April 6, 2012 at 8:20 AM ET
All airline seats are not created equal and selecting the right seat in advance can mean the difference between a pleasant and spacious flight to one you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. This series will highlight the best — and worst — seats flying today’s crowded skies.
United Airlines flies more Boeing 757 aircraft than any other type and their domestic 757-200 is a workhorse in popular business travel markets. For the configuration appearing above, I highly recommend the seats highlighted in green, advise caution about those in yellow and outright discourage you from getting stuck in the red zone.
Seats are configured in a 2 x 2 layout and feature a width of 20.2 inches, with 38 inches of pitch between rows (except row one).
Best seats: Rows 2 through 5 are the best in this cabin. The seats offer equal comfort and are away from the galley and lavatories. My ultimate pick: Any seat in row 5 as United generally deplanes from the second door on this aircraft, so you’d be among the first passengers off.
Caution seats: 1A, 1B, 6A, 6B, 6E and 6F. 1A and 1B have slightly more legroom than 1D and 1E, but not much. On many aircraft, there is a small cutout at the base of the bulkhead wall in front of 1A and 1B allowing for a few extra inches for your feet. Row 6 has slightly limited recline and the proximity of the lavatory and galley can bother some passengers.
Worst seats: 1D and 1E. Anyone taller than 5 feet 10 inches will find legroom incredibly restricted with the bulkhead being far too close for comfort.
Seats are configured in a 3 x 3 layout and feature a width of 17 inches, with between 31 and 36 inches of pitch between rows. United’s Economy Plus section occupies rows 7 through 21 and all seats here include a minimum 34-inch pitch.
Best seats: Any seat in row 21 is the best pick as the exit row provides more legroom than that found in First Class. Row 20 has equivalent legroom, but recline is slightly limited. Other excellent choices for the best legroom are seats 7D, 7E and 8C, though the proximity to the lavatory and galley might be bothersome.
Caution seats: 8A and 8F. The emergency evacuation slide protrudes into the cabin from the aircraft door slightly inhibiting full legroom.
Worst seats: Rows 37 through 40. You’ll find many people standing in the aisle next to these rows while waiting for the lavatory or just up to stretch their legs. Row 40 should particularly be avoided for restricted recline.
This article, "Best seats: United Airlines Boeing 757-200," first appeared on CNBC.com.
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