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Around The World In First On a380ís (Singapore & Emirates) And A Side Of United

Around The World In First On a380ís (Singapore & Emirates) And A Side Of United

Old Mar 14, 15, 6:32 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: United 1kMM; AA EX Plat, Hilton Diamond and SPG Plat
Posts: 1,911
Around The World In First On a380ís (Singapore & Emirates) And A Side Of United


Booking An Award Redemption On Singapore Airlines

How to book award travel on Emirates

BOS-SFO- United First Class Boeing 757

SFO-ICN United 747 United Global First

Seoul-Tokyo Narita –Asiana Business Class Airbus 320

Hilton Narita

Tokyo Narita- Shanghai PVG – ANA 787 Dreamliner Business

Shanghai PVG-Singapore - Singapore Airlines a380 Suites Class

Shearton Towers Singapore

Hot Towels and Champagne Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 SIN-NRT

Hanging Out With Jay-Z; Singapore Airlines Suites A380 NRT-LAX

Get Your Sunglasses, There’s Gold Ahead-Emirates First Class A380 SFO-DXB

It’s A Lounge It’s A Terminal It’s A Lounge- Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Terminal 3

Mission Accomplished: First Class RTW on A380’s- Emirates Dubai to Seoul, My Final Flight

Sheraton Inchon

Seoul – Dubai -United Global First

Around the world and then some

In June of last year thanks to The Fight Deal and Flyertalk I was notified of an amazing First Class mistake fare to Korea. United Airlines had published a fare from Boston to Seoul through the end of schedule and had pretty liberal routing rules as long as you flew over the Pacific on United. This fare was not cheap at $1700 per person, but it was an A class fare. This meant that you could cancel at any time for no reason and get a 100% refund plus earn a ton of status and redeemable miles due to the fare class bonuses, and it was in First Class!! There are times of year where a coach ticket is more on this route then what I paid for First Class.

Of course my mantra is book or hold and then take 24 hours to decide if the trip is worth it or not. Even though it was 100% refundable spending 5K for three of us to fly to Korea was a little above my spending threshold, I knew if I was to go the whole family would come too. On these mistake fares you just have pull the trigger and then cancel in 24 hours to get a full refund (disclosure US based airlines are required to let you cancel but if you book though a third party beware of their cancelation rules, they might be different). In any event I found dates that worked, basically we were full up for vacation in 2014 so I just found a pair of dates in March that worked. I consulted the boss on any dates that may not work for her and away I went to book. I chose to book for two weeks, so as to actually maximize or time away from home and then went about deciding if we wanted to go anywhere else besides Korea in that time period.

For the next 5 months I toyed with where else to go. We love the Maldives, South East Asia as well as Australia. And they are all relatively close to Korea. But what it really came down to for my wife was two things, having to fly from SFO to get to Boston to start the trip and immediately come back to SFO to get to Seoul. If it was the two of us this was not a problem, but with an almost 4 year old, not a fun prospect even though she’s a great flier, you know what I mean if you’re a parent. I tried to convince her that we could hang in Boston for a few days first and then come back, but that didn’t do it. I even held my breath for 5 minutes, threatening to pass out if she didn’t just say yes. Seriously I’m kidding here, I’m not a free diver. Between going East to fly back West and the more importantly the fact her job changed at work, which meant she no longer really had the flexibility of leaving in March for two weeks. Damn.

Thankfully my wife humored me and said I could still go and take advantage of the trip. I was no longer going to go for two weeks, since I’d rather save my vacation for family time, but now I had the opportunity to find a way to get to/from Seoul to keep the ticket and still get home between departure/arrival from Seoul. In other words, I needed to find my way from Seoul back to SFO and then back to Seoul so I could come home. Crazy huh. This was going to be my trip to nowhere and I was now trying to figure out how I could get home in style and spend as little cash as possible. The hunt was on!!

Cancelling their tickets was easy, I didn’t even have to call the airlines. All I had to do was split our tickets, put my wife and daughter on one and me on the other. All of this could be done on their website, and then cancel their ticket. The refund processed in less than five days too. United really surprised me on this.

Stay tuned for posts on how I decided on my routings and how I booked the tickets as well as reviews on the airlines flown.

