Flying United Airlines Business Class

by Jeremy Schoemaker on August 30, 2010 · 140 comments

Last Friday on my way to the Epic PlayBoy Mansion Party when I checked in at the Lincoln Airport I got upgraded to “Business Class”.  I looked up from the kiosk and asked the United Representative what Business Class was and she said its in between First Class  and Coach.

At first I thought this was a new gimmick to replace their economy plus.  I get complementary upgraded on probably 90% of my flights to First Class and have gotten pretty spoiled.

But when I got on the plane I was stunned at how awesome it was.

Its something right out of Star Trek of all you have this like… 24″ wide screen LCD display in front of you. The in flight entertainment dealio is packed with Movies, Audio, Audio Books, and tons of other stuff. You can even plug in your iPod/iPad/iPhone and watch your own video’s on the screen.

I choose to keep it on the GPS screen as I planned on playing games on my iPad most of the trip:

The served us breakfast about 30 minutes into the 2 hour flight. I had had this same breakfast before flying United First Class and its really yummy.

The center console has so many options for your seating. Its really wild”

Here is a picture of the front side of the remote control:

and on the backside is a full qwerty keyboard that also acts as a controller for video games:

After breakfast I decided to put my seat in “bed” mode and take a nice nap.

Amazing. Good job United!

You can see the rest of my photos here United Business Class

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


Jeremy recommends you check out these amazing posts:

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{ 140 comments }

1 Sebastian

Awesome which comfort airlines like United Airlines have. Really like the GPS Navigation Screen and the option to play some games on it. And Breakfast for only a 2 hour flight, nice nice ;)

Hope you could sleep some minutes on your flight!

2 AL0101

Are you an affiliate for United? LOL!

3 F2Xsites

I believe passengers should be served food whether they’re in for a short or long flight. Nice platter of goodies you got there, Shoe. Is that a Hungarian sausage? Now that’s a meal!

4 Alex Dumitru

This really looks nice :D

5 Shawn Walters

Very awesome – makes me wanna switch to united! Much better than domestic first class on other carriers!

6 moolahmachine

This is a post that just makes me want to own a transporter and say, “Beam me up, Scotty!” By the way, that funky controller is nostalgic. Reminds me of my old PS1 rig way back when I was still a hardcore gamer.

7 Paul Avery

What kind of plane was it?

8 FirenzeZ

I think it’s a 767. It’s much bigger and can support a whole lot of passengers and load. More perks for customers, too. I remember my first United Airlines business class flight. I never imagined you can actually have a decent nap on those things! Keep the good stuff coming.

9 twitteraddict05

If Biz class is that nice, I wonder what 1st class is like?

10 aaron wall

The biggest difference tends to come down to size of plane. On some smaller planes “first class” is the same crappy seat as coach, just in the front row with more leg room.

On large planes with international (trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific) flights you usually get a pretty sweet deal on both business and first class (seats that go flat, way better food, snacks, free movies with your own monitor, etc. etc. etc.).

Generally there is not much difference between the 2 IMHO…mainly just price. Some business class seats are not quite as sweet as the one pictured above, but when the business class seats are that solid you don’t typically see a better one in first class…they end up roughly the same. The main difference would be a slightly better flight attendant to passenger ratio.

11 AnnieLouJ12860

Thanks for the details, aaron. What you said about so-called first class on smaller planes is absolutely a hundred percent accurate. They just serve you juice and salami sandwiches and don’t even bother to ask how you’re doing during the entire flight. UA’s going to be my top choice the next time I’m flying off to Texas this October.

12 Cristina Dy

I got upgraded to first class before but it was like an improved version of coach. If United’s first class is even much much better than their business class then it must be something really awesome.

13 WanderingMommy

Hmmmm…. I’m just glad my husband isn’t into SE marketing. The Playboy Bunny pics wouldn’t sit well with me. :)

14 moolahmachine

LOL. It’s not like Shoe’s posting NSFW images here. Well, come to think of it, it’s just semi-NSFW but not all the way and I’m sure your husband won’t mind. (How about sending me a link to the premium stuff, buddy?)

15 GQmeansGeek

Who’s complaining? :X

16 Yogesh Sarkar

That is pretty nice, loved that remote in particular.

17 WilmaP

I’m sure my boyfriend will definitely love one as a gift this Christmas!

18 Cary Bergeron

Is there any other way to fly really? I mean come on how sweet is that.

