Stretch 8
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UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:20 pm

A rare business trip to the coast meant I had my choice of United n/s flights from my home airport IAD to La La land. I wanted to avoid the early morning rush, so I took a later a.m. flight.

4 December, 2006: UA 0427 - IAD to LAX in Y, equipment Airbus A319.

The 10:25 a.m. departure was delayed inbound. I had hoped for an upgrade, but given the small F cabin, no luck. I was lucky to get a window seat, it being 22A, near the tail. Let me say this: It is a tight squeeze in standard economy on UA. Especially on a small bird such as the A319. I was grumpy until a young guy sat down next to me, with a cheery "good morning sir." Turns out he and his comrades were on their way home to SoCal after flying all night from Iraq and Kuwait, following three tours of combat duty. (And here I was unhappy about leg room).

We got going about 20 minutes late. Not an empty seat on the little bus. No meals, of course, unless one pays for a dreadful "snack box." No thanks. The two movies featured were "The DaVinci Code" (garbage) and "Talledega Nights" (stupid but verry funny). Channel 9 is really the only reason the fly UA these days, and it did not disappoint. Most of the en route chatter was directions from the various centers to watch out for a/c coming the other way.

Landing at LAX was direct and quick, as was the taxi into terminal 7. Getting to Hertz was not bad, but the trip in my rented Shelby GT-H to Pasadena took forever! LA traffic is truly the worst anywhere, and opening up the Shelby was not easy. Nice weather, though.

6 December, 2006: UA 0050, LAX to IAD in Y, equipment 767-300 (2 class)

The trip from Pasadena to LAX was a nightmare, mostly because I took the Pasadena freeway into downtown LA to get to the 105 out to the airport. The Shelby was fun to drive, however. I recommend it as a rental. Once at the airport, I checked in and changed my return flight from the later red-eye (on another crammed A319) to the earlier 767-300. I tried again for an upgrade, but no dice. At least the bird was only about two-thirds full. With a couple of hours to kill, I made my way to the unique "Encounters" restaurant in the center of LAX. (It's the famous, iconic and mod-looking structure that dominates the property.) I had the seabass, and it was excellent.

The flight was fine. I was seated in 36A, with no one next to me. The gent behind me asked for a "decent glass of port" before take-off (no joke). The FA politely explained that drinks would not be served prior to take-off. UA still has pillows and blankets. And for a longer flight, a wide-body just seems roomier, even with the 2-3-2 seating. I do wonder how many of the 2-class 767s UA retains in its fleet. We got away on time, and the gear-up to gear-down was exactly 4 hours and 22 minutes. Again, channel 9 was a treat. I cannot seem to sleep on any overnight flight, be it crammed into a seat in tourist seat, or in a BA Club World flat-bed.

In any event, the verdict is this: tight seats on UA narrow-bodies means I will forgoe my beloved window seats in the future. Also, if going transcon on UA, try for a 777 or 767. Otherwise, get a catheter. Upgrades on UA are akin to hitting the powerball jackpot. Channel 9 is the only reason "It's time to fly."
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
Boston92
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:55 pm

Small a/c + 6 foot 3 + long flight = bad. My next trip is LAX-DEN-DFW-ORD-MSP-ORD-SFO-LAX-SMX, yeah I know. Of course it is on UA, and I get two 757's, an A320, two 737's, a 772, an A319, and a EMB-120. Sorry about my own little tr but my point is I always try to get a larger a/c, 757+ when on a longer flight, 3+ hours. I hope you had fun in the Southland.
 
planecrazy2
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:16 pm

Sorry to hear your upgrades didn't clear. What were you trying to upgrade with?
United Airlines - Worldwide Service
 
Stretch 8
Topic Author
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:09 am

Just trying to use mileage for the upgrade. By the way, the FAs and flight crews are top notch on UA.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:33 am

Economy in UA is 31'' whether it's the CRJ or the 747. Getting a larger aircraft doesn't make much of a difference as far as seat space.

[Edited 2006-12-09 02:34:41]
 
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chrisnh
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:13 pm

 rotfl  @ 'decent glass of port.' That HAD to be followed by a tap on your shoulder: 'Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?'

Chris in NH
 
777fan
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:59 pm

Quoting Stretch 8 (Thread starter):
I do wonder how many of the 2-class 767s UA retains in its fleet



Quoting Stretch 8 (Thread starter):
Channel 9 is the only reason "It's time to fly."

There must be quite a few 2 class 763; we often ride 'em on the HNL-LAX runs. Channel 9 is one of my fav UA perks but, once you experience E+, you'll realize that the extra 5" is reason enough to not fly anyone else.


777fan
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ba319-131
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:32 am

Thanks, sounds like typical UA from memory.

Only had 1 UA 319 flight, enjoyed it though.

Rgds

Mark
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Stretch 8
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:12 am

Actually, the man who asked for the "decent glass of port" appeared to have the means to afford an F class ticket on a daytime flight. I should have told him: "Hey Dad, this ain't the BA Concorde."
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
AA737-823
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:48 pm

Quoting Stretch 8 (Thread starter):
No meals, of course, unless one pays for a dreadful "snack box."

Hmmm... on a transcon? That's just unethical. You should fly Continental. They do meals.. for f-r-e-e.

I do like United though. But gosh, last flight I took with them was back in the day... Ravioli, metal silverware... in coach.

Quoting Stretch 8 (Thread starter):
but the trip in my rented Shelby GT-H to Pasadena took forever!

Jerk. Pure jerk. Nothing more.
 Smile


I think upgrades are hard to get on Continental, too. I wouldn't know, I'm not elite....yet....
 
Stretch 8
Topic Author
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:15 am

"Pure Jerk"? You must be a Chevy man!
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
SkyvanMan
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RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:48 am

Thanks for the report. BTW United operates international 777 aircraft in a 3 class setup LAX-IAD. I'm not sure as to how often it is but I'm guessing it is once a day or so. That is the way to go, if you get lucky and there are not many people flying biz (usually people buying a coach biz ticket are continuing on to another international destination), you might land an upgrade to J which is just as good, or eve nbetter than domestic F.
The 3 best planes of all time: Shorts Skyvan, 330 and 360
 
planecrazy2
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: UA IAD-LAX Return In Sardine Class

Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:26 pm

Quoting SkyvanMan (Reply 11):
J which is just as good, or eve nbetter than domestic F.

International C is far better than domestic F, always go for the 3 class bird when trying to get an upgrade.
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