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You’ll Get Even Less Space on Transatlantic Flights with United Next Year

Happy Holidays from United Airlines! Your gift is even LESS room in economy seats on international flights.

Starting next year, passengers on international flights are going to get an unwelcome surprise: even less room in economy on United planes. The airline made the decision that come January, a plane designed for domestic flights – the Boeing 777-200 with 336 seats in economy – will be used internationally.

“We continuously monitor demand and supply in all of our markets and make adjustments to our schedule and our aircraft and because we are seeing high demand this summer to Europe, we are responding by placing a larger aircraft on these routes and offering customers more opportunities to get to Spain,” a spokesperson for United explained to Inc.

There are going to be some passenger concessions, too. In addition to being squeezed in even more like sardines, the amount of outlets per row will be decreased. So passengers sitting in a four-seat row will fight over three outlets, and passengers in a three-seat row will battle for two outlets.

United wouldn’t say definitively whether the denser domestic planes will continue to be used for international flights, or if it’s just for the holidays – instead telling Inc. only that the normally domestic configuration “offers the right mix for the high demand for leisure economy traffic while still being able to offer our customers a lie-flat Business seat option.”

Of course, the safety issues of squeezing more and more customers into economy remain a concern. Passengers who can hardly move would hardly be able to quickly and effectively evacuate a plane.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
poopbunny December 7, 2017

The evacuation test done for certification is of course total BS, because they always use fit and able bodied persons. If they were to use the typical demographic to include aged, infirmed, obese, etc. the plane would probably be certified for much less pax.

ksandness December 7, 2017

The public "wants" cheap tickets because only an idiot would pay more than necessary for a bad experience.

Greg Satterfield December 7, 2017

I agree, one of the stupidest articles. They are just using a domestic aircraft on a international route because of demand. The safety requirements remain the same.

RoaminRoman December 7, 2017

According to SeatGuru, the seat pitch in Economy and Economy Plus on the domestic 772 is the same as the international 772. The difference is the width. The international version has a 3-3-3 arrangement with a seat width of 18.3 inches, while the domestic version is 3-4-3 with a width of 17.1 inches. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is the reduction in the number of business class seats from 50 to 28. There won't be many upgrades available on those flights! Seat pitch also gets shortened to 76 inches compared to 78 inches on the international version.

tods27 December 7, 2017

This is the "hawaii" config that has 10 seats across in coach. The plane is flat-out awful.