Review of United flight Houston Tokyo in Business

Airline United
Flight UA7
Class Business
Seat 2C
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 13:20
Take-off 07 Aug 13, 11:10
Arrival at 07 Aug 13, 14:30
UA   #63 out of 81 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 389 reviews
By 10686
Published on 18th January 2014
Welcome to the first installment of “Where in the World is AznWrldTrvlr?” I am catching up on a couple of trip reports that I want to share with y’all since 2012 had been a great year for traveling including flying on many firsts!

While 2012 turned out to be a great year, I knew 2013 would be a rather slow year on the traveling front. This trip report will focus on the plans and how I celebrated my 37th birthday!


Normally, when one celebrates a birthday, especially a 37th one, it seems like a non-event. Yet in the previous years I had done some interesting trips on the day of my birthday including Maui, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, and Copenhagen. Last year, I postponed the birthday trip till September to Oslo and Stockholm and ended up working on my birthday to have enough time off for the September trip. I do promise to eventually do trip reports for those trips from 2012.

Fast forward to March 2013, I knew I wanted to travel somewhere and I wanted it to be a big international trip. In January, I took UA on my yearly trip to MNL and knew I do not want to fly on UA on this trip. Also, TK and CA were about to start services from IAH and I wanted to try those airlines out like I had with SQ.

I knew for this trip, I wanted to splurge a bit, and the only way to do that was to use a nice pile of miles I had been saving up just for a trip like this! The novice in me spending miles had fun planning where I want to go and if they met the amount of vacation time I could use up. Eventually, I had debated and rescheduled my itinerary numerous times costing me a couple of extra dollars on change fees when I know I shouldn’t have. Yet, the world is an interesting place and while I try to be apathetic to issues going on outside the US, I did not want to get stuck relatively new to me and possibly stuck in a country with some ongoing political turmoil.

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Initially the trip was scheduled for a simple IAH-HKG routing via TK in J via IST. I had a 9hr afternoon layover and wanted to quickly venture into Istanbul for a feel and then continue on my journey to HKG. Yet with the riots going on in Taksim Square and relying on public transit to and from the airport, I started to change my plans. The novice in me decided to cancel the itinerary, yet wondered if I had to pay the fee to redeposit the miles.

Since I would not try out TK this time around, I was yearning to fly on SQ again, and the added bonus of stopping in DME to collect a few Sochi 2014 souvenirs from the Bosco shop located inside the airport. Of course, SQ closes out the ability to use miles in their premium classes whether it is on their 77W or A380. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed SQ even in Y when we tried them during my 2012 trip to MNL (which I promise to finish the return some day soon!). I then decided that I could split my time between Singapore and Hong Kong, especially when a J ticket on LH popped up for HKG-FRA-IAH. Now I was salivating, IAH-DME-SIN in Y on SQ’s 77W, HKG-FRA in J on LH’s 748, and then FRA-IAH on LH’s A380. So now, I had to figure out how I wanted to go between SIN and HKG. I did not know how long I wanted to stay in both cities; I determined my length of stay based on reasonable hotel rates. However, I just could not lock down a good rate in the area I wanted.

While looking for hotels, I decided to check out the hotel rates over in Sydney. The cheaper rates in Sydney fueled my desire to return to the Land Down Under. Thus to go from SIN to HKG, I looked at heading down to SYD. MileagePlus posted some good deals using miles to do SIN-SYD J on an SQ 773, which used the regional J seat, which still looked good and I could use the SIN T3 SKL as well as Book the Cook. To go from SYD-HKG, MileagePlus posted a great deal on TG in F for SYD-BKK on a 744 and then in J on BKK-HKG on the A380, giving me plenty of time to go around Hong Kong before I connected onto the LH 748 to FRA.

