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Review: United B737 Economy (AUS-DEN)

Updated: Apr 20, 2023


For my first review here, I figured I would do something fun, exciting and exotic. Nothing screams exciting and exotic more than an Economy review on a United Boeing 737! In all seriousness, there will be many exciting trips as part of this blog but the first one I took after deciding to start this project was a trip to Breckenridge for a bachelor party. While I will post some of my past travels as well, let's start here in the present.


Booking

With the dates for the event up in the air until a month or so before departure, prices were quite high. Regular economy seats were going for over $500 with First class at a whopping $1300 due to this being prime ski season. I typically like to save my points for TATL or TPAC redemptions so I opted just to book using cash for this trip.


Though many airlines operate direct flights on the AUS-DEN route including American, Southwest and Frontier, I chose to book with United to earn PQPs towards renewing my Star Alliance Gold status for 2024. I booked with The Platinum Card from American Express which gave me 5X points on airfare and, thanks to my status, I was able to select extra legroom Economy Plus seats at booking.


Check-In and Boarding

The morning of my trip came and I was off to the airport. I left my house in South Austin at 7:30a for the short drive over to ABIA for a 9:09a departure. I figured this would give me plenty of time to check my bag full of ski gear and grab breakfast at the airport. Unfortunately, traffic was crazy even by Austin standards and my normal 15-minute drive ended up being a 45+ minute drive with even the back roads clogged with traffic.

Fortunately I was curbside by 8:20a and, thanks to an empty Premier Lane, my bag was quickly tagged to Denver without issue and I was off to security by 8:22a.


Austin TSA is usually a mess and today was no different. CLEAR was taking longer than the regular TSAPre due to some confused agents and a single lane for CLEAR PreCheck and non-PreCheck pax.


I got the push notification from United that boarding had begun as I headed through security and made the short walk to Gate 29 where they were already boarding Group 3. With just a briefcase I wasn’t concerned about overhead bin space, so I just filtered into line and, with my boarding pass scanned, made my way onboard.


United Airlines

UA 595

AUS-DEN (Austin-Bergstrom International – Denver International)

Seat: 21A (Economy)

B737-800 (N14231)

Scheduled: 9:09a-10:30a

Actual: 9:07a-10:26a


It was a completely full flight up to Denver today and, after settling in, I was joined by my seatmate who turned out to be a non-Rev United flight attendant who split her time between Austin and Silverthorne, Colorado. She’s nearing retirement and exclusively flies the Houston-Amsterdam route and she and I spent the flight chatting about Austin and our travels.


We buttoned up a couple of minutes early and taxied out next to another United 737 over to 18R. After waiting for a FedEx 757, we took off to the south before looping around and heading northwest out over Lake Travis.




In-Flight

Up above the clouds it was a great day for flying. Soon the crew came through the cabin with a snack and beverage service. I was excited to see they had stroopwafels loaded today as they had been noticeably absent on my recent morning United flights. I paired that with a coffee as well as a mimosa, this is a bachelor party after all.

I paid $8 for a full flight Wi-Fi pass and was able to do some work while on the plane, including putting out a small work fire somewhere over the panhandle of Texas. Between chatting with my seatmate and work, the flight went by quickly and soon we were on descent into Denver. Once below the clouds I was surprised at just how little snow was on the ground, especially at the airport.


Arrival

We landed on the far out, 35R and had a 10-minute taxi over to our gate. Though we got in early, the plane coming off of our gate had a weight and balance issue and had to go back and move some bags around. Even with this delay, we still managed to block in a few minutes early.



With a large hub operation in Denver, United has this place running like a well oiled machine. After meeting one of my DAL based travel buddies, we headed off to baggage claim where my Priority tagged bag was waiting on the belt. From there it was a short walk to the waiting Avis bus over to the rental car center.


Summary

While domestic economy flights aren’t much to get excited about, this one went about as well as you could ask for. Friendly, helpful staff at check-in and up in the air, an on time arrival and departure, and bags making it to my final destination. As a United frequent flier, I’ll definitely be flying with them again.


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