roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:21 am

Well I decided to write a trip report for this flight because it was an international configured airplane and there has been a lot of talk recently about airlines using international equipment on domestic runs.

I started at 10:15 leaving my condo in Marina Del Rey for the 15 minute trip to LAX. I went to the international terminal 6 to check in at the premier counter, but instead I decided to use the new electronic kiosk. I only had carry on baggage so I inserted my credit card and quickly got my ticket. It was very fast and efficient. However it was unusual not to have to worry about ID for checkin, I guess a credit card counts as official ID. I then walked to security and bypassed the long line through the premier line. All of the premium passengers were quickly going through security while the regular passengers were having a very long wait. I don't think it was best for them to just wave all premium passengers through and use all of the security lines. Usually they have 1 line for premium and 2 lines for regular, but this time premium passengers bypassed all of the crowd and filled up all 3 lines. I feel sorry for all of those irritated passengers.

After going through security I only had 45 minutes until departure, so I walked around a little bit before proceeding to the gate for boarding.

October 3
UA Flight 116
Departure 12:05 (on time)
Arrival 6:16 (late)
763 Business Class International Configuration
Seat 6A

Boarding commenced 30 minutes prior to departure. The 767 was clean and well prepared for the short flight to Chicago. I got to my seat after passing the first class cabin. Business class was mostly filled with only about 2 seats open, first class was full and economy had about a 95% load factor. After putting my bags away in the old style cramped overhead compartment, I sat down and was soon offered orange juice and water as is customary on domestic first class. Unfortunately United did a very bad job with seat assignments and there were 3 families trying to sit together in Business class, which caused some disturbances. Finally they were situated. There were 2 infants and one small child in the seats around me. It was unusual for business class because rarely are there many children. But they were overall well behaved.

Push back was ontime and the captain was very friendly over the intercom explaining the flight however he did so in the middle of the flight attendant safety briefing which obviously irked some of the FAs. We then went to taxi to 25R for takeoff. As I was listening to channel 9 the captain pulled the plane off the main taxi way into an area right next to the maintenance hanger for UA. We stopped there for a while and then the captain came over the intercom and explained that the plane had a problem with the navigation system for low visibility landings. He was vague, but was very certain to convince everyone that it was not a major problem and wouldn't affect our flight. None the less, we still waited for about 10 minutes for him to talk the problem out with maintenance. Finally we were ready to go with a short message telling us that everything was fine and there were no worries.

Take off was smooth and out over the Pacific before turning south and then westward to Chicago. Soon after takeoff the FAs came around with nuts while taking orders for the lunch service. The choices were an open face chicken sandwich or a salmon entree. I chose the warm chicken sandwich, which was very good. It was served with potato salad and fruit. It was a little hard to eat on the small tray though. It was obviously a domestic service because it was a single tray. The flight was only staffed to minimal standards, so the service was rather slow. The 30 business class passengers were a few too many for the FAs to manage easily. I don't know how many FAs they have on international flights for the 763, but it certainly would be more, which would have made for better service and a more presentable meal. But overall the food was good for a domestic flight and better than what you get on narrowbodies (though they have roughly the same catering on all LAX-East Coast/ORD flights).

The IFE was good as there were PTVs in all classes. There were 4 movie options and then 5 short subject television channels. They lasted for 2 hours and then stopped, so the IFE was over for the last 45 minutes for the flight. I was pleased though with the opportunities. I also listened to channel 9 for some of the flight. It was interesting because a Southwest flight diverted to Kansas City while we were over Kansas. It was interesting to hear the WN pilot request a medical diversion. But then when the controller asked what the problem was (so he could forward it on) it was a very unpleasant thing that is inappropriate to say here.

Decent was smooth into ORD as we were trying to make up the delay that we had on the ground. Touchdown was on 27R (I think) and taxi was quick to the gate. We arrived about 20 minutes late, and I unfortunately missed the early connection to IND, so I ended up waiting 2 hours in O'Hare, which wasn't all that bad.

