United Airlines Blocking Seats Due To Passenger Weight

United Airlines Blocking Seats Due To Passenger Weight

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United Airlines has started blocking some seats on Boeing 757s, to account for passengers having gotten heavier over the years. This presents an interesting opportunity for passengers to snag better seats.

Passengers in the United States are getting heavier

Obviously there’s a lot of math that goes into making flights operate safely. Part of that involves assuming an average weight per passenger, which is used for calculations (ranging from weight and balance, to fuel requirements).

The average weights that airlines have to use for passengers are decided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). There are different numbers for male and female passengers, and different numbers for summer and winter. That’s because the average passenger weight includes the weight of carry-ons and clothing, and travelers tend to travel with more and wear more in winter. Maybe we also put on a few pounds seasonally? 😉

Recently the FAA increased the average adult passenger weight as follows:

  • The average female summer weight increased from 145 pounds to 179 pounds
  • The average female winter weight increased from 150 pounds to 184 pounds
  • The average male summer weight increased from 185 pounds to 200 pounds
  • The average male winter weight increased from 190 pounds to 205 pounds

As you can tell, the average weights here have increased by 15 to 34 pounds per passenger. Assuming these planes have an average of ~180 seats, that’s a difference in weight of 2,700 to 6,100 pounds per flight. If you assume the passenger gender mix is 50/50, then we’re talking an average weight increase of 4,400 pounds per flight.

The average weight of passengers has increased over time

United now has to block seats on Boeing 757s

As reported by Live and Let’s Fly, the FAA’s updated weight requirements are causing some issues for United Airlines this winter. Specifically, United is having to block seats on its Boeing 757 fleet between November 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023.

This is being done in order to remain compliant with current Boeing 757 weight and balance requirements, and will apply on all routes. The number of blocked seats will vary based on the kind of Boeing 757, and you can expect anywhere from three to six seats to be blocked.

If you look at United’s Boeing 757 seatmaps for the winter, you should notice these blocked seats reflected. The seats aren’t blocked off with an “X,” but rather are just removed from the seatmap altogether. Once onboard, the seats will also have a sign on them indicating that they’re blocked, so no one will be able to just plop down in one of them.

For example, as you’ll see below, one version of the Boeing 757-200 has three seats blocked off.

United Boeing 757-200 seatmap

Meanwhile a version of the Boeing 757-300 has six seats blocked off.

United Boeing 757-300 seatmap

It’s not entirely clear to me if this is just going to be an ongoing issue every winter from now on, or if something is going to be recalculated over time that allows the airline to go back to 100% capacity.

Is United really not going to monetize these seats?!

As of now, these seats with blocked middles are just being marketed as standard economy seats. They’re not being marketed as Economy Plus, and for that matter they’re not even marketed as preferred seats. Arguably having a blocked middle seat in economy might just make these the best seats in the cabin, so I’d highly recommend selecting them.

This seems like an opportunity for monetization, so I’m surprised United hasn’t started charging extra for these seats yet.

These seats are almost like intra-Europe business class

Bottom line

The average weight of passengers increasing over time is causing issues for United’s Boeing 757s, especially in winter. United is now having to block three to six seats per Boeing 757 for the entire winter season, in order to comply with weight and balance requirements.

United isn’t charging extra for these seats with guaranteed blocked middles, so these are excellent seats to select. I can’t help but think that might change over time.

What do you make of United’s Boeing 757 seat blocking?

Conversations (100)
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  1. whyvee Guest

    I'm average sized, according to their calculations. If indeed people are larger, why not create 3 across areas where there are only 2 seats. One for regular, one for plus sized persons. Charge more for those seats. Sounds fair.

  2. NoVa flyer Guest

    Neither the article nor any of the comments address the fact that airlines are cramming more people on these planes than they were originally intended to carry. And they're cutting service to ensure that virtually every seat is filled on every flight. Instead of fat-shaming the passengers, maybe we should be greed-shaming the airlines.

    Size disclosure: my shoulders are considerably wider than my waist and much wider than a coach class seat.

