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I Love EWR Goes To Tokyo...For The Day  
User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 7
Posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 10454 times:

It all started in May. On my way back from HNL we had a 4-hour layover in SFO. With this in mind, I was able to meet Hass (Airworthy on Airliners.net) (IMKEWW on Flyertalk.com). He so very kindly offered me a few buddy passes that I would be able to use this summer. My summer is extremely busy as I play football for the school I attend and we ad been practicing and getting ready for the season ahead. I knew we had a week of around starting August 1st, so I decided to use the pass then.

I cannot thank Hass enough for giving me the passes and his help in helping me book my flights. I love to fly and to experience the flights I am about to report about would have been impossible unless I had a few thousand dollars. After a few weeks of calling and some great advice from Hass it was decided that my best bet in terms of load factors and the ability to get International Business Class seating would be to got to Tokyo/Narita. Fine with me. Here is the report

Date: 8-1-02
Origin Airport: JFK
Destination Airport: NRT
Airline: UAL
Flight Number: 801
Aircraft Type: 777-200ER
Registration Number: N209UA

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Seat Assignment: United International Business Class Seat 15J
Scheduled ETD: 1:00 PM August 1st (Eastern Standard Time) EST
Actual TD: Door Closed 12:50 PM, Push Back 1:00 PM Take off at 1:25 PM
Scheduled ETA: 4:00 PM August 2nd Tokyo Standard Time (TST)
Actual ETA: Gear Down 3:07 PM, Touch Down 3:10 PM, At Gate 3:25 PM
Scheduled Flight Time: 14 Hours Block in UAL Schedule,
Announced Flight Time by crew 12 hours 54 minutes
Actual Flight Time: 13 hours 25 minutes gate to gate
Departing Gate: 9
Arriving Gate: 210

Check-in/Security: I could not wait to go on this trip and hopefully experience UAL International Business. I am lucky and I have had the opportunity to fly Domestic F on United, Continental, and Delta recently but I am sure the best Domestic F cannot compare to International C class. I arrived at the airport at 7:45 AM. I proceeded to check in at the UAL Economy Line. The very nice ticket agent remarked, “wow you are early” I said yeah I want to beat the crowds and she giggled at that. She then proceeded to tell me, “At this time you are the only non-rev listed for this flight. Coach is oversold by thirty seats, Business has twenty open seats available.” She gave me my Departure Management Card and I was listed an 8C basically on the bottom of the standby list. I thanked her and walked to security. I was not concerned that much on how Y was oversold. I figured and was told by Hass that this flight had a high no show rate and the agents would not give operational upgrades away to anyone except the Premiers who probably were already sitting in C or F. I made my way from the check-in counter to the security checkpoint. I was surprised to see that the new TSA personnel were training and starting to implement themselves at JFK. There were literally 100 TSA agents manning 5 checkpoints. It took me 15 seconds to go through, as there was no line. The agents were very polite and they did actually seem to be doing their jobs. There were about 3 or 4 of them huddled around each of the monitors of the X-Ray machines. Nice job by them.

Airport Observations: After going through security it was time for breakfast at McDonalds. The line was fairly long as there was the morning BA departure to LHR a few UAL West Coast Departures and America West Departures to LAS and PHX. A TSA agent got in line behind me and I noted to him how efficient the operation was. He appreciated that and proceeded to explain how he was a TSA trainer and how they are beginning to implement JFK into the system. He said that they are looking for a lot of new people to fill these TSA postitions. It is so hard to find people he explained to me as they had 5,000 applicants for BWI for 500 openings at that airport. But of course when they went to took the test only 2% qualified!!!! He told me that a lot of retired military personnel are starting to apply and folks that want to get into law enforcement are starting to apply so he said it is getting a little better. By the time I was done chatting with him I was served my Hotcake Platter and went across the way to watch the air traffic. I saw an Icelandic Air Cargo 757F take off and some other assorted Cargo planes land. Around 9:15 AM BA Flight 1 Landed (which was loud) and taxied to the gate. I picked up an copy of USATODAY, Sports Illustrated and People Magazine. I read USA Today and the time went by quickly. I then proceeded over to gate 9 at around 11:30 AM. There were already a lot of Japanese tourists they’re going back home to Japan after spending some time in the United States. Very few American were there. The crew also boarded the aircraft as well. I never fully understood what an ‘Iron Queen’, ‘Flying Queen’, or ‘Metal Maid’ exactly meant until I saw this VERY senior cabin crew. At 12:05 PM they started to board the plane. At that time the gate agent called me up and told me, “You got the whole row to yourself.” I thanked him. I waited to board the plane and did not do so until 12:30 PM.

Seat Comfort: When I got on the plane I was SO very happy. I had a great window seat with an open aisle seat for the next 14 hours or so. The seat was by far the most comfortable seat I have been on so far. It even beats out Continental’s BusinessFirst Seat in my opinion when CO’s seat is suppose to be better. There was 49 inches of pitch between me and the seat in front of me. My 6’6”frame appreciated that as even when the seat in front of me was reclined I could comfortably get up with out disturbing her. The footrests of the seat and leg support was so very nice as when I reclined the seat was so very comfortable even though I am tall. The lumbar back support was a nice feature, especially when it was in massage form. There of course was a PTV, a reading light and controls for the PTV on the armrest.

