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Around the country in 3 Days- United and United P.S.

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  • Around the country in 3 Days- United and United P.S.

    The news of the Boeing 747-400 operating ORD-SFO and return for the duration of March had me anxiously trying to figure a way to get on board as a non rev and enjoy riding the 747. I had never flown on the 747 of any type and for years had always tried to get on one, and also wanted to grab a triple 7 too. I messaged Matt who works for a UAEX carrier and we made some plans to make a trip out of the entire thing. The week of my trip I had off due to spring break. So we formulated a complex itinerary and different classes to try each service out on United Airlines. We selected to try the following itinerary…

    ORD-SFO United Airlines Boeing 744
    SFO-JFK United Airlines PS Boeing 757-200
    JFK-IAD United Express CR2
    IAD-ORD United Airlines Boeing 777-200

    Once we had the itinerary selected and all, we just had to wait and hope everything would go smoothly and the seats would remain open enough for us to get on board in the classes we wanted. Finally March 8th rolled around and to steal a line from United-It’s time to fly.

    March 9th, 2009
    United Airlines
    Flight 149
    Boeing 747-400
    Gate: C-10

    In the morning we were checking the loads and it was NOT looking good at all for us to get Business Class. We elected to try it but if that didn’t work, then we planned to make a get way to fly out to AMS for a night as the 767-300 operating it was open enough and it was due to have the new business seats also. It was a good thing I had brought my passport in case there were change of plans. We got to ORD not knowing where we’d be flying, out west to SFO, or out east overseas to AMS? How exciting!

    I checked in for the AMS section to grab a pass to get through security. I walked through and it was fairly quick. I headed my way to gate C-10 to stare at the giant of the Boeing 747-400 at the gate.

    We were standing near the gate area just watching the stand by list, the highest I was I think was around 26 or so. Unfortunately this would NOT be the highest number I ever stood by so far on this trip haha.

    We just stood around the gate as they were boarding the 747. I love watching a 747 be boarded it seems so grand and amazing no matter the airline it is. We stood around convinced we were not getting on board and we were just gonna go to AMS instead. Which wasn’t entirely too bad but I really wanted to grab the 747.

    They completed boarding and there are maybe five of us standing around. The agent said if we had not heard our name be called to come up to the podium and we’d be assigned seats. So it seemed like we would be getting on board!

    We went to the gate and they gave both of us economy plus seats, which helps, but they were middle of middles-40 row. Blah! Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Least I was able to get on a 747 for the first time in my life!

    We boarded and got in our seats and I was just amazed at how huge it was inside. It blew my mind away.

    I had forgotten UA had channel 9 feature so I put it on to listen to the ATC chatter. I was gonna try to experience as much of United Airlines and the 747 as I could possibly experience!

    We got comfortable, as comfortable as we could be for a middle seat in the 747 haha and settled back as we began to taxi. The safety briefing was shown as we taxied out to the runway.

    In the ATC chatter my buddy had a reaction so I asked what, and he said that it seemed like a plane was pushing back unaware of us taxing by and our wing would have clipped the tail of the aircraft if it hadn’t stopped in time! Oh boy! Was this gonna be an omen of bad things coming to our trip?! I hoped not!

    We taxied to the runway and we were cleared for take off. I was gonna pay close attention to this take off as I didn’t know if I’d ever get to experience another one like it again for a 747. We lumbered down, and it felt really heavy but light at the same time if that makes sense. We shot down the runway, and at liftoff, felt the nose groan as it fought gravity lifting into the skies. I felt the gear shake and rumble underneath as we left the concrete. Once we gained air and loss of gravity, we climbed up as the thump of the 747 wheels all came into the wings and body of the aircraft. It was done! We actually lifted off into the air!!! Amazing! I was just smiling the whole time.

    We had a four-hour flight ahead of us and then some, as we were fighting 112 MPH headwinds heading west to SFO. How grand…we cruised to FL370, which I thought, was kinda low but I am not a pilot so I digress haha

    The snack box came around and I checked the UA magazine and one snack box looked quite good so I got that one and a can of coke to go along with it. I thought it was actually very good, while I don’t like paying for it; it was an ok price, which was 6 bucks for the snack box.

    I played around with CH 9 and listened to my ipod and chatted with my buddy as we passed the time. At the 2-hour mark we decided to walk around and check out the rest of the Boeing 747, more so for me to check out haha.

