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UA F LAX-SEA-LAX (sorry No Pix)  
User currently offlineBluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

My First trip report on a.net! If there¡¦s anything I can improve on my writing, please let me know!

UA1170/11AUG ¡V UA506/11AUG LAX x/SFO SEA
Class: United First
Seat: 03CD/01AB (Party of 2)
Equipment: 757-200 (UA1170), A319 (UA506)
Load Factor: 100% in F for both flights.

Family Tradition: I get my birthday presents at home, in Seattle. I almost thought I had to break this tradition this year since a) I can¡¦t get any time off during my birthday, b) Tickets are more expensive in summer than other times, and c) I¡¦ve got to buy ticket for two (wouldn¡¦t want to leave out my girlfriend, would I?). So when I got words that the bosses are changing my schedule around and freeing up my Saturday and Sunday before my birthday, I was out of option on what ticket I can get. A round trip one week before departure can easily cost $1K for two, a price I can¡¦t easily afford. Then I tried my luck with award tickets, and spent 80K on 2 F class tickets for the roundtrip! My girlfriend and I are both pretty excited since we have never been on First Class legitimately. Sure, segment upgrades and nonrev complimentary are fine, but UA are not really generous on that. This time we get to use the F check-in line, and board whenever we want!!!
UA1170 leaves at 1801 on Friday, 8/11. I got off at 3PM. Wanted to get some business done at DMV, but they closed early for computer problem. Also with the tightened security, we decided it would be better to get back to the airport early. Check-in was a breeze. UA actually fenced off a section of Terminal 7 at LAX for dedicated F/CL, C/CL, and other priority and FF passengers. Only took us 2 minutes to reach the front of the line and get our bags checked in. Also the first time I see my bags are treated nicely with the orange ¡§Priority¡¨ label sandwiched between them.
Security was not as bad as the rumor had it. Or was it off-peak travel hours? Anyway the whole thing took us no more than 15 minutes to clear. The Indian guy in front of us, however, did not have such luck and was interrogated about a couple lotion bottles and a few half-full bottles of water. Seems like he and his family of 5 just got off from another Star Alliance flight, possibly NH or SQ and did not know anything about the changes that took place just the day before.
With over an hour to burn, we decided to get something to eat. Although I have worked at LAX for more than 3 years and my girlfriend a little more than one before she quit, I still couldn¡¦t believe the price-hagging that happens at LAX. Rather, I refused to believe it. A snack wrap cost $2.49 + Tax at LAX, a 33% price increase.
Boarding was smooth. Being the first ones onboard does seem like a privilege after all. The flight was slightly delayed (but less than 15 minutes so it doesn¡¦t count) for a reason not disclosed by the crew, and I was too lazy to ask. I dozed off when the aircraft was taxing, like usual, and woke up after rotation. Catering started after we leveled off. Service was OK, although the lack of meal service was somewhat sad but expected. Item offered was a bag of nuts with booze. I wanted Cabernet Sauvenigon, but all they had was Siraz, which is a little dry for my taste. LAX-SFO took a little over an hour, but that was NOT A GOOD EXCUSE to serve nothing but a drink and nuts. I flew CI on TPE-OKA before, and that was a 50-minute hopper. You wouldn¡¦t believe the speed the FAs pass out the meal sacks! Take off, Drink, Meal(hot), clean-up, landing, all done in 50 minutes! But that count as an International flight and cannot be compared to a domestic one like this, or can it?
SFO was a much better airport than LAX. In fact, ANY major airport probably had LAX beat by far. The exhibitions in the terminal was interesting ¡V bunch of marine life artifacts, from fish bones to coral, you name it. Even some artworks. On our way to gate 90 for the second flight, some dude was running behind us on the powered walkway and muttered ¡§give way, going to Seattle, Seattle¡K¡¨ I guess it¡¦s someone who was delayed coming in and afraid the plane will leave without him. But dude, we are also going to Seattle and we are strolling down the hallway without a worry in mind! It¡¦s still 15 minutes until departure!
Upon entering the cabin, all but 2 F seats (ours) are occupied. When I check-in in LAX only 2 of us are in the F class. Rest of the seats are free for the take¡KI guess the upgraders got the news and decided to hop on. Can¡¦t blame them though ¡V I dreamed to become an upgrader myself sometime in the future.
The A319 took off again to Seattle. I was not expecting anything different service wise than my last flight. But this time they gave me a bag or pretzel rather than mixed nuts¡Kgood thing my GF was impressed by the view. Since it was getting late I decided to catch some Zs before arriving. I woke up to the landing preparation, but I¡¦ve got to say the headrests put back in the lowest position is really uncomfortable to this 6¡¦1¡¨ guy!
All UA flights park at the North Satellite in SEA. There is a subway connecting the satellite and the main terminal. Bag was not as fast as I hoped because there are multiple arrivals. But when the my flight finally started offloading I was expecting to see my bag early in the process. Instead about 50 regular bags came out before my ¡§priority¡¨ bag showed up¡K