Predeparture Drink: The choices were OJ, Water, or Champagne. I chose water. When I finished this a second round was offered where I picked up some more water. A newspaper cart was offered and I declined. At the seat waiting for us was a blanket, pillow, amenity kit, noise canceling headset and menu. Offered in the amenity kit were, slipper socks, tissues, wakeup/do not disturb stickers, eyeshades, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpick/floss, Aerosnese Face/Body Moisureizer, and Aerosense Toothpaste.
Announcements were made both in English and Japanese. The safety demo was preformed by the Flight Attendants, as there are no screens on the plane. The pilot came on, announced our flight time, explained our crusing altitudes of FL31, FL34, and FL 35, and explained the polar route we would take which included some headwinds. He said he was concerned with the NRT weather as T-Storms were predicted in the forecast during the time of our arrival. He said he would have Channel 9 (A personal favorite) on, however it was not working and apologized for that. After that I was just sitting there staring in amazement of the wing of the 777. It is truly a great bird and plane we taxied for a little bit and we then were finally cleared for take-off from 31L, the longest runway at JFK. Even though we were fully loaded with fuel, food, passengers, luggage, and cargo. The 777 made it into the air in only 57 seconds. A true accomplishment. It was by far the most exciting Take off I can remember as we raced towards the sky. Shortly after our take-off the Flight Attendants came on and explained the service, programming info, and mileage of our flight.

In-Flight Beverage Service: 1:55 EST the Flight Attendants were cleared and started their service. I received at this time a warm Ramekin of Nuts and Pepsi. Shortly after this we received a nice hot towel.

The Purser at this time as well came around asking us for our dinner choices. She did do this by Premier Status. I looked at the manifest and there were only 2 Premiers. There were only 4 US Citizens in the entire cabin actually. Three Business Men and me. All the rest were tourists going home after a nice time in the USA. When the purser got to me she said I was the only non-rever aboard and asked me what aircraft I fly for UAL. I said “well I wish I was a pilot and hope to be someday, but I am actually traveling on a Buddy Pass.” She laughed at this and said I looked like one. She also said I can have anything but the Obento selection and I opted for the Stir-fried scallops with black bean sauce. She said no problem.

In-Flight Meal Service: Well here is the menu. Like I said when she got to me the Filet and Scallops were available and I was the last one to be asked in the cabin due to my non-rev status. I really wanted to try the Obento selection, but you have to order them 24 hours in ahead and obviously as a non-rev you can’t do that. Not a big deal at all. This menu code is ORD/JFK-NRT (LD83-S89-L87)

To Begin

Smoked salmon and spiced shrimp
Fresh lemon and cocktail sauce

Garden Fresh Salad
Balsamic Dijon vinaigrette dressing

Main Course

Filet mignon with wild mushroom sauce and asparagus
Potato baked with onion and cheese

Stir-fried scallops with black bean sauce
Sesame egg noodles and straw mushrooms

Japanese Obento selection
An appetizer of steamed scallops, salmon with egg yolk vinegar, crabmeat, and chicken isobe maki, with macadamia nut and udon noodles. A main course of salmon teriyaki with shimeji mushrooms, simmered seaweed, chilled beef sirloin and steamed rice
Served with green tea

International cheese selection
Camembert and Black Diamond Cheddar cheese
Eli’s Milk Chocolate Caramel Mousse cake

Mid-flight Snack
Please help yourself to assorted treats between the two main meals. Hot sandwiches or noodles are available upon request.

Prior to Arrival
Turkey potpie with mushrooms
Fresh fruit appetizer


Fresh Seasonal Fruit plate with creamy yogurt

Because I am so nice here is the wine list as well
Brut, Henriot Brut Royal, Pommery

White Wine
Chablis 2000, J. Moreau
St.-Veran 2000, Sacha Lichine
De Loach California 2000
Meerea Park Hunter Valley 2000

Red Wine
Minervois 1998, Domaine de Vipur
Listrac 1998, Chateau Bellevue Lafont
Cabernet Sauvignon
Veramonte Casablance 2000
Sangiovese 1999, Rocca delle Macie

All I need to say is this…DELICIOUS. This was truly a feast. I play offensive line for the university I attend and I can eat. But this was truly a feast. The food was perfectly prepared and was very filling. I usually don’t get full with airplane food but after dinner I was stuffed. To drink I had sake which was available and the Brut, Henriot, along with Pepsi with my dinner. Like I said I had the Scallops for Dinner and the Pot Pie for the second meal option. The mid-flight snack included the Cheese and Dessert cart which included the Eli’s Mousse (The Flight Attendants could not stop laughing on how I had 5 pieces of that cake), Fresh Fruit, Milano cookies, Twix Bars, Snackwell cookies, hot ham and cheese sandwiches, and Instant Chinese noodles. I went up a few times mid-flight to replenish myself. There was plenty for everyone to go around. By the way. I was on a CO 777 in BF for a short flight from IAH-EWR. Are the bathrooms bigger on the CO 777s than they are on UALs?

After dinner the duty free cart came around. They were done with this by 5 PM EST then the lights went out. We were already over Canada and were directly over Chruchhill. Our route took us as far north as Fairbanks Alaska were we turned south and headed down the Pacific. We crossed the International Dateline at Exactly the tip of the triangle that it makes.