    I was still in awe of just how grand the 747 was, huge and all. We walked around some more and it started getting bumpy again so we went back to sit down. I just relaxed playing my ipod while Matt checked CH9 out or played his games.

    That was really all we did until it was time to start descending for SFO.

    F/A’s came around picking up trash and tray tables and all as usual. Typical pre landing routine.

    Matt motioned to me he heard the UA Flight going SFO-FRA fly by on CH 9 so that was kinda neat to hear.

    We got near SFO, flaps and such coming out, We were assigned to land on the right side so we were hoping to get a take off or landing on left runway. Sure enough as we came in a Cathay Pacific A330 was taking off. Pretty sweet!!!

    We touched down and the braking of the 747 was equally awesome as the take off. It felt so amazing and just so cool to feel that.

    We shuddered to a near stop as we swung off the runway and headed to gate 82. That concluded my FIRST Boeing 747 flight and I was happy as a clam! This concluded my first United Airlines mainline flight as well and I have to say UA did good and I would book them again only if I knew I’d be able to get econ plus. We got off the plane and headed into SFO Airport.

    That was it! We were done for the night! So I thought…

    We were checking loads for tomorrow, and we saw that UA had swapped the two AM PS 757 SFO-JFK to 767-300’s. WTF?! Great…we were not going to ride coach, and we really wanted to try the PS service on the 757 and all. We checked other loads and nothing seemed to our satisfaction out of SFO to JFK.

    Then out of the blue, I hear “you still have your passport right?” Me “ya why?”

    Matt “let’s go on the LHR flight leaving n an hour and a half. Biz is wide open, and it’s a 777. You got your 747, let’s go for the 777!”

    Me “wait, are you joking?! We just got off a 4 hr and a half flight, and we are gonna fly off to LHR now?”

    We must have been OUT of our minds, cause that’s what we tried to do. We went to the Customer Service desk to try to change our itinerary but unfortunately the way Shuttle America works, I had to be authorized for each new itinerary that is done. Since SFO-LHR was not planned, I had to be authorized after being checked in. Since we didn’t do this we were not able to get on the LHR flight in time. We know now what to do next time. We had been so confused on why this step, but once we spoke to some folks we figured it out.

    After spending over an hour at SFO trying to get to LHR we gave up and figured let’s get to a hotel and figure where to go next the next day. Our trip was as random as it could be!

    March 10th, 2009
    United Airlines
    Airbus A319

    The night before we decided we wanted a United PS plane with a 757 so to get that and get into NYC in time, we had to fly out to LAX and catch it there. F was wide open out of LAX so to get to LAX we had to fly out ASAP of SFO that morning, and to do so we listed on the Airbus A319 outta SFO to LAX. This would be a new route for me also so I was excited, even though it was an Airbus. Oh well, it seems I have to go through a bad spot to get to the goodie hahaha.

    We went to SFO Airport, got our security documents and we walked around for a bit. We talked to our respective friends txting or calling folks from home to let them know our new itinerary. I am a Boeing Fan and was texting my buddy back home whom is more of an Airbus fan. We argued as typical what is better, and I without thinking go “Boeing rocks and Airbus rocks so there!” I didn’t catch my fatal mistake, and my buddy then texted “I knew it, you spoke from the heart, airbus rules!!!” I never heard the end of it from him…

    We walked around SFO, as I didn’t really get to see it the night before. I spotted the 763 that was operating the PS flight to JFK..

    Then I spotted the 777 heading to HNL as well too!

    We got our boarding passes, economy plus again, and a window seat over the wing/engine. Not bad at all! This was my first Airbus flight with United now, so I could compare it with the NWA one I flew back in 2005.

    I saw a cool shot in the back where the tail of AA and UA were side by side showing “American and United” so I snapped that, came out pretty good!

    It was time to board and so we boarded the tiny Airbus!

    I was impressed with how nice the interior cabin was for United on the Airbus. Granted it was econ plus, but I noticed they all had the headrest and such, which I fly AA S80 just for that reason as I use it. It is certainly a big plus to know it is on United too. I took some shots of the legroom and out the window too here as well.

    We joked how bad Airbus are as usual going are we gonna make it or whatever, and out of nowhere the lights flickered on and off and then a real big shudder. We just looked at each other like now what…

    Then an announcement “due to the TV not working on board, we will be doing a live manual safety briefing on board the Airbus A319 aircraft, please pay close attention as we do the safety briefing”

    Go figure, we are on an airbus so it breaks and TV doesn’t work. GO UNITED! Just kidding of course.

