Review of United flight San Francisco New York in Business

Airline United
Flight UA 670
Class Business
Seat 10J
Flight time 05:39
Take-off 11 Nov 11, 08:47
Arrival at 11 Nov 11, 17:26
UA   #92 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 319 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 4280
Published on 8th October 2013
A hectic holiday weekend full of travelers and chaos at the airport. Arrived by 7:15A and already big lines at the check-in counters. Security lines are getting long, even at the special F and elite lines. Last minute equip. change from a 757 to 763 the night before. Checked res and still had seat 1A so I thought I was safe. Used an award tkt for F and booked into class inventory XF.

Checked in at the Premier Exec. counter and agent gave me boarding pass wishing me a good trip. Was in a hurry to get through security so I went to the Intl. side and entered through there. Seasoned travelers standing in line as well. Handed boarding card to security along with ID and noticed on the boarding card seat 9A in J - what the heck? Why didn't agt tell me about the downgrade? Going through security was a breeze. Less people and quicker. Headed to UA F lounge since I was flying p.s. in F originally and sort things out.

Agent at UA F lounge checked my reservation and advised me that full revenue passengers were protected before me. Felt really special! She apologized and advised to contact Customer Service for compensation. She then allowed me into the lounge without hesitation and apologized.


UA Intl F lounge in SFO

Entrance from intl terminal.

photo UA F Intl lounge (37) (800x637)


Once you enter and you are checked by reception, you proceed downstairs through the stairs or elevators. Service counters downstairs.

photo UA F Intl lounge (2) (800x513)


Lounge interior




Buffet




Flight was delayed until 10:20A so I had plenty of time to enjoy lounge. Later I decided to go to UA Club at domestic side and it was crowded. I stayed for 10 min. and left.

At the gate, agt checks my reservation and apologizes for the downgrade. She makes a call and then gives me 3 options: a) $200 credit towards domestic tkt, b) 9,000 miles or c) 10% off any worldwide fare. I said that I will think about it and contact Customer Service later. I asked for an aisle seat. She gladly gives me 10J.


Cabin




Flight attendant offered water or OJ for pre-dept. drink. Crew was nice and efficient. Menu was distributed and there were 3 choices - egg omelette with turkey sausage, apple pancakes with turkey sausage and fruit with muesli. Hot towels were offered before the meal. After the meals were distributed FA offered scones, croissants or bagels. Some of the scones were broken. Seatmate asks for scone and then a croissant. FA advised that she has to make sure that everyone gets a choice and then offered to return if she has extras. Seatmate replies whatever. To her credit she comes back but by now passenger refuses the croissant. Very cheap for UA to not load a full assortment of breads and pastries so that passengers have a choice of each item. After all, how much extra is it going to cost when you consider the price of a J ticket?, especially on a premium market like SFO-JFK.


Breakfast

photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (12) (800x600)photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (14) (800x487)photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (17) (800x679)


Snack before arrival

photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (18) (800x600)


Galley and bathroom

photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (21) (800x600)photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (5) (800x672)photo UA 670 SFO-JFK (6) (800x600)


Flight arrives late but in the same terminal that my connecting CX flight departs, saving me from going through security one more time.









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Verdict

United

7.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering6.5

United First International Lounge

9.0/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services9.0

San Francisco - SFO

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

New York - JFK

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

My downgrade came as a last minute surprise due to equipment change and it was not a pleasant one. I was really looking forward to trying the F suite on this route. Fortunately the downgrade was with a larger equipment so I was protected in J class. It was originally on a 757 with special configuration and then changed to an intl. 767-300. On the positive side I saved some miles since they credited me for the difference between a F and J award, and I gained 9,000 additional miles for the inconvenience.

The crew did the best they could under the circumstances and they were polite and professional throughout the flight. Catering is deficient and not having enough breads and pastries for everyone is embarrassing. That is not a surprise since U.S. carriers try to cut cost everywhere, even in premium cabins. Once upon a time U.S. aviation set the standard in service with iconic airlines like Pan Am and TWA at the helm. Sadly nowadays domestic travel is as glamorous as taking a bus with a la carte pricing.

Information on the route San Francisco (SFO) New York (JFK)

5 Comments

  • Comment 89392 by
    pititom GOLD 10697 Comments

    Thank you for this report ! A downgrade is never pleasant, but IMHO you didn't loose this time : I have tried both the 757 in F for a p.s service (JFK-SFO) and this 767 configuration in J (CDG-PHL) and I can tell you that the seat is better with the 767/J than the 757/F. So if you include the mileage saving (plus the 9000 !), I really think it's a good deal :)

    The service is indeed not great. As your flight was in 2011, it would have been better in F, that's true. But since June 2013 (so at the time we all read this), it doesn't make any difference as the F and J services are now aligned...

  • Comment 89409 by
    Durian 1171 Comments

    thanks for the report, what an odd cabin layout with backwards-facing seats !

  • Comment 89458 by
    KL651 TEAM 4491 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    What a shame to not even let you know of the downgrade.
    However, on this configuration, you still got a lie flat seat.
    The lounge offering is good by US standards ;-)

  • Comment 89463 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12386 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The lounge is more a business one than a first

    Business international is quite good with a full flat seat : IMO you won ;) especially with saved miles and the 9,000 gained

    Catering is nothing to speak about

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