Friday, September 19, 2008

United's New International Business Class

Continental Breakfast

Yay! I finally got a plane this time with the new international business class seats. And this was definitely leaps and bounds beyond the old one, with a large VOD screen, lie-flat seats with simple controls, and a standard power outlet. It was a bit weird getting a seat facing backwards, and the seat was a bit more cramped than I would have thought, but it turned out alright in the end.

Yes, I prefer this over Air Canada's Executive First Suite and probably even UA's old first class seats too. I am sure that SQ's new super-wide business class has this one beat, but I'm not complaining, especially since United doesn't show a bunch of annoying ads at the beginning of its movies like SQ does.

Food-wise, it was still the same stuff though. And yes, that is Adam Sandler in You Don't Mess With the Zohan that you see in the background (too bad that they weren't serving any hummus on the plane!). Note to self: the HK lounge's shower facility doesn't have toothbrushes, so be sure to grab one from the amenities kit on the plane next time.

6 comments:

abraxis said...

Hmm. Is that the same UA 747 that flies SFO-HKG-SIN? They've got the upgraded plane now?

Time to use those SWUs!

bma said...

Yes, although it looks like not all of the planes have been upgraded yet, based upon my experience last week.

Once all of them get upgraded though, United will sure beat the heck out of the old seats that SQ is still running up to HK.

Anonymous said...

I am also a 1K who resides in Singapore (originally from Calif). My advice is to avoid United Red Carpet Clubs at all costs when you have a choice. In Hong Kong the Thai Airways lounge is 2x better than the RCC. In Tokyo the ANA lounges are 3x better. For example, ANA make udon soup to order, offer ice cream, have plenty of showers and toothbrushes, and even a sake bar.
(jimsimon@yahoo.com, +65 9788 8502)

bma said...

I don't know if I'd completely agree with that one. Yes, most RCCs pale in comparison to say, SQ's SilverKris lounge at Changi T3, but in your two examples, I prefer United.

I don't recall if the TG lounge in HK had toothbrushes in the shower or not, but they don't have the Kilkenny beer machine, and it seemed like there were many more seats with power outlets at the RCC than at the TG lounge. Although the row of Nintendo Wii's in the back of the TG lounge is one up over UA, I'm not much of a gamer, and I prefer the decor of the UA lounge, which feels much more relaxed and polished than the utilitarian TG one.

And Narita is the best of all of the UA RCCs in my experience. The showers there do give you a full set of toiletries, they have the cool Narita beer machine, and again, plenty of seats with power outlets. Admittedly I haven't been to the ANA lounge there yet (sake and udon sound good to me!), so I'll have to give it a try, but I'm quite happy with the RCC there.

Anonymous said...

In HKG, TG has bottled beer but they do offer toiletries and their reading material offerings are quite extensive. I also like their salad bar.

The ANA lounge has several of the automatic poring beer machines so do give their lounges a try. If you go to the ANA lounge that is closer to the duty-free "mall" (vs. the area where UA's gates are), you will go up an escalator to the lounge (biz on left, first on right). Assuming you are at the biz lounge the best place to sit is near the sake bar which is to your far left upon entering. If you are a bagel fan don't forget to grab some freshly-made, NY-style bagels.

bma said...

Cool - I'll definitely give the ANA lounge at Narita a try next time.

For the record though, SQ's lounge at HKG is quite sad compared to UA's, and I definitely prefer the RCC to both SQ and TG there.