modesto2
Posts: 2681
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:18 pm

I've been afflicted with the travel bug for a long time, especially since I started working for the airlines. Thankfully, my schedule this month included a continuous stretch of seven days off, and I vowed to take full advantage of the time to travel again.

Unfortunately, plans fell through with a few friends to travel to Istanbul or New York, so with my eagerness to travel, I randomly messaged a friend living abroad in Seoul, Republic of Korea. She replied with much enthusiasm for me to visit for a few days - my first trip to Korea.

That was Tuesday night... I quickly booked a hostel, and the following morning, stopped by the library to grab a Lonely Planet tour book and was at LAX for a 1045 Southwest departure to SFO. The loads for SFO-ICN on UA893 for that day were wide open in United Business and also looked promising for the return on Sunday afternoon.

UA893 SFO-ICN B777

After arriving at SFO terminal 1, I transferred to the beautiful international terminal and found my flight, UA893, at gate 94. I checked in with the gate agent who eventually processed my jumpseat request and was offered a pre-board, about 50 minutes prior to departure. On board, I introduced myself to the cabin crew and flight deck crew and settled into the last row of United Business, row 15 on this 777.

View of my aircraft from the international terminal:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA893.jpg

View of the rear United Business class cabin from seat 15A:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/Seat15A.jpg

Business class was less than 50%, so I had the comfort of two seats to myself. We pushed from G94 on time:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4244.jpg

Taxi and take-off were quick and uneventful, and I grew quite comfortable for the 11-1/2 hour flight to ICN. Lunch service started shortly thereafter and included...

Smoked salmon, Genoa salami and vegetable crudite with a sun-dried tomato dressing
Fresh seasonal greens
Buttermilk ranch or balsamic Dijon vinaigrette
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA893SaladAppetizer.jpg

Braised short rib of beef with red wine demi-glace
Potato pancakes and oven-roasted root vegetables
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA893Dinner.jpg

Eli's Caramel Tiramisu
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA893Dessert.jpg

The food was good, although I find CO's BusinessFirst food to be tastier and more substantial.

I took a brief nap, but stayed awake for the overwhelming majority of the flight to study my newly acquired tour book. By this point, I didn't know a thing about Seoul and tried to learn as much as possible in just a few short hours. Thankfully, I studied the book and made plenty of notes about attractions and history - I was ready for some serious sight-seeing!

The last meal was the pre-arrival meal before our descent into ICN.

Beef pastrami with baby Swiss on rye
Oven-roasted fingerling potatoes
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA893Sandwich.jpg

Nice view of the moving map display:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4252.jpg

Overall, it was a great flight. Honestly, I could never complain about a free flight  Smile Thanks to United and its extremely friendly cabin and cockpit crews on this flight for a great experience. United is always my favorite airline for international jumpseating as they always offer Business upgrades and great hospitality. Although I find its Business class product rather outdated and somewhat inferior to other products, I still enjoy a free ride anytime!

After just two days and a whirlwind tour of the fantastic city of Seoul, I reluctantly boarded my return flight. A special thanks to my friend, Young, for her great tour guide skills. Thanks to her, I was able to see much of this fantastic city (and country) in just a few hours. The highlights definitely included a tour of the DMZ between North and South Korea, as well as some fantastic food, gorgeous palaces, and amazing tea houses.


UA892 ICN-SFO B777
After a very early arrival at ICN, I waited for the crew to arrive and spoke with them to approve my jumpseat request. Barely an hour prior to departure, the agent finally processed my seat assignment, and that initiated a mad dash through passport control, security and the beautiful terminals of ICN to the gate.

Huge departures screen!
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4539.jpg

On the way, I saw a neat-looking Russian plane:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4541.jpg

I finally arrived at the gate and snapped a couple more photos of my 777:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4543.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA892Gate123.jpg

A gate agent escorted me aboard to check in with the cockpit crew again. Once again, the entire cockpit and cabin crew were extremely friendly and hospitable and made me so comfortable and welcome. With a modest load factor in Business, I changed to row 13 and got the window seat with an empty seat next to me.

