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Old 8th September 2018, 10:04 AM   #16
yflyer
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About 1.5-2 hours before landing, the lights came on, and breakfast was served...



Two choices available...

I opted for the scrambled eggs...



This was very tasty...



Mrs yflyer chose the noodles with chicken...



...which she found very satisfying...



"UA's breakfast is very good..." she remarked...

This was, of course just past midnight Singapore time, so it was more of a midnight snack for those still on GMT+8, although in LA it was breakfast time: 9am...
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Old 8th September 2018, 10:13 AM   #17
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Soon after breakfast, the cabin windows were centrally undimmed, and the cabin was bathed in bright morning sunshine...



A very bright and open Y cabin...



...by then we had made landfall over the West Coast of California...









The earlier versions of the electronically dimmable 787 windows did let in some light even at the most opaque setting, but the latest versions on this 787-9 did go quite dark, and were quite effective in shutting out bright sunlight...



Final approach and arrival into LA towards the West on a hazy morning...



On the ground in LAX...



A fairly long immigration queue for international arrivals, which took us 45 minutes to clear.

Once outside, we paused for a photo opposite the iconic LAX Theme Building...



... before heading to the departure level to catch an Uber to the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles...


Last edited by yflyer; 9th September 2018 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 8th September 2018, 10:29 AM   #18
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My reflections on this sector...

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a marvel...apart from the fact that it carried us nonstop all the way from SIN to LAX in just under 16 hours, the cabin ambience itself was very comfortable: the large windows made the cabin feel very bright, and I am quite convinced the lower cabin pressure and less dry cabin, compared to earlier generation jets made it more comfortable as well. The ride on the plane is very smooth, and it is a fairly quiet aircraft inflight as well, too.

UA cabin crew and cabin service were good, with a combination of Asian and Western crew. Everyone was friendly, polite and professional, although you weren't pampered the way you were on SQ.

The economy hard product was average. UA has 9 seats per row in Economy on the 787. This is cramped and not as comfortable as 9-abreast Y on the 777 or A350. Except for JAL's exceptionally comfortable 2-4-2 Y Dreamliner config, 9 abreast is about standard on Dreamliners these days. Even SQ has 9 abreast Y on their new 787-10s. Not much anyone can do about the fuselage width of the 787. That said, seat recline is something that airlines can definitely control, and UA's Y seat recline on this long haul 787 was not generous. This was the one area where I felt UA was below par. I did not try out UA Economy Plus on this occasion, but I am keen to know if UA Economy Plus seats have more recline, apart from greater seat pitch.

I found UA's meal catering to be good, and enjoyed both my onboard meals. I wish they would offer liquor on a complimentary basis as well, but I guess paying for a whisky or a G&T is acceptable if the overall ticket price is reasonable.

UA's IFE was great...user friendly touchscreen with a large selection of Movies and TV. I hope to see music selections back on the IFE soon, though. Wonder they they weren't present on this occasion. The time-based wifi plans were great too...much better than the data usage-based plans that SQ and other airlines sometimes offer.

Overall I was very happy with my flight...the schedule was great, and the empty seat between Mrs yflyer and I meant that we had a little additional room to stretch out, and this made all the difference to our comfort. Needless to say, the fact that we had Star Gold privileges for preboarding and priority queuing made a difference as well.

Next up, Los Angeles and the Westin Bonaventure.

To be continued!

Last edited by yflyer; 8th September 2018 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 8th September 2018, 01:13 PM   #19
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Great TR so far yflyer. Glad you got to enjoy UA's 787 from SIN-LAX nonstop. I look forward to more pictures.
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Old 9th September 2018, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQfanatic View Post
Great TR so far yflyer. Glad you got to enjoy UA's 787 from SIN-LAX nonstop. I look forward to more pictures.
Thanks, SQfanatic! More coming up...
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Old 9th September 2018, 09:50 PM   #21
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Nice TR as always yflyer. The same Chinese cookie I get during guard duty is the one they serve on international flights. Must be really nice then.
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Old 10th September 2018, 08:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balajih67 View Post
Nice TR as always yflyer. The same Chinese cookie I get during guard duty is the one they serve on international flights. Must be really nice then.
Thanks balajih67! Yes quite a tasty cookie (Whether in the air or on the ground...)
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Old 12th September 2018, 08:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balajih67 View Post
Nice TR as always yflyer. The same Chinese cookie I get during guard duty is the one they serve on international flights. Must be really nice then.
The BLU bottled water was also used for out-ration in army too. After all, the cookhouse is run by SATS.

So far haven't come across SATS ice cream though.
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Old 14th September 2018, 08:58 PM   #24
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The Westin Bonaventure hotel has a very striking design and architecture.



A postmodern design by architect John Portman, the Bonaventure first opened in 1976. It consists of 5 cylindrical towers: a central tower, surrounded by 4 connected towers.



