United Airlines will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 later this year. The aircraft will be the first in the United fleet to feature a new premium economy product.
United has 14 firm orders for the 787-10 and will take delivery of the first three this year.
In a leaked seat map to Flight Global, it appears the new aircraft will have 318 seats, split in three cabins (with the economy class cabin further subdivided in Economy Plus and United Economy):
- 44 Polaris (business)
- 21 Premium Plus (premium economy)
- 253 Economy Class
- 45 Economy Plus
- 208 United Economy
Based on the seat map, we see that Premium Economy feature three rows of 2-3-2 seating.
Seat map for upcoming @united 787-10 published. Features both Polaris seat and new premium economy product. #united #ual #B787 #Boeing pic.twitter.com/8NKOwpxVnj
— LAflyer (@LAflyr) April 13, 2018
This is an excellent cabin density in terms of maximizing upgrade potential. Even if the hard product is not as competitve, I’d still take this shot at upgrading over American and Delta.
Decreasing Density on Other Jets
Premium Economy seats on United will come at the expense of economy class seats rather than business class seats. The stats look great:
- 767-300ER: 214 seats to 167 seats
- 777-300ERs: 366 seats to 250 seats
- 777-200s: 292 seats from 276 seats
At a 22% reduction in seats, the 767-300ER represents the most dramatic drop. Not only is Premium Economy coming, but the number of Polaris seats will increase from 30 to 44!
I’m quite happy to see that United will be adding premium economy at the expense of economy class, not business class. The new seat maps look encouraging.
Don’t you mean premium economy is 2-3-2? (You wrote 2-3-3).
Correct. Thanks Daniel.
Unfortunately, they’ve also dramatically whacked the size of E+, which will be bad for Premiers who can’t fly in biz or PE.
77W losing 116 seats??
I also mostly fly in E+ and the less seats available in that category will heat up competition for decent seat selection for me. I purposely book seats in Y for my business travel because I work for myself, and that represents more profit/income once job is complete and expenses accounted for. Hoping pricing for new Premium Economy won’t be to out of reach for my wallet in that case. It’s nice to see less crowded planes coming soon but 77W can’t possibly be losing 100+ seats? Is that accurate?
UNITED taking the lead and breaking the mold of the industry. Great, bold moves on layout.
Prem Econ aside, the Polaris layout looks like the same as on the new 773’s they’re rolling out. Cabin width of a 787 is 14 inches less than a 777 they have to sacrifice some width somewhere. Curious if they tightened up the footwell area, or just made the suites narrower. The new 763 Polaris layout retrofit might be the roomiest width with a 1-1-1 config, but no honeymoon seats obviously. If only they would add the new Polaris layout to their 772’s (especially the versions with the 2-4-2!)
I used to fly British Airways 20 years ago before they rolled out their lay flat business seats. Has anyone noticed that United is replicating the old style, except that what used to be called first (lay flat) is now business (and has direct aisle access), business -> premium economy, and coach is still coach.
In all, it seems like a really positive transition, because business prices are generally half of what the first class used to be. Not to mention how much better the entertainment is, and of course now we have Wi-Fi (except over the North Pole).
I only count 24 Polaris seats, not 44. Am I missing something? 6 rows of 4.
If you look at the map closely, it looks like 1-1-2-1-1 across so it is really 8 (based on the seat map, not actual experience).
No, United’s “densified” (and horrible for Economy passengers) 77W’s featuring the much loathed, hated & reviled 10 teeny tiny, 31” pitch “No Legroom” seats per row, are most definitely NOT shedding 116 seats!
The new configuration, per Flightglobal, is: 350 for a decrease of just 16 passengers overall.
The official breakdown of capacity and pitch per cabin for the revamped Boeing 777-300ERs was not leaked yesterday…
Probably wouldn’t be surprising if pitch in standard Economy was reduced to the nebulous “up to 31-inches per row” (translation: most rows will be closer to 30”), with E+ also getting a haircut to “up to 34-inches (translation: more like 32-33” in all but one row), too!
But hey, that’s just me being TOTALLY CYNICAL – and definitely am NOT suggesting that is factual 😉
PS: the significance of the reduction to 350 pax total from 366 for the revamped, but yet still atrocious “Flying Abominations” for misery/sub-human class (aka Standard, or the even worse, Economy Minus…er “Basic Economy”) Boeing 777-300ERs (aka 77W) is that this also allows for the elimination of ONE Flight Attendant per federal regulations that require one FA for every 50 increments of capacity.
So, theoretically, instead of requiring EIGHT flight attendants (assuming BELOW flight times that require more for ultra long haul missions) for the current 366, the loss of 16 seats to 350 also offers the potential to decrease staffing to SEVEN.
However, it might be worthwhile to also note that whether the current tentative agreement between the union and management allows for that reduction in staffing may be a different issue (I can research, but for purposes of illustrating the significance of reducing capacity to 350 here “Quick & Dirty”, thought this disclaimer should be included…)!
It all depends on pricing. Historically, Economy Class passengers are willing to pay 25% to 50% more for a premium economy product. 50% really is the limit. Past that it doesn’t really matter how good it is, they either can’t afford it or will rather spend the money on something else.
One thing United and all the other US Airlines don’t understand with their Premium Economy offerings is that leg room is not as important as shoulder room. Seriously, whether the pitch is 31 inches or 38 inches, whether the recline is 5 degrees or 30 degrees is relatively immaterial. Unless you can lie flat, leg room is largely immaterial. What passengers hate the most is being the between two fat people in an economy class seat. That, or being fat themselves, being squashed between the arm rests and embarrassingly having to intrude into the guy next to them.
Instead of extra leg room, a more compelling product is WIDE ECONOMY. 20″ wide instead of 17″ wide seats solves most of the discomforts of Sardine Can Class travel. This is quite easily achieved. Just remove one seat per row on an A320 or 737. Going from 3-3 seating to 3-2 seating (ala DC-9/MD-80) afford every remaining seat 20.4 inches of width. It’ll cost the airline 20% more per seat which customers will gladly pay. Whether you also tack on a smidgen more leg room and price is optional.
“It’ll cost the airline 20% more per seat which customers will gladly pay.”
Just quickly, yes it is one flight attendant per 50 passengers in the USA. But larger planes like the Boeing 777 or 747, have regulations for one flight attendant per door, any United 777 must have 8 flight attendants, regardless if it went from 366-250+ seats , Each Airline is different when it comes to large/dual aisle/multiple door aircraft, AA has to have 9 flight attendants on each 777. It has to do with how the airline submitted the plane to the FAA for evacuations. Also once an airline has an aircraft, even a small one certified at a certain level, if they change seating the entire thing has to re certified, to change the flight attendant minimum or maximum, a huge headache, eliminating a flight attendant is not as simple as taking away a row of seats.