  3. Kat Guest

    How about charging airfare by weight (body and clothing and luggage)? Good incentive for many to lose weight and get healthy

    1. Patrick Guest

      Makes good sense to me. At age 78, I weigh 50 pounds less than at age 62. Decided to lose weight in order to live longer. Also stopped soft drinks roughly 30 years ago, and have to have my computer remind me to get annual dental and physical checkups.

  4. Joanne Guest

    I carry my extra weight in my stomach so I don't encroach on seat mates. In fact, they encroach on me. One very overweight person tried to remove the seperater between the seats to take more of my space. I stopped him. He was very huffy about it and became nasty. I weigh 148.

  5. Carmen Mojica Guest

    And yet seats are getting smaller

  6. Jason Guest

    Why is it just United? Don’t Delta’s 757s seat the exact or almost the exact same amount of passengers?h

  7. Shana Guest

    I can understand why they are doing that bc it is very inconvenient to sit next to a large person, I have experience with it that I was sitting by the window and I had to change seats bc this person was so big that I felt claustrophobic.

  8. Digger Guest

    My fat ass is bigger than all those numbers and I’m happy as hell

  9. Pam Guest

    Has to be done. Reality bites sometimes. 15 (or so) years ago, I was in Disneyland, Annaheim, CA and the “It’s a Small World After all’ ride was closed. When I asked a park manager why the closure, response was that the ride carriages were being changed out for larger ones to accommodate the increasing size of the park patrons and the safety of all. Similarly, I was booking a horse trail ride for 2...

    Has to be done. Reality bites sometimes. 15 (or so) years ago, I was in Disneyland, Annaheim, CA and the “It’s a Small World After all’ ride was closed. When I asked a park manager why the closure, response was that the ride carriages were being changed out for larger ones to accommodate the increasing size of the park patrons and the safety of all. Similarly, I was booking a horse trail ride for 2 people plus myself at local trail. Written and outgoing voice messaging said that anyone over 250 lbs would not be allowed to ride for the horses safety and comfort. And they were serious. There was a scale on site in case there was any question. Yes, sadly, it has come to this.

  10. David Diamond

    Just market it as EuroBiz.

  11. Guy D Guest

    Trust me, they'll add a surcharge!!!

  12. Kitcat Guest

    A lot of families gained weight over the past 2 years due to Covid lockdowns and staying home more. The economic hardship has forced most people to stay home more vs going out paying higher gas prices and other overpriced food and activities. When the cost of groceries goes up, people tend to eat lower quality food which is higher in carbs, salt etc. The proof is that mfg of ramen noodles say they couldn't...

    A lot of families gained weight over the past 2 years due to Covid lockdowns and staying home more. The economic hardship has forced most people to stay home more vs going out paying higher gas prices and other overpriced food and activities. When the cost of groceries goes up, people tend to eat lower quality food which is higher in carbs, salt etc. The proof is that mfg of ramen noodles say they couldn't keep up with the demand. This was even before retailers DELIBERATELY caused the shortage of ramen noodles, in major grocery chains. During the ramen noodle shortage, there was no shortage in any Asian markets for the same popular ramen noodle "brands" sold in major grocery chains. Which proves there was no ramen noodle shortage in the first place. The same is true with the baby formula deliberate shortage. Truck drivers video recorded truck loads of baby formula being deliberately destroyed at remote locations. My point is people has gained weight because of the ENDLESS MALICIOUS harrassment by a marxist CULT to break our American spirit and install.an Iron Curtain. Here in Crappy-pornia there is STILL a mask mandate in effect at schools, hospitals and clinics by the FURHER & Gov Gruesome NUISANCE ! OF COURSE AMERICANS ARE GAINING WEIGHT !

    1. Joe Fonorkey Guest

      Not me. I'm 67 and I lost weight. That's because I care about my health. Stop making excuses

  13. cynthia Guest

    there's few small regional airlines around the world that weigh the passenger with their carry on and you pay extra if over certain weight (whenever ive flown with them no one seems to mind). Airplanes are designed to carry certain amount of weight, dont we remember to what happened to Aliyah and why that plane crashed?

    1. Kehaulani Guest

      Agree. I have been weighed before an inter-island flight in Fiji and in Africa, between Nairobi and the Masai Mara.

