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Welcome to part 4 of my recent trip back home to the United States! After one evening, one full day, and one morning, it was time to leave Seattle, which is always hard to do.
I experienced 5 new products in a total of 7 flights. I'll be keeping you in suspense by announcing each new segment as it comes. Here's where the routing stands at this report:
Here's how the entire trip looked like on a map, thanks to the Great Circle Mapper, now that it's all done:
I had some errands to run on the morning of departure, so I left my hotel plenty early, at 6:55 AM. Once I finished them, I headed to the Rental Car facility at SeaTac, which isn't actually located on the airport's property. Regardless of that, it's still quite easy to access the terminal, as there are free shuttles that leave very frequently. I managed to catch one right as it left.
After a short five minute drive, the shuttle dropped us off curbside at the south end of the terminal, where the international airlines' check-in is found.
United's check-in is in the same section of the terminal, between Air Canada and JetBlue.
The Premier Access lane was empty.
I was helped by a wonderful Filipino check-in agent who regretfully told me that First Class was already full, and that I was number 6 on the Upgrade list. As it was a short flight, I was perfectly content in Economy Plus. She also helped me use PlusPoints for upgrading my next flight, and that upgrade cleared immediately. With my boarding passes in hand, I headed to security, which, as I find to always be the case at SeaTac, was a breeze. Shortly afterwards, I was airside.
United flights depart from the A gates at the southern end of the main terminal, which is where I headed.
On my way to the gate, I spotted United's awesome Star Wars 737, which was off to Houston.
United operates its own lounge at SEA, and that's where I waited for my flight. The lounge is located across from gate A10.
Apparently, the only photo I took from the lounge was of my food… Sorry! I was impressed that there was some real food this time, and not just cheese cubes and hummus.
My flight was departing from gate A14, at the very end of the terminal.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get any good views of my A319, N808UA, which was built and delivered to United in March 1998. It's fleet number is 4008.
Down the jetbridge.
Fortunately, I was able to snag a good fuselage shot.
I was greeted by two mediocre Denver-based FAs who looked really tired. In my experience, UA's Denver-based crews are the worst. I'm not saying that they are bad, but in comparison to other crews, they are just meh. Anyways, I quickly found my seat, 8A, in the second row of Economy Plus.
As is the norm with Economy Plus, the pitch was a generous 34".
All Economy Plus seats also have universal power outlets, which is a big plus (pun intended).
The view from my window.
Jetbridge disconnected, ready to push.
United 757-200 to Washington-Dulles.
Beginning our taxi to Runway 16L.
Japan Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner to Tokyo-Narita.
Asiana Star Alliance 777-200ER to Seoul-Incheon.
ANA 787-8 Dreamliner, also off to Tokyo-Narita.
British Airways 777-200ER to London-Heathrow.
While we waited for takeoff, the Captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard, announced our flight time of 1h35m, and told us that we were number 7 for takeoff.
Horizon Dash 8 in the Retro Livery off to Portland.
Quite a line forming behind us, led by an Alaska 737-900 to Los Angeles.
Rolling past the aforementioned Star Wars 737.
Climbing past the Main Terminal…
…and the South Satellite Terminal.
Into the clouds shortly after takeoff.
Emerging from the clouds.
Climbing out. The airfield on the right is Joint Base Lewis-McChord (TCM/KTCM).
Economy Plus sticker on the tray table.
Typical tray table.
During the cruise, the flight attendants performed the service. While the crew wasn't actively bad, they just seemed like they didn't want to be there. They tried their best to be friendly. The service consisted of a drink (water for me) and a Biscoff cookie. The usual offerings for a domestic flight and passable for the short flight time, but still rather disappointing.
Cruising at 37,000 feet.
View of the cabin.
As we neared San Francisco, the Captain made another announcement saying that we'd be landing on Runway 28L, and that we'd be early despite taking off half an hour late.
Clear Lake, California.
Row 8 provides a great view of the engine.
San Pablo Bay, California.
Great view of San Francisco, this time on a sunny day.
Turning left towards the airport.
Over the airport.
Typical super smooth United landing at 2:08 PM, 18 minutes early, after a flight time of 1h32m.
Taxiing off the runway.
Pulling into our gate next to a United 737-900 wearing Special Olympics stickers preparing for its flight to Kona.
Quick look at my seat. It's basically the same as Lufthansa's narrowbody seat, but it's much better padded and has a headrest, which makes quite a difference. All Y seats have a headrest, not just Economy Plus seats.
Passing through the First cabin.
Into the jetbridge behind the Captain.
One last look at the aircraft.
We took off from Runway 16L and flew the ELMAA 3 Departure, which is standard for all flights to San Francisco. Then we flew south at 37,000 feet. We made 2 turns over the Mendochino National Forest, but I don't know why. We commenced our descent north of Santa Rosa.
After we landed, I headed to the United Club and waited for my next flight, which is where we'll see each other next time. Stay tuned!
Of the 4 United flights I took on this trip, this one was the weakest.
+ Friendly ground staff at SEA
+ Comfy Economy Plus seat with great legroom
+ Great views
- Meh service
- Poor food selection
It was a typical domestic flight, though probably one of the worst United crews I have had.