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Trip Report: Flying First Class on Asiana, United, Thai, ANA & Singapore Air
Tokyo-Singapore on United in First Class
Airline: United (UA)
Cabin Class: First
Equipment: Boeing 777-200
Flight Number: UA 803
Seat Number: 1H
My United Global First boarding pass
Date: February 7, 2014
Departure time in Tokyo (NRT): 17:35
Arrival time in Singapore (SIN): 00:20 (+1 day)
Travel Time: 7h 45m
*This is an award travel, First Class flight #7
Text and Photography by Arthur Jeciel
When I was informed by the US Airways agent that Asiana changed aircraft from a 3-class to 2-class for their ICN-NRT flight in February 7 and that he couldn't find any availability in first class, I decided to move my flight a day earlier. As a result, I did spend a night in Tokyo and met my friends in the morning before my United flight to Singapore. We made a quick tour and started with the Tokyo Sky Tree.
The Tokyo Sky Tree which opened in May 2012.
View of Mount Fuji from the Tokyo Skytree.
The Asahi Beer Hall is one of the most recognizable modern structures in Tokyo.
The Rickshaw ride!
Eating my dango in Tokyo!
Our last stop was the Asakusa Shrine, afterwhich we had lunch. It was a very short tour but I really enjoyed it a lot specially because I was with my friends and that I really love Japan. By 2:30pm, I was already at the airport ready for my flight to Singapore.
The check in counters for Global First passengers are located in zone B, from B2 to B3. It was actually empty when I arrived and I was assisted by a friendly agent with the check in process, and was done in a few minutes.
I was given a priority lane card together with my boarding pass so I just went straight to the security control and as expected, it went smoothly.
Flying in United Global First, I had access to the United Global First Lounge, the review of this you can find here.
The beautiful Boeing 777-200 taking us to Singapore that Friday afternoon.
Boarding started on time at Gate 38. Although it was stated on my boarding pass that I had Boarding Group 1, I was expecting they would have a separate boarding for first class passengers. Unfortunately, there were too many passengers who have status and I ended up at the back of a long queue. It was my first time to experience this but I guess I just have to come early next time.
Luckily, they have a separate passenger bridge for first class passengers.
I tried to secure a window seat but it was impossible since the flight was full and had my seat booked last minute. The cabin has a total of 8 seats in first class with a 1-2-1 configuration.
The personal TV screen is pretty average, or maybe even sub par.
The headset was pretty basic as well.
My predeparture drink was a glass of water.
The United slippers were okay.
A few minutes later, the cabin attendants distributed eyemasks, toothbrush and toothpaste. I was expecting a "real" amenity kit (with Philosophy brand products) since I read from their website that they were giving such items on this flight, a part from the fact that it was also stated on the last page of the menu card that was handed to me awhile ago (NRT-SIN, February United Global First Service). When I politely asked for it, the cabin attendant told me that what was written on the card was wrong and that they don't have it on board, just the eyemasks and toothbrush and that she would inform the company to change what was written on the card. I was able to get a reply from United's twitter account a few days after the flight and they apologized for the misscommunication regarding the amenity kit. They asked for my full name and shipping address and was told they would ship it.
As an update, last April 2, I received the amenity kit United promised to send me, not 1 but 3. Thanks a lot, United!
Limited edition amnity kit featuring United hubs. I got the LAX version ;)
United Business First amenity kit
United Global First amenity kit
On the left side of the seat, you can find the the USB ports, seat controls and entertainment controls.
On the right hand side is the reading lamp.
The United Global First Menu card.
Warm nuts and a glass of water to start.
The table set up was lovely, although I missed that yellow rose from the Asiana first class flight the other day.
Garlic shrimp, sweet sesame pork and vegetable sushi roll
From the wine list, they had Philipponnat Reserve Milesimee 2005, Henriot Brut 2007 and Nicolas Feuillatte Brut but when I asked the flight attendant which champagne was the one she served me, she told me it was not from the list and showed me another bottle from the galley which was actually Lanson Brut Vintage 2002.
Fresh Seasonal Greens
Cucumber and tomatoes with your choice of creamy garlic dressing or sesame vinaigrette
Chicken and Pumpkin Curry
Caramelized shallot rice and sauteed asparagus
The other choices for the main course were Braised short rib of Beef, Pan-seared Fillet of Salmon and Open-faced Ham and Gouda Cheese Sandwhich.
Ice Cream with your choice of toppings
It was stated on the card that the turndown service can be done upon request but since I didn't want to bother the cabin attendant anymore, I decided to do it myself.
Toilet and Lavatory
Inside the lavatory were the Philosophy brand products.
February 20, 2014 It was my first time flying in United Global First and since I've read many flight reviews from different bloggers saying that they would prefer Asian carriers than North American carriers when flying in first class, I didn't expect much from this flight. I thought the food was okay, the service was also very nice and the seats were comfortable. The only thing I missed was the amenity kit since I am a collector and would really like to have one from United. I don't care much about the food and the wine since I prefer tangible souvenirs. Overall, a nice flight.
As an update: I got 3 amenity kits from United last April 2. Thanks for the lovely kits, United!