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After my Thanksgiving trip to Santa Barbara with my Grandma, I spent a couple days down in Los Angeles before flying back to the east coast. When looking at my options to get back to New York, it seemed like my best choice would be to get a one-way award ticket since fares were sky-high and surprisingly there were actually a ton of business class awards still available and I had some extra points to use.
I ended up booking a business class seat on a nonstop LAX-JFK United flight aboard their transcontinental Boeing 757 using 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (thanks to my Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 point sign-up bonus) which I transferred to United and used to book a one-way business class fare. The extra fees were just $5. Seemed like a pretty good score to me, since that flight was $1,600 and coach fares were $450.
You might remember, but I’d already done one LAX-JFK flight aboard United’s 757 p.s. (premier service) in first class back in August–and I wansn’t that impressed. Most of you commented that business class was the way to go, so I wanted to test out your recommendation. (And PS, you were right).
The 757 ps has just 3 classes of service: first class, business class and Economy Plus. That’s right, no regular old economy on the plane. Hence the “ps (Premium Service)” attribution. Business class has 26 recliner seats with 54-inch pitch and 20.5 inches of width–pretty standard, though still narrow. The food was all very decent, and I was glad that the plane was equipped with in-flight Gogo WiFi so I could get some work done.
The real disappointment, though, was the in-flight entertainment, which were tiny 7-inch handheld LCD screens loaded with about 20 movies and 30 TV episodes and some music. Plus, you couldn’t really use them while working or eating since you’d need to set them down on the tray table. I barely used mine, but that wasn’t an issue because I had wifi.
Other than that, the whole experience was nice–nothing too notable or exceptional. I did, however, find it more comfortable than Delta’s transcontinental business class, and appreciated how much more low-level award seating availability there was–especially since I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred and all the Ultimate Rewards points I’m racking up from double points on all dining and travel.
What I like the most about United’s ps service is the amazing amount of “low level” award availability- even during peak times. This is a great option if you have Ultimate rewards points or American Express Membership Rewards (transferred to Aeroplan) since fares can get ridiculous on that route- especially in business class.
Take a look at the gallery below for some photos of business class, what I ate, and the tiny IFE screen.
Have you flown on United’s p.s. business class? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below.
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
- Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees