Review of United flight Washington Houston in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA283
Class Economy
Seat 8A
Aircraft Boeing 737-700
Flight time 02:47
Take-off 03 Sep 21, 17:17
Arrival at 03 Sep 21, 19:04
UA   #38 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 338 reviews
YGeorgeW
By SILVER 225
Published on 1st November 2021

labor day weekend in merida


This is my first international trip since the beginning of the pandemic. I've been itching to travel somewhere and figured I'd do a short trip first to dip my toes in the water. The tickets were booked with cash.


Routing

  • UA283 - Economy - Washington → Houston - Boeing 737-700 You are here
  • UA1426 - Business - Houston → Merida - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • UA1427 - Business - Merida → Houston - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • UA504 - Economy - Houston → Washington - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon

photo map

ronald reagan national airport


I arrived a little earlier than usual to grab a bite before I board.  I don't know what United is going to cater either on this leg or IAH-MID, so better safe than sorry.  As an aside, I'd recommend taking the Metro instead of a rideshare/taxi on Friday afternoons–you'll save money and time.


The check-in process was smooth and easy as there no one was using the Premier Access check-in and the combo of CLEAR and PreCheck always saves a bunch of time going through security.

Unfortunately, the United Club at DCA was still closed as of this flight, so a meal at Bracket Room it is!


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The bracket room


Nothing has changed since the last time I was here. Though this place was packed! I could not find a single empty table, so I had to go bar area to find seating.


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When I was here, the only open seating was at the lower table.


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Here is the drinks menu:


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And the food menu:


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I am fairly predictable with my order here: a Franziskaner and wings.  Though I learned my lesson from last time and did not get the dry rub–ordered barbecue instead.


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They took forever with my order, handing me my basket only a few minutes before boarding. Adding insult to injury, the order was wrong (this is the "dry rub" again) and there were only 5 wings . . . If it wasn't for the fact that this is "free" thanks for Priority Pass . . . .


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UA283


Because I am always flying to IAH of late, I am always out of Gate 12, which is conveniently located across the bar area of the Bracket Room.


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I've taken this particular flight to Houston a few times before and this one always seemed to be one of the more unreliable flights. I was trying to stay online for work as long as possible, so this was the only option. UA283 was delayed every day that week.

My ride to IAH this time was N54711, a 23-years-old 737-700. My upgrade did not clear for this segment. They really need another row of F on the -700 variant!


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Pre-boarding began at 4:47pm ET, 42 minutes late. When boarding, I noticed the sign that indicated there would be seatback IFE screens! Take the little victories.


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The Economy Plus cabin on this particular 737-700 had 3 rows followed by 3 rows of normal economy, followed by 3 more rows of Economy Plus (starting with the exit row).


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I selected 8A, the portside window seat in the second row of Economy Plus. Fairly standard seat, with seatback IFE and large windows. There are also outlets between the seats. My main complaint is that I wish they put the IFE control pad on the window side armrest so I wouldn't have to bother the middle seat passenger any time I wanted to change the channel or volume.



Plenty of legroom for an average-sized guy like me.


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Ultimately we pushed back at 5:17pm ET, 32 minutes after our scheduled departure time. On our way out, here's an Alaska Airlines A321 on its way to Seattle.


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We took off at 5:28pm ET.


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I appreciate DirectTV service for the live sports more than anything else. Here we can see the beginnings of Carlos Garfia's big upset of Stefanos Tsitsipas.


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Service began roughly 15 minutes after takeoff. I opted not to have any of the snacks and just got a beer and water instead. The flight attendant recognized my 1K status and so the beer was complimentary. It used to be that sometimes we had to show credentials before the crew would recognize the free drink perk in economy.


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It was a fairly uneventful flight. We began our descent at around 6:22pm CT and touched down 30 minutes later. Unfortunately we were due at the E gates, which at IAH is always a long taxi. 

Here's an United 787-9 spotted on our way to the gate. 


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We eventually arrived at Gate E14 at 7:04pm CT.

See more

Verdict

United

7.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering6.0

United Club

5.0/10
Comfort5.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services5.0

Washington - DCA

8.4/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

Houston - IAH

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access9.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Lounge: The Bracket Room is fairly average, but it is a very convenient Priority Pass restaurant perfect for United flights out of DCA. One warning--service can be somewhat slow here.

Cabin & Seat: These old 737s are okay. The seats are fine and most importantly have seatback IFE screens. I prefer them to the "new" refreshed seats without the screens. That said, United is promising to bring back IFE screens for every plane by 2025--we'll see if that happens.

Service: Always hard to comment on the service for these domestic flights in economy. They were efficient, but neither warm nor cold.

Meal & Catering: Again, the usual for US domestic economy is simply a snack and a drink. On United, 1Ks who are not upgraded get to have a free alcoholic beverage and a free buy-onboard meal. Unfortunately, the buy-onboard meals do not appear to have resumed for economy, so it's only a free alcoholic drink for now.

Bottom Line: Most importantly, if there was another row of F, my upgrade would have likely cleared. Haha. Otherwise, this was a fairly uneventful flight--albeit delayed somewhat.

Information on the route Washington (DCA) Houston (IAH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Washington (DCA) → Houston (IAH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is United with 6.7/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 10 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 584964 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5589 Comments

    Hi George, thanks for sharing this new series!

    This is my first international trip since the beginning of the pandemic.

    WooHoo! That's a good feeling

    As an aside, I'd recommend taking the Metro instead of a rideshare/taxi on Friday afternoons–you'll save money and time

    That's usually good advice...unless Metro is having another operational meltdown and running trains every 25 mins like they've been doing lately!

    Adding insult to injury, the order was wrong (this is the "dry rub" again) and there were only 5 wings . . . If it wasn't for the fact that this is "free" thanks for Priority Pass . . . .

    I guess you're just lucky there were wings at all, haha. I've been reading that there's a major chicken wings shortage in the country due to all the supply chain issues...like why chicken wings specifically? lol

    When boarding, I noticed the sign that indicated there would be seatback IFE screens! Take the little victories.

    A rare unicorn anymore, but will become more common once UA receive more new MAX and begin (re)installing PTVs in the current fleet that don't have them. Glad UA saw the light with this...now AA will be the only ones left with no IFE on domestic a/c...sAAd

    I selected 8A, the portside window seat in the second row of Economy Plus. Fairly standard seat, with seatback IFE and large windows. There are also outlets between the seats.

    That's about as good as it gets in domestic Y anymore! Plus adjustable headrests!

    Unfortunately, the buy-onboard meals do not appear to have resumed for economy

    Snack items and snack combo boxes should be available for purchase on flights over 800 miles (which would include this flight - https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/inflight/dining/economy/menu.html), but you have to set up payment thru the app prior to boarding so maybe you have to ask for it? no idea

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 586988 by
      YGeorgeW SILVER AUTHOR 195 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

      That's usually good advice...unless Metro is having another operational meltdown and running trains every 25 mins like they've been doing lately!

      I see you've heard about the derailment and issues with the 7700 series.

      I've been reading that there's a major chicken wings shortage in the country due to all the supply chain issues

      Not sure, but I've definitely noticed it when grocery shopping.

      Snack items and snack combo boxes should be available for purchase on flights over 800 miles

      I believe they specifically announced that there would not be buy-onboard for snacks this flight; only for drinks. Oh well, whether I get yet another "Takeoff" or "Recline" snack box hardly makes much of a difference.

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