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15.5 Hours Of Flat Bed Bliss. CO 777 To HKG Pics!  
User currently offlinecruiseshipcrew From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 206 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 30637 times:

Welcome to my newest trip report. I had some time to kill so decided to do a mileage run to Hong Kong and upgraded on my flight there. This report will focus on the Continental BusinessFirst flight and the Hong Kong Regal Airport Hotel. I also went to the Thai airline club and the United Red Carpet club to compare.

The flight started from Cleveland to Newark but since that flight was uneventful I skipped it but wanted to add a comment I had about dealing with the TSA that morning.

Before this trip I had a friend visiting for the weekend and we were both flying out on Tuesday. While we were at the airport we were in line waiting for the TSA agent to call us to check our passports and drivers licenses before proceeding to the x-ray machine. After finishing checking the documents for a family he called next and my friend and I proceeded to his podium. Instead of quickly checking our documents he asked if we were related. I replied by saying no, but we were traveling together. He then rudely cut me off and asked again "are you related?" and I replied by no so he made me go back in line and helped someone else between us. I thought this was very inappropriate rude behavior. For all he knew we could have been a couple but since we were not blood related we couldn't go to security together. With the bad rep TSA has you would think they wouldn't act like they go out of their way to make your flying experience worse but I guess its just their thing!

Rant done, thanks for listening!

Continental Airlines flight #99
Newark NJ to Hong Kong
15 hours 55 min trip time.
Boeing 777-200
Seat 3B

It was a rainy day in Newark so I wasn't able to get any good shots of the airport activity.

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My 777, ship #15, sitting from its flight from Frankfurt last night.

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Plane arriving at the gate. Looks happy to be going to Asia for the night.

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It was very hard to get photos past the rain on the windows.

Before the flight I spent some time at the Presidents club. The lounge offered good views of the airport activity but lacked good snacks and food like every US airline club. Continental has showers in their hub city clubs and I'm excited at rumors that soon they will be added to some Red Carpet Clubs.

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Looking out from the Presidents Club.

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The bar area of the lounge. Very nice large sitting area.

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Shower

After walking around killing time on my six hour connection it was time to head to the gate and board the flight. I was very excited for this Ultra Long Haul flight!

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Boarding gate.


seat 3A

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Looking across the aircraft. On Continental's 777s they have 6 seats across where United has 8 seats.

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Nice sized TV screens.

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My traditional preflight Mimosa and menu cover.

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Menu page 1

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Menu page 2

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Seat buttons

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Scheduled flight path taking us over the North Pole.

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Before departure the Flight Attendants passed out newspapers and amenity kits.

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Scheduled flight time.

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Long flight.

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Heading north straight from takeoff.

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BusinessFirst pillow.

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BusinessFirst blanket.

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Classic 777 interior.

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IFE remote control.

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After takeoff it was time to get settled in.

Right after take off it was time for dinner service.

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Pre dinner glass of wine with some warm nuts.

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Tray table set up featuring Continental's garlic bread that is always very tasty.


Not the best quality photo but the flight attendant came with the appetizers on a cart to customize your plate with whatever you wanted.

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Starters

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I ate the veggie purse and the beef pastry but skipped on the soup due to the amount of shellfish in it.

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Next came the salad. My only complaint was both salad dressing offerings were creamy choices instead of one vinaigrette type.

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Next came the main. I picked the steak that was cooked to a very nice medium. I was stuffed in the middle of it.

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Next the crew came around with a cheese cart offering a few selections of cheeses. I can't remember what type they were but I wasn't a fan of most of them but mainly wanted to get it for this trip report! The grapes were great though.


Ice Cream cart is coming!

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Always very tasty.

After dinner service I decided to stretch my legs and check out the bathroom. Most airlines offer amenities in their premium cabin restrooms but nothing could be found on this flight.

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Boring lav.

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After dinner with our ETA

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Heading straight north!

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Almost past Canada.

