Trip Report: United Airlines (E175) Domestic First LAX-SAN

The Details

  • Flight: UA5840
  • Aircraft: E175
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 4A
  • Route: Los Angeles International (LAX)-San Diego International (SAN)
  • Distance: 140 miles
  • Duration: 25min
  • Departure: 10:48PM
  • Arrival: 11:29PM

The Preflight

After arriving on my connecting flight from Houston at 6PM, I had a long four hour layover at LAX. I initially walked all the way from Terminal 7 to Tom Bradley International Terminal to go checkout the AMEX Centurion Lounge. However, I did not check the hours and learned that it closed at 3PM.

I made my way back to Terminal 7 which is United’s main terminal and decided to check-out the United Club.

Due to COVID-19 and local restrictions, the United Club was “to-go” only. That meant no passenger were allowed to be seated. Lounge staff had arranged all of the seating to form a path with arrows that directed guests to the food area.

A lone lounge staff was on hand to give guests food. Everything was located behind the counter. I picked the food I wanted and it was then placed into a brown paper bag.

Drink options included a variety of cold crews, hot coffee, juice, soda, and water. Food offerings included chips, cookies, nuts, and other pre-packaged snacks. There was a refrigerator stocked with salami and cheese, hummus, and chocolate cake slices. Once I got my food, I made my way out of the Club to find some seating.

Our flight to San Diego departed from Terminal 8 which is where most of the United Express flights. Departure was originally 10:35PM however it was delayed to 10:51PM in order to accommodate some late arriving passengers on a Newark flight.

Boarding still began at 10:10PM.

Our E175L, registration N602UX, was delivered brand new to ExpressJet back in May 2019. Unfortunately due to the depressed demand during COVID-19, ExpressJet ceased operations in Sept 2020. Earlier in April 2020, ExpressJet and United had made the decision to divest all of their E175s. Our E175 was then transferred over the SkyWest.

The Flight

United Express currently has three regional airline partners that operate the E175. The three include SkyWest, Mesa, and Republic. This particular E175 was operated by SkyWest. Currently, SkyWest operates two distinct E175 sub-fleets for United Express. One sub-fleet features 70 seats with 12 first, 16 Economy plus, and 42 economy seats. The other sub-fleet is dubbed the “E175SC” and offers 12 first, 32 economy Plus, and 26 economy seats.

Today’s aircraft was a E175SC with first class in a 1-2 configuration between rows 1-4. The seat had an excellent amount of padding and I loved the single chair on the left hand side of the aircraft.

A small cloth curtain separated the First and economy cabin.

There was only one other passenger in the first class cabin with me on today’s flight.

Pitch was 37″ and the seat was 20″ wide. There were no IFE screens but the seatback did have a large and deep literature pocket.

In the left hand armrest was a small cocktail tray table that popped out.

Below the left hand armrest was a 110V power outlet. The SkyWest E175SC actually offers power outlets in both the first and economy cabin.

The recline button was located in the righthand armrest. Each first class seat had an advertised 5″ of recline.

The bi-fold tray table was stored in the righthand armrest. I appreciated the cup holder.

The tray table was fairly sturdy when completely open.

Upon boarding, each passenger was given a sanitizing wipe. Once I was seated, the flight attendant came through and passed out a water bottle for the first class passengers.

Under the new COVID-19 inflight service changes there was no snack service on this flight since it was under one hour.

I was surprised when the flight attendant came through the cabin again and asked if I would like anything to drink. This marked my first pre-departure beverage in over a year. I went with a ginger ale.

We ended up waiting at the gate for about 40 minutes for the three passengers on the delayed Newark flight. Both the captain and the lead flight attendant very open and communicated the status of those passengers.

Our flight pushed back 13 minutes late at 10:48PM local time. There was a fairly long take-off line and we were airborne 16 minutes after pushback. Enjoy!

Since the flight was only 25 minutes, there was no inflight service. We had some great views of the California coast the entire way south.

Before long we were on approach into San Diego via runway 27, passing close by the downtown skyscrapers.

We touched down at 11:39 local time at SAN. After a very quick taxi to the gate I was on my way. Thanks for the ride!

I had a very pleasant ride with SkyWest onboard their E175. It was nice to have a solo seat without any passengers next to me. The flight attendants were excellent and I appreciated having a pre-departure beverage. I look forward to flying SkyWest again!

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