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

The Details

  • Flight: UA2376
  • Aircraft: B737-700
  • Class: Domestic First
  • Seat: 3A
  • Route: Indianapolis (IND)-George Bush Houston (IAH)
  • Distance: 876 miles
  • Duration: 1hr 51min
  • Departure: 11:42
  • Arrival: 12:33

The Preflight

I arrived at Indianapolis International Airport just two hours prior to my scheduled boarding time at around 9:00AM in the morning. Anticipating a packed airport given the summer holiday, I was surprised to find no one else ahead of me in line to check in. I dropped by two checked bags off without any delay and quickly made my way to TSA Pre-check.

Surprising me again was the lack of any passengers ahead of me in the TSA Precheck line. I was the only one and soon I found myself at the gate a full two hours prior to the departure time. I got myself a coffee from Tinker Coffee in the gate area and set up to do some work on my laptop. Unfortunately, only Delta Air Lines has a lounge at IND and no other airlines offer any lounges.

The inbound flight from Houston landed on time about 40 minutes prior to our scheduled boarding time. Cleaning crews quickly turned the aircraft around and boarding promptly began at 11:05AM.

Our B737-700, registration N23707, was delivered brand new to Continental Airlines back in May of 1998. She was more than 24 years old, but thanks to United’s paint job and cabin refurbishment, did not feel too dated.

The Flight

Onboard their B737-700s, United offers 12 Domestic First class seats arranged in the standard 2-2 configuration across three rows. In the back, there are 114 economy seats between 36 Economy Plus and 78 economy seats arranged in a 3-3 configuration.

I was seated in 3A, the window seat in the last row of the cabin. United’s Domestic First class seats are Safran brand cradle seats which offer 20 inches of width and 37.6 inches of pitch. These seats are United’s newest Domestic First offering which was introduced in 2015. I found the padding to be very comfortable and appreciated the adjustable headrest.

While some United aircraft do not have personal TVs in the seats, the B737-700s feature 13-inch seatback entertainment screens. There were also two literature pockets for storing personal items.

There was an obstructing box in the legroom on all of the seats arranged along the window which restricted my legroom. My laptop backpack did fit nicely underneath the seat in front.

Between the two seats was a granite cocktail table with an additional sliding extension. It had definitely seen better days with numerous scratches and dings on it.

Underneath the cocktail table were a 110V outlet, inflight entertainment control, and headphone jack. There was also enough space to store a water bottle but the area was very dirty with multiple crumbs.

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

There was an integrated tablet stand that fit my tablet perfectly.

The armest on the left-hand side could also fold up to reveal a storage bin. Each seat also could recline about five inches.

Upon boarding, each passenger was given a sanitizing wipe. Once the first class cabin got seated, the cabin purser came by and offered each one of us a pre-departure beverage. It was an open bar and I had a mimosa.

We pushed back exactly on time at 11:34 and soon taxied to runway 23R.

We took off at 11:44AM and had a clear view of the flat lands around Indianapolis.

On the climb out, I was able to catch a fleeting view of IND and the FedEx terminal.

Service began fifteen minutes after takeoff with a round of drinks. I had a Bloody Mary which was served pre-mixed and with a few slices of limes.

Another fifteen minutes later and lunch was served. Options included either Impossible Meatballs or Za’atar Chicken. I went with the Impossible Meatballs which were incredibly flavorful and tasty. Our wonderful flight attendant also brought out another round of drinks. There were also sides of fresh fruit and garden salad.

Halfway through the flight, I went to use the first class lavatory. It was fairly basic and nothing special. Thankfully, it was relatively clean.

The rest of the flight was uneventful as we cruised over Lousiana into Texas.

As we neared Houston, I had a cup of black coffee.

The cabin was prepped for landing 15 minutes out.

We landed at 12:33PM (CST) on runway 26L with a smooth landing.

The taxi to gate C3 just took four minutes and soon I was on my way to the American Express Centurion Lounge with a more than three-hour layover in Houston.

Thanks for the ride!

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