On the Ground: After arriving from LAX, I had a good chunk of time at Newark Liberty International Airport before departing on United Airlines flight 25 to Ireland, so I headed straight to the business-class lounge. The Terminal C lounge is the largest at EWR, offering plenty of seating, workstations, showers and a large bar area. I booted up my computer in one of the many private cubicle spaces — accessing the WiFi to check email and chat with family via Face Time — then headed to the main lounge to check out the provisions. The food options were snacks, consisting mainly of individually wrapped cheese and crackers, fruit and cereals. I was disappointed to find few gluten-free options (medically necessary for me), even upon request. At boarding time, I hoofed it to my gate and quickly boarded the Boeing 757-200 from the priority group line.
Pre-Flight: Flight attendants provided beverage service upon boarding, but they had already poured the last of the pre-flight Champagne before I arrived at my seat. I was requested to change seats to allow a couple to sit together and agreed without hesitation.
I had to move again mid-flight to provide an empty seat next to the pilot’s rest seat (required under the new rest regulations) — inconvenient and somewhat annoying but obviously important to ensure focused and well-rested pilots at the controls.
In-Flight: Meal service included an appetizer of sushi or salad; a main course of chicken, beef, fish or pasta; a cheese course with Port; and ice cream sundaes for dessert. Unfortunately, the gluten-free meal I’d requested was not available, even though I’d added it to my reservation and called twice to confirm before my trip. I did receive a gluten-free meal from the economy cabin that was quite good on the outbound flight; the one on the return trip was somewhat disappointing. However, gluten-free side dishes and a variety of snacks and fruit were available throughout the flight.
The roomy, 180-degree flat-bed seats made the six-hour overnight journey a comfortable one. A small footrest under the entertainment center, coupled with the leg riser, provided ample space for sleep. Pillows and blankets were sizeable and a better quality than those in other classes of service, and power sources for laptops and phones were located to the side of the headrest. Although the three-pronged outlet at my seat wouldn’t power my laptop, I arrived with my phone — and body — fully charged.
The Experience: Despite some missteps, flying direct to Shannon was worth its weight in gold for traveling to western Ireland. I’d fly this United 757-200 again, assuming I would receive my requested meal. United flies from Newark year-round and from Chicago O’Hare seasonally (June 4–Aug. 17, 2015).
[item]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]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.