19 TomYoon

I say that’s what a flight should be whether you’re in for an international flight or a domestic one. Now I know where to get my tickets when I’m visiting my relatives in Tulsa next month. Best wishes from Oregon.

20 Tool

Biz class is way nicer than my apartment. I want to live on that plane.

21 spameater

You couldn’t have said it better, brother. This flight is just plain awesome. They’re definitely taking comfort up a notch. How long has it been since UA began offering this service?

22 The American Dream

I’ve had the opportunity of flying United Airlines business class when my wife and I had a holiday getaway in Paris four months ago. Apart from the superb pre-departure beverage (I had a Manhattan just to spice things up for the next few hours), we also had in-flight gourmet meals that would have impressed even the most meticulous restaurant critic. I really hope that this trend will catch on to other airlines soon. P.S. The party pics are just sweet! Thanks a million, buddy. :D

23 Jona712

I’ve always been partial to airlines that make patrons feel like royalty even for an hour or two. That legroom sure makes me want to book a United Airlines soon. Thanks for posting this, Jeremy. :D

24 WhoSaysWhat01

Legroom MAKES the airline, honey. Give customers as much as you can and you’re definitely good to go.

25 Greg Ellison

That looks like it was a nice flight. I wish I could get upgraded for free but I don’t fly enough or at all to get that. Thanks Greg Ellison

26 BearPile

sometimes it pays to ask. you could get lucky. a lot of people i know who just happened to check in early were able to get upgrades, some of them even for transatlantic flights.

27 WhoisDoyle

Coach, Business and First class is like any silver, gold, or premium package used by Marketing Gurus. Just another way to squeeze more $$ out of travelers.

28 H delacruz

If this is what I’m getting then there won’t be a problem.

29 Jason S.

Maybe. But you have to admit the promise of comfort and convenience can be worth every x amount of $ paid for it.

30 enajyram00

A woman’s got to have her comforts and this sky ride really pulls it off without a hitch. Hope you had a fantastic time at the Mansion. Did you down a drink for me just like you promised?

31 Husher50

That breakfast you had on that plane is much classier than what I am having for dinner later. ROFL. Kudos for the heads-up. Greetings from Michigan.

32 joonlee97

Check this out. It’s a picture of the actual seats and TV combo. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2432379398_9f6441bd81.jpg All flights should be like this!

33 WhateverWorks

I could sleep through an entire flight if I get a seat like that.

34 Nicole Burns

You going to that all-you-can-eat for 2 bucks later at the Fifth? Will be there, too, buddy. :D

35 Robin Sterling

Had a wonderful United Airlines business class flight, too, when I was visiting relatives in Atlanta a few weeks ago. You should have a bite of their maple-glazed apple pie that they serve during afternoon trips. It’s absolutely heaven on a plate.

36 TheSandMan5050

Thanks for posting pictures from the party, Jeremy. I’m sure you had a blast. Did you manage to score me a Bunny’s number? LMAO

37 Yes2Freebies

Superb post as usual. Well, it all boils down to this Jeremy: what freebies are they giving away? *wink*

38 socialanim00

I’ve always thought all airlines were pretty much the same. All served crappy food. All were too cramped up for comfort. All sucked. Nonetheless, these pictures may have just changed my mind. As a bonus, I am a new United Airlines fan. WIN!

39 melg

Same here. Hey, I do hope this trend will catch on to other airlines.

40 internetFTW

Enough said. I want to fly UA next time. (drooling)

41 Marnie Sho

Shoe got me at the mention of the great eats and the ample space. (drooling, too)

42 Dandundun

Are you sure you haven’t spent a ton for this? That TV/gaming console sure is a beauty.

43 ILoveMemes
44 floresparati

Is that a United Airlines flight or a well-organized Trekkie convention?

45 sasha_482

You seemed to read my mind, sweetheart. Here it goes: “Beam me up, Scottie!” :D

46 Tammyexperiments

Legroom, legroom, legroom! I hear ya, ladies!

47 Big Al

Big men like me need to have big spaces to get as comfy as possible. Thanks for the heads-up, Jeremy. Now I know where to book my next flight to Las Vegas next Saturday.

48 Derek

I had the same accommodations on flights to Barcelona and London last year and it was amazing. The free-flowing mini bottles of Glenlivet – complimentary of course – made it that much more enjoyable. On the international flights, the meals were amazing and I actually had a pretty damn good steak on the trip back to the States. Highly recommend everyone giving the United business class a try if you can swing it.

