United Airlines BusinessFirst P.S. Flight 642 New York-San Francisco – Review
Three airlines, American, Delta, and United, dominate the premium transcontinental market, with flights linking New York City with San Francisco and Los Angeles, and a relative newcomer, JetBlue, is making significant headway as well. The competition for business- and first-class passengers on these flights is heated and service on these flights, especially in the premium cabins, is much more along the lines of an international flight.
We last reviewed United’s p.s., or premium service, the name the airline bestows upon these flights, in 2010. In 2013, United removed its old business- and first-class seats on the 757 p.s. planes and installed all-new, fully lie-flat BusinessFirst seats in their place, going from a three-cabin aircraft to two.
I arrived at United’s JFK terminal, which it shares with British Airways, for my very first p.s. flight. Terminal 7 does not have a dedicated PreCheck lane but those travelers who qualify for PreCheck don’t have to remove shoes, hats, or jackets when going through the metal detector. There was no line to speak of as BA’s flights wouldn’t depart until much later in the day and I was soon in the United Global First Lounge with much time to spare until my flight’s scheduled departure at 10:20 a.m.
The lounge was a small, pleasantly decorated oasis with lots of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. A variety of snacks and drinks suitable for the mid-morning crowd were being served, and I had some crackers and cheese as well as some cake before heading over to the gate.
United invites business-class passengers to board first, followed by higher-level members of its frequent flyer program.
Being one of the first passengers to board, there was time to become acquainted with the aircraft – it was my first time on a United 757 p.s. – and then settle in for the flight.