Vintage Airline Seat Map: United Airlines Royal Pacific Boeing 747-200 (1987)

United Airlines purchased Pan Am’s Pacific Division and acquired several aircraft in 1985 and I’ve selected a 747-200 from that time period featuring United’s Royal Pacific configuration for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps.

This particular layout – one of several in United’s 747 fleet at the time – was likely seen flying the U.S. to Japan market as almost 40% of the cabin comprised premium seating. A total of 35 seats were available in First Class in a 2 x 2 layout (or 2 x 2 x 2 aft of door one), Business Class seated 100 passengers in an uncomfortable looking 2 x 4 x 2 configuration with limited pitch, and coach offered 212 seats in the usual 3 x 4 x 3 setup.

In First Class on this bird you’d find me in the nose section as usual, probably in 2A or 2F. In Business I’d be in 17 or 18 A/H and in coach I’d opt for those exit row aisles in rows 27 or 37 if alone, or back in the two-seater section if I had a companion in rows 49-51.

Where would you sit?

a map of an airplane



    • @downhillcrasher: ;-). Ha! Well… a little apples to oranges nowadays. The 2 x 4 x 2 config back then is sorta like what Premium Economy is on some carriers today.

  1. 4c would be interesting in first. Makes 2d on AA’s 767-200s seem private.

    I flew a UA 747 in the 2-4-2 j (ua1, ORD-hnl) in the late 80s. Pitch wasn’t great, but width felt wider than ba’s current 2-4-2 config in j.

    • @NYBanker: AA did have a 747SP like that (i posted it here recently) and I flew on UA’s 36F/124C/???Y config when I worked for them. Will post that seat map soon.

  2. OMG! I’m old enought to have flown that old ‘tanker’ service. 2A wouf be OK in FC, skip BC as over-sold and under produced and coach was a better deal. United has vastly better seats these days, but the soft product is still terrible. If flying any US port to Japan, find a foreign (Asian) carrier.

    • @Cook: When I worked in IM in the 90s and flew a similar config on their 747-400s, comp upgrades were the norm since they oversold coach all the time.

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