I was going through my photos yesterday and came across the batch of pictures I took when I flew on the inaugural United Airlines Boeing 777 flight from Denver to Chicago on June 7, 1995. Knowing there are a ton of aviation geeks out there like me, I figured it would be worth it to post a vintage trip report of my experience and share the pictures below.
I was employed by United at the time, took a vacation day that Wednesday and purchased a revenue ticket to ensure I’d have a seat on the historic flight. As I recall, the ticket was about $240 for the same day ORD-DEN-ORD trip, and luckily I still had elite status with United so I was able to upgrade into Connoisseur Class on the all-important 777 segment.
I was “Premier Emeritus,” the soft landing United used to bestow on elites in the year following not having requalified for any status. This was in the day of paper 500-milers and I do remember I had only two left, so my flight to Denver that morning on a 757 was in economy. I broke the rules and booked my own reservation (a no-no for employees to book their own revenue tickets at that time) and I also self-upgraded the DEN-ORD segment, but did that within my 24-hour window per the rules. Sorry United!
It was a beautiful day to fly and I arrived in Denver early leaving about an hour and a half to savor the departure gate festivities at B36 for United flight 910.
The gate area was decked out with balloons, beverages, food and cake, and several members of the media were present along with United executives.
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony it was time to board, and my heart was racing in excited anticipation of the historic flight. The business class cabin on the initial configuration seated 49 passengers and was divided into a three row cabin forward of door two, and a four row cabin aft.
Onboard, champagne was served and each passenger (at least in Connoisseur Class) was provided with commemorative baseball caps and inaugural flight certificates.
Although I was disappointed in not having scored a window seat, I was still able to witness many of United’s employees and airport workers watching us taxi out to the runway. The flight was fantastic and I noticed Lester Holt, a CBS news anchor in Chicago at that time (now on NBC’s Today Show), was seated in the rear Connoisseur cabin. The flight flew by and we were far too quickly arriving at our gate in Chicago.
It remains to this day one of my all time favorite experiences flying United and I hope you enjoyed the flash back photo tour.