Proposed Itinerary #1

Now that deal turned out to be a bit too good to be true. A week before departure I got a surprise. Once UA had posted my itinerary, many times they would post the corresponding confirmation number for the corresponding carrier I would take. Thus, I had the ability to go to the SQ and TG websites to check my reservations, and I checked them religiously to make sure I had the seats I wanted or obtain the seats that had previously been occupied. The issue arose when I checked my UA account to check on my itineraries. When I opened one of the reservations, it had a notice that I needed to call a UA representatives. I contacted a UA agent and she informed me that SQ could not at the time confirm me for a J nor a Y seat on SIN-SYD thus they could not ticket me at this time. She tried to give me a couple of scenarios, but I told her I had various portions planned that I would need to rework my itinerary. I asked if I could make my changes online and she said she would need to type a few things into the system so that I could easily make changes online. If I really wanted to have flown on SQ, I should have called SQ to see if I had a positive confirmation with them despite it not showing up on UA’s website.

When I got home I played around again on UA to figure out what to do. I also decide to give myself an extra day to play in Sydney and extending my stay a bit longer. That would mean that I would have to play around with all of my flights, including the opportunity to fly on the 748 and A380. I had already tried LH’s A380 on IAH-FRA-IAH, so I have initially checked the A380 off my immediate to fly list. Now, I did not quite looking forward to the ride in J on LH’s A380. I decided to add a day in Europe and I found a mile deal to try OS’s recently restarted VIE-ORD in J and on a 763! I also had to change my mind about my no UA policy. At least I would fly on my very first sUA 763 with IPTE to do ORD-IAH.

Proposed Itinerary #2

A couple of days later, the initial news of anti-gay rhetoric from a recent law passed in Russia made me question if I wanted to stop in Moscow right now, even if it was a short under 2hr layover. I did not want to deal with Russian immigration officers during transit, and the annoying Vietnamese travelers, many of whom board during the time they offer boarding for those requiring assistance. Not wanting to deal with those, the idea popped to make this trip an around the world trip. Since I had changed my mind on a no-UA policy, I started looking at options available in J or even F and travel in a western direction. In the end, this turned out to be my final routing:

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So now … sit back, relax, and enjoy this Round the World Trip!

I spend the days leading up to my birthday making sure I completed and filed all my paperwork I had to submit for work. I got home at a reasonable hour on the 6th, spending some time with my parents who were staying with me for the night to take me to the airport.

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Enjoying some “Birthday Cakes” from Dolce Delights in Midtown.

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Checking FlightTracker for my flight to NRT.

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Playing with the new Flying app on my iPhone.

Like any trip I take, I could not sleep the night before and I packed and repacked my bags to make sure I had everything, especially if I had packed my bags a week prior to leaving and I hadn’t finished confirming my entire itinerary! Also I was a bit anxious about this trip as portions of this trip still had yet to be confirmed with all of the last minute changes. Also I wondered if I would actually have the energy to pile all of this in an 8-day trip! I am no longer the young guy that had limitless energy to get up and go once I land. Yet I looked forward to this trip because I would be able to look back, reflect, and even cross off a few things to see and do from my bucket list. I guessed I would spend over 70% of my entire trip on an airplane with a few highlights from some great world class cities!

Eventually I stayed awake all night and decide to shower up while I wait for my parents to get ready. With a quad shot of Dulcão from my Nespresso machine, I patiently waited with my bags packed into the car all set and ready. By the time we head towards IAH, I check the time.

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Leaving the house and on the way to the airport, perfect timing!

It had been a couple of years since my last solo trip and I easily developed that apprehensive feeling because I had never done a itinerary-packed trip like this where plenty of variables could change my trip. It would have been nice to have someone join me, at least take a couple of pictures with me in them so I could document it! I’m not a fan of the selfie because I tend to want more shown in a pic than just my sexy mug :-)

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Google aerial view of IAH from FlightTracker for iPad

At 08:30, my parents dropped me off at Terminal E at IAH and received a Happy Birthday and safe travels greeting from my parents. With one last picture, I headed to the special check-in area next to the Premier Access check-in counters that’s reserved for both NRT departures and group check-in. I had wondered why NRT has a special check-in area at IAH.