    The F/A did the briefing and we chatted with the one working in our area. She was very nice and seemed to enjoy her job quite well.

    We backed out and taxied to the runway, as usual taking pics on the way to the runway.

    Taxied to runway and we took off!

    We turned left just as the bridge slipped under the right wing. Darn it, really wanted to see it! Oh well.

    We cruised along to LAX in excitement in hoping to get First Class on the United P.S. to JFK!!!

    Drink service came around and we both got Coke.

    Took a quick snapshot of the cabin inside…

    I have flown intra California routes before doing SMF-LAX, SMF-SAN, as well as SNA-SJC-SNA, so SFO-LAX while new route for me; the scenery was all the same!

    At this time they announced we would start descending for LAX. I was getting excited, I had not been to LAX in forever so was anxious to see how it was and to see heavies once again!!!

    We turned and descended, and turned, flaps come out, level, cruise all that jazz. F/A collected trash and drinks and we settled back for the landing into LAX. We were 2 miles out behind a JAL 747.

    In no time we touched down at LAX, and taxied to our gate.

    The 747 is heading to NRT/BKK and the 757 was the PS heading to JFK

    Heading to IAD

    Once we reached our gate, we got off fairly quickly.

    We walked to our gate and just sat at the gate.

    United Airlines P.S (Premium Service)
    Flight 890
    Boeing 757-200

    This was the flight we both were preparing for. United Airlines Premium Service on board the Boeing 757-200. The flight had a 21 min delay inbound from JFK, but not a problem, we were not connecting so I really could care less.

    The gate across from us on the waiting area was boarding to NRT/BKK, and I glared at Matt to NOT even think about it, but he grinned at me and said Business is open!!! I swear…
    I quickly shut him up and said NO; we are doing PS and nothing else!

    The stand by list was looking very good and at this rate we were due to get the First Class seats.

    I also said to Matt, considering this is a Los Angeles to New York City flight, I wondered if we’d have a celebrity on board or not. I really had hopes we would but the likelihood of it happening probably was not in my favor.

    At 1pm, our names were called to the gate and we gave him our security documents. We were handed back the boarding passes and it said UNITED FIRST! Woo Hoo! He gave me thumbs up, finally, we were gonna get what we wanted!

    The plane finally pulled up and was excited to see it in new colors, and also that it had winglets too! This would be my 2nd 757 flight with winglets.

    They announced that we were to being boarding for First Class so we lined up and handed he agent our pass. They scanned it and gave it back to us in its entirety. I was thankful, as I really wanted to keep the boarding pass, my previous two UA flights; they had ripped the boarding pass.

    We walked into the plane, and I almost turned right being SO used to coach and all, I wondered why Matt turned left, and then it dawned on me again. I was riding First Class, cross-country on the PS service. This day just could NOT get better for me. But alas, it did!

    I sat down and we put our stuff away, and I snapped a picture of the seat and space.

    As we sat down, I looked over and I saw a Black Woman getting into her seat. She looked so familiar to me and I couldn’t place it. I was suddenly getting excited thinking just MAYBE I had a celebrity in our midst! I looked again and she turned around and we stared face to face. I gasped. It was Audrey McDonald, who plays Naomi on the show “Private Practice” I gasped again, and turned to matt in a very loud whisper “Oh my god Matt that is Audrey McDonald!” I uttered it in a very hissed voice. He looked at me like WHO? No way…

    I looked to make sure, and I whipped out my blackberry and googled her to get a picture. Sure enough it was one and the same! I showed Matt a pic of her and he looked again and went “wow that is her!”

    I am a HUGE fan of her show and her as well, so if riding F on the UA PS service wasn’t good enough, to share the cabin with a famous actress and might add extremely gorgeous, was just the icing on the cake!

    I of course like most anyone else texted all my friends and family about this celebrity spotting I had. This is not the first time I have mingled or flown with celebrities but for some reason just the excitement of riding PS combined with her, just really highlighted the day for me.

    After I finally calmed down, I started to enjoy the seat and all. Now I cannot compare the service of UA to when I flew AA ORD-MIA in the new Biz seats so I will simply compare the SEAT of AA and UA’s. Quite honestly both were pretty much exactly the same. However one personal thing I wish we had was AA’s pouch is on the side, yet UA didn’t have one. Unless they considered the one in front of us on the other seat. However that is to far for me to reach. Since the F/A made us stow EVERYTHING away for take off, I had to grab what I wanted with me in my seat for take off and the flight.

