Back to Squawk list
  • 20

United Airlines to add slimmer seats, bigger planes and higher fares

United Continental Holdings Inc. on Tuesday outlined plans to boost profitability with another round of cost cuts and efforts to woo back corporate fliers who have deserted the third-largest U.S. airline by traffic. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Darin Lee 28
HEADLINE SAYS: United Airlines to add slimmer seats, bigger planes and higher fares. I would like to know exactly how they intend to "woo" back the corporate flyers with that approach? I am one of those corporate flyers and have spent a ton of money flying United. That all stopped in large part in 2015. No plans for me to return my loyalty to an airline ONLY concerned with keeping the investors happy. Here is a novel concept; keep the customer happy and by default the investor will be happy.
djames225 2
"Here is a novel concept; keep the customer happy and by default the investor will be happy."...That is the most logical and sensible way, Darin, but wayy too many companies today dont use that logic and then cry like newborns when the bottom line shrinks even further.
guy lever 10
Slimmer seats...less frequency...charge more. As a frequent business traveler I avoid United because of poor experiences on their APAC routes. Guess I will continue my United avoidance strategy.
Getting a worse experience for more money is not how I like to approach life...
scott8733 9
In a nutshell, I saw the writing on the wall when UAL bought Continental. They did everything possible to drive away the loyal fan base in CLE by charging outlandish costs for the N/S routes, then justifying pulling hub status because there was little ridership.

UAL essentially bought a really nice house then subsequently treated it as a garbage dumpster.
planeaholic 4
Amen. I knew the CLE hub was domed when that merger was announced. UAL went out of its way to deny it. Then came praise at how CLE was the most efficient hub ops they had and had the best on-time %. ONE MONTH after a pass release touting the above virtues, they killed the CLE hub and said it had been "losing money for a long time." Glad I won't have to worry about slimmer seats, as I'll never fly these bastards again.
Chris B 8
United Cattle Car airlines.
btweston 6
I have taken a trip on United once in my life. Of the four flights I reserved, I only actually flew on one, and it was four hours late because the plane had a bad hydraulic pump switch, or something, and the airline didn't have a spare. Needless to say, I missed my connecting flight. After a seriously dumb song and dance with customer service i got to wait at the gate for the next leg and barely made the tail end of my cousin's wedding rehearsal dinner.

On the way back home I went to the check-in counter and, "Oh jeez, we don't have you in the system. Hmm. We'll just put you on a different flight." So they did have me in the system... Or they just decided to give me a free transcontinental plane ride. It could happen. Never mind the specific seat I had selected in the front of the plane with the extra legroom which I paid extra for. TS, pal. Then when I got on the plane and began to get comfortable the flight attendant shows up and leans over me to loudly congratulate the sleeping chick in the middle that she gets a free alcoholic beverage for some reason. F me, right?

Yeah, I'll steer clear of United and their more expensive little seats. I have never experienced such a disastrous clusterf*@&$ on a routine domestic flight. And they didn't even care.
United definitely needs to be recreated. I applaud them for finally acknowledging their deficiencies, but it's too little too late, IMO. Farming out everything will only lead to poor company culture, resentment from both customers, and employees.

