Introduction: Whirlwind Trip to Asia
Review: American Airlines (A321) Economy Class Dallas to Charlotte
Review: American Airlines (A320) Economy Class Charlotte to Boston
Review: Holiday Inn Express and Suites – Boston Garden
Review: United Club – Logan International Airport
Review: United Airlines (777-200) Business Class Newark to Beijing
Review: Air China Business Class Lounge – Beijing International Airport
Review: BGS Premier Business Class Lounge – Beijing International Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines (777-300ER) Business Class Beijing to Singapore
Review: SilverKris Business Class Lounge – Singapore Changi Airport
Review: SilkAir (737-800) Business Class Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
Review: Renaissance Hotel – Kuala Lumpur
Out and About in Kuala Lumpur
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge – Kuala Lumpur
Review: SilkAir (A319) Economy Class Kuala Lumpur to Singapore
Review: JW Marriott Hotel – Singapore South Beach
Review: The Private Room – Singapore Changi Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines (A380-800) Suites Class Singapore to Beijing
Review: Air China First Class Lounge – Beijing International Airport
Review: United Airlines (777-300ER) Business Class Beijing to San Francisco
Review: American Express Centurion Lounge – San Francisco International Airport
Review: United Airlines (757-200) First Class San Francisco to Newark
Review: United Airlines Classified Restaurant – Newark Liberty International Airport
Review: Admirals Club – Logan International Airport
Land: 1300 (+1 day)
Flight time: 14 hrs
Seat: 11 E (Business Class)
After visiting the crowded lounge, I walked around the terminal for a bit. With a few minutes left before boarding time, I made my way to the gate. The crowd had already formed.
Boarding was scheduled for 1210. There was a 13 minute delay, but there was not an announcement made. I took a quick walk so that I could FaceTime my son before the long flight.
After the call, I stopped at one of the iPad ordering tables and grabbed a beer. Boarding began at 1223.
I boarded through door 2L, as did everyone else, which made the cabin feel crowded. I quickly made my way to my seat, 11E (in the rear cabin) which is a middle row, aisle seat. The seat is United’s old, less private one.
At the seat were a pillow, seat cover, slippers, and mattress pad. United branded headphones and slippers were also present. I wanted to change into more comfortable clothes, but that was not an option at the point.
The tray table came out of the center console on the left side of my seat. The seat controls were located in the same area.
Business class is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. 26 seats in the forward cabin and 24 in the rear cabin. All 50 business class seats were taken.
Frank, one of the flight attendants working the rear business class cabin, came by to introduce himself. He seemed like a cool guy. I asked for pajamas and a cooling gel pillow (pajamas are provided in premium cabins on flight longer than 12 hours). Frank left a menu and went about his way to welcome other customers.
Also at the seat were an amenity kit and headphones stored next to the power ports. The amenity kit was a continuation of United’s 747 celebration. For such a small container, it held a lot.
Frank came back after 10 minutes and took meal requests. I wanted the stir fry pork but there were only two loaded. How??? I was in the last row of business class so this was definitely a contributing factor to the lack of the dish. I went with the chicken dish as a second option. I also asked for a glass of champagne. It was served in a faux glass, but it was not bad.
Boarding was complete at 1254. We began our pushback and received the safety briefing, at this point. To note, the cabin was extremely cold, I am usually hot while sitting at the gate. After a 24 minute taxi, we were airborne. The takeoff was a little bumpy. As soon as we lifted off, one of the overhead bins opened.
When no one closed it, I pressed the flight attendant call button to alert them of the issue. After a few minutes, Frank appeared with the cooling gel pillow and pajamas that I requested (as if I pressed the button for that reason). I informed him of the rogue overhead bin, which he promptly closed.
I hustled to the lavatory to change. There were two lavatories between the two business class cabins. The one on the right side was the smaller of two.
Tray tables were set 25 minutes after takeoff. Vanessa, another flight attendant working the cabin, began making small talk by asking what I was eating. I mentioned that I ordered the chicken, but wanted to have the pork with noodles. She stated that she would ‘see what she could do’. She returned a few minutes later to let me know that there was an extra pork dish available from the forward cabin. Wooooooo. At this point, I put on the flight map, as I do not usually watch movies on flights.
The drink cart arrived 17 minutes later. I ordered a white wine flight. The wine flight consisted of a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and a Spanish white wine (Burgans Albarino). I also requested a glass of water. Mixed nuts were served as an accompaniment.
The starters were served 15 minutes later. Tuna sashimi, Niçoise salad, and bread were all served on one tray. The tuna and bread were great, but the salad had expired greens. I stopped eating it after a few bites.
Next was the entree. Thanks to Vanessa for hooking me up with the pork and noodles.
The dish was a bit salty but not overwhelming. I removed the daikon because they were way too dry. That did not stop me from eating it all.
I followed the main with a cheese plate and port wine. The bleu cheese was amazing.
To conclude the meal service, I ordered an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup and Oreos (for the blog, of course). It delicious as well. The entire meal was finished 2hrs after takeoff.
After the meal, I decided to get some sleep since I do not usually watch movies or tv shows during a flight. I got a little bit less than five hours of sleep. When I awoke, we were six hours from Beijing.
I was a little hungry, so I requested the United’s most popular inflight snack, grilled cheese and tomato soup from Valerie, the third flight attendant working the cabin. The soup was warm and had great flavor. The sandwich was not warm (maybe because while the flight attendant was making it, I was in the galley talking point strategies with her).
There was also a snack cart available between the two business class cabins.
I tried to reconnect to WiFi (I purchased earlier inflight for $27). It was not working.
A couple of hours prior to landing, I went to lavatory to change. It was as clean as it was at the beginning of the flight, thanks to Valerie. She held the cabin down while the other crew members rested. Really great job on her part.
The breakfast service was started 90 minutes prior to landing. Frank brought hot towels. I do not know the fragrance United uses on the towels, but I really like it.
I was served 30 minutes after the service started. Pro tip: if you want your service expedited, assign yourself a seat at the front of the cabin. I had the southwestern omelet. It was served with fresh fruit, yogurt, and a croissant. The omelet was warm and a little spicy, which I appreciated. I then ordered a mimosa to celebrate my first time in China.
10 minutes after I was served, inflight service ended. We were 50 minutes from Beijing (approximately 350 miles). I thought that was a bit too early.
A few minutes before landing, Frank made his way around the cabin to thank everyone for flying United. I would have expected nothing less from this crew. We touched down at 2:25pm. After a 16 minute taxi, we arrived at the gate. We were 19 minutes early.
The flight attendants made this flight my most memorable United Airlines flight. They were friendly, talkative, and made every passenger feel welcomed. I wish that they could be on all of my United flights. The main issue that I had was the lack of WiFi, but that was not something that could ruin my experience. I would not hesitate to fly this route to China in the future, especially if the cabin crew is the same.