    We backed out, and taxied to the runway. As we were taxing, I was snapping pics of cool planes and such I considered cool, while the F/A was taking our orders.

    The Menu-

    Coastal Breeze- Mix of traditional Bay Breeze, adding Absolute’s Mandarin Orange Vodka, to cranberry juice cocktail, with a splash of grapefruit juice.

    To begin: Smoked Salmon roll on a bed of marinated cucumbers.

    Fresh Seasonal greens with cherry tomato, garbanzo beans, and chopped pecans.

    Served with your choice of dressing: Ranch or Asian Sesame Ginger

    Main Course

    Spinach and ricotta stuffed chicken with red pepper sauce
    Couscous with chives, stir fried vegetables.

    Stir-fried shrimp
    Egg fried rice, California stir-fried vegetables

    Layered focaccia sandwich
    With turkey, roast beef, and salami served with fried sweet potatoes

    Chocolate and grand vanilla ice cream-with a choice of hot fudge or mixed berries topped with toasted almonds and whipped cream.

    Warm chocolate chip cookies.

    It all looked amazing and good but Matt and I both decided to get the coastal breeze drink and the stir-fried shrimp meal for lunch.

    We took off and turned left over the ocean heading back to LAX and onward to JFK. I got some sweeeeeet pics of the departure and such so check them out just below!!!

    Our drinks came and we said cheers and drank it. Wow, it hit me, I don’t drink period to be honest MAYBE once a month or so, I was not used to it. It was strong for me. And I was feeling it very fast. Yes I am a wimp I know when it comes to drinking haha.

    We decided to take a couple pics of the menu and napkins just to see how it looks.

    Soon our starter came and it looked delicious! I of course took a picture before I started to eat it.

    I showed Matt the butter which was shaped like a Star. I joked United knew that we would have a celebrity in the midst and that they had star shaped butter for it. But matt raised an interesting point and commented it could be shaped Star for the Star Alliance. So we thought who better to ask then the folks of! So any reason why the butter is star shaped or just a coincidence of it?

    I looked out the window to see what scenery was passing by, it was becoming very pretty and we were flying over Vegas and the surrounding areas.

    Finally our lunch had come and it looked amazing and delicious once again!!!

    After we finished it, we had it cleared to eat dessert. We got both the cookies and the ice cream so here they are!

    After that was finished and our trays were cleared we settled back to sleep, watch TV or whatever, simply just enjoy the seat now!

    I closed the window shades but took a few more pics before the dark settled upon us.

    I went to sleep for an hour or so listening to my ipod. Feeling the turbulence sway back and forth. Lying down turbulence is actually kind of fun.

    I woke up and it was pitch black out, so I watched some more shows of Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty.

    I was gonna pull up my laptop to work on it, and start the trip report, but when I plugged it in, my laptop wouldn’t read it. The power thing on the seat would not charge my laptop. Darn, since it didn’t work I was unable to work on the laptop.

    So I just settled back and enjoyed the ride.

    I did get up to walk around to see the rest of the PS Aircraft. I spoke to a F/A in the back galley and she told me wonderful stories of working on PS and working the route. We chatted for quite a bit until it got bumpy again and I had to come back and sit down.

    Soon it was time to start the clean up and all for the descent into JFK.

    The F/A came around and picked up trash, drinks, and food, plates whatever was left behind. We had a beautiful full moon outside and it lit up the cloud layer so it was amazing, what a great way to end the cross-country flight.

    I looked out and the engine was well lit so I went ahead and snapped one final picture of the flight.

    We turned and went under the clouds and the city of NYC was seen below us. Matt mentioned to me we would be behind a 747 into JFK as to caution for wake turbulence haha.

    Gear and flaps came out, the usual and we gently eased into the runway at JFK airport.

    Plane shuddered to a stop, and we taxied off behind the 747, on our way to the gate. Cabin lights went on, and we collected our things, and we followed everyone else off the plane into the terminal. My first time to JFK!

