abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:48 am

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 072
Flight Category: J-ILR (See Report End)
Date: 13 Mar-09 (See Report End)
SDT/SAT/Dur/Delay: 2243/0625+2/14:42 hrs
Flight: United Airlines UA 863, 7417 miles
Routing: SFO-SYD
Aircraft: 744
Seat: Business (Upper Deck), 16A

I > Background:
A friend of mine was turning 30 and I thought it was the perfect time to pay a quick visit. Given the amount of UAL loyalists and UAL employees on A.Net, UA’s J product has very few reviews and I could only find on NRSA report to Asia. I believe this is the first review of the new product on the 744 … could be very wrong though. And, I think it is the first UA coverage on SFO-SYD using the new product.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
United Air Lines, Inc., is one of the major U.S. airlines and operates from hubs at ORD, IAD, DEN, SFO, and LAX. It is a founding member of Star Alliance and has a network spanning across the U.S., extensively into Far East/Oceania, with limited service to Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. It has struggled to position itself since 2001 and I strongly believe that the lack of aircraft orders will come back to haunt this aging giant of the aviation industry. It is in the process of refurbishing its fleet of 763, 744, and soon the 772 to flat-beds on J and F as part of a major exercise.

United’s website at www.ual.com is referred by many in the aviation community as the “.bomb” due to several technical glitches. I actually find the website pretty intuitive and easy to use. In a matter of minutes, I was able to book and pay tickets which arrived electronically in less than 5 minutes. I was able to book seats and request an upgrade, which surprisingly cleared immediately. I love UAL’s higher Y buckets and I have plenty of SWU’s to last a lifetime. Even more impressive is that UAL’s site gives you access to modify your reservation and change seats as many times as one wish. Many brownie points .

b) At Airport:
San Francisco’s international terminal is (in my opinion) the best terminal in the entire U.S. It is clean, modern, airy, and does not have nasty 1980s carpeting which seem to prevail through most other major U.S. gateways. Ok, the rental car counters are in a different planet, but I will overlook that. Anyways, UAL’s premium desks were empty as the last bank of European departures had left (LHR, FRA), and SYD was the only flight remaining. The agent obviously knew this well and greeted me with a “Going to Sydney Mr. AM I presume?” She was genuinely happy to be doing her job, asked me if I was OK with the seat, and was able to change to UD at my request. Before letting me go, she reminded me of the location of the RCC and wished me a pleasant flight. Great positive start.

Quick security later, I was airside and went to the RCC and had the “matron” welcome me in with 2 drink vouchers. Like most lounges in the U.S., UAL’s SFO RCC is nothing special and the quality of offerings is below average by any international standard. An assortment of cookies, some fresh fruits, a vegetable platter, a fancy coffee machine, and some juices was all that was on offer. The bar was well-stocked but you had to pay beyond the first two drinks. At the time I went in, most passengers were waiting for the LH and NZ flights.
Surprisingly, boarding call was announced for the Sydney flight 45 minutes prior and I made my way to an extremely efficient boarding process. One interesting thing was the sheer amount of people who had to have their “DOCS OK” check done by the agent at the gate. Shouldn’t this be done at check-in?

Boarding was quick and efficient and I was welcomed on-board by a very senior all-female UAL crew. As I made my way upstairs, I still felt like a kid being all excited. There is something really magical about climbing the stairs to a 744 Upper Deck … even after all these years and flying, there just is something magical. Don’t you people agree?

Anyways, as soon as I climbed up, I was greeted by the 2 crew members – a woman and a man who came by to take my jacket, offer me a welcome drink (by name), give me Australian immigration forms, and the “Expedited Arrivals” card. They were in good spirits and their welcome was genuine. J load was around 85%.

Airport - External:

(San Francisco’s International Terminal)


Check-in:

(Empty Premium Check-in)


Airport - Internal:

(Internal)


(FIDS @ Lounge)


(Post Security)


Scenes of the tarmac:







(Points given to who can correctly identify where this picture was taken from)


Lounge

(People pay for this? Lounge or cubicle offices )


(Random food options)


Boarding:

(Gate area)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Prior to take-off, hot towels, drinks service, menus and order taking. Amenity kits on seats upon arrival. Immediately post take-off, customary warm nuts with beverage run, followed by dinner. Throughout the flight, snacks available either at snack counter or via crew for something more substantial. Breakfast 60 minutes prior to arrival.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
United’s 744’s have come a long way indeed. The new J seats are absolutely fantastic. While the cabin does show its age, no one can fault the new seat. Yes, there is absolutely very little storage around the seat (and this is why you get an Upper Deck window seat), everything else about it is perfect. There is ample legroom during seated position, the distance to the TV monitor is just right, it is comfortable to eat and work from, and MOST importantly, it is a true flat bed. Not only that, I have had my share of flying, and I can say that United’s J bed is actually one of the better products out there and I am surprised not much has been about it. What is the most amazing part is that in flat position, it is remarkably flat. There is only one major “fold” (or, “break”) ensuring that you get a seat without too many crazy angles. Truly, a joy to sleep in. And, sleep I did … I think a full 7 hours! Of course it is not perfect … and one must have to really cross the person in aisle seat to go out. Also, storage in the upper deck bins is significantly less than in the lower deck. Some of this is allayed if you get the additional bins in the window seat of any 744 upper deck. Finally, the bathrooms were remarkably clean and I did like the products being offered.

