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United 777 ord-hnl

Schaumburg, Illinois
posts: 13
United 777 ord-hnl

Hello everyone!

My fiancé and I are traveling to Maui next May to get married. I am planning on booking flights with United since I have enough miles to upgrade us to first class. I just wondered if anyone has flow this route and could give me a review of the first class cabin.

Thanks :)

17 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 10,963
reviews: 182
1. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

< I am planning on booking flights with United since I have enough miles to upgrade us to first class>

Please be aware, just because you have miles to upgrade your flights - even if purchasing tickets in the right fare class (Y or B, I think) - doesn't mean there will be seats available for upgrades. Start looking early if this is important to you.

united.com/web/…mua.aspx

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,987
reviews: 53
2. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

Given UA's requirements for mileage upgrades it's probably not much difference to just pay for first class from the outset and not have to worry about upgrade availability.

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 7,650
reviews: 180
3. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

First, congratulations!

Second, while I have not flown that route, we do the UA 772's between LAX, or SFO, and HNL quite often. Usually, we buy FC (more on that in a minute), but have upgraded, mostly with RPU or GPU certificates.

The plane is configured as a two cabin-class craft (well, three if one were to differentiate between E+ and E, toward the rear), and FC is separate from the E-class cabin. The seating is the same as most domestic (US) FC cabins, they are wider than E+ and have more legroom. The recline might be a bit more, but they are far from lie-flats, and have no footrests. While better than the seats in E+, they are rather behind what is called Business First Class in long-haul TATL or TPAC UA planes.

The service has always been good, with pre-departure drinks coming quickly. The wine selections, while below BFC, or Global First Class, on those longer flights, has been perfectly fine. There is usually not Champagne, but there is most often a sparkling wine, perhaps a domestic sparkler, or a Cava (last couple of flights, but subject to change). The alcohol is free, and poured throughout the flight. The food is OK (it's airplane food), but nothing special. If on one of the "breakfast flights," it seems that they have the same, or very similar fare, as in BFC to/from London - Fritatta, Omelette and little Spiced Turkey Sausages w/ a roll of some sort. Later flights vary the menu enough that it would be pointless to speculate on what might be served then. Also, your flight is about 4+ hours longer than ours are, so there might well be two meals? We have not encountered anything "Hawaiian themed" in the last 15 years, other than Mai-tais in the cocktail department. In a few cases, the FA's have sported leis, or a flower in their hair, but not so much nowadays. Once, in the FC lavatories, there was an orchid bloom by the soap dispenser, but I have not seen that for some flights - also, it seems that the orchid bloom on the food trays are a thing of the past. I always felt that those were nice touches. Once, very long ago (in the age of the 747's to HNL), UA did lei greetings from the cabin crew, when FC pax would board. That was probably dropped sometimes in the late 70's, or early 80's.

The IFE (In-flight Entertainment) has been rather limited, to either overhead monitors, or a wall-mounted one in the front of the cabin. There are no personal selections for those broadcasts. My *guess* is that you will get perhaps 2 movies (you can check out Hemispheres Magazine to see what will be offered on your flights), and a bit of TV - nothing special. I will wager that you will have at least one version of "Cars," as UA seems to have bought all of those movies, and takes delight in showing them over and over.

From our standpoint (a 5 hr flight in most cases), doing FC has been worth our $'s, or our certificates. We have even used some of our Global certificates, where a Regional would have worked, but would only have held onto the Globals, to lose them at year's end. No-brainer for us. The larger, more comfortable seats are worthwhile, though remember, non-lie-flats, and with no foot rests. [I was hoping that UA would use the old Business First seats, the ones before they went 100% lie-flat), and outfit the 772's to HNL with those, but it has not happened.

