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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

My Experience with United Airlines' Premium Plus Service from Tel Aviv, Israel to Newark, New Jersey: A Comfortable and Affordable Choice

Tel Aviv, Israel

United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats
United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats

As a frequent flyer, I've experienced various classes on different airlines. Recently, I flew from Tel Aviv, Israel to Newark, New Jersey on United's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, seated in their United Premium Plus section. This seat is similar to what other airlines call Premium Economy. I found the seat on this flight to be quite comfortable and would fly in this class again.

“United Premium Plus is tailored for those looking for an upgrade from the standard economy experience without the full investment of a business class ticket.”

The United Premium Plus cabin is laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seat I had offered decent space, a notable improvement over standard economy. Specifically, the pitch – the distance between my seat and the one in front – was a comfortable 38 inches. The seat width, measuring at about 19 inches, provided enough room to relax without feeling cramped. The additional legroom and elbow space were appreciable for a long-haul flight.

United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats
United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats

Each seat was equipped with a large monitor, measuring approximately 13 inches. The screen size was suitable for the viewing distance and the selection of movies, TV shows, and games was extensive, making the hours pass by more enjoyably.


One of the highlights of flying United Premium Plus was the range of amenities provided. The seat came with a plush pillow and a soft blanket from Saks Fifth Avenue, ensuring a comfortable rest. The amenity kit included a sleeping mask, socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, and earplugs, all useful for a long flight.


As someone who follows a kosher diet, I pre-ordered the kosher meal. Unlike in the economy class, the meal in United Premium Plus was served on real plates, which added a touch of elegance to the dining experience. The food was wrapped, adhering to kosher standards.

United Airlines, with a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, is one of the major airlines of the United States and the world. Its relationship with Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) as a major hub is a significant part of its operations.

United Airlines
United Airlines

History of United Airlines

United Airlines, or United as it is referred to informally, has an interesting and long aviation history:


- Origins: United's origins trace back to the Varney Air Lines air mail service of Walter Varney, which started in 1926. This service is often regarded as the beginning of United Airlines.

- Formation: United Airlines officially came into existence in 1929, formed through the amalgamation of several small airlines, including Varney.

- Expansion: Over the decades, United expanded its route network, incorporating more destinations and modern aircraft.


Newark Liberty International Airport as a Hub:

- Development: Newark Airport, one of the oldest airfields in the United States, started operations in 1928. It grew rapidly to become a key transport hub for the New York metropolitan area.

- United’s Expansion at Newark: United Airlines began using Newark as a hub in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The airport's location in the New York metropolitan area made it an attractive point for both domestic and international flights.

- Continental Merger: The merger with Continental Airlines in 2010 significantly boosted United's presence at Newark. Continental had a strong foothold at Newark, and the merger made United one of the largest operators at the airport.

- Strategic Importance: Newark serves as a vital gateway for United, especially for flights to Europe, Asia, and other international destinations. Its geographical location makes it a preferred hub for flights from the U.S. East Coast.


Modern Developments:

- Facilities Upgrade: Over the years, United has invested in upgrading facilities at Newark, including lounges, terminals, and operational infrastructure.

- COVID-19 Pandemic: Like many airlines, United faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected air travel demand. However, Newark remained an essential hub in its network.


United Airlines' history intertwines with the development of commercial aviation in the United States. Its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport has been central to its strategy, enabling it to offer extensive domestic and international connections. The airline's evolution reflects the broader trends in the industry, from technological advancements to shifts in travel patterns. Newark, with its strategic location and continuous improvements, remains a cornerstone in United's operations.

United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats
United Airlines' Premium Plus Seats

Features of Flying United Premium Plus:

1. Enhanced Comfort:

   - Seats: United Premium Plus seats are designed for extra comfort. They are wider than standard economy seats and offer more legroom and elbow space. The seats typically feature additional recline, adjustable footrests, and a headrest.

   - Space: The seat configuration, generally in a 2-3-2 layout, provides a more spacious environment compared to the economy cabin.


2. In-Flight Amenities:

   - Amenity Kit: Passengers in Premium Plus receive an upgraded amenity kit, which includes items like a sleeping mask, socks, earplugs, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

   - Noise-reducing Headphones: High-quality headphones are usually provided to enhance the in-flight entertainment experience.


3. Dining Experience:

   - Meal Service: The meal service in Premium Plus is a step above economy, with menus often designed by renowned chefs.

   - Beverage Options: Passengers have access to a broader range of complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

   - Presentation: Meals are typically served on real dishware, with proper cutlery, enhancing the dining experience.


4. Entertainment:

   - Larger Screens: The in-flight entertainment screens in Premium Plus are larger than those in economy, offering a better viewing experience.

   - Extensive Library: There is access to a wide variety of movies, TV shows, games, and music.


5. Additional Perks:

   - Priority Boarding: Premium Plus passengers often enjoy priority boarding, allowing easier and faster access to the plane.

   - Extra Baggage Allowance: There may be an increased baggage allowance compared to economy class.

   - Dedicated Overhead Bin Space: This ensures that you have space for your carry-on items.


6. Service:

   - Attentive Service: The cabin crew in the Premium Plus section tends to provide more personalized and attentive service.


7. Value for Money:

   - Cost-Effective Upgrade: For travelers seeking enhanced comfort and amenities without the price tag of business or first class, Premium Plus offers a middle ground.


8. Loyalty Program Benefits:

   - MileagePlus Earnings: Passengers earn more MileagePlus miles compared to economy, which can be beneficial for frequent flyers.


United Premium Plus is tailored for those looking for an upgrade from the standard economy experience without the full investment of a business class ticket. It strikes a balance between comfort, amenities, and price, making it an attractive option for long-haul travelers.


My flight experience reaffirms that small details can make a big difference in the overall travel experience, especially on long-haul flights like Tel Aviv to Newark. United Airlines' attention to these details in their Premium Plus service is worth considering for future travels.


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