Beginning next year, the Chicago-based carrier plans to install what spokeswoman Karen May calls “the latest in aircraft seat technology” on more than 500 planes. But who really benefits: you or the airline? Here’s what you can expect on most economy flights.
1. Change: A seat cushion that now rests on a layer of fabric, not metal
Who benefits: You—it’s comfier
2. Change: Thinner, lighter backs
Who benefits: United, which will save on fuel
3. Change: Seat width of 17.3 inches, up from 17.2
Who benefits: You, but barely
4. Change: An extra seat-back pocket
Who benefits: You—fewer trips to the overhead!
5. Change: New leather seat coverings that match on all planes
Who benefits: United, which wants aesthetic consistency
6. Change: An extra three-quarters of an inch of “knee clearance”—the distance from the edge of the cushion to the seat in front of you
Who benefits: You