Recent experiences in UA Global First

Old Oct 27, 12, 3:29 am
  #1  
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Recent experiences in UA Global First

Good Morning Folks,

I blew the last of my UA miles this week for an F ticket for a weekend in AMS with the guys - Nice!

I always admired the "new" UA F product but I haven't flow it in about a year. Have there been any major changes (good or bad) and is the International F Lounge still as good as it was pre-merger?

Specifically, I am wondering how the on-board food and beverage selection has changed in UA Global First after the merger.

Thanks in advance.

TFD
Task Force DL is offline  
Old Oct 27, 12, 3:46 am
  #2  
 
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Flew ORD-NRT on Wednesday, observations...

1. FC lounge a tranquail quiet oasis compared to United Club
2. Boarding process - no seperate GS/FC line (mixed in with Premier Access), so by time arrived at gate it was a zoo, although did ask GS to come forward, needed NFL lineman to clear that path
3. Wine selection seems of lower quality than traditional UA
4. Steak - acceptable, nice medium rare but never to be confused with Ruth Chris
5. CO ice cream sundae's a welcome addition
6. Hear that get a "turn down service" similiar to Singapore starting next month....well not quite the same as you will never confuse UA FA hiring, and route assignment policy with those of SA
7. Captain welcomed and briefed FC cabin in person - appreciated the personal touch
8. FA service was good, engaged, responsive and smiled
9. Is it worth the premium over BF? Find UA BF hard product sub-standard to CO so yes (since you can't get the CO BF in 3 cabin config)

Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam
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Old Oct 27, 12, 4:51 pm
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I flew UA GF from SYD to SFO yesterday.

Thumbs up from me - service superb, food superb and the seat was very comfortable - for a near 13 hour flight, I was out for at least 9 hours of it. The purser, who I was speaking to at length in the galley, was especially friendly and welcoming.

The food & drink, and the experience as a whole, was so, so much better than my last pre-merger GF trip, which was SFO to LHR. Back then, unless you absolutely had to have the larger seat and storage, you may as well save your pennies and fly in C.

If you're on the 747 (as I was), try to avoid the middle seats. I was in 3H, and due to the angled aisles as you're in the nose section, you lose a storage area that the window seats otherwise have. It could probably do with a social area too, like VS have with their onboard bar.

Anyway, it was all good, so, on the strength of that, I upgraded my C seat to GF for my flight from IAD to GRU later on today. That's on a 777, so I'll let you know how it compares.

Regards,

Cypher

Last edited by TimCypher; Oct 27, 12 at 5:01 pm
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Old Oct 27, 12, 6:11 pm
  #4  
 
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Fly GF a few times a month. Haven't really noticed any changes. I never thought the food was great. Once in a while I get a good meal. Usually it's pretty mediocre. The FA crew is really good about 30% of time, not good 10% of time and pretty indifferent/mediocre the rest of the time.

The amenity kit is quite nice, but what I would like is 1) a really nice amenity kit they give you once a year or every tenth flight (or something like that), and 2) good razor,shave cream, toothbrush/paste, and a facial water spray on each flight. Also it would be nice if they took the plastic off all the blankets, amenities, etc. before your board. I really hate getting stuff in plastic wrappers.

Already seen all the movies on IFE twice so I'm not a great fan.

IMHO, UA has very comfortable seats in GF, which for me is the most important thing.

The GFLs (IFLs) are always nice but not spectacular (nothing at all like TG in BKK or LH in FRA). F&B is good, but SFO excepted, they could use some better seats for napping.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 8:16 am
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If you are using your last UA miles on an F ticket why not try LX or LH. LX is the better of the two in my mind even with the new LH seats. In my mind, flying F on a US airline is a complete waste of money/miles. I would rather fly many other airlines in J such a cathay, BA, VS... than UA in F.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Hotelsforlife View Post
If you are using your last UA miles on an F ticket why not try LX or LH. LX is the better of the two in my mind even with the new LH seats. In my mind, flying F on a US airline is a complete waste of money/miles. I would rather fly many other airlines in J such a cathay, BA, VS... than UA in F.
I would agree that getting LX or LH F would be great, but that guarantees a connection and more to the point finding available space which is hard to come by with LX and only possibly available close to departure.

The airlines mentioned in C are not even in the *A so how could he/she use UA miles to get on them?
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Old Oct 28, 12, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by rwsteelers View Post
x6. Hear that get a "turn down service" similiar to Singapore starting next month....well not quite the same as you will never confuse UA FA hiring, and route assignment policy with those of SA
Turns out SA is the IATA designation for South African Airways (and their ICAO designation is SAA).

