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RTW On Star In C/F W/ Pics Part 1: NKG-BJS-SFO-JFK  
User currently offlineUsagypsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 60 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5687 times:

This is the first part of my Christmas round the world….. enjoy.. tried to paste the pictures but I am going to need some more help / advice on how to do that... I thought I could just inport them into the word document, copy and paste.... anyone have any advice?

20 December 2004 Beijing – Nanjing MU2158 (I think)

I decided to fly up to Beijing the night before to make sure that fog didn’t stop me from getting through to NY on United the next day. Left work at 1600 to make the 2 hour trip to the airport. Originally I was booked on CA1504; an Air China 737-800 and the last flight out at 20:05 but when I got to the airport, all flights to Beijing were delayed anywhere from 2 to 3 hours… no explanation why – as usual. I noticed the China Eastern flight that was scheduled at 17:55 was rescheduled for 19:20 and so quickly re-booked and checked in. The surely check-in agent asked me if I wanted to have dinner in the VIP Lounge; this is something that I had never been asked before but I usually have little time when I get to the airport on inner China flights. I asked her if dinner was being served since China Eastern normally offers a full meal on the sector (not bad for an hour and a half flight). She said no, which I did think was odd so I accepted and headed to the Lounge. Dinner was not exactly what one would expect – typical Chinese fare served in a plastic container and I only picked at it. Boarding was delayed further but I relaxed when I saw the plane pull into the gate around 19:30 it was a quick turn around and I was onboard the new A320 with a glass of juice – no champagne - by 19:45. China Eastern is actually an excellent airline for domestic flights and First Class passengers (there being only first and economy on most narrow bodied aircraft, like US carriers) are given a gift. This time it was a small thermos with the China Eastern logo… again, very impressive considering the flight is only 1 ½ hours. As with some other Asian carriers, they bow before the safety briefing and then again before arrival. The flight was quite empty and I had 1C and D to myself.

After a long roll, we were wheels up at 20:00 and drinks were offered. I had a glass of beer and sure enough, the very pleasant FA offered me chicken or fish for diner…. I choose the chicken which was actually quite good and came with rice, vegetables, a dinner roll and a piece of cake, all served on porcelain.



Afterwards I did some work and we were soon on finals for Beijing. The weather was fine and I still don’t understand why all the flights to and from were so delayed… anyway, I have come to understand that air travel in China often leaves one wondering.……
A long walk to baggage claim – I don’t think Beijing Capital is particularly well laid out and I always seem to be as far as possible from the baggage area. I only had to wait a minute or so for my bags which were the first two off, got into a cab and made my way to the Hyatt to meet my colleague for some drinks, glad to finally be on my way.

21 December 2004

UA888 BJS-SFO
ETD: 1330
ETA: 0825
Aircraft: 747-400
Estimated time en-route: 10hrs 55min

My colleague was heading out on the BA to London at 12:30 so we left for the airport a little earlier than I like. Surprisingly there were no health declarations to be filled out or SARS scanners (temperature scanners) like the last two years. I was especially surprised considering I had seen on the news only a few days before that they had reinstated these checks.

Check-in was very quick and I was allocated 15B, as planned, and given the invitation for the lounge. 15B is on the upper deck at the emergency exit and has tons of space, if you like an aisle, it’s the best seat in the house. I like windows too, but only if the aisle is also free and even though I tend to sleep for most of the flight, I would rather have easy access than a view.

The Air China Lounge in Beijing is in dire need of a face lift and only offers limited food and beverage by today’s standards but it does have a smoking closet… literally a closet with enough space for 4 people…. So I can’t complain to much. After a while I headed to the gate where boarding began at about 12:45




The upper deck was almost full and I cringed when, right before the doors closed, a family with a lovely, loud, 4 year old boarded and sat 2 rows behind me…. Oh dear……

The crew seemed friendly and I helped myself to two servings of champagne as amenity kits and menus were handed and the cabin was prepared for departure. We pushed back and were airborne right on time.

I like United, despite what others say…. They need to install lie flats to keep up with everyone else but their seats have good pitch, especially on the upper deck and a good recline. The crews I have had recently have been older, true, but that is the case with any US airline on long hauls. More importantly, the crews have been very friendly and professional, which I consider exemplary considering their management is screwing them.

