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Anyone flown United to Asia

  • averydka99

    Joined Travelfish
    27th July, 2010
    Posts: 12

    Can anyone tell me what the plane was like on United for International flights? I know Cathay is very nice, but United is a few hundred $$$ cheaper. Comfort is important for 19hr flights!
    Thanks!

    #1 Posted: 25/8/2010 - 23:17

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    I flew United from LAX to Bangkok via Narita (Tokyo). The plane was a 777. I was lucky enough to be in United's slightly upgraded tourist class seating (Economy Plus), which offers an extra 6 inches or so of legroom.

    I'm afraid I haven't flown Cathay, so I can't compare the two airlines. However, I've generally been pleased with United and have flown them several times across the Atlantic and the Pacific. Service is pretty good for a US carrier, they've never lost my bags, etc.

    For me, having the personal TV screen is a big plus on long-haul flights. Do you know if your United flight would have that in economy class?

    The layover in Tokyo was about 3 hours, which was just the right amount of time to relax and walk around a bit, plus get a snack and do some internet and use one of those massage chairs. The terminal United uses in Tokyo was relatively new and not crowded at all, at least the two times we passed through.

    United also hubs through Korea and the new Incheon International airport. That airport is one of the best in the world and really worth a look if you find yourself going that way with a layover. Hope that helps. Regards.

    #2 Posted: 26/8/2010 - 00:20

  • busylizzy

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    I've flown United on domestic flights in the US - and loathe them. But flew them on out of NZ to LAX (12 hours) and found them to be very good - almost as good as Air NZ. So... I would recommend then for long-haul, international flights at least.

    I agree with exacto - try to find out what bells and whistles they are offering. The more toys to play with, the more things to keep your mind off the tedius flight and lack of legroom... :-)

    #3 Posted: 26/8/2010 - 03:21

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    I flew United on my annual trek to the US in June and back in July. I guess I got the cheap bus because no movies, headphones you had to pay for, etc. I think the asian carriers have spoiled me. But I was deposited safely, cheaply and with luggage intact both ways.

    #4 Posted: 26/8/2010 - 07:36

  • DLuek

    TF writer
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    Location Thailand
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    I flew United from Singapore to New York... No major problems like lost luggage or anything, but the overall comfort lags well behind the other carriers I've used. Food not nearly as good, and uncomfortable seats (in comparison). From New York to SE Asia (and/or back) I've flown JAL, ANA, Thai, and United, and of those United was a step below. That said, I'd use them again if it were significantly cheaper.

    #5 Posted: 26/8/2010 - 10:14

  • obanator

    Joined Travelfish
    31st August, 2010
    Posts: 1

    So far, from what I have heard from friends , no major complaints with United. And yes comforts should be considered first on long hours flight.You could probably search for more reviews on the web to keep your mind at ease before making the trip.

    #6 Posted: 2/9/2010 - 18:09

  • averydka99

    Joined Travelfish
    27th July, 2010
    Posts: 12

    Thank you everyone! I think Cathay is going to be be the way to go, the price isn't that much different!

    #7 Posted: 4/9/2010 - 23:48

  • Tilapia

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    averydka99, where are you flying from? If it is from Canada (Toronto or Montreal or Ottawa), then you'd be MUCH better off going with Cathay and avoiding having to go through the US. Cathay's schedules are usually much better than any other airlines, especially if you're flying to Bangkok.

    I have flown United many times between Toronto and Chicago and can say without exaggeration that these flights were some of the worst I've ever taken.

    #8 Posted: 16/9/2010 - 02:43

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    whaddya mean MUCH better off avoiding having to go through the US? do you mean the hassles of extra security checks before boarding or visa requirements or what?

    anyway, small wonder the flights from Toronto to Chicago were terrible, filled with all those good-natured Canadians and such. ;-)

    #9 Posted: 16/9/2010 - 04:09

  • Tilapia

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    Heh heh! You Yanks are such a sensitive and defensive lot ... unlike us Canucks.

    Of course, what I meant was that it is just slightly more convenient to fly straight to Hong Kong in Cathay-comfort than it is to change flights in Chicago and go through several ever-so-cheeful and thoughtful security goon checks, without shoes on, while listening to the soothing non-stop Homeland Security Warning Level announcements and warnings about leaving luggage alone for more than 15 seconds and then being checked again before boarding, etc. etc. etc. O'Hare has a way of lulling the traveler into a wonderfully blissful sense of well-being.

    Though gotta admit that the psychedelic tunnel there is worth going through once or twice.

    #10 Posted: 17/9/2010 - 02:25

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  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
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    Though gotta admit that the psychedelic tunnel there is worth going through once or twice.
    I love the tunnel! It's the highlight of a rather long and arduous journey (NZ-LAX-O'Hare-Detroit) that I take every so often to visit family.

    #11 Posted: 17/9/2010 - 03:18

  • laurenladky

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2011
    Posts: 32

    I've flown United Bangkok - Tokyo - Minneapolis - Milwaukee. Though the plane seemed to be quite outdated (one TV for 200 hundred people), I found the service to be quite good. 

    I am not very picky, however. If you are up for it, take an extra-strength dramamine and have pleasant dreams about what you can do with the money you saved not flying Cathay! :) 

    Enjoy! 

    #12 Posted: 5/2/2011 - 14:40

  • shirasam

    Joined Travelfish
    6th May, 2011
    Posts: 6

    Agreed with the first response - I flew United from NYC-Los Angeles-Narita-Bangkok. Paid for the Economy Plus seating which was crucial for my 6-foot 3-inch tall husband.
    I thought the flight was fine, but I also made sure I had sleeping pills to deal with the crazy long flights.
    The best part of the United flight is that we extended our layover in Tokyo for 3 nights - for free! No charge to extend the layover.
    Next year I'm flying Japan Airlines from NYC-Hareda-Singapore. Any feedback on Japan Airlines?

    #13 Posted: 21/6/2011 - 00:54

  • Thomas922

    Joined Travelfish
    1st July, 2007
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 346

    I like that I could extend my layover on United. Did so a few times while travelling Bangkok/Tokyo. As much as I love the service on Asian carriers, I find US carriers to have a little more room. I guess it also depends which plane they use. American Airlines usually uses better planes in my opinion. But if you can't fly Singapore Air, it's all the same to me if you get me there safely. China Air isn't great but for the price sign me up. There is no automatic service level across all airlines. As much as one United flight may suck, the next one could be great. Depends on the staff of that flight when you are dealing with any western carrier from United to Air Canada etc. But try to find out which plane they are using on your route and what amenities they have such as personal screens. That is the major difference. If I have that, I zone out on the other crap. You have to worry about other passengers as much as the airline staff. You may get unlucky in your neighbors. Also, can't you break up a 19 hour flight? I haven't done more than 12 hours in years.

    #14 Posted: 21/6/2011 - 05:10

  • jinx100

    Joined Travelfish
    30th August, 2011
    Posts: 1

    I've been very pleased with Korean Air on past flights to Phuket and Ho Chi Minh. Polite and helpful stewardesses, plenty of movies to chose, and the bathrooms are kept clean throughout the flight. They even held the flight in Chicago a few minutes so a few of us who had delayed flight arrivals made the connection. Their fares are usually lowest, too.

    #15 Posted: 30/8/2011 - 20:44

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