United just gives me the impression of: outdated, worn out, stuck in old ways, tired. I read their literally abandon domestic flying, stick customers with regional type feed (CRJ, ERJ) and focus on their international hull....good luck with that, foreign airlines will start operating within the US soon. If you have a choice between Emirates, Virgin, Qatar, Singapore Air, where would you rank United when it comes to your international travel needs? Probably double the price for 1/2 the service. They need to consider a whole new board of directors, clean house, start over....old ways/mentality obviously wont cut it. With low oil prices, their quarterly reports have been lacking, IMO....take care everyone, and fly safe!
Kevin Simons 1
My experiences with UAL over the years has been very similar. They lie to their passengers as a matter of regular discourse.
zennermd 6
They should market along the lines of "our new slimmer seating. makes you feel safe and secure. like sitting in a cocoon." ;)
SmokedChops 7
or wearing a straight-jacket...
zennermd 5
shhh.... Don't give them any ideas. If they see this, they might actually put us in straight-jackets.... and call them cocoons.
Captaindl 3
Glad to see that most of you are smarter than the bean counters at United who came up with those newer slimmer seat, which are good for about 20 minutes. After that let me out. Like most of you I guess I will continue to avoid United too.
canuck44 3
Munoz might have spent too much time on bypass to think this proposal will do anything other than drive the few remaining passengers to its competitors. Next we will see those competitors undercutting this strategy in their marketing.
ATCguy1 5
Nevermind the customer...let's just make sure our investors are happy.
matt jensen 3
Of course, it's never been about the customer. That went by the wayside when EAL merged with COA
critical329 4
slimmer seats......this is America: home of Morbid Obesity, slimmer seats for John Candy to slip into 14B.......right!! Next, they'll cut down on luggage space and double the bag charge.
scott ebrite 2
Slimmer seats? Packed closet together? Less comfort? And higher ticket prices? What kind of buisness model is this? I'm done flying United MSY to LAX. My body can only take so much abuse.

I wonder of this clown Munoz has ever flown coach on one of his planes? I wonder if he even flies United?
Mark Lansdell 1
I had the opportunity to fly into JAX in February, for my brother's funeral. After getting all the options, I elected to drive
Gene Nowak 2
Keep narrowing those seats and watch the passenger revenue per available seat mile plummet. I use to fly United all the time, but now they would have to be the only airline going to a destination for me to get on board!
DaveRK 2
It's amazing that someone actually believes this is the way to boost profitability.

UAL = "Untied Air Lines - coming apart at the seams".
will not fly with United ever! Domestic US airlines quality of services is horrible, but the masses are programmed to accept it.

Anyway, don't blame United, the market just keeps accepting their atrocious service, not me ever...
Folks, forgot to mention, most businesses don't provide high quality services, unless it needs to for survival and profits.

So, United obviously has horrible service, but like I said earlier, the market does not care. Consequently, many of us are really victims of the market, I fly with JetBlue only, however they are slowly eroding quality of services because of the mass market.

Well, at least, I've decided to simply not air travel much anymore...
BoydC 1
Flew UAL first time Wed. 22nd. Dread flying back Sat 25th. Zombie stewards/stewardesses, Ultra cramped seats, non-caring attitude by all employees of this flying cattle car.
NEVER will fly this airline again. I'm only 5' 9'' and 168 pounds and can already "feel" the anticipated claustraphobia pending Saturdays' flight.
BTW: Turn off endless commercial by holding "-" button on armrest.
1Buly 1
Boyd, consider that I'm 6'4" and 250 lb. My legs were so swollen from the knees down, I could not put my shoes on for two days.
Mark Lansdell 1
You'd better see a medic.
Kevin Simons 1
I'm DONE WITH THEM. Their seats are already so cruel, I long ago stopped flying coach, and paid their ridiculous fees to get into a seat designed for a normal sized human. Last time was the last straw: A $325 fare turned into $650 after all their #*($^ fees. Next time I fly to MSP will be first class on Sun Country - for $650. I will never set foot in their cattle cars again.
Jon Schwartz 1
Flying already sux.....they just want to keep making it opportunity for someone to do it better...this time, with the customer in mind..
Jim Welch 1
Slimmer seats?
Hello Jet Blue!!!!!!!!!!
wh323480 1
I sympathize with the United troubles of fellow travelers. I went from "Worst to First" on Continental. They were a very customer-focused airline at the time of the merger with United. For the first several years, and still today to a lesser extent, one can tell within a few minutes of boarding (or talking to a gate or counter agent) whether the employee is legacy United or legacy Continental.

The former Continental employees seem to have taken their jobs because they enjoy what they do and see passengers as the ones who are paying their salaries and who deserve respect. The former United employees seem to have taken the job because of the pay, travel benefits, easy work, or whatever and they behave as if the passengers are beholden to the employees for serving them on their airline; poor treatment by management didn't help.

