United Airlines merger with Continental has hit a little turbulence along the way but I’m happy to report that it’s still left the brand with that memorable United polish.
I just flew to Mexico in what is essentially Premium Economy and First. I went from Minneapolis to Denver in Economy Plus and then connected to their United Business cabin for the flight to Los Cabos, Mexico.
The Economy Plus cabins I was in throughout my journey really have nice extra leg room and are well worth the extra payment. United still keeps the essence of the old school American carriers. It reminds me of the Pan Am days where we loved to travel on a US carrier; when there was still fanfare and luxury surrounding air travel. After 9/11 US airlines dropped in many services but I feel United has tried to still maintain their brand identity.
They have very pleasant cabin staff and exceedingly clean cabins. With their version of premium economy you can pay as little as $39 more as long as you book in advance. Getting seated in the first few rows, and the excellent leg room make it all worth it; not to mention the Priority Boarding which as any seasoned traveler will tell you is key.
Arrival in Denver is nice as it’s an easy connection point. The airport is modern and big, and it’s a dream to stay with United as all their gates are pretty close together.
Up front on the flight to Mexico is actually counted as Business rather than First Class. You’re in the same domestic First Class seat but you get sparkling wine offered before take off, which I can’t argue with. The nomenclature difference is because Mexico as a foreign country operates under different rules. The new fleet boasts a brilliant entertainment screen that accesses Direct TV with all their live shows. You still have to pay a small amount for this as you do with WIFI. It’s only $3.99 an hour which is better than most US Airlines.
Once we were up in the air a meal was served featuring a nice grilled chicken salad along with sparkling wine or red and white. A full bar service was also offered.
The United crews were attentive and pleasant on both segments. United uniforms are smart, sleek and I think the staff is on top of their game. I have not traveled with United in many years although I used to fly them often on long haul routes and look forward to getting to know the airline again.
All in all, flying the new United is a pleasurable experience and a pleasant surprise for a US carrier.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.