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SEA-ORD On UA +Widebody Spotting At ORD  
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

I'm back! It''s been nearly a year since my last trip report, UA949 LHR-ORD-SEA. The domestic part of that flight was less than enjoyable, so I was looking forward to having my confidence in UA restored. For the first time, I wasn't sure if I'd be flying, due to all the labor issues, etc. at UA. I knew two weeks before that there wouldn't be a strike, so I was set. Whew!

I try to visit my Uncle and Aunt near Chicago every few years, and this past weekend worked out best for all involved. I had everything worked out in February, and bought my ticket on the UA website for $365.

The morning of my flight, I had to be up damn early at 1:45am, as my shuttle van was picking me up an hour later. Alarm was set, it went off, but I didn't wake up until 2:25! Shit! Had a quick shower and I was out the door 20 minutes later. Van picked me and others up, and I arrived at SEA at approx. 4am. The previous night, I used the Easy CheckIn on UA's website, and printed my boarding pass. AMAZING!!! It really truly is the way to go. Armed with that in hand, and my driver's license, I bypassed the check-in counter, only to find that the security area wasn't even opened yet. I headed over to Starbucks and grabbed a tall, non-fat mocha with whip cream and a piece of banana bread. After, I cleared security with ease, and got up to the North satellite by 4:30. It was still dark, but I was able to make out other aircraft at the N gates:

- AC A320 parked beyond N16.
- UA "wingtip service" flights to DEN at N15 and N16. I think they were both A320's, can't recall.
- US A319 (N173US) headed presumable for PHL
- AS MD-80 at N3
- AS 737s at N11 and N7
- UA A320 headed for IAD, 6am departure
- At Gate N2, I saw they were getting ready for the inaugural daytime B6 flight to JFK, #176, leaving at 1:50pm.

I went over to N9, where my a/c was parked, ready for a 6:10 am departure for ORD. I tried for a while to make out the reg. #, but couldn't quite make out the last #. I saw an EVA Air 744 take off, a FedEx 727 and DC-10-30 arrive, and a NWA 753 land, maybe from OGG or HNL. It looked longer than a normal 752.

June 17th, 2005
UA 1236 SEA-ORD (continued on to BWI)
Flight time: 3h 22m
Equip: B757-200
Reg.: N531UA
Seat: 26A
Load Factor: 100%
Wx: Cloudy, and scattered showers
KSEA Altimeter Setting: 29.65
KSEA Tower frequency: 135.52
Ch. 9: YES!!!!!  cloudnine 


Boarding went pretty smoothly, I'm not sure if UA needs to enforce their procedures or sell tickets to smarter people who can listen and follow directions. Anyhow, I made it back to 26A, experienced the heat blast due to the problem they had with the heating system in the mid-cabin area, and also realized that UA must have cut the pitch when I got to my seat. There was almost NO legroom! I flew on a 752 last July, and had more then. Maybe it was just early, I don't know. The F/A's wanted to get going, and made a few polite announcements asking people to hurry up and sit down, so they could leave on time.

As always, I turned to Ch. 9, and it was already on! I knew ahead of time the movie would be lame..."The Pacifier" with Vin Diesel, so I had my IFE already set. I snapped a few pics. and then started listening and jotting down what I heard. Mainly, it was maintenance positioning to gates from the remote hardstands....AA, AS, and a UA 752 heading for N6 which would become UA 916 to IAD, which was what I took last July.

We pushed back ontime, and taxied behind an AS 737 towards 16L for "static" takeoff. After that took off, we taxied into position and I took more pics, and we were off.

