CHICAGO — United Airlines plans to retrofit 19 of its Boeing 777 fleet to include 10-abreast seating in economy class on domestic routes.

Most of the newly configured planes will serve routes to and from Hawaii, according to a USA Today report on March 9.

United will rip out its current nine-seats in a row, 2-5-2 layout, to squeeze 10 passengers per row into a 3-4-3 configuration. That means the aisles in economy class will become narrower by around 3 inches each.

The new layout will also mean a reduction in elbow room, as seat width decreases from around 18 inches to 17 inches.

But legroom shouldn’t be affected. The only way that would be reduced is if United added extra rows of seats.

Capacity on a typical United Airlines Boeing 777-200 flying domestic routes will increase by 20 passengers from 344 to 366, including 28 in business class and 336 in economy, USA Today reported.

The airline expects to complete the retrofit by May next year, according to USA Today.

International routes on United will retain a 9-abreast, 3-3-3 configuration in economy.

But the move reflects a growing trend in aviation, with a 3-4-3 layout on 777s used on at least some jets by carriers including Emirates, Air France, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand and KLM, according to USA Today.

More than half of the 777s sold by Boeing last year had 10-abreast seating in coach class, up from 30 per cent in 2008, USA Today reported, citing the U.S. manufacturer.

Increased capacity can help airlines raise revenue, which they say keeps fares lower.

Adding an extra seat per row is one of the less extreme ideas floated recently by airlines.

More out-of-leftfield plans have included an Airbus patent for split-level seating and French manufacturer Zodiac’s idea to make passengers sit facing each other in a hexagon layout.

Both Ryanair and Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines have even said they would like to offer standing seats on passenger aircraft.

31 COMMENTS

  1. It gets worse: you won't find Airbus 320/21/19/18's or 350's with seats narrower than 18 inches. Yet the Boeing 777 and 787 are being crammed in, with 10 and 9 across respectively and only 17 inches width. Passengers are obviously going to prefer flying Airbus over Boeing, which is bad news for the USA in the jet airliner duopoly.

  2. Two ideas: "Squat Seating" (S.S.) in the cargo hold and "Prone Passenger" (P.P.) capability where people would simply wear a canvas vest and clip themselves onto a 2×6 bamboo plank coming out of the floor could increase the passenger number to well beyond 1600…

  3. The Stupidest thing United Airlines could ever do. Who wants to fly all the way to Hawaii cramped up like that? I'm sure customers will change over to the other airlines that offer more comfortable options.

  4. united airlines and texas dallas and fort worth Bullies bullying abuse, bad behavior
    racism racist to asia asian and foreign foreigner peoples people that is junk law shitty laws junk laws
    junking laws

  5. 10-abreast economy class Boeing 777 is in-demand nowadays. Even 5-star airlines like Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways reconfigured its Boeing 777-300ER into 10-abreast.

  6. Hah scrubs, i own a private jet so this is not a problem! I land my private jet on my aircraft carrier like yacht!

    … I wish

  7. Why get 344 people killed during a plane crash, when you can get 366 killed. They're just trying to be efficient.

  8. Well, good thing I don't fly United. LolFor people who fly United, it's best to avoid the Aisle seats unless you want to get bumped into by everyone who walks by your seat.

  9. Why squeeze them in do it like they do it in INDIA, why stop at standing, add a couple handles on the outside of the plane so people can pay to hang on like the trains in INDIA. where is the line really, or bolt seats to to top, so they also get a seat belt. Or get rid of all the chairs and make a standing flight, so people can really PACK IN like Sardines, its not like anyone cares if its safe to add weight or if the plane is designed to have so many people during engine failure or an emergency that requires extra exits. They could save on cost right there alone. Or remove the windows to save on money and then make the plane out of aluminum foil to save on weight. American corporations because double the profits from cheap fuel just wasn't enough.*

  10. Soon it'll be no seats, just straps so you'll have to hang on for dear life lmao. The desperation is palpable.

  11. I'm suplrised they don't go down cause of all that weight man there's over 100k pounds on a plane like that plus the plane damn technology is awesome tbh

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