Last edited by rkaradi; May 9, 15 at 11:09 pm
rkaradi is offline  
Old Mar 14, 15, 10:31 pm
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Location: 6km East of EPAYE
Programs: UA Silver, AA Platinum, AS & DL GM Marriott TE, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,576
SQ Vs. EK face-off. Bling Vs. subtle perfection....this is going to be a good one. Can't wait. ^
Madone59 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 15, 2:30 am
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Location: SFO
Programs: United 1kMM; AA EX Plat, Hilton Diamond and SPG Plat
Posts: 1,911
United BOS-SFO First Class

United BOS-DFO First Class

My very long journey to nowhere started out very early at Boston Logan Airport. I had a 6 AM flight, and was at the airport close to 4 AM. Surprisingly security was already open at that ridiculous hour and so was PreCheck, that was a huge bonus for me. I really hate having to disrobe and unpack to get through “normal” security I was out in a flash and ready to take on the airport. I’ve been here before but it’s been a long time, and I frankly can’t remember what terminal United was in but they are now in Terminal B. It’s entirely possible that they were in B before but since this section was recently remodeled and the United Club was moved to the second floor I’m guessing it’s a new space for them.

Today's departures from Terminal B

Legal Seafod

Who knew

One of the many public seating spaces

I was really impressed by the terminal. It was clean, spacious, had lots of windows, and incredibly great design. The chairs, lighting and common space was really just very soothing, and the colors scheme was also quite relaxing too. Beyond that United has employed automatic gate readers, so when it’s your turn to board you self-scan your boarding pass the door opens and you walk through. Now I don’t think this saves any time, but I imagine it will and does cut down on how many staff are needed to get a plane out. Although in my case there were four people assisting boarding this flight. Additionally, they had tons of power outlets, charging stations and power at the seats plus United has employed a ridiculous amount of kiosks to help you with your travel needs. Overall a really nice move for UA at Logan from where they used to be.

New UA gate readers

Here we go

Gate agents move over, gate reader 1000 reporting for service

Before I boarded the flight I had a chance to check out the United Club and it too had that new car smell. Again a very spacious, modern feel and design. With lots and lots of seating and windows overlooking the gates. I really was impressed with the look and feel of the space. Over the past 2 Ĺ years I’ve not spent much time in United Clubs, but if this is the direction they are going in I’m impressed. I was used to the old ones at SFO, DEN and LAX, which are all in need of a redo. As you can see from the pictures at 4:30 AM this place was pretty empty but 30 minutes later it was buzzing, but thankfully still lots of seats. Back in December my wife and I were at the LAX club at 10 AM and literally there were just people wandering aimlessly looking for seats, it was awful. This place seems so large I wonder if they have the same issue.

Entrance to the United Club

I love these light fixtures, can I get some for my house?
More seating then you can shake a stick at

Coffee and juice

Fruit, breads and yogurt

Seating galore

After a quick 45 minutes in the lounge I went down to the gate to get ready to board. People had already cued up and they were just about to start boarding. I had my chance to use the self-boarding lanes and off I went to find my seat. Today I was flying and ex-Continental 757-300 which offers 24 seats in First Class in a 2x2 configuration. This was an old plane or so it felt. It had the barcalounger type seats which are pretty wide and had a fair amount of legroom. Not great, but it’s not like I’m flying in a lie-flat seat. Although the seats and plane are old, I do feel the seats have plenty of cushion unlike so many slim line seats the airlines are offering in newer and refurbished planes. As for entertainment they had Wi-Fi and you could stream to your own mobile device, there were no overhead monitors or even radio stations (do airlines even do that anymore). Unfortunately for our 6+ hour flight the Wi-Fi was not working, so much for new technology. They reset the system three or four times, but to no avail. This made for a really long trip. Sure I have my computer, but I don’t load movies on it and rely on Wi-Fi to get my entertainment or the airplane having even crappy TV’s. Oh well, more sleep I guess.

My one and only picture on the airplane. Gotta love the barcalounger

As for food and drink, Manny our flight attendant, was amazing. He hustled the whole flight and did a great job making sure I was well watered. I didn’t take any snaps of the breakfast, but it was actually edible too. He took the time to serve in 2 courses too. The first was a fruit plate with strawberries, pineapple, melon and grapes as well as biscuit or cinnamon roll and a side of vanilla Greek yoghurt. Course two was a crisp waffle with berry compote. Overall I liked the food and enjoyed the presentation and all. Sure it’s an airplane but to be fed and enjoy it’s always a plus.

