Saturday, August 9, 2008

Trip Report - United Sydney-SFO Business Class

I got really lucky this trip and was able to upgrade using Miles on my return trip from Sydney to San Francisco.

Its off-season for this route, but the flight was full in coach so I was really happy to score the upgrade. United only has the new business class seats on some Atlantic routes, so this 747-400 had the plain (and fairly old) United Business seats.

Unlike my past trips in C class, I was also able to score 15G in the upper desk -- which is an exit row and provides the longest legroom possible on the plane.

United closed its very cramped and depressing Red Carpet Club room in Sydney earlier this year. So now RCC members and United Star Gold fliers use the Air New Zealand club, that is above the gate area and has great views of planes on the runways and ramp areas. Having United fliers in the ANZ club makes it VERY busy from 11am - 2pm. Unlike the last time I was there later in the afternoon.

In any case, the ANZ club is a HUGE upgrade from the old RCC -- offering real food and too many drink options. Plus plenty of power outlets and bathrooms.

I was very excited to get 15G since it is regarded often as the best seat in Business Class. But I soon realized that too much legroom sometimes isnt a good thing.

First, I often use the seat back pockets for storage of the earphones, dvd player, book, etc on long trips like this. Basically there is no seat back in from of you in this seat -- only the Flight Attendant jump seat.

Second, there is no carryon storage ahead of you. The flight attendant was adamant that even in 15AB (also exitrow) there was to be no bags under the seats ahead. View from Seat 15G below:

So basically anytime I needed anything from my bag, I needed to get up out of my seat and retrieve it from behind the FA jumpseat -- very annoying. The window seat (15H) is better of course for storage since there are side bins throughout the upper deck.

Service on the flight was typical for United these days:
- Flight Attendants rushed through -every- service as fast as possible
- Never addressing a passenger by name
- Seemed annoyed when asked for more drinks -- or forgot them all together
- Actual dinner choice was only one of three menu items listed
- Movies often had bad tracking or annoying sound issues

The breakfast service was good - but again a bit rushed and impersonal. The large egg dish was plentiful and an overall decent meal.

I always leave flights like this feeling "gees - if they were only more professional and/or nicer it would be a great flight". The seat was "ok", the inflight options were "ok", even the pilots did a good job of keeping the Fasten Seat Belts sign OFF during 99% of the flight -- but the inflight service was down right depressing.

My work often takes me to Sydney, so I will continue to fly United (Upgrades on Qantas are basically impossible for a US-based flyer) -- I just wish United would get their inflight staff to be happier!

btw- I think seats 16AB are the best in the upper deck for non-bulkhead, non-emergency exit row seating. They have LOTS of legroom -- plus you can store things under the seat in front of you.

Price Assurance Math (180x150)


Hua Cai said...

beats headphones
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren pas cher
tiffany jewelry
michael kors outlet store
rolex watches
nike outlet
michael kors canada
coach outlet online
juicy couture tracksuit
cazal outlet
michael kors outlet
air max 90
michael kors outlet
tiffany outlet
ralph lauren polo
pandora outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
christian louboutin uk
fred perry polo shirts
michael kors outlet clearance
fitflops sale
beats by dre
calvin klein underwear
michael kors handbags outlet
rolex watches
michael kors handbags outlet
pandora outlet
nike free run
nike trainers
michael kors handbags
nike free running
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
ralph lauren polo

Jian Zhuo said...

hugo boss
coach factory outlet
pandora outlet
ray ban sunglasses discount
toms shoes outlet
adidas stan smith
coach outlet
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet clearance

Gege Dai said...

ralph lauren outlet
fitflops uk
kd shoes
rolex orologi
michael kors handbags outlet
longchamp outlet online
adidas nmd runner
ray-ban sunglasses
cheap nfl jerseys
ray ban sunglasses

happy 123 said...

michael kors outlet
chrome hearts online
michael kors outlet
ferragamo belts
led shoes for kids
adidas tubular shadow
yeezy shoes
nike zoom
Kanye West shoes
yeezy boost 350

郑佳颖 said...

nike air max
jordan shoes
kobe sneakers
yeezy boost
yeezy boost
kyrie 3
nike air force 1 high
irving shoes
curry 2
jordan shoes