Review of United flight Washington Newark in Domestic First

Airline United
Flight UA4394
Seat 4A
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 30 Aug 23, 13:01
Arrival at 30 Aug 23, 14:16
UA   #68 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 384 reviews
By GOLD 320
Published on 29th November 2023

weekend in italy

I had a good friend's wedding just north of Milan on Labor Day weekend.  While I would have normally extended this trip to take a full week in Italy, my work situation made it impossible.  I was pretty happy to be able to go at all.

Of course, despite having a easy IAD-BRU-MXP flight set up originally, Brussels Airlines would cancel its flight on me for the second year in a row. What are the odds this happens for the exact same flight and more or less in the same season? By the time the flight was cancelled, business class available on UA's IAD-BRU was full; the EWR-MXP flight was also full. Eventually I ended up with this very unfortunate DCA-EWR-BRU-MXP routing that also had me spend a miserably long layover at BRU. Luckily, I was able to score a very-sought-after last-minute reservation at The Jane in nearby Antwerp, which I proceeded to enjoy on my layover.


  • UA4394 - Domestic First - Washington → Newark - Mitsubishi CRJ-550 You are here
  • UA999 - Business - Newark → Brussels - Boeing 777-300ER Coming soon
  • SN3159 - Business - Brussels → Milan - Airbus A319 Coming soon
  • LH247 - Business - Milan → Frankfurt - Airbus A319 Coming soon
  • LH418 - First - Frankfurt → Washington - Boeing 747-8I Coming soon

photo annas-wedding

DCA united club

DCA is familiar enough and proceeding through security was quick and efficient.  I had never actually been to the United Club here though, as I don't have a club membership and rarely initiate an international itinerary from DCA.

As an aside, the DCA Amex Centurion Lounge looks nowhere near finished.  I wouldn't expect it until Spring 2024 at the earliest.

photo 20230831_112316-58196

The lounge is one main circular room with the bar attached and a small food area next to it.  Walking along the long corridor on the right side, there are bathrooms and a few working/phone booths.  At the end of the long corridor is another sitting area.

Why is the outdoor terrace blocked?  Missed opportunity here.

photo 20230831_112747

Here's the catering in the lounge, not much too look at, but about par for course I think of United Clubs.

The lounge's WiFi was reasonably fast.

photo dca-uc-speed-test


My flight to Newark would be on N546GJ, a 15-years old CRJ-550.  No idea when it was actually refurbished into a CRJ-550.

Boarding began promptly at 12:35pm as scheduled. 

photo 20230831_123140

United's CRJ-550s have 50 seats and the F cabin is arranged in a 1-2 configuration for a total of 10 seats.

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I was seated in 4A this flight, which is a fairly comfortable seat right across from the baggage lockers.  These seats have an impressive 42 inches of pitch and USB charging ports can be found under the armrest.

In the middle of the plane there is a locker area for storing full-size carry-ons.

photo 20230831_124505

The Captain came on around 12:50pm to announce a flight time of 37 minutes and we pushed back on time at 1pm.  However, about 11 minutes after pushing back, the captain informed us that due to heavy traffic at Newark, we had been told to wait and assigned a wheels up time of 1:31pm.  One thing in the last 5 or so years that I've appreciated from United is how proactive the flight crew have become in terms of communicating delays and the reason for them.  I don't think most other airlines compare in terms of the detail that is regularly communicated to passengers.

Sure enough, we began taxing again around 1:25pm and took off at 1:30pm.  One thing I'll never get tired of is the takeoff/landing views from DCA.

photo 20230831_133059

To my great surprise, there was actually a beverage service on this flight.  In my past shuttle flights, you often get no service given how short it is.  I think this probably had to do with the fact that there was a trainee onboard in addition to the usual single flight attendant.  Cheyenne, the trainee, handled the service.  I just had a bottle of water.

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We landed at 2:10 and arrived at Gate C109 6 minutes later.  It took another 5 minutes before someone connected the jet bridge.

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Cabin crew6.0

United Club


Washington - DCA


Newark - EWR



Lounge: The DCA United Club was actually a fairly pleasant space. The amenities aren't the fanciest, but it's a brightly lit lounge with enough seating for United flyers who are mostly just taking shuttle flights to various United hubs.

Cabin & Seat: CRJ-550s are a really comfortable regional jet. I really wouldn't mind flying these on a longer service. It's a definite step up from ERJ-175s that dominate the United Express routes.

Service: I was surprised there was service at all on this extraordinarily short flight. It's pretty common in the US for there to be no service on these flights. In any case, Cheyenne was very pleasant and wish her all the best as she starts her flight attendant career.

Meal & Catering: I didn't notice any self-serve snacks this time, but there was a beverage service.

Bottom Line: If Newark is your most convenient airport shuttle flights, United's your best (and only) choice.

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

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 4 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Washington (DCA) → Newark (EWR).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est United avec 6.8/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 16 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 641061 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6744 Comments
    Nice to see that UA rolled out USB power on the CRJ550s so fast! UA really have gotten themselves together. It was weird that when they first introduced the CRJ550 just a few years ago, it was so premium-heavy and fancy but had no power, even in F--but they've remedied that quite quickly.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 641062 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 275 Comments
      Thanks for reading Kevin! I vaguely remember flying the CRJ550 for the first time back in late 2021 (or something around that time) and us discussing the lack of power ports then. I guess this was a relatively easy update for them.

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