sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:10 pm

I flew back from FRankfurt on the UA B747. I did not get upgraded on the way out (see my "I fly economy..." trip report). But thankfully, I got upgraded on the return. I must say that the food on UA business class has made substantial improvements. I will say, however, that they were very cheap with the nuts. They only served us almond, and they did away with the fancier nuts such as cashews & macadamia nuts. I usually just leave the almonds at the end & throw them away, but this time, all they had were almonds (yes, yes, I know, first world problems...). The trip was excellent. They had great service, comfortable ride, and the lie-flat product is just great. Although there may be better business class products out there, for frequent fliers who use upgrades for international long haul, UA really can't be beat.

Here is the complete 5 minute report here:

(Airliners no longer lets us post links to youtube. Please search under my name, which is the same on youtube, and look for my most recent video; that will give you the full 5 minute video)

For those who want photos only:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8520/8608752982_a16afb347d_c.jpg
EVa air by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8406/8607650757_b4e52bb1cb_c.jpg
SAn FRancisco by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8239/8607649297_59d395f9b0_c.jpg
Golden Gate Bridge by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8379/8607649609_869e92fa05_c.jpg
San FRancisco and Marin by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8258/8608754534_4fb83b3ea0_c.jpg
IMG_2068 by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8543/8608754764_e0b2cc83f2_c.jpg
IMG_2063 by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/8608754884_a022c151aa_c.jpg
Nice meal by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8544/8608755206_9457f832d7_c.jpg
Salad by sfflyer123, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8400/8607650751_d90d5bf6c2_c.jpg
Almond service by sfflyer123, on Flickr

For the complete report, it is here (100% commercial and ad-free):

(Airliners no longer lets us post links to youtube. Please search under my name, which is the same on youtube, and look for my most recent video; that will give you the full 5 minute video)

I hope you enjoy it!
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:55 pm

IMHO, If this is all UA has to offer, I think I would pass. Besides the nut issue, the salad was cheap looking, with dressing coming off the side. The entree setting was awlful and nothing in it's proper place. The fish',I guess, should be facing you and the plate should be wiped before serving. ie all that rice spread around. Desert? I'm not sure what the snack was but not impressive.(A quick stop at Taco Bell in Canada) Please don't take this personally, I just don't think this is very good, at least at the price you paid. I didn't see a menu, amenity kit , hot towels etc.
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:24 pm

Great video as always Sfflyer, really enjoyed it!
UA looks quite nice here, the food looks delicious although poorly presented IMHO..

Looking forward to your next video!

cheers,

Brendan
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:00 pm

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 1):
IMHO, If this is all UA has to offer, I think I would pass. Besides the nut issue, the salad was cheap looking, with dressing coming off the side. The entree setting was awlful and nothing in it's proper place. The fish',I guess, should be facing you and the plate should be wiped before serving. ie all that rice spread around. Desert? I'm not sure what the snack was but not impressive.(A quick stop at Taco Bell in Canada) Please don't take this personally, I just don't think this is very good, at least at the price you paid. I didn't see a menu, amenity kit , hot towels etc.

He said he paid economy and got upgraded, so that is awfully good service for an economy fare and whatever the upgrade cost.

I think the catering looked reasonably good. There looks to be a gravity shift going on in the main course, but this is an airplane afterall and not 5 star restaurant. UA’s 2nd meal service is always lacking on long haul flights even in Global First. The first meal is a production and the second is an afterthought, but you have quite high standards to be commenting about sauce falling off a plate (turbulence?) and the plate being oriented wrong. If that’s the worst you get, then overall it is pretty good service. Personally, I’d take UA any day over LH’s angle seat with small PTV in business.

There are always ways to improve, but I don’t think it is worth passing. The service will never be as good as the best out there, but I think it is reasonable, especially when you upgraded or are using miles.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4888
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:39 pm

Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
I will say, however, that they were very cheap with the nuts.

I find UA planes to, typically, be chock-full of cheap nuts. I would know- I'm a premier, sitting up front without paying!

Quoting sfflyer123 (Thread starter):
I usually just leave the almonds at the end & throw them away, but this time, all they had were almonds (yes, yes, I know, first world problems...).

In my mind, I can see myself in the forward galley, picking out all the cashews and eating them myself! Good thing I'm not an F/A!