There’s really not much I can say that was remarkable about this flight, besides it departed on time and was only 15 minutes late arriving. The food was good and the one flight attendant I interacted with was really nice. In this case United may not be offering the latest and greatest seats or a modern plane in this case, but it was perfectly pleasant. My only knock is how can you have a fight of 6+ hours w/out working Wi-Fi, in seat power or some form of entertainment, this is 2015 for crying out loud.
rkaradi is offline  
Old Mar 15, 15, 8:09 am
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Posts: 439
Looks epic. Definitely looking forward to the rest!
Digital01 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 15, 12:08 pm
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: DL Diamond; Marriott Titanium
Posts: 211
Looking forward to the report. Have to agree on a flight without WiFi, power or entertainment for 6+ hours is crazy in today's tech world.
HLT1904 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 15, 4:39 pm
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: BOS
Programs: UA 1K, AA GLD
Posts: 231
Looking forward to the rest of the report, I booked this same mistake fare and flew in October; it's not that much more in coach, you get to fly F (even though UA kind of sucks), and the ~50k RDM is like a $500 rebate assuming a very conservative valuation at 1 cent per mile.

CO was in terminal A (sharing with DL), and UA was based in terminal C (primarily sharing with B6); they combined and moved to a renovated portion of terminal B almost a year ago. Up until then, if you were flying UA you had to distinguish between flying to a PMCO hub vs PMUA hub. It's somewhat ironic that UA is now located exactly between the legacy AA and US gates in terminal B.

the good thing about BOS is that since there are smaller and multiple terminal specific security lines (versus just one big security checkpoint), it's pretty easy to get thru security.
psychoandy is offline  
Old Mar 15, 15, 5:26 pm
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 7
What a spectacular trip and array of products to sample. Looking forward to following along. Great blog too.
Onlywaytofly is offline  
Old Mar 18, 15, 5:39 pm
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United Airlines Global First SFO-Seoul

Trip Report:United Airlines Global First SFO-Seoul


This was my first official trip on United in international First Class. Iíve flown them dozens of times in Business and had one partial trip from London to SFO back in the early 2000ís when my seat was inoperable and they moved me to First, some upgrade. I was really excited to try out the ďnewĒ first class, well itís not really that new say seven years old or so, but hey First Class is First Class. Besides that, on my return home from Seoul Iím flying Singapore in Suites Class on the a380 and I needed something to compare that too. I mean itís possible that United might be actually better right? Blasphemy. No never, but who knows. Anyhow on with the show.

I had a 1:15 hour connection at SFO and with boarding starting 55 minutes prior to departure, I figured I had a run ahead of me from the 60ís gates to 100 in the International Terminal. Low and behold my departure was delayed and we had no idea how long, so that gave me a chance to visit my favorite lounge, The American Express Centurion Lounge. I was only there long enough to get a drink and take a shower. Since there was no posted departure time I hightailed it to the United Global First Lounge since it was next to my gate and they would announce when boarding was starting. I was really not in the mood to run once boarding commenced. BTW Iím not a lounge whore but I do love them, and even though the AMEX one is far superior to any United Lounge Iíve ever been too I donít get many chances to visit the First Class Lounge, so I had to go.

Signage at check in desk

If you squint real hard you might see chairs and people sitting in them

The food spread

Since the lounge is limited to International First Class, Global Services guests and PS Transcontinental First Class you donít usually see many people here. Today was not much of an exception it only had about 12-15 people here. There were plenty of seats and not that bad of a food spread either. Since I knew I was going to eat on the plane, I did what any red blooded American would do and had a beer at 10:45 AM. The food was not spectacular but there was plenty of options and actually looked edible.

Finally it was time to get on this beautiful bird. Iím racking my brain to figure out the last time I was on a Boeing 747-400. Iím guessing 2012 or 13. I just love the Queen of the sky. They are beautiful and majestic and getting a chance to sit in the 1A at the nose cone was just going to be cool. This airframe is what many people think of when they think of the jet age or was the first plane they ever flew on internationally. Itís sad to see it slowly fade into the sunset as more fuel efficient planes hit the market.

