Review: United Airlines (737-900) First Class Washington to Boston

(this was a short flight, so the review will be brief)

UA 352
IAD-BOS
Takeoff: 2230
Landing: 2359
Flight time: 1hr 29min
Seat 1B (First Class)

Boarding

While in the lounge, I checked the United app regularly to check the status of my flight to Boston.  The app showed a delay.

United delay

A guy sitting next to me in the bar said that it was normal operations for United at Dulles. I felt uneasy as the time was boarding was approaching. I took the train back to my gate to be on the safe side.

I showed to the gate and I was one of the last ones aboard, so I thought. The captain came on and said that we were missing five passengers, who are arriving by car from across the tarmac.

They finally arrived after a 15 minute or so wait. Apparently, a ‘mechanical issue’ delayed the flight from Germany. How did I know that? The lady in 2B told me and her seat mate so.

I was seated in 1B (the complimentary upgrade to First Class cleared two days prior to the flight), which gave me the bulkhead and a little extra leg room.

United Airlines' First Class seat

United Airlines legroom
so much legroom

This flight was scheduled for 89 minutes but the pilot announced that it would be about 72 minutes. I had a couple of drinks while I waited.

The tray table came out of the right armrest.  It could be used halved…

United tray table

…or whole.

United tray table

The door finally closed at 2252. The cabin was dimmed and we began our pushback. Summer, the flight service coordinator, directed us to view the safety video.

After a 15 minute taxi, we were airborne at 2307 (I guess the guy at the bar was right about the delays). Take off was smooth out of Washington.

Since it was a short flight, the service began 10 minutes after takeoff. Drinks and snacks were offered.

United snack box

Wifi and a selection of movies similar to my previous flight were available.  I chose to play Tetris on my phone for the duration of the flight.

United entertainment
Shark Tank

United entertainmentUnited entertainment

Before long, we began our descent.  I went to check out the lavatory, there was not much to it. It remained clean for the flight.

United toilet

As I was returning to my seat, one of the other flight attendants asked me if I wanted another drink.  Service usually ends when the descent begins, so this really caught e by surprise. I took the drink and returned to my seat.

The landing in Boston was uneventful.  There was so much snow on the ground from the Bombogenesis that passed through the area.  The winter weather resulted in one hotel running a cold weather special.

After taxiing for a few minutes, we arrived at our gate, so I thought. The motorized jet bridge serving the gate would only steer in one direction. Maintenance was called and we were told that it would be a few minutes.  20 minutes passed and the decision was made to tow us the next gate over.  This was a big deal because almost everyone on the plane was standing. Summer made at least three announcements for people to be seated. Once everyone was seated, it took about 10 minutes for us to be parked at the new gate.

Final Word

The service from Summer and her crew was outstanding. Even though it was a short flight, I enjoyed it. The problems that I had with this flight were the two delays. I can understand both of them, but I would rather sit on the plane for 45 minutes.

 

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