Aircraft:

(Still beautiful after all these years)


Views from Aircraft:

(SFO)








General Seat Views + Seat Legroom








(Definitely more leg-room in the lower deck)




Seat Recline + Angle View:

(A very comfortable flat bed)


(Angle view)




Cabin:

(Stairway to heaven…)


(Cozy upper deck)


(Storage)




c) Meal + Beverage:

United’s J class food offerings were industry average for Business class. They were good … yet, nothing that would be winning any award any time soon. Dinner started with a rather excellent smoked salmon. For main course, I thought having just 3 options was rather poor. Moreover, my grilled mahi mahi was sub-par and I had to have it heated a second time for it to be edible. Dessert included a cheese selection or a chocolate truffle cheesecake. I chose the cheesecake and again, it was just average. Moreover, just having two choices is rather shoddy! Accompanying dinner was a rather generous beverage run … though the quality of wines was lackluster.

Mid-flight, one could go to the snack bar (which blocked the exit-doors) or order a sandwich. The cucumber and provolone one that I had was rather nice … and having it with tea hit just the right spot. Here again though, let me explain on why UA-J is just average. Fly any Asian or Mid-Eastern carrier’s J class, and you’ll get a selection of tea. Nothing of that sort on UAL. C’est la vie.

Prior to arrival, one could have a fresh fruit plate or cheddar cheese omelets. I chose the later and it was actually rather good. However, I still have to lament on the lack of choice. This is J class of a major flagship route … should there not be more options? If Sri Lankan airlines can provide me with 5 choices in Economy on a DXB-CMB run, why can’t UAL J on a near 15 hour flight?

(Menu)




(Beverage Service – generous alcohol)


(Dinner)






(Mid-flight snack)


(Snack counter – blocks exits)


(Pre-arrival breakfast)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
United’s new inflight entertainment system has come a long way. The screens are big and the quality of the video is very good. However, the headphones need to be improved and it seemed like a lot of my fellow passengers were having system issues that involved several re-sets. One thing … while a vast improvement, I thought the AVOD movie offerings were rather limited. And, having flown their J product several times over the last few months, it seems like their movies rarely get updated. Outside movies, I did like their TV offerings, and their music collection was solid with good intuitive ways to build your own playlist.

(AVOD IFE)


















(“In-flight magazines” – incorrect month, Boarding Passes, etc.)

e) Crew:
This is where United really shone. In the upper deck, I was looked after well by two FA’s … a male and a female. Both were excellent. They did all the “routine” things with smile and perfection – including genuine warmth during boarding, meals orders, meal deliveries, water refills (my glass was NEVER empty), beverage runs, etc. I was amazed at how quickly they responded to the FA call button. Impressive and completely unexpected … especially given that I had met some seriously surly “younger” LHR based attendants this year who had made me question why I gave so much of my money to the airline.

A final note must be reserved for a wonderful lady called CisXX … if she/her admirers/management are reading this, they know who she is. CisXX joined UAL after being ex-Panama and she embodied everything a great flight attendant must be. Throughout the entire period, she would only refer to me by first name. During the initial beverage run, she insisted on giving 2 bottles of alcohol (something I have never seen outside Air India). She would literally check on me every 15-20 minutes to see if I needed a refill or ask me if I needed anything. One noticing that I had gone through my first bottle, she asked if I wanted to have some fresh bloody mary, or whether I needed some fresh ice, or whether after having my wine sit for a while during dinner if I wanted a chilled glass! When she was taking my meal order, she noted that I had “4 stars” so I should not worry about not getting my choice. However, if I was not satisfied, she would go and see if she could get something from F-cabin! WOW! Just like in TV-commercials, when I dozed off, I woke up to a blanket around me and an additional pillow to make sure I was comfortable. Finally, around 4 hours prior to arrival, she noticed that I was reading “Aviation Daily” and asked me if I worked in the industry. After pointing out that I work as a management consultant, she just blew me away with her knowledge. We talked about the industry, UAL revenue management, yields on trans-pacific flights, “spill” effects on introducing a second daily departure to Sydney, V Australia’s strategy, UAL’s product, UAL’s vision, and finally her remarkable days as an FA at PAA and now at UAL. I seriously was blown away! I mean, she knew more about the industry than many middle and upper management executives at airlines. WOW! WOW! WOW! Prior to arrival, I thanked her profusely and wrote her a 1K appreciation card. Interestingly, I was flying back 2 days later, which was apparently the same turn-around for the UAL crew. I was seated in the lower-deck. She came by and said, “Alex, you were hiding from me ... I found you a spot in the upper deck. Let me know if you want to switch”. How could I resist? One of the best individual FA’s I have encountered in my life. And, who would have thought she would have been a United woman?! CisXX if you’re reading this … keep on doing your job … it makes people like me keep on flying!