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Flight was making progress towards China

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The flight was 95% light out for the entire flight. Somewhere over the North Pole.

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Halfway into the flight we had another meal served. Noodles, Cheesecake and tea.

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Noodles were very tasty. We had the option to have shrimp added but I passed.

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Cheesecake

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Our time left after mid-flight snack was finished.

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Starting to head south.

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I decided to stay awake and settled in for a nice movie. I watched Bridesmaids and it was very funny.

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Passing Beijing as the flight crew started to get ready for the third meal. This was breakfast service even though we were landing in Hong Kong around 18:30.

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Tray set up with juice and fresh fruit.

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Continental's classic baked onboard cin rolls.

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Eggs and sausage with some chocolates to finish.

After landing I checked into Airport Regal Hotels that had a very convenient location since it was a five minute walk from baggage claim.

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Regal Hotel lobby


My Regal hotel room.

The next morning before my flight home I decided to try out two airline lounges. The first batch of photos are from the Thai lounge and the second batch of photos are from the United Red Carpet Club. Overall I liked the United club better then Thais.

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HKG is a plane spotters dream airport.

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CX 747 getting ready to go to Manila.

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CX 747

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I really like CX colors.

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You don't see these 747-300s very often!


Thai Airlines lounge

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Food bar options.

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The lounge offered different colored chairs.


Fresh juice, noodles and chicken sausage.

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Good views of the tarmac.

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Just so you remember where you are....

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Noodles, BBQ pork and some ice tea.

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Another view from the airline club.

I decided to go to the United Club now to compare.

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Love the design of the airport.

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HKG RCC

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One of many drink stations in the HKG RCC

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Sushi options.

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HKG RCC. I liked the feel of this lounge better then Thais and it had many areas divided up so it always felt quiet.

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View from the lounge.

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Another lounge view.

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UA RCC on the left, Thai on the right.

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Different UA RCC food options.

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Different UA RCC food options.


Different UA RCC food options.

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View of some UA action from the UA RCC

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My 777 that took to me Hong Kong the night before was getting ready to take me home.


Thanks for viewing my trip report! Feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have.

James


facebook sn jetboy787
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefiveholer From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1013 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 30318 times:

Nice report...I am DYING to do this trip for a night or two but I don't want to do it alone. What fun is there in that? If I could afford the Regal hotel I might do it by myself, but a guest house IN the city is probably more my budget! LOL Nice photos, I'm always glad to see photos of our premium service.

Danny



Bring back Bethune!
User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 28901 times:

Cool trip report! Thanks for the photos!

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
I thought this was very inappropriate rude behavior. For all he knew we could have been a couple but since we were not blood related we couldn't go to security together. With the bad rep TSA has you would think they wouldn't act like they go out of their way to make your flying experience worse but I guess its just their thing!

I'm glad you mentioned this because I think it is important for people to understand just WHY the TSA has the reputation that they have... This is a classic case of being rude and obnoxious for no reason.


I am curious about the BusinessFirst seat...it looks comfortable but isn't it a problem for the window seat person to get out if the aisle seat person is sleeping?


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1349 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 28845 times:

Hi James,

great report! I was lucky to fly the 777 domestic from EWR to IAH a few days ago, although in Economy, and I was impressed by their hard product. Their IFE is great and the seat very nice. Service was average, but still ok. Helps that flight was quite empty. Could have stayed in this plane for hours...


User currently offlinejchalupsky From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 28597 times:

Great trip report! Are you going to do a trip report for the return leg? I haven't had a chance to experience the post UA/CO merger product - it looks like they're doing a great job though!

User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 318 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 27144 times:

Who the hell takes a mileage run all the way to HKG? Who's dime did you do it on?


My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8535 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 26984 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good read, thanks James, liked the shots from the lounges at the end.

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
With the bad rep TSA has you would think they wouldn't act like they go out of their way to make your flying experience worse but I guess its just their thing!

- The problem is these guy's think they are 'it' - in reality they would never make it as a cop or in other law enforcement agencies hence the chip on their shoulder.

