#RTW2013: Day 1, Flight 2

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]irst off. United Clubs are, on a whole, awful places. The clubs at EWR were full. Bursting full. People on the floor full. Announcements to share seats full.

I did not linger, even though I had a long layover. First down, a shoe shine, then a quiet corner of the terminal.

2013-09-11 17.55.50

Much better. If I want some plonk to drink, I can always put down a few bucks and get some. That is about all the United Clubs are good for anyway.

Eventually, I did go back, to have some plonk. It was quieter, and I found a seat at the bar.  Soon enough, my flight to Frankfurt is called, and I make my way to the gate, where boarding is well underway.

UA50 PMCO flight 767-400
EWR » FRA
Seat 4D
(centre single)

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]riginally booked on a PMUA 777 with proper 3 class service, I was downgraded to a PMCO 764. Meh. As long as I can sleep.

Business is full, Y is full, but they are working the up-sell to Y+ onboard.

2013-09-11 18.55.19 HDRA glass of white wine for take off, served US Domestic style…

We leave about 20 minutes late due to some technical issues that need to be documented, but quickly enough, we are on our way.

First off, I quickly note that the full cabin crew in J are men. Mostly rather senior men. The main FA serving me looks like an ex-cop, and given the pin on his jacket, I am pretty sure he is. Friendly enough, though.

Friendly enough to note that the sparkling wine is not cold, so he would have to put icecubes in it. White wine is fine, thanks.

An aside. Why is it that US airlines refuse to turn off the seat-belt sign off? In smooth air it did not get turned off until we were well south of Maine! It was pretty much ignored by passengers and crew (including me). I went and changed into my pyjamas around FL250.

UA offeres an “executive service” where they serve the meal on one tray to speed up service so you can sleep. Given I have no expectations for the food, I go with this option.

My expectations were met.

My order:

Tenderloin of Beef
Delmanico’s steak sauce, rösti potatoes, fine green beans and roasted tomatoes

The salad was pretty good, to be fair. The lettuce was crisp and not bitter, the tomatoes nice, and if I liked olives, I am sure I would have appreciated them. The veg was about as tasty as to be expected.

The main, on the other hand. Literally shoe leather. And I am not using hyperbole. Not at all.

2013-09-11 20.54.16 (1)
Warning: There be shoe leather in there…

 

After the meal, I put the seat into it’s flat position, face-mask and ear plugs in place, and went to sleep. As I drifted off I head talk of appetizers and desserts, but I don’t feel I was missing much.

A mostly smooth fight, but I found the foot space in the seat tight—is this an issue in the centre single seats?

Waking up over England, I put the seat up and an FA came by and asked if I wanted some orange juice. The lights came on shortly after for a light breakfast service. Fully adequate for the length of the flight. The yogurt was the breakfast equivalent of the dinner, though, in how tough the skin was on top.

2013-09-12 08.17.28 HDR

 

Other than the nasty yogurt, pretty OK. After breakfast we started our decent, and I changed back into my street clothes.

We made up some time, and did a pretty aggressive decent into FRA, for a 25mile downwind to 25L

Another side-note on seat-belts. The Caption did not come on and give a 10 minute warning for the seat-belts—just came on and turned them on. Universally ignored. Why?

And yes, an air-bridge gate. Off quickly, no one in line for passport control (the agent on his cell the whole time) and my bag was out in 10 minutes. The Lufthansa Welcome Lounge called to me for a quick shower and then off to Hertz Gold to pick up my car for the day.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he flight? I slept a few hours, and they fed me. Yes, it did the job. Memorable in any way? No. But there are not many options for trans Atlantic using US Miles, so I take what I can get.

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