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Review: United Business Class From Los Angeles (LAX)-San Francisco (SFO) On The 737 Max 9.


To start off this around-the-world review adventure (26 flights in 36 days), the first flight would be onboard a United 737 Max 9 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. While I was originally booked on a 757 with lie-flat seats for this route I had to change days which meant a classic domestic recliner for this hour or so hop up to SFO.


Route- LAX-SFO

Seat- 1A

Flight Number- UA2611

Date- December 16th

Flight Time: 1 Hour 13 Mins

Price Paid- 170K United Miles+5.60$



What to expect:


How I booked this ticket


Boarding


The cabin/seat


IFE


Inflight service


Sunset approach into SFO


Arrival





How I booked this ticket:


As you can read about in my previous post here, https://www.jettoajet.com/post/intro-pt-1-my-craziest-trip-yet-10-countries-19-flights-top-hotels-in-asia-all-in-21-days you can see that I booked this connecting ticket from LAX-SFO-Manila for 170K United Miles one way in business class. Saver space is extremely limited on any new routes for United and since I had to get to Manila by the 18th I had no other choice. This leg was practically free as it was the same cost to go direct SFO-Manila so that is always nice.


Boarding:


After departing the Polaris Lounge at LAX, where you can read my review of that lounge if you want here https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-polaris-lounge-lax. I had access to the lounge due to my connecting flight to Manila for those wondering. I decided to head down to the gate just as boarding was about to commence.


Leaving the Polaris lounge at LAX, fantastic place when not busy!
Walking to the gate to leave America, well almost! About bloody time!

Terminal 7 is relatively small so it was only a short 2-minute walk to the gate and since I seem to stack up steps in airports I felt extremely blessed to not lug around my 2 carry-ons. I arrived at the gate to find about 40 people lined up in front of me for boarding.....


Really United?? There are only 20 business-class seats (or what they like to call First Class) and 40 people in front of me. I know I know status and all of that but no matter what status you have, my personal opinion is the highest cabin should board first hence the name "first class". Ok rant over it was time to board.


Middle of the pack for boarding even in seat 1A...

I stashed my bags overhead since, well, there is no storage space underneath in the first row but not before taking my camera out for some sunset pictures you will see later!


The Cabin/Seat:


The 737 Max 9 is configured in a classic 2-2 configuration with 5 rows (in First), which if we do the math comes to 20 seats, A+ if you got it right!


United max 9 seat map

I was planning on taking some cabin pictures while I was boarding but when I got on board 12/20 seats were occupied and due to the privacy of others I didn't take any pictures.


I settled in nicely to seat 1A where I found the legroom to be more than adequate for such a short flight. I don't know how I would feel if the flight was 5+ hours but for this short trip it was surprisingly comfortable.


I am 6 foot tall (maybe 6'1 depending on the shoes) so you can see it's industry standard

The seat featured a little table between the two seats which felt quite modern and aesthetically pleasing to look at.


Quite modern ehhhh

As you can probably see from the picture above the cabin is modern and sleek on these new aircraft (unlike some of the other aircrafts). The TV remote functioned well (more on that later). The tray table also popped out from the side but that wasn't needed as no meal was served on today's flight.


I got to snap a quick picture before my seatmate arrived (he was one of the last to board), which shows that the TVs are placed in front of you on the wall.


Do-able for a short hop

The seats also recline. However, I'm not somebody who likes to recline seats, especially when I'm not sleeping out of respect for the person behind me. The classic blue is so iconic for United Airlines, I love it! And Yes, there was no space for my fedora in my luggage so I had to wear it.


Don't judge the outfit.

Lastly, a pre-departure beverage was offered, and since I already had my fair share of Lanson in the Polaris Lounge (UA serves sparkling wine on this flight) I opted for water.


Would have been nice in glassware
Up Up and Away we went

IFE:


While I don't usually ever watch movies on planes (I love looking out the window), I was flabbergasted to see Bluetooth connectivity on the flight today!!! Can every airline/aircraft implement this please, pretty please!!!! I was able to connect very easily as well with no issues, 5 stars here United!


Bluetooth On A Plane!!

United shines on their IFE selections with many of the new Hollywood movies being available such as Barbie and Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo is a great movie so I decided to start it and since I would be flying 15 hours later to Manila onboard United I knew I could finish it later.


Great movie, highly recommend

For those wondering United, of course, offers Wifi on this aircraft. Although I didn't purchase it for most of the flight I was glued to the magical sunset I experienced into SFO.


Moving on, I didn't make it very far into the movie since I was too distracted. 27 Minutes EEEEK.


Long way to go

Inflight Service:


The inflight service was fine and no not the fine my therapist tells me of (f****d up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional) but the fine where not great nor bad. I was never greeted when boarding or shown any sign that they wanted me on board but the FAs also weren't rude at all. The only time they came around was for pre-departure beverages, drinks, and snack service (which is pictured below) and to take away the drinks and snack service before landing. If booked in advance this ticket can be found for just over 150$ so I think for that price the service resembles just that. For such a short flight I found it to be okay. Hey, at least the drinks service was in glassware this time.


GLASS!

Sunset Approach Into SFO:


I have had the privilege in the past few weeks to experience some of the best sunrises and sunsets I have ever witnessed but this might have been the best of all. I'm not going to write any more about it I'll just share the pictures I took.



Be careful it might take your breath away, don't want anyone going to the hospital (insert wink emoji since I can't find how to do it).


Arrival:


We touched down a couple of minutes ahead of schedule due to a favorable approach with then another favorable runway, which meant we had a taxi of only a couple of minutes to the gate. I was second off of the plane and headed on the long dreary walk to the Polaris Lounge which was about 10 minutes away (okay I know I'm complaining but my carry-ons weigh more than 20kgs (but please don't tell the airlines shhh)).


Final Thoughts:


While yes this is no Polaris or anything similar with lie-flat seats it was still a very pleasant flight. It's like that student in school who is a straight B student, you know the one that doesn't try their best but also is smart at the same time, yeah that one. United Business (or First Class for that matter, Idek anymore) class ticked all the boxes, a decent seat, snacks, drinks, decent FAs, and Bluetooth connectivity. I would actively seek out flying United on this route over Delta or American after this experience. At least for the right price that is.


Stay tuned for reviews coming every week! Next up Polaris to Manila!



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