AIRCRAFT Boeing 787-9
TAKEOFF 16-03-23 1:50 p.m.
VIEWS 1865
LANDING AT 7:10 p.m.
The 21st October 2016

Photo review of United Airlines flight from Frankfurt-am-Main to Houston in Premium Eco


This series covers a two-week vacation to Europe that will feature stops in SOF, BEG, TIV, LIS, ARN, and ATH. For background and planning, please refer back to Part 1. As a reminder, the routing for this series is:

Part 1 – IAH-IAD [UA 373, Boeing B767-300ER, Economy] – Here
Part 2 – IAD-MUC [UA 106, Boeing B767-400ER, Economy] – Here
Part 3 – MUC-SOF [LH 1702, Airbus A321, Economy] – Here
Part 4 – SOF-BEG [JU 123, Aérospatiale/Alenia ATR 72-200, Economy] – Here
Part 5 – BEG-TIV [YM 201, Fokker F100, Economy] – Here
Part 6 – TIV-BEG [YM 202, Fokker F100, Economy] – Here
Part 7 – BEG-LHR [JU 380, Airbus A319, Business] – Here
Part 8 – LHR-MAD [IB 3167, Airbus A330-300, Business] – Here
Part 9 – MAD-LIS [IB 3118, Airbus A321, Business] – Here
Part 10 – LIS-LHR [BA 499, Airbus A320, Business] – Here
Part 11 – LHR-ARN [BA 780, Boeing B767-300ER, Business] – Here
Part 12 – ARN-BEG [JU 411, Airbus A319, Business] – Here
Part 13 – BEG-ATH [JU 512, Airbus A319, Business] – Here
Part 14 – ATH-IST [TK 1850, Boeing B737-900ER, Economy] – Here
Part 15 – IST-ATH [TK 1843, Boeing B737-800, Economy] – Here
Part 16 – ATH-FRA [A3 830, Airbus A321, Economy] – Here
Part 17 – FRA-IAH [UA 47, Boeing B787-900, EconomyPlus] – You are here

Tourist Bonuses:

Sofia – Part 4
Kotor – Part 6
Belgrade – Part 7
Lisbon – Part 9
Sintra – Part 10
Stockholm – Part 12
Athens – Part 16

This report will cover the flight from FRA to IAH. The LH A380 would have been preferred, but the flight times of the UA 47 service better fit my schedule so I bit the bullet.


Heading into Terminal 1, I walk towards the FIDS to find my gate.

photo 1

photo 2

My flight to IAH was leaving from the Z gates.

photo 3

Off to the A gates.

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 8

LH A343 in *A Livery.

photo 7

I head into the nearest LH Lounge to grab some food after that disappointing breakfast on A3. My TK card is swiped and I’m welcomed in.

photo 9


photo 10

The buffet that was crowded.

photo 11

I just grab some food and go take a seat in the corner by the windows.

photo 12

My breakfast offering.

photo 13

LH and UA planes outside.

photo 14

photo 15

I found that lounge to be really crowded so only stayed an hour before getting up to leave. Wandering around the terminal towards the Z gates, some more LH planes.

photo 16

photo 19

photo 20

photo 21

I like how FRA has free newspapers and coffee.

photo 17

The seating areas are spartan though.

photo 22

Continuing my wandering through FRA.

photo 23

photo 24

photo 25

Returning to the lounge.

photo 26

Not as crowded now.

photo 27

I’ll join this guy in the Franziskaner Club.

photo 28

Quieter seating areas in the back corner along with an unmanned bar.

photo 29

photo 30

photo 34

I take a seat and enjoy my final snack.

photo 31

Boarding documents.

photo 32

My plane is here.

photo 33

Goodbye FRA as I head over to my gate.

photo 35


United Airlines, UA 47
Equipment: Boeing B787-900 [N27964, delivered February 2016]
Departure: 13:50 (ATD: 14:14)
Arrival: 19:10 (ATA: 18:52)
Flight time: 10:38

Gate agents were busy doing document checks when I showed up to my gate.

photo 36

FRA has a really industrial feel.

photo 37

photo 38

My plane waiting outside.

photo 39

Boarding was chaotic because UA insists on using this 5 zone boarding and places all of the lines next to each other since it’s impossible to find which line is yours and make your way through the crowds.

photo 40

Down towards the jetbridge.

photo 41

photo 42

I was greeted by a FA that checked my boarding pass and gestered me down the first aisle. The J cabin on this B787. I’m glad UA finally realized how unattractive these cabins are and will start rolling out Zodiac fitted Polaris Business Class cabins soon.

photo 43

My seat in the first row of Y. The B789s (unlike the B788s) get the new leather seats instead of the cloth checkerboard seats.

photo 44

photo 45

photo 48

photo 53

Pre-placed on the seat were blanket and pillow.

