Review: United Airlines Economy A320-200 Los Angeles to San Francisco
Review: United Airlines First Class 757-300W San Francisco to Seattle
Trip Photos: Washington Photos
Review: United Airlines Economy Plus A320-200 Seattle to San Francisco
Review: United Domestic Club Lounge SFO
Review: United Airlines Economy Plus A320-200 San Francisco to Los Angeles
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Los Angeles to San Francisco
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: San Francisco to Seattle
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Seattle to San Francisco
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: San Francisco to Los Angeles
Yes, I know I said I would try to avoid premium cabin reviews on this page, but this does not really count as “premium cabin experience” and many people fly this product, so might as well review it. Anyways, the second we landed from our flight from LAX, I got right to taking pictures of surrounding traffic, as we had a 3-hour layover before our next flight,4 hours actually thanks to Obama (I’ll explain later).
We were right next to the international terminal, and at SFO you can openly go back and forth between the international and UA terminals, so I took advantage of that and went that side to take more photos.
And then we headed to the United Club lounge, which I will review on the way back.
After that, we headed to our gate. One single jetway connected the gate to our aircraft, which is the norm often times for 757s flying domestically even though they have two doors on each side. Eventually, boarding began and we were one of the first ones to board.
SFO-SEA Boeing 757-300WL
We boarded through door 2 and turned left into the first class cabin. There are 6 rows in a 2-2 configuration.
This seat is from the 6th row, but we were in seats 5E and 5F. One thing I noted upon seating was that the seat is very wide. It was among the widest domestic first class seats I have ever sat in. The tray table comes out of the right armrest for the window seat where I was at. There was a small TV screen on the seat in front of you. The power port is below the center console in between the two seats. Mine, unfortunately, was broken, but I didn’t need it anyways for this flight.
Shortly after we sat, the in-flight manager came to greet us and ask what pre-departure beverages we would like. We both opted for sparkling water, which is my favorite drink by far. I should note that even though she came to greet us, there was no smile on her face. Our conversation went like this:
Her: “Something to drink before we take off?”
Me: “Yes can I please have some sparkling water?”
She was definitely proactively well intentioned, but she still did not have the same charm that I find with Southwest flight attendants.
Another issue that I have, but can’t do anything about is the use of plastic cups in First class. The main service during the flight was in actual glasses but even the pre-departure beverages should be the same. Me saying this is not going to change anything, but it’s still sad to see the use of plastic for pre-departure beverages in first class.
After those were collected, we pushed back and started our engines. After that, we had what would be the longest taxi ever for me. Here are some pictures on the way out.
Our takeoff runway was 1R. But we were parked on the taxiway next to that for almost one hour because the airspace was closed because Obama was departing out of San Jose. It was almost midnight by the time we got in the air. But we had a smooth roll down the runway and a gradual climb after that. We initially flew out to the east and then turned north towards Seattle. The views of Oakland were great after that northward turn.
Service began after this. The crew came around taking drink orders, then came out with those drinks. I had a coke initially. Due to the late nature of this flight and because this flight was under 3 hours, no meal would be served. Instead, the crew came around with a basket and we got to choose things. I chose pretzels.
The crew came around asking if we wanted anything else, which was nice of them. I asked for a glass of sparkling water, which is my favorite drink.
After this was done, there was about half an hour of flight time left, and a little later we began our descent into Seattle. There was some bad weather in Seattle on our way down which made the approach very wet and a little choppy, though nothing serious. It’s always fun to land in the middle of a storm.
It was 1:30AM by the time we touched down and began our taxi to the gate. And guess what? What should have been a 5-minute taxi turned into a 35-minute taxi because our gate was still being occupied? How is our gate still occupied at 1:30 AM?! Turns out there was a United 757-300 there that was heading to Houston that arrived late from its previous flight. It was 2:10 AM by the time we reached our gate, and on top of that I had a 45-minute drive up to Everett where the Boeing factory was where I would be having an invitation-only tour at 8 AM.
And so by the time I got to my hotel near Paine Field Airport, it was 3:15 AM! Great!
Overall, This was a good flight. Let’s start with the good things:
- The seats are very wide and the leather is great
- the crew proactively offered refills and snacks throughout the service
- and there was little turbulence until the end.
The areas where there could be improvements:
- Warmer expressions from the crew
- avoid the use of plastic cups for pre-departure drinks in first class
- fixed power ports in all seats
All things considered, I would fly this product again, though I would shoot for a longer flight so I can experience some of the actual meal, and get better views during the day 🙂