It’s Monday/Tuesday, and it’s time for a new safety video from United Airlines.

Prepare to go around the world with United, in this mini round the world tour with safety instructions put in their “Safety is Global” video:

The notes in the Youtube video states

We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.

They’ve taken a hint from other airlines, such as Air New Zealand and Delta (who are the two main powers in delivering up-to-date and themed safety videos), and have gone down the line of showing their network, and not just a plane.

There are games to play in this (such as guess the location, how many variants of Rhapsody in Blue, how many times does the Australian flight attendant get bitten…).

But it does the job of gaining attention, holding attention and delivering the core safety information – important when it comes to travelling.

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Also remember that as well as being part of BoardingArea, we’re also part of, delivering frequent flyer news, miles and points to European readers!

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Let’s face it, whilst you can make travel as glamorous (or not) in the air, whenever you land on the ground, you have to deal with the joy of border control.

Whilst some borders can be reasonably fast to clear (the French and German borders always seem pretty fast), some borders can be a real pain to clear.

Whilst the UK is pretty high on my personal list, the USA Border Clearance can be excruciating – especially after a very long flight.

Well, it seems United Airlines is doing something about this at their Newark hub, with the installation of Automated Passport Clearance kiosks at Terminal C.

The Automated Passport Clearing Hall at Newark – Image United Airlines

The BorderXpress system requires you to follow on-screen instructions to confirm identity and such – which generates a recpit which needs to be taken to an US Customs and Border Patrol Officer for final processing.

Unlike Global Entry or NEXUS, this programme does not require preregistration to use. It is limited however to US and Canadian passport holders (although there is conflicting information that BorderXpress allows clearance from countries that are in the US Visa Wavier system – the BorderXpress site indicates so, as does the CBP site, whilst United’s site doesn’t mention a word).

BorderXpress Kisoks are installed at:

  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 1 and Terminal 4
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminal 5
  • Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

(data BorderXpress)

I’m all for these wonder-machines – especially after a long Trans-Atlantic flights (and for those in the Visa waiver countries… well beyond), providing the experience using them is simple to use.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding with these. But anything to improve passenger flow can’t be a bad thing.

Posted by Kevincm | 8 Comments

With the Boeing 787-9 formally certified for service, airlines are looking at where to deploy this new aircraft.

United Airlines have already stated their intent to operate it from Los Angeles to Melbourne as their first route with this aircraft. Their second route will take the aircraft from Los Angeles to Shanghai Pudong airport.

United 787-9 Factory Rollout - April 8, 2014
United 787-9 rolling out of the paint shop – Image, United Airline

The route switch-over will be made next year – which is currently rostered for a 787-8.

The planned operations are below:

UA198 DEPART LAX 13:10 ARRIVE PVG 17:45+1

Equipment varies on 787 family and day of operation. See below.

Data: AirlineRoute

From 5th March 2015 to 7th May 2015, a Boeing 787-9 Booked to operate Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday on UA198, whilst UA199 will operate the aircraft on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. At other times, Boeing 787-8 will operate.

From 8th May, operations will switch over totally to a 787-9.

For United passengers, this could be a nice benefit, with a larger plane and more seats operating the two destinations.

Of course, those on bargain tickets who are hoping to squeeze as many miles out of the ticket as possible will be looking elsewhere – with the move to the revenue based frequent spender programme United is hell bend on introducing….

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It’s Sunday again, and it must be time for some more airplane art.

This week, it’s a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 coming into land on runway 09L at London Heathrow Airport after completing the long haul trip from the United States of America.


The image is clickable if you want to see a larger version – and yes you can keep them for your desktops!

More airplane art next week!

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United Airlines is to pull back from Doha in Qatar, and will only operate between Washington DC and Dubai.

United Boeing 777 taxing at Heathrow – Image GhettoIFE

The route operated to Doha via Dubai as a “tag-on” fifth freedom flight, adding an extra hour flight between cities, plus the transit time – a total of 16 hours 15 minutes (comparable for connecting flights with a one stop connection). Compared with the 12 hour 30 direct flight that Qatar Airways operate, this does represent one heck of a wait to get to Doha.

The last tag-on flight will operate on 30th August, where the flight will revert to a Washington Dulles International to Dubai direct flight as UA976/UA977.

Whilst it’s a reduction in route choice with the Star Alliance carrier, the Dubai to Doha route is well trafficked, with Emirates, Qatar Airways and flyDubai offering cheap flights on these segments  if you need to route via Dubai.

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So for some reason that I cannot explain, I still have the United Airlines app on my iPhone.

photo 1

Other airline apps are available… and yes, I use them too.

Checking the United App update released today (7th May 2104 – Version 2.0.13), there’s a curious mention in the description of what the update contains:

photo 2

So for those of you who use you iPads or iPhones and make GhettoIFE devices out them, this is a chance to connect to United_Wi-Fi, and access free IFE content on the plane. This includes up to 150 films and 200 TV shows for free on-board.

Accessibility to content will initially be restricted to Apple devices and Laptops (via a plug-in).

