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Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights-Questions&Experiences {Archive}

Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights-Questions&Experiences {Archive}

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Old Jul 6, 19, 1:31 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Update 2017: United p.s. is now called Transcontinental Service. This service is available on flights between EWR<>LAX, EWR<>SFO, and BOS<>SFO.
Cross Country Comfort: Introducing United Airlines’ New Transcontinental Service

Originally Posted by United POLARIS FAQ
How does the switch to United Polaris affect United p.s.® Premium Service transcontinental flights?
On December 1, 2016, BusinessFirst service on p.s. transcontinental routes became United Business®, and now features our custom Saks Fifth Avenue pillow and duvet. Previous p.s. features did not change other than the new bedding.
The first PS flights to/from EWR started 25 Oct 2015
United offers transcontinental travelers the features and comfort of long-haul international flights. Customers enjoy modern aircraft interiors with all-new seats, inflight Wi-Fi, free personal on-demand entertainment at every seat, in-seat power and USB ports.

United also provides:
* Premier Access check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling;
* United Club access;
* up to 6 feet, 4 inches of sleeping space in a 180-degree flat-bed seat; and
* pre-departure beverages, hot towel service, multi-course meals and a pre-arrival snack.
E+ passengers -- hot meals and drinks included
Travelers in Economy Plus on our premium transcontinental flights now enjoy more than just extra legroom — they’ll also receive a complimentary hot entrée, fruit and dessert, as well as their choice of free alcoholic beverages, including our featured cocktail and more.
Aircraft 757-200
Original config 28 lieflat BF / 42 E+ / 72 E-
Everything You Want to Know About Where to Sit on a 757-200 (pmUA Domestic and p.s.)

Re-purposed TATL config 16 lieflat BF / 45 E+ / 108 E-
Consolidated "Seats on International 757"

other lie-flat aircraft will be used on the route, such as
Everything You Wanted to Know About Where to Sit on 777-200 HD (28BF,102E+,234E-)
Everything you want to know about where to sit on the 787-10

FAQs
Are all flights on these routes lie-flat, etc?
Yes -- all non-stop flights from SFO/LAX to/from EWR and SFO<>BOS are configured as such regardless of aircraft used. All scheduled aircraft have a lie-flat premium cabin.

Are these CPU-eligible flights?
No -- no CPU on these flights. It will take RPU/GPU/mileage+copays to upgrade. Generally, these are "hard" upgrades.

Are TODs / Cash upgrades offered?
Yes, $298 cash OW upgrades are regularly offered.

Archive: Premium Transcon Service SFO-EWR/BOS, LAX-EWR flights-Questions&Experiences {Archive}
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Old Oct 29, 15, 4:54 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
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Originally Posted by Say Vandelay View Post
Looks like they have just added a 764 flight at 6:30am in between the existing 752s in November as well. Shows R9 I9 right now. Maybe EWR PS is really taking off...
Think we're going to have to wait until all of the cheaper premium cabin tickets, awards, etc (booked prior to the PS changeover) work their way through the system.
aCavalierInCoach is offline  
Old Oct 30, 15, 8:03 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Flew EWR-SFO today on a 757. Upgrade (RPU) was waitlisted for a week, but cleared about 20 hours before flight (despite getting the normal 24 hour email).

All up a pretty much standard p.s. flight. I did use the UC beforehand, but I have a UC membership so I don't know if they are aware that BusinessFirst gets access.

I was connecting in EWR, so definitely a positive over p.s. out of JFK - although I may not have been feeling the same way if my upgrade hadn't cleared...
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Old Nov 1, 15, 12:14 pm
  #48  
 
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Looks like today's 11:25am LAX-EWR departure (flight 1960) is being subbed by a regular 757 with 24 non-lie flat first class seats.

Anyone know how they plan to handle these situations? Can you switch to another flight? Are they allowing CPU's? I would hate to have used miles and a pricey co-pay for a domestic first seat.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 12:23 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Originally Posted by twoaisleplane View Post
Looks like today's 11:25am LAX-EWR departure (flight 1960) is being subbed by a regular 757 with 24 non-lie flat first class seats.

Anyone know how they plan to handle these situations? Can you switch to another flight? Are they allowing CPU's? I would hate to have used miles and a pricey co-pay for a domestic first seat.
Wow - way to go UA, you made it a whole week before this type of shenanigans hit. Hopefully they have a very full recovery plan for the BF pax -- please update anyone who finds out.
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Old Nov 1, 15, 12:29 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by twoaisleplane View Post
Looks like today's 11:25am LAX-EWR departure (flight 1960) is being subbed by a regular 757 with 24 non-lie flat first class seats.

