UNITED AIRLINES (Hong Kong Intl. to Singapore Changi Intl.), BUSINESS/FIRST CLASS, BOEING 777-200ER
United Airlines (UA) is an international award-winning scheduled airline registered and based in Chicago, U.S. United Airlines serves 375 with a well-developed Asian network. The airline serves a number of gateway cities in North America and Europe, with easy connections with its Star Alliance and codeshare partners, Singapore Airlines between Singapore and the U.S. via either Hong Kong or Tokyo. The airline employees over 84,000 people. United operates out of nine airline hubs located in Houston, Chicago, Newark/New York, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Guam, and Tokyo.
Route: HONG KONG (HKG) to SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT (SIN)
Departure date and time of flight: May 2015, 21:55
Flight number: UA895 (United 895 heavy)
ATC Callsign: United
Flight duration: 3 Hours
Class: BusinessFirst Class
Aircraft type: BOEING 777-224ER (55 aircraft of this type in service)
Aircraft registration: N78001
Aircraft Serial Number: 1222
First flight: 8th November 1998
Aircraft name: Gordon M. Bethune
Aircraft delivery date (from Continental to United): 27th November 2010
Aircraft engine types: Two x GE GE90-92B
Frequent flyer program:
MilagePlus is the frequent flyer program from United Airlines. You can click here to find more details.
Seat configuration for this aircraft:
Global First Class: 8 open suites with 180 degrees recline (1-1-1-1 configuration)
BusinessFirst Class: 40 flatbed seats with 180 degrees recline (2-4-2 configuration)
Economy Plus Class: 110 standard seats with 5.0 recline in a 3-3-3 configuration,
Economy Class: 108 standard seats with 4.0 recline in a 3-3-3 configuration
Economy Plus is offered on this aircraft type. Economy Plus is not a separate class of service but is standard economy with up to 5 inches of extra legroom. These seats are located nearer to the front of the aircraft and passengers in this section are served first. Charges for these seats will depend on routing and may be purchased at the time of booking or check-in.
Punctuality of the flight/route taken:
The flight departed on time, and landed on time in Singapore, providing nice views across over Vietnam and Malaysia as we made our way to the tiny city-state.
Any baggage issues:
Since this was a connecting flight (I had flown in from Hangzhou to Hong Kong, and was on my way to Singapore, so I did not need to check-in at Hong Kong). You can read more about the baggage rules regarding United here.
Lounge experience at Hong Kong:
United has a dedicated Club Lounge at Hong Kong airport, located on the 2nd floor after security check. The lounge provides panoramic views across to the departures hall and to the tarmac. The lounge is not as flamboyant as other lounges provided by airlines outside of their home bases0, say for example, the ones provided by the likes of Emirates, Etihad or Qatar Airways; however, it does provide all the creature comforts including showers, and food & drinks.
Hemisphere is the in-flight magazine of United Airlines.
Comments regarding the pre-flight service:
Passengers’ in BusinessFirst Class are offered hot lemon scented towels prior to departure. This is followed by a drinks service, which consists of some of the world’s finest wines, and champagne. In BusinessFirst Class, the cabin crew offer five kinds of drinks prior to departure:
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Around about 35 minutes after departure, drinks were served from the trolley along with the helping of the huge Macadamia nuts, and salted almonds on bone china plates. I opted for another glass of that fine Champagne (Billecart-Salmon Brut), and also the piper-heidsieck Brut.
Comments regarding the first meal:
For the first meal, a choice of four entrées were provided– all selected from a superb range of Asian, Middle Eastern and Western dishes.
Meals are served on a low trolley that gives the passenger an inviting eye-level choice of what's on offer and the airline is also introducing new food service items with a more Asian feel in their BusinessFirst Class. All food in the BusinessFirst Class cabins in United Airlines is served on elegant bone china tableware specially designed and exclusively produced by Narumi of Japan.
Mixed salad with French vinaigrette
The only option available for this short-haul 3-hour flight was chicken with rice and vegetables. It was a delicious meal, served complete with bread rolls from the basket, and a small pot of mango sorbet.
Cheese & Dessert:
A selection of Blue d’Auvergne, red Leicester, Taleggio with cabernet paste
A selection of fresh seasonal fruit
New York Cheesecake
Comments regarding the after meal drinks and in-flight snacks:
A second round of drinks was offered after the meal. This included coffee and tea (green tea and earl grey tea). I ordered a cup of coffee. Should any passenger want wine or champagne (even if it is the morning!), then these drinks are served in exclusively designed glassware.
