A great night of sleep on a transcon!

Dare I say it? I think I’m in love. After flying in international business class on a domestic redeye transcon, I don’t think I can ever go back (although I’ll have to since I have three more booked between now and the end of the month).

The first entertaining thing was the number of seat changes at the gate. There were a couple of people I quite literally wanted to punch. In particular, one gentlemen that chewed out the gate agent because he was “downgraded” from first class to business class. His attitude was much like mine in the last post, only I was kidding and he wasn’t. The gate agent explained to this guy that the service would be the same, but I went a step further and took it upon myself to explain to the guy he was getting a flat bed instead of a crappy seat that hardly reclines. It was funny to see when he was aboard — he spent a good ten minutes during boarding playing around with the seat, obviously very pleased, as he exclaimed “weeeee.”

But darn, I’ve never felt so refreshed after a domestic redeye. I got nearly four hours of sleep and not “airplane sleep” — real sleep. As a matter of fact I feel so refreshed that I might not take my usual “post-redeye” nap today. Believe it or not this was my first time in United’s new business class seats on a night time flight, and I have to say that I slept remarkably well. I’m as cheap as they get when it comes to flying, and even I’d pay a reasonable premium to be able to secure such a seat on every redeye compared to a domestic first seat.

Comments

  1. seems to me this will be an free upgrade if did not cost any 500 mile cert.
    Could you please share some picture if possible?
    I been told that some business class seats are backward facing and not sure how it feel?
    Thank you.

  2. Lucky: Glad you left those elitists in First Class and are now joining the real world of International Business Class. I too just flew the new flatbed from SYD to LAX and got over 7 hours of solid sleep and I’m 6′ 3″:

    Now save some of those miles and redeem your awards on the lie flats.

  3. Wow, can’t believe you hadn’t in the UA lie-flats at night before Ben. We’ve now done LAX-SYD and NRT-ORD in them, and will actually route out of our way (like going DEN-ASIA via ORD) to just to get them (well, and the miles). If UA could just fix their service, I think they could compete with anyone with these new seats.

    And we also get these a lot on DEN-IAD which is a nice benefit too.

  4. Coins,

    I had the ‘pleasure’ on a swapped plane SFO/LAX in December. Didn’t you find the width a little snug?
    Next question, did the crew know how to operate the IFE? Mine didn’t. They said that they didn’t have any training on this equipment.

  5. The new C is one of the few reasons why I’ll choose to fly UA and gamble on the possibility that my SWU may clear. Being able to get “real sleep” as opposed to light “plane sleep” is worth a lot.

  6. Nothing beats a flat bed for sleep. I went round the world in BusinessClass a couple of weeks ago, and slept on every leg. On the three long hauls that included two 9 hour sectors and one 14 hour sector, I got a total of 20 hours of awesome rack time. In my sleep on my other legs (2 intl. business, 1 domestic first), I was constantly waking up and adjusting my pillow, my legs, and my hips (I’m 6’6″).

    The only times I half way woke up on the flat beds was in heavy turbulence. What is great about sleeply deeply is that I was too damn tired to have any anxiety about it…I remember thinking to myself – “wow, that’s some freaking heavy turbulence (trans-pacific)…zzzzzzzzzz”

    As Dan said, sometimes the dimensions aren’t ideal. I was worried that I’d not be able to get comfortable on the SQ Biz flat bed, given that whole diagonal arrangement, but once I got my legs straightened, I was good.

  7. I also had my first experience with these seats last weekend. EXCELLENT! I really like the IFE too because it works during boarding all the way till you reach the gate at the destination airport. Way better than the older “stow during taxi, takeoff, and landing” system. This seat was VERY comfortable! I have another transcon IAD-SFO (via ORD) this Saturday where my upgrade has already cleared. I’m SO looking forward to it.

  8. I just don’t like the rear-facing seats, it gave me a headaches last time I flew. UA need to add a privacy divider so you won’t have a nossy seatmate staring at you…

    JOSH

  9. Never had a problem with backwards C seats. Nice! And they ARE in C. Flew them a few times on the Upper Deck. Kinda weird on takeoff and landing though.

  10. I’m not sure if UA would allow F suite pax inviting Y pax to join since the seat is so big and comfy.

    JOSH

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