  14. I guess more informed Guest

    Old news… same limitations were in place for part of the 2021-2022 winter schedule.

  15. Andrew Guest

    So basically anyone who has muscle is considered overweight to united and then they wonder why nobody flys their airlines anymore I'll definitely never fly them again lost 2 pairs of sandals black and mild packs 3 of them and a freestyle libre 2 sugar monitor tsa flagged me every time I missed my own wedding they suckkkkk and this just proves their suckiness more

    1. Stephen Guest

      The average weight numbers come from the FAA, not the airline. United, Delta, Spirit, they all use the same weight estimates. Also, the TSA flagging you is likewise not related to the airline.

  16. Tim O'L Guest

    REALLY badly researhed column, a D+ grade. The winter PAX weight issue is not the root cause of the problem with UAL's 757s. First what routes are we talking about? Pretty sure it is ETOPS operations. UAL's 757s on N Atlantic routes do have a 'habit' of landing for fuel in the winter short of thier destination or min-fuel due to winter winds howling much greater than summer winds aloft(yes foreasting has gotten better but...

    REALLY badly researhed column, a D+ grade. The winter PAX weight issue is not the root cause of the problem with UAL's 757s. First what routes are we talking about? Pretty sure it is ETOPS operations. UAL's 757s on N Atlantic routes do have a 'habit' of landing for fuel in the winter short of thier destination or min-fuel due to winter winds howling much greater than summer winds aloft(yes foreasting has gotten better but it ain't perfect and NAT track swithes play havock too). With the legal/economics requirement for reserves Ops does box crews in. The positions of the seats being close to the wing (and Center of Gravity or CG) is another clue...not a 'balance' issue-if it was they would be far aft and a lesser # of seats away from CG. This weight issue is a fuel trade-off issue.

    1. Informed commenter Guest

      This would make sense if you didn’t know anything about it. It has nothing to do with winds. The seats are blocked on all flights. I think we can all agree that a short LAX-DEN doesn’t have to worry about North Atlantic winds, but it has the same seats blocked. And the 753s that aren’t used TATL have similar limits. Article: B, because this started last winter.
      Your comment: F, because it is predicated on an entirely inaccurate theory.

  17. JB Guest

    Planes are engineered to only carry so much weight, it's different for each plane type. Because of this, when you reach that weight, you cannot go over it or the plane won't be able to take off.
    Weight and balance is done to make the plane safely take off. I flew many years working for United, I've had times when cockpit call and said, " Move four people from the back of plane to...

    Planes are engineered to only carry so much weight, it's different for each plane type. Because of this, when you reach that weight, you cannot go over it or the plane won't be able to take off.
    Weight and balance is done to make the plane safely take off. I flew many years working for United, I've had times when cockpit call and said, " Move four people from the back of plane to the middle". Or we were delayed so they could take off cargo. Believe me, you don't want to take off with too much weight, you'll crash!

  18. Tony N. Guest

    Airfares will go up as a result. And the return trip from the vacation resorts you can expect the person to weigh more.

  19. ds Guest

    Now, if they could arrange to have the extra-heavy passengers take those aisle and window seats, then no one has to get smushed out of there space because large passengers are spilling out of their seats.....

  20. arrowspace90 Guest

    The airlines don't want to put people on the spot by weighing them at the airport, but one can see this might eventually be necessary.
    The BIGGER problem for passengers is getting a seat next to someone grossly overweight. When this happens, their rolls hang over the armrests and their bulk exceeds the dimensions of their seats. These people never buy 2 seats of course, as they should be required to do. They want...

    The airlines don't want to put people on the spot by weighing them at the airport, but one can see this might eventually be necessary.
    The BIGGER problem for passengers is getting a seat next to someone grossly overweight. When this happens, their rolls hang over the armrests and their bulk exceeds the dimensions of their seats. These people never buy 2 seats of course, as they should be required to do. They want YOU to leave your armrest up, which you must NOT do! Make them squeeze into what they purchased.

  21. S Cihla Guest

    Why not cut back on the freight that is being transported, oh wait, that brings in too much extra dollars!

