Review of United flight Washington Newark in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA575
Class Economy
Seat 30A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:48
Take-off 21 Nov 17, 13:07
Arrival at 21 Nov 17, 13:55
UA   #68 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 450 reviews
Menzenski
By 612
Published on 19th March 2018
Hello and welcome to another series of Flight Reports! This series will cover my travel around the Thanksgiving holiday to both Central New York and Minneapolis.

Washington, DC - Newark, NY (IAD - EWR) | United | A320 [THIS REPORT]
Newark, NJ - Ithaca, NY (EWR - ITH) | United Express (CommutAir) | E145XR [Report Here]

Ithaca, NY - Newark, NJ (ITH - EWR) | United Express (CommutAir) | E145XR [Report Here]
Newark, NJ - Minneapolis, MN (EWR - MSP) | United Express (Republic) | E170 [Report Here]

Minneapolis, MN - Washington, DC (MSP - IAD) | United Express (Mesa) | E175 [Coming Soon]

Pre-flight



Once again, I made my way to Dulles via the Metro Silver Line and Silver Line Express bus – until Silver Line phase two opens (currently scheduled for some time in 2020), this involves taking the Silver Line to the Reston East station, then an connector bus service (which costs an extra $5 each way, on top of the metro fare) the rest of the way to the airport.

Upon exiting the actual metro station, you head down into combination bus station / parking garage which is underneath a pedestrian plaza. It was a beautiful morning in the DC area.

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Unlike the last time I took this service, I only had to wait about two minutes for the bus to arrive.

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The shuttle bus arrives and departs from the arrivals level of the main terminal – just inside the entry doors is a desk to pay the $5 for the journey from Reston. Luckily, I had remembered to have a 5-dollar bill on me, so I could bypass the line waiting to pay with credit cards. All in all, this was a fairly seemless journey to Dulles, with minimal waiting for either trains or the shuttle bus.

Since the bus arrives at the arrivals level of the terminal right in the center, most people go up escalators at either end to the ticketing level. However, since I wasn't checking any luggage on this journey, I headed straight for the security line through the arrivals-level entrance.

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Much to my delight, the security area was nearly devoid of other passengers. I was through in just over five minutes.

Since everything so far on this journey had gone completely seamlessly, I decided to take the scenic route to my gate on the C concourse. Instead of heading down to the Aerotrain station, I headed up the escalators to the left, which lead to the Z gates, H remote-gate doors, and buggy-shuttle to the D gates. From here, there's another set of escalators leading to a pedestrian tunnel to the center of the A/B concourse.

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Needless to say, this isn't a very busy pedestrian route at this time of the morning.

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Looking back towards the tunnel on the long escalator up to concourse level.

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Quite a nice "Welcome to Virginia" sign!

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Since United's concourses (C/D) at Dulles are pretty infamous for being inadequate, I decided to hang out in the A/B concourse for as long as possible before heading over to C17 for boarding. I got breakfast from a Dunkin Donuts, then wasted about 45 minutes walking around the concourse eventually ending up at the Aerostation for the B gates.

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I then got to ride the Aerotrain system on it's full length: from B, to the main terminal, to A, then finally to C. Well, a bit past C. The Aerotrain station for the C gates is located where a future concourse would go so there's a pedestrian tunnel back to the current gates.

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I still had a few minutes to kill before boarding, so I walked down through the low C gates. These gates handle a significant portion of United's international flights, so there's both a normal United Club, and a Global First Club very close to each other. Unlike other hubs, there was no visible rebranding / rebuild effort for either of these lounges to the new Polaris branding, so I'm not sure what the plan is there. This picture should also give you the general feel of the C/D concourse.

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Boarding



Boarding began right at noon, 30 minutes before our scheduled 12:30 departure. I secured a descent position in the Zone 3 boarding line by standing there for about 15 minutes prior to boarding beginning. That's the part I hate about these "line up by zone" boarding schemes: you have to stand in line for quite a number of minutes or potentially miss out on overhead space.

I quickly found my seat in 30A, the exact same seat I had for my last flight on a United A320, from Calgary to Denver (report here). From that flight, I knew exactly what to expect from both 30A in particular, and the slimline seats United's Airbus fleet has.

