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How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
posts: 17,293
reviews: 32
How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

We are traveling for the first time to Paris - in March - and are flying United from here in Hawai'i to LAX - then to Wash DC - and then to CDG - we were able to upgrade to first class with miles on the domestic section and then to business class on the overseas portion.

I am not familiar with the "pods" that it looks like they have in business class - are these comfortable?

I'd just appreciate general information from anyone who has flown United overseas this way - what type of service can I expect?

Thank you very much for any information you give!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
1. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Depends whether you get the new or old seats. If you are on a 767 or (quite unlikely) a 747 you will get the new seats. If you are on a 777 it'll be the old ones.

New seats recline to a flat bed but have very limited storage options. Movies on demand with decent size screen.

Old seats recline a decent amount but aren't good for sleeping, quite comfortable for lounging though with decent amount of space for things. Movies on a loop with small screen the folds out of the seat rather than on the back of the seat in front like the new system.

The new seat is pretty good but not the best business class seat out there.

In terms of the other aspects United lounges are generally very poor, particularly at Washington although do ask for drinks coupons so you don't have to fork out for booze. Food and drink are mediocre and service variable. If you do well you'll find a nice attentive crew, if not they'll hide away in the galley for most of the flight. United very rarely wow me when I travel with them in First or Business internationally.

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,111
2. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Aloha koloagirl!

I'm on the Big Island, and I've travelled like this on United quite a few times. I.e. upgraded to First class from HNL on the domestic sectors and Business class on the international sectors. At least a dozen times or so over the last dozen years. Usually I fly into London (more seldom Amsterdam) and then connect on SAS to Copenhagen, my final destination.

Domestic First class is a major disappointment comparing it to International Business Class on United. Pretty cramped in First class and with older seats (at least on the Hawaii flights). In International Business Class, plenty of room. I can't even touch the seat in front of me with my feet when I stretch out my legs (I'm 5'11"). I assume these must be the newer seats, but I'm not 100% certain because they've had these seats for quite a while now.

I should mention that I have nothing to compare this with. United's Business Class is the only Business Class I've flown over the last 15 years or so.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
3. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

I assume these must be the newer seats, but I'm not 100% certain because they've had these seats for quite a while now.

_______________

New:

airliners.net/photo/…

Old:

airliners.net/photo/…

I'll agree with hawaiipalms, after the longhaul business class flights going back to domestic First Class will be a big step down unless you find transcon flights on one of the international configured aircraft. Maybe I painted a horrible picture of the experience. It'll be a lot better than economy, it just isn't an amazing business class product.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,894
reviews: 71
4. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Hi,

I personally like the new business product for a) the entertainment system-- a huge quantum improvement over the old product, and b) the new seat (or pod) since it's a true 180 lie flat (over other seats that are 180 lie-flat *angle* seats).. On the B763, do check which seats you select or are assigned as there are several seats that (in my own opinion) are best avoided if possible (10JK & 9AB)

Food is pretty much the same as the old product- not a whole lot of change there.. All IAD-CDG crews are all IAD based as UA closed their CDG base in 200; as as noted some are better than others.. Only LHR and FRA have foreign based crews in Europe.

My own peeve with regards to the new seat is its width (even with arm rests down) is that it's narrower than their old seat- but not uncomfortably so.

Travel Safe,

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,111
5. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Speedbird - thanks a lot for those links! And W-O-W!! No, have NOT experienced the new seats. I flew 777s back in July, obviously still in the old Business Class seats that are certainly OK. I really like the space you have there, which is important to me. But now I really look forward to my next United trip to Europe, and hopefully I get to experience the new seats!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
6. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

But now I really look forward to my next United trip to Europe, and hopefully I get to experience the new seats!

_________________

Just don't book a 777...at least for a while!

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
posts: 17,293
reviews: 32
7. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Mahalo for all the info and the links - wow, I certainly do hope I end up with the "new" business class seats on the international section - wow, really nice!

I have flown domestic from here to West Coast first class most recently over Christmastime - jeez, what a disappointment - they didn't even have a footrest and just the usual hard to see pop down screen every few rows for the one crummy movie they showed - food was good however.

When I flew Hawaiian Airlines to Tahiti first class - it was quite different - footrests, and individual entertainment systems with tons of choices of TV shows, movies, videos, etc. - seating was way comfortable as well.

So I'm not expecting much on the domestic portion - but really looking forward to the Business Class (hoping for the "newer seats") - now that looks comfy!!

Mahalo for all the scoops!!

Malama Pono,

Janet

Seattle, Washington
posts: 7,669
reviews: 84
8. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

If you want the new business configuration, be sure to book your TATL portion on a 767-300 (763). then you don't have to hope, you'll have it.

Edited: 10:17 pm, January 12, 2010
Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
posts: 17,293
reviews: 32
9. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Well, looking at my itinerary - it looks as if we'll have the "old" seats for our trip over the Atlantic - and the "new" ones for our trip back.

All in all - at least they both look comfortable.

The Red Carpet Club in LAX looks to be the only one in which we'll be spending a fair amount of time - hope it is a decent one - altho' with their hours - we'll be getting kicked out of there around 11pm it looks like and then our flight is at 5am back home to Hawai'i - any suggestions for good areas to snooze (no hotels, not for such a short time!) at LAX!! lol

Mahalo for the information - very helpful - and the pictures - well, they are worth a thousand words!

Going to Paris - I think I'll be so excited that I won't really care so much about the "older" seats - as long as there is a good reading light!!

Once again - thank you for your kind responses to this first-time overseas traveler!

Malama Pono (take care)

Janet

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
10. Re: How is business class on United - East Coast to CDG?

Going to Paris - I think I'll be so excited that I won't really care so much about the "older" seats - as long as there is a good reading light!!

_______________

Yes, over the shoulder goose-neck lighting on the old seats plus overhead. Can't remember about the in seat lighting on the new ones, have all been dayflights...

As you say you'll get the boot from the Red Carpet Club at 11pm, although you said no hotels there are plenty of half decent airport joints around LAX and after travelling from Europe the $40 or $50 will be well spent even if you have to get up at the crack of dawn for your flight to Hawaii. Sleeping in airports is not only uncomfortable but fairly unsafe too, even in the secure area.

Try naming your own price on Priceline.com if you aren't too fussy about exactly which hotel you stay at.

Hotel list (scroll down for LAX)

…yuku.com/topic/…LOS-ANGELES-HOTEL-LIST.html

What people have bid:

…yuku.com/forums/…California-Los-Angeles.html