Review – United First Class – Vancouver to San Francisco – 737-800

United 737 first class yvr sfo first class cabin

Our United flight from YVR to SFO was the first of five flights in our ANA error fare business class booking. For some reason, we always seem to book an itinerary with a super early flight out of YVR, and this one was no exception. We headed to the airport at 3am, where it was still pretty quiet.

United 737 first class yvr sfo check in kiosks
United Self check-in kiosks
United 737 first class yvr sfo check in signage
United check in signage
United 737 first class yvr sfo airport
Still quiet at YVR Airport

Vancouver (YVR) -> San Francisco (SFO)
Airline: United Airlines
Flight No: UA618
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Date: Monday, September 18, 2017
Scheduled Departure: 6:00 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 8:19 AM
Duration: 2 hrs 19 mins
Class: First

We checked in at one of the self-check kiosks, and proceeded to an agent who helped tag our bags. The bag drop was still closed after we were done, so we waited in a long line for about 15 minutes, until the line started moving.

United 737 first class yvr sfo premier access
United Premier Access
United 737 first class yvr sfo self check kiosk
Checking in
United 737 first class yvr sfo line up waiting for bag drop
Line up waiting for bag drop

After passing through security, we spent some time at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in the domestic area. We’ll be sharing a review of that soon. After checking out the lounge, we headed to gate 86 about 15 minutes before scheduled boarding.  Boarding had already begun for First Class and Elite members.

United 737 first class yvr sfo departure board
UA618, one of the earliest flights out of YVR
United 737 first class yvr sfo gate airport
Gate 86

United’s First Class cabin on their 737-800 consists of 16 seats in a 2-2 configuration. The seats are recliner seats with 38 inches of pitch and 7.5 degrees recline. A partition and curtain separates the first class cabin from the economy cabin.

United 737 first class yvr sfo cabin
United 737 first class cabin
United 737 first class yvr sfo first class cabin
United 737 first class cabin
United 737 first class yvr sfo cabin
Divider and curtains between first and economy class

We were seated in seats 3E and 3F. The seat width felt quite wide and there’s plenty of legroom to stretch out. The leather seats were comfortable but definitely showed a bit of age.

United 737 first class yvr sfo first class cabin
Peterson sat in seat 3E, while I sat in the window seat 3F
United 737 first class yvr sfo legroom
Seat pitch is great

A wrapped blanket was available on the seat as we arrived. The blanket was soft and good quality. I definitely needed it as I was planning to catch up on some sleep, and the cabin was a bit on the cold side.

United 737 first class yvr sfo blanket
Soft blanket provided

Pre-departure beverages were served as we settled in. The choices were between orange juice and water. I opted for the orange juice, while Peterson just had a water.

United 737 first class yvr sfo pre-departure beverages
Pre-departure beverages served

There is a small personal TV screen attached to the seat in front, which seemed to be showing live television channels. The controls for the TV are on a panel beneath the center console. It’s not one of the detachable ones, but it’s simple enough to use from there. A small storage space is available beneath the console.

United 737 first class yvr sfo first class cabin personal TV screen
Small personal TV screen

The tray table can be found beneath a flap on the armrest, and folds out to give a pretty large surface area. It seemed a little dirty and had a few stains, but was practical.

United 737 first class yvr sfo tray table
Foldable tray table

We pushed back on time at 6am, and had a fast taxi to runway 08L, where we were cleared for takeoff immediately.

United 737 first class yvr sfo first class cabin dark
Dimmed cabin
United 737 first class yvr sfo wing view shot clouds
Cruising towards San Francisco

Breakfast was served shortly into the flight. It consisted of fresh fruit, a blueberry muffin, and a coffee. It was a nice, light breakfast to start off the day!

United 737 first class yvr sfo breakfast
Fresh fruits, muffin, and coffee for breakfast
United 737 first class yvr sfo alvin breakfast
I was excited for the start of the trip, but I was definitely super sleepy!
United 737 first class yvr sfo IFE
Browsing live TV channels on the IFE
United 737 first class yvr sfo in flight airshow
Watching the air show on the IFE
United 737 first class yvr sfo cruising coastal mountains wingview aerial
Beautiful landscape on our way down to SFO

Before we knew it, we were already making our approach into San Francisco. After landing, we had a 20 minute wait on the ramp as our gate was still occupied.

United 737 first class yvr sfo airport
Taxiing to the gate, past plenty of United aircraft

In Summary:

This was a short, straight-forward hop down to San Francisco, so there’s not a whole lot to comment on. The timing of the flight is early out of YVR, but is perfect for any onward connections from SFO. The seats, while showing some age, are perfectly comfortable and spacious enough for the 2 hour flight. Having the option to have a light breakfast is great, or you can simply skip the meal to catch up on some sleep.

Check out our video trip report of this flight on our YouTube channel!

For short domestic trips like this one, how do you choose to fly? Please let us know in the comments below. For regular trip reports, updates, and flight/hotel reviews, subscribe to our newsletter.

Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.

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