Portland, OR – Denver, CO | United #572 | 4A


On Monday I flew from Portland to Denver on my way back to NYC. The stars and moon must have been aligned as the flight was on time, I was upgraded to first, and I had a delightful seat-mate.  I sat next to Captain Parson’s, a 30 year United Airlines veteran.  He flies long-haul flights from San Francisco to Beijing and Shanghai.  A few pointers I picked up –

  • If you head to China, you have to go to Shanghai.  He says that if the NYC skyline is a 6 or a 7, then Shanghai is a 9.
  • If you fly business, ask to be seated on the upper deck. Apparently there is 8 feet between seats – lots of room to ignore the annoying people around you.
  • Don’t bother paying for first – take the upgrade if you get it, but don’t spend any money on it.  There isn’t that much of a difference between biz and first class on the long hauls.

I am heading to Beijing later this spring, and hope that Captain Parson’s is flying my plane.  He told me to give the flight attendant a note for him if he is the Captain as he always announces himself early in the flight.  I doubt he’ll remember the crazy lady passing notes, but I sure did enjoy our conversation.

Will post on my connection, and JP the high roller later.


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