Monday, December 03, 2012

Thanksgiving in Ireland: UAL 958: ORD-LHR (United Economy)

Since I would only have a few days in Ireland, I debated on whether I should upgrade to BusinessFirst or not on the flight to London. I figured getting a bit extra sleep on the plane would make the adjustment to Irish time much easier.  I eventually decided to save the money and the miles and stick with my exit row aisle seat.

Arriving at the airport a bit earlier than I normally do, as I was concerned that National Opt-Out Day may complicate security operations, I spent a bit more time in the United Club than I like.  I chose to spend time at the United Club near B14 even though my flight was leaving from C21 - a 10 minute walk from the lounge.

Carrier: United Airlines (ORD-LHR)

Flight #: 958
Seat: 20B
Departure: November 21, 2012 -  15h50 / 15h55
Arrival: November 22, 2012 - 5h55 / 05h30
Travel Time: 8 hours 5 minutes / 7 hours 35 minutes
Flight Miles: 3,953

This was the only United flight from Chicago to London this day before Thanksgiving and the flight wasn't full.  It was at about 75% of capacity.  I was queued up to have an empty seat next to me until the very last person hopped on the plane.  Luckily this gentlemen was thin and kept to himself - I wasn't really in the mood to spend 8 hours chatting with some fatty oozing into my space.

Beverage service commenced about 20 minutes after departure and I ordered two bottles of wine to accompany dinner - the credit card machine wouldn't work, but the stew still attempted to charge me by using 3 separate cards and running them each 5 times. She just wouldn't believe that her machine wasn't working.

For dinner I opted for the pasta, which I often find to be the better option for international economy meals on United.  This was not really a good option. The beef meatballs and pasta were way over cooked and very flavorless. Luckily I had stopped off at Tortas Fronteras before the flight and had an open-faced sandwich.

After dinner and coffee service, the cabin lights were dimmed and I didn't see a flight attendant until the breakfast was served.  Granted, I slept probably 2 hours during the flight, so I will assume they were delivering water while I was asleep.

Breakfast was served about an hour outside of London.  The breakfast has changed since my last economy trip - this morning we had some fruit (mostly cantaloupe) and a croissant with jam, no more of that nasty yogurt.  Such a great improvement - although I think this service can just be cancelled and use those funds to upgrade the dinner option.

The plane itself was old and seemed quite rickety.  The overhead bin holding my roll-a-board carry-on kept popping open. When a stew walked by, she'd slam it shut (which actually woke me up a couple times on the flight).  Before we landed the stew made me and a gentleman in front of me move our bags to the floor behind a seat in business class. The guy in 19B was very angry with me because of this move. He kept arguing with me that the bin door wasn't broken and it should stay closed.  I kept telling him it wasn't my decision to move our bags and that over the past 8 hours the bin door kept popping open. He disagreed and then spent the rest of the flight turning around and glaring at me.

Since we got in early I was planning on heading through Border Protection to the Transfers Desk and ultimately to the Star Alliance Lounge to take a quick shower before the 08h50 departure to Dublin.

Doors open - let's hurry!  Dublin here I come

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