I was a bit surprised to hear the agent at the Red Carpet Club tell me that I was number one on the list for an upgrade to London. Being on a on a U fare, I was only one higher than W, which is the minimum fare class needed for an SWU. I figured there would be some 1K or GS with a higher fare code on the list. Then again, maybe everyone with a higher fare code already cleared.
In any case, it had been a long day. I worked the better part of a full day in the office, and then I was bummed when I got to the Red Carpet Club and saw it completely barren of any food. Furthermore, I knew that as soon as I touched down in London, I was getting picked up to go straight to a meeting followed by dinner. Given all that, I was very happy to get that upgrade! I needed to get some sleep!
We had a new configuration 777, which is the default for this flight number to London, but apparently it gets swapped for the old one every now and then. Despite the new seating configuration, it was still painted in United's ugly gray coating. I'll be really glad when all of those are finally gone. While I always love getting on a plane, most of my travel is limited to the domestic USA, which means a lot of 757s, A320s, and regional jets - every now and then I'll get a 767 or 747 to Chicago, but that's rare. Thus, I always get a bit of a rush when I sit down on a massive plane like the 777. I can't wait to finally experience the A380 for my trip in a month or so.
I know I've posted about this before, but I really do love the United International business seats. I think they're so comfy, even if they don't quite offer the privacy of something like Air Canada's Executive First Suite (2).
I kicked my feet up, grabbed a glass of champagne, and was ready for my 5000+ mile journey. I fired up "The Lincoln Lawyer," and the service on the plane was fantastic from the start. Our purser, Lawrence, came and introduced himself to both my seatmate and I, as he took our drink orders. He made sure to address us by name, and it really added to the ambience of the flight. Then over the intercom, the purser came on and offered a "special welcome to our passengers in United Business Class;" this was the first time I had ever heard that. Has anyone else? I didn't know that they had the capability to make announcements in only certain cabins, but I can't imagine they would have made this announcement to the entire plane.
The dinner was started off with an appetizer of tarragon orange shrimp. They were served on a bed of fennel, almonds, and grapefruit slices. The shrimps were succulent, and the whole appetizer was delicious. I chose the chicken as my meal. It was to come served with polenta, and that sounded quite good. Indeed it was. There was a polenta cake, and pieces of chicken covered in a tomato sauce.
And for dessert, dulce de leche ice cream was served. It hit the spot. After consuming my excellent meal, I was ready to conk out for the night. I had a few beers at the red carpet club beforehand, and I made sure to drink champagne with my meal, hoping to get a little liquid assistance to become sleepy. It must have worked. I went into the bathroom, changed into pajama pants, brushed my teeth, and then I was ready to go for a decent night's rest. As you might know from other posts, I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to trying to get long sleeps on airplanes. I turn on my iPhone timer so when I wake up, I can see how long I've been asleep. I did well on this one! 5 hours and 20 minutes.
It was great timing. By the time I awoke, our jet was getting close to Ireland. I went back into the bathroom to change into jeans, re-apply deodorant, brush my teeth, and put on a new t-shirt. I felt quite refreshed! Just as I sat down, breakfast service began. I was offered a fruit plate or a noodle dish. I chose the noodles, and they were quite good. I especially enjoyed the bok choy.
I also enjoyed my Asian Coca Cola light. After breakfast, we touched down at Heathrow, and I was ready to begin my long week of work. I thought that United's service was impeccable throughout the entire flight, with much credit going to the purser, Lawrence, for making it a more personable experience - and the food was great!
Trip Menu Below: