Review: United B737-700 First Class (EWR-STT)

Note: This Flight Occurred in May of 2021

After flying into LaGuardia from Dallas-Love on Southwest, we took a wild cab ride to the Newark Airport Marriott for a quick overnight stay. I didn’t grab many pictures as we arrived after midnight and were out the door before breakfast to catch our flight down to Saint Thomas in United Boeing 737-700 First Class.


I found a great fare sale from Newark to St. Thomas when perusing Google Flights for this trip. Our crazy DAL-LGA, EWR-STT routing with an overnight was much cheaper, even with a hotel stay, than flying via American from DFW to STT with a stop in MIA. The daily direct DFW-STT was priced at over $1000 RT in Economy per-person.


The hotel shuttle dropped us off at EWR Terminal C just before 6:30a. Since this trip occurred when there were many pandemic related travel restrictions and requirements, check-in was sorted by destination. This made it easier for agents to verify documents for each location (United has since reverted back to standard check-in at Newark).

We found the appropriate check-in counter on the upper level and, though there was no Priority Access lane, we had our boarding passes in hand by 6:45a and headed through security.

a group of people with luggage in a terminal
a man standing in front of a check-in counter

With our flight departing out of gate C120 we made a quick stop at Saison for a bite to eat. We were seated immediately as a couple of seats opened up at the bar.

people walking in an airport
people sitting at tables in a mall

We ordered an American style breakfast, I don’t remember exactly what it was called, consisting of eggs, sausage, potatoes, and toast. Since it was vacation and there are no rules in airports, we accompanied breakfast with a cup of coffee and a beer.

a plate of food with a bowl of ketchup and a plate of food
a cup of coffee and a glass of beer

We also managed to catch a glimpse of our waiting aircraft that would take us down to Saint Thomas.

United Airlines Boeing 737 Newark Liberty International Airport


Boarding was called right as we finished eating and, after paying the check, we walked next door to catch our flight to St. Thomas. Since boarding was already underway when we arrived at the gate, we had a slight backup on the jetway but still had plenty of space for our bags in the overhead.

people in a terminal
a group of people walking down a hallway

United Airlines

UA 2077

EWR-STT (Newark Liberty International – St. Thomas Cyril E. King)

Seat: 3E (First)

B737-700 (N17719)

Scheduled: 7:50a-11:44a

Actual: 7:45a-11:21a

As we took our seats, the FA working the First Class cabin came around and introduced herself and handed out earbuds for the seatback IFE.

two airplanes parked at an airport
a tray with plastic bags and glasses on it

While boarding was wrapping up, I noticed that the IFE screen was showing Newark at a higher elevation than I would have expected, a whopping 131,040 feet above sea level.

United B737-700 First Class IFE Screen


Boarding wrapped up a few minutes early and, after waiting for some other jets to push and clear the alley, we taxied out to the runway. We were 3rd in line for takeoff and soon blasted off towards the southwest where we got a great look at the construction of the new Terminal A, which has since been completed and looks amazing.

Terminal A Construction Newark Liberty International Airport

We had a steep climb out, I love how nimble the 737-700’s are, and made a sweeping left turn over the Princeton area before going feet wet somewhere north of Atlantic City.

an aerial view of a factory
an aerial view of a river and a city
an aerial view of a city
an airplane wing and a body of water

In Flight

Once we crossed over the water the flight attendants were up and in action. Beverage and meal orders were taken simultaneously and I had a mimosa along with the turkey, egg and cheese croissant. The full can of orange juice as well as a mini bottle of prosecco were provided along with a pre-wrapped sandwich on a plate. While the presentation was less than stellar, it was pretty good as far as reheated sandwiches at 30,000 feet can be.

a sandwich and drinks on a table
a plate of food and drinks on a table
a plate of food and drinks on a table

Mrs. ATX Jetsetter also had a mimosa as well as the breakfast sandwich.

a plate of food and drinks on a table
food on a plate with two cans of beer and a drink

After breakfast, most people slept while I passed the time watching a movie on the IFE and looking out the window. The views got better as we approached St. Thomas with multiple islands coming into view. The FA working the First Class cabin wasn’t proactive with refills but was happy to get you something if asked.

View approaching Saint Thomas from United Airlines B737-700 First Class


We landed in St. Thomas 25 minutes early and it was hard on the brakes due to the short runway at the airport. After a quick taxi, we pulled to our parking stand and waited for the airstairs to be moved into place. All boarding/deplaning in St. Thomas is done via airstairs.

a runway with buildings and mountains in the background
a group of airplanes on a runway

The flight attendant held the Economy cabin until the 12 person First Class cabin could disembark which was a nice gesture but mostly unnecessary since we used 1L to deplane. From there, we made the walk around the outside of the terminal to the waiting Covid screening checkpoint.

a group of people standing outside a building
a plane with a few people standing next to it

The Covid checkpoint consisted of members of the National Guard taking temperatures and validating a QR code that was issued prior to departure showing the proper paperwork had been provided.

Spirit Airlines A320 and airport police at Cyril E. King Airport Saint Thomas, USVI

Since we were some of the first people in line we were through in seconds and found ourselves waiting at baggage claim. Our priority tagged bags were second and third on the belt and we headed outside to meet Mrs. ATX Jetsetter’s parents who arrived earlier in the week and were curbside with the rental car.

Baggage Claim Cyril E. King Airport Saint Thomas, USVI


All in all, this was a perfectly adequate First Class flight with United, especially during Covid when airlines had drastically cut back on service. There wasn’t anything terrible or exceptional that sticks out in my mind and we got to where we were going safely and on time. I have and will happily fly on United’s 737-700 again and these planes will only get better as the fleet gets retrofitted.

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