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Review: United Express E175 First Class | HRL-IAH

A review of a short 1 hour flight from Harlingen to Houston in United Express' First Class!

I have not been paid by any entity in any way (financially, benefits) to write the following post. This is from a trip that occurred in December 2019. Any airline, lounge, and/or loyalty program policies may have changed since then. All travel occurred prior to COVID-19; please stay safe and consult your national health authority for guidance on traveling.

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HRL-IAH | United Club IAH Terminal C North | United Polaris Lounge IAH | IAH-NRT | United Club NRT | NRT-PEK | Air China Transit Lounge PEK Terminal C | PEK-PVG | Air China Premium Lounge PVG | PVG-SFO | SFO-IAH


The dreaded 5AM flight. I have yet to meet a person that truly loves and enjoys such a masochistic flight time; I only fly it because it’s usually the cheapest option. And today is the day I go on my final trip of 2019, heading to Beijing for a few days on a relatively cheap $700 round-trip ticket from the Rio Grande Valley and back. So that’s how I find myself on the inside of an E175 leaving out of Harlingen, Texas headed to Houston Intercontinental airport.


Airline: United Express
Flight: UA3548
Aircraft: Embraer E175
Seat: 2A
Route: Harlingen (HRL) – Houston (IAH)

After getting to my seat, the flight attendant on this morning flight asked for my pre-departure drink order; a glass of water to stay hydrated for the trip!

United Express First Class | Pre-departure Drink

We pushed back not too long after I boarded, and of course I, being dead tired for having slept about 2 hours after a wedding, I pulled out the safety info card and reviewed it since the view was basically darkness and obscure lights.

United Express First Class | Pushback at HRL

Did manage to snap a pic of a Southwest B737 though!

Southwest Airlines B737 at HRL

Soon enough, we made our way to the runway to head out to H-Town.

Once in the air, the friendly flight attendant came around asking for our in-flight drink, and I asked for a cup of illy coffee to wake me up, a cup of water to wash down my breakfast, and a fruit bar from the first class snack basket.

United Express First Class | In-flight refreshments

After the service they came by asking for any second orders, to which I politely declined, and about 20 minutes or so later we were descending into the stormy Houston area.

Descending through the storm

As we were descending, we got rocked pretty well by turbulence as we flew through some storm clouds, which some people were clearly not enjoying. To be fair, it was fairly strong, but seemed to pass in a minute as we touched down in Houston.

As we taxied to the oddball Terminal A, I got some awesome views and way less awesome pics since it was rainy and dark: not great conditions for taking pictures out of a plane.

And we can’t forget of a solo pic of the champ that got us here!


This was a perfectly fine flight up to Houston from Harlingen. I truly enjoy the oversized first class seat and roomy interior of the E170 series, compared to the garbage unfavorable ERJ-145 sardine cans they used to fly to the Rio Grande Valley.

Other than that, it was an ordinary hop to Houston, setting us up for the highlight of the trip: flying on United 7 to Tokyo Narita! Stay tuned for the next installment, and check out my brief review of the United Club IAH Terminal C North!

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it, follow us on our social media accounts located in the sidebar, and please share share share! 

As always, remember to keep living life one trip at a time!


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