cruiseshipcrew From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 207 posts, RR: 2 Posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Welcome to my newest trip report. I've been putting this off for a month or so now so I decided it was finally time to make one. My friend and I decided to do a two week trip to Hong Kong, Tokyo and finish in Osaka Japan. This trip report will cover the lounges in San Francisco, Hong Kong, the flight there and a few pics around the city. Thanks in advance for reading and comments.
United Airlines Flight 869
San Francisco-Hong Kong
Boeing 747-400 N118UA
Seat 1A & 1K
According to seatguru, row 2 is said to be the best seats to get but my friend and I really enjoyed row 1. We were able to see out of each others windows and could talk while sitting. I think facing in towards the nose cone was a very interesting experience also. When landing in Hong Kong we both thought it appeared that we were going off the side of the runway!
Everyone back at the house was getting excited for the trip including Boomer, the English Bulldog who obviously only flies British Airways.
We headed to SFO early to ensure we had plenty of time to enjoy the lounge and were the only people at the premier check-in so before we knew it we received our passes and headed through security.
I've heard great things about the SFO International First Lounge and I must say, for a US lounge it was very impressive. High ceilings, wide selection of food and beverages and a view of the tarmac made it enjoyable. Here are a few more pictures from the lounge.
I knew I would eat onboard the flight so I had a small breakfast with a few snack items later.
747 in the new colors from the lounge.
757 in desperate need of new colors from the lounge.
A few spots in the IFL could have been worked on but overall, everything was in good shape.
While walking to the gate I saw this vending machine. I think this is a fantastic thing to have and I wish more airports had them.
I think these have been sitting out in the rain for a while now.
Flight was leaving on time. I really like the International terminal at SFO but I think the boarding area became a bit crowded and unorganized. I noticed this when I was flying out of SFO to Sydney also.
Looking at the seat
Side seat controls and storage.
Leg room. The closet was next to my feet between seats.
Looking back in the cabin. The first cabin has four rows along the side and two rows in the middle.
Menus were handed out.
Pre-departure champagne was provided.
My friend David enjoying his.
I enjoyed it also. This was our first time in United First class.
Inside the menu
Menu part 2
Blanket and two pillows were passed out.
United amenity kit. While nice, I think Continental's BusinessFirst kits were better.
Nicely presented socks and eye covers.
More storage on the side of the seat.
Narrow closet at the front of the cabin.
Another shot looking forward.
The flight crew set up an arrangement of English and Chinese newspapers to have before take off.
Looking back in the cabin.
Business class could be seen past door 1L.
Enjoying the view.
The planned flight path for todays flight.
Recently removed 747 and 757 from the fleet.
I used David to show off a few ways the seat can be changed.
As you can see, if you know the person next to you row 1 is great.
The area where newspapers were set up before departure was turned into a bar while dinner service was being executed.
Hot nuts and wine. We had two very friendly Flight Attendants helping us who made had a fun argument with each other trying to convince us to try their preferred wine. They were pleasant the entire time.
Appetizer. While the food service is close to United Business, the presentation is very different and is more spaced out.
Close up. Everything was very tasty.
Next came the soup. It was also good but I didn't really like the paper cocktail napkin under the bowl but it doesn't matter.
Beautiful looking salad. Tasted great also.
I decided to go with the beef tenderloin. I enjoyed the sides and ate around the edge of the meat. In the next picture you can see it was a little rare for my liking.
I enjoyed the ice cream sundae and liked that it had two flavors of ice cream. While the presentation wasn't as nice, I liked that they used real whipped cream.
After dinner I decided to stretch out and enjoy a few films before sleeping for several hours.
Location after dinner and a movie.
Beautiful views of Alaska.
Beautiful views of Alaska.
Getting closer. Time for a mid-flight snack. This is where the service really had a coach feeling. This was the International First Class mid-flight snack. It was warmed in the galley and was handed to us. The following picture compares the mid-flight snack with the one I had on Continental in BusinessFirst to Hong Kong. What a horrible presentation!
Continental's BusinessFirst snack.
Sun is starting to set.
About an hour before landing it was time for the arrival refreshment. I liked that they offered non-breakfast choices also. I always thought it was funny to be served breakfast at 8pm when landing.
