10th October 2015 at 14:00 #586675
Anonymous10th October 2015 at 14:00 #586676
CHECK-IN: I completed online check in 24hrs before and upgraded from Eco Plus to Business for the paltry sum of £400. The option was presented to me clearly and the process was very simple. I was able to scan my passport via the mobile app and download my boarding passes to my iPhone without any problem.
THE LOUNGE: For me, flying from BHX is a breeze. A quick 1hr journey to the airport by road, straight off the motorway into a car park, walk to the terminal, breeze through passport and security and into the lounge normally in under 30 minutes. As this was an early morning flight (9am), security was relatively busy, but fast track was fine. I was in the No1 lounge within 25 minutes of parking the car. The lounge is used by all star alliance airlines but in my opinion is not large enough to cope. It is often busy with few seats available; the same is said of the Aspire lounge. The only airline lounge at BHX is Emirates (which is superb!), but there really needs to be some more specific airline lounges there to cope with the increased passenger numbers. I spent about an hour there before wandering to the gate to start boarding 1hr before the expected departure time.
BOARDING: I knew from experience that United always start boarding this flight 1hr before the departure time so got there for 8am, at which point most passengers were already there. They called people who needed assistance first, followed by United Global First customers, *A Gold and Business First customers, at which point I boarded. I was welcomed on board at the door and at my seat where I was asked what I wanted to drink – I went for a glass of champagne and settled into my seat (2F).
THE SEAT: The 757-200 has seating 2-2 across with the seats angled outwards facing the window. I have always found the seat to be spacious and comfortable both for sitting and sleeping and this aircraft was no exception. Storage is a little lacking; there is a small shelf under the large screen in front of you, with an ottoman nestled in the fottwell between the seat in front and the outer cabin wall, with some space underneath there for small hand luggage. The only other storage is then the small shelf on your shoulder, where the power sockets, menus, wash bags and water is placed.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?: If you go for a window seat and you have a fellow passenger on the aisle then you will need to ask them to move their legs to get out to use the bathroom, so depending on how cooped up you want to feel and how strong your bladder is will depend on whether you choose a window or aisle seat..
THE FLIGHT: We pushed back on time and were airborne within 15 minutes. There was good communication from the flight deck throughout the flight, making sure all passengers were kept informed of our arrival time into Newark and what gate we were due to end up at – always helpful if you have a connecting flight (which I did). The food and drink service was very good with an excellent choice of entrees and the steward did an exceptional job of keeping my champagne glass full for most of the flight. About an hour before landing there was a small snack and further drinks service, before we started our long descent into Newark. We arrived on the gate at Terminal B about 20 minutes early, immigration was relatively swift and I made my follow-on connection from Terminal C without any fuss.
VERDICT: I can't comment on the value for money aspect as I was flying on a ticket paid for by work, however the upgrade option was well worth the money for an 8hr flight.15th October 2015 at 09:56 #586677
Interesting review… I use this service from GLA-EWR a lot and sadly the no direct aisle access on such small aircraft at such huge prices for Biz class (compared to BA and other carriers on UK to NYC) is over-rated and very lacking. Unfortunately, UA has a monopoly at the moment on the direct/non-stop GLA to NYC route. Since their take-over of Continental the service overall has dropped and they NEVER do comp upgrades even to their own Platinum Flyers (I know this from long experience). The airline is mean spirited headed from the top. Glasgow Skylounge Biz Lounge is poor (despite a recent upgrade – crazy spacial planning) and UA never advertise that is is possible to have an arrival shower at local hotel – whereas BA and other airlines either have their own arrivals lounges or inform px of hotels of comp arrangements with hotels. (NB forget the tiny airless Yotel that Delta uses at LHR, its like a coffin – you leave hotter and stickier than when you went in and the receptionists are rude – Ive done it several times and its pathetic). The UA CREW however on the GLA route are 99% super pleasant and efficient and I know that many of them request this route as they like GLA.
ps As for Biz/1st seats on these aircraft – avoid 1A/1B on overnights as galley noise is bad! Avoid Row 4 – one seat on Port side is reserved for crew and has eco toilet noise and smell – the starboard side has galley noise too! I also would accord with the review in saying that you should not take a window seat if you have weak bladder or cannot literally CLIMB over a sleeping px in the aisle seat (good luck! I’m nimble and I found it a trucky the other night due to size of px in aisle flatbed). Alternatively, booking aisle seats may mean you get knocked when the window px climbs over you. It’s just bad layout, yet they make $$$$ on these seats due to monopoly on the routes so UA has no incentive to up size the equipment.
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