In-Flight Internet and Power SFO to Beijing

Old May 30, 13, 1:22 pm
  #1  
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In-Flight Internet and Power SFO to Beijing

I am back again with a hopefully good question.

I am travelling on United 889 to Beijing from San Francisco, and from what I understand in-flight (wi-fi) satellite internet is available on that specific aircraft/route.

a) is this true?


And the other most important topic, I have been searching on flytalk and I just can't seem to find it, is laptop battery power!

When you are on a 12 hour long flight, and from my understand 889 to Beijing only has power in the first and business class.

b) other than buying ten different batteries for my laptop, are there seats that have some type of power? If not, what do most people do that need their computer? Is there a battery pack or some thing you can tote on board for this?

And lastly,

How is the flight? 889? This will be my first flight internationally, and I have gotten a bunch of great comments and helpful tips from everyone. Just a lil worried.

Thanks.
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Old May 30, 13, 1:32 pm
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This largely depends on when you're flying...
This route is a 747, and I believe only a few of them have had the economy mods done (in seat power, wifi, streaming)

As the year goes on, your chances of having those amenities increases.
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Old May 30, 13, 1:37 pm
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Currently 9 of 23 UA 747s have WIFI. More every month, with all of them scheduled to be done by the end of the year.

Power is only available in business and first. This is where an iPad would come in handy as the battery life is excellent.

Flight 889 is fine, not really much different than any other long haul. You leave in daylight and arrive in daylight. You might consider buying up to E+ if you want some extra legroom.
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Old May 30, 13, 2:03 pm
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Please follow the discussion as the thread moves to the United forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old May 30, 13, 2:54 pm
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You will NOT have power outlets anywhere in Y so bring extra batteries or a book or something else to keep your time.

I honestly would not recommend staying awake the whole time playing on your laptop though. Otherwise you will have lots of trouble adjusting when you arrive in Beijing.

As another poster suggested I use my ipad (for reading books and I download a couple of movies) and I watch the overhead monitors too.
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Old May 30, 13, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by intelixa View Post
I am back again with a hopefully good question.

I am travelling on United 889 to Beijing from San Francisco, and from what I understand in-flight (wi-fi) satellite internet is available on that specific aircraft/route.

a) is this true?


And the other most important topic, I have been searching on flytalk and I just can't seem to find it, is laptop battery power!

When you are on a 12 hour long flight, and from my understand 889 to Beijing only has power in the first and business class.

b) other than buying ten different batteries for my laptop, are there seats that have some type of power? If not, what do most people do that need their computer? Is there a battery pack or some thing you can tote on board for this?

And lastly,

How is the flight? 889? This will be my first flight internationally, and I have gotten a bunch of great comments and helpful tips from everyone. Just a lil worried.

Thanks.
Depending on the make/model of your laptop, I would go with a second Lithium Ion battery. I have a Dell XPS L502X 15 in laptop: The second generation i7 is a battery hog and watching movies, even with the brightness brought down to next to nothing, chews right through the battery life. I'd download digital copies of your movies to your laptop drive if you can afford the space.

And as somebody said, don't spend your entire time fidgeting on your laptop and messing up your body's clock. Sleep when you're tired and stay awake when you're awake.

I look forward to the day when all international flights have in-seat AC power. It's not the fanciest plane, but I always enjoy my flights from SFO-LHR on a 757-200 as they have in seat AC power in all of their cabins which I think is a huge plus any day of the week over inflight Internet access.
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Old May 30, 13, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ekwang View Post
Depending on the make/model of your laptop, I would go with a second Lithium Ion battery. I have a Dell XPS L502X 15 in laptop: The second generation i7 is a battery hog and watching movies, even with the brightness brought down to next to nothing, chews right through the battery life. I'd download digital copies of your movies to your laptop drive if you can afford the space.

And as somebody said, don't spend your entire time fidgeting on your laptop and messing up your body's clock. Sleep when you're tired and stay awake when you're awake.

