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Guest

The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Sat Aug 11, 2001 12:44 pm

Well, here is my trip report for my short three-day jaunt from Chicago O'Hare to Los Angeles on United Airlines. From the get-go, I was expecting things to be a little "iffy" due to the fact that I was travelling on employee standby passes.

Well, I got to ORD bright and early on Aug. 7th, and proceeded to my airplane, a shiny new A320-200. I went up the desk & showed the agent my "write-your-own" ticket (no kidding...they're actually named that!) She said the passenger load looked good & issued me a "security card" whatever the heck that is. She was very polite & curteous, even though she didn't really have to be as I wasn't a revenue passenger.

After the revenue passengers had boarded, she called me up, and gave me seat 14C. I was glad I had the aisle for the 4 hour flight. I boarded, and the flight left the gate 7 minutes late. Our Airbus had United's new "Decor 5.5" interior. It was fabulous. The carpeting was similar to the blue color the belly on UA planes is, with wierd shaped grey spots on it. The first class seats were grey fabric with the new adjustable headrests. The economy plus seats were darker navy blue with the same adjustable headrests. The regular economy seats were a little bit lighter than eco. plus, with the same headrests. They were fabulously comfortable. The bulkhead was a light, techno-grey with a blue bottom. United finally got it right with the interior, it looked utterly fabulous. We taxied out & took off, somehow avoiding ORD's infamous "ground stops". They then served breakfast. We had a choice of a cheese omelette, french toast, & cereal w/yogurt. I had the omelette. It came with some sausage links & a fruit plate & bagel. It was actually quite good. After the meal, the attendants started the inflight movie, which was none other than Shrek!! I loved that movie. After it, I dozed off as I was quite tired, and awoke as we were descending into Los Angeles. We landed a half hour, yes, a HALF HOUR early. 7:45 vs. 8:10. All in all, the flight was awesome, smooth on the new airbus, the flight attendants were awesome, cheery, great service, good food, good movie. I wouldn't have changed a single thing about it if I had the chance.

Two days later, on Aug. 9, I returned to LAX from the San Fernando Valley to begin the journey home. I proceeded to the flight I had listed for, an A320, but the gate area was crammed full & the agent said that they weren't accepting any more standbys. He was very polite despite the madhouse, zoo-like atmosphere. He told me what flight, what gate, and even what plane it was, and how to get there.

Once I found my new plane, a 757 (would have preferred an A320, but when you are on an employee ticket you take what you can get), and checked in. The agent, again very nice and in a good mood, told me the load looked good but said she couldn't assign me a seat yet due to the previous flight being overbooked.

So I went & sat in the waiting area. About 20 mins later, they announced the flight was delayed due to storms in Chicago (this was legit, I had called my parents to tell them I was going to be on a different flight due to the overbooking, and they told me about the weather) because ORD had issued a ground stop. They kept us updated every 10 minutes until the decision time, 5:30 PM. They then announced that we would be leaving for ORD after all and that the United flights to ORD would be leaving on a first come first serve basis, and that they would like to board as quick as possible.

After the quick boarding, we pushed back & waited for 20 minutes on the tarmac. I was listening to Channel 9 and the delay was because of flow control into ORD (not United's fault). After that cleard, we took off. The flight was kinda bumpy, the seatbelt sign going on & off it seemed like every 10 minutes. The 757 had the older interior, yet the new seats w/headrests. Whatever, at least they had the new seats. The movie was "Someone Like You". Was kinda hard to follow, so I played Game Boy. I was in seat 29C. The dinner choice was the infamous "chicken or beef". I chose the chicken. It was excellent, a rather large piece with a tomato sauce, wild rice, vegetables, and salad, with breadsticks and a cookie. Above and beyond for coach fare.

The flight attendants were some of the nicest I have ever had, and even gave the adult passengers (I am 19) free alcoholic beverages because of the delay. I was very surprised & amazed (even though I couldn't take part, being under age & all), because the delay wasn't United's fault at all. Plus, they never "hid" in the galley, there was almost always one going up & down the aisle tending to us.

