I have not been paid by any entity in any way (financially, benefits) to write the following review.
Is it United Coast, p.s, or none of the above? I am of course talking about the supposedly new name for United’s premium transcontinental service that I guess was never implemented? Alas, I guess we will never know. What I do know, however, was that I was able to snatch a cheap one way economy ticket from Boston to San Francisco thanks to some information on FlyerTalk, and I even found R class inventory on this particular flight. I immediately submitted a MileagePlus Mileage Upgrade, automatically upgrading into R class for the flight.
This was part of my trip to Germany for my study abroad, and you can read the continuation of my San Francisco to Taipei flight here!
The last time I took a semi-transcontinental flight, it was in an old, rinky-dink legacy United B777-200 from Washington-Dulles to San Francisco in the horrible and outdated 2-4-2 “Business” Class cabin, which I personally think is better suited to be a highly competitive Premium Economy product rather than an industry-last “business” product. Not only that, but I learned on that flight that transcontinental service on routes from Dulles were barely premium, which was both surprising and a let down. I think the DC area is an excellent opportunity for such services considering the (political) money that consistently flies in and out of the DC metro area.
After flying in to Boston from Houston on a early morning flight, I had a few hours to chill so I headed over to the United Club.
The lounge was pretty standard to other United Clubs, which is why I didn’t review this particular lounge. Unfortunately, there is not a premium lounge, reserved area, or even complimentary premium drinks for United Transcontinental Business Class passengers. This is a step below American’s Transcontinental service, which gives passengers in both Flagship First and Business access to their premium Flagship Lounges where available. Even if I was flying the reverse route, I wouldn’t have had access to the new Polaris Lounge in San Francisco.
Having had some complimentary breakfast despite flying economy on the inbound flight thanks to my United Premier 1K status, I wasn’t really hungry, instead opting to drink water and nibble on some salad items while the time passed by.
I was able to claim a seat right next to the window in the lounge, and lo and behold I was surprised to see the United plane that carries the Friendship livery! I quickly scrambled to get a picture of it and then added a Snapchat filter. Amazing view from this lounge!
After a good while it was time to board the legacy United B757 that was taking us to San Francisco, so I headed over to the gate and got a pic of our jet getting serviced for it’s 5 hour flight to the Bay Area.
Upon entering, this aircraft has business class both to the left and right of door 2L. I was able to get a bulkhead seat, which has a larger cutout in the ottoman area, giving passengers more flexibility in adjusting your feet while in the bed position. I was also flying the far more comfortable and slightly more spacious 2-2 business class layout offered on United’s specially configured B757s. The seat is the B/E Aerospace Diamond seat that Continental had begun installing on its international fleet prior to its merger with United. Although it is by no means a highly competitive business class seat today, it is eons better than legacy United’s disastrous 2-4-2 on the widebodies.
I was happy to see the Saks Fifth Avenue amenities at my seat, since in my opinion they make the premium cabin flights just a tad bit better. I took a look around and quickly remembered this was a legacy United plane after seeing the push-in overhead buttons. I’m just thankful the seats aren’t the originals that were delivered with the plane!
After settling in, the flight attendant came over asking for our drink and dinner orders, and took our two preferred entree options in case the first option was unavailable. I found out on my next flight that Premier 1Ks should get their preferred option, but I figure there was probably an abundance of 1Ks and Global Service members onboard this flight. The dinner menu is as follows:
I ended up choosing the seared beef short rib with the seared turbot as my alternative with the drink special. I was leaning more towards the turbot, but since I have little to no knowledge over the turbot fish and its effects on our health. I’ve been choosing the beef entree too many times, and I want to start choosing healthier options!
For those of you interested in the drink menu, it is as follows:
Before we pushed back, I opened up the amenity kit offered on this premium flight
The kit contained a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, lip balm, and an eye mask. The kit came in a nice small cloth bag, as it is a reduced version of what is typically distributed in United Polaris Business Class.
After pushback we taxied for a few minutes and then we were ready for takeoff, as the Pratt and Whitney engines lifted us up into the skies of Boston.
After takeoff, we experienced some turbulence, but once we passed the chop the dinner service started.
I was met with the ginger ale I ordered at last minute with the customary mixed nuts. Then came the smoked chicken appetizer with the same United salad I’ve been getting on every premium cabin United flight. Next came the beef entree which was very good, except for the goat cheese grits, it could’ve done without that.
I’d eventually like to see some (positive) changes and a good rotating menu of apps, salads, and entrees in the premium cabins that offers different options rather than essentially the same options on the same routes, two years (so it seems and I’m pretty confident it has been) in a row.
The one thing that should never change is the sundae. That is the best part of the dinner service and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” This was also accompanied by both a cheese plate and a cup o'(illy)joe.
After finishing the dinner service, I put the seat into lie-flat mode and failed to sleep, so I ended up watched some TV shows for the remainder of the flight. A considerable amount of time passed and we were soon descending into the San Francisco Bay Area.
My final verdict: I went out of my way to get onboard this transcontinental service, but I would not go out of my way again. If I was traveling from the east coast to the west coast for work, its a nice service to have, but I do think it can be improved with better seats. I would like to try out jetBlue, American (both Flagship First and Business), and Delta’s transcontinental service.
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