Review of United flight Los Angeles Washington in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA2064
Class Economy
Seat 15A
Aircraft Boeing 737-900ER
Flight time 04:55
Take-off 20 Mar 19, 10:40
Arrival at 20 Mar 19, 18:35
UA   #71 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 325 reviews
lbfortress
By 1042
Published on 23rd March 2019

Introduction



Hello and welcome to my latest flight report. I flew from LAX to Nashville (BNA) by way of Washington Dulles (IAD). This is my first time flying United with Star Alliance Gold Status. This is thanks to Asiana Airlines. I know there are much shorter ways to Nashville than flying all the way to IAD, but it did give me a chance to check out four lounges, three Star Alliance Lounges at LAX, and one at IAD, Lufthansa Senator Lounge. I will only cover the flight to IAD today.

I received Premier Access as I used my Asiana Club number with *A Gold. I get to board in group one. I also could've checked two bags for free, each 50 lbs (23kg) each. It also allowed for Priority baggage. I was also able to choose a preferred seat for free at check in. And of course, I had lounge access at any of the three Star Alliance Lounges between TBIT and T7.

I really wanted to take advantage of the lounge access so I arrived around 7am. This was because I didn't want my ride, my father, to drive in heavy traffic back home to Long Beach. As I was there in the morning, the lounges served breakfast. Star Alliance had the most food available and was quietest at the time. Air Canada was the smallest lounge but had the best views for plane spotting. United Club also had good views and ok food. The woman at the front desk checking me into the lounge was friendly. If you wonder how long it takes to get from T7 to TBIT, it took me 25 minutes from the United Club at T7 entrance to the Star Alliance Lounge entrance at TBIT. Check out the video below if you want to see me go through the maze.



At the Gate



The flight departed gate 71B. It was about a 5 minute walk from United Club to the gate. I arrived about 15 minutes before boarding began. There was already a line at Lane 1 and 2. Oh United. Preboarding took a few minutes then we boarded. Everything was orderly from my view.

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Once On Board



I'm in 15A. The passenger in 15 C was already seated. She and I had the same thought. "Please let there not be a passenger in the middle seat." I commented I saw the seat map and it was empty. I also commented I saw one name on the standby list at the gate. We both had a chuckle about that. In the end, there was no passenger middle seat and that made for a much more comfortable flight. There was no seat back screen. We could access streaming service on the United App for free. The problem was, my Samsung S9 didn't have the correct plugin so I couldn't watch. Oh United. You could pay for the internet either with Credit Card, or with United Miles. This is why I'm a JetBlue fanboy. All these things are included.

There are plugs between the seats. But they are in a really awkward position. I had to feel for it, and it was basically next to my right calf. The legroom was fine and I felt like I had enough space. Again, it helped there was no one seated in the middle.



Cool Pictures During the Flight.



We pushed back about 10 minutes early. However, we were number 12 for take off once we got to the taxiway. We didn't actually take off until closer to 11 am for the four hour 23 minute flight. Oh LAX. If not car traffic, plane traffic. It was cool as we had a female captain for our flight. I can only think of maybe one other time that happened. A storm was over LA. There were lots of cool clouds during takeoff. It looked like thunderstorms would happen later in the day. Our takeoff was uneventful thankfully.



In-Flight Experience



I generally have low expectations when I fly United. The crews are usually nice when I fly them, but don't seem to go out of their way to make our flight comfortable, like say at JetBlue or Southwest. They just do their job. So in that sense, it's definitely better than what it was like last year or the previous years. Anyway, there were two beverage services. You could buy food on board. Though I ate quite a lot in the lounge and took a few small items, like a couple muffins and one apple. That's good since we were only served mini pretzels.

Our flight was equipped with the Boeing Sky Interior. I like this a lot as the colors change during the flight to help you adjust to the changing time. I think it works. It's a lot better than having a dark cabin with the lights suddenly coming on. The bathroom was tiny. The sink was tiny. Oh United…



Landing at Dulles.



It was a pretty smooth flight across the country on the first day of spring. We landed about 7 minutes early and parked out at the D concourse. I decided since I had three hours until my next flight, I would check out the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. But boy was that a long walk to catch the airport train. At least it was empty in the D and C concourse. And the train was kind of trippy sitting in the front arriving at a station. It was basically empty all the way to the B Concourse.



Bonus : Click here display


Having Star Alliance Gold has its benefits. Even though I was on a domestic flight, I had access to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. As the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt had just departed, the lounge was almost completely empty. This was the case until about 9pm when the next Lufthansa flight would depart. I had a nice quiet dinner. I even joked with some friends I was heading from LA to Nashville via Frankfurt. I liked the lounge and was lucky to have it almost all to myself for a couple of hours. Next time I plan to visit the Turkish Air Lounge.

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Verdict

United

6.4/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering3.0

Star Alliance Lounge Business Class Section

9.3/10
Comfort9.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Services9.0

Los Angeles - LAX

6.5/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness5.0

Washington - IAD

7.3/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

Overall, it is only because of this report that I will have any memories of the flight. I thought United would soon offer DirecTV for free, so I was confused there was none on our flight. The streaming service still has a ways to go. I basically played around the United App looking up flights I wanted to take. I arrived in DC on time, and Nashville as well. The lounges were nice and it was nice to have a good meal since you basically get nothing on United, unless you pay up. It really helps having status in an alliance and I want to milk that for all it's worth. Thanks for reading.