Another view of the seat.
David looking over the Asian sunset.
Starting to turn towards Hong Kong.
I loved having several windows.
Our flight path.
After landing I was able to take a few more pictures.
My lovely seat for the past 15 hours.
My friend and I used hotel points for our stay so spent the first few nights at the W Hong Kong and then finished at the JW Marriott.
Elevator in the W.
Since it was Halloween they had all the decorations.
We found very large aviation in the city.
The Hong Kong lights at night. I thought the light show wasn't that impressive, but still nice just don't raise your expectations.
Legit cargo loading skills!
Occupy Hong Kong.
No doubt who dominates HKG airport.
Asia World City
Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Overall the flight was very enjoyable. The 747 is always fun to be on in my books!
767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2118 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Good report, cruiseshipcrew! Nice review of your flight with United, and the F class presentation on such a long-distance flight!
Seat and cabin look nice, but the food doesn't look that incredible. The beef looks absolutely unedible that rare, and the sandwich in the tinfoil?! Definitely not up to F standards especially for such a long flight, and what others offer on the same route.
I've never been on such a long flight like this one; the longest flights I've taken have been to northern Africa, and far Eastern Europe, I bet I would get a little cabin fever on such a long flight, even if I did have great IFE!
emirates202 From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
First of all, champagne In a plastic glass????? lol. That's terrible. And I'm a fan of pretty rare steak, but I definitely would have sent that back and taken the chicken on the menu. I wouldn't fly UA long haul if it was going to save my life. I find delta has a much better product, and better service. The mid flight snack- what is it?? Cant really tell, but nonetheless, I wouldn't have eaten that either, and I'm always hungry!
sfflyer123 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Excellent Trip report!! It was great. I think that flight SFO-HKG is fantastic. Thanks so much for posting this. Of course, we all have to know, how did you go about booking this? Was this an award flight, or did you buy C and use an SWU (I notice that you are 1k) to upgrade, or did you just splurge and buy F? It looks like the F product is very solid on United. I have never flown F this route, but I have flown C. For 15 hours, being in F just makes a huge difference.
FlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7402 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I've always said that UA and AA knows what their doing up front but honestly, pretty un-impressed with the whole deal, considerings it's suppose to be "international F". Doesn't look any better than carriers that offer J whit full flat-beds. You kind of wonder if the extra cost is worth it. And I mean even the DL (i'm not a huge fan of their Business Elite service; I think they can and should do a lot better) serves their pre-departure drinks in real glass! And what's with the roll in Reynold's Wrap??
All in all, thanks for the TR! These are always a treat for me.
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8734 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): I've heard great things about the SFO International First Lounge and I must say, for a US lounge it was very impressive. High ceilings, wide selection of food and beverages and a view of the tarmac made it enjoyable
- Actually looks one of the better lounges US carriers have.
- Looks nasty, quite unimpressive for supposedly First class.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): I enjoyed the ice cream sundae and liked that it had two flavors of ice cream. While the presentation wasn't as nice
- Presentation is indeed poor, that meat looked a bit rubbish too.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): Time for a mid-flight snack. This is where the service really had a coach feeling. This was the International First Class mid-flight snack. It was warmed in the galley and was handed to us.
- Now this is awful and what is it? - This looks more like street vendor food, actually I take that back, the latter would taste better!
Initious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1077 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
A wonderful report about UA's First Class! There have not been many reports about UA F and this is just the perfect report to showcase what they got to offer for international F. However, I find it pretty strange that they do not offer caviar in F on American carriers (I guess AA does not too?).
The meal looks wonderful although the night snack does look very disappointing.
P.S. Do you mind letting me know where is the shop with tons of airplane models? I am heading to HKG in 2 weeks and would like to visit there.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3736 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Looks like you had a great flight with UA F! I tried out one of those seats (alas only after landing) on my way back from SIN to HKG a few years ago - very comfy.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): This is where the service really had a coach feeling. This was the International First Class mid-flight snack. It was warmed in the galley and was handed to us. The following picture compares the mid-flight snack with the one I had on Continental in BusinessFirst to Hong Kong. What a horrible presentation!
Oh dear. That looks like economy on Chinese shorthual. What were they thinking? How embarassing for the crew.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): The Hong Kong lights at night. I thought the light show wasn't that impressive, but still nice just don't raise your expectations.
