Review of United flight Los Angeles San Francisco in Domestic First

Airline United
Flight UA2611
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 737 MAX 9
Flight time 01:10
Take-off 16 Dec 23, 16:15
Arrival at 16 Dec 23, 17:25
UA   #68 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 448 reviews
jettoajet
By GOLD 551
Published on 14th January 2024

To start off this around-the-world review adventure (26 flights in 36 days), the first flight would be onboard a United 737 Max 9 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. While I was originally booked on a 757 with lie-flat seats for this route I had to change days which meant a classic domestic recliner for this hour or so hop up to SFO. 

How I booked this ticket:

 I booked this connecting ticket from LAX-SFO-Manila for 170K United Miles one way in business class. Saver space is extremely limited on any new routes for United and since I had to get to Manila by the 18th I had no other choice. This leg was practically free as it was the same cost to go direct SFO-Manila so that is always nice.

Boarding:

After departing the Polaris Lounge at LAX, which I won't post a full review here. I had access to the lounge due to my connecting flight to Manila for those wondering. I decided to head down to the gate just as boarding was about to commence.  


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Terminal 7 is relatively small so it was only a short 2-minute walk to the gate and since I seem to stack up steps in airports I felt extremely blessed to not lug around my 2 carry-ons. I arrived at the gate to find about 40 people lined up in front of me for boarding…..


Really United?? There are only 20 business-class seats (or what they like to call First Class) and 40 people in front of me. I know I know status and all of that but no matter what status you have, my personal opinion is the highest cabin should board first hence the name "first class". Ok rant over it was time to board. 


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I stashed my bags overhead since, well, there is no storage space underneath in the first row but not before taking my camera out for some sunset pictures you will see later!

The Cabin/Seat:

The 737 Max 9 is configured in a classic 2-2 configuration with 5 rows (in First), which if we do the math comes to 20 seats, A+ if you got it right! 


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I was planning on taking some cabin pictures while I was boarding but when I got on board 12/20 seats were occupied and due to the privacy of others I didn't take any pictures.

I settled in nicely to seat 1A where I found the legroom to be more than adequate for such a short flight. I don't know how I would feel if the flight was 5+ hours but for this short trip it was surprisingly comfortable. 


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The seat featured a little table between the two seats which felt quite modern and aesthetically pleasing to look at. 


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As you can probably see from the picture above the cabin is modern and sleek on these new aircraft (unlike some of the other aircrafts). The TV remote functioned well (more on that later). The tray table also popped out from the side but that wasn't needed as no meal was served on today's flight.

I got to snap a quick picture before my seatmate arrived (he was one of the last to board), which shows that the TVs are placed in front of you on the wall.


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The seats also recline. However, I'm not somebody who likes to recline seats, especially when I'm not sleeping out of respect for the person behind me. The classic blue is so iconic for United Airlines, I love it! And Yes, there was no space for my fedora in my luggage so I had to wear it. 


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Lastly, a pre-departure beverage was offered, and since I already had my fair share of Lanson in the Polaris Lounge (UA serves sparkling wine on this flight) I opted for water.


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IFE:

While I don't usually ever watch movies on planes (I love looking out the window), I was flabbergasted to see Bluetooth connectivity on the flight today!!! Can every airline/aircraft implement this please, pretty please!!!! I was able to connect very easily as well with no issues, 5 stars here United!


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United shines on their IFE selections with many of the new Hollywood movies being available such as Barbie and Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo is a great movie so I decided to start it and since I would be flying 15 hours later to Manila onboard United I knew I could finish it later. 


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For those wondering United, of course, offers Wifi on this aircraft. Although I didn't purchase it for most of the flight I was glued to the magical sunset I experienced into SFO.

Moving on, I didn't make it very far into the movie since I was too distracted. 27 Minutes EEEEK.


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Inflight Service:

The inflight service was fine and no not the fine my therapist tells me of (f****d up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional) but the fine where not great nor bad. I was never greeted when boarding or shown any sign that they wanted me on board but the FAs also weren't rude at all. The only time they came around was for pre-departure beverages, drinks, and snack service (which is pictured below) and to take away the drinks and snack service before landing. If booked in advance this ticket can be found for just over 150$ so I think for that price the service resembles just that. For such a short flight I found it to be okay. Hey, at least the drinks service was in glassware this time.


