Review: United Airlines First Class A320, Chicago – Washington Dulles
Our previous plans of flying to South Africa via Sao Paulo Brazil on United Airlines Business First were scuttled thanks to the cancellation of our Chicago – Sao Paulo flight. We were re-booked to travel to Johannesburg on South African Airways via Dakar Senegal. The downside of our re-booking, was that we had to get up early to take another positioning flight to get to our overseas one. The other passengers on the original routing to Sao Paulo were taking a 5 PM departure, whereas we had to get back to the airport for an 11 AM departure.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, a Safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Mauritius. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Kenya & Mauritius via South African Airways, Swiss and Air Canada Business Class
- Vancouver Airport Transborder Maple Leaf Lounge
- United Business Vancouver – Chicago O’Hare
- United Club Chicago O’Hare – Concourse B
- United Club Chicago O’Hare – Concourse C
- United Business First Chicago O’Hare – Sao Paolo International
- Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare
- United Business Chicago O’Hare – Washington Dulles International
- Lufthansa Senator Lounge – Washington Dulles
- South African Airways Business Class Washington Dulles – Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport Dakar
- Dakar Technical Stopover
- South African Airways Business Class Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport Dakar – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg International Airport
- South African Airways Baobab Lounge – O.R Tambo Johannesburg Terminal A Domestic
- South African Airways Economy Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Cape Town international
- Westin Cape Town
- A Visit to Robben Island: South Africa’s Most Famous Jail
- Exploring Table Mountain by Cable Car, Cape Town
- Where the Two Oceans Meet: Visiting Cape Point at Cape of Good Hope
- The Test Kitchen
- Le Quartier Français – Franschhoek
- Touring Western Cape Winelands in Stellenbosch and Franschoek
- The Tasting Room
- South African Airways – Cape Town Cyobab Domestic Lounge
- South African Airways Economy Class – Cape Town – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg
- Hyatt Regency Rosebank Johannesburg
- Soweto & Informal Settlement Tour
- SAA Baobab Premium Lounge – OR Tambo Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Mauritius
- St Regis Mauritius – A Beachfront Suite
- St Regis Mauritius – Le Morne Penninsula, Iridium Spa and The House Reef
- Air Maurituis Amédée Maingard Lounge
- South African Airways Business Class Mauritius – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Jomo Kennyata Nairobi, Kenya
- Fairmont Norfolk, Nairobi
- Travelling the Gritty Streets of Nairobi, Kenya
- Air Kenya – Wilson Airport – Ngrende Airstrip
- Fairmont Mara Safari Club
- Locating Elephants, Rhino’s and Giraffes in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Being Surrounded by Lions in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Dancing with the Elders at a Maasai Mara Village in the Rift Valley, Kenya
- Air Kenya Ngrende Airstrip – Nairobi Wilson
- Swiss Air Business Nairobi – Zurich
- Swiss Air Arrivals Lounge – Zurich
- Swiss Air Concourse D Lounge (non Shengen) Zurich
- Swiss Air Business Zurich – London Heathrow Terminal 1
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge – London Heathrow Terminal 3
- Air Canada / SAS Lounge – Heathrow Terminal 3
- Air Canada London Heathrow – Vancouver International
Review: United Airlines First Class A320, Chicago O’Hare – Washington Dulles
Leaving the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, we found the free airport shuttle, which ran every 20 minutes.
Checking Into United Airlines:
Taking a proactive approach in making sure our bags didn’t get left behind, we checked with United Airlines Chicago check in desks. There were no news on our bags or whether they had been re-tagged. Passing through security, we checked again with the customer service desks in Concourse B. “Sorry, can’t help you.”
We headed back through the tunnel again to Concourse C. Stopping by for our third visit in the last twenty four hours to the United Club Terminal One Concourse C, we re-checked at the counter where we were re-ticketed last night and were told “Both your bags are in IAD already”.
We contacted Air Canada’s Aeroplan which is headquartered in Montreal Quebec to confirm continuation of original itinerary and non cancellation of remaining balance of the e-ticket based on missing the one segment. We also called and contacted South African Airlines USA office for seat assignments on the IAD-DAK-JNB legs. Maybe this was overkill re-confirming everything, but we decided to take a complete approach to avoid any more surprises.
We left the Chicago United Club for the last time on this trip, burned up the rest of our United Airlines free food vouchers on Starbucks take-aways and located the gate for our positioning flight to Washington Dulles.
On Board United Airlines Domestic First Class:
We had separate seats on opposite sides of the cabin due to the last minute re-booking so we sat apart and didn’t bother to try any last minute negotiations on board to switch with other passengers.
ORD – IAD (Chicago O’Hare – Washington Dulles)
UA778 – Business Class (D)
November 5, 2013
Booked: Airbus 320
Flown: Airbus 320
Pre-Departure drink service today was orange juice in the picnic glass.
Food and Beverage: A light snack
Today’s Snack service was the warm scone presented in a similar format to the “freshly baked cookies”. The snack was okay but with a short seven hour sleep and a hustle back to the airport, I was really hungry for a decent breakfast by this time.
I spent most of the flight sleeping as we’d only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before by the time we had settled into the hotel and I figured I’d probably want to stay up a bit for the long haul.
We had some interesting mountain terrain on the approach in.
We landed on the ground at Washington Dulles and made our way to the departures hall to obtain boarding cards for our South African Airways international flight.
Our Chicago to Washington Dulles short haul flight wasn’t all too exciting. It got us from end to end. It was a flight that I never expected to end up taking. At least, we were dropped off at the iconic Washington Dulles airport in reasonable shape to look forward to our next adventure.