IV> Post-Flight:
Arrival at SYD was remarkably smooth. Having the “Arrivals Express” card meant being able to meet my friends outside in 15 minutes. One thing of note ... there is some serious profiling at SYD on who gets secondary customs screening ...

(Pulling next to SQ’s 380 ... the 744 is such a classier aircraft IMHO)


(Sydney Arrivals)


V> Impressions + Scores:
United’s new J class is definitely a vast improvement over its previous product. While not perfect (lack of storage, inability to move out easily, IFE AVOD issues), the seat is pretty darn good. In lie-flat position, it is one hell of a good J seat. When I first saw the product (and there are some posts of mine on A.Net), I thought it would be cramped. However, I have been positively impressed. Of course, there are many things that are still VERY average about United ... the meal options and quality, the beverage options and quality, the quantity and quality of movies in AVOD ... however, I would suck it up if all of UAL’s employees can be even half of the crew I had on this flight. CisXX was exemplary. Even outside her, all others were just good. Genuine warmth and caring that were even present at check-in! A thoroughly enjoyable and surprising experience. Now only if UAL can make this happen throughout the bloody airline. An overall excellent product made my people who truly make it a friendly sky. I would recommend UAL strongly, give it a two-thumps up, and fly the product without hesitation.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 10.0
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 8.5
0.5 > LOUNGE: 5.0
0.5 > BOARDING: 8.5
2.0 > SEAT: 9.5
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 8.0
1.0 > IFE: 6.5
2.0 > CREW: 10.0
2.0 > FOOD: 5.5
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 6.5
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 6.5
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 9.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 10.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 8.23
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.46)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Sydney at departure includes Air Austral’s new interesting CDG-RUN-SYD flight)




(@ SFO)


(Amenity Kit … can someone explain when they give out which one … these 3 are from SYD, return, and IAD-DXB)


(Some pictures I took of Sydney you may like)


Live, and let live.
 
smi0006
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:17 am

Great report!!!
Sounds like an awsome product there just wish UA would go non-stop out of Melbourne, maybe one day!!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One interesting thing was the sheer amount of people who had to have their “DOCS OK” check done by the agent at the gate. Shouldn’t this be done at check-in?

Perhaps they checked in online and had no checked luggage? This is the one flaw with online check in, checking the docs for international and if there are problems with them, it can very stressful for all involved to solve the issues.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
there is some serious profiling at SYD on who gets secondary customs screening ...

This is often critised on this site but from what I see the risk assesments done by bothe Customs and Quarentine staff usually seem pretty dead on, many simple don't like the generalisation but there really is no other way.
 
widget1580
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:14 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:40 am

I always look forward to reading your TRs. Thanks! You do such a great job.
KLM | Journeys of Inspiration
 
The777Man
Posts: 5935
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:28 am

Very nice report!

I flew UA LAX-SYD in C in April in the new seats and had a great flight but did not write a trip report, only wrote the trip report for the return on AC SYD-YVR.

I also had the mahi mahi but I thought it was very good.......

Let me know if you pass thru LAX the next time and perhaps we can meet up ?

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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NZ107
Posts: 4946
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:45 am

Hi A,

Great report once again! Very enjoyable.

The seat configuration looks unique.. I'd also like to know how this would stack up against NZ's long haul J service - NZ could have remained on the SYD-LAX run.

Thanks for opening up the side bins - never seen them before. The seats look pretty comfy. But the IFE remotes look identical to what NZ/CX/EK have in Y.. I guess it doesn't really matter as long as it's fully functionable.

Keep them coming!

Regards,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
directorguy
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:04 am

As usual, great TR.
Your stuff makes me want to do a report about your TR, and it would get 10/10. Your structure, the way you write makes it so enjoyable.
Pictures were great
So nice to know that cabin crew were good this time. It's nice to read something positive when 8/10 times UA FAs are frequently bashed.
 
Callbell
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:35 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:07 am

Just a note, the snack carts set up in front of the door inflight isnt a problem as the exits cant be used. They would have been stowed for landing. I think a bigger issue would be not having them secured for unexpected turbulence...

Overall though a great TR. Very interesting to see the J class service on UA.
 
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STT757
Posts: 13266
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:50 pm

Thanks for sharing, the new UA J product looks great. A much needed shot in the arm for UA's brand.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 1508
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:36 pm

Thank you for another wonderful trip report.

I'm planning to go to SYD next year. UA's MSP-SYD fares in J are much lower than anyone else's. I'm glad to see UA has a high quality inflight product, so I'll be getting good value for my $ if I fly UA.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:10 pm



Quoting Smi0006 (Reply 1):
Perhaps they checked in online and had no checked luggage? This is the one flaw with online check in, checking the docs for international and if there are problems with them, it can very stressful for all involved to solve the issues.

= I don't think this is the issue. I almost never check bags and check-in online and the system never generates any boarding passes for me. However, this could be because I am not an U.S. citizen.

Quoting Smi0006 (Reply 1):
This is often critised on this site but from what I see the risk assesments done by bothe Customs and Quarentine staff usually seem pretty dead on, many simple don't like the generalisation but there really is no other way.

