Showing posts with label Continental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Continental. Show all posts

Friday, November 30, 2012

United Airlines 787 Dreamliner Spotted at Denver

I spotted United's new 787 Dreamliner at DEN last night. It looks slick and a little like a 767. The cockpit windows and nose section really stand out and there were quite a few people stopping to take a look.
United Airlines' New 787
United Airlines' 787 Wingspan Looks Huge

Thursday, November 8, 2012

United Airlines First Class Meal Reviews - Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

I've been doing some flying and have been enjoying the finest food (and a gross Continental cheese burger) United Airlines has to offer domestic first class passengers.  Here are some reviews of United's food service.  Meals are served on flights 700 to 2,299 miles long (approximately 2 – 5 hours).  On shorter flights, flight attendants just pass around the snack basket with chips and Clif bars.

Egg McMuffin, fruit, and some yogurt on a 737 ride to Houston.  The Egg McMuffin creation is really good. A warm cinnamon bun or croissant follows after everyone is served.  The cinnamon bun is great, but really sticky, so keep a napkin handy.
United Airlines First Class Breakfast 737
Shrimp salad and soup!  Both rock.  This is United's most consistent meal and a favorite.  It is very flavorful and filling.  The soup option was a great seafood with spice creation.  I could have that soup every flight and not tire of it.  The cookie was oatmeal raisin, too healthy to be fun.
United Airlines Shrimp Salad Lunch First Class A320
The cream of mushroom soup doesn't look appealing, but it tastes great.  United's soup guy is on a roll. The warm wrap was a good south-west chicken thing, filling and comforting item.  United's warm meal options can be hit or miss. I also got a chocolate chip cookie, fun and yum.
United Airlines Dinner Chicken Wrap Meal & Soup

Sunday, November 4, 2012

United / Continental Airlines Cheese Burger Meal

When United merged with Continental, they got the 787 Dreamliner in 2012.  They also got the Continental cheese burger as a first class meal.  It's gross.  So gross that I couldn't eat it.  It's made of that lousy grade of ground beef that looks grey and tastes like something other than beef.  I had this on a flight from Chicago to Denver and it was the only option.  At least the mystery wraps are edible.  What I would have given for a shrimp salad though, those are always good.  I hope United does a menu upgrade soon and removes this awful option.  
United Airlines Cheese Burger First Class Meal

Monday, October 8, 2012

United Airlines First Class 737 Review

The United and Continental merger is complete and the fleets have been nicely scattered around, so you have a good chance of flying on a former Continental 737 (United was an Airbus fan, the merged airline is going 737 for new planes).  These planes will also be staffed by Continental crews, some of the friendliest and most professional in the US.  Here is an overview of what to expect (bold text is from followed by some color commentary).

Onboard amenities
United 737 First Class Seat
Extra-wide leather seats with expanded legroom – The seat is the one thing you can count on.  It’s not as comfortable as the United seats, but still nice and easy to relax in. 
Complimentary blankets available onboard for use during your flight – You have to ask and they might not be available.  Pretty scratchy too, the old united ones were better.  No pillows any more, I bring my own for overnight flights.
United 737 First Class Seat Reclined
Meals and beverages

Pre-departure beverage service – Time permitting and if the flight attendants want to.  Most times they do and take a drink order.
Complimentary beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and freshly brewed coffee – The new United coffee is miserable, it is undrinkable unless you drop a bottle of Bailey’s in it.  Luckily, they have Bailey’s and are more than happy to mix it in your coffee.  Good selection, same items as in coach, of free drinks.  The mixer/specialty drinks, like the Mojito, are not free though.
Hot towel service – Nice way to freshen up once in the air.
Meal service on flights longer than two hours – The 737 breakfast is great, usually a tasty omelet or egg mcmuffin.  They also have warm cinnamon buns too.  Lunch and dinner is usually a wrap or salad choice.  Both come with tasty soup and a fresh baked cookie.  The food quality is improving, but consistency is not.  Here is breakfast lunch and dinner reviewless than flattering meal review and here is a flattering review.

