Booking The Trip: Runway to Boston
Review: United Club Lounge Mezzanine Level SFO
Review: United 757-200 Transcontinental Business Class San Francisco to Boston
Review: American Airlines 737-800 First Class Boston to Chicago
Review: American Airlines 737-800 First Class Chicago to Dallas
Review: American Airlines 737-800 First Class Dallas to Ontario
After spending good time in the United club lounge, I headed to my gate for my flight to Boston. Usually around the gate 80s and 90s at SFO is where all their 757s are parked which is where all the transcontinental flights leave from.
Unfortunately, I got to my gate a little late and there were no good angles to take a picture of my aircraft because of the way the jetways are made in that part of SFO. But I got in the boarding group 1 line and boarded my aircraft.
After boarding through door L2, I turned left into the front part of the business class cabin. There are 7 rows total in United’s transcontinental-configured business class. The forward cabin has 4 rows while the back cabin has 3 more rows for a total of 7 rows in a 2-2 configuration.
Here are pictures of my seat. I was seated in seat 4F, the window seat on the right side of the aircraft.
I already thoroughly reviewed this seat on my United first class flight from Houston to Los Angeles so I won’t go into too many details here about the hard product, and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I will say though that everything I said in the above review stands, however, the leg space and seat space definitely felt a bit tighter on this flight and that can be attributed to the fact that the 757 room is smaller than the room on a 787.
Every seat comes with a blanket and pillow and both of which are Saks Fifth Avenue branded. This is the same gear as what’s provided on a full United Polaris Business Class flight, however, on those flights you get more items.
Amenity kits were also available at each seat upon boarding the flight.
The contents of the kit included a toothbrush, a small package of Colgate toothpaste, cowshed lip balm, ear plugs, eye masks, and some kind of cowshed pamphlet which I did not look through. Overall, not very detailed in the scheme of business class, but a perfectly stocked kit for a daytime premium transcontinental flight.
Here is a view from my window.
Around this time and around 2-3 min after settling in, the purser Tina came and introduced herself to the business class passengers as they came in and offered a choice of pre-departure drink with a smile on her face. She took very good care of the passengers throughout the whole flight, but more on that later. I chose sparkling water with lemon as always. I still am sad that they use plastic cups for these. Even Delta uses actual glass for their pre-departure drinks on their premium transcontinental flights.
Here is a look at the forward cabin from my seat. The captain let us know that all seats were filled on this flight to Boston.
Tina also came around with menus for all of us. Here were the options.
And the back side had the drink options.
At this point, the door closed at around 1:47PM. We had a decently long taxi towards our departure runway and had a LOOOONNNNNGGG wait for departure. We left the gate around 1:52PM and weren’t in the air until around 2:40PM.
It was a lovely day in SF during our departure out though. I even got an awesome view of Oakland airport below:
And we continued climbing at a relatively steady rate
At this point, I wanted to connect to the internet to get going on my work. Below were the prices. This is quite possible some of the most horrendous pricing I have ever seen for internet on a flight.
$40 for a 5.5-hour flight is absolutely ridiculous and not a price I would pay. I had to get work done so I forced myself to pay $19.99 for 2 hours. The good part was the wifi speed was respectable and I was able to load internet pages, emails, and other non-video streaming events. So the internet worked well, but the prices are still ridiculous. I didn’t end up using the internet until after lunch service, but more on that later.
After a short while, we were flying over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
Tina came around and offered everyone a hot towel prior to beginning the service.
And now begins what is possibly the most drawn-out service I have ever seen in a premium cabin. 45 minutes after takeoff the tray table was lined with tablecloth. Starting 45 minutes after takeoff I can deal with, but the duration of the service was too long.
Drink orders were taken and served with a ramekin of warm nuts. I opted again for sparkling water and lemon. This was all served 1 hour and 10 minutes into the flight.
Then we were served the appetizer. This consisted of a smoked chicken appetizer with fennel salad with apples and a side salad with watermelon and feta cheese. The smoked chicken was chilled, but was flavorful and even at an altitude, I could taste the smoked flavor in the chicken. The apple salad was also nice. Next up was the watermelon salad and the balsamic vinaigrette that was to be added. The watermelon was juicy and the salad itself was good, however, the vinaigrette added was a little bit too acidic and was a little bit overpowering. There was also warm garlic bread and pretzel rolls that were served and both were nice, tasty, and soft in the middle. Overall, a good appetizer.
1 hour and 40 minutes into the flight, lunch was served. Tina took our orders prior to drink service and asked for a first and second choice because the order of delivery of the main course is based on your status with United. My first choice was the seared beef short rib and the second choice was the seared fish fillet. I got my first choice which was the seared beef with cheese grits and steamed veggies.
The steak definitely was not “seared” but rather looked somewhere between medium well and well. The sauce on and under the beef was a kind of pepper sauce and it added a nice flavor to the beef. I never am optimistic about airplane beef and this was no exception as the steak was tough.
The weather below us was very dynamic as we were flying and I was enjoying the views while eating.
I checked out the lavatory after my main course and here are the products that were there.
Here is another view of the forward cabin during our flight.
Finally a staggering 2 hours and 45 minutes into the flight, the dessert cart came rolling around.
Despite this, I always love ice cream sundaes on American carriers. The crew also proactively offered me a snickerdoodle and a cheese plate to which I couldn’t say no.
The cheese plate was good and had french brie and I believe the other was a smoked gouda cheese but I couldn’t tell because my palate was still tainted from the main course.
The snickerdoodle was fantastic and had the right mix of chewiness and crunchiness.
The base was Vanilla ice cream and I topped mine with hot fudge, toffee, and whipped cream. It was beyond delicious and a great way to finish the meal.
I asked the crew for hot water to finish my meal and they also came around with a bottle of Dasani water for everyone.
Overall, the meal was great but way too drawn out. Service started 45 minutes into the flight and finished 2 hours and 50 minutes into the flight. That’s a 2-hour long meal service whereas on a lot of flights the full service has been done under an hour and a half into the flight.
At this point roughly I purchased a 2-hour wifi pass for $19.99 and really hated myself for doing so, but I had some work I needed to get done, so I just did it.
For the rest of the flight, it was all about the views.
More views as the sun set further back into the sky
At this point, the views were just spectacular outside as the sun was setting.
After a short while, the crew came around with a pre-landing snack. I was too full but the choices were between a vegetarian sandwich and a turkey and cheddar wrap. Alongside with it, the crew also offered a small snack from the beverage basket. As far as I’ve experienced, UA is the only airline that offers a pre-arrival “meal” compared to AA and Delta which offer a cookie or something of the sort if I recall.
Eventually, we began our descent into Boston.
We had a smooth touchdown around 10:30PM.
We were off the plane within minutes, but despite my bag being tagged with priority handling because of my class of travel, my bag took about 45 minutes to arrive at the claim.
Overall, had a good flight with United. The food was mostly good, even though the service was too drawn out. The seat was decent, the amenities were great, and the crew was nice! Would I fly UA transcontinental business class again? Absolutely and it was a great way to fly across the country. The next post will be on an airline completely new to the blog. Hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you enjoy the rest. Cheers!