United are slowly deploying WiFi on their fleet with the following aircraft fitted:

  • Airbus A319 – Almost complete (54 planes)
  • Airbus A320 – Complete (97 planes)
  • Boeing 757PS Subfleet – Complete (15 planes)
  • Boeing 737 fleet – In progress (46 planes)
  • Boeing 747 fleet – In progress (21 planes)
  • Boeing 777 fleet – Beginning (1 plane)

Non fitted aircraft include the Boeing 757s (non PS versions), Boeing 767 and Boeing 787s

So if you’re wanting to use this new service, check the aircraft before you fly – and as usual, plane substitutions to happen more often than not.

For those of you who forget to load content before you fly onto your device, this will be a great addition to enjoying time in-flight.

Just make sure there’s enough power in your device, have a power bank, or ensure your seat has USB/Mains Electric where you can plug your charger in, as WiFi and bright screens are a heavy power draw…

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It’s Sunday again, so it time for some more airline art.

This week, it’s an United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, in Star Alliance branded paint-work on final approach and in landing configuration of its home base of Chicago O’Hare International Airport.


The image is clickable if you want to see a larger version – and yes you can keep them for your desktops!

More airplane art next week!

Want to keep up with me at GhettoIFE? Join me either by signing up for my newsletter, or follow me on Twitter @GhettoIFE for when there are posts to the blog!

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For those travelling during the winter period between Newark International Airport and London Heathrow, United Airlines will be boosting capacity between the airports by adding an extra service between the two airports a day.

_MG_9881United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at London Heathrow – Image GhettoIFE

The new rotation will add a Boeing 767-300ER’s worth of capacity, adding UA942 (departing 21:00, arriving 09:25+1) and UA943 (departing 18:00, arriving 21:20). This will run from 18th December 2014 to the end of the Spring 2015 timetable.

The full timetable (data – Airlineroute)

Newark International to London Heathrow
UA922 DEPART EWR 09:10 ARRIVE LHR 21:25   Boeing 767-300ER
UA110 DEPART EWR 17:50 ARRIVE LHR 06:20+1 Boeing 757-200
UA029 DEPART EWR 19:15 ARRIVE LHR 07:25+1 Boeing 777-200ER
UA942 DEPART EWR 21:10 ARRIVE LHR 09:25+1 Boeing 767-300ER
UA940 DEPART EWR 22:00 ARRIVE LHR 10:15+1 Boeing 767-300ER

London Heathrow to Newark International
UA923 DEPART LHR 08:40 ARRIVE EWR 1150 Boeing 767-300ER
UA028 DEPART LHR 10:25 ARRIVE EWR 1335 Boeing 777-200ER
UA016 DEPART LHR 12:35 ARRIVE EWR 1605 Boeing 757-200
UA941 DEPART LHR 15:50 ARRIVE EWR 1910 Boeing 767-300ER
UA943 DEPART LHR 18:00 ARRIVE EWR 2120 Boeing 767-300ER

Additional services are always welcome – as this service opens an extra evening shuttle back to London, whilst offering an evening shuttle between London and Newark, allowing for a day in the office before heading for a flight back to the New Jersey and New York areas.

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The Boeing 737 series is by far the one of the best-selling airplanes in the sky. Today, that number was re-enforced as Boeing delivered the 8000th series aircraft.

The Boeing 737 has been through multiple iterations, from the initial 737-100, the 737-200, to the introduction of the 737 “Classic” series featuring the 737-300, -400 and -500 (featuring differing lengths and capacities), to the current 737 Next Generation series (featuring the short -600, the -700, the -800, -900 and -900ER), as well as being used for various military platforms.

The 8000th Boeing 737 delivered is a 737-900ER, and its owner will be United Airlines.

8000th 737 Renton B1 Take off United Airlines
The 8000th 737 in United Airlines livery – Image The Boeing Company

The plane is specially marked for the occasion with a logo on the side of the plane door:

8000th 737 Renton B1 Take off United Airlines
Special logo showing the 8000th plane – Image, The Boeing Company.

United and Continental have operated variants of the Boeing 737 fleet in the past, with the airline currently operating a mixture of the Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft (the 737-700, 737-800, 737-900 and 737-900ER) – making up 264 of the airlines fleet.

These will be configured as two class aircraft, containing First Class and Coach, with an Economy Plus section aboard the plane.

For passengers, new aircraft are always welcome… and for the 737 programme – it’s another step forward as it marches on to the 737 MAX series of aircraft…

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It’s Wednesday, and it’s time for some Airplane Art Extra.

Quickly following behind the Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rolling out of the Boeing paint shop, another one has rolled out, this time in the markings of United Airlines.

United 787-9 Factory Rollout - April 8, 2014
Images – United Airlines

This aircraft – like the Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 will be joining the test aircraft cadre being used to certify the plane for passenger use.

Once it enters service, one of the first routes it will be tasked with is operating six times a week between Los Angeles and Melbourne from 26th October 2014 (subject to release to operation).

These aircraft will be configured with:

  • 48 BusinessFirst Seats
  • 88 Economy Plus Seats
  • 116 Economy Seats

Total 252 seats.

Like its 787-8 compatriot, it looks rather smart in the United paintwork. Hopefully, the plane will be just as nice to fly aboard.

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It’s Saturday once again, so its time to stow your luggage in the overhead bin, bring your seat to the upright position, fasten your seat belt and ensure your tray table is stowed as we go to this week’s safety video.

This week is a bit of a classic – the varying three-person United pre-merger safety video (with of course, a good dose of Rhapsody in Blue)

Another safety video next week

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