ATC/Route specifics:
- Turned left, from 160 to 040, and then right heading 072. We were told to remain below 250 KIAS below FL130. We were then cleared to FL150, then FL360, and shortly after cleared for cruise at FL370.
- We experienced some light chop over the Cascades, which was to be expected, and on Ch. 9, I heard there was nothing over FL290.
- A very smooth ride after the Cascades. I heard something about Moses Lake, and we were told to switch to 128.45 for SEA center, and then to 118.62.
- There was some reference to Glacier Tower (FCA), Kalispell, and Great Falls.
- Handed off to Salt Lake Center, to 129.75, and told of light chop for the next 40 miles.
- Handed off to Minneapolis center, first to 128.42, then 119.87, then 133.07, then 134.25.
- At this time, I learned we were cruising at .705 mach.
- We turned left to 040, towards Jamesville (North Dakota, I think) and then shortly thereafter, a right turn. Odd!
- During the flight, I heard conversations with UA884, UA646, KE244, CO284, AA2041, a FedEx, UA1210, UA242, UA337, DL 1812, NW813, NW679, UA217, DL1575, and AA73.
- We began our descent from FL370 to FL330, and then to FL290. Instructions were to go from 330 to 290 in 4 minutes or less.
- Handed off to Chicago center, frequency 118.42, and to reduce speed to 280 KIAS.
- Descent continued from FL290 to 250, then 240. Light speed brake was applied at this point.
- The altimeter for ORD was 29.94, and we switched over to 133.35.
- We were cleared down to FL110 and told to hold 300 KIAS.
- Down to FL090, then to FL070, holding 170 at KIAS.
- Frequency was then 119.0 "Tango" and I learned we would land on 9R at ORD.
- I heard conversations with LH 430 Heavy, coming in from either FRA or MUC.
- We turned left heading 120, and because of an announcement, I missed the clearance to 090 for landing.
- I also heard references to "PRATT" and "DEANA", and thanks to A-netters Ytib and AirportPlan I learned tonight that these are navigational radio fixes for Runway 9R. "DEANA" is the outer marker (LOM). I heard these on the LHR-ORD segment last July, and didn't know what it meant. Thanks, guys!  Smile
- I took some great shots of the wing and UA's C concourse seconds before touchdown. Also, I saw the watertower for the city of Bensenville, IL on approach.
- We made a smooth landing on 9R at 12:03PM CT, and left the runway at M5, and crossed the bridge on taxiway B.

Spotting on the way to C23: TED N472UA, 772 N221UA (New Livery!)at Gate B17 which was #909 to DEN, and N182UA heading to FRA on B16, a 744. I also saw 4 737's in the "Shuttle by United" livery!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BONUS!!! Widebody spotting yesterday at ORD, June 20th, 2005

My uncle dropped me off at around 12:30 or 1pm, as he had some things to do that afternoon. Not a problem, as that gave me PLENTY of time to go spotting!  cloudnine  I don't really care about narrowbody planes, so my focus was UA widebodies.

I walked both UA concourses TWICE! I took pics. of all of these, no one at ORD that day knew there was someone walking around taking pictures of UA widebodies! Ha! It was a LOT of fun! It was a LOT of walking, and treated myself to a $9 (including tip) Sam Adams at a bar...at least it was 20oz. Still.... Yeah sure

Anyhow..here they are:
-772 Gate C29 ORD-IAD-ZRH #936 N769UA (New livery!)
-772 Gate B16 ORD-DEN #909 N214UA
-772 Gate C16 ORD-FRA #944 N775UA (New livery!)
-763 Gate C9 ORD-LAX (didn't get flight #, sorry) N675UA
-772 Gate C18 ORD-NRT #882 N225UA
-772 Gate C10 DEN-ORD N768UA (saw it pull up, then I had my $9 beer)
-744 Gate B17 LH...very crowded, couldn't get close to get a pic. The tail said "TD" and I later saw it taxiing, and confirmed it was D-ABTD. Named "Hamburg"? It looked like it, couldn't tell for sure. Calling all LH 744 experts on A-net!!!!!
-744 British Airways...arriving from LHR, landing on 9R. No Reg. # avail.

