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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: United Economy 737-900 From San Salvador-Los Angeles


Following an intriguing flight onboard a TAG Airlines ERJ145 (, it was time to finish off this weekend trip onboard a United 737-900 to Los Angeles.

To summarize, this was an okay flight, while it was a brutal red eye, I could sleep for some time.

Route- San Salvador- Los Angeles

Seat- 15A

Flight Number- UA1670

Date- February 12th 2024

Flight Time: 5 Hours 2 minutes

Price Paid- 16,600 Miles+57$

How I Booked

8 am class dawned upon me Monday morning in California, which meant trying to find a way from Central America overnight and landing before 7 am in LAX. The only redeye I could find that fit the schedule was UA1670, which was supposed to land at 06:30 am and depart at 03:00, horrendous timing.

With my United Silver card, I was able to snag a seat on this flight, which was 16,600 miles+57$ in taxes one way in economy. With cash fares upwards of 290$, it was an okay redemption (much better out there).


Once I landed from Guatemala City, there was no need to clear immigration and go through security for those who are wishing to transit this airport. However, I wanted a stamp on my passport, which meant I did.

Once I exited arrivals, I turned left and made my way to departures. There was a long line in the economy check-in due to the flight to New York, but with my silver status, I was eligible to check-in at the Premier Access which had no line.

With two seats left, I was third on the CPU list for tonight. I enquired about the upgrade cost and it sat at 269$, which is a good price, but since I had already reviewed the business experience, there was no need.

With a boarding pass in hand, I made my way through security.

With 5 hours to kill, I discovered just about every part of the airport. San Salvador airport is extremely modern and had a pleasant time while waiting.

Finally, at about 2 am, the gate agents informed us that our flight was delayed due to a late arrival from the inbound aircraft. Great, an even later flight, just what I needed.

I did get my hopes up about an upgrade as the time got closer to departure. Sadly, I missed out to a fellow Silver member.


Boarding commenced at 02:40 local time, with people needing assistance being called first and then group 1. Interestingly, I counted 18 people using wheelchairs on today's flight.

As I was in group 2, it was my time to board next, continuing down the jetbridge.

And seeing our beautiful bird on this fine morning, or is it night? So unsure as my body clock is all messed up😅.

Once I made it down to my seat, I took up 15F. This is the second time in the past few months that I have sat in the wrong seat, perhaps I am getting old and forgetful? Eventually, I was asked to move across to my seat in 15A and I apologized profusely to the woman sitting in 15A.

We were delayed a little further, which meant we didn't push back until 03:45 am. Apparently, the flight deck had some papers to fill out, don't they know I have a class to get to😅!

The Seat

Today's flight would consist of an old 737-900 featuring 20 first-class seats and the rest in economy, arranged in a 3-3 configuration.

This meant no seatback TVs, let alone the Bluetooth connectivity I had on my First Class report. The legroom was fine, the standard for a US carrier, nothing further to report. I am 6 feet flat so take that into consideration.

Lastly, at the seat was a tray table that popped down. While it did the trick for sleeping, it was nothing fancy.

The Flight

With these brutal redeyes, most carriers do a modified service to maximize rest; the same applies to this review 😅. We pushed back at 03:45 am local time bound for LAX. Sadly, I was asleep for any sort of service that was done today, my apologies.

We had a short taxi out to the runway and was cleared for immediate takeoff. Immediately, I went to sleep, waking up properly only 30 minutes before landing. Why I say properly is since it was on and off sleep. Next to me lay a mother and two small children (one baby), one who sat in the middle seat. We always hear a baby crying on the flight right? This time, that baby was sitting next to me. I wasn't that frustrated since I'm a young adult, I can handle being tired but what I couldn't imagine, is the mother who is trying to fly with two children by herself. I felt for her.

What made it better was waking up to this beautiful view.

We touched down at LAX airport at 6:56 am local time and had a 6-minute taxi to the gate at the Tom Bradley Terminal.

No clue as to why it says we departed at 3:22. because we most definitely did not.

Immigration in 98 Seconds

Once we landed, I did the mobile passport since I had to try every avenue to beat the foot traffic this morning at immigration. LAX is notoriously bad for long waits at immigration, even worse at the hour. I saw that the Air Premia flight was deplaning simultaneously, which meant I had to run to immigration to get ahead of them. Everyone always tells me there is no point in running as other planes are ahead, etc. Flashing my mobile passport verification, I was directed to a private lane. I was through immigration in 98 seconds, a new personal record for any airport.

Following another 400-yard dash to the exit of Tom Bradley, my friend was waiting to drive me to class. We got stuck in a bit of traffic heading down to OC which meant I was 14 minutes late. Needless to say, I was bloody exhausted 😂.

Final Thoughts

United Airlines got the job done on this flight from San Salvador to Los Angeles. While I was a bit gutted not to receive the CPU, it meant being able to review the economy class onboard the 737-900, which I am grateful for. The seats were okay and the legroom wasn't too cramped, I was able to get some rest and that's all that matters on these brutal redeyes. Even with having two small children next to me, it wasn't that bad of a flight. However, with all that being said, I wouldn't seek out flying United Airlines on this route again but perhaps if Avianca was the only other option. The reason is that these interiors need updating.



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