runway23
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:12 am

UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:53 am

United Airlines (Star Alliance)
Flight UA 839
First Class, Seat 4J.
Departure Date: February 17 2008 (10:28PM)
Arrival Date: February 19 2008 (8:05AM)
From: Los Angeles, CA, (LAX) International Airport
To: Sydney, Kingsford-Smith International (SYD)
Aircraft: Boeing 747-422, N197UA (delivered July 21 1997, MSN 26901/1121)
Distance: 7487 miles.
Gate-to-Gate Scheduled Duration: 14hr 37.


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Photo © Mark H


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Photo © Ben Wang



I arrived at 3pm after a flight on United from SFO (as a result of having a voucher on there, and picking the cheapest flight down). This meant I had a solid 7hr30 in LAX. After retrieving my checked baggage, I went up to the Premium check-in terminal to check-in. The line was really long and nothing was being done to shorten it. Once it was eventually my turn, the lady barked at me for being too early, with her collegue telling her that she could check me in.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0587b.jpg

As my ticket was a fare error to Auckland via Sydney (found thanks to flyertalk), United had been unpleasant with me (& others) and annotated in my PNR that runway23=evil. I had aborted an Online checkin with UA, but had seen they were proposing upgrades to First for 689USD, a bargain in my eyes for a 15 hour flight. I asked the lady about that who screamed at me for even daring to ask, in her words “I knew that United was doing me a favour and that no upgrades/changes were allowed”. That part was debatable as others on the same fare had upgraded (and I had changed return dates and even created a stop-over). In any case, I told her that I had to talk to people and would come back. Of course, that really meant I was going to the nearest hotel to checkin online. That day, the first van to come was the holiday inn van. Off I went to OLCI and buy the upgrade there. Two hours later I was back, unfortunately the lady was still there. My game of catch me if you can continued, with me heading back to the normal terminal and going to another agent (after a lengthy wait, but I didn’t want to lose my 4J seat). After that was done, I was back to the other side to use the premium security, going past the same agent again (about the 7th time that day). I could see her talking with other agents about me. By that time, it was already 7PM and I had probably walked a good mile and a half just to avoid the unfriendly CS. United were really customer friendly in all regards.

After passing the communist checkpoint (my mistake only the TSA), I walked over to the International First lounge. Unsurprisingly, I was the first one there. More surprisingly, there was no free wifi, no computers and the dragon did not understand when I asked if there was a free internet voucher for t-mobile. There was however a good selection of beverages (including United labelled water bottles) and food (I was impressed with United on that point). I tried everything on display. Closer to boarding, the lounge filled up and the dragon went around requesting our Boarding passes and passports, which were stamped with data checked. This meant that come boarding time, I did not show ID at the gate (similar to a domestic flight). I found this a nice touch which other airlines could inspire themselves on.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0574.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0577.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0580.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0583.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0585.jpg

Boarding was 45 minutes prior to departure, and when I reached the gate at that time, boarding was already underway, I didn’t wait though and was straight on the aircraft and to my seat. Menus were handed out, as were pre-flight drinks and museum style cassette videos (super8 type). Our departure was about 20 minutes late due to problems loading. In the mean time, I got comfortable with my suite.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0588.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0589.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0591.jpg

Once we were underway, it was a usual departure towards the pacific ocean and directly on to Sydney from there (7450ish miles).

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0596.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0597.jpg

The chief purser’s voice and accent (New York/Bostonish) sounded like Brad Garrett, whilst his assistant was called miss piggy. I don’t like to slag FA’s off, but she had trouble getting around the First suites and always bumped into each and every one. Both FA’s were in their late 50’s and the service left much to be desired.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0667.jpg

For example:
“Hi, do you have “name of wine from the menu”.
“no we only have red or white”

That was despite the menu having 5 red wine names on it and him having at least 3 red wines on his trolley.

Similarly, it was pointed out that we could eat dinner at any time, although it would be a lot more convenient to eat with the rest of the cabin. I found that a touch out of place, but I was hungry anyways. The seat itself was comfy and did what I wanted it to do (become a good bed).