In-flight Entertainment: During dinner I was watched “Changing Lanes”, followed by “The Rookie” then I read my magazine and watched some short segment stuff. I tried to sleep but I hate to sleep on planes even though the seat was mighty comfortable enough. I was also looking out the window and was watching the Airshow Map.

Capacity: 6/10 F, 30/49 C (one nonrever), and 216/216 Y

The flight attendants kept coming around with drinks and basically whatever you wanted. They also were putting water on the seats of the plane of the people sleeping which was basically everyone but me. I also chatted with them a bit to pass the time. I took a little souvenir for CMK102485 and then before I knew it the second meal service, the lights were turned on, and I opened the window and watched the scenery and airshow go by. We had a 50 mile tail wind the whole trip which really surprised me, probably due to the Northern route we took and we were showing and arrival time into NRT at 2:30 – 2:35 PM the whole trip. After the second meal service we started our decent and were beginning to make the vectors to land, however at this time the pilot came on and said NRT ATC said the airport is experiencing weather delays and they put us in an arrival penalty box. The pilot said it will be at least 45 minutes before we are cleared to land. However after 2 ten mile ovals the pilot came on again saying Narita cleared us in. We landed early at Runway 31L, taxied for a little bit, and then parked at gate 210. There were no jetways at this gate so we deplaned by stairs onto busses. It took me a good 10 minutes to take the little walk from the stairs to the bus as I was staring in amazement at the size of the 777 even though it was about 10 feet. The busses then took us to Customs were they stamped my passport. I was in Japan.

Airport Facilities at JFK: 10/10
Check-in/Gate Personnel: 10/10
Schedule: 10/10
Aircraft Condition: 10/10
Aircraft Comfort: 10/10
In-Flight Personnel: 10/10
In-Flight Beverage Service 10/10
In-Flight Meal Service 10/10
In-Flight Entertainment 10/10

I really had less than 24 hours in Japan but I decided to stay downtown. I took the Narita Express Train into Shinjuku. I thought it was hilarious. Here I am, a 6’6” 290 pound offensive lineman for a D-I football team in the middle of the busiest train station in the world, in the middle of rush hour on a Friday. The Japanese kept staring at me, thinking I was Godzilla, as I towered over them attempting to find my way to my hotel.

I was suppose to stay at the Park Hyatt, but there was something wrong with my reservation, that I caught before hand. I couldn’t fix it so I decided to stay at the Hilton Tokyo instead. Somehow I walked from Shinjuku to my hotel and was able to check in at 6:00 PM. There was a message from my cousin waiting for me telling me he would be at my room at 7:00 PM. I took a quick power nap, showered, shaved and he arrived at my room at 7:15 PM. Then we picked up his wife and we went over to the New York Steak House at the Park Hyatt Hotel for an unbelievable dinner. The dinner was the absolute best I have had in my life (he picked up the tab). After that we walked around Shinjuku till midnight then we went back to my hotel. We made plans for the next morning and then I went up to my room where the Hilton Twins were waiting for me. We all snuggled in close and went to bed.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

The next morning the Twins helped me up with a nice massage, I then had to kiss both of them good-by, and tell them don’t miss me too much, I will see them again soon. After that my cousin and his wife picked me up around 8:00 AM and we went to some shrine, ate at a McDonalds, did some shopping, got my mom’s birthday gift, and then went to the observation deck of the Tokyo City Building. We went back to the hotel at 11:15 AM as they waited in the lobby I went back to the room, showered and then checked out at noon. My cousin and his wife escorted me back on the shuttle bus to Shinjuku train station where I bid them farewell and then I caught the 12:45 PM Narita Express Train back to the airport

Date: 8-3-02
Origin Airport: NRT
Destination Airport: SFO
Airline: UAL
Flight Number: 820
Aircraft Type: 747-400
Registration Number: N116UA

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Seat Assignment: United International Business Class Seat 25H, I moved to 24A
Scheduled ETD: 6:20 PM TST August 3rd
Actual TD: Door Closed 6:20 PM, Push Back 6:21 PM Take off at 6:43 PM
Scheduled ETA: 11:20 AM August 3rd Pacific Standard Time
Actual TA: Gear Down 11:45 AM, Touch Down 11:47 AM, At Gate 11:55 AM
Scheduled Flight Time: Announced Flight Time by crew 8 hours 56 minutes
Actual Flight Time: 9 hours 35 minutes gate to gate
Departing Gate: 28A
Arriving Gate: 97

Check-in/Security: Getting to Japan I was not concerned about. If I could not get to Japan on the 1st I figured I would go to California using the pass. Once I got to Japan however coming back was what concerned me. I have to be back at football camp by this Thursday. I have a lot to do to get ready to go away to training camp and I wanted some time to relax. If somehow someway the loads were high on Saturday and Sunday and I could not get out Monday I figured I may need to buy a one way ticket. A walk up coach ticket from NRT to the States is about $1500 dollars not matter what airport you fly into so I was hoping the loads would not be to bad. Hass informed me that the loads for the 3rd were a little ugly. Remember UAL has a HUGE operation at NRT with a lot of non-rev, business and a lot of tourist traffic. Hass listed me for the all 3 SFO flights but I did not even attempt to get on the first one as ITN was showing it 0 in all classes. The other flights looked ugly as well.

