Segment 3) YUL - IAD
Operator: Shuttle America (Republic Airways) for United Express
A/C: Embraer ERJ-170-100SE 170SE
Date of flight: February, 15th 2009
Departure YUL: 09h42
Arrival IAD: 11h10 (28 minutes early)
Loadfactor: +/- 80% (F / Y+ / Y)
The staff from UA was very friendly at Montréal. They had a good seat for me on the first row of economy Plus on the Embraer. For the flight from IAD they had not so good news. It seems that my seat (17G) was taken and no other good seats were available in Y+. Instead they offered me an exit seat on row 30. They offered to block the second seat and put me in the windowseat but I could switch if I wanted on the plane since the second seat was blocked. I was happy with that solution so I left Montréal in a good mood
The Embrear ERJ170 is a very nice plane with plenty of room compared to the Canadair CRJ200. Straight walls, nice big windows, a lot of headroom. Short: a spacious aircraft. The only minor part to the plane were the lockers for the handluggage, they weren't big enough to carry a large backpack. But that's the only minor part... The seats were covered in nice grey leather and were more wider then the seats on the 777. I enjoyed myself during the flight...
A short flight so no meals included nor for sale. A complimentary beverage was offered and indeed alcoholic beverages remained to be paid for.
No IFE on this plane.
On of the best flights I got in ages... Nice and comfortable seats, plenty of legroom, a spacious aircraft, generous windows, a smooth flight... What does a man wants more? I really enjoyed this flight and wished it took longer.
Segment 4) IAD - BRU:
Operator: United Airlines
A/C: Boeing B777-222
Registration: N778UA (same plane as the first flight)
First flight: 04/1996
Date of flight: February 15th / 16th, 2009
Departure BRU: 18h01 (4 minutes late)
Arrival IAD: 07h22+1 (7 minutes late)
Seat: 30J (Y)
I'll skip this part, same as usual, very friendly and helpfull staff.
After the flight with the Canadair CRJ200 I thought I had the worst flight but nothing more was true. It seemed that the flight to Brussels was near full in all classes and due this fact it seemed they unblocked the seat next to me. When entering the 777 I found out the exitrow doesn't have any windows and the seats are place right against the wall which limits the legroom and the shoulderroom in seat 30J a lot... Also the windowseat seems to be a windowless windowseat since no window is located at this row. But no worries, 30H was blocked they told me so I could switch seats... Wrong guess, due the heavy load they unblocked the seat and someone was seated in this seat. This meant that I would be cramped for the whole flight back to Belgium with no legroom (the door sticks out to much) and no shoulderroom... Great... After take off I tried to stay as long as I could in my seat but after a while I couldn't take it anymore... I went to the galley and stayed there for some hours. It was more comfortable to me to stand for hours than being in 30J... When the plane was nearly at it's destination I went to my seat for landing. One of my worst flights ever though the flight itself was very smooth wirh only minor turbulence.
Like said before I don't like airlinefood and I friendly declined the "chicken or pasta" option. Also the breakfast I declined. I don't like it and probably never will like it At certain times beverages were offered during the flight.1
IFE was based on the well known system of looped tapes. No AVOD (yet) on the B777 from UA. Only a few channels were offered on the very tiny screens in the back of the seats or the armrests. Also several musicstations were on offer. A nice touch is the so called "channel 9" which lets you listen to the voice transmissions of the plane and ATC.
I didn't like this flight since I didn't have any space. It was one of the worst flight I had in long time... I do like UA but I definately don't like overbooked planes... To be sure this won't happen again I think i'll fly business next time.