Meal service started with a beverage choice (champagne for me), water and the usual nuts.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0604.jpg

Following that a roasted tomato and red pepper bisque soup was served.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0607.jpg

The following course was a Fresh seasonal greens with yellow bell peppers, red teardrop tomato, jicama and seasonal croutons with a choice of ranch or asian sesame ginger with a hot pan-seared herbed salmon. This and the salad tasted good.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0610.jpg

The main course which I chose (from a choice of four) was a pan-seared filet mignon with bacon, crumbled blue cheese and green peppercorn sauce. This meal was good, except for the blue cheese which in my opinion did not really fit in.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0617.jpg

The desert was then served. It was an ice cream with sundae toppings. Unfortunately, when you are used to what Continental or American serve you in terms of sundae’s, United’s did not really compare.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0619.jpg

After the meal, a number of small (read poor choices) of snacks were put out. These included smoked turkey sandwiches, lay’s chips, granola bars, chocolate and mini pretzels.

After the meal, it was time for me to sleep. I woke up about 9 1/2 hours later, somewhere half way between Noumea (New Caledonia) and Brisbane with 2 hours remaining.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0624.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0640.jpg

A little while later, it was time for Breakfast. I was feeling a bit bloated and chose the fruit plate and yogurt. Admittedly, the whole thing was deceiving, small and tasteless.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0643.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0647.jpg
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http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0683.jpg

We began our descent and approach to Sydney, with a Virgin Blue landing parallel to us.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0690.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0694.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0702.jpg
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0704.jpg

Once we arrived in Sydney, we were held back in the plane for 15 minutes as quarantine had to come and spray the aircraft against bugs, dragonflies, dinosaurs, pro-continental merger fans, rats and mice. Once that was done, we were underway and I went to collect my NZ boarding pass and walked to the opposite side of the airport where NZ departed from (and their lounge). That flight is for another trip report. I will be posting a video of the landing later on in this thread.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0706.jpg

As a whole, United’s first was deceiving in that the only difference was the seat. The meal was pretty equal to a business class meal and offered little more. The service aboard was poor (probably just the luck of the draw). The meals (except the breakfast) were good as was the lounge in LAX.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0708.jpg

[Edited 2008-04-25 00:54:58]
 
milesaddict
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:23 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:40 am

lucky you...

I joined the MR forum too late to grab this deal....

I don't know why, in FC lounge there is no wifi....

tks for sharing btw.
 
salvation
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:13 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:56 am

Gosh, for an international first class product you just can't compare this to anything. The presentation of the food and the food itself look more like domestic first class. the seats are similar to what many have described being beat up and old. that is very sad and as you said deceiving.

thank you for sharing.
 
phileet92
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:37 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:33 pm

Now did you upgrade from Y or C class??? Those seats looked old but i wouldnt complain too much.... its F classs!!! haha. I enjoyed reading the report. thanks for sharing!
 
triple7man
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:36 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:17 pm

The on board service left much to be desired, and the service at checkin was attrocious. Gomennasai. I know who I'm not flying next time I go to SYD.
(I have flown LAX-SYD-LAX on NZ and QF and the service on both those flights, in economy class was excellent)
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
QANTAS077
Posts: 5169
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:08 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:22 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The meal was pretty equal to a business class meal and offered little more. The service aboard was poor (probably just the luck of the draw). The meals (except the breakfast) were good as was the lounge in LAX.

nothing has changed food wise, I flew them from IAD-NRT a few months back in J class and the menu was almost the same as the MEL-LAX flight I took 12 months earlier. I took pics from a 1st class trip I did on them domestically and the fruit and croissant meal is exactly the same too.
 
mauiman31
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:36 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:44 pm

Enjoyed your report and pictures. Thanks. How sad for you and UA that the F cabin crew were lazy in their service on a long international flight. Asking for a specific wine from the selection offered and being told "red or white" and being prompted to ignore the "dine anytime". Embarrassing. Yes, crew is there primarily for our safety, but . . .
 
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LHRBFSTrident
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:38 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:47 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
As my ticket was a fare error to Auckland via Sydney (found thanks to flyertalk), United had been unpleasant with me (& others) and annotated in my PNR that runway23=evil. I had aborted an Online checkin with UA, but had seen they were proposing upgrades to First for 689USD,

great you were able to take advantage of the Flyertalk deal....

