While I had booked a K fare for my journey across the middle of the Pacific to Hong Kong, I splurged on a W fare for my return, choosing to play systemwide roulette with United.
When I booked this trip, confirmable upgrade space was plentiful on United’s two NRT-SFO flights for the days I wanted to travel. As UA78/UA79 service between Tokyo and Hong Kong was dropped in late October, I was left trying to book a flight with ANA unsuccessfully. Thanks to some quirks in United system’s, it proved impossible to book that segment while staying in a low fare bucket (rather than say full fare coach or business class for HKG-NRT).
Fortunately, my upgrade cleared a few minutes before online check-in opened and I was assigned the last available business class seat on the plane.
I left the lounge when boarding was announced, but nevertheless, group 1 had already become a sea of humanity.
Boarding flights (to the United States, at least) at Hong Kong is somewhat complicated by the thorough bag inspection conducted for every passenger. Making past the final security check, I settled down in my seat.
Hong Kong (HKG) – San Francisco (SFO)
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Duration: 11 hours, 55 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 747-222 (N121UA)
Seat: 6B (Business Class, Lower Deck)
I had ordered a vegetarian meal; and thanks to my upgrade clearing before the 24 hour mark, I managed to actually receive it.
Somehow, American manages to rather consistently offer small glass bottles of olive oil and vinegar as a dressing choice. United, rather consistently, offers prepackaged dressings in far less elegant plastic containers.
At United, “Asian vegetarian” secretly means “Indian” for reasons that have never been made clear to me.
After finishing lunch, we still had about nine hours of flying time left before our scheduled arrival to San Francisco. The majority of flights from (and to) Asia are poorly timed for any reasonable sleep schedule: 3PM is not a great time to go to sleep.
I caught what rest I could before waking up to the beginnings of the breakfast service about an hour before arrival.