= We will have to agree to disagree. I am strongly against systematic profiling based on certain attributes as it is entrenches institutionalized practices ... especially worrisome in a multi-cultural society like Australia. Happy to talk more on this via PM.

Quoting Widget1580 (Reply 2):
I always look forward to reading your TRs. Thanks! You do such a great job.

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 3):
Let me know if you pass thru LAX the next time and perhaps we can meet up ?

= Hmmm ... I am flying to Pago Pago soon via LAX. You airside? Might have to meet up for sure!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):

The seat configuration looks unique.. I'd also like to know how this would stack up against NZ's long haul J service - NZ could have remained on the SYD-LAX run.

= Nicholas, I have actually only flown NZ on services to the Pacific islands ... so will have experts who have done both flights comment. Usually, I have only heard good things about NZ's intercontinental J product.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
Your stuff makes me want to do a report about your TR, and it would get 10/10. Your structure, the way you write makes it so enjoyable.

= Thanks a lot!

Quoting CallBell (Reply 6):
Just a note, the snack carts set up in front of the door inflight isnt a problem as the exits cant be used. They would have been stowed for landing. I think a bigger issue would be not having them secured for unexpected turbulence...

= Ya. I don't think they are an issue as well. The last time I saw this was on Air India in Y.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 8):
I'm planning to go to SYD next year. UA's MSP-SYD fares in J are much lower than anyone else's. I'm glad to see UA has a high quality inflight product, so I'll be getting good value for my $ if I fly UA.

= Or, try an upgradeable Y fare if NC inventory is available.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
DL752
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:30 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:12 pm

Excellent trip report!
Sydney looks like an amazing city and those new UA seats look comfy!
Can't wait until your next trip report!
DL752 Big grin
 
plateman
Posts: 646
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 9:36 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:05 pm

You are my favorite Trip Report writer, please keep them going.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Angle view)

Why does it seem like some seats are facing backward?>

And what does a 1K appreciation card get the FA? How many do you have?

Thanks!
"Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
 
Soxfan
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:38 pm

Another wonderful report, as always! I haven't flown UA international so it was a very good read, even if I usually fly economy  Wink

One question I have: While I saw the information about the "From the Flight Deck Channel," was it (channel 9) activated for the flight, and if so, did you listen to it at all/have any opinions on it?
Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
 
QANTAS077
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:08 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:01 am

the seats may have changed but the food remains the same! I have some older J class reports on here from UA, the meals haven't changed one bit!  Sad
 
Transpac787
Posts: 1349
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:47 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:59 am



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I believe this is the first review of the new product on the 744 … could be very wrong though.

I beat you to it, unfortunately  Silly

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/138759/

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
There is something really magical about climbing the stairs to a 744 Upper Deck … even after all these years and flying, there just is something magical. Don’t you people agree?

Yea, that's one of the greatest things there is!! Big grin


A couple questions for you though. Did you happen to get the ship# of your aircraft?? Also, what would you guess the load factors were, in all 3 cabins? Mach is somewhat of an off-season for UA to SYD so I would guess not particularly well but you never know.

In any case, great report - always love to see favorable review of the 744's!!  bigthumbsup 
 
CaptainTim
Posts: 378
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:29 am



Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 13):
the seats may have changed but the food remains the same! I have some older J class reports on here from UA, the meals haven't changed one bit!

I've flown ORD-HKG and SFO-HKG on multiple occasions on the new business class and have had the same exact meal as yours every single time since my first flight on their new business class in November 2008.

charlie trotter's grilled mahi mahi in the sweet and sour sauce with the salad plate as a starter with some smoked salmon and proscuitto.

it is very disappointing that ever since UA implemented the new suites into their 744s, that they never updated their menus...

has anyone had any other meals on UA's new business class yet?
Gulfstream Planeview Cockpit: "why have hundreds of buttons when a CCD does the same thing and more?"
 
QANTAS077
Posts: 5177
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:43 am



Quoting Captaintim (Reply 15):
charlie trotter's grilled mahi mahi in the sweet and sour sauce with the salad plate as a starter with some smoked salmon and proscuitto.

the smoked salmon & prosciutto sounds familiar! I had that 2.5 years ago on a flight from SYD to LAX.
 
User avatar
Vio
Posts: 1475
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:07 am

Great report. I really like your reports and I've read every single one of them. It really presents each airline in detail. I have to say though, when flying an airline, it's always a hit in miss. I've flown United many times (US Domestic only) and sometimes I'd get great crew, sometimes, the most miserable bunch of people, who should not be working in this industry.

Thanks again for sharing and looking forward to many more of your reports,

Regards,

Vio

Vancouver, Canada
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
The777Man
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:41 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 14):
Did you happen to get the ship# of your aircraft??

Checking ACARS reports for that date; looks like N175UA or 8475

The777Man

[Edited 2009-06-03 02:42:25]
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
smi0006
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:32 am



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 9):
= I don't think this is the issue. I almost never check bags and check-in online and the system never generates any boarding passes for me. However, this could be because I am not an U.S. citizen.

