Trip Report: United Airlines, New Orleans to Ottawa
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It is very easy to manage your booking through the United app. Through the app, you can view your booking, change your seat assignments, access boarding passes, see gate numbers, gate changes, flight status, as well as access the on-board entertainment. It really is a useful app to have if you are flying with United. With the app I checked in online and received my boarding passes. My flight was scheduled to depart New Orleans at 3:50p and arrive into Newark at 7:50pm. The flight had arrived from another destination, and after a quick turnaround we started boarding. Boarding happened by groups, and within 30 minutes the plane had been boarded.
The operating aircraft for the almost 3hr flight was an Airbus A320 with a 3-3 seat layout. The legroom was surprisingly very good, I am tall at 6'1 and the legroom was good enough for me. My knees were not hitting neither the seat in front of me nor myself. The seat itself was pretty decent and comfortable enough for the 3hr flight (although I have been on this aircraft for longer flights, and after 3.5hrs the seat starts getting uncomfortable). There was a small pocket in front of the seat that was empty. The inflight magazine, safety card, and other information was stored in the pocket above the seat. This is very convenient as this layout provides more legroom for passengers. I also saw passengers use this nook as a holder for ipads and other electronic devices. It was a quick taxi to the runway and we took off near our scheduled time.
About 15-20 minutes after reaching our cruising altitude, the inflight service continued. Complimentary drinks were served along with complimentary pretzels. Snack boxes were also available to purchase. The drinks were provided in small cups, and this was the only inflight service for the entire 3 hours. After providing drinks, the flight attendants never came by for another service - not even for water. I understand trying to cut down on costs, but they could have at least come back down the aisle with water. The rest of the flight was uneventful as it was up to the passenger to pass the time. You can access free entertainment through United's app when you are connected to United Wifi. Unfortunately the wifi was not working on this plane so you were not able to connect to the entertainment - there was no apology, just a statement that the wifi was not working. We landed in Newark earlier than our time, but it took a while to taxi to our gate as there was another plane there. We finally got to our gate and deplaned.
I had about one hour before my next plane departed, but I also had to switch from the C concourse where United is based to the A concourse where United Express is based as my next flight was on a small plane. The operating plane for my flight to Ottawa was a small Embraer plane in a 1-2 layout. There was one seat on one side and two seats on the other side and neither of them had a lot of room. The plane was also small in height - I am about 6'1 and my head was hitting the roof of the plane. Luckily the flight time was only 1h20 minute so a lot of time was not spent in the plane. Given the short flight time, as soon as we reached cruising altitude the inflight service commenced. Complimentary drinks and snacks were provided. It was a very short and uneventful flight - and that's good because it is not a comfortable plane to be on for a long period.
Overall, it was a decent flight with United. While United is a mainline carrier, their service resembles that of a low-cost carrier. Before their ticket prices were very high and you did not get a lot for the ticket price, but now they seem to have lowered their prices in comparable to the service you receive. You do not pay a lot of money and in return you do not get a lot of service - basic prices for basic services.