Dinner was quickly served and consisted of the following:

TO BEGIN

Smoked breast of duck, spiced shrimp and polenta; cherry tomatoes and tomato vinaigrette

Fresh seasonal greens; Roquefort or Chinese sesame dressing

MAIN COURSE

Filet mignon with tarragon demi-glace; twice baked potatoes, green beens and caramelized yellow onions

Grilled salmon with lemon dill cream sauce; wild rice with shallots and a zucchini and carrot saute

Stir-fried chicken with oyster and black pepper sauce; fried ramen noodles with vegetables and Chinese seasonal greens

DESSERT

International cheese selection; blue and cheddar cheese

Marble Philadelphia cheesecake with mixed berry sauce; whipped topping and pistachio nuts

MIDFLIGHT SNACK

Please help yourself to assorted treats between the two main meals. Sandwiches or noodles are available upon request.

PRIOR TO ARRIVAL

Cheddar cheese omelette with roasted tomato sauce; pork sausage, rosti potatoes and fresh fruit appetizer

Fresh seasonal fruit plate with creamy yogurt

I had the filet mignon, which was quite good…. As dinner was being served I watched the path of our flight. Interestingly, instead of going over the Arctic, we shot down and over Seoul, in between Osaka and Tokyo and then commenced across the Pacific



Annoyingly, I fell asleep before the cheesecake which I was looking forward to!

I woke up at some point and looked at the map…….. we had only been in the air for 5 hours! AAArrrggghhhhhh…. I decided a whisky might help me, but after two, I was no better off. For the first time in years, I couldn’t sleep…… I walked back to the galley and chatted to the FA for a while and waited and waited…. I was ready to rip my arm out and beat myself over my head with it…. Atleast when I am sleeping I don’t want a cigarette!

Morning finally came

Breakfast was served and we began our descent into San Francisco



We landed on time at about 08:20 or so and after passing immigration and customs, I re-checked the bags and headed for a desperately needed cigarette… Since my connecting flight didn’t leave for some time and I was feeling crap, I decided to head to the Arrivals Suite, have a shower and freshen up. It definitely did the trick…. The facility itself is nice, the individual shower rooms much larger than those offered by Air France and well supplied with the necessary toiletries…..

Afterwards I headed back through security and to the Red Carpet Club to wait for the PS flight to NY.

UA8 SFO-JFK
ETD: 11:30
ETA: 19:49
Aircraft: 757-200
Estimated time en-route: 5hrs 19min

I was looking forward to this leg of the trip and used complimentary E-upgrades to upgrade from business to first on the new United PS service. Normally Newark is closer to my sister’s house, but domestic first, which business passengers are put in on domestic routes is awful after a long haul flight. I was glad I made the choice. Boarding began at 10:55 but first class passengers were asked to wait because the cabin was not ready. After a short wait, I boarded and headed to 1A… the first thing I noticed was that the seats were almost the exact same as Singapore Airlines’ Skybed, which – in my opinion – is the best of the angled lie-flats. Sorry for the poor picture quality….



Again, it looked like it was going to be a very friendly crew and I was quickly brought champagne and the menu……



The flight was pretty empty in first with 4 other passengers and two UA employees… the FA said this was odd since the flight is normally full. Later in the flight, I did notice that business was, indeed, full. Once airborne (I think it was ontime, I was so tired and ready to enjoy some good service, I really didn’t care)
We headed north, in the direction of Oakland, and had a fantastic view of downtown and the Golden Gate Bridge. The personal DVD players were passed out as well as drinks.


I decided on the pasta but jet lag kicked in and by the time I had finished the starter and salad, I fell asleep! The seats are very comfortable and extra large pillows and blanks – the kind offered in United First on international sectors. I slept for a while before waking up to a beautiful sunset and two helpings of dessert – ice cream 



Chocolates were handed out and we began out descent into JFK, arriving on time or slightly there abouts. The bags took some time to come off but other than that, I have to say the PS service is fantastic and I really hope United expands it to other domestic long haul routes.

Hope you enjoyed…. Stay tuned for the next part – JFK-GRU-GIG-GRU-CDG-AMS-CPH-BJS-NKG….. on Varig, SAS and Air China


10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCollegestud From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5577 times:

where is the pictures?????

User currently offlineUsagypsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5499 times:

i am not so technically capable.... i thought I could just import them into the word document i was typing the report in but i can't. Don't know how to copy them into the report

User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5385 times:

Send me the word document, shawnb777@adelphia.net and I will put the pictures up for you.

User currently offlineUsagypsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5274 times:

cool Shawn, will do.... my email is petie108@hotmail.com - Pete

User currently offlineShawn Patrick From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5178 times:

Well I'm going to repost the whole thing so you know where the pictures should be, enjoy!