Some airlines it does, perhaps it is because you are not a US system, it is a problem at times in Australia, with some airlines especially those that give out boarding passes to New Zealand (EK) the custom and immigration requirements there are as equally strict but different to Australia can get a bit tricky...
 
N751PR
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:43 pm

Another awesome report, Abrelosojos! Big grin

It also appears that I missed you by a day! I flew UA683 in the 13th!  Silly
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
 
SASDC8
Posts: 530
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:08 pm

Very nice report! Great to see that UA still (depending on crew) offers a good premium cabin experience Big grin

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upper Deck … even after all these years and flying, there just is something magical. Don’t you people agree?

Totally agree with you. Climbing those stairs makes me feel special  Smile

Thanks for reporting on UA "new" J product. Seems they don't get much positive attention these days.

Cheers
Stein
2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
 
johnboy
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:14 pm

Excellent job!.....i can tell you put a lot of time and effort into your reports which i truly appreciate.

and to be honest, it's nice to see a positive report on United, which gets bashed around on this site like a red-headed stepchild.  Smile
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:42 pm



Quoting PlateMan (Reply 11):
Why does it seem like some seats are facing backward?>

= It is because in the new layout, some rows in J are indeed backward facing.

Quoting PlateMan (Reply 11):

And what does a 1K appreciation card get the FA? How many do you have?

= It gets put in their file and I am sure taken into account if an employee receives negative comments. Also, recognized usually by station manager. I get a certain amount with 1K renewal every year ... don't remember exactly how many.

Quoting Soxfan (Reply 12):
One question I have: While I saw the information about the "From the Flight Deck Channel," was it (channel 9) activated for the flight, and if so, did you listen to it at all/have any opinions on it?

= Yes. Channel 9. Activated for parts of the flight. I remember waking up somewhere over the Pacific and hearing bizarre radio on it.

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 13):
the seats may have changed but the food remains the same! I have some older J class reports on here from UA, the meals haven't changed one bit! Sad

= Yeah. There is a reason why my scoring for food was so low.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 14):
I beat you to it, unfortunately Silly

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...8759/

= Ya. I think I remember making a comment on how the seats looked cramped.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 14):

A couple questions for you though. Did you happen to get the ship# of your aircraft?? Also, what would you guess the load factors were, in all 3 cabins? Mach is somewhat of an off-season for UA to SYD so I would guess not particularly well but you never know.

= No. I should start taking ship regs ... seems a popular request on A.Net.

Quoting Captaintim (Reply 15):
I've flown ORD-HKG and SFO-HKG on multiple occasions on the new business class and have had the same exact meal as yours every single time since my first flight on their new business class in November 2008.

charlie trotter's grilled mahi mahi in the sweet and sour sauce with the salad plate as a starter with some smoked salmon and proscuitto.

it is very disappointing that ever since UA implemented the new suites into their 744s, that they never updated their menus...

has anyone had any other meals on UA's new business class yet?

= Sad isn't it. This is why some of the finer details were missing. The best food in UAL - J for me is on their Middle Eastern runs. Catering ex-Kuwait is especially strong.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):
Checking ACARS reports for that date; looks like N175UA or 8475

The777Man



Quoting N751PR (Reply 20):
It also appears that I missed you by a day! I flew UA683 in the 13th! Silly

= Actually, N751PR, we might even have been on the same flight  Wink. As I mention in my report, I mask the date a bit. I know way too many industry professionals ... so ...

Quoting Smi0006 (Reply 19):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 9):
= I don't think this is the issue. I almost never check bags and check-in online and the system never generates any boarding passes for me. However, this could be because I am not an U.S. citizen.

Some airlines it does, perhaps it is because you are not a US system, it is a problem at times in Australia, with some airlines especially those that give out boarding passes to New Zealand (EK) the custom and immigration requirements there are as equally strict but different to Australia can get a bit tricky...

= Perhaps the UAL system triggers an alert to check when I input Liechtenstein as a passport  Smile.

Quoting SASDC8 (Reply 21):
Seems they don't get much positive attention these days.



Quoting Johnboy (Reply 22):

and to be honest, it's nice to see a positive report on United, which gets bashed around on this site like a red-headed stepchild. Smile

= They definitely do not. And, UAL has a long way to go before regaining their status as the U.S.' top premium airline. However, on this flight, especially their personnel, gave a very good glimpse of all the good things they are capable of doing.

Thanks again for reading and for all the positive comments. I have some interesting and unique reports lined up.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
SR 103
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:11 pm

I never tought I would ever see you utter a positive word about an US airline other than your beloved Delta. Glad to see UA treated you well. The seats certainly have come a long way but it looks like their soft product is still rather average. At least there is a nice PTV with AVOD to keep you entertained for those long flights across the Pacific.

One real surprise was your F/A, glad to see service like that still exist on US carriers. I have only had that kind of service on one other US airline, however it was not UA. I have not flown UA since moving to the States in 2001, however I used to fly them frequently before then and really didn't have anything to complain about.

Hopefully UA can reach their full potential and bounce back into the carrier they are so capable of becoming. Maybe its time I give them a try, thanks for the in sight. Look forward to more reports from you as always.

