Trip Report Introduction: President's Day Getaway to Chicago

February 17, 2018

What's up everyone!


This weekend, I'll be going on a quick weekend trip to Chicago to visit colleges. My final two years of high school are coming up, and this is a crucial period to visit as many schools as possible across the country in order to get an accurate feel of what college life at different universities is like. As my school gives us both Monday and Tuesday off, my parents and I decided that it would be nice to take a short, 3-day trip to Chicago and experience the city. My parents actually used to live in Chicago about a decade ago, and they were excited about returning to a place where they spent the majority of time in college.


New York and Chicago, being two very large metropolitan areas, are connected by a plethora of flights from many different carriers. Of these, United and American Airlines offered the best deals to travel to Chicago during President's Day weekend, with fares hovering around $200 round trip. As my parents' preferred airline is United, there was no doubt as to which airline we would be picking for our travel needs this time around. 


When it was time to book the tickets, I discovered that one flight between both cities is always operated by an internationally-configured widebody aircraft. Out of the "Big 3" US airlines, United has the largest Boeing 777 fleet, with over 80 such aircraft in service so far. The legacy United 3-cabin 777-200ERs mostly out of Washington (IAD), Chicago (ORD), and Newark (EWR). With United's flight schedules, these 777s need to be ferried between Newark and Chicago. Thus, although flights between EWR and ORD are mostly operate by uncomfortable-looking 737s and A320s, there is a 777 flight departing in the morning, as well as an afternoon flight from ORD to EWR. Thus, our routing was booked as follows: 


2/18/2018 UA977 (Boeing 777-222ER, 2 hr 31 min block time, 719 miles/1157 km) 07:45 EST to 09:16 CST

2/20/2018 UA1611 (Boeing 777-222ER, 2 hr 14 min block time, 719 miles/1157 km) 14:30 CST to 17:16 EST



Although this trip is fairly short, I look forward to exploring Chicago, as well as reviewing United's former widebody flagship. Stay tuned!


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About Me

Hi! My name is Brian, and I am an avid traveller, aviation enthusiast, and airline reviewer based in New York City. 

Flight Level 360 is dedicated to all who are interested in the exotic world of aviation. Here, I publish articles mostly about news regarding airlines and the frequent-flyer world, as well as reports of trips I've undertaken previously.

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