United UA840 - Melbourne to Los Angeles, Economy Plus
I have reviewed UA840 a couple of years back, but with my Star Gold status renewal running a little short this year I directed a bit of business back in United's direction for a trans-pacific run. Here is a quick run down of the flight once more... pretty much the worst option for Trans Pacific flying, but also usually the cheapest!!
|N174UA parked in front of the new Cafe Vue at Melbourne International
|The now old United livery on the 747-400
I used the priority queue taking advantage of star gold status to board early.
|These seats are for Economy Plus passengers only!
|The economy plus seat, legroom is pretty decent, I had the 3 seats to myself for the hop to Sydney
|Another view of economy plus
|United's economy class IFE
|Seat pocket contents, Hemispheres inflight mag and some decent headsets
|Leg room - ample in Economy Plus
The flight time from Melbourne to Sydney is just over 60 minutes but a drink and pretzels service is offered with complimentary full bar. I took a coke and a full can was offered which is always appreciated.
|UA840 Melbourne to Sydney Snack Service
My experience on United tells me that whilst the hard product and catering are very ordinary, the crews themselves are generally pretty warm and friendly. This crew was no different and they always had a smile on their face during this sector. It's a pity that they stand their chewing gum during the boarding process though... could you imagine a Singapore girl doing that? I imagine she would be out of a job pretty quickly.
Soon enough we commenced descent into Sydney and we made our final approach onto runway 34L over Botany Bay.
I made a youtube video of this sector, you can view it below:
Our aircraft made its way over to the international terminal at Sydney and parked right beside its sistership, another United Boeing 747 N175UA.
|The two United jumbos awaiting flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco
|Air NZ Lounge Sydney - food!
This next sector was a lot fuller than the first with around a 75% load in economy. Fortunately for me I had an aisle seat with the middle seat free. I wasn't going to be squashed like a sardine after all!
|Looking across to the United 747 that had brought me to Sydney through a rainy window
|Lunch - United Economy
|Californian wine to go with it (ordinary!)
Despite the poor food United still offers a very good selection of complimentary drinks (including alcoholic ones). Coffee was served after lunch and comes in foam throwaway cups like you can see on the left. At least they hold quite a bit of coffee unlike those flimsy plastic cups other airlines offer on the tray.
I do like that United still offer spirits in individual 50ml bottles (although don't ever ask for more than one at a time!). Included in the selection if Baileys which goes down nicely after the meal with a cup of ice.
|Lunch was over about 1100 miles into the journey!
Around 6.5 hours into the flight the crew commenced a snack service which consisted of a tiny roll stuffed with turkey, a biscuit and a drink. Pretty much identical to what I was served two years ago on this flight. The crew offer this service without turning on the cabin lights thereby letting everyone continue to sleep if they choose.
With breakfast completed at 39,000 feet we were slowly approaching the US coastline:
Thanks for taking a look at my follow up review to United 840. This flight serves it purpose well, a cheap way of getting to the US with no frills! At least they are prett reliable and have daily departures from Melbourne. It's also a cheap way of accumulating star alliance miles with almost all UA fares being mileage earning... even the deeply discounted ones.
Up next I will review a few domestic sectors I took whilst on this trip in the USA.