View additional meal and beverages information
Leg Room in United 737 First Class

Audio entertainment with complimentary headsets provided on aircraft equipped with in-flight entertainment – Not every 737 has inflight entertainment.  A few new airplanes were ordered without any entertainment at all.  I flew one 737 with the new Boeing Sky Interior, but no tv or audio to keep me busy. 
Complimentary DIRECTV® on equipped aircraft – Free if they have it, but it’s not a sure thing.
Complimentary movies on all flights three hours or longer – If there is no DirectTV, but a monitor in the aisle, then you get a free movie.  If there is DirectTV, then you have free access to the system anyway.
A complimentary copy of Hemispheres magazine – Good magazine to flip though, but don’t feel too special, every seat has a copy.
United 737
Airport arrival and departure

Premier AccessSM check-in, baggage handling, boarding and security lines (where available) – Short lines abound for first class flyers.  Two free checked bags too.  No free United Club access for North American first class flyers though.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Star Alliance Transfer Passenger Survey at EWR

The Star Alliance wants to know about your international transfer experience.  They are not interested in anything else (at least at the moment).  The Star Alliance has been trying to simplify global travel for passengers on member airlines for the last 15 years and they have become very good at it (long queues at LHR aside).  It’s a good sign that they are collecting passenger feedback about the process.  The questions were all multiple choice for international transit customers.  An interesting find at EWR; way better than the Met store clearance table.

Star Alliance Survey Machine

Star Alliance Survey Display

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Travel Tip – Good Day Trip Ideas

Sometimes you need a few more miles for the next status tier, other times you just want a mini-vacation, day trips are great solutions.  Instead of going on a two day cross country trek for miles, a little hop somewhere can do the job just as well; you can’t claim to experience a city just by their airport. Here are a few cities that make great day trip material.
United Airlines 757 at SFO
United Airlines 757 at SFO
San Jose (SJC) – I really like San Jose, the airport is short cab ride to downtown, walkable once you get there.  While in town, I recommend the Technology Museum; it has really interesting stuff like a robot that draws your picture and computer chip making equipment.  There are also a few good places to grab a bite in the area too.  The weather is usually outstanding too.
San Jose Tech Museum
San Antonio (SAT) – San Antonio usually has cheap fares and is a very easy city to tour.  The airport is about 15 minutes by cab from the Alamo (free tours).  From there, take a stroll on the river walk and grab a bite at one of the many restaurants along the river.  The boat rides are cheap and fun too.  It can get hot in the summer, but you don’t feel it that much by the river.

San Francisco (SFO) – San Francisco has a lot to offer, Alcatraz tours (book in advance), great sea food, In-N-Out, sights, the water front, and the trollies.  All of this is a (expensive for public transit) BART ride from the airport.  Very easy to day trip, but the BART is a little long, so allow extra time.  SFO isn't the most predictable airport, inconsistent security wait times and fog regularly causes delays.  There are usually cheap transcon flights, so it's worth a shot.
San Francisco Sights
Boston (BOS) – Take the T (subway) into town for $2.  It’s maybe a 20 minute ride to get to Boston Common.  Boston has a few sights all within a short stroll, like the capital building, old cemeteries, and other historic buildings.  There is also a lovely park along the Charles River for a stroll.  Another quick hop on the T and you are back at the airport.  BOS is also a nice airport to chill in if you have a connection, free (and fast) wifi, good views, and a nice terminal for Continental, US Airways, and Delta.  The United, jetBlue, and American terminals are difficult to spend time in.

Massachusetts State House, Kodak B&W Film + Fisheye

Monday, February 20, 2012

Travel Tip - How to Turn Off Your TV on the Plane

Personal TV's are becoming more and more common on airplanes, great news for most, but an annoyance for some.  Let me explain.  United / Continental has personal TVs in most of their 737 fleet and charge coach passengers $4 (flights less than 2 hours) or $6 (flights greater than 2 hours) for the service.  Some people who don't buy want to turn them off and sleep.  Most people do this by pushing and holding the OFF button, lower left in the picture (it also adjusts the brightness).  Some people on my last flight didn't know about that button and tried to cover the screen up with airsick bags, notebook paper, or safety cards.  Others were staring at a Lincoln car commercial run in a loop for three hours. There is an easier way.
In Flight DirecTV control on Continental 737