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Welcome back to my series of my Winter 2018/2019 trip! After 2 glorious weeks back home, it was time to head back….'home'. For this report, I'll be flying United Economy Plus to Chicago O'Hare from LaGuardia. I booked this flight in Economy, but got upgraded for free at the airport, thanks to my 1K Status. In case you've forgotten, here's a look at the itinerary of the trip:
A took a taxi from the Upper West Side and arrived at the lovable-dump known as LaGuardia Airport about 30 minutes later. Surprisingly, the only traffic was on a short stretch of FDR Drive, which is very unusual for the time of day. The driver dropped me off right at the door for United check-in.
I checked-in at the Premier Access counter, were a very helpful and friendly agent checked my suitcase in all the way to Munich, despite the fact that the two flights were on separate bookings! I took 10 minutes, but he did it, and kudos to him. I usually don't check in my suitcase, but I didn't feel like dragging it around O'Hare for 9 hours.
Not a single delay! Great job, United!
After I got my boarding pass, I headed to the United Club, which is located airside…
…and one floor up.
Great views from the lounge.
And a view of my aircraft, N845UA (fleet number 4045). It was delivered new to United in November 2001.
No photos of the lounge itself as it was very crowded, but I got some cereal, water, and coffee.
The famous LaGuardia sign.
Time for a bit of planespotting: Delta Connection Embraer 175 (operated by SkyWest) arriving from Madison.
United Express Embraer 145 (operated by ExpressJet) arriving from Cleveland.
Spirit A320neo arriving from Fort Lauderdale.
A look at the American side of the terminal. The Embraer 135 will fly to Wilmington, NC, while the Embraer 175 will fly to Atlanta.
An empty part of the lounge.
With a good choice of news channel.
15 minutes before boarding, I left the lounge to clear security. It may be rather outdated, but it's comfortable and one can always find an empty seat. I'll miss it, but I'm looking forward to seeing the new lounge in Terminal B.
Despite the Trump shutdown, security was smooth and efficient, at least in the TSA PreCheck lane. I was airside in no more than 5 minutes.
A little pop-up Admirals 'Club'.
United's gates are at the end of the terminal.
Arrived at the gate just as boarding commenced. Another look at ship 4045 that would fly me to O'Hare.
Down the jetbridge.
A quick visit to the flight deck before departure. Thanks for inviting me in, Captain!
I bid farewell to my friend, who upgraded to First (I was the next one on the upgrade list!) and sat in 1E, and made my way to my seat, 7A, which had plenty of legroom.
In the seatback pocket were the Safety Card, Hemispheres Magazine, and barf bag.
One of the things I love about flying United: United Private Screening.
Detail on the headrest.
The Captain made a short announcement, announced a flight time of 1 hour and 59 minutes, and wished us a pleasant flight. After that, the purser made his announcement, and a Safety Presentation was performed.
While the Safety Presentation was taking place, the jetbridge was de-attached, and we pushed back.
Beginning our taxi to Runway 31.
Delta A321 off to Minneapolis.
Southwest 737-700 arrived from Chicago Midway.
Delta Connection Embraer 175 (operated by SkyWest) arrived from St. Louis.
Throgs Neck Bridge
United Express Embraer 145 (operated by ExpressJet) departing to Cleveland.
American 737-800 off to Dallas
Delta Connection Embraer 175 (operated by – you guessed it – SkyWest) off to Memphis.
Line for takeoff growing behind us.
Starting our roll.
One last view of LaGuardia's main terminal.
Urgh. I blurred it out. (any guesses as to what 'it' is?)
Right turn over Rikers Island.
The conEd transformer that caused Astoria Borealis and the first views of Manhattan.
Over The Bronx.
Yankee Stadium (let the record state that I'm a proud Mets fan, though)
A great view of my city.
Inwood and North Manhattan.
George Washington Bridge.
Left turn over the Hudson.
Lower Midtown, Downtown, and the Freedom Tower.
Downtown, Jersey City, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Bye New York. See you soon 😢
A look at the cabin/bulkhead after takeoff
Over New Jersey.
In the Hemispheres magazine, a look at United's impressive route network, domestic…
The Island Hopper. Hopefully some day soon.
Time to get watch some shows on United Private Screening.
A very good selection of shows and movies.
But I decided to stick with the usual Big Bang Theory.
At this point, we were crossing back into New York airspace and a snack was served.
Mini pretzels. Not a lot, but passable for this short flight.
A little bit of snow down below.
Forgot to show you that you can track your flight from the United app.
View from the aft galley window.
The cabin. Same seats that Lufthansa has for short haul flights, but much more comfortable because of the headrest and the fact that they are padded.
I visited by friend up in First Class for a few minutes, and as soon as I returned, the purser offered me some cheesecake from there! That's the great service I remember from United from before the merger, not from the Jeff Smisek days. Luckily, United is becoming great again with Oscar Munoz in charge.
Globe detail on the plate.
Now over Canadian airspace, with a great view of Lake Erie.
As we were flying over central Michigan, the First Officer announced that we were cruising at 26,000 feet due to turbulence above us. He also added that the weather was good in Chicago and that we'd be arriving at gate B9.
Descending over Lake Michigan.
Nice touch on the seat.
What a beautiful day for flying – and in January no less!
Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, East Chicago, Indiana.
Gorgeous view of downtown Chicago!
From another view.
Super kiss landing! I barely felt it. In my experience, United (and American pilots in general) land planes the smoothest.
Taxiing off the runway…
In into the terminal area.
No pictures of the deplaning, as I rushed out to say goodbye to my friend who had a very tight connection to Seattle. I did snap one last shot of 4045, though.
And of course, a look at the routing of my flight.
A great flight that reminded me why I love United. I'm happy that I chose them as my airline of choice. Thanks for reading, and see you for the last part!
As I said above, it was a great flight that reminded me why I love United. Great service and a very fresh looking A319. On top of that, I got stellar views of two of America's most beautiful cities.
+ Nice lounge at LaGuardia
+ Recently refurbished A319
+ Extra legroom in the bulkhead row
+ Excellent and friendly service
+ Great selection of movies with United Private Screening
+ Free cheesecake
+ Super smooth landing
Actually, there wasn't anything bad about the flight! Nothing! It just made me happy that United keeps getting better and better. I'm happy that I chose them as the airline to hit 1 Million Miles with.