This is the first part of my Christmas round the world….. enjoy


 


20 December 2004 Beijing – Nanjing MU2158 (I think)


 


I decided to fly up to Beijing the night before to make sure that fog didn’t
stop me from getting through to NY on United the next day. Left work at 1600 to
make the 2 hour trip to the airport. Originally I was booked on CA1504; an Air
China 737-800 and the last flight out at 20:05 but when I got to the airport,
all flights to Beijing were delayed anywhere from 2 to 3 hours… no explanation
why – as usual. I noticed the China Eastern flight that was scheduled at 17:55
was rescheduled for 19:20 and so quickly re-booked and checked in. The surely
check-in agent asked me if I wanted to have dinner in the VIP Lounge; this is
something that I had never been asked before but I usually have little time when
I get to the airport on inner China flights. I asked her if dinner was being
served since China Eastern normally offers a full meal on the sector (not bad
for an hour and a half flight). She said no, which I did think was odd so I
accepted and headed to the Lounge. Dinner was not exactly what one would expect
– typical Chinese fare served in a plastic container and I only picked at it.
Boarding was delayed further but I relaxed when I saw the plane pull into the
gate around 19:30 it was a quick turn around and I was onboard the new A320 with
a glass of juice – no champagne - by 19:45. China Eastern is actually an
excellent airline for domestic flights and First Class passengers (there being
only first and economy on most narrow bodied aircraft, like US carriers) are
given a gift. This time it was a small thermos with the China Eastern logo…
again, very impressive considering the flight is only 1 ½ hours. As with some
other Asian carriers, they bow before the safety briefing and then again before
arrival. The flight was quite empty and I had 1C and D to myself.


 


After a long roll, we were wheels up at 20:00 and drinks were offered. I had
a glass of beer and sure enough, the very pleasant FA offered me chicken or fish
for diner…. I choose the chicken which was actually quite good and came with
rice, vegetables, a dinner roll and a piece of cake, all served on porcelain.



 


Afterwards I did some work and we were soon on finals for Beijing. The
weather was fine and I still don’t understand why all the flights to and from
were so delayed… anyway, I have come to understand that air travel in China
often leaves one wondering.……


A long walk to baggage claim – I don’t think Beijing Capital is
particularly well laid out and I always seem to be as far as possible from the
baggage area. I only had to wait a minute or so for my bags which were the first
two off, got into a cab and made my way to the Hyatt to meet my colleague for
some drinks, glad to finally be on my way.


 


21 December 2004


 


UA888 BJS-SFO


ETD: 1330


ETA: 0825


Aircraft: 747-400


Estimated time en-route: 10hrs 55min


 


My colleague was heading out on the BA to London at 12:30 so we left for the
airport a little earlier than I like. Surprisingly there were no health
declarations to be filled out or SARS scanners (temperature scanners) like the
last two years. I was especially surprised considering I had seen on the news
only a few days before that they had reinstated these checks.


 


Check-in was very quick and I was allocated 15B, as planned, and given the
invitation for the lounge. 15B is on the upper deck at the emergency exit and
has tons of space, if you like an aisle, it’s the best seat in the house. I
like windows too, but only if the aisle is also free and even though I tend to
sleep for most of the flight, I would rather have easy access than a view.


 


The Air China Lounge in Beijing is in dire need of a face lift and only
offers limited food and beverage by today’s standards but it does have a
smoking closet… literally a closet with enough space for 4 people…. So I can’t
complain to much. After a while I headed to the gate where boarding began at
about 12:45


 



 


The upper deck was almost full and I cringed when, right before the doors
closed, a family with a lovely, loud, 4 year old boarded and sat 2 rows behind
me…. Oh dear……


 


The crew seemed friendly and I helped myself to two servings of champagne as
amenity kits and menus were handed and the cabin was prepared for departure. We
pushed back and were airborne right on time.


 


I like United, despite what others say…. They need to install lie flats to
keep up with everyone else but their seats have good pitch, especially on the
upper deck and a good recline. The crews I have had recently have been older,
true, but that is the case with any US airline on long hauls. More importantly,
the crews have been very friendly and professional, which I consider exemplary
considering their management is screwing them.


 


Dinner was quickly served and consisted of the following:


 


TO BEGIN


Smoked breast of duck, spiced shrimp and polenta; cherry tomatoes and tomato
vinaigrette


 


Fresh seasonal greens; Roquefort or Chinese sesame dressing


 


MAIN COURSE


Filet mignon with tarragon demi-glace; twice baked potatoes, green beens and
caramelized yellow onions


 


Grilled salmon with lemon dill cream sauce; wild rice with shallots and a
zucchini and carrot saute


 


Stir-fried chicken with oyster and black pepper sauce; fried ramen noodles
with vegetables and Chinese seasonal greens


 


DESSERT


International cheese selection; blue and cheddar cheese


 


Marble Philadelphia cheesecake with mixed berry sauce; whipped topping and
pistachio nuts


 


MIDFLIGHT SNACK


Please help yourself to assorted treats between the two main meals.
Sandwiches or noodles are available upon request.


