News: United Adds Wide-Body Service To Cancun & Delta Schedules Atlanta – Shanghai Service

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These are a couple of airline route updates that don’t really warrant a full post of their own but may well be of interest to those looking to travel on these routes in the coming few months – United’s addition of a wide-body aircraft on one of its Cancun routes should open up opportunities for greater comfort and Delta’s resumption of its Shanghai service out of Atlanta will be welcomed too….especially considering the aircraft being employed.

United Airlines Adds A 777 On Its Chicago – Cancun Route

This should be good news for United flyers looking to escape the freezing Chicago winter and heading to the warmth of Mexico….at least it should be good news for those looking to fly in the premium cabin.

a dock with a rope and a body of water

Between 4 November 2017 and 10 March 2018 United Airlines will fly a Boeing 777-200 between Chicago and Cancun on the following schedule:

UA1656 ORD 07:30 – 11:10 CUN (Saturday Only)
UA1196 CUN 12:50 – 16:30 ORD (Saturday Only)

Note: the timings change by an hour from 11 November

Yes, the 777 will only operate on Saturdays and yes, the 777 in question will be of the high-density variety…but this is still a nice upgrade on the 737 that normally operates in the 777’s place.

The 777-200 that United will be using comes with 364 seats distributed like this:

  • 28 Business Class seats
  • 102 Economy Plus seats
  • 234 Economy Class seats

Looking at the Business Class seat map I can’t say the middle section looks like a particularly premium place to be….a diagram of a plane

….but it does offer lie-flat seating so it’s still going to be a LOT better than Economy Plus or regular Economy Class.

Speaking of Economy Plus…

I can’t say I’m too impressed by the 17″ wide seats United is calling Economy Plus:

a screenshot of a chart

Sure you get a better amount of legroom at 35″ of seat pitch 17″ of seat-width shouldn’t have the word “plus” associated with it in any way (although I appreciate that this is what United loyalists have to put up with on a number of the airline’s aircraft).

Regular Economy Class looks just as terrible as it always does but, as the United Airlines 737 (which the 777 is replacing) offers seats with exactly the same cramped dimensions, passengers probably won’t notice the difference.

Delta Opens Up Reservations For Atlanta – Shanghai

Back in the middle of July Delta confirmed that it would be reintroducing the Atlanta – Shanghai route which it gave up in January 2012 and now the airline has finally opened up reservations to the public.

The reason for Delta’s change in heart is its new partnership with China Eastern Airlines which will offer flyers onward connections into China from Shanghai.

Shanghai Night ViewShanghai At Night – Taken From The Bund

The route will start operating from 20 July 2018 and the schedule is as follows:

DL185 ATL 15:00 – 18:50+1 day PVG (Daily)
DL186 PVG 11:40 – 14:55 ATL (Daily)

Delta will operate its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft on this route (don’t expect it to be like the Qatar Airways 777-200LR I flew in between Auckland and Doha) which will offer:

  • 37 Delta One Business Class seats (lie-flat)
  • 36 Delta Comfort+ seats
  • 218 Economy Class seats

The first thing I think I should point out is that you should be careful not to confuse Delta Comfort+ with Delta Select.

Delta Select is Delta’s new Premium Economy product which is currently only available on its A350 aircraft while Delta Comfort+ is basically a mini-cabin with 4″ more legroom.

Delta’s choice of aircraft for this route is actually good news for all passengers (I don’t get to type that very often!).

The Delta One Business Class cabin offers direct-aisle-access for all passengers….

a diagram of a seat

…..and, although I don’t like the herringbone layout (Virgin Atlantic offered this on a flight I took not too long ago) it should still be a step up from the Delta One product I experienced on the airline’s 767.

There’s even actually good news in Economy Class where the numbers tell a story:

a screenshot of a chart

31″ – 32″ of seat pitch usually means 31″ of seat pitch so that’s hardly great…..but 18.5″ of seat width is almost unheard of nowadays – that’s only 0.5″ less than in a lot of Premium Economy cabins and exactly the same as what Delta Comfort+ offers.

Delta One is probably going to be a good happy medium between price and comfort (I expect Business Class to be expensive) as, with 35″ of seat pitch (legroom) and 18.5″ of seat width, that’s about as comfortable as you’re going to get without paying to sit closer to the pilot.

Note: I haven’t posted any fares as, at the time of writing, we’re still very early into the booking period so fares aren’t really indicative of anything.


  1. If United is using the high density 777 then it is a 777-200. Not a 777-200ER. None of the ERs are in the high density configuration.

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