Boarding for my third and final leg on inaugural day was a more civilized affair. While there were many passengers standing around gate C14, no one was crowding the lanes.
This time I was seated in the forward BusinessFirst cabin in the middle section, aisle seat 2D. I forgot that non-bulkhead seats have the very small footwell – stick to row 1 or 4 if you want a larger footwell.
Everyone in the forward cabin was uber enthusiastic, so this flight felt like another inaugural. There were a mix of United employees, Flyertalkers, bloggers and other #avgeeks in the BusinessFirst cabin (and maybe one or two “regular” people, but they were equally keen on the aircraft). The fresh batch of flight attendants, however, didn’t seem all that excited and carried themselves as if it were any ol’ flight.
We pushed back on-time and were airborne within minutes. I do quite love the Sky Interior and took particular notice of it on this flight.
Check out the varying degrees of window darkness in the following two pics. Row 1 has their “shades” fully open in the first pic while row 2’s shades are partially closed. And the second shows a fully darkened row 1 and partially darkened row 2. The jury is still out for me whether the fully darkened shades will be completely effective on a long-haul flight overseas when the sun rises before the cabin does.
After dinner, literally everyone was up and about either chatting or getting an airborne tour of the pilot rest area. My thoughts on the inflight crew being “meh” changed ever so slightly because of their willingness to let us up for a peek.
Back at my seat, I noticed the scuff marks (not from me!) on the seat shell in front of me for the first time… this poor bird is already getting banged up. Hopefully a little cleaner will polish those right off.
- It’s a noticeably quieter aircraft.
- As I mentioned above, for the larger footwells in BusinessFirst, go for the bulkhead seats in row 1 or 4.
- The bar area in the forward BusinessFirst cabin is aesthetically appealing to see while seated, but I would have placed it behind row 3 thereby shifting the center section of seats a bit further away from the lavatory doors. All of the aisle seats in row 3 (particularly the center section) would get a yellow SeatGuru rating from me.
- Since the pilot rest area is above row 1, there is no overhead bin storage in the center section. And row 2 (center) only has a half-bin on each side (if that).
- The inward opening lavatory doors don’t operate smoothly (and I don’t think it was just me).
- Will the darkening windows be fully effective when the sun rises and the entire cabin is sleeping?
- Row 16 has a fantastic amount of legroom along the windowside bulkheads – the center section of row 16 appears to have slightly less room.
- I think United missed the boat in not putting a window in the lavatories a la ANA’s 787s.
- I had no sense of a lower cabin pressure or higher humidity setting – perhaps I will on a long-haul flight.
Have you flown United’s Dreamliner yet? What are some of your impressions?