 


PRIOR TO ARRIVAL


Cheddar cheese omelette with roasted tomato sauce; pork sausage, rosti
potatoes and fresh fruit appetizer


 


Fresh seasonal fruit plate with creamy yogurt


 


I had the filet mignon, which was quite good…. As dinner was being served I
watched the path of our flight. Interestingly, instead of going over the Arctic,
we shot down and over Seoul, in between Osaka and Tokyo and then commenced
across the Pacific



 


Annoyingly, I fell asleep before the cheesecake which I was looking forward
to!


 


I woke up at some point and looked at the map…….. we had only been in the
air for 5 hours! AAArrrggghhhhhh…. I decided a whisky might help me, but after
two, I was no better off. For the first time in years, I couldn’t sleep……
I walked back to the galley and chatted to the FA for a while and waited and
waited…. I was ready to rip my arm out and beat myself over my head with it….
Atleast when I am sleeping I don’t want a cigarette!


 


Morning finally came



Breakfast was served and we began our descent into San Francisco



 


We landed on time at about 08:20 or so and after passing immigration and
customs, I re-checked the bags and headed for a desperately needed cigarette…
Since my connecting flight didn’t leave for some time and I was feeling crap,
I decided to head to the Arrivals Suite, have a shower and freshen up. It
definitely did the trick…. The facility itself is nice, the individual shower
rooms much larger than those offered by Air France and well supplied with the
necessary toiletries…..


 


Afterwards I headed back through security and to the Red Carpet Club to wait
for the PS flight to NY.


 


UA8 SFO-JFK


ETD: 11:30


ETA: 19:49


Aircraft: 757-200


Estimated time en-route: 5hrs 19min


 


I was looking forward to this leg of the trip and used complimentary
E-upgrades to upgrade from business to first on the new United PS service.
Normally Newark is closer to my sister’s house, but domestic first, which
business passengers are put in on domestic routes is awful after a long haul
flight. I was glad I made the choice. Boarding began at 10:55 but first class
passengers were asked to wait because the cabin was not ready. After a short
wait, I boarded and headed to 1A… the first thing I noticed was that the seats
were almost the exact same as Singapore Airlines’ Skybed, which – in my
opinion – is the best of the angled lie-flats. Sorry for the poor picture
quality….



 


Again, it looked like it was going to be a very friendly crew and I was
quickly brought champagne and the menu……



 


The flight was pretty empty in first with 4 other passengers and two UA
employees… the FA said this was odd since the flight is normally full. Later
in the flight, I did notice that business was, indeed, full. Once airborne (I
think it was ontime, I was so tired and ready to enjoy some good service, I
really didn’t care)


We headed north, in the direction of Oakland, and had a fantastic view of
downtown and the Golden Gate Bridge. The personal DVD players were passed out as
well as drinks.



I decided on the pasta but jet lag kicked in and by the time I had finished
the starter and salad, I fell asleep! The seats are very comfortable and extra
large pillows and blanks – the kind offered in United First on international
sectors. I slept for a while before waking up to a beautiful sunset and two
helpings of dessert – ice cream J



 


Chocolates were handed out and we began out descent into JFK, arriving on
time or slightly there abouts. The bags took some time to come off but other
than that, I have to say the PS service is fantastic and I really hope United
expands it to other domestic long haul routes.


 


Hope you enjoyed…. Stay tuned for the next part –
JFK-GRU-GIG-GRU-CDG-AMS-CPH-BJS-NKG….. on Varig, SAS and Air China





[Edited 2004-12-27 02:10:18]

User currently offlineCollegestud From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4921 times:

Nice report and pictures.

User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8535 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4781 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice,can't wait for the return trip.

Rgds

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 offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5517 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4785 times:

Very nice. I might use miles just to fly UA first class, it looks so nice! Can't wait for another trip report!

User currently offlineAAplatnumflier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4742 times:

Nice report with nice pics....isnt that PS nice...

User currently offlineUsagypsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4670 times:

Hey Shawn, thanks - looks great... day before yesterday I flew JFK-GRU-GIG and tonight I'm doing GIG-GRU-CDG-AMS then on the 1st Jan AMS-CPH-BJS-NKG.... wanna add the pics for me again? Pete

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