United Airlines A319 economy class flight review ATL-SFO UA 912

Elite status: none

Aircraft type: A319

Seat: 11F (economy plus)


Padding of the seat was a bit hard due to the thin seats. It was ok but I would prefer more for a long flight such as this one. 


Recline was almost non-existent at only 3 inches from upright. It was barely noticeable. Not good. 


The pitch in economy plus was very good with 6 inches between my knee and the seat ahead of me. 

The living space was 32 inches from seat back to the seat ahead. 


January 24, 2020

Distance: 2,139 miles


Depart: 7:12PM

Arrive: 9:50PM

Scheduled: 5h 38m

Push back: 7:12PM (on time)

Touch down: 9:23 (27 minutes early)

Arrived at gate 10m later

Actual duration: 5h 11m


Paid with: miles

Prices at time of booking:

Miles: 12,500 United miles + $5.60 USD

Cash: $250

Payment method reasoning: I don’t chase airline status. The mileage price represented nearly 2 cents per mile which is a great value on a domestic flight. I did not have a flexible schedule for this trip. 


I arrived a bit late for boarding but it was very orderly. I was able to get to my seat quickly and found a space for my bag. About 15 minutes after I sat down the door shut. I ended up with an empty middle seat. 


During boarding the crew was efficient in helping passengers to their seats and locations overhead bin space for bags. They made sure we left on time!

Once in the air simultaneous drink and meal service began shorty after reaching cruising altitude. Food was offered first followed by drinks. I was only 4 rows back from the front of the cabin and half of the food items were already sold out!

The service was very professional and prompt which is better than normal for domestic in flight service. Shortly after food and drink service the crew made several clearing and rubbish pickups. 

A little while later we were offered water which is great on a long flight. The flight attendant event asked if the temperature was ok which is the first time I’ve been asked that on a flight. 

Roughly one hour before landing a second drink service was offered with the same full drink menu. Only food for purchase was offered during this service. 

IFE and power:

IFE was only a available via WiFi on your own device. In the economy plus section there were 2 standard power outlets per row. 

One annoyance is you are forced to watch a 30-second ad for the United credit card just to get to the entertainment menu. 2 big thumbs down to United for this one. 

Some of the IFE items require the United app for iOS or Android or a web browser plugin. They are marked with the orange puzzle piece shown in the screen shots below. 

On my iPhone you can click thru but not play them nor does it switch you to the app. I had to open the app myself and search thru the flight details to find the entertainment. No instructions for any of these steps are provided anywhere. Poor user interface design by United on this one. 

Once I figured out the IFE it was glitchy. The “load circle” indicator kept spinning over the playing video which didn’t go away until I paused and started it again. It was clear United has some work to do on the IFE system and instructions for use. 

Beyond the glitches it did work well and had good quality on my phone. Plenty to keep me entertained for the long flight. 


WiFi was offered on this flight. At the beginning of the flight it was not functioning. After a few minutes it was working. 

It was quite expensive with prices ranging from $11.99 USD for one hour to $19.99 USD for the entire flight. I opted not to use it on my flight due to the very high cost. 


Paid lunch and dinner options were available on this long transcontinental flight during east coast dinner times. 

All of the paid options were $10 USD which seemed a little high for what you get. I opted not to purchase food on my flight. 

Free snacks were pretzels, stroopwafel, and Biscoff cookies. I had the stroopwafel as these are unique to United domestic flights and one of my favorite European snacks. I had more than 1!

The paid food menu, including items not offered on my flight, are shown in the photos below for reference. 

My seat mate was kind enough to let me take photos of his burger and condiments which was one of the available paid food items. It looked good! He said it was a decent burger. 


Drink options included complimentary coca-cola products, juice, water, coffee, and hot teas. Alcoholic drinks were available for purchase at very high prices at $8-12 USD per drink. 

During this long flight I had a Coke, some waters, and a ginger ale. 

I was offered the entire can for my drink selection which is unusual these days. I gladly accepted. 

The complimentary and paid drink menus are shown below for reference. 

Best seats:

In standard economy any non-middle seat and seats not in front of the exit rows are acceptable. Economy plus seats are all good with the exception of the middle seats. 

Economy plus seats on my flight were very expensive at $86 USD additional for a window seat. I used my American Express Platinum Card credits to cover the cost of the upgrade. Otherwise I would not have paid the $86 USD. With the bad recline the leg room doesn’t make a big difference over a standard economy seat. 


The extra legroom and sitting near the front were nice perks for a long domestic flight. The crew were very professional and some of the most attentive and courteous I have experienced for domestic travel in quite some time. Service was very good and consistent throughout the flight. 


Poor recline, glitchy IFE, and a glitchy reading light at my seat were all annoyances on this particular flight. Nothing overly bad but drawbacks nonetheless. 

Would I fly again?

Yes! This flight was a convenient direct flight at the time I needed. The crew made it better than most normal flights and the price was reasonable.