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Me at Terminal E at the special NRT Check-In counter.

With one last goodbye to my mom, I headed airside and set off to check out the new Terminal B-South. Past security, I head over to TerminaLink and take the train to B. Surprisingly I should have also taken it to A since I had never taken TerminaLink to A. Oh well.

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Going through the Central B area en route to B-South.

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Digital map of Westfield IAH B-South

Just from initial inspection, it’s night-and-day between B-South and the rest of B. Yes it is new, but the “open space” feeling is nice compared to the cramped feeling of the old terminal. Also, there’s a nice nod to local Houston cuisine and a Texas favorite!

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You're definitely in Texas if you see a Whataburger in an airport! IAD may have Five Guys, but IAH has a Whataburger! {bigthumbsup}

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Bullritos - While it’s good, I wish Westfield had tried to get Freebirds or Mission Burritos to set up shop.

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3rd Bar Eating House by Chef Brian Caswell. I will have to try this place the next time. One of his restaurants, Reef, is just down the street from my place and always a fun place.

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A centralized Starbucks near the boarding areas of B-South.

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FIDS displaying all UA departures.

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My flight to NRT is showing on time.

I decided to now check out the B-South “waiting area”. Rather than having a seating area for each gate, B-South introduced centralized waiting areas for a group of gates. Each area then has a common boarding pier where passengers walk to their plane and multiple flights could board at the same time.

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B1-B11 waiting area

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B12-B20 gates

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UAEx planes waiting for departure from the B12-B20 pier.

Walking around the waiting area for gates B21-B31, there are some interesting things that I wonder they will feature throughout Terminals C & E.

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Seats while you wait, with USB and plug outlets

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Information overload of the different flights departing from B21-B31 gates.

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B21-B31 counters aren't as exciting as B12-B20 counters

After checking out the new B-South, I decide to check out the UA Club which is inside the central portion of B. I was tempted to get a couple of breakfast burritos from Whataburger for the road, but I decided to hold off and wait upon my return!

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Central B needs a desparate makeover!

Located on the upper level in the central area of Terminal B, members can access the UA Club by elevator or stairs, depending if you’ve got a lot of bags or not. This club mimics many of the former non-hub CO President Clubs for size and amenities. I check out to see what’s available before I head back to Terminal E.

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Bar area at TB UA Club

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Refreshments is a better term than snack bar.

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Blueberry yogurt and OJ to start off this journey!

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View of former B banjo next to newly opened B South

After finishing my yogurt, I left the UA Club and ventured to one of the last remaining banjos in B before it gets dismantled to give way to the new Terminal B-North. Walking the long corridor, I enter a crowded waiting area with multiple flights boarding.

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May be walking down my last time down a banjo

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This used to be the old NW gates when NW moved from HOU to IAH and they had partnered with CO and joined SkyTeam. Memories!

As mentioned, I used to go visit this area a lot when doing various mileage runs on NW, such as odd day trips like IAH-MEM-DEN-MEM-IAH as well as a couple of IAH-MEM-DCA-MEM-IAH, and a 4th of July day trip to BOS on IAH-DTW-BOS-MEM-IAH. Memories!

After taking a trip down memory lane, it was time to start creating new memories and I make my way back Terminal E via TerminaLink.

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Infamous B84 Barn Gate

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sCO 788 parked at C. Wish I made that stop in C to check it out.

I should have taken the train back to C just to check out the 788 and see where it was headed, but I was getting tired and wanted to rest at the UA Club in E, my favorite one.

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Interesting game just after E check-in

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Any last minute makeup?

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Straight Talk … anyone tried them?

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It is my birthday, should I splurge? NAH!

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UA 7 is still showing on time!

