggage which you wanted to store under your seat. I was really disappointed with UA reservations. When I called to reserve the pet in the cabin and also ask if it is OK tho bring the dog in the cabin onto the business class on the 777 (as seatguru.com mentions no under the seat storage) they told me that it is no problem and also made this reservation for the dog. I think UA should fix this bug in their reservation software. I am not sure how they deal with passengers not that cooperative as we were and not wanting to move for take-off and landing to Economy.

Despite the disappointing UA reservation call center we enjoyed both flights. It was also very nice to see that people actually make the difference over fancy equipment as the flight to LAX on the old A320 was one of the most enjoyable flights I had in a long time.

[Edited 2011-04-13 23:41:44]

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13954 times:

Hi !

Very nice report and pictures of my hometown! What days did you travel ? I may be able to find out the registrations......

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1087 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13814 times:

Very detailed trip report with load of interesting photos. I like this TR!

Understand your situation with the reservation. They could have done better rather than forcing one of you to sit in coach and take care of the PETC. Come on, no one would even want to downgrade him/herself during take off/landind. They could have found better solutions for you. I'm sure they won't do this to the A-list hollywooders!

California is the place to be! I'd like to stay at the B/B you visited! Seem like a nice place.
Also laguna beach! Those housed facing the ocean are just amazing.

Absolutely agreed. "Flight attendants actually make the difference over fancy seats/equipment onboard"
No wonder why Thai Airways ranks so high among those fancy/high-tech seats airlines.

Many thanks for the trip report on UA domestic FIRST.



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlinePrinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 12916 times:

Quoting nethkt (Reply 2):
Understand your situation with the reservation. They could have done better rather than forcing one of you to sit in coach and take care of the PETC. Come on, no one would even want to downgrade him/herself during take off/landind. They could have found better solutions for you. I'm sure they won't do this to the A-list hollywooders!

Like? If the aircraft type used does not allow it there is no other option unless the passenger can be rebooked on another flight that will allow the PETC in the First/Business cabin. The station manager made the correct decision based on the circumstances.



PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
User currently offlineKFitz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12734 times:

gotta love UA. who else flies these 3-cabin intl. configured widebodies on a 2 hour route!?

User currently offlineMD11Bob From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 114 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12592 times:

Hello edds,

great report with truly amazing photos, especially the window views from the landscapes and from the LA area. Good work!   

Quoting edds (Thread starter):
I can't get used to the new United looks.

Me neither. To be honest, I still like the old dark grey and blue paint scheme the most.

Quoting edds (Thread starter):
read many negative reviews about the service on UA but I must say I am impressed by their cabin service on this short 2.5 hrs flight.

Thought the same when I was reading the text; United seems to get a lot of negative comments here, nice to see that they can be different aswell.

Robert


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1943 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12242 times:
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Great report!

Looks like you had a really nice day for flying on both travel days! United in F and J looked they took good care of you on a relatively short flight to and from LAX.

I'm impressed that United is pretty regular on serving their F/J meals with table linen .. I've flown Delta in F a few times on some long range flights, and the "table mats" I don't think are as good as a real tablecloth! Just the small things, one notices ..  

I've also been to Ojai! What a great place to visit, I agree. Very relaxing.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11625 times:

Great photos!

Quoting edds (Thread starter):
The pet fee on United is 125$ one way

Seems a bit expensive, especially as they got it wrong on the way back.

Quoting edds (Thread starter):
I can't get used to the new United looks.

Me either - I think the older one is much nicer.

Quoting edds (Thread starter):

Our nice Rental and the very winding road to Ojai, CA. That was fun!

Thats a nice car - must have been a nice surpise. I'm hiring a car next week in Jordan, but I have a feeling I'm going to end up in a Ford Fiesta or something  
Quoting edds (Thread starter):
EMB -120 to Santa Barbara

I'd love a ride in one of these - pretty rare nowadays.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineedds From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 32 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11095 times:

Thanks for all the nice comments.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 1):
What days did you travel ? I may be able to find out the registrations......

That would be great: UA 894 DEN-LAX was on the 25th March, UA 750 LAX-DEN was on the 28th March.
Thanks a lot!

Quoting Prinair (Reply 3):
Like? If the aircraft type used does not allow it there is no other option unless the passenger can be rebooked on another flight that will allow the PETC in the First/Business cabin. The station manager made the correct decision based on the circumstances.

That's true, the station manager made the right decision, he just followed the rules. But what would happen if a passenger would refuse to do so? It was certainly not our fault and also not the fault of the station manager or crew. The reservation team screwed up, even at check-in I ask if the PETC was in the system and they told me that everything was fine, they even told me about the new configured 777. I am also wondering if UA or other airlines did not encounter the same problem before. For the cabin crew it was the first time that they had to deal with such a situation and the new-configured 777s are now around for almost 1 year, just seems strange to me. It seems like not many people are traveling with PETC.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
I'm impressed that United is pretty regular on serving their F/J meals with table linen .. I've flown Delta in F a few times on some long range flights, and the "table mats" I don't think are as good as a real tablecloth! Just the small things, one notices ..

I was impressed too as I read a lot of negatives reviews on UA online. They also had the hot towels on both flights. Another nice thing on the 777 is that the big screens are also touch sensitive but of course if you want to use the touch interface you have to get up  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Seems a bit expensive, especially as they got it wrong on the way back.

Yes, that is expensive but every airline charges this fee. On SWA and F9 it is 75$, DL and UA charge $125, LH charges 150 Euro, DE only charges 40 Euro. I think I should write a blog about traveling with PETC.  


User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10387 times:

Quoting edds (Reply 8):
It seems like not many people are traveling with PETC.

I must admit that in 43 years of flying, I have never seen a dog in the cabin, but in 1977 I did see a falcon sitting on the wrist of an Arab gentleman on a Mid East Airlines flight from Bahrain to Beirut.


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