The Singapore Airlines IATA designation is SQ (and their ICAO designation is SIA).
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Old Oct 28, 12, 10:28 am
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I flew UA 847 EWR-EZE last week in BF. Thought that the hard product was just fine. The service was quite different from whom served you. Purser was excellent and very friendly. My section was served by this linebacker kind of guy whom was nice but rather rough in his dealing. Did not know the wines, nor was intested in the questions about the menu.. He was the sort of Fish or Steak kind of guy.. Perhaps he is used to working the back of the plane. Any request was met, however did not feel I was in BF with his demeanor.. All in all nice journey..
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Old Oct 28, 12, 10:44 am
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Honestly, I wouldn't book it. I recently flew first to NRT in Lufthansa First Class and returned on United Global First. The seat itself was fine but the difference in service was extremely disappointing. The F cabin service was almost non-existent at times and while the food was an improvement over previous First class offerings, it was pretty bad. Plus, what I hate is how inconsistent their service is. I highly suggest you use those miles on just about any award partner.

Two pics from my flight there and back, I'll let you decide what one is LH and what one is United Global First.


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Old Oct 28, 12, 10:48 am
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Just flew GF to/from Dubai and very pleased. Service on both was excellent! On the way over, the purser brought a fresh glass with fresh ice and lemon every time I finished my water instead of just topping off the glass I already had at my seat. On the way back, the purser sat on the little shelf next to my seat to chat, explain food options, take orders, etc. Very homey and friendly. The appetizer course is a post-merger upgrade, as is the size of the soup bowl. Personally I like the CO vanilla-only ice cream sundae instead of the mixed flavors you had on the pre-merger UA but that's personal choice. The champagne was acceptable. The port was downgraded before the merger and remains downgraded. You still get two pillows, a decent blanket, ton of storage space, and privacy. The IFL in IAD continues to be a joke, as does the fact there is no arrivals facility there. I like the IFL in Chicago much better. On the whole, I find UA FC inching (just inching--and improvements are relative) in the right direction although certainly agree with those who suggest LX for your miles. Screw the connection--ZRH is the easiest airport to make the connection and LX FC is simply amazing, especially the seat and food.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by jetboy787 View Post
Two pics from my flight there and back, I'll let you decide what one is LH and what one is United Global First.
...
WOW.. These pictures really show the difference. It's like Ruth's Chris and Steak n' Shake. Is UA ever going to pick up their game in the food category??

Last edited by iluv2fly; Oct 28, 12 at 12:20 pm Reason: images
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Old Oct 28, 12, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by rgrunnah View Post
WOW.. These pictures really show the difference. It's like Ruth's Chris and Steak n' Shake. Is UA ever going to pick up their game in the food category??
They're a US airline. I wouldn't hold my breath. I've *never* had a meal in a premium cabin on a US airline that came close to what I've had on many international competitors. It's just not seen as a high enough priority, I guess.

As I've said before, I am predicting the death of international F for UA and AA within the next 5 years. The investment that would be required to make it a decent product is just too vast to be worthwhile.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 2:49 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
They're a US airline. I wouldn't hold my breath. I've *never* had a meal in a premium cabin on a US airline that came close to what I've had on many international competitors. It's just not seen as a high enough priority, I guess.
Having just got of AA int'l F, I'm happy to say the meal service was closer to that of LH than that of UA (minus the booze quality)

As I've said before, I am predicting the death of international F for UA and AA within the next 5 years. The investment that would be required to make it a decent product is just too vast to be worthwhile.
That's probably news to AA, as they're having 14 3-class 773s delivered over the next couple years.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Having just got of AA int'l F, I'm happy to say the meal service was closer to that of LH than that of UA (minus the booze quality)



That's probably news to AA, as they're having 14 3-class 773s delivered over the next couple years.
Not really. They are at the same time going to eliminate F on 47 772s and dont have F on their 58 767's.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Not really. They are at the same time going to eliminate F on 47 772s and dont have F on their 58 767's.
F will begin to be eliminated on the 772 aircraft no sooner than 2014. Also, it seems that at least some of the 787 aircraft to be delivered will have international F. Not official yet....but that was what an insider had mentioned. What is fact is that the F cabin is shrinking in size on the 777 from 16 to 8 seats. So in that sense, yes, there will be fewer international F seats on the aircraft that have it.
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