United refreshes PS flights SFO-JFK [infographic]

Business class on United's "refreshed" B757 P.S. flights to JFK (Photo: United Airlines)

Business class on United’s “refreshed” B757 P.S. flights to JFK (Photo: United Airlines)

Today United launched its first “fully refreshed” Boeing 757 P.S. (Premium Service) class flight between Los Angeles LAX and New York JFK. The newly refurbished plane could appear on the San Francisco-JFK run as soon as this week.

United says that there is no way to choose a newly configured flight just yet- but by June, seatmaps on its website will be updated to show which flights are new…or not.

United has 13 P.S. configured Boeing 757s and offers 46 PS flights each week between SFO and JFK… but it’s going to be a while until all are refreshed. Here’s United’s disclaimer:

United anticipates launching more reconfigured aircraft into service in June. Until then, most flights on these routes will offer the traditional p.s. service. United expects to reconfigure the entire p.s. fleet by the end of the year. Until the project is complete, the airline will operate these flights with a mix of aircraft.

The fully refreshed interior offers 28 flat-bed business class seats, replacing the 12 angled lie-flat and 26 reclining seats in the premium cabins on the traditional p.s. fleet. The new configuration also features 48 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 66 seats in United Economy. In the older aircraft, all economy seats were Economy Plus- this means that coach travelers without status will have to pony up cash or miles to get into the roomier seats.

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The reconfigured p.s. aircraft will offer travelers:

  • New Seats:In business class, 180-degree flat-bed seats, which offer up to 6’4″ of sleeping space and more storage.
  • Inflight Entertainment: Access to personal on-demand entertainment featuring a newly designed interactive touchscreen and more than 150 hours of programming. Individual monitors are 15.4″ in  business classand 9″ in United Economy.
  • Inflight Dining: New dining optionsand wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United’s Master Sommelier.
  • Inflight Connectivity:  Gogo inflight Internet service. The aircraft also features power outlets and USB ports in every seat.

Here’s an infographic about the new interiors created by United:



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  1. Thanks, Eric! That’s great news… but let’s see if they can keep up the momentum… as you may know, January 2013 was one of the driest on record for SF. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/January-3rd-driest-in-S-F-history-4234265.php. Need to point out that United also had a stellar on-time performance month at SFO in Jan… I’m giving more credit to the weather than the airlines!

  2. These were the best flights across country of any carrier..Now of course while they make business class even better, they make coach for most people worse. Agree with others, they should have left all economy as it was…economy+.

  3. I’m flying in late August into Sept., so maybe they’ll have more of these planes available. I can’t fly Virgin, no matter how great it is, because they don’t go to my selected airport - Manchester NH.

  4. Chris, at least for January, Virgin America was # 1 on-time in the USA! (# 1 in bags, too.)

    See: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20130312_Virgin_America_takes_top_ontime_spot_from_Hawaiian_in_January.html

  5. Thanks Eric! All sounds good, but I’m not certain that Virgin America has the #1 ontime record in the US. Remember, its home base is foggy SFO, which tends to affect on time performance.

  6. While overall this seems like an improved product, Virgin America is still way better, both on JFK routes and most definitely overall: friendly staff, new planes, food on demand, Google maps, best entertainment options, #1 on-time record in the USA, #1 baggage handling record, WiFi, etc. Anyone who values good airline service should give VX their business, not United. Just my two cents.

  7. All depends on your point of view, Brad. It’s also news that new economy plus PS seats have MORE legroom (36″) than before. — chris

  8. Brad Hathaway says:

    Don’t you have the “news” backwards? The news here is that 66 seats in each flight in economy will have less leg room than in the “older” planes. That isn’t progress!

  9. Hey Big: United would probably handle on a “case by case basis” but your comment hit on a likely reality: Few if any passengers actually pay to sit in first class on PS flights. That’s why UAL is dumping it. — chris

  10. Laurence M says:

    So what happens to people who have paid for First then get put into a ‘BusinessFirst’ seat if their plane is one of the new ones? Would they get some kind of a refund?

  11. This seems ridiculous. Why would I fly on a crappy cramped Economy seat in a “premium service” flight? They should have left all the seats at Economy Plus.

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