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
A little while later, it was time for Breakfast. I was feeling a bit bloated and chose the fruit plate and yogurt.

is that a TRAY hiding under that napkin making your breakfast set-up look so crowded? - not really F standards wouldn't you say?!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
United’s first was deceiving in that the only difference was the seat. The meal was pretty equal to a business class meal and offered little more. The service aboard was poor (probably just the luck of the draw). The meals (except the breakfast) were good as was the lounge in LAX.

maybe they'll be the next carrier to eliminate intl F for a 'blended' J product like NW/DL/CO/VS/NZ - it seems like they've trimmed all the F frills already - are they really putting that product up against QF?

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The main course which I chose (from a choice of four) was a pan-seared filet mignon with bacon, crumbled blue cheese and green peppercorn sauce. This meal was good, except for the blue cheese which in my opinion did not really fit in.

a good hearty meal there - I've had that exact same dish from 'Chili's' in the terminal  Yeah sure

- I guess the main thing is you got to sleep for 9+ hours (well done!) and you arrived safely. Was your connection on NZ also booked in F/J/C (don't know how NZ code their trans-tasman business product!)?
 
b707forever
Posts: 135
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:14 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:51 pm

What is MR and did you buy the upgrade online on United's site? That is worth the 9.5 hours sleep, for sure.
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:58 pm

I have not traveled on United in years. But I flew with them in economy from New York to Honolulu in 1978; 30 years ago and they were "great." They were one of my favourite airlines at the time.

The desert as you say for F is not good at all. It's sad that they are doing so badly financially.
 
davescj
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:36 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The line was really long and nothing was being done to shorten it. Once it was eventually my turn, the lady barked at me for being too early, with her collegue telling her that she could check me in.

Wonderful way to welcome premium pax, wouldn't you say?

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
Both FA’s were in their late 50’s and the service left much to be desired.

I find BA has excellent service in all cabins, not alway stellar, but always good.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
That was despite the menu having 5 red wine names on it and him having at least 3 red wines on his trolley.

I've seen DL have only 2 reds in J, despite the 4 or 5 in the menu, but both are always offered.

A TRAY???? in F???

I won't even comment on the sundae. The pic said it all.

What happened to UA moving to a premium airline and stepping up to the plate (as it were)?
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
Lentini2001
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:53 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:58 pm

Did they find any dinosaurs?  Smile
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:09 pm

Nice TR!

UA really need to improve their F-Class dining, i found it rather strange that the food was very Business Class-ish. The lack of wine list was a rather bad touch, the dessert sundae looked nice but a dessert cart would have been better in F. Aren't F breakfasts usually an omelette or something similar., but hey i shouldn't complain.
In a scale from 1-10 how good/bad was your trip?

Thank you for sharing.
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
mk777
Posts: 888
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:48 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:32 pm

Interesting TR, your comments had me laughing at times..

UA has a pretty pathetic F class service compared to other American airlines (can't compare to european and asian airlines), the food looks very ordinary...i can only imagine what they serve in cattle class on long haul. The ground staff are always grumpy, very rarely are they pleasant anymore. Breakfast, you call that breakfast?? or did you just order fruits and they had more options??? In compariosn, you probably would get better breakfast on IC/AI 9W or IT morning domestic flight from DEL-BOM. Infact i have flown DEL-CCU on 9W and the breakfast was quite amazing-omelettes, potatoes, fruits, juice etc. and that too in Y class.

you took some decent pictures....loved the virgin blue approach along with your approach.

I think UA really needs to pick up the slack, its just not acceptable to have such shoddy service on F.

Thanks for sharing and letting us know which airline not to fly, atleast in F class.
come fly with me
 
runway23
Posts: 1913
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:12 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:53 pm



Quoting Salvation (Reply 2):
Gosh, for an international first class product you just can't compare this to anything. The presentation of the food and the food itself look more like domestic first class. the seats are similar to what many have described being beat up and old. that is very sad and as you said deceiving.

I agree, I have had meals which looked a lot better on NW in domestic first. UA's international first was certainly far off what I expected it to be.

