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UNITED – BUSINESS CLASS

Business Class  B-787-900
Los Angeles / Melbourne October 2015

This flight started, as a surprisingly high number of United Airlines flights do, with an aircraft mechanical delay. Today’s lasted an hour and half. Following the carrier’s merger with Continental Airlines, service levels and operational reliability have plummeted.

As a result, a large number of business travellers have avoided using the carrier. Still, one keeps one’s fingers crossed that ‘this time’ the flight will be on time. That dream, and a particularly low fare, found me on this evening’s flight.

The carrier operates the newest aircraft in its fleet, the B-787-900, on the second longest flight in its network: the sixteen hour journey from Los Angeles to Melbourne. The Boeing Dreamliner really does live up to its billing as a better environment for passengers as improved cabin pressure and humidity levels help to minimize the headaches and dryness one often experiences on long flights.

The carrier’s seat is average for a business class product. Configured in a 2-2-2 configuration, the seat doesn’t provide much privacy and has limited legroom, but does have comfortable seat padding and a good duvet and pillow set.

The dining experience is not particularly good. Generally poor quality food, including what the chap sitting next to me accurately described as a “disgusting breakfast”, and mediocre wines are offset by a good entertainment system and a friendly crew.

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