It is an unmistakeable landmark in LA, which has been featured in quite a few movies.

The large atrium has a very industrial and rugged look, with lots of exposed concrete.





The circular design, and exposed concrete, somehow reminded me of CDG's terminal one.



Perhaps because of it's size, and all that dull grey concrete, I found the lobby atrium to be too large and cold, maybe even a little desolate. But it was certainly a unique and ambitious building for its time, whose design and architecture has been widely studied and analyzed.

The hotel reception...


Last edited by yflyer; 17th September 2018 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 14th September 2018, 08:58 PM   #25
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There are 4 banks of elevators running up the towers...



]The glass elevators start within the atrium, but eventually rise outdoors...



...providing guests with great views of LA...



Many movies have been filmed in the atrium and elevators, among them "In the Line of Fire", starring Clint Eastwood...



...Arnold Schwarzenegger's "True Lies"...



...and "Forget Paris", with Billing Crystal and Debra Winger...



...with the specific elevators identified by plaques on the walls of the ground floor lift lobbies.

To make it easier for guests and visitors to get around, the towers and lifts are colour coded...


Last edited by yflyer; 17th September 2018 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 14th September 2018, 09:12 PM   #26
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We were upgraded to a Suite...

This comprised a sitting room with desk and widescreen LCD TV...







Out of the full length room window, the Hollywood sign was visible in the far distance...




Bedroom...



Bathroom with combined shower and tub...



There was also a separate toilet in the living area.
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Old 14th September 2018, 09:13 PM   #27
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The Bonaventure has an outdoor swimming pool...

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Old 14th September 2018, 09:41 PM   #28
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After a 2 hour nap in the hotel, we headed out of the hotel in the mid afternoon...

One of the first things we saw was this movie poster, just steps away from the hotel...



"Crazy Rich Asians" had premiered in LA earlier in the week.

"Well, two out of three isn't bad...", lamented Mrs yflyer, bemoaning that fact that the 2nd word in the title did not apply to us...

I had earlier WhatsApp'ed HUGE AL to let him know we were in town. The last time I was in LA, HUGE AL had recommended that I head to Alibi Room for drinks and dinner. I mentioned that if the jetlag wasn't too bad, I would bring Mrs yflyer there for dinner...

"Alibi is CRAZY far from you." he replied...

I had not accounted for the fact that Los Angeles was a vast city...very spread out...



...you really needed a car to get around, given the distances involved.

Of course, a regular car, or Uber was fine, not necessarily one of these, which we spotted by the sidewalk...



"Head to Grand Central Market", HUGE AL suggested, "...Think pseudo hawker center....". He suggested several dishes to try once we got there...

Grand Central Market was a short walk away from the Bonaventure.

Right across the street from Grand Central Market was "Angel's Flight", an old funicular railway up a hill...



A passerby mentioned that there was a free concert event at the top of the hill...we headed up...



Indeed there was a concert about to start, feature several live bands, playing Hispanic/Mexican music...



This was a very well attended event, with great atmosphere...



We listened for a while before heading back down the hill via the stairs, and then headed to Grand Central Market for dinner...



Grand Central Market is a vast food hall with a huge range of cuisines, food and drink available...



The range of food available was quite astounding, ranging from American to Mexican to Chinese/Korean/Japanese, an even a stall serving authentic looking German currywurst...

We picked up beer, wine and a few dishes from Prawn...






Last edited by yflyer; 14th September 2018 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 14th September 2018, 09:47 PM   #29
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We then headed to Tacos Tumbras for a taco, as recommended by HUGE AL...



"Get one taco"...he instructed...



...this was delicious...and a very large portion as well, which Mrs yflyer and I shared. At USD4 a taco, this must have been one of the best value dishes we had on the trip!

We supplemented this with several other dishes from "Prawn"...



HUGE AL had also recommended Sarita's Pupuseria, which was famous for their Salvadoran Pupusa's, however they were closed that week.

After dinner, we headed to McConnell's ice cream, where there was a long queue to taste and purchase their ice cream...





A very enjoyable first evening in LA...we took a walk back to the hotel and turned in for the night.

Last edited by yflyer; 14th September 2018 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 14th September 2018, 10:24 PM   #30
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The next morning, we headed to Santa Monica Pier to look around...



Santa Monica Pier is set along Santa Monica beach, a vast expanse of white sand popular with beachgoers and surfers.



The Pier and Boardwalk itself is a large thoroughfare with shops, activities...



...and even it's own amusement park...



It is also the end point of the historic Route 66...



The end of the pier provided great views of the Pacific Ocean and California coastline...







We retraced our steps back down the pier, and then walked south along Santa Monica Beach towards Venice Beach to the south...



...this was a very popular spot for joggers, walkers and cyclists...



I resolved to find time to head to the beach for a run later on in the trip...
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