The Grand 747-400, they are slowing fading into the sunset sadly

The seat and space is actually quite nice. Itís not private like Suites on Singapore or Asiana, they are open on one side but you still have plenty of space and some privacy if you take a window seat. The cabin has 12 seats four on each side of the plane and then two rows of 2x2 in the middle. If youíre traveling with someone and you actually want to talk to them the middle seats are youíre only choice. The seats are a true lie-flat and provide enough storage for a small bag below the foot rest. Additionally, they have three storage lockers that you could put a sweater or the amenity kits in and the other could easily store the pillows, duvet and sleeping cushion. There wasnít a great place to store my laptop, but thatís ok, they had a shelf. There was also a standard power outlet, USB and a data jack (who would ever use that). As for overhead storage itís only on the window sides of the plane, thereís no storage above the middle seats. Oh and no storage above seats in row 1. I didnít realize that, so I had to stuff my standard roll aboard above row 2 and that caused a chain reaction. UUGH. That being said, the storage didnít have that wide of an opening, so Iím sure if someone filmed me trying to stuff my suitcase in, it would become an incredible meme all over the internet.

Additionally I received two amenity kits, with Philosophy branded products. The fabric one is the standard kit, and comes with socks, eye shades, philosophy branded amenities, toothbrush etc. Plus the way itís constructed, you can easily hang it from a hook in the bathroom. The second one is the business class metal tin amenity kit, that they must have reived after the popularity of them last year. It had most of the same items and is just a cool little box that can have a life after travel. My daughter loves them to store her pencils and crayons in, or little dolls and their accessories.

My goodie kit

The contents. Notice the hook making it easier to hang when in the facilities

I had a choice of HND, ORD or this, did I pick right?

Service was really good, I wonít say excellent, but probably some of the best Iíve had on United. There were two crew working the cabin and the purser Sandra was friendly and welcomed and thanked everyone in the cabin personally prior to take off and landing. The other lady serving First, I didnít get her name was just as friendly and was through the cabin every 30-45 minutes refilling drinks and checking in on you. It was really great. I have to give this crew props for the excellent service.

Prior to take off we were served our choice of beverage, and I had a glass of champagne. Too bad itís served in plastic, but hey what am I a connoisseur? Also, at that time I was also asked what my choice of entrťe was. Shortly after takeoff we were served drinks again with a side of warm nuts. Which were refilled without even asking. Yum. The maybe 30-45 minutes later dinner service commenced.


There was not a lot of pomp and circumstance, as you get on Lufthansa, Asiana or Singapore, but they set your table with cutlery, salt and pepper plus a warm roll of choice. I never pass up pretzel rolls. As youíll see form the pictures itís a plain service, nothing wrong with this. But if you compare just the simple things like cutlery (basic metal) to others that have it specially designed for their company. Or plastic salt and pepper shakers, Lufthansa for example has mini personal grinders, and Asianaís are porcelain. So for me itís just the little touches that are missed. That being said, they do serve each course separately, not on one tray all at once, which is great. It makes it feel less rushed, and you have a chance to enjoy each course, like at a restaurant.

Click to enlarge

Please click menu images to enlarge

One of many drinks on this sector, but definitely not as many as on my SQ flight from PVG-ICN

I started with Shrimp Tempura and corn salad. Again perfectly fine, but skimpy.

One single shrimp, youíd think theyíd at least serve two. Again though it was tasty, and still warm and crispy. How is that done at 35,000 feet?

Secondly I had the cream of mushroom soup with leeks. It was hot and delicious. It was just missing a

crunchy element like croutons. Iím starting to sound like a judge from the Food Network

We were then served a crisp salad, which did have the croutons, too bad I had

this before the soup, I could have stolen some. It was served with a very passable chunky blue cheese dressing and fresh cracked pepper.

For my entrťe I had Turbo with Lobster sauce and vegetables. The fish was well prepared and the

sauce was a perfect accompaniment. Iím not sure how they kept the fish from being dry,

but it was good and hit the spot. I think the buttery/creamy sauce really made the meal.

Finally I had an ice cream sundae for desert. It came with fudge, strawberry and or butterscotch sauce,

whipped cream, walnuts and a cherry. I only passed on the strawberry and cherry.

A perfect end to any meal if you ask me. Yes many other airlines have way more imaginative deserts,

but something about an ice cream sundae while flying is just cool. Itís the kind of desert youíd never think of having on an airplane.

