Review: United Airlines Embraer ERJ175 First Class Los Angeles to Seattle

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Review: United Airlines Embraer ERJ175 First Class Los Angeles to Seattle
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YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Los Angeles to Seattle
YOUTUBE: Delta Airlines: Seattle to Detroit
YOUTUBE: Delta Airlines: Detroit to Houston
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Houston to Los Angeles

I arrived at LAX about 2 hours before my flight was scheduled to depart in order to take a walk to Tom Bradley International Terminal and back for absolutely no reason at all.

After returning, I walked to terminal 8, where all United Express flights leave from at LAX.

United Express aircraft
my plane

Above is a picture of the bird I’ll be flying into Seattle.

Embraer ERJ-175

At check-in, only 3 out of the 12 first class seats were filled in. On board, 10/12 seats were filled. So I assume 5 out of the 7 new people were status upgrades. Two of the people I knew had asked for an upgrade simply because I had seen them do it at the gate.

Now to the seats. UA’s Embraer 175 had 12 total seats in first class. There were 4 rows in a 1-2 configuration with the single seats being on the left side of the aircraft. Usually, I prefer the right side, but this was an obvious choice: solo seat, direct aisle access, and sunset views heading north. The seat cushion was well padded, though slightly hard but that’s fine because the seat was definitely relatively new. The back padding had the same issue. Overall it was still a comfortable seat for a 3-hour flight. The legroom was more than enough for me and I am 5′ 9″.



There’s a cup holder that slides out of the front of the left armrest and the tray table folds out of the right armrest by lifting it. Every seat in first class has power ports. For the pair seats on the right side, the power ports are under the center console between the seats. On the solo seats, the power port is along the left armrest under the slidable cup holder. It illuminates green so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Immediately upon sitting, a crew member came and asked what I would like to drink for my pre-departure beverage. Of course, as always, I went with sparkling water and it appears that United has low expectations for people’s consumption of sparkling water, because it had all finished by the time lunch service came, but more on that later.

Pre-departure sparkling water

After a relatively quick boarding process, the door closed and we had a 7-minute early departure.

United Express

As we made the long taxi to runway 24L, we passed by a lovely BA 787-9

British Airways 787-9

After receiving clearance, we had a relatively long roll but the views on takeoff were lovely as usual when departing from LAX.





After reaching cruising altitude, the single crew member working first class came around to take drink orders from everyone. She worked efficiently and had my sparkling water and nuts in a ramekin out in under a minute. Now usually United warms these nuts before consumption though that was not the case this time. It’s not a big deal at all, given that UA’s regional aircraft don’t have ovens to head food.

nuts and sparkling water

After this was done, the crew came around with hot towels for everyone.

hot towel

Next was lunch. On United express flights of this length, there is a choice between two cold options for lunch. I wasn’t too happy about BOTH options being cold but it is what it is. As I said earlier, regional aircraft generally don’t have ovens to heat food so this isn’t really their fault.  There was a choice between a chicken cobb salad or a Beef Sriracha Wrap and I went with the latter.

Lunch Service

The salad was dry and rubbery at best, but the Sesame ginger sauce added some moistness and taste to the salad. The grapes were actually nice and fresh and very comparable to grapes that I consume on the ground. The wrap was decently tasty. The beef was alright, and the sriracha added a slight kick to the wrap, but it was decent at best. The fact that the wrap was chilled definitely contributed to the weak taste of the wrap. But the meal was overall filling. The cookie was very soft and sweet.


The rest of the flight was all about the views. The sun sinked lower and lower in the sky as we moved further up the west coast.




About 30 minutes out from Seattle, we began our descent into the city. This was a rather early start for descent but the captain asked for landing preparations and clean up to be done early because of choppy weather in Seattle where everyone would need to be seated.


The weather was definitely choppy and we hit some heavy turbulence on the way down.

through clouds

Eventually, we dipped below the ceiling and Seattle appeared below us.


