Review of United Express flight Washington Newark in Domestic First

Airline United Express
Flight UA4589
Seat 1A
Flight time 01:06
Take-off 05 Jan 24, 07:00
Arrival at 05 Jan 24, 08:06
UA 68 reviews
shivpilot14
By SILVER 295
Published on 5th January 2024

check in and security


I took the metro into DCA this morning, and arrived at 6:00 a.m., approximately 1 hour before my 7:00 a.m. departure time. The metro is an easy way to get to DCA from the city, as it’s cost effective, and usually avoids traffic. The metro system in Washington, D.C. is extremely reliable, and runs mostly on time.

The metro stop is located right at DCA’s Terminal 2. If you’re flying out of Terminal 1, it is a short walk indoors to Terminal 1 from the metro station.

Once inside, you can go straight through security if you are not checking a bag or need to print a boarding pass. If you need to check-in, you would proceed up the escalator to the check-in located just above National Hall.


photo dca-escalator-photo

United’s check-in is located right at the south end of the check-in. There’s an economy lane, a Premier Access lane, and a separate Polaris and 1K lane. Though across the walkway, there are kiosks that you can use if you’re not checking a bag. This is what I used, as I just needed to print my boarding pass, and scan my passport for my onward connection to Berlin. I printed my boarding pass, and was done in under a minute.


photo dca-check-in

Boarding pass in hand, I proceeded back downstairs to the South security checkpoint. I have both Clear and PreCheck, so it took me no time at all to get through the line and through TSA. There was nobody in line for Clear of PreCheck, so I was the only one in line, and the whole process took less than 2 minutes.

Once through security, I headed over to the B gates, and down the walkway to the nook where gates B10-B14, which is where all United flights depart from at DCA. 


photo dca-walkway

Lounge: DCA United Club


Since I had about 20 minutes until boarding began, I decided to use the United Club located across from gate B10 along the back wall of the Terminal.


photo dca-united-club-entrance

You have to take an elevator upstairs to the club, where you’ll find the check-in desk. I was connecting today in Polaris business class from Newark to Berlin, so I had access. However, even if only flying domestically, I would have access with my United Club membership. Note, that flying in First class domestically does not grant you access to the United Club. For the full United Club access policy, please visit https://www.united.com/en/us/fly/travel/airport/lounge-access.html

The DCA United Club is small, as it’s an outpost, but definitely not the smallest United Club I’ve seen. Upon entry, you immediately enter the beautiful rotunda which is reminiscent of the original DCA terminal, and offers sweeping views of the ramp. The seating area here can get quite crowded because it’s the first seating area that you see upon entry, and its also closest to the food and drinks. Though, today I was one of three lounge patrons in the club. Though, I have been here before at 6:00 a.m., and it has been pretty crowded, though nowhere near full.


photo dca-uc-rotunda

To the left is the bar, which was not open at this early hour. And to the right is the food, which had a selection of omelets, scrambled eggs, and pancakes in the warmers. There was also yogurt, fruit, and a selection of bagels, and toast available. Additionally, Illy coffee is on offer, as well as an espresso machine. I did not partake in anything today, and just got some water to keep myself hydrated ahead of a long travel day.


photo dca-uc-barphoto dca-uc-food

Just past the food area is a smaller, more private seating area with armchairs that is usually a lot less crowded than the rotunda area. I decided to sit here while waiting for my flight.


photo dca-uc-hallwayphoto dca-uc-back-room

Overall, the United Club at DCA is a small outpost station, but is stocked with newer furniture and has a good food selection, at least in the mornings, for an outpost. The lounge offers plenty of seating, so this lounge being at capacity should not be a problem. I will say, that it is a far better seelction than ANY of the united clubs that you’d find at IAD, United’s nearby hub.


Boarding


After spending about 15 minutes in the United Club, I decided to head downstairs to my gate, B10. When I arrived, pre-boarding had already begun with passengers needing additional assistance, Global Services, families with children under the age of 2, and finally 1K customers. Pre-boarding for this small 50-seater CRJ-550 doesn’t take long at all.


photo gate-screen

Then Group 1 was called, and I boarded, along with the rest of my group.