I arrive at the UA Club in E and gain admittance into the Club by the Lounge Dragons after showing my mobile boarding pass. The guy checking me in said I should head upstairs and ask one of the attendants to print out a new boarding pass to facilitate document check prior to boarding. I thank him for the advice and head upstairs. Now it is a custom of mine each time I have a mobile boarding pass and I use this lounge that I do get an actual boarding pass printed on cardstock rather than the flimsy receipt-like paper. Also the agents all have smiles and graciously help with any request. I approach the desk for a new boarding pass and without hesitation the agent issues me one on standard cardstock. Now that airlines have implemented 2D barcodes and using 2D barcode readers, I actually miss the boarding passes with the magnetic strip on them.

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iPhone boarding pass IAH-NRT

After I pick up my new boarding pass, I head up to the 3rd level because the main club level is always packed while the 3rd floor still has plenty of quieter seating areas and better airside views. I see my plane 017 from E07 taking me to NRT. This plane has the Star Alliance logo and it had taken me to NRT back in January while on my way to MNL.

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Look what's parked at E7? I get the *A plane to take me to NRT, again!

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Another pic of sCO plane in *A livery.

After resting a bit and trying to check-in for my next series of flights on TG, I decided to head to E7 with boarding time fastly approaching. I had no problems checking in on the TG website using my iPad for HND-BKK and BKK-SYD, yet it would not let me generate a PDF version of my boarding pass that I could print out. The website also did not generate an e-mail to confirm my check in nor send me a copy of my boarding pass. The iPhone apps would let me check in, but they did not have the capability to save my boarding passes on Passbook.

Upon departing from the UA Club, the guy who checked me in wished me a safe flight and I thanked him for letting me stop by the Club. I decided I wanted to get something from Jamba Juice, another tradition when departing from Terminal E. One tradition I did not do was stop by Pappasitos for a last minute Tex-Mex fix. I can manage not to have Tex-Mex in a week’s time; two weeks would be pushing my limit of no Tex-Mex! ;-) After picking up my Jamba fix, I headed back to the gate, just a couple of feet away and had my documents checked by one of the Japanese agents. Afterwards, she wished me a good flight and that boarding would start in the next few minutes. I decide to walk around the expansive waiting area and discovered something new at E4.

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I get to gate, and there's a long line? Oh wait, that's for people in Group 3.

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UA is trying new self-boarding gates again? These look nicer and similar to the ones used by LH and OS, minus the LH logos.

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This was the previous attempt of self-boarding gates back in the CO days. I finally got to use them on a flight to LHR back in 2011 before they were taken down for over a year.

While admiring the new self-boarding gates and sipping away at my Jamba, I hear the call for Group 2 boarding at the prescribed boarding time of 10:20. What happened to Group 1? I guess I missed it. Oh well! I make my way from E4 to E7 and join the riff-raff of Group 2.

UA 007
772, N78017 - Star Alliance Plane
Seat 2C

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What happened to boarding Group 1, I must go!

With boarding pass scanned, I make my way down the jetway and my feeling from anxiousness turns to excitement as I see a beautiful, familiar friend waiting for me.

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Wahoo!!! The beauty gets to start my birthday trip!

Once I get into the covered jetway, I notice bridges attached to 1L and 2L. Instead of heading towards 1L, I decide via 2L and then make that wonderful turn LEFT! It’s the little things.

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Board at 2L, touch plane, turn LEFT!

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No one on board yet, and sCO BF seats.

One of two Japanese speakers welcomed me on board. I showed her my boarding pass; she smiled and told me to make a left. The forward BusinessFirst section began to fill up, including my neighbor, whom I discovered at the end of the flight shared the same first name as I. This guy turned out to be a window nazi and kept the window closed for the entire flight! Damn SOB did not let me enjoy take off nor landing, finally opening the shade as we pulled into the gate at NRT. He was among a large group that continued on to SIN.

