When I secured the hotel reservation at the Park Hyatt New York, I knew it wouldn’t be a problem cancelling it since I was using my free night awards if I wouldn’t be able to find any award flights on flatbeds or cheap fares that could be mileage run material. The day before I was going to cancel the hotel reservation, I was able to find a cheap United Airlines First Class fare which cost just $100 more than Economy that would earn me 325% miles on all flights (300% for an ‘A’ fare + 25% elite bonus). Originally the United website was giving me options only through Denver or Chicago, but eventually I was able to price out an itinerary which routed through Houston so I could earn all of those extra miles.
01 May – United 642 Seattle – Houston departing at 23:40 and arriving at 05:46 (+1 day)
02 May – United 461 Houston – New York LGA departing at 07:20 and arriving at 11:53
Both flights were operated by an Airbus A320, my favourite short-medium haul aircraft. The flight from Seattle to Houston was a redeye departing at 23:40 and I had about an hour and half connection in Houston.
I spent the few hours before the flight relaxing in Seattle Airport’s lounges. Boarding began at 11:10 from gate A9, which is right opposite of the United Club Seattle. We had an on-time departure and were in the air just past 23:40 where the view of Seattle at night was just precious.
One thing that I don’t like about United’s new North American premium cabin food refresh is that they’ve cut out real ‘snacks’ on flights departing after 21:00. Before, flights that were longer and departed after 21:00, a full snack (on a tray) was served and now all we get on night flights is some crackers, chips, or fruit… even on long flights, this kind of sucks since I fly redeye flights all the time.
This Brownie Brittle snack was ok.. it actually is now in the United Clubs as part of the lounge food updates.
Also, the new United napkin design is very simple and elegant – no more advertising!
After eating the ‘snack’, I
slept tried to sleep for the remainder of the flight and woke up as we began initial descend into Houston, about thirty minutes ahead of schedule. I spent my connection in Houston trying the new United Club food for breakfast and I’m really not that impressed by the food… more info on the new food (or lack thereof) in a future post.
The flight from Houston to LaGuardia was also operated by an A320.
The breakfast was, well, nothing special. The fruit was super sour, the oatmeal was very dry, and the biscuit tasted like something a dog wouldn’t touch. Yeah… the new breakfast choices aren’t the best, United!
I actually was able to sleep for the majority of this flight and woke up right as we began our final descend into LaGuardia where I didn’t really have a view of New York City because I was on the right side of the plane.
We were on the ground about ten minutes before scheduled arrival time and it was about ~11:30 so I headed to the Centurion Lounge to eat some ‘real’ food and also because I still had a couple of hours to spare before my room at the Park Hyatt was ready.