Review of United flight London Washington in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA919
Class Economy
Seat 30A
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 08:25
Take-off 01 Nov 20, 12:05
Arrival at 01 Nov 20, 15:30
UA   #84 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 321 reviews
JonathanL
By GOLD 1123
Published on 10th November 2020

Greetings and welcome to another flight report! Today I will be flying United Airlines economy class from London Heathrow to Washington DC. I booked the flight using my United miles. The ticket amounted to 30,000 MileagePlus miles plus taxes and fees. My journey started from Oxford from which I drove the 45 minutes to the airport. 


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I dropped may car rental off at Terminal 5 and then had to take the train to Terminal 2 from which my flight was departing. The process was efficient enough if not a bit tedious. Soon enough, I was at the Terminal 2 train station from which there was quite a long walk to the actual terminal. Upon entering the terminal I was greeted with an unwelcome view. Said view was a long line for the United bag drop. The setup was quite inefficient with only 6 desks for the 3 flights that were open for check in. I stood in the line for about an hour which put an end for my lounge plans. After I had dropped my bags the flight had already begun boarding and was doing sporting from the farthest gate-a 15 minute walk away. 


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I headed straight to the gate and boarded immediately. 


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Soon I was stepping onboard the plane; an 8 year old 787-8, one of the first to be delivered to United back in 2012. This would be my first time flying onboard a 787 and frankly it was a bit underwhelming.  


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While with a nicer interior than comparable aircraft, it didn’t blow me away. It had nice, large overhead bins and mood lighting, in addition to the large dimmable windows. 


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The windows were absolutely terrible-they didn’t darken near enough and served more as a gimmick rather than a useful feature. Supposedly newer 787s have had this issue corrected. While heading onboard the plane, I was handed a sanitizing wipe. I walked towards my seat, 30A, which had surprisingly good legroom. 


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It featured an archaic IFE screen, power and USB outlets and an adjustable headrest. 


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Overall very comfortable and adequate. I was lucky enough to score a whole row of 3 seats to myself due to the light load factor. Upon sitting down, the purser welcomed us on behalf of the combination London, DC based crew aboard the ‘friendly skies’. The flight time would be about 8 hours. 


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Before long, the safety video was screened and we pushed back. After a short taxi, we were airborne. 



The 787 wasn’t near as quiet as I was expecting but it was slightly more so than its competitors. The take off was a little turbulent but not too bad. 


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After leveling off, the onboard service commenced with meals and a choice of drinks being served in addition to a small bottle of water. The options were chicken or pasta, served with a chocolate ice cream. 


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The meal was actually quite good and the service through was courteous and friendly. After the meal service earbuds were distributed. I decided to spend time working on this flight report while simultaneously watching The Godfather, sprawled across my 3 seats. 


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After that, I tried to get some rest and managed about an hour of not very good sleep with help from a melatonin. 



Between services, flight attendants passed out bottled water twice, which was a nice touch. An hour prior to departure the cabin lights turned on and the second service commenced. This consisted of a warm sandwich and a drink.


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One thing to note was that the bathrooms were very nice and of a decent size. They even featured touchless flush-very COVID friendly.


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Eventually, we had started our approach into Washington Dulles Airport. On approach, we were given views of the suburban developments surrounding DC. 



We had a smooth landing and a short taxi to the gate. Though organized deplaning of only 5 rows at a time was announced, it never cam to fruition, so the process was normal and quick (due to the light load factor).


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Passport control was very empty and within 15 minutes, I was in the US.


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Verdict

United

8.4/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

London - LHR

9.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Washington - IAD

8.5/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Good food and a friendly crew made for a good flight and more then made up for the substandard IFE.

Information on the route London (LHR) Washington (IAD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 10 reviews of 2 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Washington (IAD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 18 minutes.

  More information

3 Comments

  • Comment 566531 by
    KL651 TEAM 4501 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Well UA didn't downgrade its catering compared to precovid, they just serve everything at the same time for the main meal.
    The plane is only 8 years old but the IFE does seem ancient, and the patched up wing doesn't look comforting.
    What was the load like, About 30%?

  • Comment 566640 by
    LostLuggage 66 Comments

    Thanks for the insight to transatlantic economy flying at the moment. Somewhat reassuring that it doesn't seem too different to usual! I find it perplexing how UA ended up with those screens on their 787s considering I flew a 767-400 of theirs in 2012 with newer IFE systems.

  • Comment 567152 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Awesome report Jonathan! It's refreshing to see some TATL routings on here...they're definitely few and far between anymore. Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised by UA on this flight. It's funny that the older Dreamliners already have "antiquated" IFE...that makes me feel old haha.

    Looks like my AA TATL flight from CDG tomorrow will be even more empty than this one if the seatmap is anything to go by.

    Thanks for sharing!!

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