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Old Jan 4, 09, 7:47 pm   #1
 
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NEW UAL F Suite IAD-DEN with pics

My mini trip report about United’s new F Suite is included below with some key observations. I was able to book a return east coast trip by doing a 2 stop segment to go ALB-IAD-DEN-SEA. The IAD-DEN leg was on the 767-300 with new seats. For a point of reference I have not flown UA F since 1984. I’ve been on AA since then along with BA, CX and Qantas.

Summary: I think it’s a great seat with reasonably good service included. It’s certainly not to any international standard of Cathay, BA, Qantas or even Singapore airlines so dollar wise I think internationally you’d be much better suited for another carrier. It was a fun 4 hours though!



SEAT
+ Love the seat very comfy. My preference was met fully when I first sat down the seat bottom is angled in a way to kinda force your to sink in and be cradled somewhat for the takeoff and landing position. I for one like the pressure taken off my tailbone and this does just that holding you by your thighs.
+ Seat controls worked well and were accessible though I wonder why they just don’t put them on the remote control
+ Plenty of legroom to stretch out in any way you want to consider doing so with the seat positions. I did like it that I could cross a leg and not have part of it sticking into the aisle to be hit by a anyone passing by.
+ Colors I thought were perfect matter of fact it reminded me allot of the new CX F seat with it’s brown tones.
+ There are PLENTY of connection ports – USB, IPOD, a converter free plug in for anything your carrying
+/- Goes to the headrest – I still kinda think any airline needs to work on something that gives you better neck support and cradles your head.
+ Pillows – I only had 4 of them for myself – do you think that is enough? Phew!
+ side light – has two settings and are LED lights worked quite well
+ Recline – I’m a fan of Qantas’s old J seat it cradles you so well I can sleep for days and this UA seat does not disappoint with whatever position you choose.
+ Lie Flat – perfect and here is why. I’m 5ft 11” so I felt I had just enough space in fully lie flat however what I liked BEST here even versus the new Cathay J seat was that you the user can release and lower the arm rests which increases the width of the sleeping space. Makes it great for sleeping on your back or side. Matter of fact I liked being on my back with the arm rests up one setting to give my arms support. The arm rests have 3 settings for being lowered. The only BAD part of me is when you lie flat I think the center of the seat kinda raises up near your lower back and I’m no pretzel so I did like having my head slightly higher on an incline but not by much.
+/- Magazine storage was ok nothing to write home about
- tray table. What can I say – the same darn flimsy tray table that CX has now on it’s new J seats. Hate it. Terrible and so untrusting that it will collapse or spill something. It’s flimsy enough that I had to lift my knee to hold the underside as I cut my sandwich. Only saving grace is I do like how they fold in and out for storage.
- there is no under the footrest storage period!
- should strap – I don’t mind wearing it BUT it was a bear to find and get ahold of so I could use it.
- seat position faced toward the aisle which now in hind sight I don’t care for at all. While I had 2A there really is not allot of privacy at all. I could look right over into the eyes of the guy flying in 2C – now had I known him or if it were a traveling companion then it’d make perfect sense. I guess 1K or 2K truly would be more private with no one across from you however the sacrifice I think is you get served last. I’d prefer to have the seats face the windows with your back to the aisle and I might add I got 3 total windows for myself though only 2 were viewable as one is behind you. This seems to be the norm though across the carriers I’ve noted above.







AVOD
In the words of the Wayan brothers from TV sitcom’s “HATED IT!!!” It did NOT work period! Seemed great at first since at least the menu’s popped up but guess what nothing worked. The FA reset the system over 10 times so both F and J had no AVOD. I’m of the opinion that Panasonic suks! CX had Panasonic screens on their J class and I don’t like those either. To me the screens for both F&J on UA seemed the same size though J seemed larger I think because of the outer black bezel.

The FA was very frustrated with the system and could not apologize more and handed everyone an apology certificate – and I see via their website they are offering $50 off a future flight, 10% off a future flight anywhere worldwide OR 2000 air miles. As this plane just came from FRA I’d be pissed if I flew that far with no AVOD working can’t they get this right?



FOOD/SERVICE
+/- Service was what you’d expect for an US Airline domestic F trip nothing stellar and we had 3 selection of entrée’s. First was a beef chimichanga kinda salad (gone as they only had 2 and both people in 1A & C took those – looked good), chicken cibata sandwhich OR salmon salad. All accompanied by asparagus soup (which was excellent) fruit and/or cookie depending on the entrée you got. I took the chicken though it was dry as a bone even with the little dressing they provided. I did not see much difference in what was being served in J class.
+/- No amenity kits were provided and since I’m new to UA this might just be the norm – I don’t recall getting them on AA either for a domestic trip.
+ Cabernet – I’m not hugely into cabernets but if anyone knows for sure where to get this I thought the Canyon Ranch or Canyon Road cabernet was good enough to want to buy some for home.
+/- The FA had a good time with me when we first met – I asked for a mimosa it was 12:25p new years day – to which she knelt down, grabbed my hand and said – we’ve not had champagne on domestic flights now for 6 or 7 years – like I knew - and we both got a chuckle out of it – she said long as I did not order a smoothy kinda drink she was sure she could accommodate my next request – ok run & coke!



