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Weekend in Denver via Covid-era United First Class

Weekend in Denver via Covid-era United First Class

Old Jul 25, 20, 9:18 am
  #1  
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Weekend in Denver via Covid-era United First Class

Mrs. SFO777 and I have had enough of the Covid virus lock-down nonsense and decided to visit SFO777Jr. and family in Denver this weekend. It’s been nearly six months since my last flight and I’m really looking forward to flying again even on United. On the short drive to John Wayne up the always pleasant rarely crowded 73 Tollway. Oddly, the morning clouds had not burned off by noon today.









We parked in the A Terminal garage where they were plenty of empty spaces. Inside the terminal, eeriily empty and very quiet.





There goes that brilliant idea. LOL.



OK, so that's where everyone is.



Happy to have PreCheck.













John Wayne SNA to Denver DEN
United UA 554
A319
1:40pm-4:59p
July 23, 2020
Seats 2EF

Gate area was very relaxed with plenty of room for social distancing. Gate agent reminded everyone that masks must be worn to board and in flight, and that we would be boarding from the rear. Load factor today was just under 40% although all but two of the 12 First Class seats were occupied. Boarding began promptly at T-30 with GS, 1K, active military and those needing extra time. And then the rest of plane, rear to front. With so few people there was plenty of spacing and we decided to board after the row 10 and higher announcement just to make sure there was no problem with overhead space. Two flight attendants greeted everyone boarding and handed out packs of sanitary wipes. My initial impression was wow, this plane is spotless. Looked and smelled like cleaning crews had indeed cleaned the cabin including seats. Even the floor was spotless.





Our isopropyl alcohol wipes.





The new United livery.



And we're off with the always fun steep climb out of John Wayne. With the sun finally out.





From reports I'd read, I really had no expectations about service of any kind, but I was really pleasantly suprised and amazed. It helps to have a great FA and our Purser Ryan was wonderful. Open bar service albeit with plastic cups which is perfectly fine these days.



And then the surprising Snack Box...



... which was much better than what UA served on this route pre-Covid.











Time to check out United Wifi. LOL. Not at those prices.



We landed early but for some reason parked in the A gates which mean it took forever for the jet bridge GA to come over from B and connect us. Deplaning was orderly front to back, with everyone asked to stayed seating until our row was called.













We lucked out as our Avis bus pulled up as we arrived at the RAC island.







Yeah, not much action at Avis today with a rather empty Preferred list.



As Avis Presidents Club member, the cool Avis app let me select my upgrade. If you don't like the selection, just keep refreshing it. Et voila, nice big Chevy Tahoe for our drive to the mountains. Although it did take me a while to find the Y aisle.



We got to the kids' house and just after 6pm and relaxed before walking up the street to Tables, a very nice local restaurant.












Last edited by SFO777; Jul 27, 20 at 1:03 pm
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Old Jul 25, 20, 9:32 am
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Maybe I missed it but was there a PDB?

Nice report thank you.

ETA: I must be living on another planet but I wasn't aware UA had a new livery per that shot you took at SNA. Nice!
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Old Jul 25, 20, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Maybe I missed it but was there a PDB?
Nice report thank you.
No PDB. Thanks enviroian.
Forgot the mention the new livery. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old Jul 25, 20, 10:08 am
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Welcome back!
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Old Jul 25, 20, 11:20 am
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Welcome back, SFO777. Looks like you had a great flight with UA here, and the views from Colorado look awesome. Definitely have missed your reports, and glad you were able to get away. My wife and I are taking our 3 month old to Maine to see my folks in late August, and that will be my first flight since February. I can't wait to just fly somewhere!

Looking forward to the rest of the report!
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Old Jul 25, 20, 12:40 pm
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United seems to be one of the few airlines which improved their catering during pandemic
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Old Jul 25, 20, 2:38 pm
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Conversations about epidemiology and essential v.s. non-essential travel can be had in OMNI.

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Old Jul 25, 20, 3:40 pm
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I enjoyed this TR now that it has been edited by mods. Interesting to see the offer which UA give in the COVID era. Enjoy seeing your family.
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Old Jul 25, 20, 4:34 pm
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Finally another TR, and great as always!

I'm actually pretty impressed by that soft product on UA. DL is an absolute dumpster fire these days and AA, is well, even more inconsistent than previously.

Restaurant looks solid too, that tuna/avocado dish made me start wondering what I'm going to get for dinner.

Good to see you back in the air!
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Old Jul 25, 20, 4:46 pm
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Enjoyed the pics and TR, keep up the good work!
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Old Jul 25, 20, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by kenko92 View Post
Welcome back!
Thank you kenko92.

Originally Posted by 757 View Post
Welcome back, SFO777. Looks like you had a great flight with UA here, and the views from Colorado look awesome. Definitely have missed your reports, and glad you were able to get away. My wife and I are taking our 3 month old to Maine to see my folks in late August, and that will be my first flight since February. I can't wait to just fly somewhere! Looking forward to the rest of the report!
Thanks so much 757. We're loving our visit. Brings back many fond memories from our 4 years here.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
United seems to be one of the few airlines which improved their catering during pandemic
LOL. Go figure. Thanks offerendum.

Originally Posted by stu1985 View Post
I enjoyed this TR now that it has been edited by mods. Interesting to see the offer which UA give in the COVID era. Enjoy seeing your family.
Thanks very much stu1985.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Finally another TR, and great as always! I'm actually pretty impressed by that soft product on UA. DL is an absolute dumpster fire these days and AA, is well, even more inconsistent than previously. Restaurant looks solid too, that tuna/avocado dish made me start wondering what I'm going to get for dinner. Good to see you back in the air!
Thank so much cmd320. I appreciate it. I was really surprised by how good UA was compared to everything I'd heard.

Originally Posted by James91 View Post
Enjoyed the pics and TR, keep up the good work!
Thanks James91.
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Old Jul 25, 20, 5:48 pm
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After dinner, we headed for Cherry Creek and The Jacquard, our hotel for the weekend... or so we thought. We pulled up to discover that the place was eerily dark as in no lights. They had lost power sometime that evening and had no idea when it would be restored.







We were accomodated at the nearby JW Marriott, a two minute drive. A pleasant enough basic room but oddly lacking robes or slippers.





Since we found a parkiing space right in front of the hotel, I avoided a $50 parking fee but had to feed the meter by 8am.



Morning in the lobby.











And back up to the room before checking out and moving over to The Jacquard.



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Old Jul 25, 20, 5:48 pm
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The Jacquard is a Marriott Autograph Collectiion property, a lovely trendy, boutique hotel on the east side of Cherry Creek. We stayed here last year after it had just opened and really enjoyed it.





Since our room had been ready since last night, we were able to check in at 10am.













Our pleasant and comfy corner mountain view room.









One of the cool features of the hotel is the rooftop pool and bar.











Back down in the lobby.





The hotel's restaurant Narrative which was very good last year.







Pleasant outdoor seating and bar area.




Last edited by SFO777; Jul 27, 20 at 12:16 pm
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Old Jul 25, 20, 5:51 pm
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Mrs. SFO777 has been making noises about wanting to move back to Colorado. So part of our plan this weekend is to explore potential areas of the Denver metro. Today we're heading south to Castle Rock, Larkspur and Sedalia where land it plentiful and housing prices reasonable, at least compared to SoCal.
























Last edited by SFO777; Jul 27, 20 at 10:29 am
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Old Jul 25, 20, 7:01 pm
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That snack box. Am I missing something? Three kinds of dips and spreads and only a couple of bread sticks to deliver them to your belly?
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