  22. Anthony W Guest

    “Maybe we also put on a few pounds seasonally?”
    Is it possible for this news organization to hire reporters to just report rather than speculate by pulling hypothetical questions out of their anal tract?
    We are all capable of speculating we read the paper because we Not informed of the facts. This was a loose column not an opinion piece. Someone needs to tell that’s not very bright reporter about that

    1. Stephen Guest

      But we are clearly not all capable of recognizing a little comic relief sprinkled into an article. If you are wondering if that line was an attempt at speculation or an attempt at comedy, the emoji at the end of the sentence might serve to answer that.

  23. Watson Gold

    Hey, Bob. That guy could lose weight but you'll always be a judgmental prick.

  24. Robert Guest

    They say people are getting bigger and we need to accommodate that. How about people watch their weight and don’t get bigger. I see no reason to accommodate to bigger people.

    1. Ellis Shue Guest

      I actually think Bob's point could be a good one to debate, though I might bring a different take on it. As a larger guy and very frequent traveller for business, I see my share of issues with passengers that I feel should be addressed. The number of completely ignorant people who also are complete jerks has gone up exponentially in recent years and causes many more problems for airline employees and the public at...

      I actually think Bob's point could be a good one to debate, though I might bring a different take on it. As a larger guy and very frequent traveller for business, I see my share of issues with passengers that I feel should be addressed. The number of completely ignorant people who also are complete jerks has gone up exponentially in recent years and causes many more problems for airline employees and the public at large. I propose airlines start to administer an IQ/personality combo test where the slowest scores get booted. This could do far more to make flying more pleasant for everyone. I also like my chances of snagging a seat ahead of Robert. There's always the train or just driving, Bob.

  25. Azamaraal Diamond

    I believe in incentives. I told myself that when cigarettes became $2 a package I would quit. That was in the late 80's and it was very successful.

    When one of the Polynesian airlines started to weigh passengers I said "this is the incentive for me". I'm now under 90 kg (198 lb) and my wife is probably 55 kg (121 lb). Passengers should pay by the pound/mile when airfare is calculated. It costs the...

    I believe in incentives. I told myself that when cigarettes became $2 a package I would quit. That was in the late 80's and it was very successful.

    When one of the Polynesian airlines started to weigh passengers I said "this is the incentive for me". I'm now under 90 kg (198 lb) and my wife is probably 55 kg (121 lb). Passengers should pay by the pound/mile when airfare is calculated. It costs the airline twice a much in fuel to transport a 300 lb man than a 150 lb man and, if you include luggage, light weight should be rewarded with cheaper fares.

    Like the bag sizing apparatus, a scale could be set up to weigh passenger and luggage and classify as A, B, C and apply suitable fare discounts to the lighter passengers. It, of course, would be totally fair but in this nutty world would be called "fat shaming" or some other nonsense.

    Put this in place and see how long it takes me to be 175 kg, my ideal weight.

    1. Azamaraal Diamond

      Oops - *75 kg*

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      If you're patting yourself on the back thinking that this is some manner of brilliant conclusion-- you should probably stop right about now.

      First, why do you assume that fuel consumption vis-a-vis increased weight carried is linear? ...it's not.

      Second, you seem to have forgotten (or who are we kidding: you never knew) that fares are a reflection of what the market will bear, not a direct allocation of cost of service.

      Combine that with...

      If you're patting yourself on the back thinking that this is some manner of brilliant conclusion-- you should probably stop right about now.

      First, why do you assume that fuel consumption vis-a-vis increased weight carried is linear? ...it's not.

      Second, you seem to have forgotten (or who are we kidding: you never knew) that fares are a reflection of what the market will bear, not a direct allocation of cost of service.

      Combine that with a crap-ton of bad press and ill-will from the public, and they're all reasons why US (and reluctantly, Canadian) airlines have forgone your ridiculous proposal.

  26. Jane Guest

    So in addition to screening, are we also going to be weighed?

  27. Chad Guest

    So if we all get fat enough they'll have to undensify the cabin? WALL-E let's go!!!

