Flight 651 from Los Angeles arrived at JFK this afternoon six minutes ahead of schedule and became the first reconfigured p.s. Boeing 757s to take to the skies. For the fleet followers, it’s ship number 5996 (N596UA) and will be operating as flight 535 back to LAX this evening at 5:53 p.m. If you’re unfamiliar, p.s. service refers to the “enhanced” international style flights operating from New York’s JFK Airport to both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
United posted a couple of new photos on their United Hub page, including the first I’ve seen of the economy cabin showing the forward portion of Economy Plus.
The BusinessFirst cabin uses the same pre-merger Continental lie-flat seats found on some existing 757s (and other aircraft).
In total, the new layout sports 28 BusinessFirst, 48 Economy Plus and 66 regular economy seats. And Economy Plus on this bird is reportedly real E+ with 36 inches of pitch as opposed to the 34 inches on the “old” p.s. birds.
While the seat map is an indication of the likely version of p.s. bird you’ll be flying, last minute aircraft swaps can happen. As such, it will be a virtual crapshoot in the coming months until the fleet is fully completed by the end of the year.
I previously blogged about how United will handle discontinuing selling first class. In summary:
- All p.s. flights will operate as 2-cabin regardless of actual configuration starting on Jun. 6. By the summer, we expect to have already reconfigured several B757 aircraft. However, in order to minimize the impact of unexpected substitutions, we will only sell p.s. flights as 2-cabin.
- Wondering about who gets to sit in those first three rows in the previous United First cabin? We’re reserving these seats for customers who had previously booked in United First, as well as Premier members who are already confirmed in United Business. Specifically, Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and Premier Gold members can select one of these seats at any time if available, and Premier Silver members will have access to them at check-in. Note that during the transition, these seats will be branded as United Business, rather than United First. Nearer to the end of the reconfiguration process, we’ll start marketing the premium cabin on all aircraft as United BusinessFirst.
Not living in Los Angeles anymore and with my gradual slowdown of United flying, I probably won’t be on a p.s. flight anytime soon. I will, however, miss the dance floor ahead of row 9 on the current p.s. birds. And I honestly want a pair of those leather business class seats for my home!