The 4 best coach seats in United Airlines’ entire fleet, and how to snag them

May 9, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Your coach seat just got upgraded — but not to business class or premium economy.

Instead, if you’re flying on a United Airlines Boeing 767 on a domestic or short-haul international flight, you can sit in the crew rest that’s usually reserved for flight attendants on the carrier’s longest flights — but you’ll have to monitor the seat map to see when they open up.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

While some jets feature crew bunks above or below the passenger compartments, United’s 767s — both the -300 and -400 variants — are outfitted with four extra-reclining coach seats for flight attendants. There’s a thick curtain that can be closed to cordon off the seats from the rest of the cabin when the crew rest is in use.

While flight attendants use these seats during downtime on long-haul flights, domestic hops and shorter international jaunts don’t include breaks for the crew.

That’s when they’re available to passengers — and they’re a major upgrade compared to a typical coach-class seat.

The four seats are located in the last two rows of the cabin on the port side of the jet. They feature a leg rest, footrest, a ton of extra legroom and generous recline.

They also sport an oversized tray table that pops out from the fixed armrest, making it easier to work during the flight.

You’ll find the standard coach amenities, like personal TVs and power outlets, at these seats as well.

Of course, some flyers might prefer to be closer to the front of the plane, far away from the galley, but I’d personally sacrifice seat location in exchange for added space and comfort.

United generally blocks these seats in the weeks and months leading up to a flight, as you’ll see in the ExpertFlyer screenshot below with the blue boxes and white X’s in Row 43 and Row 44, Seats A and B.

(Screenshot courtesy of ExpertFlyer)

Then, within a day or two or departure, they’re released for assignment. United labels them as extra-legroom Economy Plus seats, so they come at an upcharge for regular flyers. Premier elites can choose these seats for free depending on their status tier.

(Screenshot courtesy of United)

For an upcoming flight between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, United was charging $72 to upgrade. That’s the exact same cost as the other standard extra-legroom seats, except those don’t feature a leg rest, footrest or nearly as much additional space.

Premier Platinum and 1K members can choose extra-legroom seats — including the crew-rest versions —for free for themselves and up to eight companions any time after booking, subject to availability. Mid-tier Gold flyers can bring one companion for free and can reserve them any time after booking as well. Silver members also get one free companion, but they can only snag the extra-legroom seats beginning at the 24-hour check-in window.

Coach cabin on United’s premium-heavy Boeing 767-300ER (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

If you’d like to experience sitting in the crew rest, you’ll find United’s Boeing 767s consistently flying domestically between New York-JFK and both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The 767s are also deployed on a variety of other continental U.S. routes, including the following for June 2021, per Cirium timetables.

Origin Destination
EWR DEN
EWR SFO
IAD SFO
IAH DEN
IAH LAX
IAH SFO
JFK LAX
JFK SFO

 

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

ExpertFlyer is owned by Red Ventures, the parent company of The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.