Two unique planes:
- Trans Canada A320...looked like an old-style livery, very cool looking! Reg. C-FZUH
- Gate B18...ORD-DUS, with an LH flight #. But, it was an A320? Plus it had a red tail with a small white "plus" on it. An A320, ORD-DUS? Help explain this
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The flight home was OK. It's getting late for me, so here is the "Reader's Digest" version:

- UA 575, B752, Reg. N540UA, Gate B6, Seat 26A.
- No Channel 9, damnit...
- Movie: Million Dollar Baby...ok, headphones didn't work well, movie had sad ending.
- Buy on board, I bought the $5 box that had the Mrs. Fields cookie and chips and salsa, among other things. Quick-something...it was called.
- Rolling takeoff from 32L, continued HDG 320 for a few minutes, left turn, presumable to 270.
- Flight time 3:43
- LONG delay, 40 mins., at the gate...some problem loading baggage.
- Saw a BIG fire west of Rwy. 32L...training, maybe?
- Saw two UA 737's, consecutive Reg. #'s...N375UA and N376UA.
- Saw DuPage County, IL airport near Batavia, IL after takoff.
- Began descent over Wenatchee, WA (EAT) and followed US Hwy. 2, saw Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian style tourist trap town)
- Turned left (south) over the Sultan/Index area
- Flew over Woodinville and Lake Sammamish, saw Issaquah on the left side. Flew over Newcastle, right turn over Auburn (?) and towards Tacoma, saw Commencement Bay.
- Smooth approach and landing to 34L.

Overall, great flights. SEA-ORD was better, and ORD-SEA was definitely better than UA949 last July 26th. Service was fine, not super amazing, but not shit, either. I really feel for these employees, given everything they're going through with UA. I hope the best for them!

Next flight: two weeks from now, 7/1, when I non-rev., SEA-SFO-SEA on UA.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

Great Report - when I read it, it reminded me of what I've been missing on all of my non-UA flights these days... Channel 9 really is great, I wish more airlines had something like it...

Just think about it - channel 9 and a tail-mounted (added to a nose-mounted) camera on the same plane... pure delight! Big grin

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Thread starter):
The tail said "TD" and I later saw it taxiing, and confirmed it was D-ABTD. Named "Hamburg"? It looked like it, couldn't tell for sure.

D-ABTD is "Hamburg" - flew that plane to Johannesburg on 4 May 1999...

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineP51Mustang From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Thread starter):
Gate B18...ORD-DUS, with an LH flight #. But, it was an A320? Plus it had a red tail with a small white "plus" on it. An A320, ORD-DUS? Help explain this

It is an A319LR which is operated on behalf of LH. The Owner is PrivatAir Switzerland.



Waldorf: "The question is: What is a manamana ??"Statler: "No ! The question is: Who cares ?"
User currently offlineDaron4000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 712 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4363 times:

Also, if the flight you saw going to LAX was at around 3 PM, it was probably the 2-class 767 service, flight 121, which I was on two weeks ago.
Great report, glad you enjoyed UA.


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 3):
Also, if the flight you saw going to LAX was at around 3 PM, it was probably the 2-class 767 service, flight 121, which I was on two weeks ago

Yes...it was about 3pm...that's the approx. time I was there. I was wondering if it was on the "list" of 763's that were maybe leaving the fleet, though I hope not. It still had the old livery.

Quoting P51Mustang (Reply 2):
It is an A319LR which is operated on behalf of LH. The Owner is PrivatAir Switzerland

Ok, thanks. I don't know much about the A319, other than it's a longer range a/c. So a LR version would easily make ORD-DUS. Thanks for that!  Smile

Quoting Leskova (Reply 1):
D-ABTD is "Hamburg"

Ha! So my eyes aren't going bad after all...I saw her from a distance, but the lettering must have been big enough for me to guess.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 1):
Just think about it - channel 9 and a tail-mounted (added to a nose-mounted) camera on the same plane... pure delight!

Yeah, I wish UA would order the 777-300ER and the new LR when they emerge from Ch. 11. That tail-cam is amazing...as I wrote on your TR, that's worth flying SAA just for that, almost as good as Ch. 9!


