The New York to LAX/SFO market is a hot route for U.S. airlines.
Many U.S. carriers offer premium service on these routes. We recently had the opportunity to fly on United’s Business/First P.S. service from EWR-LAX.
While the new international United service, Polaris, looks promising, this transcon P.S. service was a bust for us!
United Airlines flight 751
EWR – LAX
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Flight Time: 5+16
Seats: 1E and 1F
OK, before anyone starts giving us grief for flying United, we believe in trying different airline products.
Simple. It allows us to see what other airlines do and how they operate. In our opinion, seeing the same operation over and over doesn’t expand your knowledge or understanding of different brands and products. With that said, let’s take a look at our recent flight on United Airlines P.S. from EWR – LAX.
After our Singapore airlines flight from SIN – FRA – JFK (which we will review later) we needed a way to get back to LAX. We found two award seats on United from EWR – LAX in their P.S. Business Class. Perfect!
We checked in at EWR. The lines are somewhat confusing, in our opinion. When we approached the first class line the agent snapped and asked if we were “first class?” We said, “yes, we are P.S.” She said, “you need to go over there!” But where?
We then found the proper check-in counter and the agent checked us in and directed us to the United Club.
Maybe it was the fact that we just spent some time in the Singapore Airlines “Private Room” but the United Club lounge was pretty bad. Trail mix and bad soup. I felt like we were in an emergency room waiting to be called to see the doctor. The decor was not updated and the seating was less than stellar.
As we were getting close to boarding, we left the lounge in hopes of a great flight back to the west coast. The boarding process was organized and well labeled eliminating the “bottleneck” effect at the boarding door.
The actual seat itself isn’t bad. It’s somewhat comfortable and goes flat.
Power and USB ports are behind your head.
We did choose bulk head seats which was a bad idea.
The seats seemed to be smaller length in this row and didn’t offer much foot room. During the flight as I was sleeping, the wall kept me from extending my legs straight, actually making them go to sleep as they were pressing into the wall.
After we settled in, we were offered pre-bev drinks of our choice.
The captain then makes his welcome announcement and informs us flight time will be a quick 5+16 to LAX, not bad!
The BEST part of this flight was the safety video! You can tell they put some money into the production. Diversity is prominent! VERY well done!
As we pushed back the weather was a bit wet outside.
As we take off I notice that the floor around me is becoming wet. It smells really bad too. I inform the FA that the floor is wet and smelling. She basically says it’s just rain water and there is nothing she can do and tells us to write in to united.com. I’m sticking with the fact that it was rain water that mixed with the trash. Hum….
The FAs then came around with amenity kits and menus. In my opinion, the amenity kit was nothing special. No hand lotion only small sample sizes of hand sanitizer. No branded products. Extremely weak!
Service was started about 30 minutes after take off. We were offered a drink of our choice and warm nuts. However, these nuts were cooked WAY too long. Long enough to taste like cardboard.
The salad and the appetizer were offered along with bread.
Then we were served the main course, we both chose the short ribs.
I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to food on a plane. I understand that from time to time the ovens don’t cook right, but it’s pretty hard to mess up short ribs. They were extremely overcooked with a rubber texture.
After the meal, dessert was offered which was actually pretty good.
After the meal service we settle into the IFE and head to the bathroom. They did have branded products called Cowshed. I’ve never heard of them.
Finally the FAs dropped off a full bottle of water.
We did sleep through the cookie service so no pictures of them. On an up note we did arrive a bit early into LAX. We quickly deplane and head to collect our bags at baggage claim.
Our final grades of United Airlines P.S. Transcon Service
United Club Lounge @ EWR: D
Comfort of the Seat: C
Cabin Space Seat Layout: C
Amenity kit: D-
Storage space: C
Inflight cabin crew service: C-
Ground customer service: D-
In our opinion, United’s P.S. transcon service fails to other U.S. carriers in this market. Hopefully, United will incorporate some of their new Polairs service into this transcon market. While we wanted to enjoy United, it was not what we would consider a premium product for this market.
Have you flown on United in the transcon market? What did you think? Leave us a comment!