CO BusinessFirst from the perspective of a UA 1K

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by traveltoomuch, Oct 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I recently flew a CO 777 in BusinessFirst and thought I'd share my perspective as a UA 1K.

    Summary: CO's flat bed seat offers more space and privacy than UA's flat bed seat. Catering beat UA. All-in-all, I would actively seek this out over riding on UA metal. I really hope UA will put this seat on its yet-to-be-converted 777s.

    As background, CO 777s and 757s have flat beds; CO 767s haven't been converted yet. (v. UA, which has converted its 767s but not most of its 777s.) CO 777s have 2-2-2 seating in BusinessFirst, v. UA's 2-4-2 in the new 777 configuration.

    The good (v. UA's flat bed seat):
    • roomier seat, especially in bulkheads
    • much better storage
    • better catering
    • more privacy
    • nicer amenity kit
    • can have a bag stored on the floor under the ottoman
    • excellent use of names: was greeted by name when taking pre-departure drink order
    The bad:
    • no noise-canceling headphones
    • no curtains masking light from galley
    • if you waitlist for an upgrade and don't get it, there's no E+
    • no wine list
    • no detail on the cheeses available
    Oddities:
    • special meal ordered automatically based on UA profile, not CO profile
    • told to entirely stay out of forward-most galley
    • more automated announcements
    • CO had trouble upgrading a UA ticket
    Seat: CO's business first seats are mounted at an angle to the center line of the plane, all facing forward. They're very similar to UA's new seats, but felt less cramped and had more storage. The ottoman on most seats is narrow, stealing space from around the seats ahead of you. Unlike UA, CO's bulkhead seats get double-width ottomans (YAY!). There's a high shelf near your shoulder, perfect for safely storing glasses, a water bottle, and an amenity kit while sleeping. The AC and USB power outlets are there, also -- easier to reach than UA's, and with the convenient shelf to leave your cell phone as it charges. There is a secondary seat recline button in the "cage" around the head of the bed, making it easier to reach when you're laying down. There is a small, fixed divider between seats; there was a little more isolation from your seat-mate than UA offers.

    Food (EWR-Europe): four entree choices, a hot appetizer cart including a lobster bisque, larger and better salad than UA, ice cream sundaes with a large selection of toppings AND and sweet dessert options. Breakfast was a European-style cold-cut place. Entrees were not stellar but were acceptable, similar to UA. The menus did not include any detail on wines or cheeses. Continental posts their menus online, so I won't copy it here.

    Two oddities deserve attention: despite booking this flight less than 24 hours before departure and NOT requesting a special meal, I was told on boarding that my special meal was on board. I have a default special meal preference on my UA profile (which never seems to do any good). I do NOT have that default set on my CO profile. My UA number was in the record. It turns out that the meal was not on board (no surprise), but having it on the manifest was surprising. I don't know if they automatically ordered the meal or just include the profile preference on the manifest automatically.

    And there was some trouble upgrading this ticket, supposedly because UA had already upgraded one segment of it. CO agents explained that CO normally reissues a ticket after an upgrade, so that the ticket (class) matches the record. UA doesn't do that. So CO was starting with a ticket that didn't match the record. CO reservations has a Star Alliance support desk that managed to make the magic work.

    Entertainment. Like UA, large, fixed-position screens. Nearly 200 movie choices and a proprietary iPod connector. There's a handy little shelf under the monitor, great for newspapers, your menu, your glasses or your iPod. I like UA's entertainment system a bit better. CO does not have noise-canceling headphones.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Great details in the review.

    FWIW, the UA 777s are getting the UA config, at least for the time being, while the UA 763 Ghetto-birds are getting the CO BF seats same as the CO 764s.
     
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  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Thanks for that. Bummer about the 777 config, but I'm happy to hear about the 767s. Maybe a few notes to 1kvoice...
     
  4. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    I too like the BF product better than UA C. (1K for a few years myself)

    The one thing I couldn't figure out was how to lower the arm rest. It looked like this should have gone down somehow, but I couldn't get it down.
     
  5. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Much as on UA: there's a button on the front edge of the armrest. Push it straight back. My armrest tried to get stuck a few times. Eventually it relented.
     
  6. Navysuby3

    Navysuby3 Silver Member

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    Great write-up, and thanks for sharing.
     