Anyone know how they plan to handle these situations? Can you switch to another flight? Are they allowing CPU's? I would hate to have used miles and a pricey co-pay for a domestic first seat.
In the past, they've allowed free changes to a true ps flight.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 2, 15 at 9:09 am Reason: OT content removed
Kacee is online now  
Old Nov 1, 15, 12:54 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by twoaisleplane View Post
Looks like today's 11:25am LAX-EWR departure (flight 1960) is being subbed by a regular 757 with 24 non-lie flat first class seats.

Anyone know how they plan to handle these situations? Can you switch to another flight? Are they allowing CPU's? I would hate to have used miles and a pricey co-pay for a domestic first seat.
That's awful. I'd be livid and demand co-pay refund + additional comp for using instruments on a flight most people (probably) wouldn't do otherwise. Not sure if that would really fly...
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Old Nov 1, 15, 3:37 pm
  #52  
 
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Don't worry, this won't last as those 752's are headed to the graveyard.

Which is a downright shame. They're still good birds with a unique mission profile. They're absolutely perfect for the ps mission.

Sure, we'd all love a big wide body but I'll take hourly frequency on the well equipped 752 over a wide body just a few times a day.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 2, 15 at 9:11 am Reason: post update to reflect deleted quoted post
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Old Nov 2, 15, 9:02 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Took my first PS flights to/from EWR. Overall, not impressed. Long post, but thought I would include all the details.

First flight (LAX->EWR) redeye was great. Good crew on a pmCO Intl 757. No choice in meal. It was a snack of Caprese Sandwich, served with Chicken Tortilla soup. Dessert was a small chocolate candy. Sandwich was blah, but the soup was good. Some type of muffin was offered pre-landing, but I didn't take one.

The plane had the loud, auto-announcement when the seat belt sign come on. It is something I loathe,especially on redeyes. When it came on, the Captain immediately got on the PA with a quick "seat belts" which seemed to over-ride the auto announcement. It got as far as "Ladies and Gent" then the quick "seat belts" from the Captain...then nothing. A good, customer-friendly work around to the stupid robo-PA. ^
FAs also allowed BF customers to depart first from the jetbridge at Door 2. ^
Good start to the trip. But then it went downhill.

Desk agent at EWR United Club took a LONG time to check me in. Poked and typed on her keyboard for about 2 minutes without saying a word. Eventually had to consult a colleague to figure out what to do. Appeared she knew PS flights got access, but couldn't figure out how to "log" it. No idea why I had to stand there while she figured it out? Not a big deal, but not exactly polished service. United Club was really packed, which surprised me a bit. It was nice having showers available, though. New breakfast food items were "bleh". Bar was not open.

Return to LAX was pretty bad. Again, it was a pmCO Intl 757. Had a 45 minute delay in takeoff due to mechanical. Poor communication, except from the FAs who noted "this didn't happen like this when it was Continental" And yes, the rest of the flight was about what you would expect after a comment like that. Also interesting that when I asked for another PDB during the delay, it was served slyly and with a finger-to-lips "Ssshhh" so as to not get everyone asking. Overall, FAs doing a lot of socializing, not providing a lot of service.

Service didn't begin until 1hour, 15 minutes after takeoff, when drink was served. (no, it was not turbulent) A very short time later, the entire meal served all at once on the tray. So much for multi-course dining.

They had a new style menu. A single piece of thicker cardstock, printed on both sides. The "first course" was fresh fruit plate, yogurt, and bread basket. Breakfast entree was choice of 3 options. The standard cereal/banana, french toast suffle, or egg skillet with sausage. Basket distributed after everyone in BF had received their tray. No 2nd pass offered. (I will post the details and photos in the "Let's Eat" thread, if interested)

After waking up from a short nap (because the FAs were have a loud party in the galley ), I asked for some water as no bottles were distributed. (This was about 2 hours prior to landing). I asked about the bottles and I got an "Oh, right" and they got around to passing them out.

IFE was flaky. Had to be reset multiple times, and some apparently remained inop. Again, no communication. Everyone's TV just went to black and computer code without warning.

As you might have gathered, I was in row 1 (for the larger foot-well). I heard very interesting interactions among the FAs. In addition to the loud party mentioned earlier, apparently someone either mentioned or complained about the "all at one time" meal service. Much discussion and complaining, including references to "labor board" if anyone got disciplined for not providing correct service. It was bizarre.