As people continued to board, I took a couple of photos of the cabin prior to settling in. In the process, the Japanese speaker tried to photobomb one of my pics, to no avail. {mischievous}

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Legroom shot

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My seat for the next few hours.

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Space between seat and foot rest

After taking a couple of pictures and placing my stuff in the overhead bins, I was welcomed by Jeff, the ISM for our flight to NRT. He welcomed me on board and asked if I would like a welcome drink. I asked for my standard orange juice and settled into my seat.

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View of cockpit as well as out ISM for flight.

Last time I sat in a BusinessFirst seat had been 2yrs exactly when I was headed to CPH via FRA during the CO days. Back then, CO had a Concierge service and the agent who was supervising the FRA flight approached me and handed me a handwritten birthday card and a note that 5000mi had be deposited to my account, even if I had used mileage for those flights. She said it was CO policy that any passenger traveling BF would receive the mileage bonus when traveling within +/- 5days of ones birthday. I was hoping for that to happen again for this flight, but alas I guess it is not part of the new UA. Also, it seemed the lack of GS passengers corresponded to the lack of any UA Concierge agents and no concierge service offered, unlike earlier in the year where there were 2 handling the same NRT flight in both BF and Y.

As I was sitting, Lisa, our Anglo Japanese speaker who learned Japanese from her husband and having lived in Japan for sometime, started handing out some of the goodies for the flight. She was joined by Susan and Joyce, both of whom worked the Y cabin but helped out in J during the boarding process. At this time I noticed the new uniforms the FA’s were now sporting. From the press releases, YouTube video, and all the postings on and FTalk, it seemed like these uniforms were to be hideous, especially the dress. When I saw Susan and Joyce wear them, it actually looked professional. Also the the rather dark suit option looked good for both sexes. I definitely like the striped shirt the guys wore along with the “city destination” tie. The overall uniforms are not as sexy as DL’s red dress or iconic as SQ’s batik kebaya, but this fit the professional identity UA now wants and it works. At least they did away with the sUA housecoat dress and the sCO “shorts”. From the three ladies, I received my menu with a colorful cover, my standard UA amenity kit, and got my choice for meal taken down.

At 10:55, Captain McDonald had welcomed us on board and gave us brief information for the flight. He gave us a flight time of 12h14m and that we would soon make our way to NRT. By 10:57, the ground crew had closed 1L; Jeff and the male FA who had kitchen duty secured 1L and 1R. At the same time, a new automated welcome announcement was played featuring a male voice, the same male voice that does the inflight safety video. After the English version had finished, the Japanese announcement followed done by another male voice.

It seemed like we would be on-time or even a bit early. Ground crew had closed 2L by 11:05, and the “ding” rang throughout the cabin followed by Jeff’s announcement for FA’s to prepare doors for departure and standby for on-call. By 11:10 we pushed back from the gate and the FA’s took their place for the inflight safety video. By 11:28 we had entered the skies after taking off from 15R.

As we continued our ascent, the FA’s in BF sprung into action. To start off, Lisa came down the aisles in the forward BF cabin handing out hot towels at 11:41. It was cool watching a good ol’ Texas gal speaking Japanese and watching my Japanese neighbor smile each time she talked to him. Jeff mentioned that the IFE had been activated, yet, he got calls that one small section in Y were the only ones who had functioning IFE. Mine had remained off while I was trying to access the flight map. He ended up having to do a hard restart on the system twice and that seemed to get all seats up and functioning. While that was going on Lisa started to pick up hot towels and then begin preparing my side of the BF cabin for lunch service.

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I decided to start off this vacation by having an Asahi on my way to NRT!

While I was enjoying my Asahi, I started perusing the entertainment items I had downloaded on my iPhone.

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White wine, Asahi, and a pretzel roll.

By time of the appetizer course, Jeff had gotten the IFE up and running. I believe I was watching Hangover 2. I would actually be making a stop in BKK, but would not have enough time with all that kind of adventure!