Overall the UA domestic business class service was about the same level as first class with the exception of the 55'' pitch and IFE. The seats were far more comfortable, which made for an enjoyable flight, however the flight felt understaffed because it was only a domestic flight. Food is good, and it was nice to have the widebody service on a short flight. I always try to get on UA widebodies, especially ones sold as 3 class international configuration, because they are far more comfortable, albeit with the same mediocre domestic service.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
CMK10
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Tue Oct 05, 2004 7:39 am

Good report, I took one of the UA 763's on an International flight in J and I found it pretty similar to the 777s except for the width of the seat. It is a nice aircraft in J though, I haven't tried out either of the other classes.
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
newyork355
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 5:48 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:22 am

I'm now really curious why the SW flight diverted. What could be so inappropriate that you could not post it here? Sorry for being pushy about it, it just boggled my mind, and I am no intrigued.

Sam
"No Way BA/AA"
 
nwcoflyer
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:55 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:07 pm

Good Trip Report. I agree with NewYork355, you have my interest going now. Why was the WN flight diverted?
The New American is arriving.
 
22right
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 2:41 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Wed Oct 06, 2004 1:57 am

RoseFlyer,

Nice Trip Report. BTW, why indeed did the WN flight divert? And if you think it is too indecent to post it here, feel free to post it in the Non-Av forum. Anything goes there!

 Big grin  Big grin  Smile

"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
GSPSPOT
Posts: 2192
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:44 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:45 am

Newyork355:

If it's anything like what happened to my partner from MXP-ATL, you wouldn't want the details. Right after dinner, he became VIOLENTLY ill. Not your normal hangover thing, either. No details, but they had to close the Biz Class lav for the rest of the flight...
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:54 am

Well it really was a bad thing that happened. I guess I will say that there would be a big mess to clean up on that plane because someone didn't make a very smart decision most likely. Sorry to be secretive and sound like a riddle, but if you want to know, email me or comment and I will tell you.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:13 am

...and then westward to Chicago

Great report, RoseFlyer...thanks for sharing. Just wanted to point out the "typo" above...LAX to ORD would of course be a turn to the north/northeast, unless of course you wanted to take the "back" way!

And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:54 am

stevenuhl777, thanks for pointing that out. I guess dyslexia is not a good thing when dealing with directions. I am well aware that we went east.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
ATLhomeCMH
Posts: 751
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:25 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:33 am

Good report. Haven't been on a UA widebody yet but hope to soon.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:30 am

Or, you could use Senator Kerry's logic:

I actually flew west, before I flew east!  Nuts  Insane

(Sorry...couldn't resist!  Laugh out loud )
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
EIPremier
Posts: 1462
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 8:17 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:27 am

My grandfather recently flew LAX-ORD on UA and he found the check-in and security situation rather confusing. Can upgraded First Class go through the Premier line or is it only for elites?

I too flew on a three-class 763 on a domestic route, but from SFO-ORD. What annoyed me is that even though they had the PTVs, they only had a single movie available. I'm glad to hear you had a better IFE selection.
 
andersjt
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:50 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:19 am

ELPremier - I have the same complaint that your grandfather has about the security situation for First Class passengers at LAX. As a First Class passenger I do use the Premier line. I just think it very good marketing to not include First Class when posting a sign for that check point.

It seems United has lost sight at check-in for some airports for plain old First Class passengers not caught up in the upgrade, Premier, Premier, 1K games. At DEN for example, they have moved check-in for First Class (either Full Fare, or upgraded) to a secondary status (and much longer check-in line)behind Premier Executive, 1K and Global Services. I wonder why the reduced status?
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: LAX-ORD On UA Business Class 3-class 763

Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:14 am

From what I have experienced, anyone with a first class, business class or premier logo on their boarding pass will be waved through to the fast lane for the UA security. In reality I think only Premiers and Business and First class (internationally equiped planes) are supposed to go through the express lane but it all depends on the TSA agent that is checking IDs. Domestic first class upgrades are not included normally. It all depends on which airport you are flying through as to the regulations because they are all specific to each airport.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!

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