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
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
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
took a little over an hour, but that was NOT A GOOD EXCUSE to serve nothing but a drink and nuts. I flew CI
-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?
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!
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.
Class: United First
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
¡¦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.