United Now Has New First & Business Class on Every International 767

There’s some good news from United in their ongoing multi-year effort to put their new flat bed business class seat on their airplanes. As of now, every flying 767 that is configured for international service has the new seats. First Class travelers have also seen the end of the crappy 767 seat. There are First Class suites throughout as well.

So let’s think about this from a passenger perspective. What plane do you want to fly in each class of service if you’re on United?

Economy Minus

  1. 767 – Coach seats at least have looping in-seat video, and the 2-3-2 configuration means you have a better shot of avoiding a middle than on other planes. You also have a better shot at getting pushed up to Economy Plus since 47% of seats in coach are in that cabin on this plane.

  2. 777 – You’ll get the same looping in-seat video for now, but look for this plane to leapfrog the 767 with AVOD once the refurbs begin. The 2-5-2 config means a middle seat is more likely. Still, with 42% of seats in coach in Economy Plus, your upgrade chances are pretty good. (That number rises to 48% after the refurb.)

  3. 747 – Avoid this plane at all costs. Not only are there no in-seat entertainment options, but the 3-4-3 configuration makes for an uncomfortable ride for couples. Only 33% of coach seats pre-refurb and 22% of coach seats on refurbed aircraft are Economy Plus on this plane, so upgrades are less likely.

Economy Plus

  1. 767 – Not much differentiates this plane from the 777 here except that you have the 2-3-2 configuration. Remember, once the 777 gets AVOD, it will leapfrog this plane.

  2. 777 – It’s basically a tie with the 767 except for the configuration.

  3. 747 – Again, avoid at all costs if you need entertainment. No in-seat entertainment to speak of.

Business

  1. 767 – If you’re on a 767, you will have the new business class seats

  2. 747 – More than half the 747s have the new business class seats, but even if you don’t get one, at least you can be on the upper deck

  3. 777 – Not a single airplane has the new business class seats, so you should avoid this one

First

  1. 767 – This cellar-dweller leaps to the front now that the newly-renovated suites have been installed

  2. 747 – More than half the 747s have the refurbed suites, but even if they don’t, you’re still in the nose of the airplane and that’s excellent

  3. 777 – Not as big of a gap as in business, the the First suites may be a little tired on some of these planes

Of course, if you’re on a 777 or 767 domestically, you’ll need to see if it’s even an internationally-configured one. Most of the time, it’s not and you’ll just be on a regular domestic-style configuration.


12 Responses to United Now Has New First & Business Class on Every International 767

  1. Wonko Beeblebrox says:

    I thought UALs 777s were going 3-3-3 in E+/- once the AVOD changes kick in. Something about the seats coming that way (3/3/3) and thus making re-certification easier…

  2. CF says:

    Oops – this was supposed to be saved as a draft and not published. Oh well. It’s out there now . . .

    Wonko – Yes, I’m told that they will be going to a 3-3-3, but none of the planes have been touched yet.

  3. Wonko Beeblebrox says:

    CF-

    call it a ‘Friday bonus’ post and take tomorrow off ;)

  4. 250Kflier says:

    On the 767s, UA is reconfiguring the overhead bins — only in first and business. The airline didn’t think it was worth the approx. $130 million extra to install larger overhead bins in all three 763 cabins.

    Wankers. This shows the short-sighted nature that is United Airlines. Economy has a higher density configuration, making the larger overhead bins probably more important in the economy class cabin than in the premium cabins.

    Brett, are you certain about the % of seats in Y+ on the reconfigured 763s? I thought I’d read United was shrinking the Y+ cabin (F and C also have fewer seats than before the reconfig). It was my understanding that to help pay for the cabin upgrades, UA planned to shrink the premium seats (in theory, to get more people to pay to sit in them), reduce what UA described as “excessive” upgrading, and increase overall density by adding more Y- seats. Then again, maybe that applies only to the reconfigured 744 version.

  5. CF says:

    250Kflier – They’re only shrinking the Y+ cabin on the 747, but I believe the true premium cabins are shrinking on every fleet. Here’s what I’m showing as the change in Y/Y+ by aircraft:

    767 – old 67 Y+ and 84 Y (44% Y+)
    new 71 Y+ and 80 Y (47% Y+)

    747 – old 88 Y+ and 172 Y (34% Y+)
    new 70 Y+ and 240 Y (23% Y+)

    777 – old 83/84 Y+ and 114 Y (42% Y+)
    new 107 Y+ and 114 Y (48% Y+)

  6. Bobber says:

    Have to say I found the new C class on a 767-300 really nice last month, and rear facing is a nice touch. Blowing the last of miles upgrading to C on a 777 to SFO next month, which will be a disappointment no doubt.

  7. The Traveling Optimist says:

    Bobber –

    Give us a rundown on what it feels like to be facing backward on take-off and through all the turns and vectors both leaving and arriving at an airport, please? I’m still not sold on that mode of travel on anything other than a fast train.

  8. CF says:

    Optimist – I’ve done it a couple times in BA’s business class as well as in the old days when Southwest had club seating. I actually didn’t find it to be much different at all except that you’re pointed up when you’re usually pointing down and vice versa.

  9. Bobber says:

    @TTO

    There really isn’t a great deal of difference, mate. There is a slight tendency for you to lean forward at take-off, but throughout the rest of the flight it’s as per, really. I’ve flown ‘backwards’ in military transporters when I was an air cadet (in the last century!), as the RAF have their VC-10’s and Tristars configured that way throughout – better crash survival, allegedly. Anyway, I think it’s the fact that the new C class suites are that much better than before that’s the real difference, not the pleasant change it makes to be looking the wrong way!

  10. None says:

    - UA have said they do NOT plan to supply AVOD for Economy in the
    upgraded 777s. They have indicated they view AVOD as a “premium”
    feature that incents people to either buy a C/F ticket or upgrade (usually
    from one of the more expensive economy fares and also requiring cash
    payment if upgrading with UA miles after 1st July 2009).

    – UA also have NOT upgraded or reconfigure the overhead bins on any of the 767s,
    and they do NOT plan to upgrade or reconfigure them. UA did look at overhead
    bin changes, but even upgrading only the C & F class overhead bins was
    considered far too expensive by UA.

    Otherwise a nice article.

  11. The Traveling Optimist says:

    None –

    UA views AVOD as a premium feature? And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, a public admission of poverty in the face of overwhelming competition that offers AVOD in all classes on newer aircraft deployed on the most lucrative routes in United’s system. Namely, just about every city they serve across the Pacific.

    Old 747s, “B-Model” 777s (2nd generation) and 767s averaging 20+ years each? If they don’t provide an incentive for the steerage class to at least stay with them thru this economy then those same people who MIGHT return to premium cabins when the economy gets better will have already gone elsewhere.

    @Bobber –

    I think the last time I traveled backwards was on one of those suicide drop rollercoasters. Can’t get THAT feeling out of my head, mate! LOL

  12. Alex says:

    @ The Traveling Optimist:

    I recently flew on 767 International Configuration with the rear facing seat. At first, I was not prepared, and there was a bit of motion sickness. Obviously, every g is reverse force, and this is odd. Another passenger refused to be seated in rear-facing business class, and had to be moved economy plus in this United Flight. After a while, with my nice entertainment system, it was fine and the flight was smooth. Would prefer forward facing.

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