{OP's self-admitted digression removed}

The menu indicated a pre-arrival cookie service. Nothing appeared until after the announcement to prepare the cabin for arrival. The FA made a mad dash to distribute poorly-baked cookies on a napkin. She started to offer beverages (in plastic cups) but only made it to row 1 before stopping. After all the drama in the galley about the correct meal service, I guess it wasn't going to make a difference. Or maybe they were so engrossed with conversation, they forgot why they were actually on board an aircraft.

So there you have it. Wildly inconsistent. I wish I could be optimistic that things will get better (and things like the United Club check-in probably will), but I am left feeling bummed after the Newark experience.

Last edited by goodeats21; Nov 3, 15 at 6:41 pm
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Old Nov 2, 15, 9:56 am
  #54  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Moderator Note

This thread is about actual experiences on EWR<>LAX/SFO flights. The PS flights have been done traditionally with sUA crews and the new EWR flights will now include a portion of flights with sCO crews (on the sCO 757 aircraft) who are new to PS. So there will likely be some transition issues.

However, this is NOT the thread for the generally contentious discussion of sUA crews vs sCO crews. That will derail this thread and will eventually lead to a closed thread based on past experiences.

Let's stay focused on actual EWR<>LAX/SFO PS flight experiences and not get side tracked on topics (which have/will be deleted).

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 2, 15 at 10:08 am Reason: highligthing the word "actual"
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Old Nov 2, 15, 11:35 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Moderator Note

This thread is about actual experiences on EWR<>LAX/SFO flights. The PS flights have been done traditionally with sUA crews and the new EWR flights will now include a portion of flights with sCO crews (on the sCO 757 aircraft) who are new to PS. So there will likely be some transition issues.

However, this is NOT the thread for the generally contentious discussion of sUA crews vs sCO crews. That will derail this thread and will eventually lead to a closed thread based on past experiences.

Let's stay focused on actual EWR<>LAX/SFO PS flight experiences and not get side tracked on topics (which have/will be deleted).

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
I think that success or failure of this route will depend on the service and if the previous posters complaints about the sCO service is not just a transition, this route will suffer by not getting former JFK business to move to Newark and PS will end and so will the extra flights and lie flat aircraft. So while a contentious discussion of crews is a bad thing discussing PS service as it evolves is what this thread is for I believe, Btw I had excellent service over the weekend on 2 sUA flights. My problem was it took 45 minutes to get a gate at LAX at 930 Thursday evening. My last time in September it was 1 hour, is this normal in LAX now?
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Old Nov 2, 15, 12:07 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by Noanker1 View Post
I think that success or failure of this route will depend on the service and if the previous posters complaints about the sCO service is not just a transition, this route will suffer by not getting former JFK business to move to Newark and PS will end and so will the extra flights and lie flat aircraft. So while a contentious discussion of crews is a bad thing discussing PS service as it evolves is what this thread is for I believe, Btw I had excellent service over the weekend on 2 sUA flights. My problem was it took 45 minutes to get a gate at LAX at 930 Thursday evening. My last time in September it was 1 hour, is this normal in LAX now?
Since that Alaska Airlines 737 sliced into a UA 757 in the alley between T6 and T7, they have become even more cautious (i.e., slower) in moving aircraft around gates in this congested terminal layout.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 2:01 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Noanker1 View Post
My problem was it took 45 minutes to get a gate at LAX at 930 Thursday evening. My last time in September it was 1 hour, is this normal in LAX now?
LAX is very difficult to predict. I've had some very short taxi times at LAX as well as some very long ones. There are a lot of external factors such as weather, airport construction, flights bunching up due to other unrelated delays, etc. The flights do have extra taxi time built into the schedule but, obviously, it is not always enough.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 3:26 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
There was almost certainly a UA error in releasing award space when they loaded the new ps flights into the system. Business saver availability was wide open for a couple days then slammed shut. Not the first time this has happened on a "new" route.
Either the day the switch was announced or the day after, I looked at availability for thanksgiving and xmas. Snagged a saver BF seat on the Sunday after thanksgiving. Needless to say that space disappeared super quickly!
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Old Nov 2, 15, 7:54 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post

First flight (LAX->EWR) redeye was great. Good crew on a pmCO Intl 757. No choice in meal. It was a snack of Caprese Sandwich, served with Chicken Tortilla soup. Dessert was a small chocolate candy. Sandwich was blah, but the soup was good. Some type of muffin was offered pre-landing, but I didn't take one.
Thanks for the detailed report, goodeats! ^

Btw, what's in a UA-style Caprese Sandwich?
cesco.g is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 1:23 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,044
Quick question to u all. If I am flying on miles for GLA-EWR-SFO. It seems I cannot EWR to SFO in biz class. I booked the flight with miles on saver and they say there are no more mile seats. So they will not put me on the wait list at all. Is this correct?
raccah is offline  

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