Quoting Phileet92 (Reply 3):
Now did you upgrade from Y or C class??? Those seats looked old but i wouldnt complain too much.... its F classs!!! haha. I enjoyed reading the report. thanks for sharing!

I upgraded from C during online checkin.

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 5):
nothing has changed food wise, I flew them from IAD-NRT a few months back in J class and the menu was almost the same as the MEL-LAX flight I took 12 months earlier. I took pics from a 1st class trip I did on them domestically and the fruit and croissant meal is exactly the same too.

Good to know. Certainly, the croissant was present in business class on the way back and is really horrible.

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 7):
maybe they'll be the next carrier to eliminate intl F for a 'blended' J product like NW/DL/CO/VS/NZ - it seems like they've trimmed all the F frills already - are they really putting that product up against QF?

I think UA would probably manage to deliver a better product if they focused on only C instead of F. It seems like they are spreading their effort and in the end not being good at either.

Quoting B707forever (Reply 8):
What is MR and did you buy the upgrade online on United's site? That is worth the 9.5 hours sleep, for sure.

MR= Mileage Run. Yes the upgrade was bought on United.com

Quoting Semsem (Reply 9):
The desert as you say for F is not good at all. It's sad that they are doing so badly financially.

Whilst i can understand they are doing badly financially, they need the premium passengers on their international flights. Selling a 15 hour F class upgrade for 689USD says it all. Nobody wants to buy it. A week before the flight, the whole F cabin was empty, and from what I heard just filled up on upsells and mileage upgrades.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 10):
Wonderful way to welcome premium pax, wouldn't you say?

They make an effort to have a seperate terminal but then understaff it and don't provide anything special. I have had some problems here in the past.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 10):
A TRAY???? in F???

I won't even comment on the sundae. The pic said it all.

I agree, Tray's are really for domestic first where you are limited on time. International first you shouldn't see any tray out.

Quoting Lentini2001 (Reply 11):
Did they find any dinosaurs?

Yes, the flight attendants.

Quoting Mk777 (Reply 13):
I think UA really needs to pick up the slack, its just not acceptable to have such shoddy service on F.

Thanks for sharing and letting us know which airline not to fly, atleast in F class.

I agree, I certainly won't fly United again in international F or C. Prior to the trip they really were so unfriendly that they have lost my business for a long time. That and the service itself pretty much sum up how United have gone downhill in recent years.
 
LH459
Posts: 793
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:41 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:34 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 14):
Prior to the trip they really were so unfriendly that they have lost my business for a long time

The service you received in Los Angeles is really a new low, even for UA. That evil check-in agent really needs to be written up--it is simply not acceptable to treat premium pax in this way, regardless of the fare paid! I've had so many positive experiences flying domestic F with UA, but unfortunately the seniority system seems to dictate that the most jaded crews fly the longest international sectors while the young and enthusiastic crews are busy topping up my water glass when it's only half empty on the SFO-DEN run. I have had excellent service from some senior f/a's on UA as well, but it's definitely been the exception rather than the rule.
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
 
caspritz78
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:51 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:16 pm

What a wonderful report. Had a lot of fun reading it.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
For example:
“Hi, do you have “name of wine from the menu”.
“no we only have red or white”

That was despite the menu having 5 red wine names on it and him having at least 3 red wines on his trolley.

Hillarious!!!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
Once we arrived in Sydney, we were held back in the plane for 15 minutes as quarantine had to come and spray the aircraft against bugs, dragonflies, dinosaurs, pro-continental merger fans, rats and mice.

Nasty this vermin. Hope First Class was sprayed before economy.
 
QANTAS077
Posts: 5169
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:08 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:52 am



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 14):
Good to know. Certainly, the croissant was present in business class on the way back and is really horrible.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/71930

this should make your day...  Wink
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:06 am

That meal was comparable to a domestic F class flight I had on AA from LAX-EWR. On that 4.5 hour flight the sundae was larger and with whipped cream! ridiculous how UA has sunk. If I had to fly anyone to Australia it would have to be Qantas.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:09 am

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc156/ftgva/Flights/UA839LAXSYD/IMG_0585.jpg
I think it is time to change the logo on the bottle of water don't you think? That is at least 2 generations behind!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
For example:
“Hi, do you have “name of wine from the menu”.
“no we only have red or white”

I would have asked the FA straightaway about the names of the wine ON THE TROLLEY! That is just plain RUDE.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The main course which I chose (from a choice of four) was a pan-seared filet mignon with bacon, crumbled blue cheese and green peppercorn sauce. This meal was good, except for the blue cheese which in my opinion did not really fit in.

