Review of United flight Los Angeles Washington in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA653
Class Economy
Seat 23F
Aircraft Boeing 737-900
Flight time 04:40
Take-off 03 Mar 19, 13:00
Arrival at 03 Mar 19, 20:40
UA   #113 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 289 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 735
Published on 28th April 2019

Report No: 2019-303E


Welcome to this new short series that would mainly include three domestic flights on United. As I needed to head west for that specific weekend, I have decided to use United this time as I needed miles to reach Elite Plus status on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles. On this series, I would be able to report three different aircraft types, four different airports, three different lounges. All these flights would be on the Economy cabin.


The third and last flight of these series would be the return leg of my trip. First, I have intended to use the red-eye service at 21:05 but after an event planned the next morning I intended to return early that Sunday. I looked at options and two of them seemed good for me. There was this direct flight at 13:00 and a 08:15 option via EWR which I could try the 787-10. However, for the 787-10 option; the only seats available were middle seats that does not recline so I preferred to take the direct flight.



Pax for this flight

Domestic First: %100
Economy and Economy Plus: %95-100 


ONLINE CHECK-IN


I have completed my online check-in 24 hours before my originally ticketed flight. As United offers free day same day changes for eligible MileagePlus and Star Alliance Gold passengers depending on availability, I have changed my flight to the 13:00 flight. Seat 23F was empty at that time so I have chosen that seat. Unlike Delta and American offering Comfort+/Main Cabin Extra for free to their alliance elites, United does not offer free EconomyPlus seating for Star Alliance Gold passengers.



3-4 hours before the flight, I was offered for a bid to take a later flight instead of mine. I have offered high numbers and obviously my offers were not accepted. 


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Boarding Pass


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Los Angeles INTERNAtIONAL AIRPORT - LAX


The USO building before arriving to Terminal 7


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Despite it was Sunday, Terminal 7 seemed pretty empty that day. I have arrived to the airport 1h15mins before my flight.


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FIDS


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Security was a breeze at the PremierAccess lane and I was in the airside 5 minutes after I've entered the queue.


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A photo from the T6-T7 connector. An Air Canada 737-MAX was present at that time.


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And United aircrafts


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I didn't have time to walk to and back to the Star Alliance Lounge in TBIT, I decided to visit the United Club in Terminal 7.


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UNITED CLUB - Los Angeles INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


The lounge was quiet that day, I have easily found a seat. Obviously, this club is better than the SFO one which I've visited. It had more food options and better seating.


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Some pasta was available that day


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Salad bar and chicken


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Cheese and pita selection


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Desserts available


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Some snacks and some drinks


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Our aircraft was visible from the club.


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


Shortly after boarding had started, I have reached the boarding gate for my flight. When I was there, they were still boarding group 1.


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UA 653 LOS ANGELES INTERNATıONAL AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT


The seats were classic ex-CO seats with DirecTV. They had decent legroom and it was OK for a transcontinental flight. However, the sign at the tray table mislead passengers as there were no power outlets available at my row.


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The seat pocket content


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UA destinations within North America


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BoB options for the flight


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DirecTV channels available that day


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And some information about the PED entertainment system


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The fleet


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The aircraft wasn't cleaned after it's previous flight, the tray table was like this when I have opened it.


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The overhead panel


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The view from my window


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As we started our pushback, the safety video and the information video about DirecTV was screened.


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United 777-200


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Alaska A320


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Another shot of him


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A JetBlue A321 is landing


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United 757 in front of us


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Southwest 737 landing


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And as it was our turn, the runway queue; including an Alaska 737 in the old livery


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JetBlue A321


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American 737-800


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Frontier A320


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American Airlines A321


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And another one


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And we took off,


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TBIT with 3 A380's at the same time


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And we're turning around the Pacific


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As I've mentioned, PED entertainment was available throughout the flight


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We were scheduled to arrive before our scheduled arrival time


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Wi-Fi offered today which was expensive


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PED menu


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As I was hungry I have tried the Brioche Hamburger option at the BoB menu which was served heated alongside with lettuce, tomato and condiments. The free options for the day was pretzels.


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I was watching some skiing while I was enjoying my hamburger


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Shortly after, another crew appeared and asked for drink orders. I have opted for a tomato juice.


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During the flight, water runs were made several times by the crew.


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Some flight information


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During the flight, I have visited the lavatory which seemed to be clean.


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45 minutes before arrival, the final service was made which was a drink cart service.


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Flight information at that time


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The winglet


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We were going to arrive 20 minutes early to Dulles Airport.


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And yes we did.


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As it was raining I haven't done taken photos of aircrafts that day.


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As we have parked to gate C11 without any wait, I have gathered my belongings, said goodbye to the crew and then proceeded to the AirTrain station to reach the main building where the exit is located.


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WASHINGTON DULLES AIRPORT - IAD


The AirTrain station at Terminal C.


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A photo from the AirTrain ride


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And shortly, I was in the main building


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And my Uber arrived in several minutes.


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This report has came to an end,
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.