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The seats are pretty comfortable in my opinion, a bit on the firm side but with plenty of support.

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A neighboring 737-900ER on the other side of the moon buggy loading doors.

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Since November 2017 was United's final month as an operator of the 747, the seat-back literature was full of content about the 747 fleet through the years.

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Also of interest to me inside of United's magazine was the progress page for personal device entertainment rollout. If you notice the remark under both the 737 and 757 fleets, you'll see that United is basically highlighting that those fleets are 100% complete (except for the planes that aren't complete). Nice. My experience earlier in the year definitely reflected those planes that had yet to be equipped (report here).

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Just before we pushed back, I checked the FAA airport status page to see if there were any inbound delays for Newark. Even though it was a bright sunny day, it was a bit breezy in the Northeast, so Newark did indeed have an arrival delay program in effect. Luckily, it was a relatively short delay.

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We pushed back from C17 right on time at 12:30 and started the taxi over to runway 30.

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Moon buggies docked with concourse D.

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Pretty clear which airline has a hub at Dulles.

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Passing some United remote parking stands the Captain came on the PA to explain that there was a delay program for flights in to Newark, and that our wheels up time was in 25 minutes (gotta love that FAA page). We pulled into the Dulles' penalty box area along with a CRJ-700 to wait out the delay.

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Just over 20 minutes later, the engines were restarted. The captain made an announcement that even with the delay we were still expecting an on-time arrival – gotta love schedule padding!

Departure



We lifted off from runway 30 at 1:07.



Our cruising altitude of 17,000 feet was quickly reached, near when we passed over Baltimore Airport (BWI).

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Cruising over the Chesapeake Bay.

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Around this point, the flight crew were coming through the cabin with a basic offering of water or coffee and a small packet of pretzels. I thought this was a pretty adequate service for a such short flight like this.

Arrival



Just a few minutes later, we started our descent over the Philadelphia area.

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Flaps extending over New Jersey suburbs.

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Turning final for 22L at Newark. In a left-side window seat, I had a great view of the Manhattan skyline the entire way down the approach.

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Over the Meadowlands, home of both the New York Jets and Giants.

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Manhattan.

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Pretty smooth landing on 22L.

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Jet2 757 on a hard stand near Terminal A.

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Delta MD-88 and LaCompagnie 757 at Terminal B.

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Pulling into gate 105 exactly at scheduled time.



And with that, I'll end this section of my journey. In the next report, I'll cover the transfer experience at EWR to United Express, the airport itself, and of course, my E145 flight up to Ithaca.
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Verdict

United

7.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Washington - IAD

7.3/10
Efficiency8.0
Access5.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness7.0

Newark - EWR

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

United redeemed themselves for me a bit on this flight. My previous flight with United had left me with a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, but this flight was pretty adequate. I like United's Airbus cabin and in flight product, as the personal device entertainment actually works with a multitude of Android devices as well as iOS ones. The crew were very efficient moving through the cabin during the quick beverage service, and the flight operated on time even with the departure delay.

All in all, a pretty good first leg of my journey.

Information on the route Washington (IAD) Newark (EWR)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 4 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Washington (IAD) → Newark (EWR).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est United avec 6.8/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 3 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 437754 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6814 Comments
    Hi Mezenski, thanks for sharing this first report in a new series! I had to do a double take when I saw Washington to Newark in a UA A320. I was like...huh? There's no mainline on DCA-EWR? But then I saw it was from IAD, which I guess makes sense since it's a hub-to-hub route.

    "Since United's concourses (C/D) at Dulles are pretty infamous for being inadequate, I decided to hang out in the A/B concourse for as long as possible before heading over to C17 for boarding."
    - Haha, you mean that hot trailer mess of a terminal. MWAA really needs to tear it down a build a real terminal for UA. Of course, I'm sure UA doesn't want to pay higher facility rent for a new terminal.

    Nice aerials! I especially like the shot of BWI.

    Thanks for a very thorough report for such a short flight!
  • Comment 437781 by
    KL651 TEAM 4535 Comments
    Thanks for this FR.
    Beautiful day for flying and nice aerial shots.
    Funny how the onboard service is "better" on a 180 pax A320 than a RJ on the same flight.

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