Overall the food was fine, on a scale of 1-10, Iíd Iíve it a 6 or 7, which frankly for a US carrier is not bad. They have a long way to go to match the links of Middle Eastern or Asian carriers, but for a meal in the sky it was good. As I said earlier itís the little touches that are missing. Like premium spirits and wines to proper cutlery and fine china. Thereís no chance of getting Johnny Walker Blue, Hennessey Parades or Dom Perignon here. Yes these are all things Iíve been lucky enough to try on other airlines, crazy huh. In fact the drink menu didnít list any of the wines, you had to ask. To me that speaks of being able to change at a momentís notice based on whatís cheap at the moment. I know I know youíre thinking this is an airplane, what do you expect. Well a lot, because people are paying a pretty penny to sit in a premium cabin and when the other guy offers a better product sometimes for 30% less youíd think United would try and step it up. Thatís all.


From an entertainment standpoint, UA offers AVOD in First (audio video on demand) so you can pick and choose what to watch and when. The screen is not huge say 18-20Ē and itís not touch screen, like on some of their newer planes or even in business class on the same plane for that matter. But you do get to pick form 30-40 movies and about the same amount of TV shows too. Thereís plenty to watch, and so itís hard to get bored. That is if you havenít had 4 transcontinental flights in the past 2 weeks where you also had AVOD. Most airlines offer the same stuff so at some point you run out of things to watch. First World Problems I guess. Beyond that the plane had Wi-Fi, but just like the last United flight it was not working. I guess Iíve just had bad luck lately. Iím not sure Iíd pay for it, but I didnít even have a chance to see what they charged, so oh well.

Nose cone baby

Power, seat position and data jack. Yeah I needed the last one

Hiding my kits in on of the 3 storage bins, and no I didn't leave them there.

Bedding could be stored here

The seat does lie-flat and fits my 5í11 frame pretty well. The arm rests in slide down so you get a bit more room from the wait up. The seat could be a bit wider, but it was fine. Thereís something to be said about having a chance to sleep comfortably and have the room to do so. Thereís great comfort in knowing you can get to your destination and be well rested if you want to be. As I said earlier itís not super private but private enough. Add in the two pillows, duvet and sleeping cushion and youíre all set. Not that bad for a bed.

If I were paying the same price for this trip and I had a choice between almost any other Asian carrier (Asiana, JAL, ANA, Singapore, Korean or Cathay) or United Iíd pick any of these guys. Iíve not flown them all in First but their reputations proceed themselves. But at $1700 roundtrip for this flight, it was a steal and Iíll fly United any day of the week in International First for that price. Iíd fly anyone almost for that price in First. Iíve paid almost that much for tickets in coach to Europe during the summer so $1700 is a bargain.

That being said service, food and comfort were good. Better than I expected, especially after dumping United faster than Taylor Swift changes boyfriends. I had low expectations, and was surprised. The space was good, and privacy in row 1 was excellent. Nobody was ever milling around or walking past you to get to/from the bathroom or serve other guests. That itself was great. I wonder if I was in row 4 if Iíd feel the same about the privacy. Letís hope the return in two weeks is just as good if not better.
rkaradi is offline  
Old Mar 18, 15, 6:57 pm
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP (AC), DL/UA G (SC/UC), Marriott LTP, Hyatt Exp, Uber Diamond
Posts: 1,789
I have to agree that UA did a nice job with the Terminal B move at BOS. Visually clean, appealing, comfortable and with plenty of shops, seating and power outlets. The old spot in Terminal C was just awful. Even when flying on US's shuttle flight, if I have time to kill before boarding I find myself walking over to the United area rather than waiting at the crAApy US gates. Thanks for sharing your experience! Looking forward to the return.
CHOPCHOP767 is offline  
Old Mar 20, 15, 12:55 pm
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Location: SFO
Programs: United 1kMM; AA EX Plat, Hilton Diamond and SPG Plat
Posts: 1,911


Trip Report: Asiana Shorthaul Business Class Seoul-Tokyo

Boarding time
After a nice flight from SFO and a three hour visit to the Asiana First Class Lounge in Seoul. It was time for my final flight of the day to Tokyoís Narita Airport on Asiana Airlines. Initially I was denied access to the Asiana Lounge, when I showed them my United boarding pass, but once I showed them I was in First and connecting to Asiana in Business the agent let me in. Iím not sure if I actually have access but I gladly accepted it. Iím not going to review my visit here, but you can read it about my December visit here.