Boarding today was done outside by proceeding down a set of stairs, and then through some doors that led us outside. This offered an excellent view of the CRJ-550 that would be taking us to Newark this morning. 


photo crj-550

Upon boarding, the friendly male flight attendant, named Mark greeted every passenger, and told us where to store our luggage. The CRJ-550 is so unique that it offers space for a carry-on sized item for every single passenger on board with the luggage storage lockers located in front of row 1 and in between rows 4 and 7. Additionally, in the economy cabin, there are larger overhead bins where you can place carry-on bags sideways to fit them in.

I quickly found my seat, 1A, and placed my bags in the storage locker in front of my seat. The seats in the First class cabin are arranged in a 1-2 configuration. Solo travelers would ideally wish to choose the single seats on the left side of the aircraft, whereas people traveling together would want to opt for the sets of 2 seats on the right side of the aircraft.

Seat 1A is a bulkhead seat which offers a decent amount of legroom. The seat features 42 inches of pitch and 5 inches of recline. The seat is also 19.75 inches wide. The tray table is located in the armrest, and the other armrest features a power outlet down below as well as a small table top for a cup.


photo seatphoto legroom

flight


At 6:48 a.m., the captain came on to introduce himself to us. However, the strange thing was he didn’t give us any other information about the flight such as flight time… etc. He literally just said “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is X, and I’m your Captain today. Welcome on board.” He didn’t even say where we were going. It was interestingly strange.

By 6:50, boarding was completed, and the flight attendant completed 2 safety demonstrations. On the CRJ-550, because there’s only one flight attendant, and 2 cabins, the flight attendant has to do 2 safety demonstrations.

At 6:55, we were still sitting at the gate, and Mark came by everyone in First class to ask us if we wanted something to drink once we’re up in the air. I asked for a water.

Once that was finished, we pushed back at 7:05 and began our taxi.

As we were taxiing, I noticed something strange. We passed Runway 1, and taxied down F. Turns out, we were heading to Runway 33 for a rare Runway 33 Departure. In the many, many flights I’ve taken out of DCA, I’ve never departed on a runway other than Runway 1 or Runway 19. So, this was exciting!

At 7:11, we lined up on Runway 33 and waited for our departure. We then sat on the runway for a few minutes while waiting for other traffic to takeoff on Runway 1.


photo runway-33

At 7:15, we took off on Runway 1, which offered a view of the Pentagon just after departure.


photo dca-takeoffphoto pentagon

About 4 minutes after departure, we reached 10,000 feet, at which point, Mark began the service. Being in First class, all drink choices were available on offer including alcoholic beverages, but I opted for a glass of water today, and had some almonds from the snack basket. Another unique thing about the CRJ-550 is that there is a snack bar in the forward galley for First class passengers to grab snacks if they need it. 


photo crj-550-snack-barphoto waterphoto almonds

After Mark finished serving our cabin, he did a service in economy! Yes, it was just water on offer, but I was impressed that there was enough time for that to even be offered! I have to say the flight attendants that work the CRJ-550 do a LOT of work. From getting all 50 passengers on board and helping them with the baggage lockers, to doing 2 safety demonstrations, to serving first class with a full beverage and snack service, to setting up and removing snacks from the on board snack bar, to also doing a service in economy. And all alone?!?! I have to give a lot of credit to the flight attendants that work this aircraft. There’s a lot of work to be done. So, if you find yourself flying the CRJ-550 in the future, please be kind to your flight attendant because they are doing a lot during your short flight.

Also, it’s important to note that Mark gave excellent service on this flight. He constantly came around to ask us if we needed anything else.

Wi-Fi was also available on today’s flight. Wi-Fi costs $8 for mileageplus members for the entire flight. Free Messaging is also available to use internet based messaging services such as iMessage or Whatsapp. But, if you are a T-Mobile customer, you can receive 1 hour of Wi-Fi for free by just entering in your phone number when signing in. I am a T-Mobile customer, so I did the 1 hour option, which was more than enough for this short flight.