Well, it is a free show. I really like going down there with a few mates, getting a beer (or 4) from 7-11 next to the Star Ferry, then sitting on the metal bars on the lower level and enjoying the view. Best evening in HK!
ORDnHKG From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 191 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11): - Looks nasty, quite unimpressive for supposedly First class.
Since you are from Europe, you should know even LH and LX's F amenity kit are quite unimpressive as well, LH's F kit has no mouthwash and the male kit don't even have lipbalm ! At least UA's amenity kit has Murad skincare product that made in USA unlike some other airlines have fancy name brands but the product made in China ! UA's F kit also include a mini bottle of Purel disinfecting gel where most other carriers don't have.
Quoting 9V-SPJ (Reply 9): Nice report! Where is that model store in Hong Kong???
It is at Mong Kok on the Kowoloon side at the Pioneer centre by Nathan Road
That airplane store is operated by the same company which has a bus models store also in the Pioneer centre.
lukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1185 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Great report James! Alot of effort appreciated what with graphics and demonstrating seats.!
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): While walking to the gate I saw this vending machine. I think this is a fantastic thing to have and I wish more airports had them
I suppose. IN the UK it seems you can't walk 5 minutes without seeing a Boots that sells all this sort of loveliness at reasonable costs.
Quoting cruiseshipcrew (Thread starter): I decided to go with the beef tenderloin. I enjoyed the sides and ate around the edge of the meat. In the next picture you can see it was a little rare for my liking.
Hmm, it would be perfect for me, but does look quite rare. More-over it looks like it has been flash seared. Well... the rest of the catering looked pretty decent apart from the terrible mmid-flight snack. At least your Fa's were good fun.
A340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4108 posts, RR: 49
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Thanks for the report. UA F looks underwhelming, bland cabin design, lack of amenities, plastic looking sandwiches in tin foil, trays for food and poor looking catering all round. Is it really that difficult to create a refined F product? ... they've been in the game for years.
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
: I really enjoyed the report. I was in HKG in September and also noticed the large aviation presence. Was that picture of the models from the Peak Shop
: Thanks for sharing a trip report! The new United First class seat is pretty nice and the suite is an improve from previous version. However food remai
: Great report, thanks for sharing! I agree with you about the beef!!!!
: It is not a government regulation. As pointed out, even DL serves their pre-departure drink in real glass in BusinessElite. Regular F is plastic on t
: Hi Nice trip report you got there, thanks for sharing an insight of United's first! To be honest, I'm not impressed at all. Some airlines even have a
: Thanks for the TR...Up till last year, I think, in YC, mid flight snack, UA used to hand out a plastic bag with a cup a noodle, and fork/spoon thingy
: What a product. I do like the seats even they are a bit dated. Though I like people who dress up for flights, I must say that you guys were too polite
: Here is my opinion about UA first (flew them once SFO-PVG, then flew many other foreign carriers long haul F): - If I fly US carrier, I do not expect
: Thanks for the comments everyone! Yes I should have sent back the steak. I don't agree with some comments here about the UA service, its not a 5 star
: Hi Cruiseship, Thanks for the great report could you please give me the name of that store in Hong Kong that sells those airline models or the approxi
: Its called West Main Toys and is located at Pioneer Center 750 Nathan Road Mong Kok, Kowoloon Just a heads up they close for about an hour for lunch.
: Hello, Thank you for a well written, detailed report with great photos, i felt as if I was flying with you. I hope you had a good time in Hong Kong, l
: Hi Jonathan, First thank you for your nice words about my TR. The food was a little on the small size for a flight of this length. The mid-flight sna
: A very nicely written trip report. While UA First seems comfortable enough, it still seems to pale in comparison to other airlines' First Class offeri
: I'm sure with the improved GlobalFirst catering and soft product enhancements, the flight is downright dreamy these days.
: I flew the updated product two weeks ago from Japan and was very disappointed. The ONLY enhancement was the upgraded amenity kit. Here are the pics o
: Those pictures are from GlobalFirst? That looks like a poorly done BusinessFirst meal. Yikes. I'm flying BF from ORD-NRT-BKK in October. Hopefully I