Asiana a321

So I headed to the gate about 20 minutes prior to boarding. The walk was about 10 minutes and I wanted to make sure I had a chance to take pictures of the check in area and the plane. I was able to do that, but because it was so far away, I didnít get any good close ups of the plane. I did get a close up of the Coach Class line though. It seemed like it went on forever. What was funny about the line was it initially was in front of the premium line, and I was shocked at how many people were in it, hey they made them move to the right spot, and it was a mad dash to get first in line. Pretty funny moment.

When it was time to board, the line for premium travelers was small so we quickly got on board and I settled into my isle seat in row two. On this trip I was flying on an airbus a320 with three rows of 2x2 seating. It was not any more comfortable than any normal first class seat on a US airline if youíre sitting up front. Legroom was minimal but I didnít expect that much on a 2 hour flight.

Economy Class line up. Thank you Business Class ticket

Regional Business Class seat. Not much to write home about

Shortly after getting settled they offered a pre-departure beverage of water or orange juice. We also were provided slippers and a local Korean paper. I donít know what to say, except that I love slippers on planes, although I donít know of any airline accept Asian ones that offer them even in coach. Itís just a nice little touch and allows you to stretch your toes w/out having to walk around in your socks. There werenít any other amenities offered, but on this short of a flight what else do you need?

Legroom, and Slippers. I don't know what it is about them, but as soon as I get to Asia, I must wear them all the time.
We were offered a meal as well, I was unable to take a picture of the menu offerrings. The Asian choice was Bulgogi a Korean dish that consists of grilled marinated beef. In this case it came with a side of extremely fresh green lettuces and other leafy greens plus a side dip of ssamjang and white rice. This was my first time eating Bulgogi and it was delicious. The beef was tender and incredibly flavorful. Plus wrapping it in greens and sauce, just made it taste even better. The greens were of all varieties, and I didnít recognize half of them. It was a really great meal, and I can only imagine how good it would be at a normal restaurant. I didnít leave a morsel on the tray.

A pretty good meal on a 2 hour flight.
Thereís not much else to say about the flight. They offered overhead entertainment, but I didnít see any headphones passed out. There were jack in each seat, but the program was in Koran w/out subtitles so I didnít bother checking it out. The staff were friendly as usual. Upon boarding and departure, the purser came by knelt down and welcomed and thanked each person individually for traveling on Asiana. It was a nice touch and I appreciate it. The seat was just like any United or American flight in First Class on a domestic US trip.
rkaradi is offline  
Old Mar 20, 15, 11:44 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: United 1kMM; AA EX Plat, Hilton Diamond and SPG Plat
Posts: 1,911
Review hilton narita



Lobby water fountain
After a very very long day of traveling from Boston to Tokyo, via SFO and Seoul I finally arrived at Narita Airport. After a quick walk through customs and a jaunt through the arrivals hall I was finally outside. This was my first breath of non-airport air in over 1 Ĺ days. Ouch. I had booked one night at the Narita Hilton for two reasons it was close to the airport and was really cheap for some reason on the night I was there. I landed at 9:30 PM and had a 9:20 AM flight the next day and I wanted to be sort of close to the airport. Initially I was more interested in staying in a downtown hotel or one at Tokyo Bay, but after researching the many options to get to these properties, the time it would take and the cost I thought it best to stay closer to the airport. In fact a lot of the bus services seemed to end service for the night between 9-10 PM and the last thing I wanted to have to do was take a cab. I would gladly take a train but with most of the hotels I wanted to say at taking over an hour to get to via train, I was just not interested.

The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to/from the airport and it runs on the 20 minute mark and has hours from the hotel starting at 4 AM and running till 10:40 PM. So I knew I would be ok, and worst case scenario a cab would be expensive but it would not be that far from the hotel. Like clockwork the shuttle arrived on time and I was whisked away. Hereís a link to the shuttle info if you needed it. The flight arrived in Terminal 1 and we made a quick stop at Terminal 2 and then not the hotel, overall about a 20 minute drive.