After lining up on the ILS for runway 9R, we touched down at ORD at 12:00 midnight. We parked somewhere at the C concourse, so I had to walk through the "techno tunnel" as I call it to get to the curb where I was being picked up.

Overall, my experience was excellent, service was outstanding, food was great, crews impeccable, airplanes in great shape & clean, delay handled perfectly with the gate agents going out of their way to make sure we knew what was going on. I even overheard one agent calling 5, yes, 5 more UA flights to ORD to see how they were doing, to tell us that we weren't the only flight delayed, they all were. She also called ORD a number of times to check up on how the weather was. The pilots even came out and told us in person what was going on and that they were doing everything they could.

To sum it all up, like ILUV767 said a week ago, United is coming back. I urge all of you out there to try the new U N I T E D. If things keep going the way they seem to be, UAL is headed straight to the top again. Goodwin or no-Goodwin, the frontline employees went out of their ways to treat us outstandingly. On both flights as well, they thanked us for choosing "the friendly skies".

Come fly our NEW friendly skies.........

KonaB777
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3057
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:03 am

KonaB777,

thank you so much for the excellent report. Im glad that someone else has noticed the new United. I really hope that we can win back our passenger base and really make United in to the great company that it once was.

Right now, im so into United, that I had a paid, yes a paid ticket from MCO to SJC via ATL on Delta. That would have even put me on their 777, and yet, I took United home via IAD. I guess United has a special place in my heart.

I want to say that with my trip on the 8th, the flight leaving both MCO and IAD was 50 mins delayed, as it was the same pilots flying the MCO-IAD flight as the IAD-SFO flight, and the 757 to MCO from MIA (previous flight) was delayed. It turned out for the best actually, as I got out of IAD with a 16 min cxn. Also, the flight out of IAD was 100% full. That was a good thing to see, as Im used to seeing flights go empty. It almost brought tears to my eyes seeing a full flight. At least I got on, in the back of coach, but I was so happy. Not happy to get on, but happy that the flight was full. That was something that I havnt seen in a while.

I L U V 7 6 7
 
sfointern
Posts: 1104
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 1:19 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:57 am

Kudos on a good report. About the new Decor 5.5 interior...

That carpet is terrific because it is so good at hiding stains, much easier to maintain. It's the same carpet as in Decors 5.1-5.4 =) (see my pics).

You mentioned that the First seats were grey, while E+ seats were a darker blue.

A little birdie, well two (a flight attendant and Onboard Supervisor) told me that the new First seats are dark blue, and that the E+ seats are grey. Are they wrong? Or maybe are you mistaken?

Did the headrests have U N I T E D sewn into them?

Just want to confirm.

Hass
 
ChinaBoyA340
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 10:34 am

RE: The

Mon Aug 13, 2001 12:08 pm

thanx for the report. im also going to ORD from LAX on United 9/25/01 and back on 8/29/01. on the way to ORD, the plane is gonna be an A319. is the service good? the meal? the entertainment? ... im coming back on a United 757 also, KonaB777, can u tell me more about it? thank you very much.
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3057
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Mon Aug 13, 2001 12:57 pm

ChinaBoyA340,

On your flight, you should enjoy the feature film on the overhead video screens. I do not remember what the second set of August movies are, but I can tell you that they are free. On the A319, the movie will be played from flip down video screens located overhead about every 3 to 6 rows.

On your flight, if its during the day (not a redeye), you should have atleast 2 entrees. In the main cabin, lunch and dinner entree's are served with a side of salad, breadsticks, and a desert.

On the 757, the movie will be shown on t.v.s mounted above the aisle. Again, expect 2 entrees for your meal, as well as the can of soda before and during your meal.

Any more questions?

I L U V 7 6 7
 
ChinaBoyA340
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 10:34 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Mon Aug 13, 2001 3:16 pm

sorry, i more question. on both flights, im arriving at midnight, do u think the plane would be full? thanx
 
777fan
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:09 pm

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:49 pm

Great trip report!

For those of us that are destined to fly UAL out of ORD, it is good to see that they are improving. I flew ORD to DEN back in late April and had a great experience. Both 767-300s, F/As were great!

