Vintage Airline Seat Map: United Airlines Boeing 727-100 from 1978

Narrowbodies deserve their love here on my blog and this one definitely comes in as one of my favorites given its generous seat pitch pre-deregulation. This United Airlines Boeing 727-100 seated a total of 96 passengers, 10 in First Class and 86 in Coach.

I flew on a slew of United’s 727-100s when I first started flying in the mid-1980s and the map I’m showing below features a configuration just about anyone would prefer today, but not one of those I ever flew on. Look at the coach seat pitch. Just ridiculous by today’s standards with the worst being 34†– the current Economy Plus pitch on United’s Boeing 747s. Standard pitch then was 36â€. Just incredible.

In First Class you’d definitely find me in row two, probably the at a window sitting in 2A. In coach I’d be forward of the wing for the best view, likely in 4A or 5A, otherwise the generous seat pitch in row 12 is appealing and I’d be in a window seat there, too, given the fairly limited range of the -100s. When I flew on the -100s, I don’t recall the aisle seat across from the middle galley being blocked as a jumpseat as is shown here for seat 7C.

Where would you sit?

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  1. I have the same UA seating charts and was recently asking myself the same question about economy class pitch in those days versus nowadays. The thing I realized, though, is that seat backs were much thicker than they are today. Today’s technology allows for thinner seat designs, which probably make up a lot of the difference in the decreased pitch.

    • @Chris: I definitely agree that the seats were thicker back then, but the pitch, too, was enhanced compared to today (I firmly believe) even factoring them in.

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