United Airlines 214
San Francisco (SFO) – Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
26 February 2016
My connection time of about one hour and thirty minutes in San Francisco was spent at the AMEX Centurion Lounge, my favourite airport lounge in the United States. I just love this Centurion Lounge – it’s so cool and the food, drinks, and service are all amazing. They change up the food menu every few months and the main menu for when I was there consisted of tomato soup and ribs as the primary choices. Additional food items include fruit, vegetables, salads, potatoes, bread, etc.
I spent about thirty minutes in the lounge eating and enjoying the ambiance and left for my gate about five minutes before scheduled boarding time. This flight to Chicago was operated by one of United’s domestic Boeing 777 aircraft with a large domestic First Class cabin and slightly-better-than-average seats, though not flatbeds.
United’s domestic B777 mainly operate on flights to Hawaii and then occasional flights between hub cities, like in this case. There are a few aircraft with flatbeds that operate hub-to-hub flights but most of them are to cities on the east coast. Chicago occasionally gets a flatbed aircraft from San Francisco, but mostly not.
These domestic First Class seats recline more than your average domestic First Class seat and are more comfortable, but it is still very hard to sleep in them. They also have a footrest, which is supposed to increase comfort. The seats offer zero privacy and are a bit dated and not the highest quality – though still better than normal domestic First Class.
Because of the recline, legroom is virtually unlimited so there is plenty of room in front of the passenger. The three seat controls include seat recline, footrest extension, and footrest adjustment. The seat’s main console features plenty of room for drinks and snacks.
Pre-departure beverages were served during boarding and were limited to mostly water. Since there were many First Class seats available, most of the upgrades ended up clearing… though I’m sure some Premier Silver and maybe Gold members still ended up in Economy. Headphones were also distributed.
We departed San Francisco about fifteen minutes late because we had to wait for a smaller regional jet that was delayed and had a few passengers on our flight. I basically attempted to sleep for the duration of the flight and somehow managed to sleep in the awkward sleeping position these seats provide. I did sleep better than in regular domestic First Class, so that was a plus.
We landed in Chicago right as scheduled and I soon met my friend outside the terminal who graciously volunteered to pick me up at 05:00 in the morning. All in all, a quick and somewhat comfortable flight in United’s domestic B777 First Class.