SR 103
 
EC001
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi there Abrelosojos,

I've been thoroughly reading your trip reports for a long time now, and it's always such a pleasure to have such an in depth coverage of a flight.

Thanks again for sharing your travel experiences!  Smile

cheers from Paris,

rgds,
 
PRAirbus
Posts: 687
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:21 pm

What's wrong with snack carts/counter blocking exit inflight? I mean, at cruising 35/36,000ft? In the event of a planned emergency the crew will prepare the cabin for landing.
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:14 am

Thanks again, I really enjoy your TRs! And it's nice to see another positive experience on UA...they can be so frustrating, I seem to have either very positive experiences, or very negative ones, little middle ground.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Ok, the rental car counters are in a different planet, but I will overlook that.

That's an unfortunate new trend in US airports, the "Rental Car Center" that is listed as "In the Terminal" when you book the car, but actually takes just as long to get to, if not longer, than an "Off Airport" company, with a bus/monorail ride or an extravagant hike.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One interesting thing was the sheer amount of people who had to have their “DOCS OK” check done by the agent at the gate. Shouldn’t this be done at check-in?

Common in the US for international flights for some reason, I've experienced it several times on CO. It seems to vary by destination.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 23):
It is because in the new layout, some rows in J are indeed backward facing.

Good to know, since backward-facing seats make me airsick almost immediately, I'll have t avoid them. I'm glad to hear the new seats are well done.
 
b707forever
Posts: 135
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:26 am

I'm a big UA fan. And I used to work for AA and AF! I find their airport staff and onboard people, across the board, excellent. I'm sure not everyone is perfect but I always find the UA experience easier than other carriers.
 
rafflesking
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:08 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:36 pm

Wonderful report! Thanks for alll of the detail and pics!

Because of your report, I just burned 90k miles on a BOS-SFO-HKG-ORD-PHL-BOS routing for November  Smile
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:55 pm

Good report & pictures as always, thanks for sharing.

Quite an impresive report on UA, most other + TR's seem to come from UA employees. Whilst I am happy to see a good TR, I do think the good crew were the real plus for UA, had the crew been poor, it may well have been a different story, seat comfort aside!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The bar was well-stocked but you had to pay beyond the first two drinks

- This is mad, especially when you look at the ticket price some of us pay!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One interesting thing was the sheer amount of people who had to have their “DOCS OK” check done by the agent at the gate. Shouldn’t this be done at check-in?

- Yes, seems odd!!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
There is something really magical about climbing the stairs to a 744 Upper Deck … even after all these years and flying, there just is something magical. Don’t you people agree?

- So agree, just love climbing the stairs when travelling on BA's 744 fleet  Smile

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
 
B747forever
Posts: 12879
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:39 pm

Very good TR

The pics are good.

Glad to hear about that f/a!

UA really needed this new product.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
CaptainTim
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:43 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:50 am



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 23):
Sad isn't it. This is why some of the finer details were missing. The best food in UAL - J for me is on their Middle Eastern runs. Catering ex-Kuwait is especially strong.

in the past any flights to and from NRT had the bento box/ kaiseki meal which was very good considering they used very authentic and good japanese ingredients.

no kidding about 8 years ago (could be more) i got bone in baby back ribs on business class. it was the best time ever seeing businessmen with napkins tied to their collar using their hands to chow down the ribs. that was the best meal ever tops SQ's caviar/ lobster thermidor or CX's balik salmon

the UA ribs were excellent 8 years ago. anyone else had that before? i've spoken to GS/ 1K guys and even FAs and no one seems to have encountered it before.

was it a 1 time offer? or...?
Gulfstream Planeview Cockpit: "why have hundreds of buttons when a CCD does the same thing and more?"
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6518
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RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:25 am

Hi A.,

great report as usual. UA's product looks good in general, but the food presentation could be better.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
If Sri Lankan airlines can provide me with 5 choices in Economy on a DXB-CMB run, why can’t UAL J on a near 15 hour flight?

5 choices, really?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
pawsleykat
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:38 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:11 pm

Wow!
What another fantastic trip report!!

I do have to say, now having seen the new UA J class in two Trip reports, I have to say I like it. I've seen a photo of it in the 767-300 and I think it looks terribly cramped there. But it looks absolutely fine on a 744, check out the size of the aisle on the Upper Deck!  biggrin 

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Beverage Service – generous alcohol)

Indeed, very generous. Absolut Vodka, one of my favourites  bigthumbsup 

Keep them coming Abrelosojos!  Smile

JG  Yeah sure
First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:15 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 33):
Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
If Sri Lankan airlines can provide me with 5 choices in Economy on a DXB-CMB run, why can’t UAL J on a near 15 hour flight?

5 choices, really?

= Ok. I got slightly carried away ... or not. They had 6 meal choices on my KWI-DXB-CMB run over 2 meals ... but these meals were 45 minutes of each other ... so for a pax like me on KWI-CMB, 6 choices  Smile ... http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k2.../abrelosojosnow/UL228/5a2a39e8.jpg  Smile.

