Chicago to Brussels

It was finally time to take off for Brussels. The flight boarded right on time and I made my way on board to take my seat.

A huge insider tip I learned before I booked my ticket: on United’s international 777-200 flights, seat 6B is blocked as a crew rest seat, so if you’re sitting in 6A, you’ll have an empty seat next to you for at least most of the flight.


United 972
ORD [Chicago] to BRU [Brussels] 
October 17, 2017
Depart: 5:55 PM
Arrive: 9:05 AM
Duration: 8hr10min
Aircraft: 777-200
Seat: 6A

After heading on board, I made my way to my seat in 6A at the front of the Polaris cabin. While not the most cutting edge business class seats in the air, they have more than adequate legroom and certainly get the job done.

Seats 6A and 6B on the United 777-200


After I got situated, the crew took orders for pre-departure beverages and handed out chocolates and menus for the flight.

I was happy to see that they switched out the futuristic plastic Polaris flute that they used on my trip back in February with a regular glass.

Chocolates and a pre-departure glass of champagne
Menu for ORD-BRU

After a taxi and smooth takeoff, the crew came around to take dinner orders and begin the beverage service. I went ahead and requested the wine flight along with a glass of sparkling water.

For this flight, I promised myself I’d drink less alcohol and more water to see if that had any bearing on the amount of “jet lag” I’d always feel after international flights.

The wine cart
Enjoying a wine flight

After about an hour after takeoff, dinner was served. The five course meal came with an appetizer of lemongrass shrimp, a baby spinach salad, and I went with the entree of the seared beef short rib.

Appetizer and salad
Beef short rib entree

The entree was then followed with with a cheese course and port and then finished off with a sundae and assorted confections from the dessert trolley.

Cheese and port
The dessert trolley
Ice cream sundae for dessert

About an hour and a half after takeoff, the meal service was complete and it was time to get some shuteye.

I ended up sleeping for just about the entire four or five hours between the dinner and breakfast services and was woken up when the cabin lights came on for breakfast about an hour and a half before arrival.

Breakfast before landing

I went ahead and selected the omelet for breakfast. Of all the long-haul flights I’ve taken, I’ve found the omelets catered out of Chicago to always be a safe bet, and this was no exception.

Surprisingly, the seat next to me remained vacant throughout the entire flight, so I had more space to myself than even in first class!

We began our cloudy decent into Brussels just as the sun was coming up. I honestly had no idea how close we were to the ground until about ten feet before touchdown.

Sunrise over Brussels
A foggy morning in Brussels

After an exciting landing and a quick taxi to the gate, I disembarked and made my way over to the Brussels Airlines LOFT to relax and wait for my next flight.




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