49 RedBlack88

Where’s the “Like” button? I’ve had the pleasure of sampling that steak and it was just phenomenal. I think they used a lot of cumin and anise. Full-bodied flavor that just compliments the in-flight red wine they serve. 10/10!

50 Go Harry Go

It’s good to hear airlines are gradually transforming their services from crappy to impressive these days. I’ve stopped being a fan of flying ever since we got delayed in Denver for almost 7 hours a couple of years ago while taking Delta. Maybe there’s a chance of turning the whole thing around sooner or later with this UA thing…

51 Sanjay

Have you tried their chicken casserole? That sure makes my water everytime I remember it. It’s spicy yet a bit sweet and the meat just melts in your mouth while the flavors explode in your palate. When’s my next United Airlines flight? :)

52 PattyT12

I think it’s high time airlines upped the ante on service and accommodation. Most passengers are just too tired to tell them they’re fed up with all the BS and expect a change or two. I am not a whiner but I sure hate tight seats and shitty food. But TV and a great spread? Now that is one heck of a sky ride!

53 Bryan Jake T

I hear you man. A little more leg room in economy class and I’d be a happier traveler. Other than that, I can live with everything else. Well, of course excepting delays.

54 BigMoneyBrooklyn

I’m no airline connoisseur but it seems UA has certainly taken the whole business class to a whole new higher level. At 255 pounds, I am a big man and I sure hate being cramped up in a miniscule seat the entire flight. And don’t get me started on the food or else we’ll be stuck here for hours, brother. Shout outs from Brooklyn!

55 Melanie Johnson

They should. If not, they’ll lose to carriers who understand what kind of service their passengers expect.

56 ExclaimedIdeas

more cheerful cabin crews can be a plus.

57 Sven - OutsourcingPitfalls.com

Hi,

never got on an UA plane, but I prefer flying with Emirates (I’m living in China and have to go back to Germany frequently). Flying via Dubai all the time sucks great time, but their service is top notch. On economy class you get ALL beverages available for free (OK, champaign is $8 a bottle, but I normally don’t drink when I am on a plane). Business class is great. When serving breakfast you get several kinds of bread roles and they come at least 3-4 times to ask if you’d like another one. Before departure you can choose between something like 200 meals and the best thing is that they are served prior to normal meals, haha.

The last time, middle of August, I read in their inbord magazine, that they are serving food prepaired by a chef that has combined 7 stars for his 4 restaurants, when flying to Madrid (OK, only for first and business class) but their food is always great (I have had several times much worser experiences when going to a normal restaurant).

And the last thing that makes them is their baggage allowance: Economy 30kg + 12kg as I have silver status in their milage programm. Nice ;-)

And no, I am not affiliated with them, haha.
Best and have a nice flight
Sven

58 WhoisDoyle

You forgot to add the themed airport lounges for their First and Business class travelers. I had an opportunity to fly Business recently. I stayed at their airport lounge and it was impressive.

59 Andrew Says So

I agree! Emirates is one of my favorite carriers. I’ve had good experiences traveling with them. Apart from the excellent service, I always enjoy the food.

60 Lola Dee

I love the food too! I’m a vegetarian so I usually request for a special meal when I book with United. They serve delicious vegetarian meals every time.

61 SmallBiz Sue

I hate to burst your bubble, dear, but I didn’t quite like their salad on my last flight. The dressing was terrible and the veggies were soggy. Nonetheless, the flight was cozy but the food — ahem — vegetarian food? Not so good.

62 Ethan

It’s the food that makes the whole experience unforgettable. Whether it’s a sandwich or a full ensemble of steak and potatoes, give customers a bad meal and they’ll surely remember it the next time they’ll book a flight.

63 Tech

It looks heaps better than economy.

64 Fiona Wong

…and probably feels much much better too.

65 Bryn Youngblut

Yeah man Business class is the shit, worth every penny.

66 Jim Petersen

Yeah and if you got ain’t no cash to spend for business class, your budget is going to the shit as well.

67 Lesley "Wes" Wilson-Klatt

Been a while since I’ve flow and business class didn’t look like that last time I was upgraded…nice!

