Originally scheduled on UA 692, an A319 that was to depart ORD at 09:00. When we arrived at the terminal, we discovered that flight had been cancelled as the equipment had been fogged in elsewhere. The agent at the ticket counter confirmed us on the 13:00 departure and put on standby for the 08:00 depature (UA 694; B 727-200) which had been delayed until 09:00. While showing that it was oversold, there were 58 confirmed passengers that had not checked in as of 08:30. As a result, we were assigned seats on UA 694 at the gate. The flight boarded via the rear air stairs as the jetway was broken. That was a first for me at ORD and quite fun.
The flight departed at 09:00 and after a short wait, we were in the air. The standard coach seating on this aircraft is horribly cramped. This is one of the older planes in the UA fleet but has been kept current except for the fact that it does not have the latest seats. Air Traffice control broadcasts were not availible on audio as is usually the case. Breakfast consisted of a Ham, Egg and Cheese Bagel and Yogurt. Sevice was typical United; friendly and efficient if not outstanding. We were at the gate a few minutes prior to 12:00.
We arrived at LGA for UA 677, a B 757-200, well ahead of our departure time and checked our bags with no waiting at the ticket counter. The agent informed us that our 16:00 departure time had been pushed back to 16:30 and offered to list us standby on the 15:00 flight which was departing at 15:15. As we had confirmed seats in Economy Plus, we declined. LGA is much nicer after its renovation and we spent the time looking through the shops on the lower level.
At LGA, only ticked passengers can pass through security which is a godsend as there isn't enough seating for all of the passengers the way it is. The C Councourse was mobbed with passengers. A light snow/rain had started falling and all flights looked to be delayed.
We pushed back full at 16:30 and taxied for a considerable length of time. The Economy Plus section on United is quite comfortable so we really didn'y mind. We were informed that we had missed or place in the departure line up but no reason was given. Once again, channel 9 was playing music as opposed to ATC so there was no way to determine why this happened. About 10 miunutes later, we departed. Given the weather, the flight was relatively smooth but still choppy enough to warrent that we stay seated. A group of teenage grils began to use the restroom with little rebuke from the cabin staff. Finally we were able to move about and meal service began.
The meal was a typical United snack, turkey and cheese sandwich, macaroni salad and cookies. United has increased serving sizes so it can actually be considered a light meal. The group of girls turned out to be returning home to Omaha from a weekend trip. They were constantly up and about and kept getting in the way of the cabin staff to the point that an announcement was made that passengers should remain seated until the service had been finished.
The landing at ORD was uneventful ablbeit 1:15 late. The purser asked that all passenger terminating at ORD remain seated so that the connecting passengers could deplane first. Quite often at ORD, terminating passengers will do this but apperently all had had enough of the Omaha group and everyone deplaned at the same time. As we were leaving, a group of Des Moines bound passengers were waiting to board.
All in all, not a terrible trip. The groud staff at ORD was very good and, as usual, excellent at LGA. Flight attendants were typical of United. The worst part of the trip were some of the passengers on the return.