Review of United flight Austin Washington in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA586
Class Economy
Seat 24A
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 03:17
Take-off 19 May 19, 16:44
Arrival at 19 May 19, 21:01
UA   #119 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 316 reviews
YGeorgeW
By GOLD 433
Published on 23rd May 2019

Austin-Bergstrom Airport



For once I did not arrive at the Austin airport minutes before the scheduled boarding time. I needed to check a bag and honestly do not remember how this process goes. I cannot remember the last time I had to check a bag (it has been roughly a decade), so I wanted to make sure everything went smoothly. I got to the airport some 45 minutes before boarding. Checking bags was actually quite painless. It was the TSA Pre line that surprisingly took much longer than usual. Normally, you just breeze through. It took roughly 21 minutes from car to gate this time.

Here is our bird, N898UA, an eleven years-old A319 that originally was delivered to China Southern according to Planespotters.

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At 17 minutes before the scheduled boarding, our first gate lice makes his way to the line. Surprisingly, boarding actually began on time today.

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UA 586



It was a completely packed flight, which meant no luck on the upgrade front. I remembered at least 6 people on the Standby list. Though does anyone ever have luck on the upgrade front with UA?

Passing by Economy Plus.

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Here is my seat, 24A. United has installed the typical slimline seats. The headrest is adjustable and can be folded to create more of a rest.

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The overhead panel with the air nozzles.

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You'll notice there are two drink indentations in the tray table - not sure why that is. There is also no indentation for placing a tablet unlike the domestic first tray tables.

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Customary legroom shot, not great, but bearable on a domestic flight.

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We were parked right next to N76532, a Boeing 737-800 that was scheduled to fly from Austin to Houston.

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Boarding took longer than necessary, there was a long gap between groups 3 and 4 - not sure why. We pushed back a minute early at 4:44PM. As we were taxing, we saw G-BNLN, Speedbird 190 to LHR. Austin is a small airport, but sometimes you get to see the Queen here.

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Takeoff roll began at 4:57PM and we were soon in the air. About 12 minutes later the Captain made his first announcement explaining that there was going to be a slightly late arrival time due to weather - we were going to have to go around it. Roughly 21 minutes into the flight, United's standard pretzel service began. I declined. More often than not those things make me hungrier than not eating it. Beverage service began at 5:25PM Central Time, but was interrupted for about half an hour due to turbulence. I just opted for water (no need for a picture of water in United's infamous blue plastic cup right?). Service was pretty efficient for an UA flight and the flight attendants were friendlier than usual - smiling and speaking with enthusiasm.

IFE is offered through your own devices. Here is a glimpse of the selection, which was quite good. I ended up watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Not sure if I enjoyed it, it was alright at best.

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Here is the Wifi pricing for the flight:

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A look at the weather and our route:

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The nice part about sitting in the back is the wing view:

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We began our descent at 8:37 PM Eastern Time and touched down at 8:56PM, arriving at the gate at 9:01PM, not quite 10 minutes behind the scheduled arrival time.

Washington Dulles International Airport



I rather dislike Dulles, especially the weird-looking people movers, but manage to catch some planes on the way (sorry for the not-so-great pictures).

Royal Air Maroc 787-8

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Lufty! A350-900 I believe.

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I have to give credit for Dulles' baggage claim - it was pretty quick and I got my bags roughly 10 minutes after I arrived at the carousel. They were among the first bags out. Soon enough I was on the long ride from Dulles to DC. The whole thing I read about recently with Uber and Lyft drivers artificially creating surge pricing was definitely in effect at Dulles.
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Verdict

United

5.5/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering2.5

Austin - AUS

8.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Washington - IAD

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Lounge: None

Seat & Cabin: The seats are your typical slimline seats. Really nothing good to say about them - at least it's not Ryanair.

Service: The service was friendlier than usual, but you can only do so much with United's offerings.

Meal & Catering: United's domestic offerings are really pathetic with the crumpled bag of pretzels, quite a bit worse than the options Delta offers in the back.

Bottom Line: I've been on this flight several times in economy and it's a fairly normal flight. United operates this with several different planes. The A319 is probably the worst among them with the smallest F cabin (so worst chances for an upgrade).

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 503914 by
    marathon GOLD 9596 Comments

    You'll notice there are two drink indentations in the tray table - not sure why that is.

    For having two drinks, evidently ! I often ask for coffee ANd a glass of water (and my wife a soft drink AND a glass of water); to date, no FA in Europe or the Far-East ever refused. I have yet to see a double indentation tray table in the airlines that I patronize, though.

    Interesting weather map; it makes the captain's choice of a detour crystal clear.

    Thanks for sharing !

    • Comment 504206 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 183 Comments

      Hi Marathon, thanks for reading!

      Also thanks for educating me. Now that you say it, it seems quite obvious - I should have realized it. I actually don't think I've ever asked for more than one drink on a short-haul economy anywhere. So it's never come into play.

      Regarding the weather - there have been a lot of weather-related detours in the U.S. this past week.

      Thanks again!

  • Comment 504306 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5139 Comments

    Hi YGeorgeW, thanks for sharing! It's good to see more reports on UA as I consider doing a status match with them (though I'm still not convinced).

    Though does anyone ever have luck on the upgrade front with UA?

    That's one of the sore points that makes me not want to switch to UA...between the small F cabins and selling paid upgrades before clearing pax with status...just doesn't seem that worth it for domestic travel.

    United has installed the typical slimline seats. The headrest is adjustable and can be folded to create more of a rest.

    Doesn't look comfortable, though everyone is installing slimline seats these days. I will say the cabin looks good visually...I like the color palette and the look of the seats, but so many UA planes have no IFE, which is also a turnoff for me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 504387 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 183 Comments

      Hi KevinDC, thanks for reading!

      That's one of the sore points that makes me not want to switch to UA...between the small F cabins and selling paid upgrades before clearing pax with status...just doesn't seem that worth it for domestic travel. >

      -Yes, though I suspect that when crunching the numbers, the differential isn't TOO bad. My entire family goes UA just because they have the better international network for us and most of our flying is international (though that may change for me in the next few years as I'll probably be relocating to DC and may end up traveling domestically a lot more). DCA is also much more convenient than IAD. I will say though, I've found the crews on UA, despite their wild inconsistency, to be on average better than AA. I also suspect that if you take away ORD, the operation reliability goes up a lot.

      Doesn't look comfortable, though everyone is installing slimline seats these days. I will say the cabin looks good visually...I like the color palette and the look of the seats, but so many UA planes have no IFE, which is also a turnoff for me. >

      -I agree, though AA is doing the same thing. I had the chance to fly a few times with Delta recently and if domestic travel was all I cared about I would definitely go with them.

      Thanks again!

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