  28. Nick Guest

    First of all, you are talking crap about someone at Starbucks. That's a special kind of entitlement! You really truly believe you are a higher being than anything else to inhabit the Earth.

    Beyond that, what if that person despises coffee but is having a really bad day and needs to make himself wake up and be ready for important meetings that could cost many jobs?

    What if that person gave up smoking and...

    First of all, you are talking crap about someone at Starbucks. That's a special kind of entitlement! You really truly believe you are a higher being than anything else to inhabit the Earth.

    Beyond that, what if that person despises coffee but is having a really bad day and needs to make himself wake up and be ready for important meetings that could cost many jobs?

    What if that person gave up smoking and a dozen other bad habits and drinking coffee with sugar is the one you unhealthy thing he does?

    There are people who will be large, fat, big boned, whatever you want to call them no matter what they do. There are people who can eat what appears to be enough for 3 people on a regular basis and remain very thin. I am one of the latter.

    That person you are proudly fat shaming and say he won't exercise may have just had heart surgery and is really hoping his doctor let's him start running again soon because he hates the weight he has put on. ....yes....that is a real possibility.

    The reality is that each one of these scenarios is a cosmetic issue that does not have any relevance to who they are. You on the other hand have a serious personality disorder that is unfortunately chronic with little chance at remission.

    1. CNK Guest

      Who are you ranting to? Do you not know how to use the reply function?

  29. KK13 Gold

    Murica and its love for sugar and fat, and giants carry on bags - obscenely obese!

  30. D3kingg Guest

    That’s absurd. They obviously just want to justify carrying more fuel , checked in bags , or cargo instead of leaving passengers behind. Especially non revs. It’s all about weight balance pay load restrictions. Cowardly.

    1. Goforride Member

      How is that cowardly?

      Sounds pretty smart to me.

      Rather than have wind and load issues that crop up on a given day and then UA has to either not board paying customers, not board paying freight or may a fuel stop, the company just reduces in advance the number of seats sold and avoids any messy issues at flight time.

      I guarantee you they make absolutely zero decisions based on how it might affect non-revs.

  31. Nick Guest

    Each airline has their own weight and balance compliance policy that is approved by the FAA. This is because even minor differences in the equipment on board between the airlines with the same model can make a big difference. United would have known this was coming months or even a couple years in advance. The FAA administrator doesn't just have a bad tuna sandwich one day and send their secretary a text to change the...

    Each airline has their own weight and balance compliance policy that is approved by the FAA. This is because even minor differences in the equipment on board between the airlines with the same model can make a big difference. United would have known this was coming months or even a couple years in advance. The FAA administrator doesn't just have a bad tuna sandwich one day and send their secretary a text to change the assumed passenger weights.

    I'm thinking they have weight allocated in the cargo bay that is creating enough revenue that this cabin configuration provides the maximum revenue potential.

    And, United is regulated by the FAA in everything they do everywhere. The rules don't change based on location.

    1. Tim O'L Guest

      Your off on the wrong tangent Nick, not a W&B issue but a fuel-range-legal minimums issue in winter winds.

  32. David Guest

    What characteristics define a female?

    1. Stephen Guest

      Does it really matter? Transgender individuals are such a tiny percentage of the population that they aren't even a big enough anomaly to account for, especially when the range of weights between different individuals within a gender is so much larger than the average difference between genders anyway. In the end it's all just statistical averages and transgender details really don't change those statistics by any relevant amount.

  33. Ralph Guest

    Look at the waistline of 75 years ago; look at how many people DIDN’T have diabetes 75 years ago! Time for everyone to look at their diet & their health!!!

    1. Unhoeflich Diamond

      As well as the quality of the US food supply.

  34. MikeyInOregon Guest

    I think you might have just tipped UA off on charging more for these seats.

  35. Jeff Guest

    I don't understand why this applies to all routes. Wouldn't it only be for transcons or Hawaii flights when the planes are fully loaded with fuel? A shorter flight wouldn't be fully fueled up and therefore wouldn't be overweight, right?

