foppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 790 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9772 times:
I go to Los Angeles (mainly Burbank) about every 10 days. Most of the time I fly United for westbound flights and JetBlue for eastbound flights. Most of the flights are nothing to write home about because I sit in coach (not Y+) but this time it’s different. I recently became Premier Silver in June and am excited about the opportunities for CPUs, Priority Access, and access to Economy Plus T-24hr at check-in. I know that Silver is the lowest of low status so I probably won’t be getting any upgrades for JFK/EWR/LGA to DEN or SFO/DEN to BUR flights. Also, transcontinental p.s. flights are not eligible for CPUs so I was only hoping for a CPU on SFO-BUR on this trip. As you can see below, all First Class seats are taken on this tiny CRJ-700 and I was #3 on the waiting list. I thought to myself, “hey, maybe...just maybe I’ll get upgraded at gate.”
I took the Long Island Rail Road from NY Penn Station to Jamaica then AirTrain to JFK. LIRR service has been stable for me (thankfully) and there was no AirTrain service interruptions. I checked in at the Priority Access desk tucked away in Terminal 7 and checked my luggage. Everything went smoothly and the agent informed me that the flight is completely full. It took me a total 1h15m to get from door to gate which was not that bad considering taking the taxi may get me stuck on Van Wyck. As I sat at Gate 10 waiting for boarding, I got curious and checked the upgrade list, standby list, and seatmap on my phone. I suddenly saw that my seat (18A, Economy Plus) was open! I figured there must be a glitch in the system or something because sometimes the app gets a little crazy. Right before I went on line for boarding, I got a push notification saying my seat has been changed to 7A! I thought to myself, “wait...isn’t that business class?” However, I didn’t believe the notification because I JUST became a Premier Silver, the flight is completely full, and p.s. flights are not eligible for CPUs. I quickly pushed the thought away and convinced myself the app is really acting crazy today. I thought I would just use the paper boarding pass printed at home to board the flight.
Pre-boarding was called and people who required additional help/time started to board the flight. Then, the gate agent called boarding for Global Services, military personnels in uniforms, and Group 1. Everyone boarded the plane in an organized and efficient manner. Since I am a Silver, I get to board in Group 2. When the gate agent scanned my paper boarding pass, the machine beeped. I got a little excited considering there may be a chance for a surprised upgrade because where else can they move me?? The gate agent shuffled around the boarding passes on his desk and informed me that I was upgraded to Business Class! I was dumbfounded and muttered, “ oh wow!” He scanned the new boarding pass, handed me the new boarding pass, and I checked the seat assignment...it WAS 7A. The app didn’t lie...I was moved to 7A! I thanked the gate agent and went on to the airbridge.
I quickly board the plane and settled into my lovely seat at 7A. It was a transcontinental p.s. plane in the old 3-class configuration. The only downside of 7A was that I only had one window but who cares! It’s a complimentary upgrade on a p.s. flight without using cash or miles! Needless to say, I was very excited for my first experience of p.s. Business Class.
The portable media player was passed out. The collection of movies are surprisingly good. I watched Argo and Life of Pi. The FAs then started lunch service. I had chicken (my second choice). Beef/steak was offered but the full-fare passengers and higher elite members probably all ordered the steak. Haha! I wasn’t complaining though. It was nice for UA to upgrade me to being with. UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR
Then, the dessert came. I had a sundae with chocolate syrup and strawberries. By this time, Pi was trying to figure out how to survive with a tiger out in the Pacific. UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR
Another legroom shot after the meal service ended and the trays were taken away. I was in a cradled/reclined position and still had a lot of legroom: UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR
Well, good things never last long. We were approaching SFO flying near the Yosemite fire. It looks really awful and I hope the firefighters can contain it soon. I want to send a big thank you to the firefighters who are battling the fire in such intense CA summer heat. UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR
A last look at seat 7A before I deplaned. This is probably my last time to experience the old transcontinental p.s. Business Class and the only time I’m lucky enough to get a complimentary upgrade on p.s. flights.
The next leg of the flight is SFO to BUR on a tiny CRJ-700. Here are the flight info:
Airline: United Airlines
Aircraft: Canadair CRJ-700
Cabin: Economy Plus
Seat: 5A, window
From: San Francisco- SFO
To: Burbank- BUR
Date: September 04, 2013
Scheduled Departure: 16:02 PDT
Actual Departure: 16:46 PDT
Scheduled Arrival: 17:01 PDT
Actual Arrival: 17:31 PDT
Duration: 51 minutes UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR UA766/6410 JFK-SFO-BUR
I slept for the last leg of the flight probably because I had plenty of wine during the previous flight. I took a cab home and that was the end of the trip. I enjoyed the p.s. Business Class very much and the services were great. Thanks, United, for the upgrade and an opportunity to experience the 3-class p.s. Business Class before they’re all reconfigured.
767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1883 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7122 times:
Nice to get an upgrade with UA! I've been flying them a lot this year, and hopefully will hit Silver here pretty soon. I've heard it's pretty hard to get upgraded as a Silver, so nice to see it does happen!
777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 460 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6472 times:
Thanks for flying on one of our United P.S. Services. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience! Try to catch one of our newly reconfigured 757's that feature our International seating you find on Continental, but domestically.
The flight attendant that is captured in one of your first pictures, is actually featured in one of our employee publications. It's pretty much the only route she does.
I'll be on one of the SFO-JFK runs on Monday enroute to IAD. Very excited about it!
foppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5708 times:
Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.
Quoting 767747 (Reply 2): I've heard it's pretty hard to get upgraded as a Silver, so nice to see it does happen!
Honestly, I don't know what type of upgrade I had because transcontinental p.s. flights are not eligible for complimentary premier upgrades. Maybe it was an op upgrade. I'll be keeping track of all my cleared/not-cleared upgrades this year!
Quoting 777ord (Reply 3): Try to catch one of our newly reconfigured 757's that feature our International seating you find on Continental, but domestically.
I'm flying the same route again on 9/19. SFO-BUR on UA 347. It's showing the new p.s. configuration. It will be nice to sit in new seats once in a while. Although, I have to say...the old p.s. biz seats were very comfortable.