A pleasant ride on United Airlines 757-200 Business Class (2024)

by Anshul
1 comment
a group of airplanes on a runway

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In January 2024, I was scheduled to fly on United Airlines from Ottawa (YOW) to Las Vegas (LAS) via Chicago (ORD). When booking the trip, the ORD-LAS leg of the journey was scheduled on the 737 MAX 9 aircraft. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft following the mid-air cabin panel blowout of the Alaska Airlines MAX 9 aircraft. I secretly hoped not to have to fly the MAX 9 even if it came back into service. Luckily, my ORD-LAS flight was cancelled due to ‘operational issues’, and I was rebooked for LAS via Newark (EWR) instead. The change in route also included a change in equipment, and I was now flying the much older Boeing 757-200 from EWR-LAS. The silver lining of the switch from MAX 9 aircraft to 757-200 was that business class would now have lie-flat seats instead of upright recliner seats.

After the recent horror show on United Polaris’ Boeing 767-300 from EWR to LHR, I was concerned about the upkeep and service of the 757-200. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and lovely my flight experience on the 757-200 was. Here’s my experience in 10 photos;

airplanes on the tarmac

United Hub – EWR

Shortly after United Lounge hopping in Terminal C, I made my way to the gate and boarded my flight as soon as Group 1 boarding began. United’s 757-200 Business Class cabin is a 2-2 configuration with 16 seats across four rows. I was seated in 3F, a window seat, which seemed a bit tighter, given the aircraft’s curvature. Since it was an evening flight, I did not mind the lack of direct access to the aisle. If I had to redo it, I would pick the aisle seat over the window.

United 757-200 Business Class

United 757-200 Business Class Seats

The seats have a plush headrest, awkwardly placed power plugs, USB connectors, and subpar headsets. Unfortunately, my seat’s massage function was unavailable, which I didn’t care for anyway. I was looking for the recline and some shut-eye on this 5.5-hour flight to LAS.

a seat in an airplane

Seat 3F

a person's legs in a seat with a screen on the side of the seat

IFE and small footwell

a close up of a seat

Inoperative massage function

a close up of a wall

Awkwardly placed power socket and USB

a screen on a plane

One large window to each row

Shortly after takeoff from EWR, the meal service started with a drink and some warm nuts. I pre-selected the burger as my meal option, which the cabin crew confirmed. Despite the basic presentation, I quite enjoyed my meal—the burger was succulent, and the fries were crispy. As for dessert, the cheesecake hit the spot and was a perfect prelude to my three-hour snooze before landing in LAS.

a group of airplanes on a runway

Window view – EWR Terminal C

a glass of water and a bowl on a tray in an airplane

Drink and nuts (take my word for it)

a plate of food on a tray

United Burger and Fries meal

757-200 Business Class – Takeaway

Since I was not expecting to be in a lie-flat seat on a domestic United flight, it was a happy coincidence that I found myself in one. On a 5+ hour evening flight, there is nothing more relaxing than to stretch out fully and enjoy some proper sleep if possible. While the 757-200 is as dated as it looks, this United flight did the basics well – well-appointed cabin, with the attentive and courteous crew, pulled off a burger and fries meal to satisfaction and offered a blanket upon request—a perfect case of exceeding nominal expectations. Long story short, I arrived in LAS well-rested and was happy that I had found lie-flat seats on a domestic route that typically comes with recliner chairs.

1 comment

James April 24, 2024 - 6:55 am

Could you possibly have chosen a more circuitous routing?


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