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29 Helpful votes
This seat (1E) is an example of the standard and typical first class seating utilized by United Airlines both domestically within the US and on short-haul international routes. Relatively-speaking, it is an okay seat given the size and type of aircraft (Boeing 737-900) and on par with that proffered by other airlines utilizing aircraft of similar size domestically. Of course, it is not the same as the lie-flat seat found in business and first class on several of the larger aircraft used domestically by United (e.g. B-757, B-767, B-777 & B-787). Compared to the other seats in first class on this particular aircraft, this seat has the advantage of more personal space because there is only the bulkhead in front of you and thus no seatback that can recline backward into your space (towards your face). Moreover, as this seat is in the first row, it means you will be among the first passengers to receive inflight services (from the flight attendants) and you'll be among the first few persons off the plane (which can be advantageous if the flight is running late or you have a tight connection). The negatives are that you have no under-seat storage space (because there is no seat in front of you) and you are close to the galley and lavatory. The noise from the galley may be disruptive when in use and you will hear the flushing of the toilet. Additionally, leg room may feel a bit restrictive - particularly if you're a tall person - because there is no under-seat space in front of you in which to place your feet. Also, light emanating from the galley/lavatory area may prove problematic for sleeping during long night flights (when the cabin has otherwise been darkened). Another potential issue of annoyance is the likelihood of overhearing the conversations and banter of the flight attendants who are hanging out in the galley area during lulls in inflight services. I don't begrudge them the right to socialize but, I as a passenger should not be subjected to hearing personal and private discussions and opinions about diverse topics of no interest or relevancy to me. If you do not have any way to "mute" or "tune out" the unwanted conversation then it may prove annoying to overhear. The problem is that you don't have much choice in the matter because you cannot simply move your seat. Obviously, if the airplane has an AV entertainment system - use it! Or, if have your own entertainment device - use it! This is about all I can say about the seat itself aside from observing that the finish/cover is leather and the cushion is sufficiently supportive and comfortable. Realistically, to some degree, one's perception of how good a seat is will be determined by the level of service and treatment provided by the flight attendants. If you have good service and are treated well - you'll feel more positive about the seat. Conversely, if service is shoddy and you're treated poorly - then you'll feel more negative about things. On my flight service was relatively good. The only two other observations I'll mention was the AV entertainment system had issues and the overhead storage space for our carry-on baggage had been taken over by the luggage of the flight attendants which forced us to find storage space elsewhere nearby (and thus take away storage space intended for other passengers).
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