Top 5 Favorite Things About Flying First Class With United

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Every once in a while (and by that I mean not often, at all), I am lucky enough to fly first class on United Airlines. United is my go-to airline of choice. There are so many different options of times and destinations for flights with United out of O’Hare, being that Chicago is one of their hubs. They have definitely been convenient for me for both short and international trips, and the prices are typically fairly reasonable. There was that one terrible situation when they cancelled a flight on me, which led to 2 missed flights afterward, but that was really my only bad experience!

For the most part, United has had my back. Their staff has always treated me extremely well and United’s planes are some of the most clean I’ve been on. I started a mileage plus account with them a few years ago, since I was constantly choosing United to fly me from point A to point B. Also, I usually fly United for work trips, so it just made sense. I’ve already gotten a couple free flights from my points adding up, which makes me so happy. Now, every time I head somewhere via plane, I cross my fingers that United has a good flight for me to take.

Because I fly United so frequently, I have experienced their first class atmosphere. It’s truly a game-changer! Economy and economy plus on United certainly aren’t horrible by any means, but there are so many perks to being closer to the Captain.

So, here are my top 5 favorite things about flying first class with United Airlines:

1. Obtain More Miles

Obviously you get award points for your United account every time you fly with them. This is based on fare and flight distance. The farther you fly, the more award miles you obtain. The more you pay, the more you get in points. Since the first class option is much steeper than economy, you get more points! It only makes sense. Get one step closer to obtaining a free flight when you book fist class.

Regardless of which airline you have points with, make sure your account number is on your reservation. You definitely don’t want to miss out on receiving more award points. With United, the points are added to your account about 48 hours after your travel is finished.

More information on earning award miles with United flights can be found here.

2. The In-Flight Entertainment Options

When United has TV’s on the back of their seats, I know it’s going to be a good flight. And in first class – you don’t have to swipe your credit card to watch! United has partnered with Direct TV to offer alllll the channels. Literally, all of them. It also includes newly released movies. I watched Pete’s Dragon on this particular flight (it was my favorite as a kid) and I saw some of Suicide Squad. Talk about the quickest flight ever! Sometimes I tune into the E! network or my other favorite – HGTV – when I’m on long flights. Even when I’m in economy, I pay the cheap cost to watch TV to make the flight more tolerable.

And when there’s not TVs in each seat on a United flight, their app also delivers some great television. I pop my headphones in and checkout the different shows and movies they have available. Most recently, I watched Portlandia and Casual on my iPhone. I actually didn’t want to land because I wanted to finish the seasons they had available on the app. In-flight entertainment can definitely make or break a long flight for me, since I’m not much of a reader. I can say United has some of the best entertainment options.

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3. Amazing Flight Attendants & Customer Service

I’ve never had to deal with a rude fight attendant on United. They always treat me and everyone around me with the utmost respect. They deliver their snacks and drinks as quickly as possible, and ensure everyone is taken care of. Forget your headphones? No problem! They have spares. Need a blanket? They have those too. The flight attendants are also always willing to learn about why you may be traveling if you’re up for the conversation.

In the couple times that I had to deal with long flight delays, United’s Customer Service agents has been upfront and honest about what was going on. They’ve gladly given out meal vouchers when the wait has been over 2 hours, and will always assist you to make sure you get to your destination safely.

4. The Space

This kind of goes without saying, but the leg room in first class!? Oh yeah. It’s SO great. I’m a tall one (about 5’10), so I would like as much space as I can get, and I have plenty of it up here. I can stretch out my legs and work on my laptop comfortably without disturbing the person next to me. I can also recline back as far as I want without being a nuisance to the person behind me. There’s so much room, I don’t even know what to do with it all. I usually ask for a blanket if there’s not one already on my seat when I arrive, and get really cozy and order a mimosa!

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5. The Free Food & Booze

…and the COOKIE! Oh my golly, the cookie. If you takeaway anything about flying first class with United, remember that they have an amazingly warm chocolate chip cookie. Unfortunately, I was too eager to eat it when it came to me, so I devoured it before I snapped a photo. But trust me when I tell you that it’s one of the best cookies ever.

But back to the meals. If you’re flying first class on a flight that’s over 2 hours (don’t quote me on that), then you get a meal. For this round-trip, I got to experience breakfast there and lunch on the way back.

The breakfast consisted of a herb and cheese omelette, with potatoes, sausage and a fruit cup. Overall, pretty tasty for airline food. I was a member of that clean plate club that morning. If they have the option for the French Toast dish for breakfast, definitely get that. I got to try it one time and have been thinking about it ever since.

The lunch option was a southwest salad or a roast beef sandwich with blue cheese. They were out of the southwest salad because I was in the last row in front class, so I opted for the sandwich. The sides were a small salad and grapes. Again, I ate the whole thing because why not? United’s food is surprisingly yummy!

And don’t forget to take advantage of the ‘free’ booze! If it’s morning, I’ll have a mimosa. If it’s the afternoon, I typically go for a vodka 7. In the night time, I’ll ask for their finest wine. But remember to drink plenty of water while you’re up in the air, too!

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If you’re a frequent flier, think about using those points to TREAT YO’SELF and go first class! Like I mentioned, I don’t do this often, but when I do – I feel so spoiled. And everyone deserves to be spoiled sometimes!

We flying the first class
Up in the sky
Poppin’ champagne
Livin’ the life
In the fast lane
And I wont change
By the Glamorous, oh the flossy flossy

-Fergie, “Glamorous”

Be sure to get a window seat for those views!
And be sure to get a window seat for the views!

I'm Abby - a weekend getawayer, lover of beach volleyball, grilled cheese enthusiast and puppy dog admirer.


  1. Hi Abby, my hubby of 37 years and I are traveling first class from Seattle to Chicago on United at the end of this week. It’s the first time we’ve done it since we flew out to New Orleans on Continental in the early 90’s for a new job. Talk about deee-luxe! The flight out will be a red eye, about 4 hours, so I don’t know if we’ll get any food. Do you know how it works? I called United and one operator said we did and another said we don’t!! Also, do you happen to know if first class domestic flights entitle us to use their lounges? Arrival as well? I really appreciate any info you can offer and I really enjoyed your article. Thanks! Olivia

    1. Hi Olivia! Sorry I am responding to this late. I thought any United flight over 4 hours gave you a meal in first class. Was that the case for yours?! I also believe you need a specific United lounge pass to use them. Thanks for reading my post!

  2. Thank you so much for your post. My husband and I are both tall, and we both have looong legs. We were worried about not having enough extra space in first class. Delta looked kinda cramped for it being first class. Seeing your post has helped us so much in choosing an airline. Plus the pictures you posted of the food look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for this post, I am having a hard time deciding on everything, from Airlines and hotels.
    My 2 eldest brothers and myself are sending our parents to Thailand for their 33rd anniversary and I just so happen to be the planner. Quick back story- my father is a Navy veteran who has seen a thing or two and my mother, who always has her door open for everyone, good or bad. Though first class is a little more costly, paying for a great experience could not amount to all the wonderful and great things my parents have done for us and everyone around. Again thank you 🙂

  4. We’re flying direct from the east coast to Hawaii first class (11 hrs.). What service can we expect and what comforts will there be for this long flight.

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