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New York - London in United First

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  • New York - London in United First

    After having a 5 star experience on American getting to NYC, i decided i would compare the UA/AA First classes.
    I was going to non-rev my way home.

    Here are my flights.
    Airline - United Express (Operated by Trans States Airlines)
    Route - New York Newark to Washington Dulles
    Scheduled departure - 19:10 (19:10 actual)
    Scheduled arrival - 20:34 (20:22 actual)
    Aircraft - CRJ-700
    Seat - 2D
    Class - First

    I got to EWR and i hadnt any checked baggage so i continued to security.
    I got to the airport later than expected so i ran to my gate, and i found my name had already been cleared.
    The United employee at the bottom of the stairs had ago at me, for being privileged enough to be in first class, but missing the first class boarding call.
    But i walked up the stairs, wondering why he even bothered wasting his breathe to tell me that. I was greeted by a flight attendant who was pre-occupied, and when she saw me she said "Wow,Gosh i thought we were all done", WTF?, i then walked back and saw what she meant,the row2 was empty, and i peaked back and saw economy empty.
    The seat was cramped to say the least, but when i boarded, the free glass of cold orange juice certainly made up for it. I looked out of the window untill take-off, which is when i drifted in and out of sleep.
    Take-off its self as pretty powerful, and we made a steep climb up to our cruise.
    The flight attendant was quick to start the service.
    She first offered me a drink and a packet of pretzels.
    I got a Beer which was served ice cold ! Perfect.
    After this she served me a mini pasta salad in a plastic tub, it was very tasty also. She then cleared up and said there was time for another quick drinks service, and i got another beer.
    The flight went by unusually quickly, and we had started our descent by the time she cleared away my last beer.
    The descent was extremely turbulent, and we had made a few sharp turns and drops, when eventually we hit the ground, HARD and then bounced twice before applying HEAVY breaking.
    We then taxied to a remote stand and i disembarked first.
    I then connected terminals and i entered the United First International Lounge.
    I used the T-Mobile wi-fi to catch up with what work i had to do. A 4 page report on how the meeting in New York went, i was the only UK representative, so it was an important meeting, 2 people from each continent discussing Partnerships, future networks and how to overcome certain problems we have recently discovered in our network. This made me pissed off as it would to anyone

    Inside the lounge i grabbed myself a Coke and a snack, which was some sort of dip with different sticks of vegetables.

    Airline - United
    Route - Washington Dulles to London Heathrow
    Scheduled Departure - 21:51 (22:25 actual)
    Scheduled Arrival - 10:05 (09:35 actual)
    Aircraft - Boeing 777
    Seat - 3J
    Class - First

    My flight was called and i headed to the gate and i boarded immediately.
    I was greeted by a kind flight attendant, who took my bag and jacket and placed in the overhead locker for me, she asked if i would like a drink or needed anything.
    I got myself a Coke again and told her that i needed my laptop, which she got out of the overhead locker for me.
    The flightcrew prepared for pushback, and all the normal procedures, and the same kind f/a came to me and got my glass that was empty, told me what was happening and then walked off.
    About 10 mins later we made a powerful take-off and made another steep climb.
    It was basically the first time i saw the UA IAD-LHR service, operated by a 777, the others i have ONLY seen 763's, and once i saw a 744.
    I was in seat 3J, which is apparently the best "seat in the house", when fully reclined, and you lift your head up, you can see out the window perfectly, when in the normal seat position, the window is still in perfect view.
    The seat had dark blue curtains with a little United logo in the corner, hanging around my bed, which the flight attendant told me i could "use at my own discretion".
    At first i had them open.
    After take-off we were given menus, which i thought we usually handed out during boarding, oh well.
    First we were offered a Appetizer.
    I got a Wild mushroom lasagne, with a fresh crispy green salad.
    I got this with a Vodka and Coke.
    The food was VERY tasty, although small it was filling enough.
    After this, the crew came around and cleared up the trays, and replaced them with new ones.
    They were very efficient, they followed this by coming round with bread baskets, about 1000000 different types of rolls, breads and we picked as much as we wanted, then told to eat now and get more later, or save it for the main course.
    The crew then asked for the Main course orders, and they took wake-up calls and breakfast times.
    About an hour later we were asked if we wanted breakfast now or whenever we wanted, i opted for now so i could do my work after.
    I got Filet mignon, with "special rice", which was normal rice with prawns,peas,mushrooms and a load of other types of tapas style food in it.
    It was VERY good also and after this the flight attendant cleared it away, and i opened up my mac and started to work.
    I was told that if i was going to be awake all night working, the crew would keep an "eye" on me, and i was told that i could have a snack or drink whenever i required.
    About 3 hours later one of the passengers was woken up by the crew, and i asked for a snack.
    The f/a said that she didnt know what they had because the menu was out of date and they had only loaded a certain amount of food.
    She came back about 5 minutes later, with a tiny piece of paper with handwritten food options written on it
    "Sorry sir this is all we got"
    there was about 5 different options, all of which were good.
    I got Spanish Tortilla with fresh vegetables. This i got sparkling peach & mandarin water.
    A short while later, the majority of the cabin woke up, and the crew announced that they would serve breakfast.
    Hot or cold option, and in stead of the usual full english style meal which would be the hot option, i opted for the cold meal.
    It consisted of:
    Buttermilk Pancakes covered in Maple Syrup and Wild Berries
    Fruit bowl with Melon,Grapes and Strawberry
    Croissant with Jam

    This was the tastiest breakfast ive ever had on a plane !!!
    Not even half way through my report, i decided id had enough and waited until later to finish it.
    I was then given top up after top up of Ice cold Orange Juice and Starbucks.
    We then started our descent, which was smooth, and as the rest of the cabin woke up, we made a few long left turns, before the gear came down and we made a soft landing onto the runway.
    We then taxied to the gate, the crew were very good, and the Pursur style person said bye personally to each passenger as we were taxiing.
    We parked up, connected to jetbridge and we walked off.
    I decided i would finish my report in the United Arrival Suite.
    The place is very nice, and i decided to have a hot shower before i grabbed a coffee and continued with work.
    The wi-fi was also an added luxury as i had to e-mail it back to my boss, which made it twice as easy.
    I then left and headed home.

    Well, im not being biased in any way, truthfully, i think the United first was better, the breakfast and main meal were of better quality, and the bed was about the same comfort, the crew on UA were better than those on AA, and AA, arrivals suite, no such thing.
    As for domestic first class, the service i got was just enough, and the f/a tried to do as much as she could in the limited time possible, im cant compare this however to AA Domestic first, as ive never flown it.

    United Express :Trans States Airlines
    Crew - 10/10
    Seats - 6/10
    Punctuality - 10/10
    Service - 10/10
    Service Quality - 9.5/10
    Aircraft - 10/10
    Flight - 5/10

    United : Intl First

    Crew - 10/10
    Seats/Beds - 10/10
    Punctuality - 9.5/10
    Service - 10/10
    Service Quality - 10/10
    Aircraft - 10/10
    Flight - 10/10

    The Arrivals lounge, although a minor part of my trip, probably swung UA my way, as up until then, apart from the food side of things, UA and AA were on par.

    The only downside was having to go via IAD.

    Thanks for reading !!