Stu Freeman flies United Airlines UA152 from Los Angeles to Newark Liberty International New York.
: A single-aisle Boeing 757-200. It was my first time on the aircraft and it had the feel of a slightly roomy B737.
Class : Economy.
Price : $496 round trip. Purchased by my New York-dwelling son, who pointed out I could get a cheaper return fare if I wasn't such a slave to Star Alliance points.
Flight time : 5h 40m. Despite a power outage at another terminal in LAX and dire warnings from hotel staff, things were running normally. There were three or four passengers who boarded late and we departed from Terminal Seven just a few minutes after the scheduled 12.15pm time.
My seat : 35D, on an aisle.
Fellow passengers : The couple next to me cuddled up together for much of the flight, resulting in a bit more arm room for me. Some of the passengers on the plane seemed strangely unable to sit down before take-off and the desire to carry on as much as possible to avoid luggage charges was evident.
How full : "We are looking for travellers who'd consider taking a different flight in exchange for a travel voucher" kind of full.
Entertainment : More than expected. About 40 movies (standard airline movie stuff), some interesting TV shows and music. Headphones provided. There are back-of-seat screens, plus Wi-Fi available, and entertainment available through the app.
Flight check: Auckland to Hong Kong with Air New Zealand
The service : Efficient, friendly, standard.
Food and drink : A free 14g (that's little) bag of pretzel twists. A good variety of snacks and light meals to purchase — chicken tinga tacos, scrambled eggs, cheese plates, etc — typically costing $12-$15. Non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, coffee / tea complimentary). I bought a tasty IPA ($12). Wine and spirits with mixers are a similar price.
The toilets : Three in Economy cabin — one up front, two down back.
Luggage : An extra US$30 for a checked bag up to 25kg. One carry-on bag permitted free.
The airport experience: Pretty crowded but surprisingly smooth. Longest queue was the bag drop but that was only a five minute-or-so wait.
The bottom line : This was better than I remembered UA domestic being when I was last on it, a few years ago. It's a relatively long flight that crosses the continent and links two popular destinations. I would (and probably will) fly this again.