I was able to grab a pair of Global First Class seats on Sydney to San Francisco at the last minute using Aeroplan (no taxes!). I have to say, United’s Global First Class is the single most awesome thing in the sky. Emirates shower? Meh! Lufthansa’s caviar? Too salty! United has captured the essence of what First Class ought to be, and has ruined me for the future.
(Want to fly First Class, on United and other products? Contact Awarding Canada for your award booking needs)
United boards their Global First Class flyers after Global Services elite flyers. This makes total sense. Global Services flyers are jaded and not so lovely, having flown so much. The radiation has done something to them that makes them less pleasant to be around. So, kudos on United for allowing Global Services elites to board before your First Class customers, as it allows us to stay clear.
Once boarded, I was pointed to the First Class cabin. That introduction was very useful. The entire plane was boarding from the front door, so being instructed which way to go was very useful. Nobody called me by name, to protect my celebrity status (of course).
We were offered pre-departure beverages of our choosing. I asked for a Bloody Mary. The flight attendant was extremely courteous in her demeanour, remembering that grunting and eye-rolling is an intricate, yet subtle part of US customer service culture. My drink was served in a plastic cup instead of glass. I assume this was to prevent the leaching of those nasty glass tastes into my drink.
The seat was very large and comfortable. It had plenty of storage, and although a little worn, did feel “first class.” When I asked for turn down service, I was given a mattress pad, with no filling, which definitely made me feel like I was sinking into a pile of kittens.
The Amenity Kit
It was really different. I was handed a plastic bag with a golf ball bag or something. I don’t play golf, so I wouldn’t really know. Inside, it had all your standard creams, golf socks, etc. Most interestingly, it had a bag of golf tees, and two United branded golf balls.
I must say I was perplexed by the golf balls. Since I was forbidden to press the flight attendant call button (being a US carrier, it’s only to be used in case of emergency), was I to toss them at the flight attendant for attention? Or, were they meant to be used as baoding balls? I never really learned their true intention, however, I hope it was something nefarious and creative.
I’m not really a fan of food. After spending two weeks in Australia, I’m trying to lose some weight. To my delight, United offers a “diet option,” where you’re given rubber food to look at, but not to eat. Being my silly self, I tried to eat it, but the “food” being for decorative purposes only. My mouth only met the cold, chewy tenderness of rubber. Thank you United for reminding me to keep my slim figure!
United did do something bad at the end of my foodie art show though. They gave me an ice-cream sundae, which was unfortunately not made of rubber… I gobbled it down and gained an extra pound.
I’m a Darwinist. You know, survival of the fittest and what not. Asian carriers in First Class take care of you too much, and European carriers give you a false sense of importance. United, however, fits my philosophy. They believe in “if you can’t do it yourself, you don’t get it.” Darwin would be proud of United. If I didn’t have the fitness to fetch myself water, I would die out, leaving evolution to do its fine work. Thank you United for contributing to the evolution of the human race.
United’s Global First Class product is truly excellent. It’s a self-service, no-mess experience that leaves one wanting more and more. To all the naysayers who’d rather fly Singapore or Lufthansa First Class, give United a try, and you’ll see the friendly skies.