It has gotten much better and the above is a generalization - there are legacy Continental jerk and legacy United super-nice/competent employees. The legacy United employees as an average are getting much better. Unfortunately, United will have to wait until some employees retire to eliminate the "you (passengers)are here for me" attitude.

The new seats are thinner, not narrower, to allow an extra row of seats. The old cloth Continental seats are better than the new fake-leather seats in my opinion, but the new ones aren't terrible in comparison to other airline coach seats. Since the merger I have flown around 300 segments with minimal difficulties other than an unpleasant employee or cancelled or delayed flight every now and then and. But United (legacy and current) treats high-status frequent flyers like me better than those without status. Continental treated all passengers well.

My searches for low fares find that United often has the lowest fares of full service airlines - that will need to change to bring in more revenue. But as stated in other comments, the service for all passengers will need to improve before flyers will pay more.
Well on my PHX to L.A. Area I will stick to SWA, AA or Delta. Same goes for the PHX ELP Route
I refuse to fly on any carrier which will cram me into ever smaller seats. Passengers should unite to demand a minimum of space and comfort on any flight. Otherwise, competition will probably make us fly standing up in the future
Mark Lansdell 1
How much are they planning to "shrink" the seats? How small will thy be? How much leg room will be left? There was no sense writing nor reading drivel like this. It's as though the Post took lessons from Yahoo News. An absolute waste of time to learn nothing.
A few years ago, my wife flew United from Toronto-Chicago-Dallas & return, and they lost her luggage
in BOTH directions!! Enough said!! We stick to Air Canada (or Southwest from Buffalo) as much as possible.
Tony Colon 1
No more United for me. Fortunately their foreign airlines that can meet me needs.
BentleyVol 1
Race to the Bottom:
United already has the smallest seats and now they are downsizing them further below AA, Jet Blue, Southwest and Delta. Now that United is finishing off its deteriorating relationship with frequent higher paying business flyers, it can compete with Spirit and Allegiant for the hoodwinked elderly and occasional Family Kid vacation Flyers.

I am not a fan of united but dont compare united to Spirit and allegiant. Allegiant is a death
1Buly 1
I flew last time a month ago with United, and hope to never fly again.. On top of the tight seats, the reclining feature was disabled on all seats. The screen in front of your face was playing non stop commercials and demanding for you to swipe your credit card. There was no option to turn it off or dim the screen. It was like sitting in "Iron Maiden" torture device.
Was a terrible experience.
On every United flight I've been on that has the screens, there's a dimmer control on the arm rest. The last dim position is "off". It's not well labeled, but they've all have them so far. I've had the recline problem on a few of the flights.
They all dim to off, it's on the seat rest opposite the volume adjust, and none of United aircraft have full no recline. Only the first row in front of the Emergency exits, unless it was broken.
I on the other hand have seen dramatic change at United. I fly regularly on United and sometimes up to 6 segments in a week. Based in southern California, I've have few choices that can guarantee options not only in getting home, but to many smaller airports thru out California, and the entire West Coast. I've watched in amazement as service has been reduced from BUR, ONT and the end of the beloved Carlsbad to LAX run. But,.. I've avoided countless long drives or at least one-ways by easy re-routing, good agents, and schedules. I was again amazed last week with real first class and a meal that was excellent !, on a SkyWest operated ERJ175 from BUR-DEN, I prefer this aircraft over any 37 variation with the 57 as the only exception. Twice in the last month I've been offered first service in economy, and the food, drink and the United Club have all improved. I'm not sure about APAC routes now, but Sydney and Melbourne are both served independently by 787's, and 47's are even being routed thru HNL-SFO & SFO to ORD. I can't say its perfect, but I've flown SWA, DAL, Virgin, AA, Alaska, and Jet Blue. Last night I flew YYZ (Toronto) - LAX in 767 business first lie flat on Air Canada thru United for 25,000 miles, and it was perfect. SO maybe there are legitimate reasons to dislike a b or c Airline, but I couldn't do the work I do without an Airline, and now United has come full circle, and I see no better alternative at his point. Thanks United cabin crews, gate, reservations, ground etc. Your doing great, thanks for everything you do.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.