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 1):
Besides the nut issue, the salad was cheap looking, with dressing coming off the side. The entree setting was awlful and nothing in it's proper place. The fish',I guess, should be facing you and the plate should be wiped before serving. ie all that rice spread around. Desert? I'm not sure what the snack was but not impressive.

While I agree that the presentation was, overall, unappealing, I must say that it sounds like you're holding UA to SQ standards. Wiping a plate? I'm curious as to whether any of the carriers in this country practice such courtesies... Fish facing you? Hardly possible when most F/A's throw your plate at you as though it were a Frisbee.
This isn't Asia, or even civilized Europe.
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:33 pm

When an airline puts together a meal service in any class, it's usually based on the fare of the cabin. IE the more that is paid the more money put into the service standards. When the cabin is filled with upgrades, (you didn't pay full fare) the airline looses money and as a result the folks who actually paid full fare or corporate full fare loose service because the service is cut back.For those upgraded, I would charge an additional fare. We'll give you the seat, the space etc. but you are going to pay for our additional costs. BTW....Sloppy dressing presentation....come on choppy air Really!? The entree is not preset , but dished out from containers in the galley. It takes 15 seconds to make a proper presentation. And yes, F/As are trained to do this, but just tend to forget this. White wine or Red...Steak of chicken.....blah blah blah. Oh yes and one other comment.....the hors d'oeuves consisted of one lousy shrimp..Really!? Please.
 
767747
Posts: 2122
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:30 am

Another great video, sfflyer123!

I love the shots of the climb out of the 747 from FRA - I'm always amazed by the amazing power this aircraft has!

Views of the flight are again good - How lucky you are to have so many long-haul flights in the premium cabin!

Best,

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
chrisrad
Posts: 963
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2000 7:26 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:02 am

That food presentation is awful, regardless if the passenger has paid for the ticket or received an upgrade, business class is business class, no excuse for such sloppiness!
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:30 pm

Hey sffflyer

Great video report as usual, UA BF looks good and service seems to improve, however I'd probably go for the upper deck iso the lower deck.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
planiac787
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:20 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:38 pm

Nice Video report as usual...

I think it was a pretty standard UA J class flight from what I can compare to the other trip reports on the website..
Food presentation does look a little below par than other carriers..

I definitely want to try out the united direct flight to delhi from newark on J class... I have already taken the flight on Y class
and had a pretty good experience....

Thanks again

Cheers

Pradat
Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
 
eastern747
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:34 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:59 pm

I just had a friend return from Asia on UA in J on the upper deck. On the flight out lunch was served. After the lunch tray was dumped in front of him (His words not mine). he began to eat. One thing was missing....."would you like wine with your meal?"...He got up and went to the galley and found the 2 F/A's chuckling and basically doing nothing. He asked if catering had failed to board wine? The F/A's got their a@@@ in gear and got the wine out. Same flight, another friend in coach. First round of drinks, he requested a bloody mary. F/A said he needed mix and never never returned. Now I would either hang on the call bell(which I don't do unless I'm in cardiac arrest) or march back to the galley to see what's up. And thanks to the comment above that said business class standards should be the same whether on UA or SQ. Please note this is not a rant against UA, but I'm upset at trip reports saying how great they are, when they aren't. Oh and same holds true for AA.
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4888
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:14 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 5):
When the cabin is filled with upgrades, (you didn't pay full fare) the airline looses money and as a result the folks who actually paid full fare or corporate full fare loose service because the service is cut back.For those upgraded, I would charge an additional fare.

Actually, FYI, United DOES charge to upgrade on international flights. Unless you're a high-tier Premier member, in which case you receive a limited number of SPACE-AVAILABLE upgrade certificates each year. But the rest of the masses must spend 20,000 miles PLUS $500-$600 to upgrade across the Atlantic, nevermind Asia.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 10):
And thanks to the comment above that said business class standards should be the same whether on UA or SQ.

