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FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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20,635 posts
5 reviews
FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

With condolences to lien :-)

Starting March 30, 2014 United's two daily services SFO-SYD and LAX-SYD (together with the continuing SYD-MEL) will switch from Boeing 747s to 777s. The first of these to fly SYD-SFO/LAX will operate on April 1.

The plane will be an sUA three class 777, with 8 seats in Global First, 40 fully lie flat BusinessFirst (that's Business class), 104 Economy Plus and 117 regular Economy.

Advantages -

The most noticeable advantage is that the economy cabin has in seat TV screens with full AVOD, allowing you to select from dozens of movies and TV shows. The economy seats are also modern and thinner, but still comfortable imo, giving more legroom for the same seat pitch. They also have the intelligent recline whereby the seat cushion moves forward a couple of inches so that the recline intrudes less on the passenger behind.

Disadvantages?

Well smaller capacity (16 fewer premium cabin seats and 89 fewer in Y) meaning fewer upgrades and possibly fewer ultra cheap economy tickets. And for those who may have started using the WiFi on the 747, the 777s don't have that.

I've flown both the 747 and 777. Although I prefer the 747 in Business because of the upper deck, I much prefer the 777 in economy.

Edited: 10:22 pm, August 17, 2013
South Pole
Level Contributor
15,383 posts
35 reviews
1. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

OH NO!

u mean I will lose my comfortable 747 seating in E+ and have it replaced by hard as boards 777 seating, not to mention the pleasure of someone bashing the back of my seat using the touch screen (yes it's is a touch screen, kid, not a punch screen) for games for 14 hours across the pacific?

wonderful!

can hardly wait.

Australia
Level Contributor
606 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

374 or so pax in a 747 vs 269 in the 777

Given that United's trans pac flights are quite popular maybe the reduced seating capacity will lead to increased prices all other things being equal.

I wonder if this an interim measure until the A350 comes along....

how does 777 E+ seat pitch compare to 747 E+ seat pitch?

Edited: 10:51 pm, August 17, 2013
Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
1,036 posts
35 reviews
3. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

I will also miss those upper deck business seats on the 747. A much quieter and more private cabin and I love the little storage bins along the window seats.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
20,635 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

>> how does 777 E+ seat pitch compare to 747 E+ seat pitch? <<

Officially it's the same (34"). But, as the 777 seats are newer and thinner you get more legroom (my guess is 2 inches). Plus, as I mentioned in the OP, these seats have the intelligent recline that Asiana has on its long haul fleet, so the seat in front doesn't intrude as much into your personal space.

lien, as far as I'm concerned the United 777 seats aren't that hard and horrible. They're much more comfortable than the Y seats Lufthansa's put on their 747-8s. For E+, just go ahead and reserve row 30; recline limited but nobody behind you to prod the IFE screen. :-)

Australia
Level Contributor
606 posts
28 reviews
5. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

"...these seats have the intelligent recline.."

Are they similar to the ill fated Cathay shell seats that got taken out after negative feedback?

South Pole
Level Contributor
15,383 posts
35 reviews
6. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

o well....I guess the end of an era.

I love the 747.

first trip on one with PanAm001 in 1973. Frankfurt to Hong Kong with multiple stops.

the only 747 I 'scored' on an upcoming RTW was the UA LAX to SYD leg.

I always have trouble with 777 seating, USBT. no matter what airline eg. SQ, Virgin.

it and my coccyx just don't get along.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
7,328 posts
84 reviews
7. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

The sUA planes are a bit of a disappointment. The high density 8- across seating for business is cramped. The 6-across sCO seats would have been better but they would have lost the F cabin revenue.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
20,635 posts
5 reviews
8. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

Agree with that Geo, though I've got used to them now. And aside from the upper deck I don't think the 2-4-2 on the 747 J is that great either. BA did a much better job with their 2-4-2.

Though the PMCO seats in J are generally the best, I'm hoping that UA is looking at a 100% aisle access J cabin for the later 787s and 350s. Something to trump AA, and without having to add an extra seat to the Y rows.

Edited: 11:54 pm, August 17, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
20,635 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

>> Are they similar to the ill fated Cathay shell seats that got taken out after negative feedback? <<

No, they are NOT shell seats. They are standard seats that otherwise recline in the normal way. But when they recline the cushion moves forward (horizontally) by at a guess 2" max. So when the seat is fully reclined by say 5", the top of the seat has only gone 3" into the space of the pax behind. The pax behind also gains additional legroom when you recline, so tall people don't need to rant about to recline or not. :-)

I first came across this type of seat on Asiana's long haul fleet (777, 747 and A330 all have it on OZ).

10. Re: FYI - United's Australia services to switch to 777

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