After descending some more and our final approach, we had a smoothish touchdown in Seattle on time and taxied to the gate.


After the flight reached the gate, I waited for everyone to deplane for 2 reasons. Firstly, during takeoff, my boarding pass and my favorite pen slid back somewhere into the economy section and I needed to find it, and also I wanted to take some photos of economy.

Economy plus seat

For a regional aircraft, this is not bad, but it looks thin enough that I would not want to spend too long in this seat.

Overall, the flight was good and enjoyable. The seat was good enough for the flight, the service was decent, and the views were great. I wish UA would edit its rules for in-flight catering to give a hot option for lunch despite the flight being operated by a UA Express aircraft. Ultimately, this won’t drive returning customers away, but it certainly helps to have an appealing meal. I see United for the most part going in the right direction with its premium cabin travel, and this is another way they could improve the experience that much more.










13 thoughts on “Review: United Airlines Embraer ERJ175 First Class Los Angeles to Seattle”

      1. Oh man thanks for letting me know! I thought I had fixed the issue but apparently not. I’ve been having this issue on a lot of posts but will start off by fixing this one. Thanks and cheers!

      2. Hopefully the issue is fixed now. Thanks for letting me know. I think I’ve straightened out all the photos.

    1. Interestingly I thought so too. However on a recent flight in Delta Connection first class on a 3 hour flight, I was served a hot breakfast. Not sure if it was heated on ground immediately before flight and maintained temp during takeoff and climb, or whether there was a hot oven on board so not too sure with what happens there.

  1. United’s Premium Economy is fairly good on these planes, particularly if you are traveling with someone and you get two seats on the port side. IIRC the starboard side had three seats per row and I, like everyone, hate that! Still, first class is better.

    1. The views were good on the port side for sure, however, on the ERJ’s like this one I flew, the aircraft is in a 2-2 configuration in the economy section. Even economy plus is 2-2. The only uneven section on this aircraft is first class which is in a 1-2 configuration with the lone seats being on the left side of the plane. But I agree, definitely not bad having a seat in the forward cabin.

      1. I like the lone seats. You got the window, you don’t have to worry about annoying the person next to you when getting up to go to the bathroom, and you’re not bumping elbows with anybody. I’ve sat in them in economy on the tiny ERJ 175 Express planes that have the 2-1 configuration in economy and don’t have a first class. It was Kansas City to Houston too, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. I had previously thought that the Express flights like that were shorter distances than KC to Houston. I thought that they would be more like, for example, Kansas City to Omaha or KC to Des Moines, or Los Angeles to Bakersfield, CA, where the flights were shorter distances and with one of the destinations being a smaller less major city. It would be like flying frim a major city to a smaller city, or vice versa, somewhere between about a 70 – 250 miles distance or something. Maybe I’m thinking of the Express propeller planes, which are even smaller than ERJ 175s, and aren’t jets. I think that United and Delta still both have them.

      2. I’m with you. I really like the embraers as well for this one. The plane you are thinking of is most likely an ERJ 145 with the 1-2 economy configuration. I’ve flown it plenty of times on the Chicago-Milwaukee route and I always religious pick seat 7A. Comfy seats, no neighbor and a relaxing scenic flight. Can’t complain about that!

  2. Even though it wasn’t hot, it is good to get a meal on a domestic US flight. Most domestic US flights today under around 4 hours, both express flights and non-express flights, don’t serve anything to economy passengers anymore except a choice between a small bag of peanuts, pretzels, or chex mix. I’m sure that the economy section on your flight didn’t get anything different from that. I doubt that they got fresh grapes, a beef sriracha, and a salad and sesame ginger sauce.

    However, I know that you weren’t complaining, you were simply stating how your experience was. Plus you were in first class and it’s understandable to want to get your money’s worth.

    1. Yep. You said it! definitely can’t blame the aircraft because they didn’t have ovens. I believe this route is now operated by an A319 so they can have hot food served, though the meal type for that route has been downgraded to “snack”.

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