Review of United flight Washington Newark in Economy

Airline United
Flight UA2491
Class Economy
Seat 8F
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 00:55
Take-off 30 Dec 21, 10:57
Arrival at 30 Dec 21, 11:52
UA   #40 out of 68 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 360 reviews
YGeorgeW
By GOLD 331
Published on 31st December 2021

New Years eve trip to columbus


I had to be in Columbus on New Years Eve (actually the day before as well) for an event with friends. Naturally, that meant I got struck with an Omicron cancellation on United. Originally, I was booked with a nice 2:35pm departure from ROA-IAD-CMH. However, the IAD-CMH leg was cancelled and I got stuck with an auto-rebooked itinerary adding a stop through Newark that got me in town after 10pm. I immediately called the 1K line to try to find something that could get me in earlier. Initially, there were no alternatives that were bookable, but after trying to piecemeal something together–the agent managed cobble together an itinerary that was ROA-IAD-ORD-CMH with a 3-hour layover at O'Hare (starting at 8am). Not ideal, but it was the best we could do at the time. Carol (the very dedicated and patient phone agent) suggested I keep an eye on what other flights open up that evening because things were changing so rapidly. Great advice as eventually I was able to find an itinerary through EWR instead of ORD that got me into Columbus 1.5 hours earlier.

It's during IRROPS like these that I am really thankful for airline status and the perks that it comes with. I don't want to think about how long it would have taken for me to get through the phone line or whether the agents would have been fine with me calling repeatedly to change my rebooking more than once.


Routing

  • UA3893 - Economy - Roanoke → Washington - CRJ-200 Not available
  • UA2491 - Economy - Washington → Newark - Airbus A319 You are here
  • UA3704 - Domestic First - Newark → Columbus - Embraer E-175 Coming soon
  • WN3457 - Economy - Columbus → Washington - Boeing 737-700 Not available

air france lounge (IAD)


After deplaning from my flight from Roanoke, I headed to the Air France lounge in A. Because the train at Dulles runs through A and C, it's a more convenient lounge to use for folks departing from C (my gate was C17) than either the Lufthansa or Turkish lounge. Christmas decorations were still up in the lounge. I was quickly checked in by the agent.


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The Air France Lounge was more packed than I've ever remembered it being when I was there (though I usually visited in the early afternoon before). It comprises of one main room with a small adjacent room on each side.


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I really like the decor of this lounge: great lounge chair set ups by the window overlooking the tarmac (and plenty of outlets everywhere).


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There is a circular table area in the middle.


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At the end there is a very small separate room–I've always assumed that it becomes the La Premiere area when the lounge becomes exclusive to Air France's evening departure.


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What was new to me was that the front desk agent pointed out a room right behind him that I never noticed before for some reason. It is found on the other end of the lounge.


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I had never been in this room before in any of my previous visits after the lounge was refurbished in early 2019. It's a great sitting area with a long table in the middle. I'm guessing this becomes the business class dining area in the evening for the Air France flight.


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The breakfast buffet was a little lackluster, but I was glad that at least hot breakfast returned. The sweet potato fries weren't bad, just a little lukewarm. I also grabbed a croissant and a cappuccino from the coffee machine. I believe around 10:00am they begin to transition the buffet to lunch by adding sandwiches and the like. 



I stopped by the bar after eating. It's quite an elegant bar. To my surprise, I found that Taittinger NV was the champagne available. This is good champagne for a Priority Pass lounge! I was originally going to get a mimosa, but not going to waste a glass of Taittinger.


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Naturally, I forgot to take a picture of the flute until after I drank quite a bit of it. Trust me when I say it was a generous pour.


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I left around 10:05am and caught the train to Terminal C. Overall, the journey took a little more than 10 minutes.


UA2491


My ride to EWR was on N890UA, a 15-years old Airbus A319.


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Boarding began on time at 10:25am.

United's A319 has 3 rows of domestic first class in a 2-2 configuration, 6 rows of Economy Plus in a 3-3 configuration, and 13 rows of normal economy in a 3-3 configuration. Alas, if we only had an A320 on this flight, I would have cleared my upgrade despite switching to this flight late the previous evening. In reality, I was just happy to be able to get a seat on this flight as it was originally sold out in economy. There were quite a few crew members deadheading on this flight. 


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I was seated in 8F, the starboard window seat in the second row of Economy Plus. You can tell that the cabin has been refreshed since I last flew an United A319 more than two years ago–it's possible that United has finished its reconfiguration of these cabins by adding the extra row of first class on all of its A319s (63 currently in service according to Planespotter, with 36 grounded).


