2017 Mar 29 – 2017 Mar 30
- Price: 65000 miles (or about USD 4500)
- Aircraft: Boeing 789 Dreamliner
- Seat: Bulkhead row, aisle
- Time: 11 hours 55 minutes
The aircraft business cabin is 2-2-2 configuration, and I had the aisle seat next to a window seat. The separation between seats was not great, but luckily, nobody was sitting beside me so I had good privacy. My favourite part? The teddy bear! I wasn’t expecting it at all so that was a pleasant surprise.
Because I had a bulkhead row seat, the footrest space was much larger. The pitch was so long (large?) I couldn’t reach the footrest even when I stretched my legs! Well, I am short.
I’m used to having only a single button to recline the seat, so this was a little overwhelming. The lumbar support was a little too high for me so I didn’t end up using it. The seat itself was wide and comfortable, and lied fully flat. I have read a lot of people complaining about this aircraft’s business class, but for a premium-class-newbie this was so much better than economy.
The storage space is positioned awkwardly, almost behind the seat. The space was enough to store my electronics, notebook, pen, and a water bottle.
I loved lying down after the meal service. Luckily the seat besides me was empty so I used that one as a bed. The bedding, apparently from Saks Fifth Avenue, was also very comfortable. Compared to my previous long-haul flights, just the sheer fact that I could lie down completely was a whole new experience. I even played some games on IFE while lying down.
The welcome drink (mimosa) and chocolate was given 5 minutes after boarding. It was in a plastic cup but it felt unique and stable.
The meal service started with nuts and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was pretty good. The flight attendant opened the bottle while standing like a pro.
I asked for the western menu, since I wasn’t sure of the Japanese food quality on United airplane originating from San Francisco. The appetizer was interesting. Shrimp was good, chicken breast was overcooked, and the salad was weird. It didn’t have much of a flavour. The bread was surprisingly good. It was very soft. I also got two more glasses of wine (another Cab and one Riesling). I’m very bad at saying no to free drinks.
The main, BBQ beef, was pretty good. The sauce was not too overwhelming and the meat was tender.
After the main, I got a glass of port wine.
Apparently UA sundae cart is popular but I passed on it.
But I did get some sweets and tea. Raspberry mousse was good and not too sweet. The tart was very buttery. I think it was an apple pie. It went well with the chamomile tea. The crunchy chocolate and caramel one was alright.
It was alright. I think I picked it up near the galley.
Apparently technically “dinner” since it was served at 9 PM San Francisco time, which was about an hour and a half before landing. Potato was soggy, sausage was peppery and very dry, but the omelette was amazing. It had cheese, corn, and beans inside and it was kind of spicy. The fruit was decent.
The flight attendant came by just before landing to give out chocolates and thank the customers. The chocolates were really good. I think this was a nice touch.
Some things looked pretty useful (tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, tissues, lip balm, moisturizer) and some looked interesting (pillow mist). The pen was no good though. The case felt quite bulky so I ended up throwing this away later.
The socks were cute! But unfortunately, not really wearable outside of airplanes since it didn’t really have heels section. In other words, the front and back looked the same and formed weird wrinkles around the ankle.
One of the reasons why I decided to spend miles this time (from credit card points) was that the economy round-trip was close to 2000 USD. If it was cheaper I might have gone for economy class as usual. It was my first time in a premium class and first time redeeming miles, so I wasn’t sure what to expect (although I do read a fair amount of flight reviews).
The food was better, the service much better, but I think my favourite part (besides the teddy bear) was the amount of space and privacy. It’s not actually a fair comparison since the seat beside me was empty, but I think premium cabins tend to be less full than economy in general.
I still can’t see myself spending that much cash (as in 4 times the economy price), but if there is a good deal or if I can collect enough miles and points, I would definitely fly premium class again. I think I’ve been spoiled for good.