- Flight: UA2395
- Aircraft: B757-300
- Class: Domestic First
- Seat: 5F
- Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Denver International (DEN)
- Distance: 942 miles
- Duration: 2hrs 15min
- Departure: 11:03AM
- Arrival: 12:18PM
This flight was my first domestic first class flight during the COVID-19 pandemic. I arrived at Terminal 1 at Chicago O’Hare about 90 minutes before departure and found the airport empty. The Premier Access area was desolate and there was only one other passenger in line checking in. The TSA PreCheck line next to the check-in area was empty and I made it pass security in under thirty seconds.
Inside the terminal there were almost no passengers. Most of the restaurants were closed and the ones open were for to-go orders only.
The famous replica dinosaur fossil had been given a very fitting blue facemask.
I love the floor to ceiling glass windows at O’Hare which offers great views of the planes.
There were a few B757s arriving and departing. United was running them on trunk routes between Chicago and Denver and Houston.
Right next to our gate was a B787 Dreamliner pushing back to on her way to Hawaii.
Our beautiful B757-300, registration N57857, was delivered to Continental Airlines back in 2001 making her 17 years old.
Boarding began promptly at 10AM and followed new COVID-19 protocols. The plane was boarded from back to front in economy while Mileage Plus elites and First Class passengers invited to board at any time. Boarding was done via Door 2L and it was a treat to turn left after boarding.
All of United’s B757-300 feature the newest iteration of their domestic first class product. These slimline recliners were designed by PriestmanGoode and introduced back in 2015. Each seat has 38″ of pitch and is 20.4″ wide.
There are a total of 24 first class seats in a 2-2 configuration. The seats were fairly comfortable for the short two and a half hour flight with adequate padding.
United opted to not install seatback screens on their new slimline seats. Instead, there are two seatback pockets.
There is also a shared granite cocktail table.
Below the cocktail table was a universal power outlet. Unfortunately, United decided to not install any USB ports. Below the outlet was a small storage compartment which doubled as a bottle holder.
The recline button was located in the other armrest. These new slimline seats feature an “articulating seat bottom” which slides forward instead of reclining to give passengers roughly five inches of total “recline”.
There was also a side stowage bin that was perfect for laptops or tablets.
There was a good amount of legroom and a shared space below the center armrest for storage as well.
In the center armrest was a large bi-fold tray table.
Each tray table also featured a tablet holder.
Upon boarding, all passengers were greeted with masked flight attendants handing out sanitizing wipes.
It was a beautiful day in Chicago with clear blue skies. Love the old school window shades on old Boeing aircraft.
We pushed back exactly on time at 10:50AM and passed by a few widebodies including an ANA B777 and United B777.
The taxi to the runway was brief and then we were on our way to Denver.
Once in the air I connected to the United Wi-Fi. United provides an exceptional flight map with details about both the plane and flight.
Due to COVID-19, United has severely cutback inflight service in first class. Currently, for flight longer than two hours and 20 minutes there is a choice between a sandwich or snack box. This flight was blocked at 2hr39min and theoretically should have received the two options. However, it was mis-catered and all first class passengers were only given a snack bag.
The snack bag contained a Biscoff, pretzels, and small bottle of water. Flight attendants also came through with a beverage service and I had a Bloody Mary.
The flight attendants made multiple passes through the cabin offering drinks. I had a second Bloody Mary.
Most of the route to Denver was spent over clouds.
The lavatory was fairly clean throughout the flight. Nothing special.
As we approached Denver the landscape turned into brown farmland.
We had a very smooth landing. Enjoy!
After a very short taxi to gate B35, I exited via Door 2L and made my way to the United Club.
Thanks for the ride!
This flight was the first time aboard the B757-300 for me and it was a treat to sit up front. Despite the mis-catering, the flight was enjoyable with a pleasant crew and stiff drinks. The slimline seats are not too bad and in my opinion are an improvement over the older domestic first class seats.
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