Hotel restaurant

Upon arriving at the hotel there was a small line for check in maybe 5 people, but they had 4 staff working so it went fast. As a Diamond I was upgraded to a Double Deluxe Room, received free in room Wi-Fi (they charge for this) but itís free in the lobby, and complimentary breakfast which runs from 6:30-10 AM daily. Iím not sure what a Double Deluxe was, but for Japan standards it was a bit bigger then normal. Most hotel rooms are miniscule here and this was maybe the size of a standard room at a Hampton or Hilton Garden Inn. Iíd be afraid to find out what a standard room looks like. But hey I paid $87 all in so I really couldnít complain. It was the best rate I found at any Hilton or Starwood Property buy $100 easy.

The room itself was basic but had some nice touches. Between the double bed was a console that controlled the various lighting (four different sections), the fan speed, it had a radio and also the telephone. Besides that the room had a dehumidifier, hot water pot with tea set, Japanese robes (too small for my tiny frame), a TV, standard linen robes, slippers and a few bottles of water with some sweet wafer cookies complimentary. The bathroom was tiny even for New York standards, but did had a tub/shower combo and an Asian bidet style toilet. These are my favorite by far.

For a one nightís stay this place was perfect. It was convenient to the airport and had really excellent transportation to it, plus at this reasonable price I was very very happy. The bed was comfortable, but would be impossible to share with someone unless you maybe slept head to toe, but since it had a second bed ad I was traveling alone, it really didnít matter. For me being on a short layover location in so much as close to the airport was what mattered. If youíre looking for stuff to do, it seemed like it was far away from Narita Town, and at least an hour from downtown Tokyo. Iím not 100% sure, but even getting a meal outside the hotel would be hard because there was nothing around it either.

As for the facilities, they seemed clean and well maintained. This was a large hotel and they have 2 restaurants, one open for breakfast and the buffet looked nice. Although in the AM I skipped it. I was just not hungry at 6:30 when I made it down for breakfast. Besides that at 6:30 there was a lineup of about 20 people ready to get in, and I was in no mood to wait.

My deluxe twin room

View from beds to room door and bathroom

Tea setup

TV work desk, and dehumidifier

My tiny bathroom

The best part of the bathroom

Japanese robes

As an airport hotel this was perfect. I got Diamond recognition and amenities, the room and hotel were clean and it was close to the airport. Yes there are closer hotels, but this was close enough. Would I stay here for 2-3 days? No. Iíd stay in Tokyo proper at the Conrad or Westin, not out here too far from the city. But overall a nice hotel and one Iíll keep on file for my next Japan trip when I need to stay by the airport.
rkaradi is offline  
Old Mar 21, 15, 7:31 am
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold & GGL & CCR, HH Diam, IHG Spire, former black Cineworld Unlimited, Tastecard
Posts: 7,409
enjoying the report so far - looking forwad to the rest!
chris1979 is offline  
Old Mar 21, 15, 7:04 pm
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,558
Thanks for the great report and pics!

The food in United "international F" is hillarious!

Let's see.........

1. Canned corn plus some slivers of red pepper = a first class starter
2. Mushroom soup plus leeks = very bad idea. Sounds awful.
3. Would you like some salad with your dressing? That looks like about
5 tablespoons of dressing, or about 60 percent of the daily fat allowance?
4. We'll skip the main
5. The fabulously expensive "sundae". Maybe $1.50? And you'd have to pay
extra for the unthawed, hard, frosted ice cream scoop underneath.
It took a chef to come up with that dessert. How original, after 12 years.

Hope you enjoyed your real first class experience with the other airlines!
Flyingfox is offline  
Old Mar 21, 15, 7:19 pm
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,144

Don't complain. I have to fly in economy.

Flights to Europe:

Half the tray is lettuce.

One main dish; from the USA very mediocre. From Europe better though.

Except lunch is served as early as 10 AM.

Signature desert in economy: a chocolate brownie that tastes like Domino sugar.
Bretteee is offline  
Old Mar 22, 15, 9:46 pm
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 7
Great report. What an epic journey.

Originally Posted by Flyingfox View Post
Thanks for the great report and pics!

The food in United "international F" is hillarious!
It makes you wonder why United even bothers with first. That's borderline acceptable food for business class. I'm sure they have a business case but to the casual observer it's a bit of a mystery. I'm certain the upcoming legs on Singapore and Emirates will only serve to reinforce this. Of course the mistake fare and all the value of taking that trip make it very lucrative. I wish I had gotten in!!
Onlywaytofly is offline  

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