May 25, 2018
Review: United First Class 777-200 San Francisco-Honolulu

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I went on a very relaxing week long trip to Hawaii with my Mom this past March. There were no First Class award seats available at the time so we paid cash for two Economy tickets.


Thankfully United upgraded both of us to First Class on the San Francisco (SFO)-Honolulu (HNL) route thanks to my Premier Platinum status.


There’s good and bad news on this front. The good news is that United has lie-flat seats on flights between the West coast and Honolulu. This is a huge improvement over its standard recliner seats. The bad news is the seats are cramped in a 2-4-2 configuration. Four across in First Class is just annoying.

Each seat comes with headphones and a Saks Fifth Avenue pillow and blanket. There isn’t much in the way of storage space. There’s a small space next to the armrest where I fit a book and iPad and there’s the space under the in-flight-entertainment screen (which needs to be empty during takeoff and landing).

The seats themselves were comfortable and I enjoyed the recline. I will say the blanket had a distinctive odor to it. It just smelled like it hadn’t been washed in a while…which is gross.


The IFE was decent. There weren’t as many movies and shows as other airlines offer on such long flight. The selection wasn’t bad enough to worry about.

Amenities & Wi-Fi

United doesn’t provide amenity kits on flights between the West coast and Hawaii. This came across as a bit odd considering it does provide them on flights between the West and East coast, which are about the same length. I realize the transcontinental flights are premium heavy, but still.

There was Wi-Fi available but I didn’t use it so can’t comment as to how fast or reliable it was. Wi-Fi is not free on United.


Flight attendants passed out pre-departure beverages while I was in the bathroom. They were still in the process of taking drink requests when I got back. Apparently they had already gone through my section because no one every bothered coming by to ask me. Not the end of the world and I don’t care all that much, but this is a service miss.

United offered a choice of Salmon or Pasta for this flight and I opted for the salmon. It tasted surprisingly good and worked very well with the quinoa side. The portion size was small, as it usually is on these flights. Flight attendants came around with ice cream after the meal. I declined but it looked great.

About an hour before landing they passed out warm chocolate chip cookies. I love United’s chocolate chip cookies in First Class. The whole cabin smells like chocolate and they taste wonderful!


It was the typical mediocre United service. At this point I just expect bad service when going into a United flight. Anything other than bad is positive. Flight attendants did their jobs, dimmed the lights, and left us alone. This was a 2:15 PM flight. Am I the only one who hates it when airlines turn off the lights on daytime flights?

Overall Rating

Here’s my overall rating of the flying experience broken down by category:

Seats- 6/10

In Flight Entertainment- 6.5/10

Wi-Fi- 4/5

Dining- 7/10

Service- 5/10

Departure/Arrival Timeliness- 4/5

Cumulative Ranking: 6.5/10