My stay in SEA was extended because I got my foot cut on the beach trying to catch some free oysters¡Kwhen I was turning my body some oyster shell got me on the foot¡Kironic. It took a few stitches but it was sewed back nevertheless. I had to postpone my return trip for 2 days but fortunately there were still award seat available, and there was no fee for the change. Lucky me.

UA 1157/17AUG SEA-LAX
Class: United First
Seat: 04A/B
Equipment: 757-200
Load Factor: 22/24 in F

A few reasons led to my decision of not check-in online. One, the computer and printer at home wasn¡¦t talking to each other properly and I was too lazy to fix it. Two, since I was flying First, the line should be more or less manageable. I later found out it was not 2 minutes, but still OK. There were about 5 people ahead of us, and when it became 2, a lady came in from behind and said she only had 1 hour before her flight, and asked us if we can let go first. I agreed. Then she proceed to ask the guy in front of me if he was waiting for an agent or using the kiosk. The guy said he was waiting and she just walked up to the kiosk and started playing with it. Within 2 minutes the agent was tagging her bags. Seeing this the bulk of the line just went to the kiosks and the line stopped moving because the agent was busy tagging everyone¡¦s bag. I had to follow suit, though I wanted to be served the traditional way.
Security was not bad at all, although I missed the sign that says ¡§priority line¡¨ it didn¡¦t take any time at all to get through. The lady ahead of me got caught with several tiny bottles of lotion, and told TSA that she remembered to put all gel/lotion in her checked bag but grabbed them when she checked out of the hotel¡Kso off to the trash they went¡K
SEA¡¦s central terminal dining area, called the Marketplace, is absolutely gorgeous. A whole wall facing the Runway 16LR/34LR and many great shops and restaurants. Fish & Chips are great with beer! And price is actually fair here.
We were indulging the food and view a bit and by the time we got to the gate it is already final boarding time. We were offered water and OJ as we settled into the seats. I tried ATC Live!, but the skipper didn¡¦t turn it on this time. Trying to find something to do, I looked into my seat pocket. There, I find¡Ka used cloth napkin? And some newspaper? My girlfriend had better luck. She found an Entertainment Weekly and some other magazines in her seat pocket. Someone wasn¡¦t doing their jobs, most likely the cleaners. An FA came by to collect the trash and apologized about. No harm done.
The plane left on time and rotated off 16L, due south. About 20 minutes later, Mt. Rainier showed up outside the window. It foggy outside (smoggy?), but the mountain stick out of the fog and looked, well, heavenly. I was busy introducing the view to my GF when I noticed the FAs playing with tablecloths. So we ARE getting something to eat! Great!
Services soon began. It seems like UA likes to take order for a couple people, serve the drink, then take order for the next pair. Wouldn¡¦t it be more efficient to take orders from everybody then deliver the drinks all at once? My GF was wearing my noise canceller and watching ¡§Over the Hedge¡¨ on the overhead, so she gave me the drink order to pass on to the FA. I order Champaign, and yeah, you guessed it, ¡§We no longer serve Champaign on domestic route.¡¨ I had to go with just a white, with no bubbles. Then I asked about a hot chocolate that my GF wanted. The FA this time started laughing¡Kyeah, laughing¡KI had to settle with an OJ instead. The food service was just a snack, cheese/fruit plate, and it wasn¡¦t bad. Flight was only 2 hrs and 9 mins and we got to LAX ahead of schedule. Due to the Runway closure on 25L/07R we had to land on the north side on 24R and take the long way around. When we taxied past the TBIT, I was delighted to see the new Gate 101 opening up ¡V An OZ 772 is parking there. It is said to be the LAX¡¦s answer to the A380: One bridge on each deck. I wonder if I can use both on a 744 and opening up door 1L and 2L at the same time¡Ksadly gate 102 is now removed.
Aircraft blocked in a full 10 minutes ahead of schedule, and we got off the aircraft to proceed to the baggage claim. It didn¡¦t take as long as it was in Seattle, about 10 minutes after arrival. Guess what was the first thing that came out of the carousel? Not my bag, or any priority bag, but just a regular bag¡Kone of my bag came out about 10th in the row, and the second one about 50th in the row. Again. I realize that it is hard to separate bags in a bulk-loading aircraft, but they should at least try.
Overall, I was satisfied with the trip. I hoped the service can be as good as some of the CI regional flights I took before, but I¡¦ll settle for what I¡¦ve got. This concludes my trip report this time, and I¡¦m working on the mileage to get DL F tickets to HNL. Hope I can get on a trip soon so I can write more!


JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Good start to a a trip report, though it was a little hard to read with the upside down exclmation points, and spacing.


Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlineBluewhale18210 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3020 times:

Oops! System fumbled! I guess pre-typing that on my Traditional Chinese System had adverse effects...


JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
User currently offlineWeAreUnited From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days ago) and read 2944 times:

Quoting Bluewhale18210 (Thread starter):
LAX-SFO took a little over an hour, but that was NOT A GOOD EXCUSE to serve nothing but a drink and nuts.

Has any US carrier within the last 15 years served a meal on this short of a flight?

LAX-SFO can be as short as 40 minutes- so a meal service is not logical. And keep in mind- this is the US.

Thanks for the report! Hope you both enjoyed United First!


User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2936 times:

WeAreUnited -

I remember when UA served a small sandwich snack in F between LAX/SFO and SNA/SFO. Don't remember if they served SAN/SFO. But when they did serve, it was great and the F/A's kept my glass full! These were all 757/737 flights. With all the linen, as well, stainless silver, and real glass.

FYI - I first flew a UA DC-6 from SFO to LAX as a kid, so I've been loyal to UA for close to 50 years!  old 


User currently offlineWeAreUnited From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 4):
WeAreUnited -

I remember when UA served a small sandwich snack in F between LAX/SFO and SNA/SFO. Don't remember if they served SAN/SFO. But when they did serve, it was great and the F/A's kept my glass full! These were all 757/737 flights. With all the linen, as well, stainless silver, and real glass.

WOW!! I must say I'm impressed! I'm impressed with the service and the fact that you've been loyal to UA for 50 years!! United appreciates it!

Thanks for the info~~


User currently offlineSkyTaxi From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

With the major renovation of Sea-Tac, keeping prices down for travelers was a factor, who wants to spend $8.00 for a sandwich?
The new terminal.


Thanks for sharing your flight experience with us. A good read.

[Edited 2006-08-20 21:42:47]

[Edited 2006-08-20 21:52:54]

[Edited 2006-08-20 21:53:52]

User currently offlineJonno From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2746 times:

Quoting WeAreUnited (Reply 3):

Um............. BA serve a FULL meal and beverage service in Club Europe LHR - AMS! And THAT flight is maybe 35 mins from wheels up to wheels down. Pre-meal drinks, entree, coffe/tea/post meal drinks.......... all done w/crack British efficiency, smiles and TIME TO SPARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What effin excuse is there SEA - LAX, SEA - SFO, LAX - SFO NOT to serve a meal, then????????????????? Rien du tout!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially as UA's fares are more expensive than BA's!

AFAIC, these routes are an opportunity for cabin crew to sit on their arses and do SWEET FA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However, it's not their fault, seeing as UA is serving Lean Cuisine food at Ritz prices. But, when you have to ring the call bell for a drink or anything on a non-meal flight, my mind does begin to wonder where the hell the concept of service for premium passengers, even on a two hour domestic flight, has escaped to.....


User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2726 times:

No champagne in F? That's sh*te!

