Wednesday, April 26, 2006

More about the flights

There was a plug adapter right under the desk...

Our flights yesterday went by amazingly quickly. I attribute a lot of the reason for that to the fact that we were on the upper deck of a 747-400. With only 32 seats upstairs, it is an extremely comfortable and quiet environment. The Chicago-HK flight went out with just a few empty seats in Coach; it had been listed as sold out earlier in the morning. The HK-Singapore flight was half-full.

The food was very good on both flights. I had the filet with chitpotle sauce on the first flight, and the tandoori chicken wrap on the second. The service on the two flights, however, were diametrically opposed. The Chicago-HK flight's upper deck crew had the attitude of "we are not going to do more than minimally required" while the second crew was friendly and outgoing. The first crew wasn't mean or anything; I chatted with one of the flight attendents in the back at about the 10-hour mark for about ten minutes. But they didn't really try too hard, either.

Message to United Airlines: For a 15-hour flight, it'd be nice to give customers a glass that holds more than 10 ounces of liquid in it before ice. Even American gives out 16 ounce water bottles. Fortunately, we had bought four one-liter bottles of water from the pizza stand across from our gate. We should have bought six.

I have no idea what the entertainment options were, because I brought my own. I had my iPod nano, and a bunch of DVDs for my laptop. I watched about four episodes each of The Critic and Sports Night over the course of the first flight, and did a little review of my Singapore guidebook.

The Hong Kong airport is very nice, but they really should turn on the air conditioning a little higher. I felt very dehydrated while I was waiting in the Red Carpet Club, and used up some of the powdered Gatorade which I had brought with me. On the second flight, I was asleep before pushback, and woke up only to eat. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep at the hotel, but it only took me about 45 minutes to fall asleep, and I got six good hours in before waking up before the alarm. In retrospect, the sleep on the second flight was a really good thing, because I'd only slept seven hours in the previous forty-eight.


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