Quoting Pawsleykat (Reply 34):

I do have to say, now having seen the new UA J class in two Trip reports, I have to say I like it. I've seen a photo of it in the 767-300 and I think it looks terribly cramped there. But it looks absolutely fine on a 744, check out the size of the aisle on the Upper Deck! biggrin

= Actually, I have been on their 763 and I felt J was fine. However, lower deck 744 is cramped ... especially if you are in the staggered 4 middle seats.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
MSP7378
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:28 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:55 pm

Great report! I took this flight with my Dad in 1996 in J or "Connoisseur Class" as I believe it was called back then. Interesting to see how much has changed!
 
hikarufree
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:29 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
One thing of note ... there is some serious profiling at SYD on who gets secondary customs screening ...

True, but SYD's officials are much more amiable than SPU when it comes to it.

At SYD I pretty much expected it due to luggage. SPU not so much.

I always look forward to your reports which are detailed but also straight to the point. Excellent job!
 
PI4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:21 pm

Alex:
I really enjoyed your trip report. I am in the planning stages and will be booking my trip to SYD in the next month. I am considering DL and UA as both will let me stopover in LAX or SFO to and from SYD. Price is comparable on both. I would gain more flying DL as part of their SkyMiles program; however, I will strongly consider UA's service. I do have a couple questions for you about the upper/lower deck seating and layout.
1. I would prefer the upper deck and all seats are available on my flights at this time. I had chosen 16AB when I noted you sat in 16A. Was it distracting or weird to have others facing you from across the aisle? In looking at the upper deck rows, 12 is near the lav/flight deck/crew rest area. 17 is too near the galley/stairwell. I am not opposed to a rearward facing seat but again I am hesitant in any row if I end up facing someone for 15 hours. Any other row you would personally recommend in the upper deck? How about downstairs? Any seat there you rank as one of the best?
DL has the herringbone layout on their 777LR so I won't be sitting with my accompanying family member, but we've found a couple seats noted as more private and not looking into the opposite suite. So I think we're safe there. Its this forward/rear facing deal on UA I would like to clarify as I am actually leaning quite strongly to taking the UA flights to/from SFO. Overall I felt you gave UA an excellent review, and although opinion leans to DL for a better in-flight service, UA apparently is winning raves and kudo's on the new seats.
2. So, to put you on the spot. I gather you are fond of DL. I do however, value your opinion. If you were riding the flights with me, what airline would you tell me to book us on?
Thanks!
Thomas
P.S. Enjoyed the Sydney Bridge pix. I am doing the bridge climb to celebrate my birthday!
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:31 pm



Quoting Hikarufree (Reply 37):
True, but SYD's officials are much more amiable than SPU when it comes to it.

At SYD I pretty much expected it due to luggage. SPU not so much.

= What is SPU?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 38):
Alex:
I really enjoyed your trip report. I am in the planning stages and will be booking my trip to SYD in the next month. I am considering DL and UA as both will let me stopover in LAX or SFO to and from SYD. Price is comparable on both. I would gain more flying DL as part of their SkyMiles program; however, I will strongly consider UA's service. I do have a couple questions for you about the upper/lower deck seating and layout.
1. I would prefer the upper deck and all seats are available on my flights at this time. I had chosen 16AB when I noted you sat in 16A. Was it distracting or weird to have others facing you from across the aisle? In looking at the upper deck rows, 12 is near the lav/flight deck/crew rest area. 17 is too near the galley/stairwell. I am not opposed to a rearward facing seat but again I am hesitant in any row if I end up facing someone for 15 hours. Any other row you would personally recommend in the upper deck? How about downstairs? Any seat there you rank as one of the best?
DL has the herringbone layout on their 777LR so I won't be sitting with my accompanying family member, but we've found a couple seats noted as more private and not looking into the opposite suite. So I think we're safe there. Its this forward/rear facing deal on UA I would like to clarify as I am actually leaning quite strongly to taking the UA flights to/from SFO. Overall I felt you gave UA an excellent review, and although opinion leans to DL for a better in-flight service, UA apparently is winning raves and kudo's on the new seats.
2. So, to put you on the spot. I gather you are fond of DL. I do however, value your opinion. If you were riding the flights with me, what airline would you tell me to book us on?
Thanks!
Thomas
P.S. Enjoyed the Sydney Bridge pix. I am doing the bridge climb to celebrate my birthday!

= Thomas, first of all a very happy upcoming birthday. Now, if you're a loyal DL flier, I would stick with DL ... unless, you are beginning to switch over to Star. First off, I have been a Star flyer for a while ... though, the absurdities of Star Net blocking is making me switch at the end of the year to US Airways or bmi. In terms of seats, I prefer UAL's flat to the herringbone at DL. I would not worry about the privacy as much. I think after a while you forget you are staring at someone ... besides, you'd be sleeping for a bit of the flight. Also, on many herringone designs, you do the exact same thing. I like seat 16 because you are close to the galley. 17 is loud ... because there is so little privacy between the seat and the galley. Additionally, check out DL's AVOD offerings ... they are important on a long flight. And finally, remember, the 744 will not be here long ... so perhaps that is incentive enough for an aviation fan ...?