With this in mind I arrived at the airport at 2:00 with hopes of getting on the 5:20 flight to SFO which was 838. I go to the economy check-in line. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the front and get called in line. I go to the agent give him the pass and tell him I am on 838. He then told me “ALL flights to the states are oversold in ALL three classes of service. Good luck getting out. I put you on the Departure Management List for 838. At 4:30 go over to counter 32 our dedicated stand-by desk and he will give you a Departure Management Card.” I thanked him. O boy I thought I am not getting out of here. O Well Hass said the loads looked open tomorrow. I figured I would stay at a hotel by NRT the night and hopefully get out on the 4th. I did some spotting, ate at McDonalds, went up to McDonalds, then Observation Deck and mossied over to 32 at 4:00 PM ( I wanted to get there early). Ahead of me were 2 other stand-bys. The first women in line was a Flight-Attendant on vacation, and the gentleman in front of me was also traveling on a buddy pass. They to were listed on 838. They were given Departure Management Cards for 838. When I got to the front of the line he said you should be able to get coach on 838. I then stated what about 820 how is that looking? He pecked away and said, “The employees listed for 820 will be able to get a C or F cabin at this time. However if I move you to this list and you can’t get on you will not be able to get back to the states as that is our last flight to the states of the day.” I decided to take a gamble and was moved to 820. He said to come back at 5:20 PM to get your Departure Management Card. I did some more spotting and came back to 32 at 5:15 PM. He gave me my card and this time I was listed as an 8A. A mistake in my favor. I then proceeded though security and passport control to the gate. I got to the gate were I noticed 4 other people standing around the podium all with employee identification. This is where it got interesting. I figure the Premiers out there and employees of UAL may want to take note of this. We got a talking and all 4 of them except for one came in to NRT on other flights UAL has to its Asian Cities. They were all listed for the other flights from NRT to the states and got denied. The only one that was not listed for the earlier flight was an off duty FA who was commuting to work. He said that this flight, 820, is the best as
A) Nonrevers do not want to get stuck in NRT for another day so they list themselves on the earlier flights. They will usually get on the earlier flights but in Y as…
B) A lot of Premiers take the earlier NRT – USA flights as they offer better connection times to flights from West Coast cities to the East. If you take an earlier NRT-SFO flight you can get to NYC by 7 or 8 in the evening. If you take the last one you can’t get in till midnight and …
C) The earlier flights offer better connection times in NRT from the other UAL Asia flights for the tourists and businessmen

This guy said that he is based in SFO and 8/10 he will get on 820 and 7/10 times in C. He said F is usually open but paying that surcharge as he commutes gets to be expensive. After he explains this to us they call all of our names up at once. Like I said before I somehow was listed as an 8A and the agent asked. You are listed for business but I can give you an F seat would you like that? I think the agent upstairs made that mistake. I did not want to get him, her, and especially Hass in trouble so I declined and was more than happy to go in business. The other 4 nonrevers and I were as happy as pigs in poo as they all were in F, me and the off duty FA in C. They all said the loads looked like sh*t on this flight when they checked and were happy to get on.

Airport Observations: I come all the way to NRT and what is the first plane I see on the observation deck….A Continental Boeing 737-800. I love CO and their planes but if I come 6700 miles the FIRST plane I want to see is NOT a standard CO 737 as I see them A LOT at EWR. Anyway I chuckled at this and then was marveling at the other planes at NRT. There were a lot of heavies mostly 747s there. I was amazed how NWA and UAL have such a big precense in NRT. It is also amazing how they park the plane and take the bus to it we did that when we came in on the 777. The 747 outbound we also had to take a bust to it. It was a great experience. The deck was a neat place to be and I am glad I spent the time up there.

Seat Comfort: Exact same seat on the 777 except on the 747 it is considered C+ as there is 55 inches of pitch instead of 49 on the 777.

Predeparture Drink: Water, OJ, Champagne was offered. Took the water. Same amenity kit, menu, blanket, noise canceling headset and pillow. I was sitting next to a Million Mile Flyer. He as was I was listening to Channel 9. I mentioned to him about Flyertalk.com and he said he has heard of it but never been to it or posted. News papers were distributed.

Pilot came on Channel 9 would be on told us we are full today and bad tailwinds so we will be late into SFO. Told us about our route and our FL of 37. This time our route would be south of Aleutian Islands told us to enjoy our flight. Shortly after this I heard him on Channel 9 call someone and told them are passenger loads. Is this NRT UAL operations? Anyway we pushed back on time for our departure. I noticed is that on NRT ground the term “HEAVY” is not used even though all of the aircraft our heavy. I guess with all of the 744s it is not necessary. We followed JAL 2 which was going to SFO as well as we thundered down 16L into the night. Once again another great take-off my first time in a 744 and my first time in a 747 since I was 5.

