I had booked my mom on this flight about 4 years ago. At the time, she had flown to Asia almost 10 times, but this was her first F experience. She was under the weather then, so couldn’t partake in the champagne, but definitely loved the whole experience. Back then, an ANA agent even escorted her off of her connecting flight to her ANA flight. I had used United miles back then when it was cheap. Still my best redemption of all time. As I’ve gotten older and traveled more, I’ve learned that using my miles and points on my parents will always be a better redemption than my own.
This was a part of my Asiana flight and it cost me 180,000 ANA miles + ~$300 for a roundtrip F ticket to Asia. I’ll discuss that later, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume this flight cost me 90K ANA miles. I transferred miles over from AMEX Membership Rewards to make this happen.
United lounges at ORD
We took the redeye from Seattle and landed in ORD at around 5:00AM. My wife was miserable and wanted to sleep so bad. The United Polaris lounge wasn’t open yet, so we walked to another terminal and was able to get into the United Club lounge there. My wife was sleeping on a bench before a rep came by and told her she couldn’t sleep laying down. She then sat up and slept for a few minutes before that same rep came by again and told her to get her feet off the couch and muttered something about this being a “business lounge.” Whatever.
By 7AM or so, the Polaris lounge opened and we walked back over there. This lounge was smaller and had showers AND EVEN DAY BEDS! We both took a day bed and slept until 10AM or so. Our ANA flight didn’t board until 11AM or so. IT WAS AWESOME!
When I first boarded the flight, it was a bit…underwhelming, meaning the hard product did seem dated. The TV was small and there wasn’t a sliding door to close your “cube.” However, they did serve my favorite Krug! I’m guessing my wife and I drank them out of their 2 bottles because midway through the flight, they had to switch to the other champagne. I think 5-6 out of the 8 seats were filled when we flew. We sat in the 2 middle seats in the first row. There didn’t seem to be a way to lower the partition between my wife and I, so if you’re the type that likes to look at your partner the entire flight, then this isn’t for you.
The flight did have WIFI. I think it was around $20 for the entire duration of the flight. I was kicking myself for not loading the Discover Miles card into my Lastpass since that card comes with $30 of inflight wifi. I chose not to buy any WIFI and just watched movies. I did like how the FA told me I could eat at any time I wanted versus being on a semi-set schedule like most airlines. I didn’t get cute though and ate along with everyone else. After I got done eating, I had the FA turn my seat into a bed with a mattress pad and all. I didn’t have any issues sleeping on this flight unlike the Asiana flight. The seat was comfortable and the cabin wasn’t too hot.
After a few hours, I woke up and had the ramen snack. Then had the breakfast course as well. Yes, I was being gluttonous.
The problem with this flight was that it wasn’t all that memorable besides the small TV and WIFI ability. The service was good, but not as good as the Asiana service. Food was good but nothing I’d write home about. Oh yeah they also serve Hibiki 21 on the plane. My wife is still regretting not drinking it on the plane because she thought we’d taste it at the Suntory distillery in Japan, which we didn’t. Instead, she impressed the FA by polishing off a bottle of sake by her lonesome. If I were to rank this F product to others, it’d probably be near the bottom (just above Asiana due to the Krug and WIFI, even with the small TV and weak Samsonite amenity kit.)