hnl-jack From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 815 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3202 times:
Don't remember how many rows it had, but it was very comfortable and quite similar to today's business class. However, it didn't last long once it was expanded. Keep in mind this was before frequent flyer programs and the UA customer was going to competitive airlines who offered lower cost coach service.
Grew up in the business and continued the family tradition.
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1903 posts, RR: 7 Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2127 times:
They were converted back in 1965 when Red-White-Blue F/L/Y was introduced, where L was standard class, like the business class before Delta's Business Elite with 2-3 seating, good food and free booze, and plenty of leg room, but remember, Y had 36 inches of pitch, the same amount as most domestic F today. I flew on S Class flights quite a few times, on both the 720 and 727. Some DC-8's were converted as well in 1974 but that really didn't last long. It was that conversion that cost UA a lot of its First Class coast to coast traffic, and led to the end of S One Class. The first 727's were delivered as one class airplanes and converted to F/Y about a year later. The 720's were used on flights from Chicago to east coast cities, Chicago to the West Coast, Denver and Salt Lake to the West Coast, and on the old Capital routes from CLE and PIT to MIA and from JFK-IDL/EWR to ATL, and MSY, as well as flights from CLE to LAX, and BAL-IAD to MKC and on to the West Coast. UA didn't convert all the 720's to S class but kept a few F-Y to compete with CO on flights on the ORD-DEN-LAX route where CO had three class F-Y-K 707-124's and 720-024B's. K was 3-3 and had no meal service, and Y was 2-3 seating with meals.
Patterson's idea was a good one in theory but UA lost the passengers who weren't willing to pay a few bucks extra for added comfort and decent food to AA and TW, and the F passengers who wanted to fly first class. Remember, in 1963, the jet age was only 4-5 years old. In the days of props, most aircraft were either all A (first) or all T (coach). While the Electras were split as well as TW's Super G's, and Delta's DC-6's and DC-7/7B's, as well as AA's DC-7's, and NW's DC-7C's and B-377's, UA never had two class prop airplanes, and neither did Capital. AA's DC-6's and 6B's were either A or T, not split, same with TW's L-1049's, L-049's, and most of their L:-749's. So having single class airplanes was not such a novel idea. I believe that Delta even introduced the CV-880 as an all first class airplane and the United Caravelle operated as an all first class airplane for all nine years it was in service. Back in 1963, there was a lot more first class traffic. UA's F-L-Y on the DC-8's and 720's lasted into late 1966. A check of the fares shows that in 1966, after First Class fares were lowered slightly, the F fare NYC-LAX one way fare was $160.90, L on UA only was $150.40, and Y was $145.10, only $15.80 less than F, although there was some sort of excursion fare that was $217.65 RT. However on shorter flights, the difference between F and Y was more. For example LAX-MSY in F was $124.35 and Y was $101.60. The strangest fare differential was during UA's transistion from S to L which were the same except that S was one class with no other choices on the aircraft. Between ORD and NYC, F was $52.30, S was $48.00, L was $46.60, and Y was $43.70, and the men only Executive Caravelle was $55.30.