See more

Verdict

United

6.6/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering4.0

United Airlines Red Carpet Club

7.2/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access6.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Washington - IAD

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I haven't imagined that LAX T7 would have a very short wait at the TSA checkpoint. So, I had time to enjoy in the United Club. The offerings in this Club was much more better than the SFO club that I've visited. At least there was chicken and noodles, which could be seen as main courses. Also, power outlets and USB ports were available throughout the lounge. When I have arrived to the gate 2 minutes after boarding has started, I have joined the long group 1 line and boarded with my group. Most of the overhead bins were luckily empty. The seat and the legroom is nothing to complain of as it's a decent seat for an Economy product. The IFE options are limited to PED entertainment on an aircraft without power sources, seat back literature and DirecTV for a 5h flight but it's better than nothing. Also, I was surprised as there were no power sources which was advertised at the tray table, and it was obvious that the aircraft wasn't cleaned after it's previous flight and still had litter and the tray table was dirty. That day I was hungry so I've decided to have the hamburger option which tasted good. However, the BoB is a bit expensive and the only food available for free is pretzels. Also, during this flight I was surprised to see a clean lavatory as generally cabin crew doesn't hesitate to clean toilets during flights on USA based carriers, but today the situation was different. We had landed before schedule to IAD and parked to our gate before our scheduled arrival time. After a walk and an AirTrain ride I was at the exit and I took my Uber back to my place and this journey had came to an end.

LAX
(+) Security wait times
(+) Priorities respected during boarding
United Club
(+) Nice food options ( Probably because it's LAX )
(+) Modern and comfortable furniture
(+) Availability of power outlets
UA653
(+) Decent seat comfort and decent legroom
(+) Availability of PED
(+) A clean lavatory during my visit ( Rare to be seen on USA based carriers )
(+) Drink and water runs made throughout the flight
(+) The BoB option that I've chosen
(-) Expensive BoB
(-) No power sources as advertised at the tray table
(-) Cabin not cleaned after the previous flight of the aircraft
IAD
(+) Efficient unless if we count the walk to the AirTrain and the wait for the train

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) Washington (IAD)

4 Comments

  • Comment 499901 by
    NewYorker SILVER 31 Comments

    Very nice Flight-Report! That UA Club in LAX looks quite nice, and the food options seem impressive (for an American lounge). How is the DirecTV, now that it’s free? I haven’t flown in a aircraft with DirecTV for a while, long before it was free. It’s interesting that SFO/LAX - IAD isn’t considered a Premium Transcon Flight, and that sucks. I mean, IAD is the main hub for the capital city! You shouldn’t have to pay for something more than pretzels on those flights. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 500085 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 193 Comments

      Hi NewYorker and thanks for appreciating my report,

      That UA Club in LAX looks quite nice, and the food options seem impressive (for an American lounge).

      - I've realized that as well. Probably because it handles international pax on Economy as well ( obviously for those who doesn't walk to TBIT for the *A lounge ). This lounge is better than the Admirals Club ( not the Flagship section ) here in LAX. But definitely not worth the $59 single entry fee.
      How is the DirecTV, now that it’s free? I haven’t flown in a aircraft with DirecTV for a while, long before it was free.

      - It's free anymore; no more ads on the screen which you couldn't even adjust the brightness before swiping your card.
      It’s interesting that SFO/LAX - IAD isn’t considered a Premium Transcon Flight, and that sucks. I mean, IAD is the main hub for the capital city! You shouldn’t have to pay for something more than pretzels on those flights.

      - Only Delta considers their LAX-DCA flight as Premium Transcon, all other airlines serving this route have the same format, regular 3h+ domestic service, and to add that United has the most frequencies on this route ( 5-6 daily to IAD + 1 daily to BWI ) while the other carriers have maximum 3. ( AA 3 - AS 2 - NK 1 - DL 1 ). I agree that at least they should give a snack box which contains a sandwich, a pastry and pretzels. But, you know, who would give free meals on this route, other than pretzels, while half of the passengers onboard buys a fruit & cheese plate for $9.99. I think that's the problem.

      Btw, thanks for your comment and hope to see you in another report.

  • Comment 500248 by
    YGeorgeW SILVER 92 Comments

    Thanks for the report ISTFlyer!

    I think you were asking me about upgrading on an UA 737-900 earlier this year. I'm assuming this is the flight. 4:40 is a long time in these old seats, especially without any power outlets. I'm not sure whether I would have paid to upgrade in your shoes. At least the IFE was fine. UA's domestic meal offerings seem awful as usual though.

    Thanks again!

    • Comment 500258 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 193 Comments

      Hi YGeorgeW and thanks for stopping by,

      I think you were asking me about upgrading on an UA 737-900 earlier this year. I'm assuming this is the flight.

      - Yes it was this specific flight.
      4:40 is a long time in these old seats, especially without any power outlets. I'm not sure whether I would have paid to upgrade in your shoes.

      - Actually it's not worth upgrading to those old First Class seats, if I wanted more comfort, I would paid more and buy a Delta ticket on the premium transcontinental LAX-DCA service. Luckily, I had my phone charged at the United Club.
      At least the IFE was fine.

      - Not the best but better than some carriers.
      UA's domestic meal offerings seem awful as usual though.

      - Obviously, no surprise.

      Thanks for your comment and hope to see you in another report.

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