I think they are definitely doing a better job of customer services.

One more thing.......Love the "techno" tunnel to terminal C! I is amazing how "cool" they can make the United theme song sound!

Where do you do your spotting at ORD from? One place out of the way I have found is at the Ohare oasis over the toll way. Twice I have been there with international departures going over us. Once, when we were coming back from Denver, my whole family got our lunch and went and sat on the curb to watch several 747s take off over us.

Once again, great report!

Greg
 
Guest

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Tue Aug 14, 2001 7:44 am

Expect the service to be outstanding as it was for me. For breakfast, as I said, there were THREE choices!!! Planes were great, food was reat, service was great, what the hell, U N I T E D is great!!!!

Come fly our NEW friendly skies!!!
 
sfointern
Posts: 1104
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 1:19 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Tue Aug 14, 2001 11:39 am

Thanks for answering my question, KonaB777!  Big thumbs up

(maybe you forgot???)
 
Guest

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Tue Aug 14, 2001 11:29 pm

Sorry about forgetting...

Yes, the headrests did have U N I T E D on them. Also, as a plus, the entertainment panel where you select channels & volume, etc. were moved to the top of the armrest, instead of on the side. So you could see what you were doing while eating!!
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:04 am

KONAB777, If you like A320's and 319's you should come to Philly. That's practically all we have anymore. At least to the West Coast and DEN. ORD is still old Thunder Guppy's. Anyway I like the new interior as well, but a few FA's I 've talked to say it gets shows the dirt very quickly. I hope that is not the case. I also understand that the interior is in line with a new Star Alliance interior that all the partners will have very similar interior designs.
I'm glad to here your report that service was good. It's nice to get Kudos sometimes especially after the year and a half we have all had.

UALPHLCS
 
Guest

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:07 am

I think the old "Decor 5" was the one that showd dirt easily. this one is decor 5.5, the carpet is supposed to be great at hiding stains.
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: The

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:17 am

I was just on a A320 in PHL manufactred in OCT 2000 and the carpet was coming up under the firdt row in F class. Not something the Passenger would notice but not something that gives the employee cconfidence int he craftsmenship of the new decor. I hope it works I like it but im a bit apprehensive.
 
CcrlR
Posts: 2195
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Thu Aug 16, 2001 7:07 am

I really like United. I've been going on it since I was born and after my grandmother passed away we started to choose other airlines but United was the best. I liked their DC-10's the best! Smile I don't know why they had to retire them though. They could have still kept them for a couple of years until they got some new planes to replace them. Smile Sad
 
Guest

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Thu Aug 16, 2001 1:24 pm

All I say is, god speed DC10. My first trip was on it, ORD-LAX, my longest, ORD-HNL, my shortest, HNL-OGG, my first "fly by myself", ORD-EWR.

Farewell DC10, you were loved by all!!!!!!!!!!
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Fri Aug 17, 2001 1:40 am

I flew FLL-ORD-BMI and return about a week and a half ago and somehow all of our flights were ontime (some even EARLY)... I'm trying to get as much time in the 727 before they go... I think they're the only fleet type that kept the leather First Class seats and i'll miss them dearly.. they are definitely more comfortable than the new style United First Seat...

In regards to Deco 5.5, the First Class seat fabric hasn't changed...

Anyway, I'm hearing more reports of United doing good over the past few weeks... and i've seen it first hand  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
sfointern
Posts: 1104
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 1:19 am

SegmentKing

Fri Aug 17, 2001 1:50 pm

Oh yes it has. (The first class seat fabric).

I was on a fresh A319 and A320 (brand new) the other day with 5.5, and there is a difference with the fabric design. It has little checkered blue boxes, and is overall a bluish-grey quality.

SFOintern
 
SegmentKing
Posts: 3224
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:15 pm

I'm talking fabric, not colour.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

I'll still miss the old leather seats  Sad  Sad  Sad

Nate
 
Guest

RE: The "new" United ORD-LAX-ORD

Sun Aug 19, 2001 5:24 am

I like the new first class seats much better...they're more ergonomically designed instead of just a "seat"

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