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Taken after i started eating. I could only do the shrimp as I have a mild food allergy to other seafood, and it wouldn’t be fun to have started my round-the-world trip already sick!

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After the Japanese appetizers, it was salad course. The salad was decent, though it could have used just a half-ladle of dressing and 2 less croutons ;-)

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Tonight’s dinner is the beef short rib. It tasted good; presentation had everything too close together and too much white space in the bottom corner ;-)

While I enjoyed my meal, I could hear the vacuum cleaner next to me, eating noisily and making a mess everywhere. He finished that meal in 2 minutes, and I had gotten my meal before he. When he finished he rang the FA call button to tell them to clean up his place so he could go to sleep. I had to stop my meal so Lisa could pick up his mess. Once cleaned, he laid his seat flat and tried to go to sleep facing his {butthead} towards me. I just hoped he did not suffer a case of flatulence while I was still enjoying my dinner.

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Blurry cheese plate

I try to be a cheese person, but many times I can’t. The goat cheese had too strong of a bite almost as if I was eating bleu. Once finished I patiently waited for the best part of the dinner service, the ice cream sundae!

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Yum! Ice cream sundaes! Not the only ice cream I had on this trip.

I slowly enjoyed my ice cream sundae, when the window nazi slob woke up and saw me enjoying my ice cream sundae. He rang the FA call button and asked to have a sundae. Good thing Lisa was just 2 rows behind us and easily rolled her cart to him. Only taking the chocolate sauce, he finished that in record time that i don’t think he enjoyed it as much as I was slowly enjoying mine! This time he didn’t ring the FA’s, he just put it near the armrest and then tried to go back to sleep.

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Approaching Montana towards end of Lunch service with 10h35m

After lunch, I ended up passing out as best as I could at around 13:46 Houston time. I will say 2B and 1D are the worst seats in BF. Jeff did not pull a curtain nor did he bother to shut off the light around 1L until after the end of the second meal service. I tried as best I could to cover the lights from me, yet it is the type of light that isn’t a soothing light so even for a heavy sleeper like myself, it can easily wake a person up. I wanted to get some rest since I did not sleep the night before and I wanted to rest up so I would be physically ready to handle going between NRT and HND and even try to get a bit of walking around in Tokyo.

As we were approaching the tip of the Aleutian Islands heading towards Denali with about 6h23m left in the flight, I decide to wake up and stretch my legs a bit by walking around the plane.

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A snack cart was set up for BF passengers by 2L.

I made a lap around the Y cabin and it looked like an almost full house, with just a couple of middle seats open. When I took the same flight in Y in January, there were plenty of UA staff deadheading over to NRT and many crew trying to get onboard. This time, I guess they did not need to deadhead any employees on our flight.

The notetaker in me jotted down a couple of notes from the flight. We flew east of SEA and NE of YVR. Around 19:10 Houston time, we were about to “kiss” the International Date Line from the west, and after 19:51, we crossed it, with 4h45m left in flight.

As mentioned, I could not sleep, especially as we were approaching NRT. While the galley lights were the main problem, I was getting excited to finally step outside NRT and actually say that I visited Tokyo and had proof with a Japanese stamp in my passport. This is my second time flying in the lie-flat BF seat, third if you want to count playing around on a demo one at my one-and-only CO DO! It is a great seat, I just chose the wrong seat and knew I should have taken 4L.

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Almost there, 2nd time to NRT this year, but first time ever to actually step outside a Japanese airport!

At 22:09 Houston time, there was 1h54m left in the flight as we approached Japanese airspace. Throughout the flight, there were periodic patches of turbulence while we maintained a cruising altitude between 36000ft - 37000ft. A couple of minutes later, we could hear increased activity as the second crew returned from their break while the first crew prepared for lunch service prior to our arrival.