Push back and taxi was timely, and I was able to catch this quick photo of Korean Air buildings at ICN:
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4544.jpg

I listened to channel 9 as we climbed out of ICN and entered Tokyo Control airspace. At that time, the First Officer made a PA pointing out Mt. Fuji on the right side of the plane. Needless to say, I took advantage of the 'Kodak moment' and have plenty of documentation to prove it  Smile
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4550.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4553.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/MtFuji.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4552.jpg

Meal service began and included...

Smoked salmon, Parma ham and Cheddar cheese appetizer
Lemon aioli sauce
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA892SaladAppetizer.jpg

Orange herb-roasted breast of chicken with demi-glace
Basmati rice with vegetables, green beans and red onions
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA892Dinner.jpg

Chocolate tart
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA892Dessert.jpg

The chicken was particularly moist and tasty. I settled in for the 10 hour return flight to SFO and tried to sleep as much as possible, knowing that our arrival time was estimated at 0745 - a full day ahead!

After a decent nap, it was breakfast time. I was so eager to eat that I mistakenly cut off the flight attendant as she was offering the meal choices and ended with the fruit (instead of the omelette). Still, it was tasty  Smile

Fresh seasonal fruit plate with creamy yogurt
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/UA892Breakfast.jpg

We had an on-time arrival to SFO and that concluded an amazing two-day journey to Seoul. Thanks again to United for their relentless hospitality!

I snapped a last photo of my plane as I boarded BART  Smile
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh232/chiudog/Seoul/IMG_4562.jpg

As always, many comments are much appreciated! I don't write as many of these reports as I should, but I'm trying to make more of an effort to write such reports after each of my international journeys.

Thanks,
Modesto2
 
hikarufree
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:29 pm

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:27 pm

Great report!

The old C cabin still looks pretty comfortable.
 
Transpac787
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:55 am

I had a relatively recent excursion on UA 777's to the Orient back in December... brings back good (and recent) memories!! Haha.

Did you, by chance, catch the tail#'s off either of your planes??
 
modesto2
Posts: 2681
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:15 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 2):
Did you, by chance, catch the tail#'s off either of your planes??

I don't record the tail numbers, but I just took a closer look at my photos and they were...

UA893 SFO-ICN N797UA
UA892 ICN-SFO N225UA

Quoting Hikarufree (Reply 1):
The old C cabin still looks pretty comfortable.

Agreed. I know it pales in comparison to other airlines like EK, SQ or CX, but once again, I can't complain for a free ride. It's still a great way to pass a 10+ hour flight  Smile
 
triple7man
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:29 am

Thanks for the TR. I'm glad you had a pleasant experience on UA. What do you do for UA?
Fuji San is always beautiful when it's covered with snow. I had the opportunity to climb it 3 years ago and got 6 stitches up there.
Have you kissed a 777 today?
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:07 pm

Great report!

You got to be a lucky guy to get a free ride in Business class!
The food looked absolutely amazing, almost up to par with some European airlines. The seats on the other hand, were a bit outdated as you said. But I assume they will replace them soon.

Thanks for posting

//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
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Aaron747
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:52 pm

Look at the difference in freshness of the salad vegetables between the SFO origin and ICN origin. How embarassing that UA's product out of its Pacific base pales in comparison to a distant outstation. No surprise there, nothing has changed since I last used UA biz in 2005.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
conrad1402
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:50 pm

Brilliant report!

From the pictures of your aircraft I realise now how better the new UA scheme looks.

Not too sure about the Busienss Class seats on this aircraft, especially for a longer flight. They seem a little old fashioned.

How does the inflight entertainment compare to other carriers?
 
modesto2
Posts: 2681
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:13 pm



Quoting Conrad1402 (Reply 7):
How does the inflight entertainment compare to other carriers?

Unfortunately, it the entertainment system left much to be desired. The screen is relatively small with a few video channels but no AVOD or touch-screen like most other airlines use nowadays. With that said, I didn't use the PTV beyond the moving map display.

