United Airlines to squeeze more seats into long haul aircraft

UA Boeing 777200United Airlines is the latest airline to jump on the bandwagon of squeezing more passengers into economy class cabins. The US headquartered airline announced a schedule last week which will see its Boeing 777-200s gain an extra 21 seats in coach.

The airline says the extra seats will be created by increasing the number of rows in economy and economy plus from nine to ten. Airline analysts say passengers will still have the same amount of legroom but due to the extra lengthwise rows their seats will be narrower.

United’s seat pitches for economy are 78 centimetres and for economy plus are 86 centimetres. The 777-200s are primarily utilised on long-haul routes although the new non-stop Los Angeles to Singapore route launched with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the weekend.

Media sources in the US say United will gradually be reconfiguring up to 90 aircraft in the coming years to accommodate the additional seats. The change does not apply to business class and the personal space for passengers in the signature Polaris seats will stay the same.

United is not the first major global airline to implement cabin reconfigurations which shrink the amount of space for economy passengers. British Airways and American Airlines have both started programmes which will add extra seats to aircraft.

US judge Patricia Millett has even dubbed the revamps the incredible shrinking airline seat. The appeals court judge made the comment while saying the national aviation agency needed to rethink a decision on not introducing legislation to regulate how big airline seats were.



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