Then something came up I would like to share. I noticed that 24 A/B were open. After the Captain turned off the fasten seatbelt sign I got up to move there after asking the Purser who said it was fine. I obviously wanted to move to give myself and this Million Mile Flyer more room. When I got up I got my carry from the overhead bin and moved to the other side of the aircraft with the bag to put overhead. When I opened the bin above the seat a bag of duty free material came crashing down on the baseball hat/head of the guy sitting in 23B. I fly a lot and have seen stuff shift around in flight but I have to be honest with you. Before it came crashing down on this guy I caught a glimpse of it how it was stowed. It was stowed on top of his carry-on. The bag was plastic and slippery. With the bag being plastic it slid well on the bag. What he did was he stowed it on top of his bag, not next to it, thus putting the bag in a prime position to fall. I tried to catch it but I was to late and landed squarely on his head. I immediately apologized. This guy did not see me open the bin. And said to me “How the f*ck did that happen.” He was not hurt but not happy. I once again “I am sorry sir but I was going to open the bin to put my bag up and this it came crashing down. I am really sorry are you hurt?” “No I am not hurt.” This guy did not say much to me but looks can be worth a thousand words. He was pretty pissed at me. I immediately told an FA who told the purser and he went over to him. The purser came back and told me behind the curtain, that the gentlemen was ok. I felt bad for the guy and I truly was sorry. The purser said don’t worry about it. But I tell you the bag was not stowed correctly and that caused it to come down. Mind you the bag that came down was a bag with 2 cologne boxes with the cologne from the duty free and probably did not hurt that much as he had a cap on. I apologized once again to the guy but he just gave me dirty looks the whole way to SFO. Has something like this ever happen to you?

In-Flight Meal Service: Before this happened the Purser came around once again by Premier status to ask for dinner selections. There were quite a few Premiers up in C (I looked at the Manifest) but he came to us first as my seatmate was also the only Million Mile Flyer on here. He took my seatmates order and turned to me. I asked him If I could move to 24A which he said sure no problem then asked me like the Queen did before, “do you fly for mainline or an Express Carrier of United?” I once again said “I wish I did and will be a pilot someday but I am traveling on a buddy pass for a friend that works for Skywest. He said he commutes on Skywest, that they are great, and then told me he will take my meal order.” This surprised me because non-revs get the last choice of meals. “He said don’t worry about that there are plenty for everyone’s first choice.” I thanked him selected the filet mignon and told him that if by chance he needs my meal give me the seafood ragout or a coach meal. He then said he appreciates the help. Once again here is the menu selection.

To Begin

Shrimp sushi with gari, soy sauce, and mushrooms
Sliced sesame beef en croute and chive horseradish sauce

Garden Fresh Salad
Vinaigrette dressing

Main Course

Leek and shallot filet mignon with balsamic portbello sauce
Baked red potatoes with herbs and stir-fried oriental vegetables

Seafood ragout in coconut mile with saffrom risotto
Shrimp, scallops and clams with bacon and vegetables

Japanese Obento selection
An appetizer of white fish with black bean tofu, chicken roll, tuna tataki with yam allumette and vegetables, and udon noodles. A main course of steamed silver cod with shimeji mushrooms, asparagus and ginkgo nuts, beef with miso and steamed rice
Served with green tea

International cheese selection
Brie and Smoked Cheddar cheese

Apple tartlet with vanilla sauce

Prior to Arrival
Creamed spinach omelette with shiitake mushroom sauce
Ham fried rice, chicken sausage and a fresh fruit appetizer


Fresh Seasonal Fruit plate with creamy yogurt

Because I am so nice once again here is the wine list it is somewhat similar

Brut, Henriot Brut Royal, Pommery

White Wine
Chablis 2000, J. Moreau
St.-Veran 2000, Sacha Lichine
Taft Street Montery 2000
Meerea Park Hunter Valley 2000

Red Wine
Listrac 1998, Chateau Bellevue Lafont
Cotes du Rhone 1999
Sangiovese 1999, Rocca delle Macie

Again the food was great. This menu is the one for all NRT-LAX/SFO/SEA flights. The appetizer was tasty. I had a few of the wines and Champagne as well to wet my thirst on the flight. The FA kept coming around time and time again asking us do we want more how can we help you. My only complaint was that there was no mid-flight snack service, but this flight was considerably shorter. And it is not really a complaint an observation I was able to sleep on this flight for about 3 hours. When I got up I chatted once again the Flight Attendants till it was time for breakfast.

In-flight Entertainment: Channel 9 was listened to until we were out over the water. There was also an electrical storm going on and it was great to watch that. I did watch “Ice Age” a movie that I thought was hilarious and would recommend it to anyone, an episode of Frazier and some other short segment stuff. I also watch the airmap. Once we got to USA airspace I turned on Channel 9 till we landed a little late on runway 28R

Capacity: 12 in F (4 nonrevs), 62/79 in C (2 nonrevs), 248 in Y

Airport Facilities at NRT: 10/10
Check-in/Gate Personnel: 10/10
Schedule: 10/10
Aircraft Condition: 10/10
Aircraft Comfort: 10/10
In-Flight Personnel: 10/10
In-Flight Beverage Service 10/10
In-Flight Meal Service 10/10
In-Flight Entertainment 10/10

I was a little concerned about going through Customs. A single young male traveling along way in a short amount of time. I feared I would be asked like so many mileage runners have been asked, “How long have you been in XXX?” My fears were for nought as it took me 2 minutes to go through customs. The officers asked, “Did you have a good time in Japan?” and that was it. The secondary customs screener said welcome home that was it. The SFO international wing is great. It will be the place for Trans-Pacific flights and was very convenient and easy to use. When going overseas go through SFO. I gave Hass a call as I knew he was to work Saturday in the evenings and there was an Airliners.net meeting going on. I had my face glued to the window as we were landing in SFO hoping someone would take a picture of the plane coming in with my face in the window. Hass said he had to be at work at 2:30 PM (it was 12:30 PM) but they were five minutes away and would be glad to pick me up. I went outside and 10 minutes later I saw him drive up in his car.