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
Before the flight I spent some time at the Presidents club. The lounge offered good views of the airport activity but lacked good snacks and food like every US airline club

- Yes nice views poor catering.

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
Next came the salad. My only complaint was both salad dressing offerings were creamy choices instead of one vinaigrette type.

- At least have 2 sensible offerings, not everybody wants a ton of creamy stuff on a salad.

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
Next came the main. I picked the steak that was cooked to a very nice medium. I was stuffed in the middle of it.

- Looks a huge meal!

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
Eggs and sausage with some chocolates to finish.

- Hmm, not a visually appealing meal......

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
HKG is a plane spotters dream airport

- Oh yes, can't wait to return next month, if only for 24 hours  

Cheers

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 offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 26976 times:

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 5):
Who the hell takes a mileage run all the way to HKG? Who's dime did you do it on?

This is more of a topic for flyertalk.com than for a.net.....

BUT depending on cost and promotions and status it can well be worth it...especially if you need the qualified miles to get/maintain elite status.

I did my own MR (mileage run) to HKG when Delta was having a double MQM promotion...see the trip report:
DL Y PIT->ATL->NRT->HKG, LONG, Many Photos (by burj Jan 2 2011 in Trip Reports)

Without going into the details....it was well worth the trip as the miles I earned pretty much offset the ticket price if I did nothing but trade them in for gift cards...of course in practice using the miles for an expensive ticket (think int'l business class trip) is a much better value...


User currently offlinerobso2 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2010, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 26667 times:

ggreat TR thanks for posting, awesome route to fly on


733/4/5/6/7/8/9, 319/20/21, 752, 744, 772, 332/3, 343/6, E70/90, AT43, AR85/1, D38, D10, M82
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 26040 times:

Hi

Another nice trip report, thanks for sharing it with us. Seems like CO treated you well on their 16hour flight to HKG. Another reason i don't want to see them go into 'United'.



Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineosudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 25764 times:

Loved the report. I always wait for your next reports as you are the best CO reporter I've seen. I did Toronto to HKG on AC a year ago and am still waiting for a CO or exCO Business First experience despite being CO Platinum. Great seat pics, but too bad CO serves the same breakfast as on domestic flights.

User currently offlinecruiseshipcrew From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 24531 times:

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 5):
Who the hell takes a mileage run all the way to HKG? Who's dime did you do it on?

A. I have limited time with work. B. I had a credit under my name I had to use and finally C. I enjoy it. It sure beats a mile run to Louisville KY.

Quoting osudvm (Reply 10):
Loved the report. I always wait for your next reports as you are the best CO reporter I've seen. I did Toronto to HKG on AC a year ago and am still waiting for a CO or exCO Business First experience despite being CO Platinum.

Thanks for that very nice comment.  



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User currently offlinelucky777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 24490 times:

I don't care for the seating configuration at all.....a 2-2-2 business configuration is rather inconvenient for the person sitting in the window seat.

User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 24284 times:

Very good TR. How did you find the privacy in terms of there being a person in the seat next to you?

I have a trip to HKG in C next month, and the three options that fit my schedule were AC, CO, and UA. UA's config is 2-4-2 so I ruled that out immediately as lacking space. CO is 2-2-2 while AC is 1-2-1 in herringbone configuration. I was really considering CO, but it just seems to me like there would be more space and privacy on AC with a 1-2-1 configuration, and you never have to step over someone to access the aisle.


User currently offlinelucky777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 24130 times:

Quoting jfidler (Reply 13):
and you never have to step over someone to access the aisle.

My feelings exactly.....i feel terrible waking somebody up from a sound sleep to ask them to bring their seat to the upright position in order for me to gain access to the aisle. Hence, the 1-2-1 herringbone is lightyears better from that standpoint.


User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 23262 times:

Quoting lucky777 (Reply 14):
Hence, the 1-2-1 herringbone is lightyears better from that standpoint.

