Review of United flight Los Angeles San Francisco in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA5200
Class Economy
Seat 12D
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 22 Jan 16, 13:40
Arrival at 22 Jan 16, 15:10
UA   #49 out of 71 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 368 reviews
Published on 28th June 2016
Hi and welcome to my third installment of flight reports!


This series will cover my quick business trip to San Francisco. In order to make the reports more interesting, I will reveal the routing as we go on.

The report will be broken down as follows (all in Y):
1. NH812 HKG-NRT B767-300ER []
2. UA33 NRT-LAX B787-9 []
3. UA5200 LAX-SFO Embraer E-175 [You are here!]
4. UA869 SFO-HKG B747-400 []

This is a boring US domestic flight report, so in the second part of this report I will show you my life in HKG during the Chinese New Year.

Flight Report

Precedently on last report, I was here once I rechecked my baggage. My flight was already listed on the bottom of the middle FIDS and shown it would be departed at Gate 83, Terminal 8.

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I exited from the Terminal 6.

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The first thing to do after a 9-hour flight was to have a break. I got relaxed near the famous Theme Building.

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Having about a 2-hour layover, I decided to explore the LAX.

The first checkpoint is the TBIT. I backed to Terminal 6, took upstairs to the departure level and walked along the World Way, the airside connector between TBIT and Terminal 4 was still in construction at that moment.

Inside the TBIT. Not many passengers in the meantime.

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Then I headed back to the southern terminals.

The AA Terminal

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Still having time therefore I wandered around outside Terminal 5, 6, 7 and had some breaks…

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It was a bit cloudy at LAX today

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And it was very hot! (compared with HK and Tokyo @@)

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Some snap shots

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In order to prevent my ex-ORD incident happened again, I went to airside from Terminal 7 about 1.5 hours before took off.

The check-in counters at United Terminal 7. Very long queue! I should be happy that I did not need to rechecked my bag there. I even could not figure out where the end of the queue was.

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The FIDS. My flight was shown departing at 1:39pm on time.

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I took the escalator upwards to the security checkpoint.

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Luckily only 5 people were waiting for TSA. I cleared the security in 5 minutes.

I was here once passing the TSA. The directory of Terminal 7 & 8.

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The United Terminal is undergoing renovation.

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Will the Polaris Lounge be here?

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Walking to the Terminal 8

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Dining guide of LAX Southern Terminals

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A tarmac shot

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I refilled my bottle and walked around in the Terminal 8. I like those tarmac facing desks so that passengers can have a nice view.

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An UA credit card advertisement

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A souvenir shop

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A B737 to ORD

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Far view of my previous B789

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I arrived at my gate which was not ready for my flight and even my plane had not arrived yet. It was just closed for the flight to HDN (Hayden, CO)

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Passengers sat aside and waited

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After about 10 minutes the CRJ-700 to HDN started pushing back

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And my Gate's FIDS changed to my flight information.

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Today the plane was fully loaded.

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Later my bird arrived.

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Boarding started 20 minutes prior to departure. I was in group 5 so I queued last minute.

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My boarding pass (this picture was taken in HK)

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I witnessed my baggage was loaded! ;)

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The fuselage shot

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Once I entered the cabin, I spotted 2 pilots were preparing for the flight.

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One of the pilots noticed that I was looking them. He got up and warmly greeted me. We shook hands and he even invited me to visit the cockpit. But coincidently there was a FA intended to call the pilots, I politely declined and returned back to the cabin.

The cabin, it equips with leather seats which are the same as my previous B789.

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I found my window seat 12D. But there was a businessman who already sat on my seat and sleeping! I tried waking him up but he remained unconscious! OK it was just a short flight, I tolerated and “exchanged” the seat with him lol

My “new” aisle seat 12C. Good seat pitch for an US domestic flight.

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The seat back materials.

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Safety Card

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Inflight BOB menu

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There were 2 FA on this flight. The FA marked down the drinks preference of those 1K members before push back.

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We pushed back on time and the FA made the flight announcement.

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Following was preflight safety demonstration.

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The pilot announced that because of the busy traffic in LAX, we would have a 15 minutes wait on the North runway. I felt asleep when we were off.

Beverage services immediately started after the seat belt sign was off. As promised, the FA firstly served those 1K members who also had a pack of free snack provided.

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My turn. I asked for water.

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I tried the United Wi-Fi and it worked (where I could not use the NH one on the 1st flight).

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It provides basic flight information which showed that the flight time was just 40 minutes (personally I thought it was too short…)

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It also features some TV shows.

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Although I slept on my previous flight, I still felt a bit tired on this so indirect itinerary to SF. I went to the front toilet before having another nap after the beverage service. It was so-so but clean.

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I woke up when the plane already started decent.

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And we landed from the South shortly.

We arrived at our gate. View from the wing. The weather in San Francisco was not good today. Drizzling

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Seat belt signs off and the passengers started picking their belongings.

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Suddenly the pilots announced we parked at the wrong gate and passengers had to return to seat and wait for the airport instruction lol

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But after a 10 minutes wait, he announced that the airport made mistake and we were at correct gate lol

Finally we deplaned.

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Last view of the tarmac

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Arrived at the recently renovated United Terminal at SFO

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I went to the airport toilet and it has a sky ceiling^^

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The baggage claim. My baggage was already here.

