Flight Review: United Airlines 747-400 Upper Deck Business Class Frankfurt to San Francisco

I took this flight before I committed to doing trip reports on all of my flights, so the following is an abbreviated trip report with as all of the photos that I took. Please check out the most recent posts for fully detailed trip reports!

UA 59
Frankfurt (FRA) - San Francisco (SFO)
Saturday, July 23rd
Depart: 1:55pm
Arrive: 4:20pm
Duration: 11hr 25min & 5,683 miles

Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Seat: 16K Upper Deck Business Class

Points Redeemed: 57,500 United MileagePlus Miles

Points Accrued primarily from spending and signup bonuses on the following credit cards:

 The plane that would take us to SFO!

The plane that would take us to SFO!

At Frankfurt we were given access to the Lufthansa Business class lounge, so that's where things started off after a short flight from Prague, also with Lufthansa.

 After boarding and because I'm a huge dork, I asked the pilots if I could peek inside the cockpit since the cockpit door is at the end of the upper deck  business class cabin. They obliged.

After boarding and because I'm a huge dork, I asked the pilots if I could peek inside the cockpit since the cockpit door is at the end of the upper deck  business class cabin. They obliged.

 It's pretty cool up there though!

It's pretty cool up there though!

 The best thing about being in the upper deck is having these huge storage bins next to your seat. You can fit your carry on inside of them so everything you need is right next to you.

The best thing about being in the upper deck is having these huge storage bins next to your seat. You can fit your carry on inside of them so everything you need is right next to you.

 Legroom was good though and when the seat is flat, the bins serve as additional "bed" space, which was nice.

Legroom was good though and when the seat is flat, the bins serve as additional "bed" space, which was nice.

 The meal service is not very good compared to other airlines flying to Europe. Those in Global First had first dibs on the menu and business class passengers got whatever they didn't want. Kind of an odd system.

The meal service is not very good compared to other airlines flying to Europe. Those in Global First had first dibs on the menu and business class passengers got whatever they didn't want. Kind of an odd system.

 Settling in for a movie before bed. One thing United did have going for it was the pillows were actually pretty comfortable!

Settling in for a movie before bed. One thing United did have going for it was the pillows were actually pretty comfortable!

 And finally, the view of those massive wings and engines somewhere over South Eastern Oregon!

And finally, the view of those massive wings and engines somewhere over South Eastern Oregon!

Final Thoughts: United's Business Class, BusinessFirst as it's called (an artifact from the Continental days), is not very good. We were lucky to be upstairs in the upper deck where there are only 20 seats. This leads to better service and you also tend to forget that there are 350 people sitting below you, which is something I will miss about this aircraft. Otherwise, the food and service are nothing special. For the cost, it's not a bad use of United miles, but if you've got the extra mileage needed to fly with a partner, I recommend that over this out-dated business class product.

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