We're all entitled to our opinions, but I wholeheartedly disagree that UA and SQ should be held to the same standard. Get real. I don't think anyone on Earth thinks that UA is as premium a carrier as Singapore. Neither does UA charge as much for their tickets...
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:44 am

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 1):

IMHO, If this is all UA has to offer, I think I would pass. Besides the nut issue, the salad was cheap looking, with dressing coming off the side. The entree setting was awlful and nothing in it's proper place. The fish',I guess, should be facing you and the plate should be wiped before serving. ie all that rice spread around. Desert? I'm not sure what the snack was but not impressive.(A quick stop at Taco Bell in Canada) Please don't take this personally, I just don't think this is very good, at least at the price you paid. I didn't see a menu, amenity kit , hot towels etc.

thanks for the comment. they had hot towels & amenity kit but I did not video them since they were the same since my last trip report.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 2):
Great video as always Sfflyer, really enjoyed it!
UA looks quite nice here, the food looks delicious although poorly presented IMHO..

Looking forward to your next video!

cheers,

Brendan

Thanks very much.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 3):
He said he paid economy and got upgraded, so that is awfully good service for an economy fare and whatever the upgrade cost.

I think the catering looked reasonably good. There looks to be a gravity shift going on in the main course, but this is an airplane afterall and not 5 star restaurant. UA’s 2nd meal service is always lacking on long haul flights even in Global First. The first meal is a production and the second is an afterthought, but you have quite high standards to be commenting about sauce falling off a plate (turbulence?) and the plate being oriented wrong. If that’s the worst you get, then overall it is pretty good service. Personally, I’d take UA any day over LH’s angle seat with small PTV in business.

There are always ways to improve, but I don’t think it is worth passing. The service will never be as good as the best out there, but I think it is reasonable, especially when you upgraded or are using miles.
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
I find UA planes to, typically, be chock-full of cheap nuts. I would know- I'm a premier, sitting up front without paying!

Hilarious, "chock-full of cheap nuts"!! I agree with you. I'd take new UA J over old LH J any day. I've not tried the new LH J, but I hope to soon!

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
In my mind, I can see myself in the forward galley, picking out all the cashews and eating them myself! Good thing I'm not an F/A!

LOL.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
While I agree that the presentation was, overall, unappealing, I must say that it sounds like you're holding UA to SQ standards. Wiping a plate? I'm curious as to whether any of the carriers in this country practice such courtesies... Fish facing you? Hardly possible when most F/A's throw your plate at you as though it were a Frisbee.
This isn't Asia, or even civilized Europe.

Yes, I hadn't noticed the fish thing at all! I though you needed a fish head to have an orientation type thing, no?

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 5):
When an airline puts together a meal service in any class, it's usually based on the fare of the cabin. IE the more that is paid the more money put into the service standards. When the cabin is filled with upgrades, (you didn't pay full fare) the airline looses money and as a result the folks who actually paid full fare or corporate full fare loose service because the service is cut back.For those upgraded, I would charge an additional fare. We'll give you the seat, the space etc. but you are going to pay for our additional costs. BTW....Sloppy dressing presentation....come on choppy air Really!? The entree is not preset , but dished out from containers in the galley. It takes 15 seconds to make a proper presentation. And yes, F/As are trained to do this, but just tend to forget this. White wine or Red...Steak of chicken.....blah blah blah. Oh yes and one other comment.....the hors d'oeuves consisted of one lousy shrimp..Really!? Please.

Good point. UA didn't start plating until about 1 year ago. They used to just heat the dish in the oven, and bring it over to you on with tongs since the entire dish was too hot to hold. Once the merger happened, UA started to actually plate their food. Perhaps they're not properly trained in it!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):
Another great video, sfflyer123!

I love the shots of the climb out of the 747 from FRA - I'm always amazed by the amazing power this aircraft has!

Views of the flight are again good - How lucky you are to have so many long-haul flights in the premium cabin!

Best,

Matthew

Thanks for the nice comment, as always.

Quoting chrisrad (Reply 7):

That food presentation is awful, regardless if the passenger has paid for the ticket or received an upgrade, business class is business class, no excuse for such sloppiness!

I hear you. I hear you..

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 8):
Hey sffflyer

Great video report as usual, UA BF looks good and service seems to improve, however I'd probably go for the upper deck iso the lower deck.

Greetings
Marc

Yes, the upper deck is definitely nicer, but I prefer the window seat. I'm very tall, so the upper deck isn't good to go to the bathroom over the other passenger. That's why I choose the lower deck. When I travel with Mrs. Sfflyer, we go to the upper deck, but since most of my trips are for business, I am usually alone.