I'm eager to try UA's new C class, but apparently, it's only on the 747 and 767 fleet right now. Time to take another trip...  Smile
 
CityofAthens
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:17 pm

Thanks for the report; I love the photos of Mt. Fuji, reminds me of my geography textbooks. Big grin

By the way, I don't speak Russian but I think that Tupolev 154 you saw @ ICN says "Vladivostok Avia" which probably means it was operating a flight from its base in Vladivostok, a port city in Russia's Far East.

United's international Business Class product doesn't look very competitive but as you said, a free flight is a free flight; some airlines would never allow their employees to ride up front so you are very lucky!
 
modesto2
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:54 pm



Quoting Triple7man (Reply 4):
What do you do for UA?



Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 9):
some airlines would never allow their employees to ride up front so you are very lucky!

Most U.S. airlines have competitive travel benefits, including the ability to ride in premium cabins as a non-revenue passenger. I don't work for UA, but I fly for another airline, and our reciprocal pilot jumpseat agreements allow pilots of each airline to fly or "jumpseat" on the other airline's flights. As I mentioned, UA is particularly good about upgrading pilots on international jumpseats. Thanks United  Smile
 
Carlisle
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:27 am



Quoting Modesto2 (Thread starter):
the First Officer made a PA pointing out Mt. Fuji on the right side of the plane

Very nice shots of Mt. Fuji and the 777 as well!!

Great TR! Thanks for sharing!
"CLEAN PLANES AND DIRTY MARTINIS" (Delta)
 
crjflyer35
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:26 pm

Great report! I wish I would have gone out and seen more of Seoul when I was stationed in Korea. When I ETS'd I flew UA892 home! I even got upgraded to Business class as well. This trip report brought back some memories! Great share.
Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
 
xjramper
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:21 pm

Excellent report. I will be sure to check back in a week or so and see if the pictures are back up.

xjr
Look ma' no hands!
 
AUSisAWESOME
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:11 pm

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting Xjramper (Reply 13):
I will be sure to check back in a week or so and see if the pictures are back up.

Same, I cant see the pictures as well. Great TR though!
Upcoming flights: XNA-ATL-TGU/DL XNA-DFW-AUS/AA XNA-LAX/AA
 
modesto2
Posts: 2681
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:52 am

Mt. Fuji was certainly the highlight of the return flight. I'm anxious to try UA's new C product with AVOD, bigger screens and new seats. Thanks for the comments!
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:08 am

What good photos,really enjoyed. I agree with others that Biz class needs updating, and that screen on a 777, Yuk ! The menu look great for a long flight.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:54 pm

Nice report & pictures, thanks for posting.

Quoting Modesto2 (Thread starter):
I find its Business class product rather outdated and somewhat inferior to other products

- Very true, good job you were on a free ticket, I'd not want to be spending top dollar on this kind of Business Class, as you say, it's way behind other carriers these days.

Regards

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:56 am

Thanks for the report.

Quoting Modesto2 (Thread starter):
United is always my favorite airline for international jumpseating as they always offer Business upgrades

Makes me wonder if this is one of the many the reason why most US carriers are in the financial position they are in today. These "free upgrades" happen seemingly very frequently to a point where frequent fliers almost expect it to happen. Definitely NOT the way to go to protect the integrity of a supposed "premium" product.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
afay1
Posts: 1206
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:37 pm

RE: UA Business 777 SFO-ICN-SFO (pics)

Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:55 pm



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 18):
These "free upgrades" happen seemingly very frequently to a point where frequent fliers almost expect it to happen. Definitely NOT the way to go to protect the integrity of a supposed "premium" product.

Obviously that debate continues--I would add that since I have the ability to channel on which carrier my business travel is taken on, I mostly choose United based on the occasional upgrades vs the certainty of not getting them on some other carriers. It is mostly not "premium" due to its current ancientness on some aircraft. Plenty of other flag carriers that don't upgrade hardly run a premium operation.

Anyway, great report!

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