The more I think about this, the more important I think it is. On a 15-hour flight, it's unlikely that you and the person next to you will be on exactly the same sleeping schedules (unlike a US-Europe flight where most people go to sleep after the meal service), so it would really be an inconvenience to wake someone up just so you can head to the bathroom.

I wonder how some carriers expect to compete. For my trip to HKG, UA, CO, AC were all around the same price in C, and all involved one connecting flight. So how can UA expect customers to choose them with a 2-4-2 config versus 1-2-1 in AC? I realize some corporate travel policies require flying on certain carriers, but for other people I wonder. Do most customers not look at seating config when booking C-class?

Based on the photos in this TR, I'd definitely choose CO over UA, but I also think I'd choose AC over CO due to the 1-2-1 config.


User currently offlineual757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 806 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 22612 times:

Nice report - I always enjoy yours!

Quoting jfidler (Reply 13):
I have a trip to HKG in C next month, and the three options that fit my schedule were AC, CO, and UA. UA's config is 2-4-2 so I ruled that out immediately as lacking space. CO is 2-2-2 while AC is 1-2-1 in herringbone configuration. I was really considering CO, but it just seems to me like there would be more space and privacy on AC with a 1-2-1 configuration, and you never have to step over someone to access the aisle.

CO's seats are slightly angled and 6-across - UA's seats are not angled and 8-across on the 777. I've flown both and the CO seat has more storage, but I find the UA seat to be better for sleeping because there is more foot room. You can't judge a product because you looked at the seat map, for crying out loud.

Oh, and getting up and stepping over the person sleeping in the aisle seat isn't tough. Just put your seat upright, stand up, and step over them. I've done it plenty of times. How many times is somebody going to get up? Or you could just take the aisle seat...

Herringbone layouts can often feel claustrophobic - almost like a coffin if the dividers are high enough.


User currently offlineetoile From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 22436 times:

Quoting lucky777 (Reply 14):
waking somebody up from a sound sleep

You should step over the sleeping person unless you are physically disabled, in which case you should get an aisle seat.


User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 21972 times:

Quoting ual757 (Reply 16):
You can't judge a product because you looked at the seat map, for crying out loud.

I totally agree. Unfortunately, when I'm sitting at my computer trying to decide which carrier to book, I don't have much else to go by. I'd love to go on-board and take a tour of each product but that's just not feasible.

Here's the photos of the C product on UA's site: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,1935,00.html

I don't quite get a feel from those photos about how the 2-4-2 layout looks, or the real seat size. I wish there were more photos (maybe I was looking in the wrong place on UA's site). This TR was quite good at giving a feel of CO's seating experience, and I'll look for other TRs related to UA.

I did fly the herringbone layout on AC (777) and CX (777, 747) recently and didn't find them claustrophobic (I think it helps that you face the aisle so you see open space), but I can see why some people may find it that way.


User currently offlinemodesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2795 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 20724 times:

After flying both CO and DL 777 flat-beds, I've concluded that my preference depends on whether I'm traveling alone or with someone. If I want to talk and be social with a travel buddy, I much prefer CO's configuration as DL's configuration is not very conducive to conversation. However, as a lone traveler, I love DL's 1-2-1 herringbone configuration.

Regardless, both products are great  


User currently offlinekjet12 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 975 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 16625 times:

Great report! Makes me wish I had spent more time in HKG airport. Do you think the new United will keep this route on a 2 class aircraft, or is there enough premium traffic between EWR and HKG to warrant a first class cabin?


AA - Doing what we do best.
User currently onlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 16451 times:

I am absolutely impressed by the amount of food you got. Can I send this link to Lufthansa and their miserly portions in JCL? Pretty impressive stuff.

I find UAL's JCL 2-3-2 in the 777 completely OK ... in the 747, I avoid it completely as I find the 2-4-2 layout to be really cluttered and busy - almost always seat in the UD which is a totally different thing. This is also why I don't like the EK 380 JCL.

