United Domestic First, Austin Bergstrom – Chicago O’Hare, Boeing 737-900: Comfortable but poor service

I left the United Club a few minutes before the start of boarding for my flight to Chicago, scheduled 40 minutes before departure, and arrived at the gate just as boarding began.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryWeek-end in Austin, Texas
2LoungeDelta SkyClub, Boston Logan
3FlightDelta Economy Comfort, Boston Logan – Austin Bergstrom, Airbus A220-100
4HotelThe Otis Hotel Austin, Autograph Collection
5RestaurantLamberts Downtown Barbecue
6LoungeUnited Club, Austin
7FlightUnited Domestic First, Austin Bergstrom – Chicago O’Hare, Boeing 737-900
8LoungeUnited Club, Chicago O’Hare
9FlightUnited Domestic First, Chicago O’Hare – Boston Logan, Boeing 737-900
Today’s itinerary

Boarding

The boarding starts right on schedule, and begins with the call of the disabled, the military on duty and the United Global Services members.

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Then comes the United First boarding, so I was one of the first on board.

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Cabin and welcome

The United First cabin of this flight is very dated: it has not been refreshed since the delivery of the aircraft. The seats are not equipped with IFE.

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Only the baggage compartments seem to have been refurbished with the SkyInterior ceiling light of the latest Boeing 737 Classic models.

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The welcome on board is average.

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During boarding, a flight attendant passes by with a tray of welcome drinks without offering a full bar, and I will have water.

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The captain introduced himself at the end of the boarding and informed us that departure was almost on time, and that a last security check was in progress.

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We will leave with less than 5 minutes delay on our scheduled gate time in Austin.

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Service and catering

The service will take a long time to start, at least 30 minutes after takeoff. A stewardess came to confirm my pre-ordered food, and ask me for the drink I wanted. I chose a Bailey’s coffee, but had to wait for her to take all the orders in the First cabin before being served. What a waste of time!

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Everything was served on one tray, and the ricotta and blackberry pancakes ordered in advance were excellent.

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The croissants served on the tray were warm and tasty, and the coffee with baileys was very good.

When the tray was cleared, I was offered a refill of baileys coffee and accepted it.

Arrival and disembarkation

We arrived at Chicago O’Hare on time. The disembarkation was very easy and I was immediately in the boarding area for my next flight.

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Bottom line

An uneventful flight but a service performed without passion… Finally like my United experiences of 2011/2012.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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