  36. Shell Mitchell Guest

    Good they realize the truth about Americans weight! And it's ugly to fat shame. You end up with your own feelings hurt or more

  37. Steve Jacoby Guest

    The simple solution is to stop flying the worst plane in the fleet. The 757 was a bad plane, when it was new. It’s now the must avoid plane of any airline. BTW, we’re Million Mile flyers on United. The 767 rocks. The 737 is marginal. The 757 should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

    1. Nick Guest

      The term is weight and balance. Aircraft are designed to be in motion at specific angles. You can be only half of passengers and have serious trouble getting off the ground if everyone is clustered in the back or the front. Crashes have been caused by this. Just like everything else in aviation, the rules are written in blood.

      If you look at where the seats are removed the are balanced front and back...

      The term is weight and balance. Aircraft are designed to be in motion at specific angles. You can be only half of passengers and have serious trouble getting off the ground if everyone is clustered in the back or the front. Crashes have been caused by this. Just like everything else in aviation, the rules are written in blood.

      If you look at where the seats are removed the are balanced front and back as well as left to right. The fuel load difference is irrelevant for balance because it is in the center of the gravity by design. Fuel becomes an issue with weight on some aircraft causing bags or people to have to be left behind

    2. 737Pilot Guest

      It's funny because the 757-200 is over engineered so has a lot more excess capacity than a 737. 757 pilots like to brag that if you can close the doors it'll be able to depart.

      I find it hard to believe that united is having to block seats for weight on all flights while other airlines aren't and where they apprently aren't on the 737s.

      As an aside, from a passenger perspective, the...

      It's funny because the 757-200 is over engineered so has a lot more excess capacity than a 737. 757 pilots like to brag that if you can close the doors it'll be able to depart.

      I find it hard to believe that united is having to block seats for weight on all flights while other airlines aren't and where they apprently aren't on the 737s.

      As an aside, from a passenger perspective, the difference between a 757 and a 737 is airline choice, as fuselage dimensions are the same.

  38. Frank Guest

    It's good but I always fly first

  39. chasgoose Guest

    What's with all the comments focusing on women being bigger? Last time I checked they also increased the average weight for men too...

    I guess some of the Neanderthals on here take it as a personal attack when a woman isn't stick thin.

    1. John Guest

      Wow! Just wow! Imagine @Jizzgoose 'fighting' online abuse.....by being abusive. Looks like someone flunked Logic in high school, huh?

    2. Jen Guest

      Maybe because women’s weight increased by 3x as much? Lol

  40. 305 Guest

    AA had a few blocked middles on some 738s a few years ago. Put a cup holder tray across it like European J class

  41. Hobbs Guest

    Don't care if you're fat.
    Never worry about that.
    Kick back, lie flat,
    because that's where I'm at.
    Overhead space dedicated to my pack.
    Group 7, walk past,
    keep it moving to the back.

    1. Ravioliollie Kaye Guest

      You're really effin' special, eh?

  42. Warren Trout Guest

    Alsa bus service in Europe monetizes empty seats by selling them cheaply to an adjoining seat. I paid 10 euros extra to guarantee the seat next to me was empty.

    Free money to them, and I was happy to be guaranteed to sit by myself for a 5 hour ride.

  43. staradmiral Guest

    Wife a woman from Europe or Asia gents, American women are only getting bigger
    (Proud to have a 54kg Polish Wife)

    1. Lea Guest

      Then everyone become average big... Ask heavy is partly genetics too. Restaurant can reduce portion but i bet they would charge less. Those are part of the problems

    2. Bev Guest

      Fact that you know her weight says so much about you. Eek!

  44. Gary Leff Guest

    Since the Continental days they've operated 757 focus cities in Goose Bay and Gander for transatlantic Westbounds. Long winter flights facing challenging conditions is hardly new, maybe they'll need fewer refueling diversions.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      so is this seat blocking on transatlantic (and to S. America) flights or a system thing?

    2. Nick Guest

      If the aircraft is operated by United or one of it's subsidiaries and is a 757, this seat blocking thing applies.

    3. Tim O'L Guest

      United has subsidaries operating 757??? That'll wake up ALPA and the scope clause. Gary's question is valid a goes to the heart of the question on fuel, winter winds and range.