  7. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Thanks for the review. Since I detest UA's new C seat because of the total lack of privacy and tightness of the cabin (too many seats abreast, neighbour too close) I am heartened to learn of what awaits me Thursday night when I fly to FRA from EWR on CO. I was very impressed when I flew "F" on a CO 763 from EWR to HNL earlier this year, even with the old seat the service and food was well beyond anything on UA (only upper deck 744 comes a distant close on UA because of the less cramped cabin but still has the dreaded C seat). Will be curious to see what the new UA's C seat will be like on the 787s...
     
  8. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    A couple of years ago, when we experienced the new UA config for the first time, I would have thought you were crazy (or really really fussy). ;) We'd previously flown the new LH lie-flat product and found UA's roomier.

    Now that we've flown AC's Executive First product a couple of times we see why AC flyers prefer them. They are terrific! We too appreciated the review since five of us are flying CO in January EWR-DEL.

    A relative just flew IAH-FRA on CO yesterday in C and was very pleased with the seat. Coincidentally, his last international flight was DEL-EWR in the back row of Y, snagging the next-to-last seat when his BA connection through LHR was canceled due to the snowflakes there before Christmas, so just about anything would look good in comparison. :D

    Don't get me wrong. We still like UA C but I do know where you're coming from.
     
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  9. SeaRaptor
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    SeaRaptor Silver Member

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    Good review.

    The galley curtain thing is a bit odd; I've noticed that the starboard galley access in the forward cabin usually has a curtain over it, but none of the other galley entrances or exits do. When I want to sleep, my preferred seat in the 772 is 5E for this reason (less light pollution). The smaller ottoman is a bit of a drag, but I sleep more soundly. The rear BF cabin is definitely brighter on overnight flights due to the lack of curtains.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    [​IMG]

    Best $14 I've spent for intercontinental travel comfort. It might also be this model that I have. Either way, it is super soft, the adjustable strap means it isn't so tight that it bothers me while sleeping and the light blocking it incredibly effective. Combined with a pair of industrial ear plugs and I've slept camping in Norway in the summer where it never got dark and in intercontinental economy and had no issues at all in either case.
     
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  11. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    That would work in Alaska and I believe I have something similar, thankfully I have no absolute need for earplugs unless it's a flying discoteria =D
     
  12. SeaRaptor
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    SeaRaptor Silver Member

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    Good tip. The little eye masks that come in the amenity kits do an okay job, but some always seems to leak around the sides for me. =)
     
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  13. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    That's not a surprise given the size of your head!
    --> [​IMG]
     
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  14. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    I agree...I usually only keep them for a few flights and then dump them and use another eyemask. I think they just lose their shape a bit and the elastic quality isnt great.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The ones they give you on the plane are crap. Yea, they're free, but they're still crap. The $20 or so you spend on a good set are worth so much more than that in the resultant sleep.

    I flew NRT-LAX last night. I had my eye shades on and ear plugs in. I didn't even notice the breakfast service in the cabin.

    I also checked my mask brand. It is Lewis & Clark and wasin the same price range and I bought it at the Flight001 shop in NYC.
     
  16. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    Yep. good ones are hard to find. You want them to be REM shades in which you can open your eyes wide and have no contact with the mask. Bucky makes good ones. I have to wear these every night and it is much cheaper not having to pay for restasis. My wife finds them at TJMaxx sometimes for about $4 and buys all she can. The best ones are made out of the same material as padded bras.

    Don't get these. They are uncomfortable and useless cheapie things.
    These are the better ones. The nose cutout is critical... and yes, I have all of those patterns.
     
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  17. CrazyMonkey
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    CrazyMonkey Silver Member

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    Thanks for the information.
     
  18. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Will have to experience CO C another time. Misconnect into EWR Thursday night (blame flow control for eating into a 2-1/2 hour connection) meant rebooked onto LH flight to FRA and its horrid C seat (at least had an empty seat next to me). LHR flights were all delayed several hours so getting to DUS via CO's only other available flight was not practical. Perhaps time to book an award to AKL for next winter when CO (er UA) starts flying the 787.
     
  19. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I just made some minor changes to my initial review, making it a little bit more definite re: space and privacy. I was in the UA C seat again yesterday, and the difference was even more clear to me. Particularly on the UA 777, with its 2-4-2 configuration, I noted how little privacy there is between seats (esp. the middle seats). The CO 777 was MUCH better.
     

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