After seeing so many cool trip reports I thought it was time I joined the party!
After many weeks my application for my Australian Passport was approved , I was really happy , especially when I was told I would have to go to Washington DC for an interview! I decided it was time to use some of the 600,000 airline miles in my One Pass account , My flight would be ELP-ORD-IAD-ORD-ELP. However I wanted to experience a Dinner service in United F , So I managed to change my return to IAD-DEN and DEN-ELP , only downside is I will have only Y on an ERJ from DEN-ELP , Only 1:30 flight , i should manage.
At the Airport:
El Paso International is a very nice airport , a festive western/new Orleans feel ,
I entered the airport and walked to the United Express Check in Desk I was greeted by an agent who was in the "whatever" state , Nice but didn't pay much attention to anything , My back was tagged Priority and I was given the nice "cardboard" boarding passes , I hate SA)">AA's Boarding passes as most of them are all paper , SA)">UA still gives nice ones that wont crumble when you put them in your pocket.
I then proceeded to security and after 5 minutes in the regular line I noticed that we actually got a Priority Security Lane! About time since almost every airline but SA)">WN operates an F class cabin from ELP . I jumped out of the long regular line and proceeded to the priority , empty line , not that it mattered since I had an an hour and 20 minutes until boarding anyway. After that I decided to eat at the newly opened 12th Fairway and wasn't disappointed!
Had one of the best burger and fries ever! Too bad I can only get this in an airport!
After lunch I walked down to gate B11 to see our CRJ-700 !
I was kinda happy that im going to go on an older bird , but I was hoping that I would get one of the newer CRJ's. Oh well.
MESA AIRLINES dba UNITED EXPRESS
Seat: 1A (First)
Dep. Time : 12:51PM
I was pretty eager to try United's ExPlus First Class , although I did keep my expectations low.
Boarding was announced at 12:27 For all US Military Personnel and United Global Services First , and 1K.
UAX First Class.
More F Cabin.
First impressions from the cabin: The seats are VERY comfortable , compared to the economy seats the F class seats are great! Great legroom and nice recline , the headrest was soft which most likely accounts for the lack of pillows .Overall a great seat for a 3 hour flight!
Keeping my expectations low , I was not expecting a Pre-Departure Beverage. As the minutes pass I accepted that there wasn't going to be but the flight attendant comes by and asks each passenger what they would like. Wow a choice! Not even SA)">UA mainline gets this! I took a water and it was brought to me on a tray.
Overall I think the FA was trying to make the UX product a little more Mainline-y . We pushed back on-time at 12:49 and made our taxi to RWY 22. RWY 22 is about a 8-10 minute taxi so our PDBs were kept full until we got closer to the runway. A quick and powerful take-off and we were in the air! Sorry no pictures , its hard when an FA is sitting practically right in front of you!
While still climbing the flight attendant opens up the liquor container and I guess checks the contents. After the seat belt sign is turned off the beverage cart comes out.. Oh no ! I see the cart roll right by me and into the economy cabin! An announcement is made that this flight "features" the UNITED snack boxes... Shortly after the the one female F/A serving the First cabin begins the beverage service , I'm asked what I would like, I ask for a Coke , she then asks me if I want a snack box , Of Course I replied. Each passenger is served individuality with a tray , another nice touch for UX.
United ExPlus Snack Box.
It was nice to be able to kick back with some snacks and a good movie on an iPad.
I wish United would step up the ExPlus Product , At least offer actual glasses , or even meals like DL and SA)">AA have done.. oh well .
Water was offered 2 more times during the flight and the FA sat in the galley for the remainder of the flight. The flight was pretty uneventful other than the some 3 times I hit my head on the air and lighting panel , as this was my first time in a regional jet..
The descent into ORD was very turbulent and IMHO fun!
We landed on-time at 4:34 but the taxi was a good 10 minutes, upon pulling into gate C3 there were no ground crew! We waited another 3-4 minutes until they arrived and the plane pushed up and the gate was attached..
Being my first time in ORD I was surprised and shocked at how many people there are! Me being used to smaller airports ORD was incredible and I loved every minute of it!
After a quick walk underground I was in the B concourse , the smell of pretzels and popcorn surrounded me but I wasn't too hungry...
Dep. Time: 6:10 Actual: 6:17
We arrived at gate B9 to see a very late arriving aircraft at 5:30 ,
After 25 minutes boarding was announced for first class pasengers and United Mileage Plus 1K.
Upon boarding I was greeted by a somewhat pleasant FA , the Purser however was a nice guy in the " Ok Whatever " attitude. PDB of water or OJ was oferred and I took the latter. Surprisingly the full flight managed to board in 23 minutes. I asked the Purser if channel 9 would be turned on , his reply was " I dont know " so I stood in the galley and he asked the captain to which his reply was "Negative". Oh well.. , Sorry I dont remember which RWY we took off from but it was pretty far from the terminal. This being my second 757 i've been on and by far the First cabin is on of the quietest. Shortly after Refreshment service was started, I once again took a coke , I quickly went to lavatory and when I opened the door the FA asked in an awkward manner "something from a basket" .. I took some pop chips and went back to my seat.
In my Opinion this flight was long enough that a snack could be served as SA)">AA serves a full Dinner on this route just into DCA instead.
We were soon inbound to IAD and placed in a holding pattern...
We were on the ground only 9 minutes late and taxied to gate C11.
We then proceeded to the baggage claim where the priority tag actually worked!
Thanks for reading! Will be posting my return soon!