United Airlines 1977
Houston (IAH) – Seattle (SEA)
23 January 2016
My originally booked flight was scheduled to depart at 15:23, but since I volunteered to take the next flight for a $200 USD voucher, my new flight was departing at 18:03. By the time everything was processed and I received my voucher, it was already close to 16:00. The friendly United agent was very thankful that I gave up my seat and he even presented me with a $20 USD food voucher. Since the United Club doesn’t have “substantial” food (just mostly snacks), I decided to spend my voucher at a restaurant.
I returned to the United Club around 16:30 and remained there for another hour or so and headed over to the gate around 17:30. All in all, the extra few hours went by super quickly and it was finally time to fly back to Seattle. This flight wasn’t oversold at all and I would say Economy was about 70% full.
Boarding began a few minutes after I arrived at the gate and was finished about ten minutes prior to scheduled departure time. We pushed back right on time and made it to the runway a few minutes later. The flight was operated by a United Boeing 737-900 featuring IFE (DirecTV).
Pre-departure beverages were served shortly before pushback and were collected near the runway. It was simply a gorgeous day in Texas, and that led to a beautiful, breathtaking sunset. Since we were flying to Seattle, the sunset was “extended” and I was able to look out the window for a longer amount of time into the beautiful world below me.
Dinner and drink orders were taken once we reached our cruising altitude; the dinner service began with a hot towel about an hour into the flight (which I found was a bit slow).
Warm, mixed nuts were distributed with drinks. I decided to have some tea with lemon and sugar along with my meal.
There were two choices for dinner, both included a salad: chicken or ravioli. The pasta was the vegetarian option, featuring spinach. Both options also included a warm dinner roll. The salad came with Sesame Ginger Dressing, which is absolutely delicious.
Look, I normally love United’s premium cabin catering on North American routes, but on this flight the dinner wasn’t great. The chicken wasn’t the best and the rice was horrible. The salad and bread were totally fine, though. United usually has excellent lunch options on their flights (like a chicken salad, for example), but then the dinner options just suck on some flights.
The dessert consisted of chocolate ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, this was the only option available. The ice cream was awesome and for once, it wasn’t rock-hard (as is usually the case with U.S. airlines). Usually the dessert is Ice Cream for dinner flights and Sorbet for lunch flights.
I watched a few movies via DirecTV and as my final movie ended, we were beginning our initial descend into Seattle. Total duration of the flight was about four hours.
We landed about twenty minutes ahead of schedule and made it to the gate shortly thereafter. And with that, my first (successful) mileage run of the year was over! The next mileage run has already been booked and I’m looking forward to future mileage runs and flights I have with United. I will try to fly on mostly the “lunch” flights, because apparently the catering is much, much better.
I’m also happy that I volunteered and was able to receive a voucher – this further decreased the cost of the mileage run! Flying is so much better with miles and vouchers!