UA 3703 (BTV-ORD) – UA 219 (ORD-HNL) & UA 14 (HNL-EWR) – May 2014 – Upgraded to First

After more than year away from Hawaii, I finally made my way back to da aina. Here are some photos I took on the way there and back – I got upgraded from Chicago ORD to Honolulu HNL. Great way to start my long weekend getaway!

UA CRJ 700 new seat

New economy seats on CRJ-700 – UA 3703 BTV-ORD . Slimmer and sleeker look. This flight was operated by GOJET Airlines dba United Express. You’ll get different aircraft, updated or not, depending on who runs it for UA.

UA 291 warm nuts & drinks, Rhapsody magazine

Apparently, ORD-HNL is considered domestic flight while going to HNL from other East Coast airports (EWR & IAD) are considered ‘international’. I learned this while in line chatting with a local aunty heading back home after a work trip. The usual first class treatment starts with pre-flight drinks (not pictured). After take off, warm nuts and drinks are served. To set the mood, I had Mai Tai – don’t mind the torn off labels. To keep it classy, I read Rhapsody with Sir Patrick Stewart on the cover. Rhapsody is a UA exclusive first/business class only in-flight magazine, also available at United Lounge.

UA 219 first meal

First meal on board UA 219. Bread was warm. Salad was way better than I normally tasted on UA international economy class. Main course was baked chicken with tomato sauce on top of ‘funny shaped pasta’ (I forgot what it was, anyboday know what that is?). Anyway, it was good.

UA 219 first meal

Closer look at UA 219 first meal main dish.

UA 291 dessert

After the first meal, a dessert cart rolls out and passengers can choose their ice cream flavor along with topping options: cream, nuts, chocolate syrup, and cherry on top. I can see how it’s much nicer to travel first class…

UA 219 second meal

The second meal (it could well be the first meal and the chicken entree was the second meal. Apologies for that). Anyway, the other meal was chicken burrito along with salad with different ingredients, small bowl of fruits (grapes, pineapples, and melon cuts), and butterscotch brownie.

UA 219 second meal

Close up of the chicken burrito. I was pretty good as I recall. I came with real ancho chipotle sauce, whatever that means.

Aloha sign at HNL Honolulu Airport

As you arrive at the airport, heading towards baggage claim, this sign welcomes you; ALOHA!

Diamond Head

A view of Waikiki and Diamond Head. Photo taken from Hilton Hawaiian Village area.

updated economy domestic long haul seat for UA

I did not get an upgrade heading back to the East Coast, perhaps because I was going through EWR. However, the economy class of this UA14 flight is more updated than the first class of UA 219. The aircraft went through an upgrade and economy class seats got individual in flight entertainment system along with USB and power plugs. Meanwhile UA 219 used an older Boeing 777-200 with no in-flight entertainment. It was BYOD system with streaming of movies and shows available about 1-2 hours into the flight with intermittent connection.

updated economy domestic long haul seat for UA

The updated economy class seats are thinner and equipped with entertainment system. The seats feel a little harder, especially on long haul flights.

spam musubi from 7-11

A long haul flight in economy means getting hungry in the middle of the flight, even if you already stuffed yourself with all sorts of Hawaii goodness. So, its always a good idea to pack a couple of musubi to quell those hunger and longing for the island life. 7-11’s Spam Musubi did the trick very well. Mahalo!

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