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I picked my baggage, exited the terminal and waited. SF was much colder than LA…

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Soon my company car arrived. My US colleague drove me to the hotel. I had a quick shower, changed my clothing and met my colleagues to have a business dinner.

Bonus: Life at HKG during Chinese New Year

Every year I have part time job in HKG during Chinese New Year. The HK Airport Authority dumps a lot of $$$ to promote CNY. CEOs of CX, KA, HX, UO and HKAA attended the CNY opening ceremony on the 1st day of CNY

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As usual, there were lion and dragon dance performances inside the airport everywhere.

But this year was a bit special. They also had a booth for tourists learning and playing the lion dance which lasted for 2 months starting from January!

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It seems the tourists really like the workshop^^

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Every year a very big God of Money stayed at airport for giving the pocket money (chocolate inside actually)

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A booth game. Tourists need to use chopsticks to pick the “food” for prizes

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There was also dancing cappella performance. But It was a very demanding job. Please imagine you had to sing and dance 36 times in 6 hours each day, and it last for a week lol

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The FIDS stand with CNY decoration. (2016 is the year of monkey)

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Some peach blossom close up

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In order to kill time, plane spotting was necessary (I am a hard working staff :P ). A BA B77W just arrived, where her relative A380 and an AY A340 parked at the adjacent gates.

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An AA B77W. Actually I am the big fan of new AA livery and logo!!!

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It is so simple but iconic!!!

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A CZ A330 with special Asian Games livery

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A SA A340 with special *A livery

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A JL B777

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A NH B772 to HND…

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There are several NH planes departed in the afternoon every day.

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An AC B777

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A NZ B777 with new livery (very uncommon in HKG). A CX bird just took off in the background.

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One day afternoon suddenly many fire engines rushed to the HM plane with unknown reason. Boarding even stopped but boarded passengers did not deplane.

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The new CX livery on a B77W

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The B747s should not be missed in these days. A CX B744 to HND. They are going to be retired in Sep 2016.

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An UA B744 preparing her flight to SFO

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A KE B744 to ICN

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Sunset in the airport

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Outside the terminal, this is how HKG recollects the baggage trolleys

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This is the third part of flight report and please stop by the end of this series! Now here is a glimpse of next report: Queen

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Thank you for your reading!
See more



Cabin crew8.5

Los Angeles - LAX


San Francisco - SFO



Another standard US domestic flight. The cabin and toilet are clean while seat pitch is good. No IFE but has an accessible Wi-Fi. A bit late arriving SFO. Standard crew services, but it would be better if you are 1K member.

For SFO, the renovated UA Terminal looks bright, spacious and clean. It has clear guidelines for passengers.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) San Francisco (SFO)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 355448 by
    tn92 BRONZE 174 Comments

    Thank you for the report! It's really a short flight and was probably quite uneventful. But I found it quite funny (and a little unbelievable) that the airport actually mixed up your flight's arrival gate. The confusion probably made a lot of people grumble in your plane that day.

    Anyway, thanks for the addition of the really interesting bonus! I am curious what actually happened to the aircraft that got attended to by the fire engines? Any idea?

    Thanks for sharing! (:

    • Comment 355737 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Tn92!

      - You are right! We already stood up and picked our belongings, but suddenly were told to return our seats. I was tired at that moment and this situation made me very annoyed ):

      - I was about to get off work when it happened. The last moment I saw was the firefighters entered the aircraft from both the jet bridge and the rear plane door. And no smoke emerged from the aircraft. Passengers in airside were advised to keep away from the gate.

  • Comment 356492 by
    NGO85 1640 Comments

    Welcome back!

    How on earth did you end up with a NRT-LAX-SFO routing on *A? Was NRT-SFO that much more expensive on UA/NH? That's why I would have never guessed SFO since I axed all cities with direct flight from NRT.

    "The first thing to do after a 9-hour flight was to have a break"
    - AKA: Smoke Break ;) You should have walked to the In-N-Out Burger!

    "One of the pilots noticed that I was looking them"
    - Taking pictures of cockpits can have a very different outcome in the US... You got lucky^^

    I don't like the UA cabin colors, the AA all black is much classier in the ERJ-175s. It's good to know UA is treating it's elites better than AA is^^

    Parking at the wrong gate can happen to anyone... or maybe not.

    Thanks for the bonus spotting session at HKG. You missed the OZ B744 from your Queen spotting ;)

    • Comment 356835 by
      aussenrist AUTHOR 225 Comments

      Thanks for your comment NGO85!

      “How on earth did you end up with a NRT-LAX-SFO routing on *A? Was NRT-SFO that much more expensive on UA/NH?”
      - As mentioned before this was an urgent business trip where I was only notified the day before departure. I was no say on the ticket since my company bought it. Seat availability was the main reason for this routing (price is never an issue in my company lol). I did the TYO-SFO option for my 2nd visit to SF in April.
      Indeed if you look back my NRT-LAX report, it has a very strong intimation suggesting I would go to SF^^

      “You should have walked to the In-N-Out Burger!”
      - At that moment I thought there would be not enough time for walking to In-N-Out, so I gave up this idea...

      “Parking at the wrong gate can happen to anyone... or maybe not.”
      - And sitting on the wrong seat also ;)

      “You missed the OZ B744 from your Queen spotting ;)”
      - Thanks for your reminder which I only acknowledged it until reading your comment!!! lol I am too occupied by the AA 77W and totally ignore it... Poor OZ B744 lol

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