When I returned to gate C20 after a brief visit to the United Club, the gate room was as packed for the departure as it was for the arrival. A line of 25 to 35 people had already jammed the boarding lanes and after a brief delay, boarding began for flight 1510 bound for Houston.
There were several of us taking the return flight back to Houston after having just arrived on the inaugural. And there were a few very enthusiastic first-time riders, as well, most of whom were sitting in BusinessFirst. I purposely decided to fly coach on this flight to see how the ride was in back and selected 16A, the bulkhead window seat.
Besides row 7 on United’s Airbus(es), this was the most spacious bulkhead seat I’ve experienced (exit rows excluded). I had a fantastic seatmate in 16B, Chris Sloan of Airchive.com, and a United employee sat in 16C.
We pushed back nearly on-time with minimal fanfare, though a few people watched us taxi away. I heard a couple of claps upon liftoff, but nothing like the inaugural round of applause.
I was impressed with the size of the screen and absolutely love how new and undamaged it was. Those poor things get banged around so much that I’m certain by now they’ve seen some abuse. The control unit is located in the hard-walled seat divider (no movable armrests in the bulkhead).
Once we hit cruising altitude, the crew began their service. Chris and I began a friendly and informative chat with the United employee in 16C and Jack Harty of Airways Magazine joined us in the bulkhead. What was unusual is it seemed that we were the only four really enjoying the ride and having a mini party while the rest of the cabin remained silent. Perhaps more was going on ahead of the curtain.
Houston weather was pleasant when we landed and pulled into gate. There were some new riders waiting for the next flight to LAX and many of us who disembarked headed over to the windows to capture a few photos of this beautiful aircraft.