I had a great time at the gathering. It was great to meet everyone and watch the planes go by. The spot was great place to watch the planes. Hope everyone had a good time once we left at 1:15 PM.

Hass was so kind to pick me up then drive me back to the airport. He dropped me off at the AA arrivals level told me to go inside, go through the employee checkpoint, and meet him at 87A while he parks his car to get to work. We were thinking about my flight options to get back. I was listed on 70 that left at 2:30 PM to EWR but the JFK flight that left at 4:00 was a 3 class 762. I sort of wanted to try to get on a 3 class 762, but it did not arrive back into JFK till midnight and getting back home would be a pain as I did not drive to the airport and did not want to ask someone to pick me up. A redeye was also an option on a 3 class 762 to JFK, but I wanted to sleep in my own bed so Hass checked me on Flight 230 a 757 to EWR.

Before I boarded the flight Hass gave me a little tour of SFO. The UAL terminal is pretty easy to navigate and there is plenty of room in the departure lounges. Hass has a membership to the Red Carpet Club, where we went in had a quick bite and talked aviation. It was a first time for me in any type of airline club so it was neat for me. Around 2:05 PM we went to gate 85. The very good looking young twenty something year old called my name and gave me seat 2D. I thanked her, wished I could get her number and said good by to Hass. I then got in line and boarded the plane.

Date: 8-3-03
Origin Airport: SFO
Destination Airport: EWR
Airline: UAL
Flight Number: 70
Aircraft Type: 757-200
Registration Number: N511UA

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Photo © Mark Abbott

Seat Assignment: United Domestic First 2D
Scheduled ETD: 2:30
Actual TD: Door Closed 2:30 PM, Push Back 2:30 PM Take off at 3:00 PM
Scheduled ETA: 10:52 PM
Actual TA: Gear Down 10:47 PM, Touch Down 10:50 PM, At Gate 10:55 PM
Scheduled Flight Time: Blocked by United at 5 hours 22 minutes
Announced by Crew at 4 hours 42 minutes
Actual Flight Time: 5 hours 25 minutes gate to gate
Departing Gate: 85
Arriving Gate: 14

Check-in/Security: Like I said I went through the employee checkpoint and Hass checked me in. Easiest Time going through security and easiest check in probably in the history of commercial aviation

Airport Observations: I like SFO. If you need to go through a city to get to Asia or oversee go through SFO simple as that. But be careful of weather delays

Seat Comfort: I have been on the UAL 757 4 times up front and I find it comfortable even though I am a big guy. I had seat 2D to myself and no one was in 2C.

Predeparture Drink: Water and Menus were distributed.

We pushed back on time made are way to the wait for the 28 R/L departure line. Channel 9 was on and there was a wind shear warning for SFO. The Captain came on explained to us weather will be a factor, as we will be going around storms and we may get bumped a little. Our initial Crusing Altitude was FL37 and told us to have a great flight. We took off from runway 28R

In-Flight Meal Service: Once again another great meal service. The 2 Flight Attendants up front were Shannon and Patrick. Shannon the purser took meal orders this time due to Status and me and the other nonrever were the last be asked what we wanted. When they got to us though all of the meal choices were available. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something as Shannon asked me once again, “are you a UAL pilot?” You know the reply. I hope to be a pilot one day so hopefully this is a good sign. I opted for the Veal and a Pepsi would be fine. This menu is labeled TRANSCON so it is probably served on the 3 class 762s.

To Begin

Chilled antipasto plate
Prosciutto, coppa ham with black pepper, mozzarella cheese, oven roasted beets, artichokes and Kalamata olives

Heartland field greens with carrots and yellow bell peppers
Balsamic Vinaigrette or classic Caesar dressing

Main Course

Tenderloin of beef with bourbon molasses barbecue sauce
Garlic basil mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley

Pecan-crusted breast of chicken with peach salsa
Horserasish whipped potatoes and asparagus with carrots

Grilled veal chop with a chestnut and pearl onion sauce
Potato and parsnip puree and bok choy melange


Ice cream with sundae toppings

Featured Wines

Sparkling Wine
Veuve Amiot Brut
Bouvet non-vintage, Loire

White Wine
Burgundy Macon 2000, Lungny St. Pierre Bouchard Pere et Fils
Pionere Vale Central Chardonnay 1999

Red Wine
Carmen Valle Central Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Geyser Peak Sonoma Country Merlot 2000

It was good once again. No second snack service before we arrived but that was ok. The ice cream Sunday kicked a$$ and is better than Delta’s sundae

In-flight Entertainment: I saw the movie and the short story segments already somewhere over the Pacific. Channel 9 was on so I listened to that the whole way. Once over Cleveland we were also treated to some fireworks displays.

