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United Airlines EWR-AMS & CDG-EWR BusinessFirst (pics)

United Airlines EWR-AMS & CDG-EWR BusinessFirst (pics)

Old Mar 25, 13, 11:07 am
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: EWR
Programs: MileagePlus
Posts: 580
United Airlines EWR-AMS & CDG-EWR BusinessFirst (pics)

Here’s a report of flying United BusinessFirst from Newark to Amsterdam on a 2 class 767-300 and returning from Paris on a 757-200.

I arrived for my 5:40pm departure at around 2:45 to prepare to any lines or waits. I was in luck as that wasn’t the case and I was able to do curbside to lounge in less than 15 minutes. I arrived at the United Club by the 100 gates around 3pm and all ready could not find a seat except for 1 or 2 stools at the bar. It’s clear to see that overcrowding is really becoming an issue as it was only mid afternoon and before the evening rush. By the time I was left for boarding, the lounge had a good amount of people just standing around. In face the lounge seemed more crowded than the gate area.

Boeing 767-300
Seat 1D
Depart – 5:40pm
Arrive – 6:15am

For a wide body, boarding for this flight was pretty fast and uneventful. They took meal orders from front to back and offered any choice of pre-departure drink. Menus were handed just before the door was closed and orders were taken just as taxing started.


Chilled Appetizer

Fresh Seasonal Greens
Tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons with your choice of buttermilk ranch or classic Caesar dressing


Grilled Pork Chop
Green peppercorn sauce, shiitake mushrooms bread pudding, white asparagus and broccolni

Osso Buco-style Breast of Chicken
Chanterelle mushroom ragout, garlic polenta cake and broccolini

San Francisco-style Cioppino
Seared hake and grilled shrimp in tomato-seafood sauce with mixed vegetables

Spinach Cannelloni
Four-cheese sauce and roasted tomatoes with Parmesan cheese


International Cheese Selection
Grapes and crackers with Port

Ice cream with your choice of toppings


Chilled Deli Selection
Swiss cheese, Black Forest ham, Genoa Salami and turkey

For pre-departure beverage I had champagne which was fair at best. The menu said it was Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve. Online said it’s a $35 bottle and would disappointed if I paid for that in stores.
The AVOD was started right before takeoff and noticed right from the start my headphones were not working and only the sound was coming from one side. The FA gave me another pair and it worked decent. While they are not BOSE like AA has, they seemed to block out a good amount of engine noise. I was kicking myself as I left my nice Sony noise cancelling pair at home. The AVOD selection seemed good and varied. I was impressed when I saw it showing 200 movies, but the quickly realized most movies were listed 2 to 4 times with a different audio selection so 200 movies is a little misleading and not accurate.

For my meal choice I went with the pork chop. The sides were tasty but the meat for me was a little rubbery. I even had trouble cutting it with the utensils. If I had to do it again, I would go for the chicken or cioppino. Either way I’m sure better than whatever they served in coach. For beverages, I stayed with Crown Royal and ginger ale (basically 7 & 7) for the dinner service. I wasn’t offered any wine at any point during the service which is opposite of what I’ve been offered during every domestic F service, even if all ready have another drink.

Salmon starter. I actually really enjoyed this and would have gladly accepted seconds.


Pork chop

Fruit and cheese. Again wasn’t offered any port but it was clearly on the cart

Gotta love warm caramel

I thought it was nice that they offered fruit and cheese, then dessert. I thought I heard reports that they were thinking of doing a one or the other choice instead of both separate courses.

I would say the complete dinner service was about 2 hours. Lights were turned off and reclined my seat into a bed where I got about 3 hours of sleep. I noticed they did set up a mini tray between the galley and my seat of the left over fruit, cheese, crackers and port for anyone to snack on.

I was woken by the cabin lights for the pre-arrival service. I know some people may think for a 7 hour flight, one would want a hot breakfast as opposed to a continental breakfast. For me, after a 2 hour 5 course meal, a continental breakfast is just right. They also came around with cinnamon buns after they served everyone (not pictured)

I gotta say, I really do love these seats. I appreciate the simplicity of them with just 4 control buttons. I also would recommend the bulkhead as they do have way more room for your feet width wise.

My neighbors were 2KL. For anyone wondering, 1D does not line up with 1KL on the 763.

I was very impressed with AMS as the terminal was very clean, open and modern. I’m not familiar with it, but the parts that I was in seemed new or very recently renovated. Immigration was also very fast and customs was non-existent

I stayed in Amsterdam for about 4 days, and then took the Thalys high speed train to Paris were I spent about 3 days there.

Boeing 757-200
Seat 1A
Depart – 11:55am
Arrive – 3:35pm

For Newark there were 2 flights today. I could’ve picked the earlier 8am flight to be on 767-400, but the noon departure flight time seemed so much better sleep wise for me. Plus it gave me the chance to try the 757 transatlantic experience.

Check is was very fast as I was the only person in the Premier Access line. The agent also gave me a pass to skip the security line to go to the front and told me about the Star Alliance lounge. I was really looking forward to the Star Alliance lounge and expecting it to better than a United Club but was not impressed. The club had bottles of water, tea, coffee and cereal bowels. It too was also crowded and hardly any open seating. Another feature I found odd was that the Star Alliance business class lounge was downstairs and you had to walk downstairs to get to it which is not convenient if you have much luggage. There was a separate first class lounge upstairs which I’m sure was better. I stayed for about 10 minutes since the lounge was before security and decided to head to the gate for next 30 minutes before boarding.

