Airline Reviews

Review: United Business Class 777-300ER San Francisco To Hong Kong

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I boarded through door L2, which is between the two Polaris cabins. United’s Polaris cabin on the 777-300ER is massive, with a total of 60 seats. There are 28 seats ahead of the second set of doors, and 32 seats behind the second set of doors. I was in seat 18L, which is the window seat in the last row, so I walked to the far aisle and then turned right.

While each Polaris seat features direct aisle access, the seats alternate between being closer to the aisle and being closer to the window. Odd numbered seats are more private and are further from the aisle, while even numbered seats are closer to the aisle.

For example, below is a picture of seat 17L, which is a “true” window seat. The advantage of this seat is that it feels extremely private, as you basically have your own cocoon.

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Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York

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Upon arriving in Shannon we were all directed to get off the plane and reclear security. As we deplaned we were each given a transit card and our name was checked off a list.

Since I had “SSSS” on my boarding pass in Kuwait (which means I was selected for additional screening), I was ushered to a separate area. Once about a dozen passengers requiring secondary screening had deplaned, we were escorted to a separate area for screening.

One of the other business class passengers flipped out. “I WANT TO TALK TO A KUWAIT AIRWAYS SUPERVISOR, THEY DID NOT TELL ME I NEEDED TO GET OFF THE PLANE.” He said that he refused to go through security, etc. Then he turned to me and said “did you know we had to get off the plane here?” “Yeah, actually.” Then he stopped talking.

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Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon

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As our bus pulled up to the remote stand, I was happy to see that our flight was actually operated by a 777-300ER. Kuwait Airways’ 777-200s are ancient, so I was worried we’d have a last minute swap. Fortunately that wasn’t the case, and I was excited to experience the “future” of Kuwait Airways.

We boarded through door L2, where we were pointed right into the business class cabin.

Kuwait Airways has B/E Aerospace Diamond seats in business class on their 777-300ERs, which is a similar product to what’s available on Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air China, KLM, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, United, etc.

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Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait

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Our flight from Dhaka to Kuwait City was operated by one of Kuwait Airways’ new A330 aircraft, which are in a three class configuration. There’s first class, business class, and economy class. However, on the Dhaka to Kuwait flight, the airline doesn’t actually sell the first class cabin (I guess because the premium cabin demand isn’t there).

So on our flight, business class passengers got seated in first class, and then economy class passengers partly got seated in business class. As a result, service in first class was the same you’d usually get in business class, while business class had the standard economy service.

We boarded through the forward left door, where we were greeted by the crew and pointed to the far aisle, where our seats were located. Kuwait Airways’ A330 first class cabin consists of reverse herringbone seats that are in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are a total of 17 seats, meaning there are four full rows, and then in the back there’s a single seat on the left side of the cabin.

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Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro

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They were boarding passengers on this flight through two sets of stairs — people seated in the front half of the plane boarded through the forward door, while people seated in the back half of the plane boarded through the rear door.

Drukair’s A319s have a total of 16 business class seats, spread across four rows in a 2-2 configuration.

Since I managed to be the first onboard, I took a quick glance into the economy cabin, which looked reasonably comfortable, at least in terms of the headrests.

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Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu

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We spent the night at the Grand Hyatt Incheon, and the next day headed to the airport at around 11:30AM for our 1:25PM flight to Kathmandu. Immigration and security were reasonably quick (they took about 20 minutes, while in the past I’ve sometimes had to wait over an hour), and we quickly found gate 21, where our flight would be departing from.

As we arrived our 777 was just getting catered, and a few minutes later the crew arrived.

Boarding was announced at 12:55PM, starting with business class.

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Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul

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Given that I’ve flown Korean Air’s first class so many times before on the 747-8, 777, and A380 (thanks to the great value of converting Ultimate Rewards points into Korean Air SkyPass miles), I was curious to see how their business class product stacked up.

We boarded through door L1, where we turned right into the lower deck business class cabin. Korean Air has 26 business class seats on the 747-8 lower deck, spread across five rows in a 2-2-2 configuration (the last row only has two seats in the center).

This is an extremely spacious layout for the lower deck of the 747, and the aisles in this cabin must be among the widest in any business class cabin.

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Mini-Review: United Polaris In-Flight Dining With The New Spring Menu

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The new United Polaris soft product rolled out in December, and features improved dining and bedding options. The new United Polaris Lounge in Chicago opened at the same time, and added restaurant-style dining in mid-January. And the new all-aisle access seats have recently debuted, albeit on a very limited number of routes.

The new seats won’t be installed fleet-wide for years — and it seems that might even be optimistic — the in-flight Polaris experience is all about the bedding and the meal service. My family flew United Polaris in January and found the food to be a distinct improvement over the past, both with the selection and the quality.

