FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

United Airlines, BusinessFirst

by Banu Yilmaz

Mar 8, 2016
2016

On the Ground: Just into my fifth week with Global Traveler, I was fortunate to experience my first business-class trip to Dubai — one of my bucket-list destinations. The day of the trip, my colleague and I met at GT headquarters and headed to Washington Dulles Airport via car service. The three-hour road trip delivered us to the airport right before check-in time for our 10:15 p.m. direct flight to Dubai. The self-check-in was painless; we checked our bags and headed to the United Club lounge to relax with some snacks and drinks prior to boarding.

Pre-Flight: Staff at the United Club lounge offered service with a smile. Unfortunately, I only had time to enjoy a single Bloody Mary, some hummus and cheese before heading to the gate for boarding. I know — there is always next time. I shamelessly took some fruit with me to enjoy later, of course.

In-Flight: After an on-time takeoff, food service started with a chilled appetizer of smoked salmon with chive crème fraîche and a fresh salad with vinaigrette dressing. Both were delicious and a great start for what came next. From the three entrées offered I chose the fillet of turbot simply because I had never heard of it and it certainly made sense to be adventurous. I made the right choice as the dish was tasty. During dinner service I couldn’t help but wonder how I could ever go back to flying coach; I had a slight moment of anxiety but came to my senses before the cheese plate arrived. I am not sure which cheese it was, but one bite warned me not to eat it. I thought everyone near me would appreciate it if I avoided eating what seemed to be the smelliest cheese of all time. I was certain that was going to be it for me since I was watching my diet . . . until I saw the ice cream cart pull up. The attendant didn’t have to do any convincing. I was on board for some vanilla ice cream with fudge and chocolate sauce. I don’t think I left a drop behind.

I always say I’m going to sleep on flights but then realize the movies are too good to ignore, and that’s exactly what happened on this trip. I watched three movies: Man Up, The Clouds of Sils Maria and Max. I started watching Max right after takeoff, so I was in tears right away. Although I was determined to watch as many movies as possible, I also was determined to give the lie-flat bed a try. I’m glad I did; I slept great for at least four to five hours.

The Experience: This rates as one of the best flying experiences I had in my 20-plus years of traveling. Those 13 hours didn’t faze me one bit, and I enjoyed the entire flight. I’m looking forward to my next business-class trip in the near future.

GT CHECKLIST

[checklist]
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority tagged baggage[/item]
[item check=yes]Airport lounge[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-lounge food[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority boarding[/item]
[item check=yes]Helpful and courteous flight attendants[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight beverage service[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item]Slippers[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
[/checklist]

United Airlines

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