My fiancée and I recently went on a trip to San Francisco, CA for a wedding weekend. On the way there we had separate flights, mine booked with miles on United Airlines and hers paid for on Virgin America. Focusing on my costs, it was 25,000 miles + $11.20 for a roundtrip economy flight. Because of the credit card I used to book the ticket (United Mileage Plus Club) I received two free checked bags in each direction.
I flew from Newark Airport so I took the requisite time to visit the United Club in Terminal C again (previous review here), this time making sure to experience their shower facilities since I was on a later-night flight. It was about as luxurious as I had expected: a private toilet with toiletries available for the shower (including free slippers!). The water pressure was great and the shower had a removable shower head. The only annoyance was that there was no place to put the toiletries provided for use while in the shower, except the floor. It was lovely otherwise and I was refreshed for my flight.
Once on the plane, however, I saw interesting combinations of old and new material. The upgraded 737-900s used by United come in a few versions as described here and I believe mine was version 1. Unfortunately, that meant my seat-back entertainment turned out to be DIRECTV, a service that comes with a hefty price tag after 20 minutes of preview – $5.99 for trips under 2 hours and $7.99 for trips above that. Granted, my plane ticket was quite inexpensive but as I had a book with me and wanted to take a nap, I declined to purchase.
The flight attendants came around to offer food and drink for purchase (lame) to which I declined because I had brought enough with me for my own dinner.
The seats were fairly comfortable and had enough legroom for me to feel not as squished as many do on planes. I was lucky enough to get a window seat so I could spread myself out a little bit along the window area. Overall it was a fine flight for 5.5 hours – one that I would gladly repeat for only $11.20.