We arrived at JFK on good time to get checked in. We had to do self service and the computer wouldn't give us 2 seats together, nor allow us to change the seat allocation. The staff at check in were pretty blase and unhelpful when we asked if they could get us in seats next to one another and we were told to ask at the gate.
It must be a United way of doing things, as the Customer Services Reps at the gate were overwhelmed with people needing to change seats. Thankfully we did get reallocated.
Flight 53 took off pretty much on time, despite a bit of a furore on board when 2 flyers who had booked Business class for themselves and ecomony for their wee child and nanny found that the special car type seat they had brought on board for the child to sit in had to be by a window and their allocation was not by a window!!!
It was a very basic flight, with the TV monitors above the aisle, not individual screens, showing True Grit..the movie The Beeb watched on the way to the US! There was no opportunity to trace the path of the flight, so we had no idea which state we were flying over when we saw some fantastic snow covered mountains below us.
We were well ahead of schedule, so as we approached the Grand Canyon, the pilot informed us that he had permission to drop altitude, circle a couple of times and give us a mini-tour of the Grand Canyon!!! What a sight this was. A site-seeing tour in a 747 jet...amazing.
As we stepped out of LAX we felt the warm, dry heat of LA for the first time..and it felt good :-)