Yesterday I returned home from my first vacation without parents. My dad gave me frequent flier miles to book two tickets for a friend and I from Chicago to Honolulu, HI on United Airlines so we could see Pearl Harbor and Waikiki. This was my sixth time to Hawaii, my friend's first.
United flight 107
We arrived at Chicago O'Hare bright and early for our 6:00 AM departure to Los Angeles. After being a "random baggage search", which left me NO time to see the cockpit, we boarded and were seated in 13 D/F, which is an exit row in Economy Plus, so we had double the legroom for the 4 hour flight. For breakfast we had a ham, egg, cheese bagel with a banana and snack mix, pretty good. I slept on and off throughout the flight, didn't really pay attention to the movie (The Rookie), was way too tired. We landed in L.A. 33 minutes early.
United flight 53
We were seated in 17 A/B for my first 777 flight. I was spellbound as the plane reared forward on the runway and rocketed into the smoggy LA sky with nearly 757 peformance. Impressive for a 777 loaded with 340 passengers. Didn't really care that this was a domestic version without PTVs (don't really understand all the fuss anyway), I had a great view of the gigantic PW 4084 for the 5h13m flight over the Pacific. We were served a cheese omelette with potatoes, bacon, and fruit, and a muffin. Was all very good. United held the fabled "Halfway to Hawaii" contest as usual. We missed it by 5 minutes or so, but the winner happened to be a couple on their honeymoon, which was nice. They won a bottle of champagne. I slept through this movie as well (Clockstoppers). The captain flew our 777 right over O'ahu on the approach, we got a birds eye view of Kaneohe, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, and downtown Honolulu on the way in. We landed more or less on time.
United flight 52
This time, we were in 27 A/B. After nearly forgetting to buy some macadamia nuts, we boarded our "Seventh Wonder" on time, and took off from Honolulu's "Reef Runway" (8R). After banking out over Waikiki and Diamond Head, we set course out over the Pacific for Los Angeles. The movie was Big Fat Liar, which was pretty good. For lunch, they ran out of one choice, but what they had left was actually pretty good, a teriyaki beef plate with rice, green beans, sesame crackers and a cookie. This flight went really quickly, and we landed in L.A. early.
United flight 127
We were supposed to be seated way back in row 50 for the final flight of the trip, but I got our assignment changed to 43 A/B, in Economy Plus. I have flown the 747 twice before, but it was on the upper deck of a -200 series, also for UA. This was my first experience in the "cattle car". It wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be, then again I WAS in E+ for the 3h15m flight. The plane rattled and shook like crazy on takeoff, but it was fun nonetheless. Ice Age was the movie, but halfway through, the system malfunctioned, so the crew had to end the movie there. We still had audio, though no channel 9. Anywho, after spending a sleepless night, we landed on time in Chicago at 5:15 AM.
Overall, I had a fantastic time on the trip, the whole thing went off without a hitch. I finally got to fly a 777, that airplane truly is the holy grail of airliners. The crews were all very nice, but the 747 flight could have been better, they seemed to disappear after the movie fiasco, thought did give us some beverages before arrival in ORD. And, it WAS a red-eye, so we all slept anyway. All in all, I had a great experience on United, I really think they are heading in the right direction.