I was gonna say... Blue cheese with bacon and green pepper corn sauce!? That is a lot of strong flavours all thrown into one! All vying for attention, it was a wonder if you could enjoy the fillet at all....

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
Once we arrived in Sydney, we were held back in the plane for 15 minutes as quarantine had to come and spray the aircraft against bugs, dragonflies, dinosaurs, pro-continental merger fans, rats and mice.

Whyt didn't the FAs do it in the air prior to arrival? I have not flown a US-OZ route before but all the flights I have taken from Asia have the the cabin sprayed prior to arrival into OZ soil and it is done normally at the start of descend. Although once on an MAS flight, the spray activated the smoke alarm above me and I had it ringing ALL THE WAY TILL TOUCHDOWN AND DISEMBARKATION!

Well... It sounds like a normal flight on board a US carrier. I have come not to expect too much out of them because here in Asia, we are really spoiled for choice and people from the other camps always say our service levels are "unrealistic", "old schooled", "feministic" etc... But hey, no one is complaining here!  Smile

Thank you for your trip report, a good light hearted read to start the weekend off!

Cheers
Ryan
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
FlyboyOz
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:50 am



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
Whyt didn't the FAs do it in the air prior to arrival? I have not flown a US-OZ route before but all the flights I have taken from Asia have the the cabin sprayed prior to arrival into OZ soil and it is done normally at the start of descend. Although once on an MAS flight, the spray activated the smoke alarm above me and I had it ringing ALL THE WAY TILL TOUCHDOWN AND DISEMBARKATION!

Well...I've flown to Australia many times by SQ, NZ, CX, QF and other airlines and I've never never never seen any FAs sprayed the cabin. I thought it was old-fashioned because I flew once on CX from HKG to BNE in 1990's and I saw an CX crew sprayed the cabin and I thought that it was for Australia only.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:04 am



Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 20):
Well...I've flown to Australia many times by SQ, NZ, CX, QF and other airlines and I've never never never seen any FAs sprayed the cabin. I thought it was old-fashioned because I flew once on CX from HKG to BNE in 1990's and I saw an CX crew sprayed the cabin and I thought that it was for Australia only.

Ah... Unless rules have changed, or the airline has an option of doing it on the ground. As far as i know, it is a requirement by OZ law to have all aircraft registered outside of OZ to have the cabin fumigated prior to arrival. I have experienced such fumigation on all my flights with SQ and MH, but none on QF.
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nicholaschee
Posts: 225
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:32 am

Interesting TR. UA's First leaves much to be desired. The meal I had on ANA J looks way better than the options you had in F.

I don't recall the cabin being fumigated the times when I flew into SYD on SQ.
 
smi0006
Posts: 803
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:52 am



Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 20):


Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
Whyt didn't the FAs do it in the air prior to arrival? I have not flown a US-OZ route before but all the flights I have taken from Asia have the the cabin sprayed prior to arrival into OZ soil and it is done normally at the start of descend. Although once on an MAS flight, the spray activated the smoke alarm above me and I had it ringing ALL THE WAY TILL TOUCHDOWN AND DISEMBARKATION!

Well...I've flown to Australia many times by SQ, NZ, CX, QF and other airlines and I've never never never seen any FAs sprayed the cabin. I thought it was old-fashioned because I flew once on CX from HKG to BNE in 1990's and I saw an CX crew sprayed the cabin and I thought that it was for Australia only.



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
Ah... Unless rules have changed, or the airline has an option of doing it on the ground. As far as i know, it is a requirement by OZ law to have all aircraft registered outside of OZ to have the cabin fumigated prior to arrival. I have experienced such fumigation on all my flights with SQ and MH, but none on QF.

