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May 26, 2013 / oneworld82

United Domestic First: EWR-DFW

After catching up with some friends over Easter brunch in Tribeca, it was time to head back home. I was eagerly awaiting to try UA domestic first to compare it to AA’s; I was also looking forward to check out Newark’s Terminal C – supposedly much better than American’s Terminal A.

Contrarily to what many people thinks, getting to Newark is fairly easy. Take the Path to Newark/NJ Transit all the way through, you are guaranteed to make it in an acceptable amount of time – without breaking the bank.


B3737-800, Seat 2F


Once I went through security, I tried to gain access to the United Club located inside Terminal C. I had heard mixed opinions regarding my ability to get in after flying ANA F into JFK. I decided to try my luck and I was unsuccessful. The lady at the desk mumbled something about having to fly UA F and not another Star Alliance carrier to be able to get it… Since my flight was due to board in less than half a hour, I decided I was too tired to argue and just said “thank you” with a fake, forced smile before heading to the main concourse.

This was my first time at Newark’s Terminal C. The impression was positive, albeit not great. After all, this is a US airport, although I would have expected more from one of United’s main hubs.

My flight was delayed some 25 minutes as the flight getting into EWR was late. Once boarding started, I proceeded through the gate and took my seat 2F. I noticed – as you might expect – little-to-no difference between UA and AA domestic First. I was curious though to test the service and the the overall soft product.

I boarded with the first group of passengers.


One annoying thing happened right before taking off: one of the FA servicing first class made a rather disturbing announcement through the interphone. He said that everyone needed to turn off their electronic devices right away as the pilot was having major problems with its radar due to interference caused by someone’s cellphone. First of all, let me tell you: I strongly believe that everyone should turn their phones/ipad off before taking off/landing. Not because I inherently believe they represent a safety hazard, but simply because it’s the law. That being said, I was shocked at how the FA lied (and then started laughing about it with his fellow colleagues) about something that could cause panic/stress to people that may already be afraid of flying. I hope these practices are the norm in the industry, because no end justifies this kind of means…

Anyways, take off was smooth and shortly after the seat belt sign was turned off the flight attendants came by to take drink orders. As usual on domestic flights, I went for a gin and tonic, which was accompanied by some tasty warm nuts. I must say that I was favorably impressed by the crew (despite pre-take off events): FA’s were active, cheerful, and efficient.


Dinner was served about 1hr into the flight. I opted for the braised beef over noodles.


The beef was well cooked, tender, as it should be. The noodles complemented it well. It seems that US carriers have steeped up their domestic first class service lately. That is a very good news indeed for frequent travelers, as generally speaking the food is now worth eating (I cannot comment on Delta yet, but this is certainly true on UA and AA).

The dinner tray looked like this:


I must say that AA is more generous with shrimps and salad size…

IMG_0782 IMG_0783

Also, UA didn’t serve a proper dessert, even though a cookie was later on offered and even though a snack tray with various sweets and salty snacks was passed around.

We landed in Dallas around 30 minutes behind schedule, in what was overall a pleasurable flight. I managed to get a picture of my seat before leaving the plane:

Standard domestic First Class seat

Standard domestic First Class seat

All in all, I would rate UA’s service on this route on par with AA’s service to LGA/JFK. I wouldn’t mind flying UA again in the future. As a matter of fact, I will fly it in December to ORD, and I look forward to see the difference in service when flying on a CR7.

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