Booking The Trip: Flying The Friendly Skies to India
Review: United Airlines 777-200 Transcontinental Economy Plus Los Angeles to Newark
Review: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Newark Airport
Review: United Airlines 777-300ER Polaris Business Class Newark to Mumbai
Review: United Airlines 777-300ER Premium Plus Mumbai to Newark
Review: Pop Up United Club Lounge Concourse C, Gate C124
Review: United Club Lounge Concourse C, Gate C74
Review: United Airlines 787-10 Business Class Newark to San Francisco
Unfortunately, this aircraft was at Gate 74, one of the gates at terminal 7 equipped to handle international arrivals, so the segregated walkway between the gate and the window made it impossible to get any good views of the aircraft.
Boarding started with Global Service and 1K members, then moved onto group 1 at which point I boarded.
My seat was seat 19L which is the 3rd row of the economy plus cabin on the right side of the plane.
As with all of UA’s seats, the seat cushion was on the more firm side and the seat back was thin but curved to the shape of your back which made it a little more comfortable. The headrest also had a decent cushion.
The legroom was excellent and I’m 5′ 10″ for reference.
For this plane, where a TV would normally be is a bare back with a slot to potentially insert your tablet. There’s a surface to rest the bottom of your device and the blue tab is adjustable to the height of your device to hold it in place firmly. To the lower left of the seat front is also a power port. In economy plus, there are power ports in between seats, so in this case, 2 ports for 3 seats. Thankfully the middle seat stayed empty, so the power ports were able to be used without having to share.
Also was a blanket provided as this was a red-eye.
There were also individual air nozzles which I value tremendously for airlines that like to keep their cabins warm.
A United 787-9 was pushing back for Sydney as we were boarding.
Eventually we began our pushback and taxi towards the runway for departure.
Soon enough it was our turn to take off from runway 25R.
We had a fairly lengthy takeoff roll and blasted out of LAX.
After that it was a climb to cruising altitude.
About 35 minutes into the flight, the crew began the service for the flight. Now on United, on their transcontinental flights (LAX/SFO to/from EWR, SFO to/from BOS), all passengers in economy plus get a complimentary meal. All daytime flights get a hot meal, whereas night red-eye flights are given a chilled meal. In either case it’s a fantastic offering for a US carrier on domestic red-eye.
All meals also came with a choice of biscoff biscuits or pretzels. This would be the snacks that regular economy class passengers are offered.
So for the meal, there was a choice of vegetable cous cous or beef with soba noodles and I went for the latter.
The soba noodles were actually nice and tangy and enjoyable to eat. They were chilled as expected. The cucumbers were a bit dry but it’s hard to maintain the moistness sometimes on board. The beef was actually pretty tasty and not too hard to too chewy. I was genuinely surprised at how proper it was.
The brownie was soft and chewy and sinfully tasty.
The fruits included grapes and pineapples and were just as you’d expect good grapes and pineapples to be.
Overall, this meal blew my expectations. If you compare it to any international standard economy meal, it’s sub-par, but when you think of what American offers its passengers between LAX and JFK in Main Cabin extra, or what Delta offers its comfort plus passengers between LAX and JFK, this is a much better offering. Good on UA for that.
It took forever to get my tray cleared which kind of hurts on a red-eye flight when one is trying to maximize sleep. Crew members kept walking right by my seat and didn’t even notice my tray, even though the cabin was dark and I was the only one with my personal light on…….because my tray hadn’t been cleared yet. Finally when I did manage to get the attention of a crew member, they basically just barked back at me saying “yeah hold on I’m getting the cart.” After the tray was cleared, it was a quick bathroom trip then off to bed.
I got just under 3 hours of sleep before I woke up while we were descending into EWR.
We were treated to some nice sky views before proceeding onward.
We taxiied to our gate C108 and parked there.
Overall, this was a nice flight and comfy way to fly for the most part. There was ample legroom, blankers were given, there were charging ports for economy plus, the meal was enjoyable. The only downsides were the crew, which can always be a hit or miss, and the sub-3 hours of sleep that I got. A nice way to fly across the country.