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United Global First Review: LHR -LAX
This is a part of the London Wedding Trip 2015: $20,000 for under $400!
- American Airlines economy LAX to SFO using Avios points
- Virigin Atlantic Clubhouse: San Francisco SFO
- Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – SFO to LHR using Delta points through an Amex transfer
- Grosvenor House JW Marriott with 45000 Marriott Rewards
- Conrad London St James with Hilton Gold benefits
- United Business Club London LHR
- United Global First Class Lounge London LHR
- United Global First LAX to SFO
When: May 6th 2015
Route: LHR to LAX
Duration: 11h 15m
Class: Global First
Value: $13,558 for 80,000 United Miles = $0.169 per mile!
How did Miles get it done?
I used Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer to United MileagePlus.
Legacy airlines get a lot of flack, I found this flight to be great!
After experiencing both the United Club and the Global First Lounge prior to departure, I was actually very excited to get on the plane and experience the flight. From the moment I got on the plane I was a little giddy. It was this Monkey’s first 1st class international flight! Within a minute, someone was asking for drink orders. Champagne, of course!
The cabin itself is quite small, with only 8 total seats in a herringbone 1-2-1 configuration.
Unlike BusinessFirst, United Global First offers direct aisle access for every seat.
Storage, storage, and more storage!
I would highly recommend taking seats 1H and 1C if you are traveling as a couple or if you don’t need to have a window seat. The storage itself is phenomenal. Those seats provide so much storage that I never even used the overhead storage compartment and that was before the bedding came out, which once the bed is made, its’ compartment offers availability too.
A funky, golf inspired amenity kit.
To me, the seat basically felt like Business Class on steroids.
This seat, unlike the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seat that folds down from the back, reclines all the way into a bed. Which is fine, and when it came time to snooze for a bit, the mattress pad ( if you can really call it that) did cushion the spaces between the different seat parts.
The food was good for airline food. Nothing like what you’d get on the premium Asian and Middle Eastern Carriers, but was akin to Virgin Upper Class
I had the a chicken skewer appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, an Ice Cream Sundae, and Cheese Plate. I ended up not really caring for the chicken skewer, but the salad was tasty and the soup was absolutely fantastic. After the lackluster chicken on Virgin Upper Class I went for the Pasta. It was eh…ended up eating maybe half of it. The Sundae was incred… I mean how can you go wrong with hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry. Admittedly, I know very little of cheese…except how to cut it ( 😯 ) but it was very tasty as well. I waiting until I take a flight that has a great Entree
The dinner service was a bit slow. By the time I was having enjoying my cheese and port some people were still finishing up their appetizers. Every, obviously, eats at their own pace, but I was ready for a snooze. So I pulled out the fixins myself, and made the bed! It was comfy enough. The extra 2 inches in length and width from the business class is welcomed. It’s a full 6’6″ long and 22″ wide. More than enough for this monkey to stretch out and have a little nap.
The midflight snack bar is the same whether in Global First or BusinessFirst.
It features a selection of sandwiches, fruit, cookies, chocolate, and potato chips. There’s also a little stand with soda, wine, beer.
A couple hours before we landed they served us a midday snack: chicken sandwich with fruit and chocolates.
Overall, It was a great experience
There is no way I would ever pay the retail price of the flight: $13,558!!! But at 80,000 United miles it’s not a bad redemption at $0.169 per point. That is an unbelievable value. However, the food and service is nearly identical. In fact, the mid-flight snack bar was exactly the same. In fact, I used the BusinessFirst bathroom more than I used the Global First. It seemed it was always occupied by a crew member or pilot.
The staff on the plane were very nice, loved taking photos of Miles, and were very accommodating. Later this year I fly on Cathay Pacific Business, Etihad Business, and American International First Flagship Suite so I’m anxious to see how those seats compare along with the service. I have a feeling that the Hard Product will be very similar to this, but the soft product will be quite nicer…and in business class.
I never felt like the staff was fawning over me, but never really ever wanted to anything either. I’m not sure if this is a true first class experience that one would come to expect the price point and comparative to the market. The United CFO actually admits the same sentiment:
If I were in the position to take this flight again, I’d probably save the 22,500 miles/points it takes to redeem GlobalFirst and redeem for BusinessFirst instead.