Over the last year, United has been busy renovating the interior of its workhorse B757 p.s. fleet deployed on the busy SFO-JFK run.
As we approach the end of the year, United tells TravelSkills that the revamp is nearly complete: Currently 14 of its 15 p.s. configured aircraft flying between SFO, LAX and New York JFK now have the new interiors. The remaining aircraft will get its facelift “soon” according to United.
I recently flew on a newly configured flight between SFO and New York JFK in business class, but scrambled all over the plane with my camera– see the slideshow above for all my photos, and below for select photos.
>The fully refreshed interior offers 28 flat-bed business class seats, replacing the 12 angled lie-flat (first) and 26 recliners (business) in the previous version.
>The new configuration also features 42 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats (with a roomy 36″ of pitch, up from the 34″ offered in the previous version) and 72 seats in regular economy (31″). In the older aircraft, all economy seats were Economy Plus– this means that coach travelers without status must now pony up cash or miles to get into the roomier seats.
>All economy seats feature United’s latest, greatest seatback entertainment system with big 9 inch screens. Business class screens are humongous at 15.4 inches.
>Unusual: Row 20, the first row in the economy section, is NOT Economy Plus. That’s because the row is located near the emergency exit (no recline) and behind a bulkhead closet, which means tighter legroom.
>See a map of the reconfigured plane on SeatGuru.com
>There are 7 rows of Economy Plus seats (21-27), and 12 rows of standard economy (Row 20, 28-38)
>In addition to new seats, these old 757′s are getting new lavatories, flooring, sidewalls, galleys, closets, which makes it feel like you are on a new plane. However, I was disappointed to see that overhead bin space was not expanded.
>The new planes have a newer, faster version of Gogo inflight internet, and 110v power outlets in all seats in business and economy classes. United says that there are no near -term plans to switch the p.s. fleet away from Gogo and over to its new satellite-based wi-fi option found on other aircraft.
>Current fares for business class JFK-SFO range from around $2,500 to $4,000. Economy fares for mid December trips are now at about $450.
>American Airlines says that its brand new Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft will be deployed on the SFO-JFK run in March– with lie flat seats. JetBlue’s new “Mint” premium product is due next year, too.
Have you flown on a reconfigured p.s. flight yet? What did you think? Please leave your comments below.
Disclosure: I purchased an economy class ticket for my trip to NYC; United upgraded me to business class
And just in case you missed it, here’s what else you need to know about Bay Area Travel over the last month: