I got the rare treat of widebody aircraft on the short flight from Chicago to Los Angeles last Saturday evening. Even though the seat is “woefully” outdated, I still consider it the most comfortable business class seat in the United fleet.
United is still running some internationally-configured 777-200s with its “old” eight-across business class, a 2-4-2 layout. These seats are also used on all widebody flights to the Hawaiian islands.
The lack of personal storage and close proximity to your neighbor is annoying. You really are cozy and don’t have all that much elbow space either. There’s very little privacy.
And while routinely panned as a joke of a business class seat, it is not. It simply is not. This is not any defense in United as much as it is a defense of this particular seat. As I always do, I found it incredibly comfortable in all positions and enjoyed a wonderful three-hour nap.
I sometimes ask myself what I like so much about reverse-herringbone seats, like the Hong Kong Airlines cabin pictured below. I sleep fine in these seats as well, but they are really are not as comfortable. Upon reflection, I think I like these seats more for their aesthetic beauty and privacy than actual comfort.
When it comes to rating business class seats, it’s all relative. Business class is still business class, especially when lie-flat. I’d still take United’s new Polaris Business Class seat over the eight-across for the extra space. But I honestly find the old seats the most comfortable and even have no trouble sleeping on my side (I’m 6’1″).
Is it just me or are there others who also find these old business class seats cramped but nevertheless very comfortable? Or is “cramped comfort” just an oxymoron?