The thought of being stuck in economy on a long haul flight to the other side of the world is enough to make any traveller cringe, especially when its an overnight flight arriving at the destination in the morning of the same day. Kind of like time travel with jet lag in a way! Thankfully, flying with United Airlines on this long haul journey from Sydney to San Francisco, en route to Las Vegas, ensured a pleasant and relaxing experience from the moment we stepped on the plane right through to the end.
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Configuration: 3 class configuration.
Journey time: 13 hours and 30 minutes.
Check-in: Online and mobile check-in was available up to 24 hours prior to departure, but we decided to check in at the United Airlines counter on the day. Check in was efficient and our United Airlines representative was helpful and patient in answering questions and arranging our preferred seating. You will be required to enter your US accommodation information and we advise you keep these details handy for later when going through US immigration.
Luggage allowance: A checked luggage allowance of one bag weighing a total of 23kgs is permitted for all economy class passengers, as well as one carry-on bag up to 7kgs and one extra personal item.
Cabin conditions: The cabin is very relaxing and clean, with shades of pale and dark blue as well as accents of grey. The cabin temperature is just right and the seats are slightly better in terms of spaciousness and comfort compared to some other airlines.
Seat comfort: The seats are large and well padded. They recline easily and there is a decent amount of leg room, however when the seat in front of you reclines, it makes for a very tight space. The seat has a pitch of 31 inches with a width of 17 inches.
Staff service: The cabin crew is typically American – friendly, chatty and funny. The uniforms are the Airline’s staple blue, simple and neat and everything is carried out with a smile.
On-board catering: We enjoyed a dinner meal of braised chicken and vegetables with a light salad and apple pie for dessert and breakfast was an omelette with chicken sausage with a fruit platter also available for vegetarian passengers. Non-alcoholic beverages are readily available, however, if you enjoy a glass of red with your meal, be prepared with loose change as United Airlines have a charge for alcoholic beverages.
Inflight entertainment: Although there are no personal screens (these are only available to business and first class passengers), there are screens positioned evenly throughout economy with a good range of latest release movies and programs to help pass the time.
On-time performance: We take off from Sydney at 11:00am, ten minutes behind schedule.
Flight rating: 4 planes out of 5. The journey was comfortable and smooth with efficient service and a good range of movies on offer.
United Airlines flies a daily direct service from Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco, providing customers with seamless and convenient connections onto New York daily. For all reservations and enquiries, please call 131 777 or visit their website: www.united.com/au