United Airlines – Is This The New Business Class Cabin?

a bed in a room with a television

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UPDATE 2 June 2016: United Airlines have now released details of their New Polaris Business Class. Follow this link to find out more.

United Airlines are about to start taking deliveries of their new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and industry speculation suggests that the aircraft will debut a new Business Class cabin. As the new 777-300 have been little more than speculation up until now there really hasn’t been much news on this front….until recently.

Aviation journalist Brian Summers has published what appear to be very basic schematics of a wide-body aircraft’s Business Class cabin that he received from an unattributed source.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 15.08.40Is this the new United 777-300 Business Class cabin? Image from Brian Summers

My first thought on seeing that diagram was to wonder what United were playing at. That looks like a horrendously dense configuration for a modern and up-to-date Business Class cabin…although it would appear that they layout would give all the seats in the cabin direct access to the aisle.

My second thought was to wonder where they got that idea from because, just like Brian Summers, I haven’t seen anything like this on an aircraft or even on a seat map of aircraft I haven’t flown on. Runway Girl Network may have an answer.

They too saw Brian’s article and diagram and recognised the seat as being Recaro’s ComfortLine CL6710 Business Class seat that they had seen at an Aircraft Interiors Expo (if it wasn’t that exact seat it was certainly something very similar).

If you take a look at this overhead shot of the Recaro seat……

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 09.08.15ComfortLine CL6710 Business Class seat – Image courtesy of Recaro

…and take a look at the position of the seat behind it, you can imagine the seat in the picture being one of the seats closest to the windows on the port side of the aircraft.

Other pictures of the seat don’t appear to shed more light on the situation but it does look like a nice product:

150330_RZ_CL6710_Productbrochure_DIN4_18p_E_hoppe_rci_cke.inddComfortLine CL6710 Business Class seat – Image courtesy of Recaro

150330_RZ_CL6710_Productbrochure_DIN4_18p_E_hoppe_rci_cke.inddComfortLine CL6710 Business Class seat – Image courtesy of Recaro

150330_RZ_CL6710_Productbrochure_DIN4_18p_E_hoppe_rci_cke.inddComfortLine CL6710 Business Class seat – Image courtesy of Recaro

Runway Girl points out that if this indeed the seat that United has chosen for its new 777-300ER aircraft then it will be the first announced customer for the CL6710 seat and Recaro’s first foray into long haul Business Class.

Per Runway Girl Network:

CL6710 is a mixture of styles: both slightly herringboned and staggered, and United’s LOPA notably shows the slight angle at which the seats interweave in each column of ten seats, which enables the seatmaker to make the most of both the wider 777 cabin diameter and the fact that human beings are wider at the shoulders than at the ankles.

Interweaving, like the yin-yang configuration pioneered by British Airways, allows for the widest part of the seat — at shoulder level in bed mode and at elbow level in seated mode — to overlap with the narrowest foot area part of the seat next to it.

It would appear that, if this image is showing the Recaro seats in an aircraft cabin, it’s not doing the seat justice. The diagram makes the cabin look horribly dense and almost dormitory-like (very much like British Airways’ awful 777 Business Class cabins) but that would not be the case. It still wouldn’t be anywhere near as spacious as what the true premium airlines offer (or even what American Airlines offers on its 777-300s) but it wouldn’t be as bad as it looks.

United 777-300 Economy Class?

Brian Summers was actually given two diagrams and the second is the Economy Class cabin of the aircraft.


Possible United 777-300 Economy Class cabin – Image from Brian Summers

That’s an Economy Class cabin with 10-across eating (the worst you can have, so far, on a long haul airline). What’s worse is that the 10-across seating appears to extend all the way through the Economy Class cabin meaning that Economy+ seating will be restricted to ridiculously narrow seats just like regular Economy.

We’ve already been told that United’s existing 777-200 aircraft will be getting the 10-across treatment very soon so the idea that their new 777-300 aircraft could come with such a layout isn’t exactly surprising. What’s disappointing is that this now leaves Delta as the only US airline not to subject passengers to 17″ wide seats on most of its aircraft. I’ll have to update my “which seats” posts!

Bottom Line

If this is the new United Business Class seat it looks nice…although I’m not yet convinced about the cabin layout. American offers a fantastic Business Class seat on its 777-300 aircraft and its Business Class cabins are considerably less dense than what this diagram shows so United has to offer something of similar stature if it wants to compete. Perhaps the actual layout (as opposed to the one on the diagram) will give the Business Class cabin a more spacious feel. I’ll post updates to the blog as and when United releases any information.