    To conclude the PS section, I was VERY impressed with the service. UA just blew my expectations away. I believe this is well worth the money to spend. I have seen prices as high as 2,400 for the First Class section. Do I have the money to pay for it, of course not, but if I did I would certainly look at the UA PS service when it comes to flying Cross Country. The seat however between AA and UA I’d say was pretty much tied. AA for example, the seat stretches out so it is impossible to get out if you have a window seat, versus UA where it is easier to climb over. However UA is missing a side pouch, where AA has one. Service wise, AA has Internet on board, UA didn’t, but this is coming in June so this will help even out the competition. Aircraft wise, 757 versus 767 make no difference to me, as the seat is the same. Having a wide body does help, however doesn’t make a difference. So if you have the money and can afford to fly UA PS in First, I would highly recommend it to anyone who can do so.

    We went to his apartment in NYC to hang for the night and plan to see where we wanted to go tomorrow. However, the plans totally fell apart due to ATC flow delay at IAD and massive delays and cancelled flights. I will go into this more on the next segment.

    March 11th
    Airline: ???
    Aircraft: ???
    NYC-ORD (we hoped)
    Flight: ???

    Due to the high loads JFK-IAD we decided to non-rev out of LGA instead on the CHQ Flight leaving at 2:30pm. We went to grab lunch and went to check the screen, everything is on time!

    We go through security (keep count of how many times we go through security by the way…) and we walk down to the UA gates to sit. We hang out for a bit, and I got this funny feeling to check the monitors. I went down and checked it, and saw IAD: ALL FLIGHTS DELAYED DUE TO ATC CONTROL” Our flight which was scheduled to leave at 2:35pm was pushed back to 6:20pm. This was going to make us misconnect our 777 flight out of IAD. Scratch that plan, no 777, we gotta get home now. All UA flights were delayed or cancelled via IAD or ORD so we figured there is no getting out of LGA on UA at this time. We figured let’s go try AA. AA had open seats to ORD on the S80 leaving at 3:30pm.

    We leave UA, and we go back through security for the AA flight at 3:30pm. I was stopped by TSA and was demanded to put my bag in the bin to see if it would fit. Without thinking I was about to say, “it fits, I’ve flown over 200 times and I have never had a problem” But I stopped. One, I am a non rev, keep the mouth shut, and two, this wouldn’t be the first time TSA had it heard it, and certainly didn’t need to hear it from a Non Rev. I put my bag in the bin and to my panic it didn’t fit. I could see the conversation now, “you need to check it sir” Me “great, and where shall I check it to? I am non revving so I haven’t the foggiest idea what flight, airline or WHERE I am going IF I am even getting out?!” …So with a swift kick, I pounded and kicked the bag in and it ended up fitting just fine in the bin. Whoo! So TSA seemed satisfied and let me go through with the carry on bag.
    We walked down to the gate where the 3:30pm was and sat and waited. We then watched our SB list grow and grow, and grow until it reached 38. Apparently AA had cancelled some ORD flights too and also delayed some of theirs. Keep in mind I was traveling the same day that AA LGA-ORD MD80 had the engine problem and diverted. So I can’t imagine this helped AA’s operations much at all there.

    We checked the loads as the seat loads got smaller and smaller as our SB got bigger and bigger. Oh boy, we were pretty convinced we were not getting on this flight. The next LGA-ORD was at 4:45pm and then a 757 was leaving at 5:20pm afterwards. If we didn’t make the 4:45pm we for sure 100% were gonna get on the 757 as it was WIDE open, hardly any stand by’s revenue or non rev, and only booked to round 46 or so.

    Once the 3:30pm departed the SB rolled over to the 4:45pm departure and it just got huge, the SB list grew to like 45 or so now, and I was going this is ridic, we are NOT flying out of LGA tonight. But Matt was like don’t worry we are getting on the 757.

    The 757 pulled up at 4:30pm, so we now had two ORD bound flights at the gate and the odds were in our favor, one of those flights would be taking us!

    We stood at the 757 gate watching them board and once the 4:45pm departed as we expected we were rolled over to the 757. At 5:00pm everyone on that flight had boarded. They were now clearing the revenues, and at the time the 757 had 96 or so open seats, and only 30 or so revenue stand bys and 3 or 4 non-revs. We were getting on! So at 5:00pm they were calling names and clearing folks, we saw our name pop up on the cleared list. We were going home! I was standing near the gate waiting for them to call our name so I could just jump in grab the pass and leave without taking up time as I knew those agents would want to get everyone on board as fast as possible.

