Review of United flight San Diego Washington in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA 238
Class Economy
Seat 38F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 03:50
Take-off 25 Nov 15, 22:40
Arrival at 26 Nov 15, 05:30
UA   #119 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 316 reviews
CH
By 2231
Published on 16th December 2015
photo 470px-United_Airlines_Logo_svg
United Airlines UA 238
SAN - IAD (San Diego to Washington/Dulles)
DEP SAN 22:38 25 NOV 2015
ARR IAD 05:32 26 NOV 2015
Aircraft: A320
Flight Duration: 3hr 53min

photo ual 238
Flight route map courtesy of www.flightaware.com

My thanksgiving trip back to New Jersey wasn't planned until couple months before the holiday weekend, and I was very lucky to find a $350 roundtrip fare from San Diego to NYC in late-September. Soon after I bought the ticket through United, the prices shot up to around $600-700 for all of the airlines. I found that even Southwest and Spirit were pretty expensive at the time of my purchase.

The trip itinerary was as such:
Outbound:
25 NOV UA 238 SAN-IAD (red-eye flight)
26 NOV UA 4050 IAD - LGA

Inbound*:
29 NOV UA 1461 EWR-IAH
29 NOV UA 1961 IAH-SAN
(*The inbound segment was supposed to be a non-stop flight from EWR to SAN departing at 6AM in the morning, but I missed the flight that day. United graciously rebooked me into a later flight with connection at IAH.)

This trip would be my first ever trip report with United Airlines after its merger with Continental Airlines. Having travelled with Continental Airlines plenty of times out of Newark myself, I do find it somewhat nostalgic to see the name Continental gone these days. This trip repot would also be my first ever one to include lounges in my review (thanks to American Express Platinum). I was able to explore many lounges throughout my flights from SAN to NYC, including Airspace Lounge in San Diego, British Airways Lounge in IAH, Arts & Lounge in EWR, and KLM & Air France lounges in IAH.

I arrived at San Diego Airport at around 1900 local time. United Airlines check-in counters and gates are now located at Terminal 2 West in San Diego Airport.
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Interior of the Terminal 2 West. This section of the terminal is very new and clean, compared to Terminal 1.
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Check-in was a breeze, since I had only carry on baggage with me.
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After passing through securities, I headed straight for the Airspace Lounge in San Diego Airport. This would be the first ever time I would be using my new American Express Platinum card to enter a lounge. I have heard great reviews about this place through yelp, so I was excited to try it.
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The interior of the lounge. It's a medium-sized lounge with bar and self-serve snacks/beverages station in the middle. When a person checks in, he/she is given an Airspace card with $10 credit in it. He/she can use that card to purchase a drink and/or food at the bar ahead. There is also a shower facility in this lounge.
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The self-service snacks/beverages station. The lounge entrance and check-in area is straight ahead.
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The menu. I decided to spend most of the $10 credit on the food, since I was hungry. The lounge also provides to-go containers for the food.
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The view outside. The sun was pretty much set at around 1900.
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The bar scene.
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Self-service snacks. There were offerings of chex-mix and Japanese snacks. This lounge is accessible for British Airways and Japan Airlines business/first class passengers.
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Self-service soda machine.
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I chose the Charcuterie Plate from the menu. I'd say it was a great choice.
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This may look like a chocolate milk, but it's actually a shot that one of the bartenders gave to me for free. She called it a Holiday Special shot, with coffee, rum, and other drinks.
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My boarding pass for tonight's flight.
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I headed toward my gate at around 2130. San Diego Airport was already in Christmas mood.
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Terminal 2 West had a nice selection of restaurants and shops. It's an impressive addition to the airport.
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Tonight's flight would be with A320, though United sometimes swaps it with B737s.
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Boarding commenced at around 2150.
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United's newly retrofitted seats. Each seat had a pillow on it.
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Looking toward Terminal 2 West.
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The seat pitch was a bit tight for me (I'm about 5' 11). I was barely able to stretch my legs underneath the seat.
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The flight was very uneventful. I slept almost the whole duration of the flight, waking up as the plane was descending into IAD.
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The plane landed into IAD at 5:27 local time, about 40 minutes ahead of schedule.
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And the plane arrived into Concourse C.
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I had until about 0800 until my next flight to LGA, so I headed toward Concourse B to check out the British Airways Lounge, where I hoped to take a quick shower.

Stay tuned for more United reports!
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Verdict

United

5.8/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Airspace Lounge

8.5/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services9.0

San Diego - SAN

9.1/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

Washington - IAD

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

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4 Comments

  • Comment 153143 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5124 Comments

    What a coincidence, I literally just added the Airspace lounge a few days ago because I was going to publish a report on it, as I was there just 2 weeks ago. I did not have the same positive impression as you did, however. I felt the snack offering was quite sad.

    A redeye on these seats sounds like torture to me, but it seems from your report that it wasn't so bad. It's good that you were able to get some sleep.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 332742 by
      CH AUTHOR 29 Comments

      Yes, the airspace lounge definitely falls behind other lounges, but overall I had a good experience with the lounge and the personnel inside. I do wish they offered more snack choices and gave everyone more than just $10 credit. With only $10, you can only buy an entrée or drink.

  • Comment 154170 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    For a trans-con, that really isn't a bad fare for the holiday times. A lounge with a BOB menu? Ouch. They better be giving JL premium class passengers more than $10 to spend...

    The new UA cabins visually look good, much better than those bland ones they stuck in the B788s. The seat pitch was a bit tight for me <== this pitch looks as bad as a LCC. I'm impressed you were able to sleep in these seats so they must not be that terrible. Was the recline limited since you were in the last row?

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