Visiting a Friend in Chicago – Introduction


United Airlines 587
Seattle (SEA) – San Francisco (SFO)
Airbus A320
26 February 2016

My flight to San Francisco was leaving a few minutes past 19:00 and I made it to the airport at about 17:30 and after printing my boarding pass (I always keep paper boarding passes even though I use the digital one), I headed to the AMEX Centurion Studio where I met up with some friends and had snacks and supper.

The menu is incredible at the Centurion Studio and one of my favourites, ranging from hot soups to sandwiches to hummus, etc. Basically, there are a ton of snacks that are actually delicious and healthy so therefore it is worth coming early to the airport. Later I headed to the United Club (which I haven’t been to in ages) and tried the selection of food there, and not surprisingly, it wasn’t that great. With the United Club food refresh last year, the food should’ve gotten better.. and it did.. just not in Seattle.

Boarding began right on time and I quickly found my seat, 2A. This flight to San Francisco was operated by an Airbus A320, my favourite short-medium haul aircraft. United features 12 seats in First Class on their A320s in a 2-2 configuration across three rows. Seats in row 3 recline much more than those in row 1 and 2.

United’s A319/A320s are the “true” United aircraft and feature United’s (pre-merger) First Class, which is much, much better than Continental’s First Class, as featured on the Boeing 737s. While a bit old, these A319/A320 seats are still comfortable, spacious, and feature a ton of legroom.

United Airlines First Class A320

United Airlines First Class A320

United Airlines First Class A320 Legroom

United Airlines First Class A320 Legroom

Pre-departure beverages were served as passengers boarded and the crew was particularly nice to the First Class passengers. The boarding door was closed ten minutes prior to scheduled departure time, at which point we pushed back and made it to the runway a few minutes later.

Pre-Departure Water

Pre-Departure Water

We departed right as scheduled and were instantly presented with a beautiful view of SeaTac Airport, just too bad my camera couldn’t capture the full view… since it was gorgeous, the whole airport was glowing.

Seattle Airport

Seattle Airport

Once we reached the cruising altitude, drink orders were taken and the snack basket was presented. As noted before, the snack basket contains some of the most unhealthy food ever, like chips, cookies, pretzels, etc. There is also a selection of fresh fruit. United describes their snack basket as:

Refreshments, which include a selection of premium snacks and fresh fruit

Right, “premium” snacks…

Tea

Tea

"Premium" Snack

“Premium” Snack

View

View

San Francisco

San Francisco

Clouds were low in San Francisco, which presented us to some beautiful views above the clouds.. as they were literally glowing from the city lights below. We circled around San Francisco for a few minutes and actually landed a bit delayed since the clouds were so low and they had to figure out when we could begin the final approach.

The landing was a bit weird – the engines were about halfway on and we touched down on the middle of the runway and came to a stop literally a few metres before the end of the runway. That was a bit frightening since I knew exactly what was happening as we were landing. Thankfully we made it safely on the ground and pulled into the gate about three minutes later.

I spent my short connection in San Francisco at the AMEX Centurion Lounge, enjoying some delicious food and drinks!