    5:10pm rolls around and our names still are not called, nor are the other revenue paxs…Odd. Matt pointed they were being very slow about getting people cleared, and that they were taking a long time. But what the hey, the flight was already massively delayed as it was supposed to leave at 4:10pm, but now scheduled at 5:20pm. No big deal, leave the agents alone and let them do their thing.

    5:15pm rolls around, and still nothing. What? At 5:20pm, pretty much no one had been given a pass, and the AA Mgr at LGA yells “Ok, that’s it we gotta go, leave them behind we gotta push” As SOON as I heard that I thought “oh shit, there is gonna be a fight in 5 seconds I am getting out of the line of fire” I quickly dived away from the gate area and within seconds…

    “What?!” You can’t do that! Rev paxs literally attacked the gate agents screaming at them demanding they be let on. They were told and promised they were going to be on that 757. Matt and I looked at disbelief, we both did CSA for WN and have experience traveling around airlines and had NEVER seen this happen in our career at the airlines OR as revenue passengers. You just DON’T leave behind revenue passengers. We stared in disbelief as the 757 with 96 seats open left the gate stranding revenue passengers. Non rev ya we knew not to raise hell but when you are told we are cleared, and knowing the flight was wide open, that just is NOT cool at all.

    Absolutely stunned. That 757 woulda saved AA a LOT of hassles for the rest of night and the SB list probably would have been a lot less too. We checked the SB list and noticed, some of the rev paxs that were left behind were Gold, Plat, Elite, some had paid Y fares, We were in disbelief, these were not just 100 dollar fares paxs booked, some of these were high paying Customers and such. NOT a good thing to do to your passengers.

    So once that happened we figured, crap we are NOT flying out tonight at all.

    Next flight was to leave at 7:15pm, so once again our list rolled over and because of that 757 incident my SB list grew to 60 SPOTS! This was entirely ridiculous and we knew we were not going to get on the 7:15pm either. The next after that was 8:45pm and then finally the 10:25pm. All delayed of course. I even checked LGA-STL-ORD, and that wasn’t gonna work either. Grrrr. Matt checked UA again and there WAS an open flight leaving at 9:45pm. So after the 7:15pm left, he went over to UA counter and they told us if we didn’t get on their 8:47pm departure we would for sure be on the 9:47pm departure as it was wide open. *sarcasm-then again AA told us that too and look where we wound up*

    We finally gave up on United, and for the THIRD time mind you all, we went back over to the UA gates to try UA. Will United save our ass this time?!

    We went over and sat down. Matt heard our names be called but for a different UA flight? Turns out, they wound up canceling the UA Flight to IAD we were listed on and kept rolling us over all day. So unbeknownst to us, we were being rolled over for two destinations on two diff airlines! What a hoot I really wanted to laugh but I was just too tired at this time. We were on stand by for near 7 hrs…

    Matt resolved the confusion for the IAD flight and we got off that list and made sure we were still on SB for the ORD one. The 8:45pm left without us on board. So the last chance was the 9:45pm one and if that didn’t work then back to AA for the 10:25pm departure, yes that woulda meant going through security for the 4th time which I R-E-A-L-L-Y did not want to do haha.

    At 9:15pm or so our names were FINALLY called to get our boarding pass for the UA flight to ORD. Same seats 10-D so you guessed it! Another Airbus A319. Truly I didn’t give a rat’s ass what I was flying at this time. I would have flown a B1900 for 3 hrs or so if it meant I was getting home haha.

    At 9:30pm they started boarding and we were able to get off the ground at 10pm. We made it into ORD at 11pm. Service was drinks only, and I just listened to music and was just thankful for getting a flight out. Not to say that’s what you get for non revving, but AA royally screwed that up by letting the 757 go, and we woulda been home by 5pm or so. Since that happened, it messed the entire day up for AA especially.
    We landed and got off the plane and matt went to get his car and picked me up and went home. I was truly; jet lagged, but honestly was so glad we did it. I got to ride a United 747-400, an Airbus, and UA PS in First. I got to fly four new routes to add to my flight memory website. I got to spend time with my friend whom I hadn’t seen him and his wife in almost a year. I got to experience ALL levels of United Service in a way except Business but who cares when you got first on the PS? It was a great spring break for me, some people laid down on the beach; I laid down in first class in a plane!

