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United Domestic Business Class

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,227
reviews: 263
United Domestic Business Class

Being based in Europe, I seldom take domestic flights within the USA. Tomorrow, I will, on UA. I am wondering what I should expect. To my understanding, United offers two domestic business classes, the former Continental and the former United pre-merger. Is this correct? I am booked on a class called Business First on a B737-900. Looking at pictures it looks like the kind of seats we can see in the Middle East or in Asia. Right? And Ex Conti or Ex United?

Thanks

DC
posts: 1,372
reviews: 1
1. Re: United Domestic Business Class

All of the 737s are ex-CO. Domestic business class, aka first class, is a wider 2-by-2 seat with good legroom. You'll have TV with lots of channels and nothing to watch at your seat.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,415
reviews: 5
2. Re: United Domestic Business Class

All the 737s are ex Continental. Domestic flights are classified as United First (BusinessFirst is intercontinental business class with lie flat beds). The seating is 2x2 with about 38" seat pitch, so similar to BA/Virgin's premium economy.

As regards IFE, some 739s have in seat video with DirecTV, which is free for First. However that's not on all 739s. In fact the new 739s are being delivered from Boeing with no IFE at all, and United/DirecTV are retrofitting that at a subsequent maintenance.

For flights of over 2.5 hours you should get a meal service, either breakfast, light lunch (salad or wrap) or dinner. Alcohol is free in First and you should be offered a pre flight drink.

Not bad, and a step up from the pre merger United service in First.

Edited: 6:32 pm, July 20, 2013
Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,227
reviews: 263
3. Re: United Domestic Business Class

Thanks. "Business First" is written in my LH confirmation. Guess they misscoded... It's a two hours flight after a long haul. So I guess a drink will be fine. Wondering what is the best product: ex-Conti or ex-United? And can non-Gold *A access lounges on domestic flights?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,415
reviews: 5
4. Re: United Domestic Business Class

Swissdiver,

You may be offered a snack on the short haul flight in First (banana, chocolate bar, potato chips).

>> Wondering what is the best product: ex-Conti or ex-United? <<

Soft product wise (service and food) they're the same, and imo better than the pre-merger United.

As for hard product, the seats are the same pitch, though I find the ex-UA seats a little more comfortable. There is no in seat video on ex-UA short haul, only the CO 738/9 that have DirecTV installed. The (ex-UA) A319/320s are also having the overhead screen IFE removed completely and having wifi installed. The wifi will be charged for but there will be a free streamed domestic IFE offering. It's a bit of a mess trying to work all this out as United is doing so much to their domestic fleet right now.

>> And can non-Gold *A access lounges on domestic flights? <<

Generally No. United domestic First does not automatically get you access to a United Club. The only possibility you have is if you are connecting off a Business Class international flight on the same ticket/itinerary. But I don't know for sure.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,415
reviews: 5
5. Re: United Domestic Business Class

Swissdiver,

There are photos of the 737 first class cabin on Seat Guru. They're on the 737-800 page but essentially it's the same.

seatguru.com/airlines/United_Airlines/United…

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,227
reviews: 263
6. Re: United Domestic Business Class

Thanks, USBT. Normally I am on One World airlines when in the US, so do not have any lounge issue (being Gold). Let's see as, yes, I'll be off a long haul (on a B747-8! :-) - hence the *A).

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,415
reviews: 5
7. Re: United Domestic Business Class

If you're on the 748 then it sounds like Lufthansa. If by any chance Lufty has a lounge at your arriving airport I'd expect you could use that. They do at IAD, but it's not on the C/D concourse (where the UA flights depart) so you'd have to make your way to/from concourse B.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,227
reviews: 263
8. Re: United Domestic Business Class

Yep, LH to IAD. The issue is the question mark around IAD immigration queue that can be quite long. I have 3 hours on the same ticket so am not worried. But I might make a move to the right concouse even if I have to pay for my drink there :-)

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,415
reviews: 5
9. Re: United Domestic Business Class

SD, if you don't use the Senator Lounge, then by all means try the UC (make sure you show them your LH boarding pass). And please let us know the outcome.

That said, the UC at IAD isn't very good. You'll get a free drink though tipping is "mandatory". Next time I use IAD (US has the cheapest upgradable fares to LHR via there) I'm going to try Senator.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,227
reviews: 263
10. Re: United Domestic Business Class

At IAD. Upon arrival we were split into two "mobile lounges" (nice way to call buses!), one for connecting passengers (to Concourse C) and one for the others. So that limited the options... I was lucky and immigration/customs/security went very smoothly as I had almost no one ahead of me. Then I wend to United First lounge (the first I found) and was kicked out (gently) as it is only for International United First passengers and sent to the United Club where I am writing from.