Even though we were suppose to be at FL 37 the weather was causing some turbulent problems so the pilots had us between FL28 and FL 39. ATC asked if we could do FL41 but we were too heavy. The pilots did an EXCELLENT job taking us around weather which added some time but we still got in only 3 minutes late. We were cleared for the VOR/DME runway 22L at EWR but are pilots asked for and go the visual APR for 22L

Capacity: There were a few select open seats in Y mostly middle seats. There were also many attractive girls in their college years on this flight traveling with their family. In F there were 12/24 and two nonrevers me and a flight attendant commuting

Airport Facilities at SFO: 10/10
Check-in/Gate Personnel: 1,000,000/10 (Hass checked me in)
Schedule: 10/10
Aircraft Condition: 7/10
Aircraft Comfort: 7/10
In-Flight Personnel: 10/10
In-Flight Beverage Service 10/10
In-Flight Meal Service 10/10
In-Flight Entertainment 10/10 (I will take Channel 9 over any in-flight movie any day)

All in all I had a great weekend. I probably won’t be able to travel like this again until I get a job at an airline. A few notes.

1) UAL is a great airline and I had some great crews
2) I can see how nonreving can be a little stressful
3) I was very, very, very lucky, I got in C and F on all my flights even though it was the height of tourist season on some very popular routes
4) I NEED to get a job at an airline so I can travel like this
5) A big THANK YOU to Hass for letting me use his passes and bother him at work so I can be listed for the flights

Well I will be flying again a lot this fall. However for a different, businesslike reason. I won’t be able to go away on vacation till January at the earliest but I doubt I will even be able to get away then. I probably won’t be able to travel again for a vacation till next March. Right now my mind is on football camp and what I need to do there.

Comments are of course appreciated. Thanks for taking the time and reading the report.

Safe flying to all!!!

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9946 times:

Another brilliant report from the master, i expected nothing less. Thanks for mentioning me, i felt all warm and fuzzy  Big grin. Why were the aircraft comfort and condition only at 7 on the 757?
DC-10's Forever

"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9943 times:

Awesome... I know what you mean about the "bento" sets. I had the privilege of being served one in the then-Connoiseur Class from Hongkong to Singapore many years ago. Even though the service was a little reserved, it was still good.

Good report, by the way. Flying for free in Business Class is fun, isn't it?

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineFutureSQPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9918 times:

Great report...nothing better than flying C/F class for free! I can imagine how gigantic you must have seemed in Japan...when I walked through Tokyo Station it felt like I had suddenly grown a few inches was taller than almost everyone around at just 5'11...

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9900 times:

Hahahaha.... what a thing to say! I am 5'11" by the way...

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2610 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9893 times:

Great trip report! 5 stars. Sounds like C class is a blast! I'm glad you had such a great time on UAL, they're the best in my book. Wow I'd love to go to Japan sometime, but of course America West buddy passes don't quite cut it  Sad

User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9869 times:


Nobody gives me passes...  Sad

Anyone wanna give me passes?

User currently offlineJ-bird From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9850 times:

A great report and a great way to do the Pacific crossing.

I have to ask though (and I probably missed something along the way).... the Hilton Twins? What/who are they (if you can reveal this)??? Sounded good....


User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9831 times:

you had twins? hot diggity!

User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1805 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9746 times:

Very Great report . I flown on UA to SFO from Singapore via Narita on Economy . I didn't really enjoy the ride because of bad services but UA's domestic is fantastic . I flown on UA's A319/A320 and 733 shuttles . I find their domestic services better then the international services . The next time i fly on UA , i hope to fly on their B777s .


Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 9685 times:

Thanks for the replies!!!

J-Bird, I am sorry it was a typo. It should be the Hilton SISTERS. They are the heirs to the Hilton hotel chain. May I say that they are umm...attractive. They were on the cover of STUFF magazine a few months ago.

They are close friends of mine  Big grin

User currently offlineFlyua From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 329 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 9627 times:

Great report! Hass is wonderful fellow! I finally got to meet him last week on the job at SFO.

Good luck to you in your airline career to surely come! I hope you'll be "as happy as a pig in poo!"  Big grin


User currently offlineSalvation From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 9603 times:

Excellent reporting...the CO B-737-800 you saw was CO's second flight per day from GUM to NRT that returns to GUM as CO's second flight from NRT. FYI, from GUM to NRT, it's CO 6 and from NRT to GUM, it's CO 7. If you stay long enough in NRT, you'll see 3 different types of CO's a/c...they are the 767-400, 777-200, and 737-800.

User currently offlineJ-bird From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9577 times:

Thanks for the correction.... sigh - I think you had us all going for a while! Nonetheless, a great report.

Cheers from London.

User currently offline174thfwff From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9534 times:

First of all, great report.
Second, if you're ever in Syracuse this fall, drop me a line!


User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9527 times:

Thanks once again for the replies!!

Salvation-Yep I knew it was the CO 737 to Guam or the island hopper service. I just thought it a little ironic that everyother plane at EWR is a CO 737, I thought if I were to go to a new airport for me such as NRT, the CO 737 would not be the FIRST plane I saw on the observation deck.

174thfww, I will be in Syracuse the 25th and 26th of October as long as I don't get hurt and make the traveling squad. I don't know if you are a football fan but we play the 'orangemen' in that done up there of yours. I know I will not be able to talk aviation, but I MAY have an extra ticket if you need it.

User currently offlineUA744Flagship From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9453 times:

Hey Mark...

Amazing trip report. Goes into detail like no other!

I am only too happy to have provided you with that experience. Everyone should get to experience international premium flights!

Hope we can do Hawaii next spring,

Hass (with another new, this one's final folks! -i promise- screen name) <-- actually, it was my first a.net screenname with a profile, registered in 1999

User currently offline174thfwff From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 9429 times:

I Love EWR

Hehe, yea, we don't want to look like nerds...me expecially since I am much smaller then those linebackers!