MISC
+ Storage space was more than ample. To my immediate left was a silver push button with a pop up door to storage for headset, camera, small book and amenities.
+ More storage with 2 access points could be found to my right side. A side door where you could put in a brief case or computer case allowing for about 15 pounds. It also had a topside access point. BEWARE – flight attendants and yourself will love to use this top access as somewhere to place drinks etc. and if something were to spill guaranteed it would seep down into your storage compartment below.
+ Even more storage to my immediately right was another door when opened had a fish net interior more for amenities or like my Bose headset case.
+ And of course there were the overhead bins though I’m NOT a fan of them on the 767. I have a Tumi T3 and it will not slide in because the door does not open wide enough so I have to muscle it in sideways but I still have 2 total bins to myself which was more than adequate.

Just a word about Business Class – I don’t like it for one simple fact – PRIVACY!!! There is none with all those seats facing backwards and forwards. I don’t want to be looking over at the person facing in the opposite direction for any reason. Sure I can tell it’s quite different then their old J product but if I’m going to relax – stretch out and catch some shut eye then I don’t want to look or be looked at from the passenger across the aisle. The very last row however on the right side faces backward (arrgghhh!) and seemed to have the most privacy.



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Last edited by JHIN; Jan 10, 09 at 2:06 pm.
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Old Jan 4, 09, 8:28 pm   #2
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Hi JHIN, great and very detailed report thank you.
However, any chance of making the photos a bit bigger? I can barely see them. I tried clicking on them with the expectation that they would open up larger in a new window but no such luck.
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Old Jan 4, 09, 8:31 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
Hi JHIN, great and very detailed report thank you.
However, any chance of making the photos a bit bigger? I can barely see them. I tried clicking on them with the expectation that they would open up larger in a new window but no such luck.
Yup I know I'm working on it asking for outside help not sure why this time they are showing up so small as in the past it's worked fine. Stay tuned!
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Old Jan 4, 09, 9:04 pm   #4
 
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Thanks for the report. I dont think any ua or aa give domestic kits, I might have had one from dfw-ord on the 772. Also, bigger pics would be great as someone else posted. Look forward to the updates.
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Old Jan 4, 09, 9:30 pm   #5
 
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Thanks for the detailed report. Enjoyed it. If you have a moment to do it, I would also love to see bigger pics. Thanks again.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 11:17 am   #6
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Thanks for your report. I hope UA quickly works out the kinks in its AVOD system.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 2:07 pm   #7
 
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OK Everyone I finally got the pictures to be larger I had to move them off of shutterfly so now I'm using picasa - enjoy!
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Old Jan 10, 09, 3:45 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
Hi JHIN, great and very detailed report thank you.
However, any chance of making the photos a bit bigger? I can barely see them. I tried clicking on them with the expectation that they would open up larger in a new window but no such luck.
Photos work now big enough for my old eyes
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Old Jan 20, 09, 10:16 am   #9
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I am glad to read it here.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 1:01 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by JHIN View Post
Just a word about Business Class Ė I donít like it for one simple fact Ė PRIVACY!!! There is none with all those seats facing backwards and forwards. I donít want to be looking over at the person facing in the opposite direction for any reason. Sure I can tell itís quite different then their old J product but if Iím going to relax Ė stretch out and catch some shut eye then I donít want to look or be looked at from the passenger across the aisle. The very last row however on the right side faces backward (arrgghhh!) and seemed to have the most privacy.
The funny thing is, when you actually fly C -- as opposed to looking at the cabin -- it feels very private, a lot more than the old C. The seats are low enough/dividers high enough so that you don't see the people "across" from you. YMMV, but really, the the fact that pairs of seats face each other doesn't make things seem less private. Nor, for that matter, have I felt "stared at" by the person across the aisle from me.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 2:20 pm   #11
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The funny thing is, when you actually fly C -- as opposed to looking at the cabin -- it feels very private, a lot more than the old C. The seats are low enough/dividers high enough so that you don't see the people "across" from you. YMMV, but really, the the fact that pairs of seats face each other doesn't make things seem less private. Nor, for that matter, have I felt "stared at" by the person across the aisle from me.
I agree. I felt the new seats were much more private than the last generation seats.
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Old Jan 25, 09, 4:48 am   #12
 
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JHIN, Thanks for the trip report!!!

I enjoyed reading about your flight experence in United First. The pictures were nice and it makes me wanting to go on a flight like this. Someday I'll get to experience the new United First seats. Thanks again. Joe G
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Old Jan 25, 09, 4:46 pm   #13
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I do appreciate the report, usually domestic jaunts aren't all that interesting, but since I have still yet to try the new UA F seat (aircraft roulette and whatnot) but finally anticipate getting it ex-HKG shortly, the pics are nice to see
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Old Jan 26, 09, 7:10 pm   #14
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Not to defend UA's service in general, but, just as a point of clarification, I wouldn't compare the service on the OP's flight with that of an international F flight (as is somewhat suggested in the "Summary" in the OP). I would assume that UA's international F service, while still worse than that of SQ, CX, etc., is generally much better than the domestic F service as experienced by the OP.

Great report, though.
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