At 7:36 a.m., we began our descent into Newark. We approached Newark from the Southeast, so we did not get any views of Manhattan on the approach. We touched down on Runway 4R at 7:54 a.m. and had a normally long taxi into gate Gate C101.We arrived early at 8:06 a.m.


photo landed-in-ewr

LOUNGE: United Club ewr c74


On arrival in Newark, I proceeded to the United Club at C74 in Newark. I haven’t visited this club in a long time, since before it was renovated. The old club was drab and always packed to the brim. It was dark and offered a terrible food selection. It was one of those clubs that you wanted to avoid.

But, that was the EWR C74 Club of yesteryear. This newly-renovated club is much nicer.

You enter the lounge through an escalator or an elevator through this grand looking entrance that clearly demonstrates the United club there.


photo uc-ewr-entrance

Once up the escalator, you enter through the automated gates by scanning your boarding pass. When I scanned my boarding pass the screen popped up saying “Your ticket allows you entry to the United Polaris Lounge located near gate C102. Would you still like to proceed into the United Club?” I selected yes and after answering the question about bringing in guests (I get 2 guests as a United Club member), the gate opened. 


photo uc-ewr-scanning-lanes

Upon entry, you see a station with water and fruit immediately upon entering. The club is the familiar club that sits in the center of the concourse, with a rotunda in the middle. However, unlike the previous club, which overlooked the concourse, the windows are now frosted, which I think is a nice touch because seeing the giant LED screens displaying ads in the concourse was extremely annoying in the previous design.


photo uc-ewr-first-entry

Proceeding to the left, you find seating areas with tables and booths in the center with a mixture of tables and the familiar United club armchairs on the outside. There’s a coffee station just past the first section offering drip coffee as well as an espresso machine. 


photo uc-ewr-first-hallway-79360photo uc-ewr-coffee-station

Further onward, you find a massive bar, that looks amazing, and overlooks the only part of the lounge that looks outside at the tarmac. 


photo uc-ewr-bar

Just on the other side of the bar is the food station which is separated into two distinct sections. 


photo uc-ewr-cold-foodphoto uc-ewr-hot-food-72957

The lounge continues around back to the entrance with various seating options.


photo uc-ewr-seating-69410

Overall, this is an excellent lounge with plenty of food options and an impressive bar. There’s plenty of seating, and even at a peak time of 8:00 a.m. at EWR, there was hardly anyone in the Club. It’s worth a visit and is much better than the club was prior to renovations.

See more

Verdict

United Express

7.5/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering0.0

United Club

4.3/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Services2.5

Washington - DCA

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness8.0

Newark - EWR

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Overall, this was an excellent flight with Go Jet d/b/a United Express onboard this short CRJ-550 flight from DC to Newark. The United Club at DCA is a nice little outpost for hanging out in, as well as is the EWR Club at C74.The CRJ-550 is an excellent aircraft that is especially premium heavy with 10s first class seats, and a snack bar for first class passengers. The cabin design featuring the luggage lockers to store all carry-on bags is truly excellent. However, this is a lot of work for the flight attendants that have to work this aircraft. Being a 50-seater aircraft, there’s only one flight attendant, and our flight attendant didn’t even sit down during the flight by trying to give a lot of service!

This was an excellent flight, and I wouldn’t hesitate to fly United’s CRJ-550 product again in the future!

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).


Useful

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

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 642531 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6582 Comments
    This is the first time I'm realising there's only 1 FA on the CRJ550! I guess because it's as long as a CRJ-700, in my head I always assumed there were 2 FA's, but yeah there's only 50 seats for pilot scope clause reasons so it makes sense there'd only be 1 FA. That's pretty rough considering there are 2 cabins. I know it's at the 50 pax limit for 1 FA, but being a 2-cabin setup certainly makes it more work than just a standard 1-cabin CR2.

    It is a pretty cool aircraft and certainly one of the more comfortable RJs out there in any cabin considering the very low density.

    Thanks for sharing!

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