    4. Literate commenter Guest

      It’s not valid because it is enumerated in the (accurate) article. It is systemwide. LAX-SFO will have the same seats blocked off as the longest flight.

  45. James Guest

    My guess is they will be used to accommodate non revenue passengers at the last minute as conditions allow, which is why they’re not monetizing them since there’s no guarantee that seat will actually be empty.

    1. D Pilit Guest

      No way will they put non revenue passengers on if they are weight restricted. They will sell these seats last minute if the weight allowed for it.

    2. Jim Baround Guest

      How many people are buying tickets 1 hour in advance of a flight?

    3. RichM Gold

      Plenty of people buy flexible tickets which can be changed at the last minute to an earlier flight.

  46. Scudder Diamond

    Is this, at least in part, an unintended consequence of checked bag fees? Have more, bigger, heavier carry-ons contributed to this 'weight-gain'?

  47. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Is this for specific routes or across all UA 757s?
    The 757 is the most capable narrowbody aircraft in the skies. If UA is blocking seats, they are either using them on some very long routes or doing something that limits their performance such as using a max takeoff weight that is lower than what Boeing says the aircraft is capable of

    1. Nick Guest

      Let me introduce you to the term BALANCE. Now look at balance of where the seats are being removed. Front, back, left and right. This is not a maximum takeoff weight issue. This is a balance issue. The cabin configuration was calculated based on the old weights. The new weights are not legal in that configuration.

      They had 2 options. 1) take the aircraft out of service to move every individual seat the couple of...

      Let me introduce you to the term BALANCE. Now look at balance of where the seats are being removed. Front, back, left and right. This is not a maximum takeoff weight issue. This is a balance issue. The cabin configuration was calculated based on the old weights. The new weights are not legal in that configuration.

      They had 2 options. 1) take the aircraft out of service to move every individual seat the couple of inches to rebalance the weight to be compliant....

      or

      2) raise the weight allowance in a couple of cargo holds which will generate more revenue and elect to follow the FAA procedures for blocking seats to maintain compliance without taking the aircraft out of service for the reconfiguration.

      You should know air freight has remained a very high demand and profitable service since the shutdown. Also, remember during the summer the seats can be used.

      Carrying the additional weight in the cargo hold is more profitable and a better experience for the cabin crew than keeping the seats would have been.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I get the concept quite well.
      Delta operates the world's largest fleet of passenger 757s and they are apparently not having this issue. Delta has more seats on most its 757-200s than United.
      Fedex and UPS both have large fleets of 757 freighters
      My question again is what is United doing that causes them to impose weight restrictions that other airlines are apparenly not doing.

  48. Alan Guest

    It's about time, I'm tired of sitting between 2 overweight people who cannot fit in their assigned seat. The same thing should happen at sporting events and anywhere you have is there you have a paid seat if you can't fit in it you need to sit somewhere else.
    Now go cry and eat another dozen donuts.

    1. Julia Guest

      Quit whining snowflake, and book an aisle or window seat in advance.

  49. Jeffrey Guest

    Well, if you are going to fat, you are going to pay more for the airline using more of their fuel. That is non-negotiable. Is this hard for people to understand????

  50. Alonzo Diamond

    This is the result of women weighing nearly as much as a man. Y'all can believe all that junk about the weight including clothing and baggage but let's be real. Americans weigh a shit ton more than their grandparents and great grandparents did. Eat healthier, exercise more. Stop blaming the seat size because your love handles don't fit between the arm rests.

  51. Alfred Guest

    On my domestic flight on a 757-300, I see that some seats simply aren't on the map anymore, as you said. However, there are also several seats that are marked with "X," which translates to "Unavailable seat" according to the legend. These seats definitely weren't marked with "X" when I booked my flight and chose my seat.

    So here's the key question: if the aisle seat is "X" and the window seat is missing, should...

    On my domestic flight on a 757-300, I see that some seats simply aren't on the map anymore, as you said. However, there are also several seats that are marked with "X," which translates to "Unavailable seat" according to the legend. These seats definitely weren't marked with "X" when I booked my flight and chose my seat.

