Matthewonlive and let's fly

Almost Another $600 Bump on United Airlines from San Francisco to Chicago

Yesterday evening I flew from Burbank to Philadelphia via San Francisco and Chicago and almost got another $600 bump at SFO. I got to the gate in San Francisco and peered up at United’s EasyInfo screen in the gate area. First, I saw that First Class had checked in full with 46 people on the waitlist. Next, I saw that six seats remained on the flight, six people were confirmed awaiting seats, and 55 people were still on the waitlist.

This often means a bump is available and I immediately asked one of the gate agents if any volunteers were needed. She said that a list was going and that she would add my name to it. Rather than going to Red Carpet Club or Singapore’s Silver Kris lounge, I hung out for about 20 minutes at the gate as boarding began to see if I would need to give up my seat.

Sadly, my seat was not needed and I was one of the last to board. Because every seat would be taken and bin space on UA’s 767s is scarce, I thought I would have to gate check one of my two large carry-on bags, but the FA’s worked diligently to find me space in the closets.

I was seated in First Class and had a quick bite to eat (I like ordering Hindu meals on red eye flights) before falling asleep. Below is a meal I received on a LAX-JFK flight earlier this year identical to what I received last night.

A good flight overall. A lot of Stanford football people on the flight...

I had a quick connection in Chicago and after a stop at the Red Carpet Club I boarded my “Business1” flight to Philadelphia. Although United seems to have dropped the “Business1” advertising (flights from ORD to MSP, PHL, LGA, EWR, BOS, DCA, and BWI that were “guaranteed” to arrive on time or else you would receive 500 miles), these flights still depart in the same area of the B gates near the security checkpoint.

About 20 people were on the upgrade waitlist, but there were many open seats in the back. There was a last minute aircraft sub from an A319 to a A320 (with new leather seats), so four lucky flyers got an unexpected upgrade.

Sadly, the FA’s onboard—prominently sporting their AFA pins—left something to be desired. A suitcase was slightly protruding from the overhead bin in row two and one of the FA’s was unable to shut the door. Rather than quietly asking the passengers in F around the bin if it was their bag that was sticking out, she loudly stated, “Who owns this bag? Whoever it is better move it because I am not going to throw my back trying to.”

A passenger from Economy, boarding the flight, heard the FA and took it upon himself to turn the bag sideways, then close the bin door. Now was that so hard?

Breakfast was a fruit plate and muffin and we landed in PHL early.

I actually liked connecting in ORD on this trip, even though it made the redeye one hour shorter, and am going to try it again in a couple weeks.

BTW, my trip report won’t start until at least Thursday because I left my digital camera cable in California and don’t want to post the trip report until I can include photos with it.

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