Trip Report: United Airlines (B737-700) Domestic First IAH-ORD

The Details

  • Flight: UA1637
  • Aircraft: B737-700
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 3A
  • Route: Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)-Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
  • Distance: 997miles
  • Flight time: 2hrs
  • Departure: 4:34PM
  • Arrival: 6:47PM

The Preflight

After arriving in Houston at 3:43PM, I had just 10 minutes until boarding was scheduled to begin for my final flight home. Luckily, the walk was only five minutes or so and I arrived just in time.

Todays B737-700, registration N27722, was delivered brand new to Continental Airlines back in March 1999 making her almost 22 years old. After the merger with United Airlines, she was transferred over in August 2011.

I was actually pretty excited for this run-of-the-mill domestic flight since it was going to be the first time I was sitting upfront on a B737-700. It was also just my third time ever flying a B737-700.

Boarding began on time at 3:55PM with Global Services and Premier 1K members invited to pre-board. First class was invited after them in Group 1.

The Flight

United Airlines features a total of 12 first class seats on board their B737-700s arranged in a 2-2 configuration over rows 1-3. In the economy cabin, there are 36 Economy Plus and 78 economy seats arranged in a 3-3 configuration. A hard wall separates the two cabins.

All United B737-700s have the newest slimline signature domestic first class seat. These slimline seats can also be found aboard the United A320s and B757-300s. Each seat is 20.4″ wide and has 38″ of pitch.

The nice thing about the slimline first seats onboard the B737-700s is that they feature seatback screens. Other aircraft with the new first seat lack the seatback screen. Below the screen were two literature pockets.

DirectTV was available on this flight with live TV.

While the pitch was generous at 38″, the foot room was restricted by a large box.

In between the two seats was a small cocktail table.

A small extension of the table popped out from below to give more room for drinks.

Below the cocktail table was a 110V outlet. Unlike Delta, American, and Alaska Airlines, United has decided to not install USB ports…

Next to the 110V outlet was a bottle holder. Behind that was the built in IFE remote, headphone jack, and more storage space.

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

It was fairly sturdy when fully folded out.

There was also a built-in tablet holder. However, mine was broken and could not support the weight of my tablet.

The recline button was located in the movable armrest on the left side. Recline was advertised as about five inches. Below the armrest was another storage space.

I do have to admit that the design of the new first class seats are very sleek. I loved the leather stitch and United branding throughout the cabin.

Upon boarding, each passenger was given a sanitizing wipe. This was a very full flight and the first class cabin went out completely full. The door was closed at 4:32PM and we pushed back four minutes later.

The taxi to the runway took about 10 minutes and at 4:48PM we took off from runway 26L.

Once in the air, I loaded up the United inflight entertainment on my tablet to get to the flight map. I personally love the United flight map and appreciated all of the details that it provides.

I also watched history in the making on DirectTV as the US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump a second time.

20 minutes after take-off, the flight attendant came through the cabin to take drink orders. I had a Gin & Tonic and specifically requested a double. In my experience, American flight attendants love serving doubles (without asking) while United flight attendants only serve singles.

Due to COVID-19, United has modified their inflight service in domestic first class. Since this flight was blocked at over 2 hours and 20 minutes, there would be a small meal service.

The flight attendant came through the cabin and offered each passenger a choice between either a carved chicken sandwich, tomato basil sandwich, or select snack box. Both sandwiches were warmed as well.

I had the carved chicken sandwich which was not bad; considering how much fat and carbs it contained.

Halfway through the flight, I asked for a Bloody Mary which was served promptly.

We began our descent into the Chicagoland area around 6:20PM and had great night views of the urban sprawl.

The final approach was smooth into O’Hare and we landed on runway 27R at 6:47PM.

As usual at O’Hare, we taxied around the airport for some time before pulling into the gate at 7PM.

Thanks for the ride!

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