It depends on the airline, QF and NZ and the above mentioned have a system in place where the cabin is sprayed/coated (sorry can't remember the exact term) every six months (I think it's six months) during maintenance, thus they dont need to spray them on decent into Aus or NZ, every time. All EK aircraft must have this done before arrival into Aus and the only times I've herd that it has had to sprayed on the ground is when the crew have forgotten or some one didn't load the spray cans. I've never herd of AQIS (Australian Quarantine something or other) doing it, they just give the cans to the crew and close the door again, I think this is another example of the poor performance of your crew.
 
davescj
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:43 am



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
Whyt didn't the FAs do it in the air prior to arrival? I have not flown a US-OZ route before but all the flights I have taken from Asia have the the cabin sprayed prior to arrival into OZ soil and it is done normally at the start of descend.

When traveling from DRC (Kinshasa) to J'berg in South Africa, the FA's sprayed once the door was closed (I think). When I flew to OZ (many years ago) was after flight met by Customs/Immigration prior to de-planing.

I don't remember a spray on BA from LHR arriving in JNB.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
b707forever
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:29 am



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 14):
Quoting B707forever (Reply 8):
What is MR and did you buy the upgrade online on United's site? That is worth the 9.5 hours sleep, for sure.

MR= Mileage Run. Yes the upgrade was bought on United.com

Thanks very much. Are upgrade purchases available to anyone who has booked online or just frequent flyers?
 
SQ772
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:56 am



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
I think it is time to change the logo on the bottle of water don't you think? That is at least 2 generations behind!

Which really begs the next question... HOW OLD was that bottle of mineral water????
There's always a better way to fly...
 
ba319-131
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:17 pm

Great report, brings home more reasons why you should avoid paying to $$ to fly UA F, it's just not upto the job!!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
I went up to the Premium check-in terminal to check-in. The line was really long and nothing was being done to shorten it. Once it was eventually my turn, the lady barked at me for being too early,

- Nice lady, don't you love these folks?!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
they were proposing upgrades to First for 689USD, a bargain in my eyes for a 15 hour flight

- It is a bargin, but UA's F is pretty rubbish compared to many leading carriers.

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The desert was then served. It was an ice cream with sundae toppings

- What? - That is just pathetic.

I must say that breakfast was pretty poor too, just amazing that UA don't care!

Rgds

Mark
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A340600
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:17 pm

Wow, I had no idea that even a US carrier was THAT bad in international F!

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
The main course which I chose (from a choice of four) was a pan-seared filet mignon with bacon, crumbled blue cheese and green peppercorn sauce. This meal was good, except for the blue cheese which in my opinion did not really fit in.

Of course it had to have cheese, it's American Wink

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 7):
is that a TRAY hiding under that napkin making your breakfast set-up look so crowded? - not really F standards wouldn't you say?!

It is truly shocking they use trays in F, that's the utter sign that they just don't care. That yoghurt should have been emptied into a bowl too not just plonked onto the plate.

People can go on as much as they like about airines like UA having such a rough deal but perhaps if their premium passsengers were treated a bit better it would bring in some much needed cash.
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
NorthstarBoy
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:35 am

Interesting report, glad to see "197" is still in service and in the new paint no less.

One thing i will say in regards to service complaints, from the pov of a travel agent, the kind of service you get from an agent depends on your attitude going in. if you treat me like gold, i'm going to treat you like gold in return, it's a two way street. Likewise, you treat me like the worthless vermin you think i am, i'm going to give you just enough customer service to get you off my line or out of my face, and nothing more. But, like i said, if you come bearing sugar, honey and gifts, i'll bend over backwards for you without hesitation.

As to your reservation being documented in a "look out for this guy" fashion, if you called UA raising all kinds of hell, yelling, swearing, generally ripping their heads off because the system wasn't giving you what you wanted (not to suggest that happened), then yeah, they'll document the res to the effect "watch out for this guy, he's nasty." we do that on the agency side too, if we get someone on the line who goes off like a bomb when we tell them they can't do what they want to do, (like in one instance, suggesting that two nonref tickets can't be combined into one ticket just because the flight is delayed which would cause a misconnect, meaning the traveler would have to spend the night at his connecting point, and get home a day late, and the traveler didn't want to travel all the way from Iowa to california, only to turn around one day after he got home and return to Iowa on his second ticket, he wanted to use the return of his second ticket without using the outbound, which aint allowed without a reprice, regardless of whether the return on the first ticket is delayed, they're still 2 separate tickets!), you better believe we document that. We look out for one another.

