Flight Review: United Airlines BusinessFirst Newark to Dublin

I thought about doing a full-fledged trip report for my recent trip to Ireland, but decided against it as flying United internationally isn’t quite as exciting as some of my other travels. That said, I did habitually take pictures of everything, so here’s my first stand-alone “flight review” of United Airlines flight 22 from Newark to Dublin in BusinessFirst on May 8, 2012.

I really don’t care for East coast to Europe flights given their relative short duration making it nearly impossible to get a decent amount of sleep. And with the flight time to Ireland being less than six hours, it leaves little time after the meal service for anything other than a short nap. Ah well… first world problems, right?

My chariot to Dublin was the Star Alliance Boeing 757-200, N14120 delivered to Continental Airlines in 1997.

My traveling companion and I were the first to board and we settled into seats 2E and 2F.

This was my first time flying in Continental’s lie-flat BusinessFirst seat, so I was excited to compare it against United’s offering. I found it much more comfortable and spacious than United’s hard product, though I do have to give United a nod for better audio and headset quality.

Pre-departure beverages were distributed, along with newspapers and amenity kits.

The aisle seat definitely has a much larger footwell, though I had no problems getting comfortable in the window seat when I eventually went into bed mode.

The connectivity sockets are in a bit of an awkward position up and behind your shoulder.

The purser came by prior to push back wishing us a pleasant flight and provided details about the service and flight time, which was a nice touch and something I’ve only previously experienced when flying first class on three-cabin aircraft. We pushed back right on-time and were airborne within five minutes at most. Service began with a beverage and hot nuts.

Meal orders were taken from probably the best menu selections I’ve experienced internationally on United in business class. To begin, here’s the drink list.

And the first two courses were as follows:

I’m not a fan of shellfish, but my traveling companion said the soup was quite tasty and I thoroughly enjoyed the beef turnover and veggie purse.

The salad was quite nice and I went with the Parmesan-pepper dressing.

The main course selections were:

I went with the grilled sirloin steak and was incredibly impressed with its size, though it was significantly undercooked for my taste. The flight attendant did offer to throw it back in the oven for a while, which was appreciated. My friend’s steak was a bit thinner and cooked through.

As I wanted to get as much sleep as possible, I skipped dessert and pre-arrival snack.

I did manage to get a solid 3 hours of sleep and REALLY could have used more, but my friend roused me with 30 minutes left in the flight, per my request. He said the breakfast salami was the “pepperiest” deli meat he’s ever had, for what it’s worth.

One of the flight attendants serving the cabin was stellar – great personality, engaging, professional, smiling, etc. Another, however, was a bit surly and sort of begrudgingly went about her duties. Hit and miss on Continental-United, as usual.

Overall, it was a decent flight. We landed early and were the only group of passengers at that time being processed through customs and immigration, which was quick and easy.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the report. So is that a lie flat seat? Are the the flights to the UK from Newark on the same product. I remember flying to BHX a few years ago and swore never to do it again. Perhaps time to revist my oath.

    • @Levi Flight: Yep, they’re totally lie flat. I see on EWR-LHR, for example, United has a mix of these 757-200s and also 777s on the route right now. They both have the same seats.

  2. I just think it’s very cool that UA has a lie-flat product (not counting PS) on some 757s for international config. Very cool! I don’t know why that impresses me so much :-).

  3. Love the ‘Thanks for flying Continental Airlines’ at the end. Not fully switched over! I and my fellow passengers were thanked recently by the pilot for flying ‘a true United flight’ All is not well at UA/CO it seems.

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