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“Oct - UA520 New Orleans to Houston 737-900 (#3817) FC Seats 4E & F”
Review of United Airlines


Reviewed 25 June 2020

Oct - UA520 New Orleans to Houston 737-900 (#3817) FC Seats 4E & F

We flew UA520 from New Orleans (MSY) to Houston (IAH) on October 13, on a 737-900 (#3817) in First Class, in seats 4E & F.

Since we were likely not going to ever fly out of the old terminal at MSY, with the new one opening, before our next visit to New Orleans, we stopped into Barboter, at the end of the D Concourse, and probably for the last time - unless they open in the new terminal.

We were at Gate D-5, just steps away, before boarding, and then boarded before Group 1, due to our status. We were in our seats, and had our jackets hanging in the little closet across from the galley, before anyone else was aboard. We both got Ginger Ale for our pre-departure beverage.

This plane was doing a yo-yo between IAH and MSY, and the cockpit crew knew the weather, as they had just flown through it. It was also one of the newer 737's, with the “Dreamliner” ceiling and lighting, and the larger overhead bins in First Class. However, this plane had seen some wear and tear, and the seat back in Row 3, looked like it had been scratched by a leopard. However, everything worked fine.

This 737-900 had 5 rows in First Class, in a 2-2 configuration, then 7 rows (port side) and 8 (starboard) of 3-3 in E+, with 16 rows of 3-3 in Economy. The FC seats are 21" wide, with a 38" pitch, which provides plenty of legroom. The FC seats are fine, and fairly comfortable, but we have grown fond of the FC seats in the Airbus A-319/320's, which were refurbished about 5 years ago, across the fleet.

Though the sky to the north was darkening, we took off in nice weather, though did go through a cloud bank over Lake Pontchartrain, which is very common. We broke out of those clouds after turning to the west, over about Norco, LA, and caught a glimpse of the Mississippi River - but were then back into the clouds, until we were starting our final approach into IAH.

This plane had PDE (Personal Device Entertainment), which is a streaming service to one’s device, and is free. It requires that one have the latest United App, but that program is so useful, if one flies United, that they should have it installed anyway. On this short flight, we did not use it. We also had WiFi, for a fee, but did not use that either.

During the short flight, there was a passed snack basket, and also drinks, but we declined both, as we were going to eat on the second leg, IAH to PHX.

The flight was quite good, and the Gate Agents at MSY were very good, as were the members of the cabin crew. We arrived with plenty of time to connect to our flight home, to Phoenix.

Date of travel: October 2019
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Legroom
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
1  Thank The_Loup_Garou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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917 - 921 of 51,226 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2020

Oct - UA2256 Houston to Phoenix 737-900 (#3821) FC Seats 4E & F

On Sunday, October 13, we flew home to Phoenix (PHX) from Houston (IAH), where we had flown in from MSY, just over an hour before. We had arrived at Gate C-3, and were departing from Gate C-6 (changed from C-8). I was glad that we did not have far to go, but did have adequate time to make it. Several days before, we had taken this same flight, IAH-PHX, when returning from a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, and had about the same connection, but then arrived at the B Concourse, so did have to take the SkyTrain - not this time.

We boarded a few minutes late, just before Group 1, and were seated, with our jackets hanging in the forward closet. We had our pre-departure sparkling wine, and settled back for the 2:48 hr flight home to Phoenix.

This 737-900, from the United side of the fleet, so had PDA with content streamed to one’s device, through the United App for free. We did not use it, so cannot comment on either it, or on the WiFi (for a fee). Not having the DirectTV frees up quite a bit of space, for one’s small cases, etc, under the seat in front of them. This was also a newer 737, with the “Dreamliner” ceiling and lighting, and the enlarged overhead bins. My wife’s small, wheeled briefcase fit easily, and my briefcase fit below the Row 3 seat in front of me.

Being under 3 hours (by just a bit), and in the afternoon, our snacks were a bit limited:
Southwest Chicken Salad, which was not bad, or the Cheese Plate, with cheeses, nuts and some dried fruit - sort of bleak, but OK. These were the same snacks, which we have gotten on several flights between PHX and IAH. The wines were the M Chardonnay, and Tunnel of Elms (by Beringer) Merlot, which is fairly new to the United wine line up.

After breaking out above the clouds over New Mexico, our flight was quite smooth, all of the way into PHX, though we did pick up some haze, starting about the AZ-NM line. There were a few clear spots near El Paso, so we got to see some of the surrounding mountains, and desert, but then back into clouds/haze, until almost the AZ line. Our approach was straight in on Runway 25R, along Tempe Town Lake. We arrived within 9 mins. of schedule, parked at Gate 5, and had our luggage out onto Carousel 4 rather quickly. As this will likely be the last time that we fly into PHX T2, I took the time to look around. The new United gates at T3 will be opening very soon, but the United Club will be rather much later.

The gate agents at IAH were fine, and the cabin crew was very good, and our service was excellent.

Date of travel: October 2019
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
1  Thank The_Loup_Garou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2020

Oct - UA1131 Houston to New Orleans A320 (#4616) FC Seats 2A & B

After connecting at Houston (IAH), on Friday, October 11, we flew UA1131 to New Orleans (MSY) on an A320 (#4616), in First Class, seats 2A & B. Though I did not know it, until we boarded, this plane had a special livery - the “Friend Ship” livery, from 1971, to celebrate United Airlines’ 85th anniversary. By my count, this is the third time we have flown this plane, but I have never gotten a great photo of it, as we have mostly flown it into New Orleans, and arrived at Gate 3, which does not have a good view from the terminal to the stand. It has not been, until we have boarded, that I have seen the plaque, explaining the paint scheme. Maybe for flights, that we do often, I need to check the number of the aircraft, earlier, to see if we have flown an interesting ship. We also have seen this plane at LAX twice, but were not flying it on those days - just saw it parked at T7, below the United Club at LAX. Personally, I like seeing the retro livery, and special paint schemes, but I will have to work harder, to get a good photograph of this one.