At 22:27 Houston time, Jeff turned the lights on and the FA on the right side started the hot towel service. A few minutes later she came by to pick up used towels while Lisa came around on my side of the cabin and started to place white linen cloths for the lunch service. Today’s option, I chose the Chicken Katsu and the Cinnamon Roll, a great choice to prepare me for my stopover in Tokyo!

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Seaweed snack and a tasty bowl of fruit to start this lunch off nicely!

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Gotta love the mix of CO utensils still floating around today!

At this time my wonderful neighbor finally wakes up and in perfect timing Lisa is coming around with the bread basket and she asks 2A if he would like some lunch prior to arrival into NRT. I guess he was was still full as he only opted for some fruit and a dinner roll. As for me, I had to have my favorite, the cinnamon roll.

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My favorite … the cinnamon roll!

After my neighbor got his bowl of fruit to watch his “girlish”, Lisa came back with my Chicken Katsu, which is a bit thicker that I am used to, but it was definitely delicious!

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Chicken katsu … from a nice plump piece of breast! Surprised they didn't pound it flat like a Milanese.

Once I had finished my meal, the FAs started to prepare the cabin for arrival. When most had their meals collected, Lisa went through the cabin to hand out arrival cards into Japan. She asked if I would be connecting to a domestic flight, but I told her I would be connecting between airports from Narita to Haneda on my way down to Sydney. She sounded surprised, so I told her about my upcoming trip plans and she wished me a great trip.

Within in 30minutes, I finish my meal and then recline a bit for the last few moments in the flight before that final chime and final approach into NRT, which occurred at 13:20 Tokyo time. Scheduled arrival time was 13:59. I was hoping 2A would open the windows so I could watch our arrival, but of course he kept the damn windows open. This is different from SQ FA’s making sure all window shades are up and telling people to open them up. He didn’t get the hint while trying to glance in his direction to open the damn things up. He finally opened them once we pulled up to the gate at 13:48.

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Look who we get to park next to … Hello Kitty!!!

We deplane from Gate 34 in Terminal 1. I deplaned first from 1L and thanked by Jeff for flying with UA. I thanked him and made my way towards immigration and customs. I would have to pick up my bags here since no one had a special service to transfer checked in bags from NRT to HND. Once through customs, I needed to find the post office to pick up my rental micro SIM for a one-day use while in Japan on my iPad.

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NH and a fellow UA plane sharing a photo with the sCO *A plane that took me again to NRT this year!

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Actual flight information for UA 007 IAH-NRT from FlightTracker.

Thank you for joining me on this flight to Tokyo-Narita International Airport. Boarding for the next flight will begin shortly.

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Cabin crew6.5

Continental Airlines Presidents Club - E


Houston - IAH


Tokyo - NRT





If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 97374 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6103 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this first report here! These PMCO J seats are much better than the PMUA seats in 2-4-2 config. Catering looks ok, nothing terribly exciting. I've flown both CO and UA in J before the merger and have not flown either one since--from this report and many others, UA has sadly lowered the service levels. CO used to be the best US Airline.

    p.s. you selected Economy for the class. You can edit and change to business by clicking the Edit button. Also, could you please put some comments in the Summary section to explain the grades you gave.

    Thanks and Welcome to Flight-Report! Looking forward to the next reports.

    Flight-Report Community Manager & Moderator

  • Comment 97384 by
    Papoumada GOLD 6855 Comments

    Thank you for this very comprehensive report.

    The UA product you report looks correct. The company cannot be responsible for the behaviour of the neighbour.

    Thanks for sharing the genesis of this round the world trip.

  • Comment 97390 by
    lagentsecret 12308 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this first FR and welcome aboard

    This is a great and comprehensive report full of interesting details

    I take a transit in IST, even with riots, anyday instead of a DME transit ;)

    The BF CO seats are quite comfy

    The catering looks decent

    Having such a neighbour is really a shame ;)

    Looking to your next reports


    lagentsecret (aka G_G on Flyer Talk)

    • Comment 286906 by
      AznWrldTrvlr AUTHOR 30 Comments

      Thank you Lagentsecret! I hope to try out transiting via IST one day so I can compare between the joys of transiting via IST versus the joys of transiting via DME. I hope you continue to join me on this series of flight reports!

