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United Business: Denver to San Francisco

Introduction

United Business: Denver to San Francisco

United First: San Francisco to Honolulu


image from friendlyskies.smugmug.com

A United 767-300ER being towed to the gate in Chicago

United Airlines Flight # 525
Denver (DEN) – San Francisco (SFO)
Thursday, September 22
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Seat: 8A

Thursday evening, I flew a regional jet from Kansas City to Denver, and then an internationally configured 767 from Denver to San Francisco. This 767 included lie-flat first class and business class seats, so I knew I was in for a fun ride. At the time of booking, I had an expiring Systemwide Upgrade in the "bank", so I used it to immediately confirm an upgrade to my favorite seat in Business on the 767, seat 8A, which is rear-facing. There's something about the feeling of a take-off from a rear-facing seat that I enjoy every time I fly on this aircraft.

Once I landed in Denver, I had a few moments to hit the Red Carpet Club, and then I went down to the gate to board the flight to San Francisco. Our 767 (similar to the one pictured above) was ready to fly us to San Francisco, and then resume it's busy schedule the next day.

image from friendlyskies.smugmug.com Boeing 767-300ER Business Class Seating

While we were waiting for the rest of the passengers to board, my seatmate and I started chatting about our respective trips. She, along with two co-workers, were heading down to Australia on an extended business trip, while I was heading to Honolulu for the weekend. This was her first flight in United Business, so we spent about ten minutes going over the various features of the seat and IFE. When she pulled out her iPad, I asked if she was going to be using it in Australia. She said that she would, and planned on using an AT&T data plan! We had a quick chat about the AT&T data plans, and how they were a rip-off, compared to purchasing a Telstra micro-sim card in Australia. For $30AUS, I received a micro-sim for my iPad, and it came with unlimited data for an entire month.. AT&T wanted $250 for a quarter of a gigabyte!

Just as we were about to depart, the gate agent came back on-board to move some people around. While he was doing so, I went up to one of the flight attendants to ask about Channel 9 on today's flight. Unfortunately, I received a terse "no, it's been discontinued" from the flight attendant. While I knew that this was a lie, considering the fact that Jeff Smisek announced Channel 9 would stay on the merged carrier, I kept my mouth shut, and returned to my seat.

Moments later, the door closed, and we rolled towards the runway for the flight to San Francisco. On our take-off, I took a moment to snap some shots of the Colorado sunset. My Nikon DSLR was in the overhead bin, so I had to make due with a Panasonic point-and-shoot I had purchased over the summer. Unfortunately, the sunset photos did not turn out as expected, but you can still get a sense of the color.

image from friendlyskies.smugmug.com

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After the seatbelt sign was turned off, the flight attendants got out of their jumpseats to start the dinner service. Due to cost-cutting measures, United only offers one choice for meals on domestic, business class flights. While I was not too disappointed with the meal choice, I could see somebody flying the same route every week, and receiving the same meal each time.

Hot nuts were brought around, and drink orders were taken. I went with my usual, a Ginger Ale, and enjoyed the piping hot nuts, while waiting for the main course to be delivered. Much to my surprise, it was the same meal that I received on my flight from Chicago-San Francisco, only two weeks prior.

image from friendlyskies.smugmug.com Grilled chicken, cous-cous, and assorted vegetables

For an airline meal, this dish wasn't too bad. I just hope that the merger with Continental brings some new recipes to United! Shortly after my tray was collected, the flight attendants came around with a warm, Oatmeal-Raisin cookie. It tasted alright, but I would have preferred the warm chocolate-chip cookies that United distributed for the last several years.

Twenty minutes later, the seatbelt sign went back on, and we touched down in San Francisco. I was excited for my flight the next morning, but glad to be somewhere that I could catch a couple hours of sleep. After a stressful week at KU, I was looking forward to the comfortable bed at the Hyatt.

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