Of course, once you go head to head with the agent, where the agent says "no" you say "you're wrong" then it becomes a turf battle, and of course the agent isn't going to back down, because if they say "no" and the traveler says "yes" and the traveler ends up being right, then the agent looks like an idiot.
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!
 
AFKLMLHLX
Posts: 188
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:10 pm

Wow, I cannot believe that was UA first. I keep forgetting that the service you got was on first class because I would never know! I have seen many pictures of UA's first meal service and some have been better than others, but this is really shocking. Also, the cabin looks kind of drab on the 744, but I like it on UA's 772. You expect much better on an INT-CONT. flight. That sundae was pathetic! It looked like the portion economy gets! I would definitely fly business as the seat is the only advantage. Flying first from LAX-SYD should be a special experience and not just "an experience".
 
ctbarnes
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:53 pm



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 29):
Of course, once you go head to head with the agent, where the agent says "no" you say "you're wrong" then it becomes a turf battle, and of course the agent isn't going to back down, because if they say "no" and the traveler says "yes" and the traveler ends up being right, then the agent looks like an idiot.

I generally try to avoid that kind of escalation. If I get someone who behaves that rudely (and I have) my response is to ask to speak to a supervisor. That generally takes care of it.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
triple7man
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:23 am



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 29):
As to your reservation being documented in a "look out for this guy" fashion, if you called UA raising all kinds of hell, yelling, swearing, generally ripping their heads off because the system wasn't giving you what you wanted (not to suggest that happened), then yeah, they'll document the res to the effect "watch out for this guy, he's nasty." we do that on the agency side too, if we get someone on the line who goes off like a bomb when we tell them they can't do what they want to do, (like in one instance, suggesting that two nonref tickets can't be combined into one ticket just because the flight is delayed which would cause a misconnect, meaning the traveler would have to spend the night at his connecting point, and get home a day late, and the traveler didn't want to travel all the way from Iowa to california, only to turn around one day after he got home and return to Iowa on his second ticket, he wanted to use the return of his second ticket without using the outbound, which aint allowed without a reprice, regardless of whether the return on the first ticket is delayed, they're still 2 separate tickets!), you better believe we document that. We look out for one another.



Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 31):
I generally try to avoid that kind of escalation. If I get someone who behaves that rudely (and I have) my response is to ask to speak to a supervisor. That generally takes care of it.

I am a retired reservations supervisor with AA, and had to deal with this every day. I worked in a reservations office so alll my contacts were by fone, where the passenger asked for a supervisor. It really depended on the situation, what they were asking for and why they asked for it. It was very easy to just say no, or we could give them what they wanted. Either way, I had to remember, that we were there to try to resolve customer issues. So we had to take all that into consideration. If there was a misunderstanding, or the customer had been given wrong info, that was one thing. If they just did not want to pay the change fee that was another thing. But I still had to take ownership of AA and do all I could to resolve the issue.

And, on more than one occasion, I had to write up an agent, because they treated a passenger in the way you described or in an unprofessional manner. On a more pleasant note, and more often, I got calls from passengers wanting to write a compliment for the agent. Those calls were always a pleasure to handle.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
davescj
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:55 am



Quoting Triple7man (Reply 32):
On a more pleasant note, and more often, I got calls from passengers wanting to write a compliment for the agent. Those calls were always a pleasure to handle.

From a pax perspective, those are also pleasant letters to write!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
ctbarnes
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:13 pm



Quoting Triple7man (Reply 32):
I am a retired reservations supervisor with AA, and had to deal with this every day.

A good, professional perspective from someone in the industry. Thanks for your thoughts.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
AA737-823
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:25 pm

Unlike many other trip reports on this, you didn't seem to be too biased against United to start with, so that lends your report more credibility.
That said, thank you for all this information; in the future, I will continue to pour my travel dollars into Continental Airlines' coffers. Their domestic first service is on par with what you've received on a flight scheduled for 14 hours in a quite premium market.

I mean, shoot, none of your dinner wares even had any LOGOS or patterns on them!
Sheesh!
I just had a good lunch at Bradford on Avon, with good service, and paid just 20 Pounds.

You paid $700 to upgrade from business? Just to sleep? Gosh, I can spend $30 at a Motel 6 and get-arguably-similar quality sleep...

Doesn't seem like a very good value, actually.
 
MQTmxguy
Posts: 129
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:10 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Reply 14):
I agree, Tray's are really for domestic first where you are limited on time. International first you shouldn't see any tray out.

Heck, when flying domestic F on AA few months ago my food wasn't on a tray.
Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
 
Av8rDAL
Posts: 356
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:23 pm

Upgrade to F for 689$, I guess you got what you paid for ... and the F/As were tipped off by the Angry Check-In Lady!

Seriously though, I think I'd equate this experience to waiting in line at the U.S. Post Office and being barked at by some gov't clerk. Disenchanting...
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
 
UA772IAD
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:54 pm



Quoting Smi0006 (Reply 23):
It depends on the airline, QF and NZ and the above mentioned have a system in place where the cabin is sprayed/coated (sorry can't remember the exact term) every six months (I think it's six months) during maintenance, thus they dont need to spray them on decent into Aus or NZ, every time. All EK aircraft must have this done before arrival into Aus and the only times I've herd that it has had to sprayed on the ground is when the crew have forgotten or some one didn't load the spray cans. I've never herd of AQIS (Australian Quarantine something or other) doing it, they just give the cans to the crew and close the door again, I think this is another example of the poor performance of your crew.



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
Whyt didn't the FAs do it in the air prior to arrival? I have not flown a US-OZ route before but all the flights I have taken from Asia have the the cabin sprayed prior to arrival into OZ soil and it is done normally at the start of descend. Although once on an MAS flight, the spray activated the smoke alarm above me and I had it ringing ALL THE WAY TILL TOUCHDOWN AND DISEMBARKATION!

UA IS certified in the same manner that QF and NZ is. On all of my UA arrivals into SYD or MEL, I've yet to be sprayed. The certificate must have expired on ship 8197, resulting in Agriculture/Quarantine to treat the plane. Crews are not responsible for sterilising the cabin prior to arrival.
 
christao17
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:22 pm

Nice report. Too bad that it just confirms that UA's "premium" product doesn't really deserve that adjective.
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
Zone1
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:25 pm



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
After retrieving my checked baggage, I went up to the Premium check-in terminal to check-in. The line was really long and nothing was being done to shorten it.

Couldn't you have checked in for both flights in SFO?

Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
As my ticket was a fare error to Auckland via Sydney

How much was the deal?
/// U N I T E D
 
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fxramper
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:48 pm

Sorry for your disappointment. Try AC next time!  yes 

Quoting Runway23 (Reply 14):
Yes, the flight attendants.

Best post in this thread.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 19):
Blue cheese

Bleu Cheese crusted fillet is a delicious way to cook the steak. I'm guessing UA doesn't offer a very good version of it, thus the distaste by the thread starter.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:56 pm

Nice report, but pity about some aspects of the service.



Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
smi0006
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RE: UAL LAX-SYD First Class Suite (Many Pics)

Thu May 01, 2008 5:59 am



Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 38):
UA IS certified in the same manner that QF and NZ is. On all of my UA arrivals into SYD or MEL, I've yet to be sprayed. The certificate must have expired on ship 8197, resulting in Agriculture/Quarantine to treat the plane.

On arrival into Mel you wouldn't have been as the aircraft has already landed in Australia in Sydney. Perhaps UA are no longer treating their aircraft would seem unusual to me that the certificate was simply allowed to run out and the cans not be loaded?

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 38):
Crews are not responsible for sterilising the cabin prior to arrival.

Are you talking about all crews or just UA ones? It is the responsability of the crew to spary the aircraft before arrival if the aircraft hasn't been treated, not AQIS they are there simply to inspect the documentation. We have been told in Mel that if a crew doesnt spray for whatever reason AQIS will hand over the cans and we will close the door again, untill they can sign saying it has been done.

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