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

Introducing

FX Excursions

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

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Wilderness Safaris Reopens Jao Camp

Following a complete renovation, Wilderness Safaris’ Jao Camp reopened in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

News
Sep 19, 2019

Best U.S. Cities for Oktoberfest Celebrations

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Qantas Will Start Using a Dreamliner on Santiago–Sydney Route

Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

Daily
Sep 19, 2019

Travel Bundles Make it Easy to Attend International NFL Games

On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.

eFlyer News
Sep 18, 2019

LOT Polish Airlines Adds New Route to Delhi

LOT Polish Airlines is offering travellers more options for travel between Asia and Europe.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

eFlyer Lead
Sep 18, 2019

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Makes Sustainability Bounds

Hotel brands all over the world have pushed for sustainability. For many, it began with reducing single-use plastics, like straws. InterContinental recently announced the end of in-room miniature toiletries.