User currently offlineDCrawley From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4233 times:

Great trip report my friend! Great read for me to start my day. This morning, I sat out on my porch with a cup of joe and watched the SEA departures. Nothing more soothing to me in the morning than spooling engines and coffee (what a typical Seattlite response)! Anyways, I had a question for you. You said that when you got to SEA, you saw an AC A320? I did not know that they flew these into SEA now. All I used to see (and still see) are Jazz Dash8-200's. I didn't know the routes could use that much more capacity!

Thanks for a great report!

-D.K. Crawley



"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4201 times:

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 5):
Anyways, I had a question for you. You said that when you got to SEA, you saw an AC A320? I did not know that they flew these into SEA now.

I think AC has had a nonstop to YYZ for a while now, using A320's. Not sure what time it leaves, but it departs from the N gates, N1 I think it is.

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 5):
Thanks for a great report!

Thanks for reading...glad you enjoyed it.


User currently offlinePanAm330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2679 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4097 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Thread starter):
772 Gate C29 ORD-IAD-ZRH #936 N769UA (New livery!)

When did United start opping the 777 on the ZRH route?


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 4027 times:

PanAm: Not entirely sure...assuming I read the departure screen (and UA posted it correctly) the flight was headed to IAD and then on to ZRH. I though it was a 763 myself, maybe it was upgraded for the summer?

User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3984 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 8):
StevenUhl777

I have to say your support and ability to see the good and bad of UA is a welcome change on this site compared to others. I do hope they survive and good luck to them.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 3862 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 9):
I have to say your support and ability to see the good and bad of UA is a welcome change on this site compared to others.

Thank you.  Wink


User currently offlineCWAFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 669 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

Steve
The fix you heard was Janesville, Wisconsin. It is in the South
Central part of Wisconsin and is part of the Janesville 4 arrival in ORD.
Weather premitting, almost everything coming from the West of ORD
is routed to JVL and then to ORD.


User currently offlineSouthwestMDW From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 303 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

Great Report. I love United and spotting at O'Hare.

Thanks for mentioning Batavia, IL  Wink I happen to live there. DuPage County Airport that you mentioned, is near Batavia, but Batavia is in Kane County. The Airport (DPA) is right near West Chicago/Saint Charles.

Enjoyed your report!

Patrick


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

Quoting CWAFlyer (Reply 11):
Steve
The fix you heard was Janesville, Wisconsin. It is in the South
Central part of Wisconsin and is part of the Janesville 4 arrival in ORD.
Weather premitting, almost everything coming from the West of ORD
is routed to JVL and then to ORD.

Makes sense...right on the way into ORD. I knew there was a Jamesville, North Dakota, and was thinking maybe that was it. But thanks for clarifying that. I'm flying SEA-ORD-SEA again on UA in November for work, so hopefully I'll have Ch. 9 again.

Quoting SouthwestMDW (Reply 12):
Great Report. I love United and spotting at O'Hare.

Thanks! Yeah, I got there at just the right time, too. A lot of walking, but well worth it, especially the way I ate in Chicago... Yeah sure

Quoting SouthwestMDW (Reply 12):
Thanks for mentioning Batavia, IL I happen to live there. DuPage County Airport that you mentioned, is near Batavia, but Batavia is in Kane County. The Airport (DPA) is right near West Chicago/Saint Charles.

Sure thing...I was actually in Batavia the day before, my uncle and I were checking out Fermilab there. Cool place, cool building! We had lunch at Portillo's in Batavia, and then drove throught West Chicago and saw the planes taking off/landing. So when I took off to the NW, and looked SW, I put two and two together and guessed it might have been DPA. But, thanks for clarifying that.


User currently offlineIRelayer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 13):
We had lunch at Portillo's in Batavia

Portillo's is awesome!

Loved your TR...I have been in that UA terminal and seen all those things so many times (having had ORD as my home airport for such a long time, and having traveled almost exclusively on UA everywhere I went). I feel close to ORD and UA. I still think their service is OK, the FA's could stand to be a little bit nicer, but I think I am very forgiving when it comes to UA because my mom always complains every single time, and it pisses me off. Heh.

-IR


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