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These are fairly standard extra-legroom economy seats: 35 inches of pitch (trash in the image is mine). There are two outlets between the seats, in front. Wifi is available for streaming and purchase (I didn't check prices). A fairly standard overhead panel with air nozzles and reading lights sits overhead.



We pushed back at 10:57am (3 minutes early) and after a quick taxi took off at 11:07am.


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A few minutes after takeoff the captain announced we had reached our cruising altitude of 17,000 feet. The purser came on afterwards to explain that because of the short duration of the flight, there will only be service for water–a little surprising since the sole FA on my ROA-IAD flight (even shorter) was able to come around with a snack basket.


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The brief service began 9 minutes after takeoff. FAs came to collect trash 5 minutes later (making several more trips throughout). When the captain announced our descent at 11:28am, another FA came through for last-minute waters for anyone who wanted it.


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Overall, the flight was very uneventful–there's not much service on these flights. We touched down at 11:44am. 8 minutes later, we were at Gate C17.

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Verdict

United

6.6/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering5.0

Air France Lounge

8.2/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services8.0

Washington - IAD

8.2/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Newark - EWR

7.5/10
Efficiency6.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Lounge: I know everyone loves the Turkish Airlines lounge here at IAD, but I'm personally quite fond of the Air France lounge as my go-to Priority Pass option. Now that I know Taittinger is the champagne offered here, I will definitely be choosing this lounge more often in the future. Overall, I like the decor of the lounge and find it a comfortable space as previously it was less well-known than the Turkish lounge (and thus less crowded). That seems to be becoming less so the case.

Cabin & Seat: United's A319 actually offers pretty good upgrade odds after they added another row in first class (12 total seats now). In a normal situation, I would have absolutely cleared my upgrade (8 people did on this flight). However, I switched onto this flight last minute and only when economy opened up due to people clearing their seats by upgrading. Otherwise, the overall layout of the seats are fairly standard for mainline economy seats--will be nice when United re-adds IFEs.

Service: There is little to say about service on a flight like this--the FAs were friendly pretty efficient.

Meal & Catering: There was only water provided as service, but it was nice that the FAs came around with a second offering of it on such a short flight. Trash pickups were frequent.

Bottom Line: There's not much to say on a very short economy flight such as this, it was efficient and on-time: the key qualities.

Information on the route Washington (IAD) Newark (EWR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Washington (IAD) → Newark (EWR).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 1 hours and 3 minutes.

  More information

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 591093 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5832 Comments

    Wow, I hadn't been to the AF lounge since they remodeled it, looks great and so much more spacious! I would have loved to use the AF lounge with PP when I lived in DC, and the VS lounge for that matter, but they never seemed to be accepting PP customers when I was flying so I learned to love the TK lounge, which always seems to be open.

    Sorry you got hit by Omicron cancellations. Seems every carrier (and business in general) had been hit with operational meltdowns due to omicron staffing over the Holidays, except for AA strangely who I guess learned their lesson from the bajillion other staffing meltdowns they had earlier this year! I luckily did not have to deal with any Omicron cancellations or departure delays but I did have the displeasure of sitting on the tarmac for 1.5 hrs in EWR on Christmas Eve due to staffing issues...so yay, I got Omicron'd too kinda.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 591145 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 218 Comments

      I would have loved to use the AF lounge with PP when I lived in DC, and the VS lounge for that matter

      -I first used the new AF lounge back in the summer of 2019 and was impressed with it then. Since then, I've been a broken record of telling people to try the lounge. I've been to the VS lounge with PP once at some point, but wasn't very impressed. I'd stick with TK or AF. I think the only PP lounge at IAD that I've never used is BA (and those sleep pods you can get 1 hour with).

      except for AA strangely who I guess learned their lesson from the bajillion other staffing meltdowns they had earlier this year!

      Well, let's just say that I have my suspicions that AA staff isn't testing quite as much as UA or DL is at the moment.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Comment 591158 by
        KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5832 Comments

        Well, let's just say that I have my suspicions that AA staff isn't testing quite as much as UA or DL is at the moment.

        I also suspect that is a big part of it…and the pay incentives…which can be seen as an incentive not to test or declare one’s positivity…sad that this is the world we I’ve in now. I’m actually glad our itineraries over the Holidays only included 1 domestic flight. Literally anyone with an active case can roll up on a domestic flight, whereas I feel safer on an international flight knowing everyone was recently tested and theoretically vaccinated as well (doesn’t alleviate all risk of course but damn safer than domestic)

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