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

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 5/9/2021 Zach Griff
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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.

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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.

a bunch of luggage sitting on top of a car © The Points Guy

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 Points Guy

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.

© The Points Guy

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

a bunch of luggage sitting on top of a table © The Points Guy

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

a row of parked motorcycles sitting on top of a car © The Points Guy

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.


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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) © The Points Guy (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.

graphical user interface, application: (Screenshot courtesy of United) © The Points Guy (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) © The Points Guy 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

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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.

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