Old May 26, 14, 3:48 pm
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Potomac MD
Programs: UA MP 1K
Posts: 7,166
A few positive words about UA's international C

I read a lot about how poorly UA's BF is compared to that of other carriers.

With nothing to compare, I have just wondered. Well, on Sunday 5/25 I got my chance to compare LH with UA. UA wins hands down.

I had the dreaded paper upgrade certificate but since it was Memorial Day weekend, the load on LH 416 was light. I had to take this flight since UA 988 would get me to IAD too late to go to a wedding. I was initially very excited when the upgrade cleared easily. But then...

First, my carry-on couldn’t go on this airbus (though it made it fine on the outbound flight on UA’s 777). Then, as I got on the plane, one disappointment after another marked the flight.

Second, I was anxious to get some sleep. But the LH seat was both shorter than UA’s, had less room overall, and was hard as a rock. You couldn’t adjust it as readily as you could UA’s C seat. And I couldn’t sleep at all on this seat (or bench).

Third, the drinks cart came around. No Courvoisier. Not on their list. I asked for Glenfidditch, which was on the menu. They didn’t have that either. UA far better.

Fourth, dinner was served. I chose the veal medallion with boiled potatoes and asparagus. OK, I don’t like asparagus, but I figured I could just put the spears aside. But the main course (which was served on a tray wrapped in aluminum foil, as in coach) was largely asparagus with a small piece of veal about the size of a single potato. The veal was very tough and tasteless. I was also served a single piece of bread and a salad 1/3 the size of a UA salad in C. Dessert was a decent rice pudding, serving size about the same as the veal (the size of a small potato). No ice cream, much less a sundae. UA meals are far better in C and almost as good in Y as LH's business class.

Fifth, no sleep meant that I wanted some entertainment. The movie options were sparse, about 25 in all. The remote control was difficult to operate. If you selected a movie category and wanted to change it, you had to go all the way back to the home screen. I couldn’t figure out how to pause a film and neither could a FA–though after he stopped my movie 5 times, he accidentally hit a key on the remote that allowed him (and me) to pause the film. UA has a much better selection of movies and TV shows and a remote control easier to use (even the onscreen choice in coach).

Sixth, I wanted to read the magazines I brought on board if I couldn’t sleep. The two lights (overhead and in the seat) barely provided enough light to read on a dark plane. Another advantage to UA.

Seventh, the crew was not as good as a good UA crew. They chatted loudly in the galley and would not keep quiet. UA crews used to talk a lot, but they now have more respect for the passengers. Overall, service was perfunctory on this flight.

Where did LH outscore UA? On coffee.

UA has many problems, but it certainly outscores LH in both the hard product and the soft product in C (except that LH's seat wins hands-down on "hardness").
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