Without flight numbers and dates, I checked the early August schedules from ORD to SFO. Here's the scoop:
As far as I know, our 747-400s do not yet sport the new interior design. Most now feature the new United First Suite, expanded Business, and Economy Plus cabins. The First Suite's colors are new: the older suites have a blue/green seat cover fabric, but the seat covers in the newest suites are blue/gray with dark gray leather armrests. Everything else in the -400s is old-style: gray carpets, gray Business seats, and the orange/red/blue-striped Economy seats.
You will most likely see some sort of new interior design on your return 767-300 flight to SFO. All 767s flown from ORD to SFO in early August are scheduled to be the two-class, overhead video projector system 767-300 domestic "MDs." Some of the MDs delivered in 1999 feature the now discontinued turquoise/green/tan redesign that proved quite unpopular with customers and employees alike. The carpeting was light tan/gray and showed stains within days of its introduction! The green/turquoise seats were simply too radical a departure from United's blue/gray somber tradition. The newest MD aircraft may have United's newest redesign, so you may be lucky.
Your best bet is to travel on an Airbus A320 or A319, though. All Airbus aircraft delivered from June 2001 sport the new "Decor 5.5" interior design which is scheduled to be on the entire fleet by 2006 (the new interiors will only be added during the heaviest maintenance checks). Here's the rundown:
-Deep blue carpeting with gray and white "spots"
-Navy blue with gray block pattern First/Business seats
-Dark gray with light gray/blue accent Economy Plus seats
-Bright blue with light gray accent Economy seats
-Navy blue and metallic gray bulkheads
-Navy blue with royal blue accent cabin divider curtains
While the new design continues United's well-known conservative blue/gray theme, the new design is definitely fresher and "cleaner" than the current "dated" offering. So far customer feedback has been positive.
There you go! Have a good trip to Chicago....