Comments regarding the second meal:
Comments on the in-flight entertainment system:
An AC power port is located at each seat in Global First and BusinessFirst, there are two outlets for each set of triple seats and one outlet for each set of double seats in Economy.
You can click here to read more.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
Majority of the crew on this flight were locally based in Hong Kong or Singapore. However, there were a few exceptions. One of the male flight attendants in the BusinessFirst Class cabin seemed to be very tired. He looked to be around in this 50s, and was clearly tired and perhaps overworked? What was not pleasing was seeing him go to sleep on a passenger seat next to the galley (no, it was not a crew rest seat). It came clear to me that the rest of the crew were trying their best to make sure that he did not present a bad image to the airline. Other than that the crew were very professional. It clearly came across to me that the cabin crew of Asian origin were beautiful very friendly and customer oriented and young.
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
BusinessFirst is offered on all wide-body aircraft (with the exception of domestically configured 777-200s), as well as all internationally configured Boeing 757-200s. BusinessFirst passengers check in at separate counters and can use priority security screening where available. In-flight service includes pre-departure beverages, table linens and multi course meals designed by United's Congress of Chefs on international flights.
Passengers are also given priority with boarding and baggage handling and access to the United Club and other airline lounges. The longest domestic routes (such as the 9-10 hour long flights from the East Coast to Hawaii) utilize BusinessFirst equipped aircraft, however these flights are sold as United First but do not allow for complimentary premier upgrades. All BusinessFirst seats recline 180 degrees into a full, flat bed. On all 747 aircraft and legacy United aircraft (registration ending in -UA), the seats alternate facing forward and backwards.
On legacy Continental aircraft, and on all 787 aircraft, all seats face forward. Other domestic routes, especially hub-to-hub service and certain non "United p.s." transcontinental flights regularly see internationally configured aircraft with BusinessFirst (and sometimes GlobalFirst) for operational reasons (such as transferring international aircraft from one hub to another). While the physical seats and entertainment are the same as on international flights, the service, catering and other amenities are the same as in domestic first class. Unlike routes marketed as "BusinessFirst" and United p.s., these flights are eligible for complimentary premier upgrades.
United Airlines logo and livery:
The pre-merger United logo, commonly nicknamed the "tulip", was first developed in the early 1970s after the airline commissioned designer Saul Bass to develop a new brand image. The logo skilfully represented the airline's monogram as well as a modernized version of the airline's shield logo, which had been adopted in the 1930s, but fell out of use by the late 1960s. The ribbon-like rendering has also been said to symbolize the motion of flight.
The Saul Bass livery was updated in 1988 to feature larger lettering on the fuselage, with the rainbow stripes on the side moved down to accommodate the new space.
The next livery update came in the early 1990s: the CKS Group-designed "Battleship", a grey fuselage with dark blue underbelly and engines, with blue stripes on the vertical stabilizer, a smaller "tulip" on the vertical stabilizer A smaller, more refined version of the rainbow stripes from the previous livery were incorporated as well. This livery debuted on January 11, 1993. In 2004, the Pentagram-developed "Rising Blue" livery featured a white and lighter blue fuselage, along with a cropped version of the tulip on the tail. In 2011, the newly merged United adopted Continental Airlines' 1991 logo, including the Continental globe, which had replaced the Tulip in the 1970s. The current United livery consists of a white upper fuselage, with a gold globe on a blue tailfin, and a gray underbelly. All mainline aircraft are now painted in this livery, save for the airframes listed in special liveries below, which include two retro liveries. Boeing 787 Dreamliners use a modified version of the livery, with a wavy gold stripe painted along both sides of the fuselage.
This airline has a long way to go when it comes to providing excellent customer service. They really need to learn from the likes of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways if they want to be the best (unless, of course, you have the likes of Donald J. Trump managing the airline, then they're not going to get anywhere).
THE LOUNGE EXPERIENCE
toughest security for any airline I have been on so far...bags and shoes of ALL passengers were checked one last time at the boarding gate..and their cockpit area is caged-off (as shown), AND they've had the rule of having 2 people in the cockpit at all times since 9/11 (well before the rule became universal after the GermanWings crash)...I'll fly with UA anyday...safest as far as I'm concerned...I think El Al Israel Airlines may also rank as the best for security - their planes have anti-missile warning systems on-board! I asked the cabin crew if the fence is electrocuted (in case the bad guys break it apart)...she said (I quote): "I don't know"...wonder if that means yes but doesn't want to tell anyone! All flights to the USA have had secondary screening since 911 to my knowledge.
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
Special thanks goes to
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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