68 Alan Alan

I’ve always thought business class is for snooty executives who do nothing but wear flashy clothes and flaunt their jewelry and gadgets. I never knew a newbie like me can avail of a nice flight, too, without spending a ton.

69 slash
70 Screechy Rich

Old video is old. I believe United Airlines has paid its dues and that clip (or set of clips) should at least be regulated.

71 Laney Pitt

Where’s the after party post? Was it “bigger and better” like they said?

72 Rod S. Lee

The photos look tamer than last year’s. Where’s the DJ?

73 Get That Ball

You got that right, buddy. I think this year’s Mansion party is a bit on the soft side if you ask me. That sexy DJ from last year’s shindig sure made the whole affair super hot! (Got any NSFW images for me, Jeremy?)

74 Bowie

yeah. that DJ’s photos were among the more remarkable ones you had last year, including the ladies wearing body paint.

75 nealcal

Maybe the upgrade was more remarkable. It wasn’t exactly the first time he went to a party in the Playboy Mansion.

76 Mark Mead

That would make a great seat for transatlantic flights. Long flights in cramped economy class seats is one of the things I hate about traveling. I wonder how much business would cost though.

77 AurorMine

That’s why I always arrange to be seated in the aisle seat. Makes it easier to stand up then walk up and down the aisle to stretch my legs. 16-hour flights can be a pain if you’re seated center or window.

78 Guy Cleveland

I think it’s more difficult to get upgrades for longer flights. What I do is I use my miles for upgrades instead of getting a free trip.

79 Fields of Clover

i’m flying to NYC this weeked. i hope i get upgraded too!

80 E. Langdon

Is it just me or the UA business class seats look like some huge gaming console? Starcraft 2 anyone?

81 Norman Nevelle

I’m no rocket scientist but I believe no modern airline passenger couldn’t pass up the 24 inch screens and the remote/gaming console combination. Maybe UA should rename their company to “Heaven.” :)

82 Chris Green

You didn’t mention anything about inboard Wi-Fi. Do they have it? Other carriers have that on their list of services already.

83 California Dreamin

says here they have in-flight Internet http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,1074,00.html

84 Baseer Hannan

Problem is some airports impose fees on web connection. I know there’s a technology-hack out there that can solve this issue. 4chan, here I come!

85 MVZP_01

I like that they have power outlets. I once had some urgent work to finish when my laptop’s battery just went dead on me. I was able to plug in and finish my work before we landed at JFK.

86 Creative Marketer

Aesthetics sure plays a very important role in marketing. Like in this case, seeing the 24 inch screen, the supersized legroom and the tasty treats — made even classier by topping it off with a serving of grapes — definitely makes me want to try flying United Airlines in the near future. And when I say near future, I mean next weekend when I’m visiting my parents in Colorado. Thanks a million, Jeremy. Best wishes from NYC.

87 Hollaback Will

One of the reasons I travel business class whenever I can is because of the relative privacy it offers. Sometimes I find it difficult to focus on some work that I need to do when I have the misfortune of being seated beside someone who constantly annoys me with meaningless chatters.

88 medomoc

I know the type. One time though this lady told me that she’s scared of flying so she tries to talk with someone to manage her fear. After that I try to be more understanding. Still, I agree that it can be a pain if you just want to take a nap, focus on reading, or do some work.

89 Dmitrii Anastas

The fear of flying for some people is just natural. My mother-in-law is so afraid to fly that she endured a 3-day train trip just to get to Sweden where we celebrated Christmas last year.

90 Heinrich Sture

You don’t always get meaningless chatters during flights, man. I remember having to sit next to Eric Clapton while I was traveling to San Francisco three years back. He even gave me an autographed guitar pick as a memento.

91 James Is (Not Working)

Sometimes they can take a hint and stop chatting with you if you tell them straight that you’re busy or you don’t want to be bothered.

92 newmediaist12

So, how was your mansion party the second time around? There seems to be more house girls this year than the previous one.

93 John Dillon

Don’t you think the party this year wasn’t as racy as the last one? (I heard Hef served his world-famous Margaritas)

94 EllaineR

The possibility of upgrades is the foremost reason why I signed up for an airline’s frequent flyer program. Top-tier members usually get more upgrades than most. Other than that, I really don’t know how carriers choose who to upgrade to first or business class.

95 Gabby Dell from SC

I don’t think airlines only prioritize top-tier patrons when it comes to upgrades. I just got my fifth Emirates upgrade for this month alone and I just had a couple of flights across the country.