    So here's the key question: if the aisle seat is "X" and the window seat is missing, should I select the middle seat? I'm not sure if the "X" means that aisle will eventually get filled. (I highly value having aisle access.)

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Patricia Guest

      I think that an extremely overweight person should pay for 2 seats so that I don't have to be squished by someone who overflows into my space.

    2. Common Sense Guest

      Yes, I agree, nobody should "hang over" into my seat, it's small enough. These blocked seats are a great opportunity to distribute passengers so nobody has to sit next to such a person. They also could use the seats next to the blocked ones to seat passengers with small infants on their lap.

    3. Jim Guest

      Many, probably most, airlines have a policy on that. They just almost never enforce them. For example Alaska Air's says, "We require the purchase of an additional seat for any customer who cannot comfortably fit within one seat with the armrests in the down position. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats."

      But I still see immensely obese people trying to ooze into a single seat and have never seen an...

      Many, probably most, airlines have a policy on that. They just almost never enforce them. For example Alaska Air's says, "We require the purchase of an additional seat for any customer who cannot comfortably fit within one seat with the armrests in the down position. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats."

      But I still see immensely obese people trying to ooze into a single seat and have never seen an FA or CSR say anything.

      And before someone screams about the ADA ("It's a medical condition! I have to be accommodated! Give me a free extra seat!") it should be noted that the ADA specifically excludes air carriers from its scope.

    4. Watson Gold

      Uh, no. The X means the seat cannot be selected, either because it is occupied or blocked.

    5. Never In Doubt Guest

      First time?

      The X means someone is sitting in the seat already.

  52. Chris Guest

    I'm not sure why they would take the actual seat out of service and put a sign on it. They typically just restrict the amount of seats they sell and have been doing this for decades. The RJs seat restrict all the time and isn't a new concept.

  53. Mantis Guest

    The average woman weighs ~180 lb now? Wow. This is the result of years of telling people to celebrate their obesity, despite the numerous health risks of obesity (especially during covid times). Looks like we need to go back to fat shaming.

    I'd rather see passengers that are so obese that they spill over into another seat be flagged and forced to buy two seats, or a seat upfront. Your life choices have consequences that...

    The average woman weighs ~180 lb now? Wow. This is the result of years of telling people to celebrate their obesity, despite the numerous health risks of obesity (especially during covid times). Looks like we need to go back to fat shaming.

    I'd rather see passengers that are so obese that they spill over into another seat be flagged and forced to buy two seats, or a seat upfront. Your life choices have consequences that should not be the burden of the stranger next to you. Exercise and eat less if you don't want to pay more.

    1. Evan Guest

      Read closer...the weight includes both the passenger and carry-ons.

    2. Karo Member

      I didn't read it this way. The text doesn't say that the male weight increased from xxx to yyy (summer compared with winter). It said winter weight (I assume compared with another time point in the past) increased.

    3. Scudder Diamond

      Mantis- Your reading comprehension is pretty sub-par. I'd be fat than so loudly stupid.

    4. RichM Gold

      Indeed. And note the veiled sexism that he only attacked the women for weighing too much, and made no comment on men.

  54. JamesS Guest

    Many of us gained the Covid 19 so yes, they need to pay more attention on how they move us around

  55. Jackson Guest

    Noticed this when choosing seats last month for a flight I have tomorrow, happy to feel like I beat the system!

  56. Icarus Guest

    No idea what pounds are. Had to convert. 200=90kgs. Average European male is 70kg.

  57. DenB Diamond

    If everything is gonna be monetized, I'm ready. I always fly in the front, I never check a bag, I weigh 65kgs (~150lbs, for the metrically challenged) and I never consume alcohol. How about giving me elevated status?

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Evan Guest

Read closer...the weight includes both the passenger and carry-ons.

5
Warren Trout Guest

Alsa bus service in Europe monetizes empty seats by selling them cheaply to an adjoining seat. I paid 10 euros extra to guarantee the seat next to me was empty. Free money to them, and I was happy to be guaranteed to sit by myself for a 5 hour ride.

4
Scudder Diamond

Mantis- Your reading comprehension is pretty sub-par. I'd be fat than so loudly stupid.

4
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