Thursday, October 27, 2016

Boeing Sold 14 (Maybe 28) 747's

Boeing sold 14, with options for 14 more, 747-8 freighters to UPS. They are an existing 747-400 customer and probably got these for a steal since Boeing was planning to shut down the 747 production line once they filled their remaining orders. This will keep the 747 program alive for another year.
I Don't Have Many Cargo Airline Shots

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The A340 is 25 Years Old and Obsolete

Good thing Airbus paired this design with the A330 or it would have been dumped years ago. It has a limited future with VVIP operations, small carriers, and for it's long overwater (not ETOPS limited) range. You can buy one ready for airline service for $20,000,000
Most Operators Have Replaced It

Thursday, October 20, 2016

First - Coach - First Crossing the Pacific

First class over the Pacific can be one of the best in flight experiences available, see ANA, Cathay Pacific, or JAL for examples. As per tradition, US carriers do it worse or not at all. United is no exception. They run domestic configuration 737's out of Guam all around the Pacific. They also run a domestic 777-200 from Guam to Honolulu and regional upgrades don't work on this flight, so be ready for 7 long hours in coach. From Honolulu, it's all domestic configurations.
Like I'm Flying to Boston
Regional Upgrades Work HKG-GUM
This means passengers flying the equivalent distance of LAX to London have to do it in planes made for LAX to SFO. Even worse there is no free food or alcohol. United has a monopoly, more or less, on the central Pacific routes and no interest in improving the onboard experience. Be prepared.
View from GUM United Club
Breakfast on a Domestic 737 Flight for Comparison
Breakfast HNL-IAH - Meh
Meal Leaving HKG on 737

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Double Amex Points!

Shop small and get double points when using a registered Amex card. Not as fun as free money ($25 or $10 a card in previous years), but still a worthwhile promotion.
Delta & Amex Are Friends

Monday, October 17, 2016

Longest 777-200ER Flight In The World

United Airlines operates the longest 777-200ER flight from EWR to HKG, about 16 hours on board and over 8,500 flown miles. I flew it in coach. It's not bad if you have a good seat and travel prepared. 
Economy Seat Recline

Open middle seats make a world of difference. An open row is amazing. Otherwise shoot for an exit row (right side is better than left) or Economy Plus. I booked an exit row when I make my reservation then hold onto it until I'm at the gate and get a decent feel for the seat map. I was able to switch into an open middle row of 3 seats at the last minute and have all that space to myself.  It made for a nice trip.
777-200ER to HKG
Fly with ear plugs and an eye mask. The cabin is always noisy and next dark. Also avoid caffeine for the day. It's hard enough to sleep on board. Take a walk around the cabin every hour or two when awake. It helps. Also stock up on podcasts or bring a book, the TV's don't always work.
Exit Row Leg Room
Broken TV - It Reset After About 20 Minutes
Pack snacks. The food is ok, but infrequent.  The beer is free and the wine is undrinkable. Spirits cost money.
Pasta Dinner
More Pasta
Noodle Breakfast - Good
More Noodles - Still Good

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good View From Houston United Club

Go to the third floor of the E11 United Club in Houston. It is less crowded and the views are great.
Ample Outlets, Quiet, & Views