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Sunset Approach Into SFO:

I have had the privilege in the past few weeks to experience some of the best sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed but this might have been the best of all. I'm not going to write any more about it I'll just share the pictures I took.



Be careful it might take your breath away, don't want anyone going to the hospital (insert wink emoji since I can't find how to do it).


Arrival:

We touched down a couple of minutes ahead of schedule due to a favorable approach with then another favorable runway, which meant we had a taxi of only a couple of minutes to the gate. I was second off of the plane and headed on the long dreary walk to the Polaris Lounge which was about 10 minutes away (okay I know I'm complaining but my carry-ons weigh more than 20kgs (but please don't tell the airlines shhh)). 

Stay tuned for reviews coming every week! Next up Polaris to Manila!

See more

Verdict

United

6.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew5.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering5.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.8/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness6.5

San Francisco - SFO

6.8/10
Efficiency5.5
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

While yes this is no Polaris or anything similar with lie-flat seats it was still a very pleasant flight. It's like that student in school who is a straight B student, you know the one that doesn't try their best but also is smart at the same time, yeah that one. United Business (or First Class for that matter, Idek anymore) class ticked all the boxes, a decent seat, snacks, drinks, decent FAs, and Bluetooth connectivity. I would actively seek out flying United on this route over Delta or American after this experience. At least for the right price that is.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) San Francisco (SFO)

9 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 642903 by
    airberlin GOLD 1878 Comments
    Thanks for that FR... more than fine ;)
    Loved the style and of course the suset views over SFO :))
    Looking forward to reading your Manilla segment.
    Vincent
  • Comment 642973 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6719 Comments
    Nice, looks like you got one of the few 737NG with the new United NEXT cabins with IFE and new seats! The rollout hasn't been going super quickly, so it's nice to get on such a short flight.

    The inflight service was fine and no not the fine my therapist tells me of

    LMAO I'm dead 💀 and also that's one of the most SoCal things I've ever read on this site! Thanks for the laughs, enjoyed the fun writing style

    Agree with the not "good or bad" statement, which seems typical of US domestic flights, but UA keep getting better and have definitely improved their image these past few years. This is about as good as service can be on a 1h hop within the US. Yeah, it could be better with a more proactive crew trying to do a second round, but it's very rare in my experience. The airlines I fly the most (AA and AS) don't even serve PDBs for the most part, so I'd probably say UA did a better job here.

    Beautiful California sunset! I always make sure to get seats on the left side whenever I'm flying between home (SAN) and the Bay Area around sunset.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 642979 by
      shivpilot14 GOLD 12 Comments
      I thought he said it was a MAX 9, which, I believe, most, if not, all of them have the new NEXT interiors by now.
      flight would be onboard a United 737 Max 9 from Los Angeles to San Francisco
      • Comment 642981 by
        KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6719 Comments
        Ah yup, good catch shivpilot14! The aircraft referenced in the form was a 737-900ER so I thought the OP got super lucky, but yeah, it makes more sense it's a 7M9 since there are 62% of 7M9s with NEXT cabins and only like 2 739ERs with NEXT cabins right now.

        to OP, I corrected the aircraft type to 737 MAX 9 for you.
    • Comment 642982 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Thank you for reading. Am trying to make the review a little more fun so glad you liked it! Trying not to make it too inappropriate either since it is a flight review haha. Thank you for correcting the aircraft, I must have gotten confused so I really appreciate it. Interesting your home airport is very close to mine!
  • Comment 642980 by
    shivpilot14 GOLD 12 Comments
    Nice report, and by the way, that sunset was truly breathtaking!
  • Comment 643412 by
    chocolive SILVER 39 Comments
    my personal opinion is the highest cabin should board first hence the name "first class". Ok rant over it was time to board.


    Totally agree, one of my typical rants. Not sure about paxes in the US but here in Europe to make the matter worse it also happens that “entitled” pax-with-status intersects closely with those losing their manners. Funny I thought US airlines were more service-oriented and adhered to class-boarding before status-boarding, at least that was my memory on the trips I've had with Delta.

    I have had the privilege in the past few weeks to experience some of the best sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed


    Picturesque! Those who shut the blinds miss so much.

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