Thanks for writing this up.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinecruiseshipcrew From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 15503 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 21):
I find UAL's JCL 2-3-2 in the 777 completely OK ... in the 747, I avoid it completely as I find the 2-4-2 layout to be really cluttered and busy - almost always seat in the UD which is a totally different thing.

United's 777s in new configuration are 2-5-2. I agree about the 747 upper deck or the two rows of business between door 2 and econ+. I enjoy watching some galley action also.



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User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8234 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 15335 times:

Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter):
With the bad rep TSA has you would think they wouldn't act like they go out of their way to make your flying experience worse but I guess its just their thing!

Back when the TSA was formed, I was all for it. Now, after years of dealing with them (including very close, very regular contact when I worked at the airlines) I have ZERO respect for any of them. Not only do they do absolutely nothing to make flying safer, but their attitudes are disgraceful. Your story is utterly typical of the TSA at any given airport. They couldn't possibly abolish that agency fast enough...



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineAA2MM From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14053 times:

Thank you for the TR. If I may, I would like to add a few personal remarks to your TR.
Food wise : CO is way ahead of UA in C class. The table setting routine is another thing, of all the IAH-NRT, EWR-NRT, EWR-BJS trips I took on CO in BF, only 1 time my table was set with grace and some class. All the time, it was just they unfold the table cloth, clunk down the bread plate, salt/pepper shakers, a glass of water and the napkins with the 3 forks, 3 knives, and a coffee spoon.And the one time that I admired it, it was done by a trainer ( I found out later while I was thanking her for her very gentle and gracious demeanor ).
My EWR-NRT/BJS flights were like 2 yrs ago : the asian mid-flight snacks were inedible. Chinese soup noodle was not like the OP had/thin egg noodles. The one I had was like japanese udon ( and it was listed as Chinese noodle ). And the Chinese congee was the same, looked worst than oatmeal, and tasted horrible.
On all my flights to NRT : the beef portion has been HUGE. It was so much that all the time, I had half left over. Such a waste to cater so much meat.
The CO Japanese meal choice is way better than UA.
Seatwise, I have been on 4 flights on UA NRT-BKK-NRT 772 with new C seats ( aircraft came from IAH-NRT-BKK).
It looks cramped and feel cramped in C. As the OP pointed out : 2-4-2. 8 seats across.
FC looks even more cramped with the suites 1-2-1 across. Because UA does not allow any space in front of the suites, and in the back of the suites, the whole FC cabin looks like a miniature FC cabin.
I am sure once you sit down, you would feel fine, because you can feel only the space in your suite, and it's wider, more luxurious than the C flat bed seats.
And now, I just came back from BKK a few weeks ago : for the first time on UA and CO, I had 2 rounds of oshibori/hot towels. Once after take off, once before the morning meal before arrival.
A few more side notes : CO used to have a separate dish for vegetables for the main meal. Now, they do away with that thus the main meal looks pretty cramped in the serving plate. Oh another beef of mine is : CO never list the wines they are pouring on the flights. The menu says please ASK OUR FAs, and when you ask them, they act like : why the fuss, white is white, red is red.
I used to fly AA/CX a lot because of the OW alliance
Now I am in CO country, so, it CO and now UA/CO.
Hope the OP does not mind that I hictched my 2 cents on his TR.


25 AA2MM : Thank you for the TR. If I may, I would like to add a few personal remarks to your TR. Food wise : CO is way ahead of UA in C class. The table setting
26 Post contains images zainmax : Is this flight operated by B777-200LR aircraft? They must be having the double set of crew for sure. Nice trip report
27 Post contains links cruiseshipcrew : Thanks for adding your comments above! Just a FYI however, the NRT-BKK-NRT 772 flights are operated by PMUA birds and not the ones from the IAH-NRT f
28 AA2MM : Quoting AA2MM (Reply 24): "Seatwise, I have been on 4 flights on UA NRT-BKK-NRT 772 with new C seats ( aircraft came from IAH-NRT-BKK). It looks cramp
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