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

8 Comments

  • Comment 494309 by
    sotto_Deactivated 82 Comments

    UA should be ashamed: On a 5-hour flight just serving one small bag of Mini-Pretzel. There are even 3.5 points too much!I repeat: God forbid me ever having to fly with an American airline.

    • Comment 494426 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5424 Comments

      Unfortunately, if you want a meal on a domestic flight within the U.S. you have to buy First class, which is actually priced very reasonably compared to even Economy on a similar length flight outside the U.S. This route LAX-WAS is regularly found at $800 roundtrip in domestic First class

      • Comment 494480 by
        sotto_Deactivated 82 Comments

        It is nonsensical to absolutely refer to a full-fledged on-board service on the Fist Class. Look at aisian airlines. There is served in Economy - and for a domestic flight - a hot meal. There are also enough reports in FLIGHT-REPORT, so you do not just have to know this personally.But I also experienced that personally in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.Once upon a time American airlines played on board as if they had invented flying. But today everything is different.I myself have experienced that in a two-hour flight in First Class within America, only one MARS was served at DL. Dreadful ! Equivalent experience I have also made at UA and especially AA. I know what I'm talking about, because these are not just my personal experiences, but as a catering manager for a European airline, my professional experience; I could list for a long time. That's why I come to the conclusion: God forbid me ever to have to fly again with an American airline.

        • Comment 495207 by
          ISTFlyer GOLD 337 Comments

          You know what,

          -I mostly agree to your comments about USA based carriers however most USA based passengers are sleeping and they are OK to pay $10 only for fruit and cheese. I also notice that, passengers from USA also buy these fruit&cheese plates from Starbucks on transatlantic flights on European carriers where a full service meal and a light breakfast would be served.
          - I also find non-sense to pay the huge difference for First on a transcontinental route ( unless it's a PS route and unless my company pays ) for a wider seat and an actual economy class meal served in silverware or heated cookies. UA offered me a bargain recently on the same exact route on an ex-CO 739 to upgrade myself to First but I haven't paid $260 to upgrade myself and double the miles I would earn.

          I am waiting impatiently to read your first Flight-Report as well.

  • Comment 494432 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5424 Comments

    Hi LbFortress, thanks for sharing this new report. A pretty typical U.S. domestic flight, meaning sub par and blah. Sadly, that's the standard.

    I generally have low expectations when I fly United.

    Smart. It's best not to expect much of anything with U.S. carriers. That way you're not disappointed ?

    Being an AA flyer, I don't know much about UA's fleet, but I thought the pre-merger CO 737s had PTVs, I'm surprised to see a newer bird with Boeing Sky Interior with no PTVs. I knew UA wasn't adding PTVs on the domestic fleet, but are they ripping them out like AA? Yikes.

    It really helps having status in an alliance and I want to milk that for all it's worth.

    And rightfully so! Take advantage of that status for all it's worth while it lasts. I've done the same for sure.

    Just to clarify for any readers based in the U.S., if you are a UA MileagePlus member, you don't have access to lounges on domestic flights within the U.S. Only members of *A programmes other than UA have access. The same lounge access rules apply to other US carriers being that US carriers sell club membership access to their lounges.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 494855 by
    lbfortress AUTHOR 64 Comments

    Yes, that's a good clarification there. I'll make sure to mention that in future reports should I fly United again.

  • Comment 495204 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 337 Comments

    Hi Lbfortress and thanks for sharing this report with the FT community,

    I also could've checked two bags for free, each 50 lbs (23kg) each.

    - AFAIK, non-UA-*G has could check one bag for free, each 23kgs on domestic flights. Unless you have booked this flight on a codeshare.
    - I hope you enjoyed the lounge hopping. Obviously the *A lounge is the best, however, I haven't got the chance to visit the newer version yet.
    There was already a line at Lane 1 and 2.

    - The specific routes IAD-SFO and IAD-LAX has lots of GS, 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold passengers. You should have realized that more than half of the flight is eligible for pre-boarding or to board with group 1.
    That's good since we were only served mini pretzels.

    - I have flown the same exact route few days before you ( the report is coming soon ) and I agree to Sotto that it's a really shame that UA only offers free pretzels for these transcontinental flights. Delta offers a free hot dish on this route. However, the plus of flying United is to have a better BoB menu than AA which you haven't utilized.
    Having Star Alliance Gold has its benefits. Even though I was on a domestic flight, I had access to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

    - I love *A and OW for not restricting lounge access on domestic flights for non-USA elites. I also love this tranquillity at the LH SEN lounge between the VIE,FRA flights and the MUC flight. Be aware that the lounge closes after the FRA flight when there is no MUC flight that day. The Turkish Lounge has better food offerings however, it's always crowded.

    Thanks again for sharing and hope to see you in a future report.

  • Comment 495217 by
    lbfortress AUTHOR 64 Comments

    Thanks for the comment.

    On both my transit's in DC, I visited both Lufthansa and Turkish lounges. Both were pretty empty and miles ahead of UC. There's a reason I decided on *A gold with Asiana, and having the lounge access is nice.

    In regards to the checked bag, I did see I could get one bag free. Although for domestic flights, I don't usually check a bag.

    In terms of line 1&2, my return flight from IAD to LAX seemed to have more of a line despite about a 2/3 full flight.

    There's a reason I load up on lounge food before a flight on United. But yes, I do wish the free food offerings were better on board. The BoB looks good, but I don't fly for the food.

    I look forward to your review. I'll have my next review and video up within about a week, hopefully.

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