Trip Report: United Airlines (B757-300) Domestic First ORD-IAH

The Details

  • Flight: UA2354
  • Aircraft: B757-300
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 1A
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)
  • Distance: 926 miles
  • Duration: 2hrs 13min
  • Departure: 10:44AM
  • Arrival: 1:09PM

The Preflight

I was dropped of at Terminal 1 O’Hare at 8:30AM in the morning for my 10:45AM flight to Houston. I arrived a little bit early because I had just signed up for Clear and had to finish registration at the airport. There were very few people in the Premier Access check-in counter.

Premier Check-in

After finishing the registration process for Clear with the incredibly friendly and helpful staff at O’Hare, I was escorted towards the TSA PreCheck lane. Just before entering, I was given a Clear goodie bag filled with hand sanitizer, tissue paper, sanitizing wipes, and a face mask.

Clear Goodie-bag

My flight to Houston today was departing from the C gates at Terminal 1, which is connected via underground walkway to the main terminal. It is always a trip to walk through the rainbow colors.

Most of the restaurants in the terminal were open while the Duty Free stores remained closed.

One of my favorite parts of the terminal facilities at O’Hare are the ground-to-ceiling windows with excellent views of the apron. I passed by a B767-300ER headed to Hawai’i.

Next to our gate was a Embraer regional jet headed towards Detroit.

Our beautiful B757-300, registration N75853, was delivered brand new to Continental Airlines back in February 2002. She was eventually transferred over to United Airlines in January 2011.

Currently, United has a total of 21 B757-300s which primarily fly hub-hub routes such as ORD-IAH, IAH-DEN, and ORD-LAX.

Boarding began exactly at 9:55AM. Global Services, Premier Elite, and First class passengers were invited to board first. Economy was boarded from back to front due to new COVID-19 protocols.

As with most B757 flights, passengers boarded via door 2L. That meant all First class passenger got to turn left!

The Flight

United Airlines features a total of 24 First class seats in a 2-2 configuration between the first and second pair of doors. These seats are United’s newest generation of slimline Domestic First recliners and are also found aboard their A319s, A320s, B737s, and MAXs. Compared to American Airlines’ newest Domestic First seats, I’ve found that United’s is more comfortable but lacks in seat features.

I was seated in 1A today, which in my opinion is the best seat aboard the B757-300. Since it is bulkhead, there are no passengers in front of you that recline.

What is awesome about seats 1A and 1B is that there is a foot cubby cutout in the wall to stretch out your feet. Seats 1E and 1F lack this cutout and the legroom is more restricted. There was a standard literature pocket above the cutout.

The cutout was fairly large and allowed for the storage of a personal item.

Between the seats was a granite cocktail table.

There was an extension of the cocktail table that could be slid outwards for more surface area.

Below the cocktail table was a universal power outlet. United strangely opted to not install USB ports at their seats. Right below the power outlet was a small storage space for drink bottles.

Next to the bottle storage space was another storage space perfect for tablets, books, or phones.

The large bi-fold tray table was stored in the center armrest.

There was a built-in tablet holder which was the perfect size for my 10.4″ Galaxy tablet S5e.

In the left side armrest was a recline button. The new slimline seats feature an “articulating bottom” which means instead of really reclining, the seat bottom slides forward instead. Below the armrest was a deep storage pocket.

I must give credit to United for their exceptional cabin finishes and branding.

These small design touches definitely gave the cabin a more “premium” feel.

Upon boarding, each passenger was handed a sanitizing wipe by the masked flight attendants. Despite the poor weather around Chicago and the snow flurries, our flight pushed back a minute early at 10:44AM. Thankfully, de-icing was done at the gate instead of the new de-icing facilities built at O’Hare.

We had a long 25 minute taxi to the runway 9R and at 11:09AM we finally took off. Enjoy the roar of the Rolls Royce RB211s!

Once in the air, I launched the inflight map from my table. I love the amount of information United provides on their flight map.

Service began with a round of drinks. I had my usual Bloody Mary.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, United has modified their inflight service. On flights longer than two hours and 20 minutes, United offers First class passengers either a sandwich or snack box.

Options today included the Tapas snack box, chicken sandwich, or tomato basil sandwich. All of the choices were presented by a flight attendant on a tray.

I decided to try the tomato basil sandwich which was terrible. Despite being heated, it was flavorless and filled with fat.

Flight attendants were very attentive on this flight. They made multiple passes through the cabin collecting trash or offering more drinks. Halfway through the flight, I had a ginger ale.

Most of our flight involved cruising over a cloud covered landscape.

As we approached Houston, I used the forward lavatory. It was relatively clean.

We passed over Lake Houston on our approach to runway 26L.

We landed at 1:09PM local time. Enjoy the landing!

The taxi to our gate took just five minutes. Deplaning was done from front to the back with all first class passengers invited to get off first. Thanks for the ride!

This was another perfectly fine flight with United Airlines on a B757-300. I appreciated the open bar, comfortable seat, and warm service. I will say that the food offerings are seriously disappointing and could use some improvement. Until next time!

6 thoughts on “Trip Report: United Airlines (B757-300) Domestic First ORD-IAH

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