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Welcome back to my Flight-Report series regarding my winter 2019-2020 journey back to the US! In the last segment, I had flown from Newark to San Francisco in Business Class on a United 757-200. Now I'm back with the next part: a hop up the Pacific Coast on a United A320 in First.
I experienced 5 new products in a total of 7 flights (including this one). I'll be keeping you in suspense by announcing each new segment as it comes. Here's where the routing stands at this report:
I cleared this upgrade at booking, due to my 1K Status and the fact this wasn't a Premier route (see my previous report for more on that). Here's how the entire trip looked like on a map, thanks to the Great Circle Mapper, now that it's all done:
Anyways, when last we saw each, I was on my way to the United Club. There are 4 United Clubs at SFO - One at the International Terminal, one in Terminal 3F (where my flight from Newark arrived), and two in Terminal 3E (where my flight was departing). I decided to first go to the United Club in Terminal 3F, which is my favorite UA Club in the system. It's located near gate F11. The lounge was pretty full, so I only snagged a picture of the buffet area.
I was lucky enough to find a chair by a window, and had a view of a surprisingly empty tarmac.
I decided to head to Terminal 3E, which is one of the newest parts of SFO, which opened in 2014. I love the new terminal, and there is also a great Mexican restaurant!
I briefly went to the United Club by Gate E4 which was packed to the brim. I managed to snag a photo of the A320 flying me up the coast, though. My ride was N482UA, fleet number 4282, which was built in September 2001 and delivered to United in November of that year. It had been with United for its whole life, apart from a 5-year stint at Ted.
I boarded first and was greeted by 2 fabulous young Chicago-based flight attendants. One was wearing a Santa hat and the other an antlers headband. I immediately knew it would be a great flight. Within 3 minutes of sitting down in 1A, my coat was taken and I was offered a beverage. I went with water, as always.
Great view, despite the dirty window.
Fantastic legroom at Row 1.
Leather literature pocket, which contained the safety card…
…United's Hemispheres magazine…
…and the typical United Explorer Card offer card.
I hadn't flown United First since 2015, and this was my first time in the new First seat, which is spacious and has A LOT of storage options. It has a very nice marble drink table…
…a large storage compartment under the armrest…
…a universal power outlet…
…another storage unit on the other side of the seat…
…and a large armrest!
Once boarding was completed, the Captain made his welcome announcement and announced that we'd be taking off from Runway 10R and that our routing would take us via Klamath Falls and Portland to Seattle. A flight time of 1h38m was announced. Shortly thereafter, the jetbridge was pulled away, and we pushed back.
Beginning our taxi to the runway.
Checking the flight controls.
"United 447, Runway 10 Left, cleared for takeoff".
Flying Northeast after departure.
Great view of the Bay Area looking North!
Over Oakland International Airport (OAK/KOAK).
Emerging from the clouds.
The service began with the drinks cart and a glass of water.
While the A320 doesn't have IFE, there is a tablet holder. Combined with power outlets and United Private Screening, you won't get bored!
The sun was slowly setting for most of the flight.
As much as I love United, I have to say that I absolutely hate their catering decisions. When you get a hot meal, chances are it's going to be delicious. This is what United's website says about dining in Domestic First:
And as SEA-SFO is blocked at 2h18m, all we got was the dreaded snack basket. If United had blocked this flight with just 2 more minutes, we could have gotten a full meal. Ridiculous. But I digress. I chose the Cinnamon Swirl Bites from the basket, which were tasty, but there was nothing "Premium" about them, unlike what it says in the website.
At least the view outside was gorgeous!
Mt. Shasta, California.
Blurry, but there's a nice United Globe on the side of the seat.
This view sums up why I love aviation!
View of the galley from my seat. On my way back from the restroom, I chatted with one of the flight attendants (the one with the antlers ?), who agreed with my hatred of UA's catering policy, and let me take whatever else I wanted from the snack basket. I've always loved United crews!
Shallow left turn over Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Last rays of sunlight.
Eugene, Oregon in the distance.
I reclined my seat and dozed off for the final 30 minutes of the flight and woke up when we were over Tacoma, 10 minutes from landing.
Turning right base.
Good evening, Seattle!
Fantastic view of the skyline of the city that I used to call home.
Passing Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI).
Over the runway.
And a smooth as silk landing on Runway 16R at 6:08 PM, 25 minutes early, after being in the air for 1h36m.
Vacating the runway.
Passing by the construction of the bridge from Concourse A to S.
Pulling in next to a company 737-800.
One last look at my very comfortable home of the past 2 hours.
Into the jetbridge.
Our routing up north was fairly straightforward. After our rare takeoff on Runway 10L, we made two right turns to head North. We flew via Klamath Falls and Portland at 36,000 feet and used the HAWKZ6 RNAV arrival to SeaTac Airport.
I took the Link Light Rail from the airport to the Sheraton downtown. The journey took about half-an-hour and was pretty easy, although the walk in the cold from the terminal to the station was short but unpleasant. Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below, and I hope to see you in the next report!
Once again a very pleasant journey with United.
+ New(ish) United First cabin
+ Very comfortable seat with a lot of storage options
+ Awesome crew
+ Early operation
- Horrible catering
It's no surprise that I love United and I think that they are the best American airline, but I really hope that they'd change their catering policy!