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Report No: 2020-1202
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the first part of this US domestic series where I would be presenting the Economy product of United and United Express on a journey from Washington Reagan Airport to Los Angeles via Chicago O'Hare Airport.
The second report of this series would cover a United transcontinental flight from Chicago to Los Angeles onboard their 737-900ER in the Economy cabin. Before this flight, I also had the chance to visit the United Club in Chicago O'Hare Airport which would be covered in this report.
Here is the routing ( parts 2 & 3 would be revealed soon ).
Loads for this flight
Domestic First: 100%
After arriving from my previous flight, I looked at the FIDS and verified that my flight to Los Angeles would depart at gate B7. Luckily, the only open United Club at Chicago is located near gate B6 which is close to my departure gate.
While heading from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, at the connector, there were holiday decorations
After a 5 minute walk from my arrival gate, I was already in front of the United Club. After scanning my boarding pass, I was welcomed in.
The club was crowded and it was not easy to find a seat. Luckily, I was able to spot a couple that was leaving so I just headed to those seats where the couple was seating.
The offerings at this club were mainly pre-packaged snacks, although cold chicken wraps and instant noodles were also offered. This is a high improvement compared to my last visit to a United Club in September. ( That was in EWR ).
Prepackaged fruits, nuts, and Skittles were also available.
The espresso machine and the fountain drink machine was working
There is also a bar at the club which had a queue of minimum 2-3 people during my entire stay.
Here is my selection for the day. Not bad compared to US standards.
The gate was a 1 minute walk to the club and the gate area was crowded when I already went there, however, I was able to find a seat at the seating area.
N66841 would be the Boeing 737-900ER taking us to Los Angeles.
By the way, before boarding, there were reminder announcements for passengers to fill out the online form required by the LA County for all arriving passengers at LAX. Boarding had started 35 minutes before departure with passengers requiring assistance, Premier 1K and Global Services members, US military personnel and Domestic First passengers. Later on, boarding continued with general boarding from the back to the front. Several times, boarding was stopped as the gate agents wanted to ensure that there is enough space for social distancing at the jetbridge.
Also the boarding had stopped another time due to a last-minute change of three members of the cabin crew.
After being handed a sanitizing wipe at the aircraft door, I headed to my seat 14F.
The seats were Pinnacle branded seats which are alright in comfort.
The legroom is OK.
The hand sanitizing wipe that was given upon boarding the aircraft
Our neighbor was this 737-700 heading to Fort Myers that evening
The seat pocket content wasn't surprising. The safety card
After boarding was completed, we pushed back on time and the safety demo was performed manually by the cabin crew. Due to COVID-19, the usage of oxygen masks were not shown during the demonstration and passengers were asked to consult the safety card for the usage of oxygen masks.
By the way, it's not photographed, however, there were power outlets located under the seat. Every 3 seat block in Economy had 2 power outlets which are located between the seats.
While we were taxiing, mood lighting was activated. During our taxi, the captain has announced that our flight time for this flight would be 3h30mins which would be shorter than usual.
United aircraft at Terminal 1 C gates
After a short taxi to the runway, it was time for us to take-off and we were in the air.
We're gaining altitude
Shortly after takeoff, here is the personal device entertainment menu.
Wi-Fi options for this flight. I didn't purchased any Wi-Fi today
Movies & TV shows
Route map and flight information
After the seatbelt signs have been turned off, the cabin crew appeared for the snack and drink service.
Snacks are provided in an all-in-one snack bag.
Here is what is inside the snack basket. A hand sanitizing wipe, a small Dasani water, a stroopwafel and a bag of pretzels.
I also had back-up snacks brought from the United Club.
As a drink, I opted for a hot chocolate
During the flight, I decided to watch a movie so I opened my computer to connect to the United Private Screening portal
I decided to watch the movie "Like a Boss" which was a nice movie to watch. By the way, the movie didn't open in Safari so I tried to open it on Firefox and then it worked.
About 1h15mins before arrival, another run of drinks and snacks were served by the cabin crew. I first asked for a canned drink but they were out of most canned drinks so I opted for another hot chocolate.
This time snacks were being served from a basket. I've taken one of each option.
Here is the route map while I finished my movie
For about 30 minutes, I've taken a nap and woke up while we were descending towards LA
The SoFi stadium
And we've landed about an hour before our scheduled arrival time.
After a short taxi, we were already at Terminal 7
We were going to park at gate 75A.
After the seatbelt signs have been switched off passengers were asked to remain in their seats until their row number has been announced to comply with the United COVID-19 safety protocol. However, announcements were really fast as when rows 15 to 24 were announced, the passengers at row 9 were still waiting the passengers in row 8 to gather their belongings so it created an unnecessary crowd at the aisle.
However, most passengers practiced social distancing while disembarking the aircraft.
Here is a final shot of our aircraft
As you might expect Terminal 7 was empty that evening
There were reminders for those who haven't filled out the LA County form yet. However, nobody was checking if passengers did or not filled out the forms.
The baggage claim hall was empty as well
As I did not had any baggage, I've headed to the LAXit bus stop where I would pick up my Lyft ride to my destination.
This report has came to an end.
This US domestic series would be continuing with a very different adventure very soon so stay tuned with Flight-Report for the upcoming parts.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
This transatlantic flight with United was indeed a pleasant journey. Despite the flight was almost fully booked, they didn't run out of overhead space which was a positive experience as non-UA*G passengers do not get priority boarding and need to wait for regular boarding which is from the back to the front. The seats were comfortable and the legroom was totally fine. The crew on this flight was really friendly and they were smiling towards passengers, they actually greeted every passenger during boarding and deboarding rather than hiding in the galley. They also made two rounds of beverage and snack services throughout the flight; however, I'll admit that the lack of proper food ( including BoB sandwiches ) is a huge minus for those passengers who haven't purchased something at the airport or already eaten before. IFE was fine for this flight as I watched a movie from my laptop and the Private Screening system had decent selections. Also, there was a power outlet available to charge electronic devices which is like a must nowadays on longer flights. At ORD, the club was OK in terms of offerings but it was a bit annoying to tour 5 minutes to find an available seat as the lounge was almost at capacity that evening. The instant noodles and the wrap was my dinner and I was glad that I had a complimentary dinner although it's not that healthy. The gate area at ORD was a bit messy due to the crowd and boarding needed to stop once because of the crew change, the process could be more efficient and some people didn't observe social distancing during boarding while some others did.
To conclude, United was a decent choice to travel across the USA and their competitive prices led me to choose them for this occasion. On a future occasion, I would most likely consider United as one of my choices for travel within the USA.
(-) Crowded gate area with not enough seating
UA Club B6
(+) Decent food & beverage selections for an airline club in the USA
(-) Hard to find a seat due to the crowd
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom
(+) Friendly crew
(+) Beverages and snacks were offered throughout the flight
(+) Power outlets present at each seat
(+) United Private Screening system
(-) No proper food onboard for those hungry passengers
Nothing special to mention