Category Archives: United

UA 869 – the longest flight without PTV?

Earlier I shared my thoughts about the best and worst Business Class flights from San Francisco. Of course, all of them are quite good products, so it’s not a big deal.

What really matters is the poor Economy travellers (like us) which have to look at the projector for the better part of a day on UA 869 from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

It isn’t nearly as bad as AR 1180 from Buenos Aires to Sydney which required looking out the window/at your lower body part feet for 16 hours, but that’s over, replaced by the need to connect in Santiago for a more legitimate entertained and less austere Qantas flight.

Avoid UA 869/UA 862 if you’re in Economy, and instead try affording to travel on Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines.

And I was pissed with the shell Economy seats…


To San Francisco: Which are the best products and flights? – Business Class

There are 4 daily flights to San Francisco. Each one has ups and downs. We’ve listed them here:

1. CX 872 00:30 – 22:10 B777-300ER

 Cathay New Business

These new Business Class seats are wide and ergonomic, and these are the pick for flights to San Francisco. Timing is a problem though. These seats may be the best, but they are only featured on the latest flight to San Francisco. (Which makes sense, because these products are great for sleepy travelers.)

2. SQ 002 22:45 – 20:40 B777-300ER

Singapore Airlines

These seats are also ergonomic and comfortable, but there are three big downsides. The first one is that the seats don’t recline into a flat bed; they flip into one. The seat thus has to angle slightly head-towards-earth because of the airplane’s nose angle. Second, you have to stick your feet in the cubbyhole which is kind of small. Third, this is also a night flight. It’s not really nice arriving at a cool destination after the day is over.

3. CX 870 14:10 – 11:40 B747-400

These are the old Cathay “coffin” seats that still are fully flat and offer direct aisle access, so it really isn’t that bad after all. However, it is still one to avoid unless the timing is good (which is the case for Hong Kong travellers here, it departs a couple of hours after noon and arrives right before noon the same day in San Francisco.

4. UA 862 12:30 – 08:20 B747-400

These are the worst seats in the SFO business class category. Even though they have a truly unique forwards-backwards design, they are quite narrow (2-4-2) and don’t offer direct aisle access. At least the screens are wide and it actually reclines into a bed, but don’t expect to have a view or extra privacy  and be able to run off to the toilet immediately when you realise your bladder is about to burst.

  • CX 872 goes back to HKG as CX 873 (01:00 – 06:15)
  • SQ 002 goes back to HKG as SQ 001 (01:15 – 06:35)
  • CX 870 goes back to HKG as CX 879 (13:40 – 19:00)
  • UA 862 goes back to HKG as UA 869 (13:00 – 18:15)

So which do you prefer? We prefer CX 870/3 as our travel itinerary, but it’s up to you! What do you think?

The increasing crowd: Australians coming to Hong Kong for London

The title states so because of the luxury first, business and economy choices Cathay gives us (although only business and economy apply from Australia to Hong Kong). Travellers have named this the Kangaroo Route, and it goes as follows:

An old school Kangaroo Route:

old school

Not everyone would look for the trek from SYD – LHR in the 1990s. The connection called for an inter Australia flight to DRW continuing on regionally to SIN, a really short trek to BKK and into india via DEL, then turning into the UAE (DXB). It goes on, continuing on to Cairo in Egypt, and at last Tripoli in Libya, then to a leg to LHR which is about as long as from Hong Kong to Ko Samui in Thailand.

Now it’s a whole different story:

new school

Hong Kong, you see, is one of these routes, and also a major option. SYD based travellers (as well as MEL, PER etc based travellers) love choosing Hong Kong as a stopover (blame Cathay’s next-generation configurations for that). Apart from Hong Kong, people are increasingly choosing SIN because of the new SQ configuration. However we’ve listed a lot more: DOH (QR), NRT (JL), SFO (UA), CAN (CZ), PEK (CA), DEL (AI) and DXB (EK) etc. We’ve also listed some less thought of destinations such as EZE.

Obviously, there are places we haven’t put on because they are less known for the Kangaroo route. Take JNB for example.

Just to inform why HKIA is always so crowded.

United’s Business Class: Would you rather fly forward or backward?

United states its seats as “fully flat”, and yes, it is parallel to the cabin floor, but since airplanes fly 3 degrees nose up, they are not parallel to Earth’s floor.


These forward-backward seats each lie at the same angle, but they are not flat, and they are not equal. The seats facing backward are 3 degrees angled towards the floor, and the seats facing forward are 3 degrees angled towards the ceiling.

The downside to backward facing seats are its awkwardness and the fact that you may have a small tendency to slide off the seat. The downside to forward facing seats is that the blood goes to your head (unless you put the seat slightly up so your head is parallel to Earth).

Which would you choose?