96 Ara600_m1

That’s just one of the many ways to get good airplane seats. Frequent flyers who reach elite status in their airline of choice get upgrade perks once in a while. But with many travelers getting elite status nowadays, competition for upgrades becomes more stiff. Don’t try to get upgrades for redeye flights, it’s almost impossible to land one unless you’re really lucky.

97 Runs With Scissors

Flying is an art form and United Airlines absolutely took the cake on this one. If this whole new and improved business class flight catches a wave in the next few days, I’m definitely ditching my RV. LMAO

98 B.Logan

This is one sweet post, Shoe. One question though: Aren’t all 767′s assembled this way? I’m sure other airlines have the same perks, too, but not in the biz class.

99 Hans Anders

This is where the line is drawn between United airlines and others. UA is offering its passengers a cheaper alternative to first-class without getting down low with economy. If United can pull off a similar set-up for economy then they’re definitely in for a good roll in the next few years.

100 KrisM77

What games do you have in your iPad?

101 Benito Salvatore

Getting an iPad app? These are the games that really do stand out: http://www.gamepro.com/article/features/214682/25-best-ipad-games/

102 Fridtjof Salomon

I know I’m a bit too old for techie stuff but what’s the big deal with Angry Birds on iPad? I don’t even have the slightest idea why that game exists…

103 Farzad H.

You should get the new version of Brix, Jeremy. It’s the best iPad app these days. Top my high score of 16,000,000,000.

104 Vince

How come there are no photos of you inside the mansion this time, Jeremy? You didn’t take the grand tour again? Was the party held outdoors?

105 PokeYerFace

Perhaps Hef was “auditioning” some new Bunnies in there…

106 Manisha Sithembile

The pictures from the party are like SFW versions of the NSFW theme. What do you think, Jeremy?

107 NicMoon

I got an upgrade to first class from an airline flying out of Amsterdam. Honestly, I didn’t know how I got the upgrade since it was my first time to fly with them. I think I was 2nd or 3rd in the line and the 2 people before me got upgraded as well. That carrier is now top on my list of preferred airlines.

108 veronica_sm

That’s great! I wish that could happen to me too.

109 Feeding Frenzy

What’s your total mileage now? I remember you mentioned in one of your posts last week that you already accumulated a lot for this month alone. Planning on another trip anytime soon?

110 Roshaun Philips

They made a good call in upgrading you to business. Word-of-mouth working on me already. I’m booking my next flight with UA.

111 David R

They made the right choice in giving you that upgrade. This post is a convincing testimonial of how cool their business class is. I’m now thinking of flying UA in my next trip.

112 Nicholas Oli

I’m no picky person. I just want safety over comfort when flying. If United Airlines can prove its salt by combining the two together successfully, I might just have a new favorite airline sooner or later. (Minus points for the company’s nasty run-in with that singer who had his guitars smashed though). Nonetheless, I give their new and improved business class an 8/10. Not bad, eh?

113 Rylan Howie

That’s one cool upgrade!

114 free virtual worlds

The center console looks like alien technology

115 Cheryl Jones

That breakfast sure looks good, I wouldn’t mind having those eggs right about now.

116 Backlink Checker

Now thats what I call service :) Looking really relaxed.

117 Brian

Oh wow, you had the international configuration of a 767 for a domestic flight… pretty sweet!

118 The Hacked Life

That much comfort on a 2 hour flight! American usually sticks me on a tiny American Eagle Business Jet for shorter flights. UA has it figured out.

119 OKC Realtor

Wow, that is pretty amazing! I have done quite a bit of flying in my day, and I have yet to see a first class cabin as nice as that, let alone business class.

120 Brett

Awesome, looks like first class to me!

121 Wedd

I totally agree with you! This is really awesome.

122 Feedveral

First class is the way to go, you should have United Airlines affiliate banner in this post. Mentioning there name just isn’t enough!

123 Shaun Carter

That’s impressive for a two hour flight. I wonder what those seats run retail?

124 Nick Stamoulis

Wow and that is business class?? United has definitely stepped it up a notch, I haven’t seen any other business class cabins as nice as that one. Maybe a flight on United is in my future.

125 John

Wow..Business hight quality!

126 Lach

Am I the only one surprised that you didn’t know what business class was/is?

I mean, really?

Otherwise, it did look awesome.. kudos on the upgrade!

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