We had arrived into IAH with enough time to have a quick lunch at Pappadeaux, in the E Concourse. We had arrived at E-3, and were due to fly out of E-9, both right at the restaurant. Well, that was the original plan. We got a message, via the United App, that our gate had been changed - C-37! We finished our meal, and headed over to the C Concourse, which is attached to E, but it’s still a bit of a walk. We made it to C-37 in time, but not with a lot to spare. That is why I did not even look at our plane, outside the window - my mistake.

Though we are through IAH frequently, over the last few years, there has been a lot of construction on the United concourses. Just like at Chicago O’Hare, and Newark, they are adding “themed restaurants” along, or in the middle of the concourses - lot of new restaurants. Most have the ordering done on tablets, including payment. Most also now take United Mileage Plus FF points, as payment, making the whole thing cashless. Though the themes do differ, the menus (and especially the wine lists) have a standard feel to them. However, they are convenient.

We boarded on-time, and before Group 1, due to our status. That is when I saw the plaque, and kicked myself for not being at the gate early enough to get a photograph of this plane. I would try for one, when we arrived at New Orleans, MSY.

This A320, like all of United’s AirBus fleet now, had the newish FC seats, which are very nice, with a marble-topped podium, with marble drink drawer. They also have several pockets to hold items, but those must be stored elsewhere, for takeoff and landing. These seats recline a bit differently, in that the lower cushion slides forward, and the rear cushion to pivot, without intruding too much, into the space behind. The forward, and locked position has a bit too much recline built in, and I wish that they would go just a few degrees more forward. We like the First Class seats in the United Airbus ships a bit more, than those in the 737-800/900's. Now, the newer 737's do have slightly larger overhead bins, but those on the Airbus planes are larger, than on the older 737's. The general available room is similar (except for Row 1 seats at the bulkhead), with the A320 seats having a 20.5" width and a 39" pitch. First Class is 3 rows of 2-2,

This plane had the PDE (Personal Device Entertainment) which feeds content to one’s device, through the United App. The latest version must be present, or downloaded, before the doors are closed. One nice feature of the A320 is that the tray tables in FC, have a holder for a tablet/phone. However, I find that this could be more centered, as viewing is at a slight, but noticeable angle. On this short flight (320 miles), we did not use the PDE (free), or the WiFi (for a fee), so cannot comment on how well they worked.

We did not get the wine, or passed snacks on this short flight, as we had enjoyed a nice lunch, with better wines, at IAH.

We had pretty heavy clouds and haze, out of IAH, but did catch a glimpse of the Mississippi River, around Bayou Goula, LA, on our approach to MSY. The weather was OK, and we were soon below the upper clouds, by the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, but did not get to see much, as we came directly in on Runway 19.

This was likely to be our last ever arrival at the old MSY terminal, as the new one is scheduled to be open, before our next trip to New Orleans. We will both miss the old terminal.

Our luggage was out downstairs, rather quickly, and we were off to the near-by Hertz counter, to pick up our rental car. With the construction of the Rental Center, one was just a short, covered walk from the old terminal. Now, it will be a shuttle bus ride, from the new terminal.

Our flight was good, and we arrived very close to on-time, even though the pilot had to deviate around a few thunder storms. The Gate Agents at IAH were very good (not always the case, after the Continental and United merger), and our Cabin Crew was excellent.

Date of travel: October 2019
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and boarding
1  Thank The_Loup_Garou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2020

I’d give negative stars if I could. Went to the airport the day of my scheduled flight (6/22), scanned my BOARDING PASS to get on the plane, and they told me I wasn’t confirmed for the flight. Talked to customer service, told me it was a Priceline issue (who I didn’t even buy the ticket through), then when I told them it was them, they told me there was nothing they could do, but gave me boarding passes for the next day (6/23). I was staying with family, and they had to drive BACK (over an hour) because they were nice enough to pick me up. Today (6/23), I went back with boarding passes that United Airlines gave me, scanned them, and they told me I wasn’t on the flight for today! I told them to give me a hotel, and it wasn’t until we called customer service on the phone when they offered me a flight for that night. They tried to tell me that I changed the flight myself, which never happened. The only accommodation I was given was meal vouchers, since I was going to be at the airport for 10 hours, and when I tried to use them, they were expired. Although they were printed 6/23 they expired 6/22. When I told the afternoon crew this, they just told me there’s nothing they can do, which is all anyone has been telling me. They will not accommodate or refund you in any way if things go wrong. It was all on their part, and all they’ve been saying is “there’s nothing we can do.” Don’t go through United. I don’t get home until tomorrow, now, when I was supposed to be home Monday.

Date of travel: June 2020
2  Thank terrinelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2020 via mobile

I guess the big deal United made about not assigning the middle seat was just hoax - or just not telling the whole story. Just got off a completely full flight from Chicago to Denver. From what I could see every seat on the 757 was filled, yet the flight attendants continuously told us that United cared about our health and safety. When we arrived in Denver the flight attendants scolded people who dared to stand until their row was called to deplane. This happened several times - the passengers weren’t trying to leave the plane, but simply stand up. It was very condescending and rude - and the deplaning by row to maintain social distancing was a joke after we’d been crammed together for the last two hours. And then the bags got ramped onto the wrong carousel and only after 45 minutes was there an announcement about the mistake. And this is why I try to always fly Delta.

Date of travel: June 2020
1  Thank DoreenM160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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