One of the best things about this itinerary was that despite having to wake up at 3am or so for a 5:45am flight I was able to connect to the noon flight out of Heathrow still getting me home at a really good hour! I wasn’t going to complain about that!
Through transfer security, and soon I was in the Star Alliance lounge. I find even the main lounge to be a great improvement over the old Red Carpet Club in T3 at Heathrow (well, I have to admit I only tried it once before using the SAS/Air Canada lounge, and that was before I discovered the Singapore Lounge that was also available!) but the First side is quite nice. It looks nearly the same as the regular lounge, but is far less crowded and has food to order. However, this trip, there was no listing of what was available, so one was left to guess. No matter, my request of a bacon roll was soon delivered!
Quick shower in the lounge, and it was time to head to the gate to board. Since United now boards from somewhere out in Wales, it’s a good 10-15 minute walk from the lounge to the gate.
United 919, 12:00 – 15:03
London, Heathrow to Washington, Dulles
Boeing 777, Registration N769UA, Manufactured 1995 (#12 777 manufactured)
Unfortunately 1J had already been taken (my favourite seat on the “old config” 777 since it has an additional storage compartment at the seat) so 2J it was. Seat was only mildly tattered and worn (which is quite an accomplishment on United these days) and beyond that, there’s not too much to say about this flight. Took off nearly on time, pilot was kind enough to turn on Channel 9 at my request, crew was friendly and efficient, and all in all a rather unremarkable flight…just the way I like it!
But…despite not having pictures, I’ll share the food porn from the menu!
Appetizers: Portobello, mozzarella, tomato and asparagus with fresh micro greens and lemon-infused oil. This was decent, but pretty unmemorable.
Soup: Roasted carrot and swede soup. This was actually quite good, and one of the better ones I’ve had on United. I was pleasantly surprised.
Salad: Fresh seasonal greens with asparagus, cucumbers and sun-blushed tomatoes served with your choice of dressing: Creamy Peppercorn, Balsamic Vinaigrette. Now, I’m still recovering from the strange fruit salad puree dressing Continental offered me last month, so the more mainstream choices were welcome. That said, I still don’t understand United’s asparagus fetish. Here we are on course three, and already we’ve had asparagus twice. At least every other meal served on United seems to have asparagus, and I’m convinced they own an asparagus farm somewhere out in California.
Main Course choices:
Grilled Filet Mignon with Horseradish Sauce and Shiitake Tomato Duxelle – Chateau potatoes with parsley and a green bean, red pepper and pea mix
Roasted Cod with Artichoke, Sun-Blushed Tomato and Pea Dressing – Israeli couscous with roasted cherry tomatoes, carrots and wilted baby spinach.
Indian Curry – Chicken Passanda, rice with cardamom and mustard seed, methi peppers and yogurt lentil potatoes
Mizuna Pasta with Spinach and Cheese – Sauteed vegetables and a tomato-cream sauce.
Now…I really wanted to give the curry a go. I swear I did, especially since it was filled with protein unlike most of the curries United offers. However, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Like fish, I just have a fear of United catering getting adventurous, and decided it was best to give it a pass and go with the big hunk of dead cow. Unfortunately, it was marginal at best, overcooked as usual, and the potatoes were scary looking. Oh well!
All was better when the usual ice cream sundae showed up with just a little hot fudge and a bottle of Baileys poured on top. Perfect way to cap things off.
Next up will be a long series of posts from the trip around the world!