United Airlines Flight 890, Los Angeles to New York-JFK
There are multiple options when it comes to flying from one coast to the other so, when I had the opportunity to check out United’s p.s. service on a recent flight from Los Angeles to New York, I jumped at the chance. I’ve flown United’s business class before, so I wanted to see what was different about the p.s. service.
United offers first and business class passengers priority boarding in a separate lane – with red carpet to boot. Once on board the Boeing 757 aircraft, I was offered a choice of water or juice and the flight attendant offered to hang up my coat.
After takeoff, a choice of drinks accompanied by warm nuts was offered. The lunch menu included lemongrass chicken and beef sirloin tips. I opted for the vegetarian chili in a bread bowl, which was quite good. Afterwards there was the option of adding to the calorie count ice cream sundaes complete with choice of hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream and, just prior to landing, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies with milk. Individual bottles of water were proffered after the meal service.
The p.s. service also offers Wi-Fi (the Gogo in-flight internet access), which I wasn’t able to test because I was travelling without my laptop. The passenger seated next to me was online for most of the flight and seemed quite satisfied with the service.
One of the selling points of the p.s. service is space. I enjoyed the very comfortable leather seats, which recline to a 147° angle, and had enough legroom (the seat pitch is 54”) that the passenger in the window seat next to me could exit without having to resort to contortions even while I had my foot rest fully extended.
I usually hate watching movies on planes but getting my personal media player was a whole other experience. I was able to choose from a variety of TV shows, movies, CDs, or video games via a 7-inch touch screen and enjoy it all with noise-reducing headsets. Needless to say, it’s probably the first time in a long time my book stayed unopened.
I had checked a bag – something I don’t normally do on a business trip – which was tagged “Priority” and was one of the first to arrive once the baggage carousel started.
The p.s. service makes United a strong contender on the San Francisco and Los Angeles transcontinental routes to New York. I would definitely opt for the p.s. service on my next transcontinental flight. The food was excellent, the flight attendants were attentive (but not annoyingly so) and the flight in general was a pleasure.
Shannon McClatchey is a frequent business traveler and managing editor of Executive Road Warrior.