Quoting Jonno (Reply 7):
Um............. BA serve a FULL meal and beverage service in Club Europe LHR - AMS! And THAT flight is maybe 35 mins from wheels up to wheels down. Pre-meal drinks, entree, coffe/tea/post meal drinks.......... all done w/crack British efficiency, smiles and TIME TO SPARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What effin excuse is there SEA - LAX, SEA - SFO, LAX - SFO NOT to serve a meal, then????????????????? Rien du tout!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially as UA's fares are more expensive than BA's!

It gets better, LGW-JER is the shortest club route at 30 minutes in the air. They manage to serve a full cold meal with desserts, offer a full bar including champagne and offer hot towels. Ah, i'm glad we have BA Smile

Sam



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineWeAreUnited From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2612 times:

Quoting Jonno (Reply 7):
Um............. BA serve a FULL meal and beverage service in Club Europe LHR - AMS! And THAT flight is maybe 35 mins from wheels up to wheels down. Pre-meal drinks, entree, coffe/tea/post meal drinks.......... all done w/crack British efficiency, smiles and TIME TO SPARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What effin excuse is there SEA - LAX, SEA - SFO, LAX - SFO NOT to serve a meal, then????????????????? Rien du tout!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially as UA's fares are more expensive than BA's!

I said US airlines. Read before posting.

Thanks.


User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 2541 times:

The connotation "inflight service" is being relegated to few words used in the online dictionaries. It seems an oxymoron in this day and age,

Yes, there is still inflght service. And yes, some of it is still superb and worthy of the accolades they got years ago. We always hear in terms of Asian carriers with positive responses working their way westward around the world. I studied this "marketing" strategy in the late 60's - early 80's. Domestic US carriers started falling apart with the LCC's. Dissention between factions started at the mainline carriers wondering what to do with "war surplus." Do we open routes to Europe, the Orient, or South America. One airline proudly wore the title under the cockpit "WorldWide Service." The Viet Nam war intervened and toward the end of that, aircraft purchased for special purposes (-320C's) were routed back into commercial routes. A lot of airlines were stuck with an eclectic fleet.

Then when the war was over, it was tough trying to integrate a different fleet back in to commecial operations and often you had a surplus of a/c. Probably one of the best early "remakes" was Braniff. It was on good footing with a great product potential, but then expanded all over too quickly. BN's first jumbo was a 747-100 painted pumpkin orange and flew daily between Dallas Love Field and Honolulu International Airport. There's a historical Braniff web site featuring their single 747 doing her daily run between DAL/HNL. Her name was "747 Braniff Place."

Then when the war was over, it was tough trying to integrate a different fleet back in to commecial operations and often you had a surplus of a/c. Probably one of the best early "remakes" was Braniff. It was on good footing with a great product potential, but then expanded all over quickly. BN's first jumbo was a 747-100 painted pumpkin orange and flew daily between Dallas Love Field and Honolulu International Airport. There's a historical Braniff web site featuring their single 747 doing her daily run between DAL/HNL. Her name was "747 Braniff Place." Then the expansionists struck!

When UA bought the PA Pacific routes, there was such a mixture of aircraft that each day presented another challenge. That little nightmare worked itself out, and some of the PA staff are still with UA particularly on Pacific Routes. My favorite airline is UA and with many flights under my belt, my last flight on PA was a 747SP HKG/SFO in F. That flight set the bar! But I've always found UA extremely close to those standards particularly on long-haul F. I don't know what the future holds, but certainly tradition and style are quickly going out the window.

All of the legacy carriers have rich histories of incredible service. Some are gone (Eastern and the Ionosphere Lounge, Pan American's Clipper Club, TWA's Ambassador's Club. We still have United's Red Carpet Club, American's Admiral's Club, Alaska's Board Room, and Delta's Crown Lounge.) Long before th mileage games, these Clubs meant something. When you were buzzed in and had a 100K sticker on your ticket wallet (whole different meaning then), you were treated royally. Once, a UA 747 was late SFO/HNL. I was F and they asked if I would like to transfer to the PA flight (later sked dep/actual earlier than ours). I stayed with UA because I knew their flight, service, and food would be a flying cocktail/dinner party. So what if I got into HNL a few hours later. It was fun!

Now, if only a happy medium could be struck. A cross between an economy fare and an inflight service that wouldn't break the airlines' back.

Hey airline world, I'm here! I've solved a lot of major management blunders on frequent occasions, thus making the big guys look good. I'm really ready to fly again and make a company shine - any takers out there?


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