Here's my second TR on a.net!! I actually just got back from this trip yesterday, but I'm just sitting at home not doing much of anything right now, so I figured I'd get it done. The full itinerary of my trip was DEN-SEA-NRT-DTW-MSP-DEN, but my trip report only has the two international flights. All the domestic flights were uneventful, except all three of them were 752's with Pratt & Whitney power, so that was the highlight of domestic part of the trip!!
31 October 2007
777-222/ER, N783UA, Fleet# 2983
Seat: 3J, First Class
First Class: 60%
Photo © Mario Andreya
On approach into SEA from DEN on the 752, we had to go into holding for awhile, and were told by the captain that the weather in SEA was incredibly cloudy & foggy, limiting the amount of traffic into and out of SeaTac. Short of diverting, that actually sounded great to me, as I was scheduled to have a 3-hour layover in SEA. We finally started the approach, and which time I got to see just how bad the weather was. It wasn't down to CAT-3 minimums, but it was definitely CAT-2 cloud cover and visibility.
For having never been to SEA before, I was COMPLETELY lost inside the terminals!!! I think UA sits in a satellite terminal, but again I'm not sure and have no idea about SEA's layout. I didn't bother to go exploring either, because I didn't want to accidentally go outside of security or anything.
After a long time of waiting, the agents finally started boarding...but, I still didn't have my boarding pass. I checked the loads one last time in DEN, and unless something changed in a few hours, I had thought the flight was wide-open...so I was becoming a bit concerned. But, the agents finally called my name and I got a window seat in First Class, 3J.
First Class cabin while boarding in SEA
Coach was nearly full on this flight, while the premium cabins were barely over half full. N783UA, the 777 I was on, is one of the Euro-configured 772ER's in the UA fleet, with the 12F/49C/197Y cabin configuration (config used on Intl. 772A's), as compared to the typical UA 772ER configuration of 10F/45C/198Y. As such, N783UA doesn't have crew bunk rooms, so they blocked off seat 3A for the pilot rest area, as well as 6x Econ Plus seats for the FA rest area. My seat, 3J, also had the "crew rest" curtains for it, just stowed back behind the seat. I considered asking the FA's if I could draw the curtains, but I didn't......why ask a question if you already know the answer!!
View from my window on the ground in SEA
After boarding was completed, we taxied for a short while to runway 16L. I made sure to get a takeoff video, as this was my first-ever international trip on a 777.... all my other 777 flights were domestic segments. Anyhow, the takeoff was awesome, and the sound of the PW4090's spooling up was entirely too cool!!!!! I don't care what a.net says about UA having reduced MGTOW and reduced thrust 777's, UA still has some pretty kickass birds. And, like I said, there is just no beating the sound of those engines!!
Flying over Alaska. Note- You can see the stator blades, due to the interesting lighting angle
The cabin service was fantastic, and the food was excellent. The selection of food from the menu was huge. My dinner was:
Seared crab cake and shredded chicken and toasted cashew salad with organic yuzu-miso vinaigrette and sweet and sour cucumber relish.
Roasted Yukon gold potato, cheddar, and bacon chowder
Salad of fresh seasonal greens with balsamic Dijon vinaigrette
Rosemary lemon Mediterranean sea bass with tomato and olive ragout. Served with Vegetable risotto and sauteed spinach.
Dessert of ice cream with sundae toppings
On approach into NRT. About the same weather that was in SEA!!
The midflight snack and arrival breakfast were also very good. Midflight I had a ham & cheese sandwich with baked lays, and strawberries with a brown sugar sour cream dip for dessert. For breakfast I got the simple fruit and yogurt plate.
Landing in NRT was very smooth, which was followed by a very long taxi. At least the "scenery" was interesting, getting to see all sorts of ANA and JAL ops out of NRT. Of course, I didn't even think of it to bring out my camera. Oh well, such is life. Anyhow, UA875 was an awesome flight with great service. The flight attendants were very nice, and even went through the cabin handing out "trick or treat" candy just prior to top of descent. Bravo to UA!!
03 November 2007
747-451, N665US, Fleet# 6305
Seat: 3A, Main Deck World Business Class
World Business Class: 95%
Photo © Je89 W.
Even though I only spent a few days in NRT, I really enjoyed it. A great city, as well as a great country. If I ever become an expat, I'm going to either Japan or Germany!! Anyhow, most of the NWA flights to the US from NRT were fairly full on 03NOV, so I was forced to make a relative last-second decision as to which flight I'd try for. I actually tried to get on NW2 to LAX, but that flight ended up being totally full, so I walked over to the 2nd DTW flight where the agents promptly gave me a World Business seat more than an hour before departure. I asked to see if the top deck was full, which it unfortunately was. Oh well, like hell I'm going to complain at all about getting C-class on a 744!!
Boarding was a bit of a clusterf**k. A bunch of Econ pax worked their way into the World Business Class line, so boarding had to be stopped at least twice to try to reorganize it. Once on board though, people found their seats quickly and all went smooth. NWA's World Business Class seems to get hot & cold reviews on a.net. Personally, I LOVE it. A near full-flat recline, along with a pretty nice AVOD system.
The aft main-deck C-class cabin on #6305
Unfortunately I didn't get any pics or vids of the takeoff or climbout as the sun was directly on my side of the plane and made for horrible pictures.
Cabin service was excellent again, with very nice and attentive FA's. Dinner was served fairly quickly after takeoff, which was delicious.
Appetizer of tandori shrimp and Asian beef spring rolls, salad of mixed greens with creamy caesar dressing.
Grilled salmon with cream mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
Dessert of fresh fruit, maribo and rosenborg cheese, gourment cakes & cookies, port wine, Ghirardelli chocolates
After dinner I watched the movie "Transformers".....well, most of it. I fell asleep about an hour into it, so don't anyone dare think about posting plot spoilers!!! For being an 11 hour flight, it actually seemed to go pretty quickly. Between dinner, movie, sleeping, another movie, and breakfast, time seemed to fly. Since my seat was so far forward, I don't have any good pics of the wing, engine, or anything like that, so I do apologize!! My only good pic was taken from door 2L while climbing to cruise, just before sunset.
Climbing out of NRT. With the strong tailwinds our ground speed was as high as 730mph
Arrival in DTW was great... absolute PERFECT landing by the crew. I didn't even realize we had touched down until I heard the thrust reverse. Customs took longer than I had hoped......quite a few international flights had just arrived before us, and the lines were fairly long. I'd say probably a 15-20 minute wait. I love connecting in the DTW World Gateway though, one of the best and coolest terminals in the US. Great flight on NWA though....almost too bad the flight wasn't slightly longer, I would like to have finished "Transformers"!!
If I had to pick a favorite between UA or NW it would be very difficult. UA's food service was probably better, but I definitely prefer NWA's WorldBiz seat as well as their entertainment system. Both though, were great flights and will be great memories!!!
Thanks for reading, and all comments appreciated!!