When I got to the gate, there were 2 other United flights and 1 Qatar flight in our “section”. Terminal 1 at CDG is set up where you check in to a main terminal and then there are satellite gate areas that hold about 5 gates each. The 2 other United flights were 3 class 763’s going to ORD & IAD and departing 15 and 10 minutes before my EWR flight.

Boarding started on time and we would end up leaving about 10 minutes late due to baggage delays. Once onboard the purser introduced herself to me (and every other passenger as they boarded) and let me know to ask for anything I needed. She was very friendly and one of the most professional FA’s I’ve dealt with. Once seated, they did meal choices by status order (everyone seemed to get first choice) and came around with a tray of water, OJ or champagne. The gate agent also came aboard before we left and gave us a final good bye and thanked us for flying. She also gave the purser the list of global service members on board (3 today).


Chilled Appetizer

Fresh Seasonal Greens
Tomato, dried cherries, mini apple and croutons with your choice of creamy tropical fruit dressing or balsamic vinaigrette


Tenderloin of Beet
Red wine sauce, chanterelle mushroom-onion medley, potatoes, broccoli and carrots

Tandoori Breast of Chicken
Coridander-tomato sauce, saffron rice pilaf and curried spinach

Indian-spiced Shrimp
Spiced tomato sauce, basmati rice and julienned vegetables

Pici Pasta
Tomato-basil sauce and vegetable-mushroom medley with Parmesan cheese


Chicken Bouquet

View from my seat during boarding.

AVOD was turned on during boarding and I again had the same headphone issue as my last flight was only 1 side of sound was working. I again got second working pair.

For my meal, I went with the beef. I was much better than the pork chop I had going to AMS. I also really liked the sauce they had for the tenderloin.

Shrimp appetizer. 2 pieces of shrimp on a big empty plate, it easily could have just been presented with the salad.



Fruit and cheese. Again on this flight too, not offered any wine during dinner of port during the fruit and cheese. Is this normal, or a decline in service? I know I could’ve asked, but I’m used to the FA’s coming around after plating and asking passengers if they would like wine to accompany the meal.

Ice Cream

Since I was out late the night before, I managed to get about 90 mins to 2 hours of sleep which is good considering it was a day flight. When I woke up I had to go the bathroom however my seat mate was clearly still enjoying the lie flat seats. I debated if I should wake him or attempt to crawl over his seat. While the seat is very nice, it can be difficult to get out your neighbor is sleeping. I attempted to crawl over and just barely got out of without falling over on top of him.

I noticed they also had a snack basket out for passengers to grab it. It contained some fruit, chocolates and potato chips. Luckily, when I got out of the bathroom my neighbor was up and didn’t have to worry about climbing over him again. They also came out at this time with the warm baked on-board cookies and milk.

The next few hours I watched some episodes of “Mike & Molly” and the Kevin James movie “Here Comes the Boom” all the way until touchdown.

Pre-arrival was listed as a chicken bouquet however it seems like a big pile of dough with a tiny piece of chicken and cheese. It came with fruit, a chocolate and a bowl of a salsa type of mix of veggies.

The flight was listed at over 8 hours but we did it at 7 hours and 30 minutes which is one of the fastest times the purser said she did that route in. The flight was pretty smooth except for our landing as EWR had about 20 mph winds.


We gated in terminal B as opposed to gating typical terminal C which made for a decent line through immigration. All in all, I can’t speak for coach, but for BusinessFirst, I wouldn’t be opposed to flying a 757 again across the ocean. In fact I found the service more personal and faster than on the 767.

Thanks for reading. Any comments or questions appreciated.

Last edited by COEWR2587; Mar 25, 13 at 5:00 pm
COEWR2587 is offline  
Old Mar 25, 13, 11:35 am
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NY
Programs: AA Plat Pro, KrisFlyer Elite Gold
Posts: 569
Nice TR! ^^^

uh oh, the dreaded 'chicken bouquet' attacks again!

on the whole though, the meal service looks like it has improved since PMUA days. No doubt CO's influence...
sriegert is offline  
Old Mar 25, 13, 8:29 pm
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Hilton HHonors Gold
Posts: 2,863
I really wish US carriers stopped serving those dreadfully-ugly salads...
oneworld82 is offline  
Old Mar 25, 13, 10:38 pm
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA/New York, NY/Milan, Italy
Programs: DL DM MM, BIS 2.1MM, EK Gold, SQ Silver, Marriott Gold, HH Gold,
Posts: 4,626
Thanks for the report...food looks ridiculously awful. Sad US carriers.
DLATL777 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 13, 4:43 am
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Valley of the Sun
Programs: AA PLT, Bonvoy PLT +, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,966
OMG you were able to take pictures on the plane and NO ONE stopped you!!! Amazing... What happened to the UA policy?

BTW, great report
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Dec 2, 13, 6:04 pm
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 58
Thanks for this! I know this was a while ago for you, but are the seats comfortable for a 6' gal like myself? I love lay flat seats but sometimes it feels like you're sleeping on a table.

In your opinion, had you asked for anything extra (or anything considered complimentary within the scope of business class) would you have been courteously accommodated? I typically have no problem asking for things when FA's cut corners but don't want to be an annoying passenger...
brandkb is offline  
Old Dec 3, 13, 7:35 pm
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 74
Nice report! Will be flying UA EWR-BRU soon and it's nice too see it won't be too bad after all!
kakes88 is offline  
Old Dec 5, 13, 1:11 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,146
UNITED economy to Europe sucks. It's the worst.
Bretteee is offline  

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