Good luck.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
PI4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:13 pm

OK Alex, you got me. It is the allure of the 744 that I struggle with. Can you believe my first 747 was on....none other than DL?. ATL-LAX in the 70's. I was hooked. Short of my ride on the Concorde it still ranks as my #2 favorite. So, balancing airplane against service, seat and value for the same money, I wanted to kick in the "fun" factor of flying on a great plane for such an important....and expensive.....trip. So. At this point, the Friendly Skies do beckon, but you know, DL always brings me home.
Thank you for your prompt response and feedback. Looking forward to hearing about your next ride. Good Luck and safe travels,
Thomas
P.S. If I go UA, it will be 16A. It'll be your fault buddy!
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
SurfandSnow
Posts: 1093
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:10 am



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Given the amount of UAL loyalists and UAL employees on A.Net, UA’s J product has very few reviews

Great to see an excellent, detailed, unbiased review of this iconic U.S. airline. Though, your trip was certainly a far cry from the domestic economy service most UA fliers will experience..

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
San Francisco’s international terminal is (in my opinion) the best terminal in the entire U.S.

Better than JFK's T4? Also, you have to check out Kona (KOA) sometime, their, well, "terminal" is pretty cool.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
quality of offerings is below average by any international standard.

We Americans have clearly won the race to the bottom  Wink

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was welcomed on-board by a very senior all-female UAL crew

Surely only the most senior employees can hold this route.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Sri Lankan airlines can provide me with 5 choices in Economy on a DXB-CMB run

5 choices?? Wow. And I thought JetBlue was cool with all the free snacks  Big grin
Different standards and expectations, I suppose..
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:32 pm

Great trip report! I especially liked the part about the great United Flight Attendant. I've experienced a few ex-Pan Am flight attendants on Delta, but never had long, in-depth conversations with them.

It's really sad to think that in a few years they will all be retired! Your lady must have about 30 years in the air right?
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
bps3458
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:25 pm

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:51 am

Hi Alex,

thanks for sharing another great trip report. Has the economy product been upgraded as well on 744 in service between the US and Australia ? Flew UA economy SYD-SFO return end of 2006 and promised myself never to fly them again based on the "Greyhound" experience on these long flights. If they upgrade economy as well I may break my promise.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
UnitedFA07
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:11 am

RE: United UA 863: 13/MAR/09: SFO-SYD: J Cabin

Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:42 pm



Quoting PlateMan (Reply 11):



Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 16):

A 1K appreciation card gets FA's NOTHING other than a magazine subscription. Yes it goes in your work history but that's it. From what I've heard pre-9/11 Orchid letters, Appreciation Cards whatever you want to call them got you something, but not now. Like most things that were good, to get out of bankruptcy they were cut. Now the incentive for doing a good job is to get a magazine subscription?! It's another slap in the face.

Yet while higher ranking employees, and you know who they, are get bonus after bonus and raise after raise for what?! Sitting in an office making decisions?

Remember those are the ones who give you those food choices you gave little remarks for. Yes 3 choice, been that way for a while. Like I've told pax in casual talk if you want a difference you need to call email write UA. You make the difference NOT FA's. Time after time pax think telling FA's will change things. They may ask for our opinion but it seems like it goes in one ear and is dead before it even comes out the other. Those of you that are 4 and 3 stars, Global Service, 1 Million, and 100 K, you are the ones they usually listen too. Because if it wasn't for you there wouldn't be the service.

Yes it's great to hear when a FA does a good job. Most of us try to do that. Yes you get bitchy FA's sometimes. There are reasons, not condoning but reasons. Needy pax, those who won't leave you alone, complain about everything. There is only so much a FA can do, or is willing to do. It's sad it's not the glory days of flying anymore, and it never will be. You can get some newer and older FAs that are great to fly with, then you get some that aren't. It's time for them to go. They've been around for 20 30 40 50 60 years. Since there is no age limit for retiring and flying is the only thing they know, they are going to use those carts as walkers. When offered an early out they didn't take it because that was another slap in the face for the many years of services given.

It always seems like pax want FAs to be happy go lucky all the time. It seems like you don't realize what we have to put up with. There are other pax on board other than just you! I seriously think some pax feel they are the only ones there. Having to be bag monitors, if you brought too much because you didn't want to check your bag. Taking up space that is shared with other pax. Those MEN who fold their sport coat and put it in the over head because they can't hold it until after everyone is on or take off. Its those little things, not listening to the boarding announcements about stowing your suitcase that piss off FA's. That one little sentence that no one hears "...comply with crew memeber instructions..." After making an announcement about putting small items under the seat in front of you or jackets in the over head then they put them there anyhow. I've had some pax usually men give you that look, like what are you going to do about it?!

What it boils down too is that after dealing with all that why would a FA care? Especially time after time the same reaction from unhappy pax. Yes that does happen in First, Business, and especially Economy. What happens outside the plane, check it at the door, if that is done then we can work together and make it a great flight.

Let me just say this though, I am Proud to work for UAL. I love my job and providing a great service. I can see it in the face of those who really enjoy it, in all cabins. Together FAs and Pax and provide for a great flight. Like others I too wish the product was better. How will it when will it? I have no clue.



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