As mentioned, pledging your MP miles is only to get you onto the waitlist. You might, or might not get the upgrade. Much will depend on several factors: your MP status, the fare-class of ticket purchased, how many of the FC seats sell, and then the MP status of other pax, who have requested upgrades on your flights, i.e. if they are Global Services, or 1K, they might get those before you do. Also, and depending on MP status, you will likely not find out if you DID get the upgrade, until close to the departure date - the higher your MP status, the further out, you will be notified.

Lots to consider there. We feel that the FC is worth it, and if we were doing ORD - HNL, would do whatever it took to get up front. Others might not feel the same way, since those seats are not even Business First on some other flights - they are more like E++, but with some additional perks along the way.

Hope that helps you decide, congratulations and much aloha!

Hunt

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,444
reviews: 5
4. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

The Hawaii route 777s had an "upgrade" last year, with a roomier first class cabin. United took the old "barcalounger" business class seats from their intercontinental aircraft and put them on the Hawaii planes. The recline isn't as much as the old business class barcaloungers, but the seat pitch is a roomy 53", and you have a leg rest as well. So while nowhere near lie flat, it's definitely much better than the domestic F seats you see on short haul aircraft.

There are a couple of photos on this aircraft's SeatGuru page, and a couple on FlyerTalk (scroll down) -

seatguru.com/airlines/United_Airlines/United…

flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileagep…

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 7,650
reviews: 180
5. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

USBT,

That is great news, and it sounds like UA did what I was hoping for.

We have not flown to HNL since late Sept, 2013, so the changes must have hit the 772's sometime afterward, as both our outbound and inbound planes had the old domestic FC layouts and seats.

Greatly appreciated!

Hunt

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 7,650
reviews: 180
6. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

Now, it will remain to be seen whether they bring back the orchids!

Hunt

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 7,002
reviews: 77
7. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

You can do it. Change your search mode to Expert (enabled in your profile). That way you can easily see the flights that have upgrade space (R fares). It is always better to be able to grab those flights at the time of booking than it is to be waitlisted.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,444
reviews: 5
8. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

>>We have not flown to HNL since late Sept, 2013, so the changes must have hit the 772's sometime afterward, <<

Yes that's correct. United didn't start the upgrade of the Hawaii fleet until after completing the lie flat IPTE conversion of the intercontinental fleet in July 2013. There may have been one upgraded HI plane out there by last September, but the full conversion of all nine HI aircraft wasn't completed until earlier this year.

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 7,650
reviews: 180
9. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

USBT,

As always, greatly appreciated. Not quite sure how I missed that, as I read most of the fleet update info, both in UA e-mails, on the Web site, and in the Fleet News section of "Hemispheres."

On a slightly earlier HNL trip, we were surprised to see a full three cabin-class 772 on the route, and not as a late equipment change. The BC cabin was the TATL/TPAC lie-flats, that we encounter to LHR. Unfortunately, that was one of the few HNL flights, that we did NOT buy FC for, and only upgraded with either RPU's, or GPU's. My bad, but such is life.

Now I can get just a bit more excited about SFO - HNL, if we do it later in the year. You made my day.

Hunt

connecticut
posts: 57
reviews: 26
10. Re: United 777 ord-hnl

First, congratulations and many years of happiness to you.

We have used miles to upgrade on the UAL ord-hnl flight a number of times, but the last trip was a few years ago and looking at posts above mine indications are that my information is out of date.

My recollection is that there is water or juice when you board (follow Bill Hunt's posts for the adult beverages) and some roasted nuts after that. Once airborne there's a selection of soda and more juice. Two meals, one was usually a choice of chicken or fish, the other more of a snack (cheese & fruit selection or sometimes they had small sandwiches). Years ago they served ice cream sundaes, not sure if they still do that. Two movies en route.

The flight crew has always been very nice, usually senior staff, and if you mention you are going to be getting married they will probably be even nicer.

Nothing special in the lavatories. I also recall the orchids from years ago and I can remember when the crew wore aloha attire.

It's a nice flight, much nicer in first class, if you can get the upgrade you should go for it.

Meanwhile I will add another post detailing my last upgrade attempt...

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