  • Comment 97407 by
    02022001 SILVER 4339 Comments

    Excellent first Flight-report ! Thanks a lot

  • Comment 97427 by
    marathon 9830 Comments

    This FR is a serious contender in the top introduction length and overall length categories ! A nomination is also expected in Most Comprehensive First FR category. :)
    Why is B8 Gate infamous ? sorry I am not a US travel geek.
    I too would have hated the guts of the guy having the window seat. Some passengers should be taught about this wonderful space age invention called a face mask.
    On the other hand, the FAs might be taught that curtains are not only for hiding themselves from the passengers.
    Great BR Hello Kitty jet picture; I never got to see this particular livery when I was based in Taipei.

    Overall, the only bad news in this report is that you sadly appear to be a member of the Caption Below Picture sect, that orthodox Caption Above Picture zealots like me try to burn at the stake. :)
    Welcome on board the ever growing FR Contributors Team !

    • Comment 286908 by
      AznWrldTrvlr AUTHOR 30 Comments

      Thanks Marathon!

      In regards to B88, it's been called the barn or the tin shack. This was the first multi-door gate as many of the COEx planes would utilize jetbridge unless boarding from B88. During Houston's wonderful summers, it would be unbearable walking out in the heat or get caught in a torrential downpour. Later this year the airport will tear down the area to build the new B-North that could have expanded gates for mainline and possible FIS facilities at B to relieve FIS facilities at the IAB.

      As for posting captions under the pictures rather than above them, I'm sorry, it is just something I got used to doing at school. ;-)

  • Comment 97458 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thanks for this thorough report and welcome. I too have also traveled on my birthday a few times. Of the three trips that I took on that day, I was pleasantly surprised when I flew US and the gate agent wrote a Happy B-day on my boarding pass. The other two were on LH F and TK Y+ and no one noticed (not that I expect to be congratulated every time I fly on my birthday).

    • Comment 286909 by
      AznWrldTrvlr AUTHOR 30 Comments

      Thanks JetsetPanda!

      I should have included on this report that since I was originally scheduled to fly SQ before all my changes, I noticed on my official SQ itinerary that under special meals they wrote Happy Birthday Cake. I will never know if I would have gotten one, but I have read on other sites that they do offer a small birthday cake no matter what class just as long as you are traveling on the day of your birthday. That's something I'm considering for 2014!

  • Comment 97474 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments

    Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your flight report.

  • Comment 97541 by
    greg787 31 Comments

    Thank you for this excellent report.
    Also thanks for the photos of terminal B. I have yet to make it over there since the renovation. I usually dont make it past terminal C.

  • Comment 97571 by
    KL651 TEAM 4526 Comments

    Thanks for this nice first FR. andd welcome.
    What a stress it must have been planning this trip.
    It's interesting to note the nostalgy of CO many people have. This merger really doesn't seem to have made things better.
    While the seat in BF really is nice, the meals don't look that inviting.
    Looking forward to read the next parts of that RTW trip.

    • Comment 286912 by
      AznWrldTrvlr AUTHOR 30 Comments

      Thanks KL651 for reading my flight report! I don't mind the stress during the planning process as it contributed to the overall excitement and experience. Yes, living in Houston, my parents and I religiously used CO to get us anywhere in the world. They were a great airline, had some friends that enjoyed working for CO, and made traveling fun. Now with the changes from the new UA, we are now discovering other airlines and enjoying their services which tend to be much better than the new UA. I hope you stay turned for the rest of this series!

  • Comment 98565 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments

    Hello how does one get Flight Tracker? Is it an app or a web site?

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