Update: United p.s. fleet SFO-JFK

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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.

There are 28 of these true lie flat business class seats on each ps 757

There are 28 of these true lie flat business class seats on each ps 757 (SEE SLIDESHOW AT TOP)

>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.

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>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.

Standard economy seats get 9 inch screens and 31 inches of pitch

Standard economy seats get 9 inch screens and 31 inches of pitch

>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.

Row 20 is not Economy Plus because of that bulkhead and no recline

Row 20 is not Economy Plus because of that bulkhead and no recline

>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)

Disappointing that overhead bin space is still quite tight...no change from the older version of p.s.

Disappointing that overhead bin space is still quite tight…no change from the older version of p.s.

>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.

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Disclosure: I purchased an economy class ticket for my trip to NYC; United upgraded me to business class

Chris McGinnis 

And just in case you missed it, here’s what else you need to know about Bay Area Travel over the last month:

Asia on sale + PreCheck newbies + United wi-fi + Free airport parking + Nancy Pelosi

Virgin first class sale + Hilton HHonors downgrade + Chase Sapphire w chip + United dumps ExpertFlyer

More A380s + Cathay discounts biz class + SJC courts Asia + Double Elevate pts

>Southwest FINALLY joins PreCheck

>United to allow handhelds below 10K feet

>Travel advice fit for a Queen (Latifah!)

>New landing procedure at SFO should help w delays! Hallelujah!

>Big, bad United MileagePlus surprise 

>Virgin’s new Safety Dance


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  • petermjensen

    I fleet the new P.S service in First Class over ThanksGiving and the seats are VERY nice. Better than Business class / First class seats on the transatlantic flights due to the angled seats. But they’re expensive, so I look forward to some competition from the other airlines.

  • lawyergirl

    I flew the new planes twice recently between JFK and SFO, Economy Plus both times. The seats were phenomenally uncomfortable. I ended up sitting on the extra pillow provided to make the seat at least passable. I personally would rather have a comfortable seat than a larger tv screen.

  • JC

    JFKLAX has had 76Zs (flat-bed in 26J 200Y) config since the end of March 2013. That aircraft is currently on 4 of the 7 daily flights. One of the those frequencies has the 76Z to be specifically timed as a SYD connector, so DL can offer flat-bed from JFK to SYD via LAX. JFKSFO will not see the 76Z and instead, it will receive flat-beds with the 75E flat-bed mods which will start in mid 2014.

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Thanks for this SF. You are right. Flat beds are coming to the 757s. I understood that they would only be on the 767s, but my source now says they will be on both… but LAX gets em first (as usual!) No 767s for SFO, tho, which is too bad. I like a wide ride!

  • sfomsp

    Press release below – all LAX/SEA/SFO will be lie flat by summer 2015. maybe he’s referring to the very first few planes, which will start on the LAX route next summer.


  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Hmm. I heard SFO would not be getting the seats from a Delta insider… what is your source? THANKS!

  • sfomsp

    The 757s will get lie flat seats starting some time in 2014, mid next year is the first I believe, so SFO will join the party..

  • Jim

    What Robert F said, thanks as always Chris! I did find out the hard way about row 20 recently. Now I know to avoid it.

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Thanks,Robert! We work hard on the BAT and love the praise! You made my day. – Chris

  • Robert F


    This was a really professional writeup. Each picture in the slideshow was useful, the timing between shots was just right, and you’ve created a really rich description of the differences in old/new P.S. service.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Kris

    All that and you still get the horrible united service. why bother

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Delta still has it’s 757s on the route from SFO. It will add 767s with lie flat to transcons next year, but only from LAX and SEA, not SFO

  • JohnM

    What is Delta flying these days on the SFO-JFK route? Are their J/F seats fully lie flat?

    As for UA’s ps product, looks nice. Even Y+ would not be too bad on a 6 hour flight.

  • thinker

    It’ll be interesting to see how VX responds to these changes. Even with a few profitable quarters under their belt, I’m not sure if they have they have the cash to retrofit lie flats into their A320s. Makes me sad that after all is said and done, VX will have the weakest hard product on SFO-JFK :(