Trip Reports United Airlines US Destinations

The Joys of United Domestic First

The only thing I like about LAX is the plane watching
The only thing I like about LAX is the plane watching

Jess and I are traveling to Los Angeles for a wedding this weekend – sans the little one. Given United’s reputation, you might think that the title of this post is sarcastic, but we really had a great outbound flight.

We flew in first class from Boston to LA thanks to United’s award routing rules. Like Delta, you’re allowed a stopover and an open jaw, so we tacked this leg onto the end of our Europe flights this summer.

Maybe it was a function of not having to deal with a running toddler (okay, that probably had a lot to do with it), but it was a super relaxing and enjoyable journey. Here are some reasons why.

Neat old-school livery at Newark
Neat old-school livery at Newark

1. Great Service

We had the interesting experience of having the same flight crew on both our flights – first for the short Boston to Newark leg and then for our long leg from Newark to Los Angeles.

Soda tastes the same in all classes of service
Soda tastes the same in all classes of service

I’ve read a lot of trip reports/forum posts about the poor quality of US-based flight attendants, but our flight crew was great. They were attentive to our needs, took care of everything quickly and efficiently, and were super friendly. As far as I could tell this held true for the entire plane though of course I can only speak for the first class attendants.

2. Free DirecTV

First class passengers have access to free DirecTV and movies on United flights where they are offered, including the 737 we flew on. This was great because we never get to watch TV at home uninterrupted.

Best of all, I got to watch the Barclays Premier League all morning, something that is downright impossible to do at home. I watched all three games – the most soccer I’ve watched since Brazil – including a real cracker of a game in Chelsea vs. Everton. At one point 5 goals were scored in 11 minutes and 15 seconds!

The most soccer I've gotten to watch since the World Cup
The most soccer I’ve gotten to watch since the World Cup

As Arlo White said on the broadcast over halfway through the game, “If you have an appointment in thirty minutes – cancel it.” The joys of having nowhere to go and nowhere to be at 35,000 feet.

3. Free Snacks

There was once a day and time when every airline offered free snacks on domestic flights in all cabins. Alas, that’s no longer the case. But you do get free snacks and meals in domestic first!

The aforementioned quality flight attendants came through the cabin multiple times serving drinks and snacks – all the chips I could eat. It’s sad how easily I’m pleased, but that’s the reality.

4. This.

Never say no to ice cream
Never say no to ice cream

Final Thoughts

I’m generally more about the destination than the journey, but this was a great flight to LA and we’re relaxed and ready for this wedding. For you parents out there, how relaxing is a flight without your kid? It’s truly amazing. Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend!

Our first stop
Our first stop
Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

3 thoughts on “The Joys of United Domestic First

  1. I had a chance to fly from EWR to IAH last November so I also enjoyed watching BPL at the same time. Though, food was not really limited to snack but some rather cold chicken sald 🙂

  2. I’ve done a couple of trips to Newark from Denver flying United 1st Class. I hate Newark (they couldn’t be bothered to put my luggage on one return flight), but flying 1st (at my company’s expense) was pretty nice. Wish we’d had ice cream on my flights, but the hot, oatmeal raisin cookie I got both times was not bad.

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