United Squeezes Seats Further and Even Removes a Lavatory, and Other Shocking News

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, I haven’t seen any indication of a new 737-900 configuration at UA. These are keeping 4 lavs onboard.

    However, there was an oddball 737-800 layout with 20 first class seats and 3 lavs for Y (total 4 lavs onboard). The mid-cabin lavs are being removed in favor of the new standard configuration of 16F/150Y with 2 Y lavs, which is the same number of lavs as the AA/DL 738s.

  2. That DHS/Starbucks article has a misleading title. According to the actual text, one use that makes up a huge chunk of that $30k is several large purchases of coffee to stock a Coast Guard ship before a lengthy deployment. Their former USG “expert’s” claim that it would have saved money to have a lengthy bidding process for some coffee is emblematic of all that is wrong with government processes. Whichever side you’re on, I think we can all agree this debate is a different one than the title implies. Obviously these purchases aren’t venti vanilla lattes for TSA agents.

  3. I took one UA flight with a new config. Toilet was a rediculous squeeze, kinda like they only expected children to use it.

  4. Agreed on the slimline seats. The shorter seat pitch isn’t the issue, but rather the concomitant reduced _seat depth_. The back of the leg gets no support, and it’s very uncomfortable, even for a relatively small guy like me!

    I got these twice last year on BOS-SFO, but not at all this year. I assume they’re keeping them on short-haul flights to prevent riots. They’re really awful seats, and shouldn’t be used on flights over 2 hours.

    On Tuesday I got one of those rare mid-lav 757-300s. How opulent for an airline today — 3 mid-lavs and 2 in the back!

  5. I’d agree with Alan on the Starbucks thing. Trying to pull it into yet another semi-tired TSA swing is pretty misleading. It has nothing to do with TSA other than happening to share a common umbrella within DHS.

  6. Does anybody know if AA is doing the UK flights with PMAA 757s with shell biz seats or PMUS 757s with the Envoy angled lie-flats? Not a big difference in the product, both angled lie flat, but just curious.

  7. The slimline seats equals sore a$$/ but*
    I will not book them and will seek alternative carriers at all costs

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