I was connecting inbound today on my flight on practically brand-new A321Neo today from Orlando, so I don’t have any reports on Check In and Security at O’Hare today. But, you can check out that report here if you’re interested! It was a great flight!
My inbound flight from MCO arrived in at gate B3, so I took the "rhapsody in blue" tunnel that connects the C/D concourse underground.
I had about 3 and a half hours of layover time today, so I decided to spend my time in the United Club in Concourse C. This Club is actually one of my favorite domestic united clubs in the network. And you’ll see why.
You enter the club through the automated gates, so it takes no more than a few seconds to gain entry.
Once entered into the lounge, you’ll see little private working booths on the left side along a hallway that leads into the lounge.
Just beyond that is the food buffet, which features a number of local dishes as hot food items, and has a very upgraded menu from what you’ll find in most other United Clubs. This is one of the reasons why this is one of my favorite clubs. The food selection here is always pretty decent, in my experience.
Just past the buffet area, past the departure screen is the lounge’s main seating area, which features great views of the tarmac!
If you keep heading down that hallway, you’ll find the bar, which is massive, and offers excellent views of the ramp and plenty of natural light, that is, if the window shades are open. I’ve also never found an unfriendly bartender at this club either :)
Around the bar, you’ll find tables and chairs.
Between the bar and food, you’ll find two “living room” areas with seating options, and one room with some chairs with footrest ottomans were you can put your feet up. These areas are generally very crowded, and I’ve never gotten a seat in one of those chairs with ottomans, unfortunately :( Today, I did see some of these open, but I noticed it only about 10 minutes before I had to leave the lounge, so I passed, and remained in my seat at the bar instead.
My flight today was departing from gate B9 today, which was about a 10 minute walk from the United Club in the C concourse. It was located right next to the tunnel that connects the B and C concourses, so I was able to grab a great picture of the A319 from the top of the escalator.
I arrived at the gate way ahead of schedule. I erroneously thought that we would begin boarding 50 minutes before departure, so I got to the gate at 2:50 p.m., because that’s when ll of my recent United flights have boarded. However, when I got to the gate, I noticed that there was no gate agent. At which point, I looked at my boarding pass, and noticed that the board time was at 3:10 p.m., 35 minutes prior to departure.
I was first in line for group 1, so I decided to wait in line for the 20 minutes before boarding. The gate agents showed up and I overheard them talking about how there’s only 40 passengers on today’s flight and that they shouldn’t need to gate check any bags. I was surprised to see only a count of 40 passengers on a hub-to-hub flight!
We boarded on time at exactly 3:10 p.m. I was the second person on board!
We boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by a friendly flight crew!
The First class cabin on the A319 is arranged in a 2-2 configuration, and features 12 first class recliner seats across 3 rows.
I quickly found my seat, 2E, an aisle seat on the right side of the cabin. The seat features 37 inches of pitch, is 21.1 inches wide, and has 4 inches of recline.
I wasn’t able to get pictures of the cabin or seat because, with such a light load on this flight, boarding ws quick and I had quite a few people in the aisle behind me.
The right armrest had a small cubby to store something like a phone or tablet. There is also a universal power outlet located at every seat in First class in the center console. The center console also has a faux black marble cocktail table. The tray table extends from the right armrest.
In the left armrest, you’ll find a small cubby below the armrest where you can store maybe a book or a tablet
There is a literature pocket in the seatback in front of you and ample room to store your personal carry-on item underneath the seat in front of you. However, there is no seatback entertainment on this aircraft, so you will have to download the United App to get free in flight entertainment on this flight on your personal device.
Additionally, what would’ve made this seat better is a tablet holder on the back of the seat in front, so that you can put your tablet somewhere at eye level. But, that’s non-existent.
This will change when United launches their new United NEXT interiors on all aircraft, meaning that all aircraft for United Mainline will feature seatback entertainment screens at every seat.
At 3:14 p.m., a flight attendant camey to offer us a pre-departure beverage of Prosecco or Water. I went with water.
By 3:25 p.m, boarding was completed!
At 3:30, the captain came on to let us know that we would have a mostly smooth ride to IAD and that we would be arriving right on time.
At 3:37, we pushed back from the gate and then began our taxi to the runway.
At 3:48, we took off on runway 28L.
At 3:42, we reached 10,000 feet and the flight attendants welcomed us to the friendly skies.
United gives meals in First class for flights over 900 miles in length. This flight is less than that, so we only get a drink service today.
At 4:05, the flight attendant asked us if we wanted a drink and my drink was brought out a few minutes later.
We were also offered a snack from the premium snack basket. I went with my favorite- Dot’s Pretzels, whose seasoning is fantastic!
I settled in to watch a movie on my iPad. I always download movies ahead of my flights just in case the WiFi or IFE screens aren’t working. It’s always good to have a backup.
I didn’t feel like scrolling through the entertainment options and trying to connect to the WiFi to get to it, so I just settled in to watch a movie I downloaded on my iPad.
At 4:07, the captain came on to announce that we had reached our cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.
About a half hour later, at 5:40 p.m. Washington time, the captain came on to announce our initial descent into Dulles.
At 6:11, we touched down on runway 1C, and began our taxi into the gate.
We arrived at gate C25 today at 6:14 p.m. for an arrival that was slightly ahead of schedule.
I made my way off of the aircraft, to the train that would take me to the main terminal.
Overall, this was a decent flight on United in Domestic First class. The service was excellent, and the seat was comfortable enough for this less than 2 hour flight.
The only things that could make this flight better is if United had seatback IFE screens at every seat, which, to be fair, they are working on making that dream come true, so…
The other thing that would improve this flight, and any U.S. domestic first class flight is if a meal were offered. I’ve had European carriers offer a plated meal service on a one hour flight before, so the U.S. carriers could do the same. It doesn’t have to be a hot meal, but it could be more than just a drink and a snack basket. But, unfortunately, this is the standard on all U.S. domestic first class flights of this length.
Overall, it was a great flight, but nothing really out of the ordinary here.