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 9):
Nice Video report as usual...

I think it was a pretty standard UA J class flight from what I can compare to the other trip reports on the website..
Food presentation does look a little below par than other carriers..

I definitely want to try out the united direct flight to delhi from newark on J class... I have already taken the flight on Y class
and had a pretty good experience....

Thanks again

Cheers

Pradat

Thanks for the nice comment!

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 10):
I just had a friend return from Asia on UA in J on the upper deck. On the flight out lunch was served. After the lunch tray was dumped in front of him (His words not mine). he began to eat. One thing was missing....."would you like wine with your meal?"...He got up and went to the galley and found the 2 F/A's chuckling and basically doing nothing. He asked if catering had failed to board wine? The F/A's got their a@@@ in gear and got the wine out. Same flight, another friend in coach. First round of drinks, he requested a bloody mary. F/A said he needed mix and never never returned. Now I would either hang on the call bell(which I don't do unless I'm in cardiac arrest) or march back to the galley to see what's up. And thanks to the comment above that said business class standards should be the same whether on UA or SQ. Please note this is not a rant against UA, but I'm upset at trip reports saying how great they are, when they aren't. Oh and same holds true for AA.

Good point. I agree that UA's service can vary tremendously. On some flights, it's stellar; on others, it's abysmal. I think UA needs to improve its standard overall so it's not hit or miss.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
Actually, FYI, United DOES charge to upgrade on international flights. Unless you're a high-tier Premier member, in which case you receive a limited number of SPACE-AVAILABLE upgrade certificates each year. But the rest of the masses must spend 20,000 miles PLUS $500-$600 to upgrade across the Atlantic, nevermind Asia.

Yes, it's very expensive to upgrade, no question. Not as expensive as a full fare business class ticket, but it can get to a deeply discounted business class ticket easily.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
We're all entitled to our opinions, but I wholeheartedly disagree that UA and SQ should be held to the same standard. Get real. I don't think anyone on Earth thinks that UA is as premium a carrier as Singapore. Neither does UA charge as much for their tickets...

Yes, I looked at the SFO_HKG ticket and SQ wanted $7600 while UA wanted $4500. For a guy who is cheap, I think most of us will take the UA.
 
777ord
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:45 pm

beats flying Y! Glad you enjoyed it!  
 
chiawei
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:37 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
We're all entitled to our opinions, but I wholeheartedly disagree that UA and SQ should be held to the same standard. Get real. I don't think anyone on Earth thinks that UA is as premium a carrier as Singapore. Neither does UA charge as much for their tickets...

You are right. UA does not charge as much. Typically UA is far more expensive.

My upcoming around the world SQ fare (well not really) was $6600 in J.

SQ1-SQ827-SQ326-SQ26 was $6600

The connecting flight on UA434 in PS service was $1780.

[Edited 2013-04-10 00:38:23]
 
chiawei
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 9:07 am

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:40 am

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 12):
Yes, I looked at the SFO_HKG ticket and SQ wanted $7600 while UA wanted $4500. For a guy who is cheap, I think most of us will take the UA.
SQ charges much higher for the late friday evening departure (sat morning) for SQ1. That is why you avoid that flight.

I fly on SFO- HKG route at least 6 times a year. UA usually is significantly more expensive.

The cheapest usually are EVA, CA. But require transit in TPE and Beijing.

BTW-
Just a quick example. 8/8/13 outbound, 8/18 in bound. SQ was $5694. UA is $6334. I have rarely see UA drop below $6000 on this route.

[Edited 2013-04-10 00:43:38]
 
sfflyer123
Topic Author
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:18 pm

RE: FRA-SFO B747 Non-Stop Business Lower Deck UA

Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:18 pm

Quoting chiawei (Reply 15):
SQ charges much higher for the late friday evening departure (sat morning) for SQ1. That is why you avoid that flight.

I fly on SFO- HKG route at least 6 times a year. UA usually is significantly more expensive.

The cheapest usually are EVA, CA. But require transit in TPE and Beijing.

BTW-
Just a quick example. 8/8/13 outbound, 8/18 in bound. SQ was $5694. UA is $6334. I have rarely see UA drop below $6000 on this route.

Good to know. Thanks for the info.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 13):
beats flying Y! Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for your comment.

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