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.