    United was a great airline, and now I flew them for the first time mainline I really enjoyed them. Would I switch alliance, probably not but not unthinkable either. UA still has a lot to do and change for me to want to fly them out of STL, example bringing more mainline back to STL. Again, I digress though. It was a great trip, and I agree with United, it WAS time to fly, and fly I did, around the country, in four days.

    Stop Searching. Start Traveling.

  • #2
    Awesome report

    Sounds like a blast.
    You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


    • #3
      Great report!

      I'm not surprised at what AA did, I would NEVER fly w/ them again, even if the only alternative was walking thousands of miles! Luckily, I finally used the vouchers I had with them (due to cancelled trips), actually, I transferred the last one (had about $100 on it) to a friend, don't known if they used it, and don't care, I am done w/ AA forever. Luckily, there are usually alternatives to them to places I want to go. Going to Chicago, I take WN to MDW, NYC, B6 to JFK. Only place I visit where AA might be the best alternative is Urbana, IL--AA is the only airline (AFAIK) that flies to CMI (Willard Field), but even that would involve changing at ORD to a Jungle Jet (ER4) to CMI. Rather fly to MDW and rent a car and drive down. Only a 2 hour drive, and I-57 is never crowded (key is to not take the Dan Ryan, but take Cicero Av down to like 103 St and pick up I-57 just after it begins). Unlike perhaps 1 or 2 of the other legacies, AA isn't going away any time soon, but they will certainly do w/ out me!


      • #4
        Amazing flight review

        Hello Alex,

        Wow, what a nice flight review. It's nice to see that you finally got on the Boeing 747-400, hopefully, the Boeing 777 isn't too far away.

        I actually have the opposite problem of you, I just can't seem to get on small aircraft, but I have flown tons of Boeing 777s, Boeing 747-200/400s, Airbus A340s, Boeing 767, but the smallest aircraft I have ever flown is a Boeing 737/Airbus A319. I always wanted to get on a regional jet or a Boeing 757, but it never works out.

        The story about you an your friend getting off a 4.5 and then him wanting to go on a 12 hour, SFO-LHR flight was very funny, as well.

        Nice job on the excellent pictures and the descriptive text in the review, as well. On your Boeing 747 flight, I believe you had the SmartPack snack box, I had that one too when I took my flights from DEN-EWR and back and I agree it was excellent. It's also nice that you showed us most of UA's offerings in terms of domestic classes.

        The AA story was very sad, you just don't leave PAYING customers back at the gate, the plane was severely late anyway, I just don't see why they didn't let them on. After hearing many horrible stories from my relatives about AA, their experiences were WAY worse than my worst experiences on UA, so my family and I just stay clear of them.




        • #5
          great report!! it had a lot of good details & amazing pictures!

          I love SFO! I haven't flown into it for a couple of years, but it is my favorite airport! (oak is cool too....)

          I always enjoy reading your reports! I wish I could fly as often as you do!

          great report!


          • #6
            Thanks you all for reading-

            Transit- I am Gold at AA and had never seen this as a revenue passenger so I was just STUNNED to hear this as a non rev. Not good at all.

            Alec-Thanks for reading, it truly was a blast!

            Jazzy- Thanks, other than my brief NW stint, I hadn't done a "trip" like that in 5 months!!! To quote IT WAS TIME TO FLY and fly indeed I did! haha

            Rohank-Same thanks for reading and following along my adventure, it was fun!

            Stop Searching. Start Traveling.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spad13
              Gosh, Alex, you sure haven't aged well. Are you eating enough? You look kinda malnourished.
              That's rather rude be frank I've known Alex four years now and he looks perfectly fine to me.


              • #8
                Hey nice report, yours is much like mine, i was LAX-JFK in P.S .... Out of 10
                1 - How do you think the crew performed?
                2 - How good was the food?
                3 - Was it worth the money?

                My answers are:
                1 - 8/10
                2 - 10/10
                3 - Yes
                :-) Life is like a Journey,Travel it well. United Airlines :smile:


                • #9
                  Originally posted by I_Love_NY View Post
                  Hey nice report, yours is much like mine, i was LAX-JFK in P.S .... Out of 10
                  1 - How do you think the crew performed?
                  2 - How good was the food?
                  3 - Was it worth the money?

                  My answers are:
                  1 - 8/10
                  2 - 10/10
                  3 - Yes


                  I would say

                  I non revved, so I paid maybe 40 dollars I think for that segment haha

                  Stop Searching. Start Traveling.