Well, apparently United is planning on revising the menu on a quarterly basis. I recently had a chance to sample some of the new offerings which rolled out March 1st.

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Review: Philippine Airlines Business Class 777 New York To Vancouver

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I boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by the friendly purser and pointed right, in the direction of my seat.

Philippine Airlines’ 777 business class cabin consists of a total of 42 seats, spread across six rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. The forward cabin has four rows of seats, for a total of 28 seats.

Meanwhile the rear cabin has two rows, for a total of 14 seats. My preference is almost always to sit in the back of the business class cabin, and this flight was no exception.

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Review: KLM Business Class 777 Singapore To Bali

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The only reason we flew to Singapore to begin with was to be able to get onto the Hello Kitty flight from Taipei. We could have flown direct from Taipei to Bali, but that would have meant no Hello Kitty for us.

So we booked cheap paid tickets from Singapore to Bali on KLM. This is a fun fifth freedom route they operate, as it’s a tag-on of their Amsterdam to Singapore flight. The one-way business class ticket cost about $250.

Our connection in Singapore was about three hours. We weren’t able to check-in online, so we got our boarding passes at the transit desk at Changi Airport. Our flight was departing from gate D42, with boarding scheduled to begin at 5:05PM. So we headed to the gate at around 4:45PM, given that at Changi Airport security checkpoints are at the individual gates.

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Review: EVA Air Hello Kitty Business Class 777 Taipei To Singapore

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While I love EVA Air’s business class in general, I was especially excited about this flight, because it was one of their special “Hello Kitty” services. EVA Air operates Hello Kitty themed flights on certain routes, and I intentionally booked my Taipei to Singapore flight for the Hello Kitty experience. I took Hello Kitty flights from Tokyo to Taipei and Taipei to Los Angeles a few years back, so was curious to see how the concept was holding up.

I boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by two friendly flight attendants, and escorted to my seat. I had assigned myself seat 11K, which is the window seat in the last row of business class on the right side.

This is in the rear mini cabin, which has just four rows of seats.

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Review: EVA Air Business Class 777 Los Angeles To Taipei

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This trip report is going to be a bit different than my usual ones. I’ve been on an insane trip the past few weeks for something I’ve been working on, the full details of which I’ll eventually reveal. A lot of this involved flying airlines and staying at hotels I’ve already visited. As a result, I won’t be publishing the typical start-to-finish trip report this time around, but rather will be writing about select flights that I think will be most interesting to you guys.

So for the first installment I want to cover my flight from Los Angeles to Taipei on EVA Air, which I booked using Air Canada Aeroplan miles (Los Angeles to Taipei to Singapore cost 77,500 miles one-way in business class without fuel surcharges). I flew EVA Air back when they first joined the Star Alliance, though this was my first time flying with them in over three years. A couple of years ago EVA Air updated their business class soft product, so I was curious to see how the product compared.

Since my flight was departing LAX I had access to the Star Alliance Lounge, which is excellent, and I’ve reviewed before. At around 9:45AM I headed to gate 155, given that boarding was scheduled for 10AM.

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Review: Emirates First Class 777-300ER Dubai To Amman

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Surprisingly, this was my first time actually transiting in Dubai. Like this one, my previous trips on Emirates had been booked through Alaska Mileage Plan, which allows free stopovers at partner hubs on award tickets.

A stopover wasn’t really a compelling option on this trip, given we’d already delayed our original departure, but we still considered an overnight. And then I looked at the flight schedules.

Emirates has two different aircraft types serving the Dubai > Amman route. They’re both Boeing 777s, but the configurations are different depending on the day and time.

It’s only a ~1,200 mile flight, so it doesn’t matter tremendously, but if your schedule allows you want to choose the 77W plane with this seat map:

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Review: Emirates First Class A380 San Francisco To Dubai

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While I’ve flown Emirates first class on the A380 a half-dozen times (oof that’s an obnoxious sentence, sorry), my husband hadn’t. He had flown Emirates first on the 777 a few years back, and even had the cabin to himself, so he had a general idea of what to expect, but we were still excited to fly together.

Ben has reviewed Emirates first class on the A380 at least a dozen times, and I’ve reviewed it myself as well, so check those out if you’re looking for a comparison in terms of the service and soft product, but I’m going to primarily focus on the updates and changes to the service.

In the year or so since I’ve flown them, Emirates has been engaging in cost-cutting measures, which while they haven’t been advertised as necessarily impacting long-haul premium cabin flights (other than birthday cakes), were noticeable in the catering.

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