This flight review is for my trip from Washington Dulles IAD to Frankfurt FRA flying United Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 economy class. At Washington Dulles, United operates out of Concourses C and D but if you have some free time (and Star Alliance Gold status), you should definitely make your way to Concourse B where the Lufthansa Senator Lounge is located. It requires a train ride and a short hike but if your layover is long enough, the lounge is worth the trek. My review of the Lufthansa Senator Lounge can be found here.
About 20 minutes prior to boarding time, my friend Andrew and I left the Lufthansa Senator lounge and made our long trek back to the C concourse. From the lounge, it was about a 20 walk and train ride from the B concourse to gate C1 where our flight to Frankfurt was departing from but we were well fed and relaxed so it was well worth it.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Washington Dulles (IAD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Depart: 5:20 PM on Friday (5:17 PM actual), gate C1.
Arrive: 7:10 AM next day (6:40 AM actual).
Duration: 7hrs 23mns
Seat: 39G Economy Class
As we got to the gate, we boarded right away with group 2 and made our way down the jet bridge towards the back of the plane. We entered the plane through door 2L and found our seats in the back of the main economy class cabin. We had the two aisles seats in the middle section of seats and were lucky enough to not have anyone sitting in between us. Waiting at our seats were a cheap pair of headphones, blanket and pillow.
These United Boeing 777-200s are on the older side but I actually like the older seats. Unlike the newer, “updated” economy class seats, these older seats have plenty of cushioning and a deeper recline than the new slim-line seats. Of all the jets in United’s fleet, I definitely prefer these to United’s Boeing 747-400s or even their newer Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The Dreamliners are new and great but I think these seats are much more comfortable for my rear end.
Each seat is equipped with a personal, seatback entertainment system. These outdated, personal monitors are small and do not have the best image quality and the system itself is pretty slow and sluggish but one of United’s best features is their extensive library of new movies, TV shows, games and audio entertainment. On this flight, there was a huge selection of newly release movies and selections from the Tribeca Film Festival. Entertainment-wise, you’ll be set for the long-haul. And in case you were wondering how small is “small,” this is my Apple iPhone 6 Plus compared to the IFE monitor.
I’m not sure if WiFi is offered fleet-wide now on their 777s but it was not available on this flight. United 777-200 economy class seats are configured in a 3 x 3 x 3 layout. The seats are 18 inches wide and offer 31 inches of pitch. Yeah, that’s a little short compared to the other airlines but my hips definitely appreciated the extra inch in the seat.
Once all the passengers were boarded, we pushed backed back from the gate and began our 6 hrs and 50 mns flight to Frankfurt. Once we reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendants came by with our pre-meal drink service, which was served with a package of crackers and cheese. The crackers and cheese were nothing special but I appreciated something to munch on while the flight attendants prepared for our meal service. Beer and wine are complimentary on trans-Atlantic flights but spirits and liqueurs are not.
The meal service then followed with an option for chicken or pasta. I chose the chicken plate which was a Thai chicken with rice and vegetables. No one else around me ordered the pasta dish but I think it was just lasagna dish. Our meals were also served with another round of drinks. Dinner was actually quite tasty. I’m really liking United’s updated catering with healthier options such as a quinoa side salad and edamame beans.
After dinner, our plates were cleared and the flight attendants came by with a Villa Dolce raspberry sorbet, a small bottle of water and a quick pass of the duty-free cart.
On this flight, the flight attendants were great. They were friendly and personable. They walked the cabin frequently during the flight and handed out bottles of water. In between meals, water and cheese/crackers were laid out in the galley if you were craving a light snack. If you wanted something more substantial, the tapas boxes sold on domestic flights were also available for purchase.
Thanks to the nicely padded seat and deep recline, I was able to snooze for a bit before being woken up for breakfast. I always forget how quickly these east coast, trans-Atlantic flights just fly by and before I knew it, the cabin lights were turned on for our pre-arrival snack service. The light snack was nothing special and I should have just stayed sleep. The light snack consisted of a cold croissant with strawberry jam and a beverage. But considering we just ate only a few hours ago, a more substantial meal wasn’t really necessary.
Overall, I had another enjoyable flight with United. These short east coast, trans-Atlantic flights just fly by and it’s hard for me to justify upgrading to a premium cabin with cash or miles. Yeah, I’m not sleeping on a flat bed or enjoying an upgraded three-course meal but the economy class food wasn’t bad and the seats on these older birds were actually quite comfy. Service on United can be hit or miss but I’ve been pretty lucky with a good crew streak for the last few trips now.
Other reviews related to this post:
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- Lufthansa A380 Business Class, Houston to Frankfurt
- Lufthansa Senator and Business Class Lounges at Washington Dulles
- Lufthansa Senator Lounges at Frankfurt.
- Lufthansa Boeing 747 Premium Economy, Frankfurt to Dubai.
- United Club at LAX
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- Best Economy Class Seats to Pick on United’s Boeing 787