Airports, Airlines, Aviation

United Flight 1072 Review – Denver to Boston – Boeing 737-900

For my first-ever flight review, I’ll be reviewing my United Flight 1072 – Denver to Boston flight on April 11, 2014 on a Boeing 737-900 aircraft. @BackRowFlier, Seth Bailey, is teaching me more about aviation and aviation writing. Let’s get to it!

United Flight 1072 – Flight Details

Route: Denver to Boston

Airline: United Airlines 1072

Departing Gate: B32

Arrival Gate: A7

Flight Time: 10:02 AM

Boarding time: 09:27 AM

Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-900

Flight Length: 3h 59m

Distance Traveled: 1,749 miles

Class: Economy

Seat: 23A

Load factor: 100% full

United's Boeing 737-900 Configuration
United’s Boeing 737-900 Configuration

United Flight 1072 Interior/Takeoff

I did not have to use the overhead bin space, but I know from experience that this is an airplane with reconfigured bin space that is smaller, and therefore unable to accommodate larger carry-on overstuffed luggage. The cabin was clean but cramped feeling.

United's Cabin Configuration and In-Flight Entertainment - Boeing 737-900
United’s Cabin Configuration and In-Flight Entertainment – Boeing 737-900

Similarly, the seat was cramped, especially the leg-room – since there were power outlets between the seats, the amount of leg room was actually reduced, making it quite difficult for me to place both my backpack, AND my huge ankle boot comfortably under the seat in front of me.

United Flight 1072 Premium Economy would have been nice here, but the flight was 100% full. At least we pushed backed from the gate on time, and took-off moments later – not to mention that the captain came on almost immediately to tell us we had a strong tail-wind and that we would be landing in Boston 30 minutes early. The take-off was smooth.

United Flight 1072 - Takeoff
United Flight 1072 – Takeoff from Denver International Airport

United Flight 1072 Seats

Similarly with all my travels in these past 6 weeks post-surgery, I chose my seat, 23A, for one reason – to protect my left ankle. This was one of the few left-window seats available when I booked my flight, and the closest one to the front of the plane at that. I was happy to discover when I sat down the following amenities:

Wi-fi: Yes

In-flight entertainment: Yes, individual seat-back units.

Charging stations in seat: Yes

That said, as soon as we took off a flight attendant announced the wi-fi was not working. Frustrating! This was part of the reason I booked this specific flight on this specific aircraft – to get work done and be connected via email.

Also I did not find the seat very comfortable. I’m 5’3” so airplane seats are never designed for the vertically challenged – this I’m used to. My feet are barely touching the ground, my butt and lower back never touch the back of the seat because of my shorter legs, resulting in back pain throughout most of the flight, and my head always sits too low on the headrest such that it forces my neck and head forward, leading to neck pain during the flight (especially while napping). These seats seemed to have even less back support than I was used to and also seemed to have less range for adjustments, but then again I could just be getting older…. As a side note I am looking forward to trying out the new slim seats.

I was excited to see the personal entertainment unit but wasn’t about to cough up the $7.99 (for flights over 2 hours) or $5.99 (for flights under 2 hours) to watch it (and it’s $2 less if you pay for more than 1 with the same credit card). This is one of the benefits of flying JetBlue, by the way – you don’t have to pay for the basic in-flight entertainment. United wouldn’t even show a movie to us for free (although if you’re in the First Class Cabin it’s free).

Seat Back Entertainment and Charging Instructions
Seat Back Entertainment and Charging Instructions
Power Outlet Under the Seat
Power Outlet Under the Seat – Impossible to Find!

Everything was functional in United Flight 1072’s seat 23A – no defects with the tray table, seat pitch (other than not enough), and the power outlet even worked. However, it took my quite a while to find it. It was located awkwardly under the seat such that I had to bend down, practically putting my head in my neighbors lap, to get to it. It would have been much better placed (and more useful) if it were attached to the seat in front of you. You can also see, from the picture above, that the diagram on how to locate the power outlets make no sense, as they’re not exactly placed where indicated. In fact, I could only find them after the flight was over, with the lights on, and my neighbors deplaned.

I fell asleep nearly upon take-off and missed the beverage and food (paid) service. This was on purpose since I had my smoothie to tide me over and the flight was only 4 hours.

A screaming baby right behind me woke me up two hours in to the flight.

United Flight 1072 Overall

All in all United Flight 1072 was a shorter-than-normal flight (arrived about 30 minutes ahead of schedule in Boston), that I happened to sleep through mostly – so I can’t complain. And, if it wasn’t for the screaming baby it’s possible that I would have slept through even more of it. However, it was unusually turbulent, and the pilot came on the PA on 3 separate occasions to ask us to return to our seats due to choppy skies – I remember this on and off in my half-asleep state.

The landing was smooth and although we were very early, Boston Logan was able to shuffle around our arrival terminal and gate (we were supposed to arrive at Terminal C) so that we immediately taxied to an A terminal gate rather than sit and wait for our pre-arranged gate opening.

The flight attendants were helpful and polite when I boarded the plane, making sure I didn’t need extra help and also double checking whether I needed wheel-chair assistance on the Boston side; however, exiting the plane the flight attendants were not around to help me so I had to hop, holding my heavy bag, to the front by myself.  The flight attendants saw me coming but didn’t offer to help; however they still greeted me and said “Thank you for flying United.” In other words they were polite and friendly, but not overly helpful. On my previous Boston to Denver round-trip the on-board attendants really went out of their way to help me out and make me comfortable from beginning to end.

United Flight 1072 Final Grade

All in all, and considering the wi-fi didn’t work (which was one of the reasons I expressly chose this route), I gave the United Flight 1072 flight a C+.

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