I look forward to the day when all international flights have in-seat AC power. It's not the fanciest plane, but I always enjoy my flights from SFO-LHR on a 757-200 as they have in seat AC power in all of their cabins which I think is a huge plus any day of the week over inflight Internet access.
Um, that should've been a 777, not 757.
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Old May 31, 13, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by intelixa View Post
I am back again with a hopefully good question.

I am travelling on United 889 to Beijing from San Francisco, and from what I understand in-flight (wi-fi) satellite internet is available on that specific aircraft/route.

a) is this true?


And the other most important topic, I have been searching on flytalk and I just can't seem to find it, is laptop battery power!

When you are on a 12 hour long flight, and from my understand 889 to Beijing only has power in the first and business class.

b) other than buying ten different batteries for my laptop, are there seats that have some type of power? If not, what do most people do that need their computer? Is there a battery pack or some thing you can tote on board for this?

And lastly,

How is the flight? 889? This will be my first flight internationally, and I have gotten a bunch of great comments and helpful tips from everyone. Just a lil worried.

Thanks.
Welcome aboard! Your chances of being on a Satellite-based WiFi 747 are 50/50 at this point. Before departure, check the Flight Status page on the UA site or the mobile app to see which aircraft has been assigned to your flight. The in-flight amenities tab will indicate whether there's WiFi available on your flight.

If you're flying in United Economy, sorry, bring a spare battery. In-seat power is not available in the back, yet. The airline is promising to install power in Y on the 747s by the end of the year.

I fly with a portable battery pack that sells for about $50 online. It has kept all of my devices (cell phone, tablet and my other cell phone) fully charged for *days.* I no longer need to worry about whether my United flight has in-seat power or not.

Yes, it can be clunky to carry around, and you'll attract flight attendants who want to borrow the battery to recharge their dying phones!
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Old May 31, 13, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by intelixa View Post
This will be my first flight internationally
Congrats! I remember my first international flight, I was a little worried as well, but now I'm hooked (especially with all the help I've gotten from FT).

Have a safe and fun journey.
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Old May 31, 13, 2:24 am
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I was on 889 on May 22, Wifi didn't work even though the flight attendant and on board literature stated the availability of it.

Returning on 888 I didn't expect Wifi and it wasn't available anyway.
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Old May 31, 13, 4:35 am
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Originally Posted by TravelBeat View Post
Your chances of being on a Satellite-based WiFi 747 are 50/50 at this point.
Well, any probabilities have 50/50 chance - either you get it or not.

P.S. Anyone who took Probability Theory in college will get that insider joke.

Last edited by invisible; May 31, 13 at 4:46 am
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Old May 31, 13, 4:10 pm
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Does anyone know if the wifi-equipped -47s are officially preferentially used on 888/889?
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Old May 31, 13, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by littlegreenmen View Post
Does anyone know if the wifi-equipped -47s are officially preferentially used on 888/889?
It doesn't look like it at all according to flightaware. They use them all over the map.
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Old May 31, 13, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Motion122 View Post
I was on 889 on May 22, Wifi didn't work even though the flight attendant and on board literature stated the availability of it.

Returning on 888 I didn't expect Wifi and it wasn't available anyway.
I was on another TPAC 747 last weekend that had the flyer, and they made a pre-departure announcement, but I checked several times during the flight and never saw the Wifi on. I didn't inquire since I was in C and occupied with the AVOD anyway, so more curious than anything. But on deplaning I heard one of the flights attendants confirming to another passenger that they'd not gotten it turned on at any time during the flight.

Even if you think you're on one of the equipped planes, it would be risky to assume that it'll actually be offered.
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Old Jun 1, 13, 12:19 am
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Actually, what I ought to have said is that when you are a plane like the 757-200 for international legs, in which they do have AC power in all seating classes, it is a treat. But for those where you do not get in flight AC power, the second battery is very helpful.
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