United cutting E+ seats from 70-seat regional jets

There isn’t much to recommend the Canadair Regional Jets as a passenger. One small bright spot on the United Airlines CRJ-700s was that there is a disproportionately large number of E+ seats meaning easier access to extra legroom. Or, I suppose I should say there WAS such. Officially announced today is a retrofit of the CR7s, with the removal of 16 E+ seats to be replaced with 20 regular economy seats. The company has three different operators of the CR7 and different seatmaps depending on which contractor is operating the flight. Those discrepancies will also be resolved as part of the changes. The changes are starting on 25 September and are expected to be completed within a few months.

Here’s the current seatmap:


And here’s my mockup of what the new map looks like:


The good news is consistent lettering/numbering of seats. The bad news is cutting the number of E+ seats available, though the old config was probably too many versus what there was paid demand for. Such is life, I suppose.

One interesting bit about these changes – along with the recent changes to the A319s – is that the company is adding seats even while cutting ASMs across the board. It seems that these few seat additions mitigate the frequency cuts and the retirement of the 752s in favor of the 739ERs in some ways, though the total capacity in the system is decreasing.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. That bites. I always thought the current ratio seemed a bit much, but hate to see E+ cut back so far.

    1. It is basically a function of the amount of space in the cabin. The only reason to cut the number of E+ seats is to increase the total number of seats on the plane. And to add a full row you need ~31″ of pitch space to work with. Cutting the 4 rows of E+ down to E- only really covers half the needed space. It will be interesting to see where they get the rest of it from.

  2. I heard UA were modifying the fleet to downsize the regional jets and replace with reupholstered Greyhound busses.

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