P.S.-If you have to give one away I'll take it. Otherwise I'll buy my own, no bigie. (Did I just say no bigie?)

User currently offlineKaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1589 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9380 times:

I love EWR

Great trip report for sure! I am so glad you got to experience UAL biz class international! It is just one awesome experience isnt it?!? It sounds like each of your meals were the same as my flights a couple of weeks ago when I flew ORD-HKG and NRT-SFO! The meals sure are something on international flights dont you think? What Aircraft do you prefer flying in Biz class after you had the 777 and 747 basically back to back during your trip? Well, glad to know you enjoyed a great trip to Japan!


User currently offlineDouglasDC8 From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9347 times:

Go Scarlet Knights!!!! I'm an alumni, class of '85. And I'm glad you had a good time on my airline!

User currently offline174thfwff From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9341 times:

Yea, Actually you made me hungry when you posted those choices!

Back in 2000 when I went to Hawaii on Delta L-1011 via Atlanta to HNL, we got to eat crap on a stick and share a bag of chips between us...well it was better then that.


User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9298 times:

Kaitakfan, with out a doubt I prefer the 747. I read your report so I was ready on what to expect. I am lucky though how I was able to get the biz class. You were not able to get Biz on the return right? And the meals are something on the International Flights, they were delicious.

DouglasDC8, you went to Rutgers? What college did you graduate from? Have you seen any of the games recently, what do you do for UAL?

User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 17
Reply 22, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9296 times:


Where did you play high school ball at?

I know two incoming freshmen this year (actually, my son does, but they know me too), Will Gilkison and Joe Henley, from Red Bank, both pretty big fellas that were very good at the high school level. "Gilk" was a weight room madman, according to my son there is a pile of bars in the corner of the gym that he bent while squatting 400+ pounds. Joe is a player that I think could be molded into a star on the college level. Both are tremendous athletes, hopefully they can contribute over there.

User currently offlineI LOVE EWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 852 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9266 times:

777gk, I played high school ball at Toms River North and graduated in 2001. I both know Gilkison and Henley, I was their host when they came up here for their official visits. They are really cool kids and both do have the potential to contribute over the years. We start camp today. Who is your son? I will ask them if they know him.

Do you live in Red Bank? I saw on your aol name the word 'Giants'. Are you a Giants fan? A good friend of mine from high school Darian Barnes is trying out for the Giants and he has an excellent shot of making fullback with the team. He is number 43 and the coaches really seem to like him. He played at Toms River North and graduated in '98. He led us to the South Jersey Group IV State Championship in '97. He got some playing time on Monday and looked awesome. I went up to Albany saw the Giants training camp last week. I hope that they have a good season but I am highly optimistic. We have a few kids on the team who had fathers that played for the Giants. The fathers were Ben Martin and Bill Neill. I am living with Bill Neill's son Ryan.

Give me an email if you have any more questions. If you want any tickets for any games let me know. Here is the schedule. When we get done with camp I will IM you as well. My AOL SN is MAS757200.

9/14 ARMY^ 7PM
9/21 Pittsburgh* 12PM
9/28 Tennessee 7PM
10/12 WEST VIRGINIA* 3:30
10/19 Virginia Tech* TBA
10/26 Syracuse* TBA
11/23 Notre Dame 1PM
11/30 Boston College* 12PM

The games in CAPS are our home games.

User currently offlineDouglasDC8 From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9234 times:

Hey I Love EWR,

Rutgers College is where I went, I haven't seen a game in a long time (work Sat.). As for UAL, I work in Cargo as a lead agent. My crew is responsible for the cargo to South America, from off-loading the truck to customs documentation. I am also a dangerous goods specialist. Transferred from EWR to MIA 4 years ago.

25 I LOVE EWR : DouglasDC8, I am a RC student as well. If you ever want a ticket to a game let me now. I applied for a job at UAL at EWR a few years ago, but all posi
26 Post contains images Trickijedi : Excellent report! I enjoyed it thoroughly! I used to fly fairly frequently to NRT on the to MNL on NW and I agree, it's an excellent airport. Very fri
27 Post contains images DLLongIsland : Hey Dave.. I have to say - that was hands down the best and most exciting report I've ever read! You've left me truly enveous of your adventure... I c
28 DLLongIsland : Ooops. My bad.. I meant "MARK" Sorry about that bud! Dunno what the heck made me think Dave?
29 US AIRWAYS : I Love EWR Great trip report! Very exciting to read, and great details! My father, my 2 uncles and 2 aunts all graduated from Rutgers. Instead of foll
30 Post contains images I LOVE EWR : DLLongIsland, I saw Hofstra play last night against Montana. I thought they did a good job. Montana is a great team. What games have you seen recently
31 Bobbydgg : just curious...what sorts of charters do you all take for away games? Also, to which games do you fly besides, obviously, Miami? Thanks, Benton
32 I LOVE EWR : Bobbydog, for our charters we use Continental Airlines. We use a variety of aircraft depending on where we are going to. Usually it is a 737-800, but
33 Standby87 : Nice report I LOVE EWR, enjoyed reading it. And in answer to one of your questions, I once smacked someone on the head closing an overhead bin....on C
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