photo 46

Legroom is ample in the bulkhead row without too much restriction to the knees for fully extending one’s legs.

photo 47

TP A320 next door.

photo 49

Seatback contents.

photo 50

Safety card for this B787.

photo 51

photo 52

IFE controls were fixed into the seat.

photo 55

UA propaganda video and the safety video played during push back.

photo 56

LH A346.

photo 57

LX Avro RJ100 in *A special livery.

photo 58

The Fanhansa rotating in front of a LH A321.

photo 59

Another LH B744.

photo 60

TG A380.

photo 61

LH A380 and TK B738.

photo 63

photo 64

We turn to align on the runway as the LH A380 starts to rotate at the end.

photo 65

HiFly Malta A343 (9H-TQM).

photo 66

VN B789.

photo 67

CA B77W.

photo 68

Lifting up over the terminal.

photo 69

We rise up and over Frankfurt as we loop towards the northwest.

photo 70

photo 71

photo 72

photo 73

photo 74

Disappearing into the clouds, I pull up the IFE. The screen is the same size as the ones in the seat backs. UA has all of the Bond movies, so it will be a marathon viewing on the flight home.

photo 75

photo 76

photo 77

Power outlets are under the seat.

photo 79

Cloudy Europe.

photo 78

About 45 minutes into the flight, aperitif service is done. I take a Goose Island IPA and the “cheese” and crackers.

photo 80

The meal carts follow shortly. I forget what the other option was, but I went for what they described as a “pasta duet.” The tray has the passport sized main, a couscous salad, and the rubber roll.

photo 81

The pasta wasn't very good. I was inclined to get this since the pasta I had in Part 2 on IAD-MUC was actually good, but this was overcooked and dry.

photo 82

The visually exciting salad, but ultimately tasteless.

photo 83

Drinks were flowing though. My request for a glass of water and another beer was quickly taken care of.

photo 84

After the meal, bottles of water and ice cream was handed out.

photo 85

Coffee/tea service was also done as the cabin lights were dimmed for the remainder of the flight.

photo 86

Meal service concluded as we were departing Ireland.

photo 87

A view down my row after meal service.

photo 88

I don’t remember any drink runs offering water by the FAs mid-flight, but I got a glass of water from the galley and took a nap.

photo 89

I woke up as we were entering Canada.

photo 90

A drink service was done mid-flight. They also offered BOB.

photo 91

Flying along the Hudson Bay towards Quebec City.

photo 92

photo 93

Meal service started up again as we were about to cross from Tennessee into Mississippi.

photo 94

Just like in Europe, cloudy here in the US.

photo 95

The pre-arrival meal.

photo 96

The 3-bite ham and cheese sandwich (compare it to the size of the cup). The FAs also offered BOB items, so UA knows that they are short changing people on food. This is a nearly 11-hour flight west-bound making it on par with most east-bound TPACs. Definitely inadequate quantities.

photo 97

Coasting into IAH from the east.

photo 98

Our route today.

photo 99

Crossing I-45.

photo 100

We touch down ahead of schedule on a hot humid day in Houston (no surprises there…).

photo 101

photo 102

Taxing back to the terminal, the windows completely fog over by the time we reach the gate next to our twin.

photo 103

photo 104

Deplaning and heading towards immigration.

photo 105

Welcome to Houston!

photo 106

And with that, this series finally comes to an end. See you!


United Airlines 

Cabin 7.5
Cabin crew 6.5
Entertainment 9.0
meal/catering 4.0
TOTAL 6.8/10

Lufthansa Business Lounge - Terminal A, Level 2, Next to gate A13 

Comfort 7.5
meal/catering 8.5
Services 8.0
Entertainment 9.0
TOTAL 8.3/10

Frankfurt-am-Main - FRA 

Efficiency 7.0
Access 8.0
Services 9.0
Cleanliness 8.0
TOTAL 8.0/10

Houston - IAH 

Efficiency 6.0
Access 4.0
Services 8.0
Cleanliness 6.5
TOTAL 6.1/10


Vacation ends the moment you set foot on a UA plane. UA is reliable and functional airline, but there is nothing to get excited about. The cabins and crews are average and the catering usually is not very good.

Cabin comfort: The new seats installed on the B789s aren't very comfortable. I don't know if this was because the plane was so new, but they were very stiff and plastic feeling so I did find some butt discomfort during this flight. Seat pitch was excellent in the bulkhead.

Crew: Standard UA crew. They did service cracking some jokes and have some personalities, but the rest of the flight they were more interested in sitting in the galley chatting with each other than doing their jobs.

Meal and catering: The UA trays are small, but this time the main was pretty bad with the overcooked and dry pasta. The pre-arrival "snack" is just pitifiul. UA really is on the level of SK, they just don't want to admit it.

Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. The IFE is pretty good on UA. Moving maps and all the Bond movies, I'm happy.