Flat bed transcons coming to Boston this summer

Flights between Boston and Los Angeles will see flat-bed service on a limited run basis this summer. United Airlines is bringing its Premium Service (“ps”) configured 757 into Logan from June 2nd to August 17th on one of the daily flights. This is not the first time that a ps plane has flown the route but it is one of the longer stretches over which it has appeared there.


United is marketing the flight as “regular” domestic first class so no guarantees that a ps plane operates the flights and if there is a swap I would not expect the company to go out of its way to offer alternate options for passengers; after all, you’re still getting what you paid for. Still, for those looking to try the premium product this is a nice alternative to the JFK-LAX/SFO flights where the plane is typically seen. Also, very good ratio of F:Y seats for those willing to take a chance on getting a Complimentary Premier Upgrade on the route versus redeeming for an upgrade which is typically the only way to get in those seats on the JFK transcons.

For those getting excited about the prospect of this being a long-term change in the operations for Boston this is probably a good time to take a deep breath and prepare to be disappointed. The plane is being swapped in for utilization reasons and on the daytime flights, not the redeye. And the pricing is not pushing ps levels at all. This is quite unlikely to become a permanent change any time soon. Then again, JetBlue has hinted at offering its premium Mint transcon service out of Boston, though it is a few planes short of being able to do that in the near future.

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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. i’d love to UA go 100% p.s. on LAX-BOS to finally regain some of the lost territory

    1. There is no market for that, at least not at the rates UA would need to charge for it to make sense. Look at the typical F fares on that route and compare them to the ps C fares from JFK. Not even close.

  2. I fly BOS-SFO all the time (though sometimes I grab the B6 nonstop to SJC instead), I’d pay a premium for PS service on this flight. But not the premium that UA or AA charges on the JFK-SFO flights in J or F. So Seth is probably right. Not enough money in Boston, though it seems like it sometimes.

  3. There’s a long thread on airliners.net speculating about this. Seth is right. If they were indeed testing the waters, they’d have ps on all flights in the market, and they’d have the full ps on board service. This is just going to have the standard domestic service. It’s just an equipment sub. BOS, while a good market, doesn’t have the visibility that NYC has. United would have to make up for the 54 less Y seats in ps config with higher J fares. That’s a lot of money. Ain’t gonna happen.

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