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Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:14 pm

Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:48 pm

The Flight at a Glance:

Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Origin: Amsterdam-Schiphol
Destination: Washington Dulles
Flight Time: 8h 20m
Date: June 27, 2018
Class of Service: Economy Plus
Airline: United Airlines
Satisfaction: 8/10
Flight Number: UA 947
Seat Number 18A
Time of Departure: 12:00 PM CEST
Time of Arrival: 3:20 AM CEST (+1)


Because we didn’t think it was worth it for a day flight, we did not send in an upgrade request for United Polaris as we had done on the way to Amsterdam. We got to the airport around 3 hours before the flight, and headed to the premier access lane at the United Check-In, due to my mother’s United Club Card. After a couple minutes in line, we headed towards security. Please note that there is a premium line for business class passengers at Amsterdam Airport at security. We however, found ourselves in the economy lane of security. The line looked extremely long: at an American airport, it would have probably taken around 30 minutes to go through. However, due to Amsterdam Airport’s efficiency, we were through the line to the security checkpoint in about only 10 minutes! European airports are much more efficient than American airports.

After passport control, we started heading to our gate in Concourse D. United has its check-in in Terminal 3, but some of its planes depart from Terminal 2, where Concourse D is, so it took a while to walk there. Amsterdam used to have the system where one has all of the security by the gate area, while now there is limited security by the gate, and the rest is held before entering the plane side area. We got to the gate about an hour before boarding and waited there until boarding. We then checked upgrade options, which were either $550 and 20,000 miles or $800. A steep price for last minute upgrades if you asked me. It turned out that the plane left with six empty business class seats! I would have thought that United would have lowered the price until all the seats were taken with people who wanted to upgrade.

Our Plane, a United Boeing 767-300

About 10 minutes before boarding, passengers were rushed out of the immediate gate area, and into the main concourse hall, so that we could have another passport and ticket check when we entered the smaller gate area to line up for boarding. We then boarded the plane and entered our new home for 9 hours.

The Flight:

After boarding, I found my seat: 18A. It was the best seat in the economy class section! It had loads of legroom! The two rows of seats in front of seats 18A and 18B were for crew rest, and to make up for that, 18A&B have unlimited legroom. If flying economy plus on a United 767 in this configuration, always opt for either 18A or 18B if possible.

Infinite Legroom!

Entertainment Screen in the Armrest

Now, enough about how great of a seat it is. 18A does come with its drawbacks. First, there is no under seat storage due to the crew rest seats being in front of it. Second, the IFE and Tray Tables are in the armrest, limiting seat width a tiny bit, but it is a small price to pay for unlimited legroom. I immediately took use of the entertainment selection but was told to stow it off before takeoff, as expected.

Funny Story: Since there were four seats unoccupied in front of our seats, an economy passenger decided that since they had so much legroom, that he would take one of the unoccupied seats. Little did he know that the four seats, 16 and 17 A and B were only used for the crew. He started making himself comfortable until… (paraphrased)

Flight Attendant: Do You Work For United (jokingly)?

A passenger in Crew Rest Seat: No.

Flight Attendant: Well, then you have to get out of that seat; it is reserved for the crew.

A passenger in Crew Rest Seat: (starts thinking about how awful his flight will be back in the regular economy after trying to get a better seat reserved for the crew, starts trudging back to his seat)

All I can say is that I am sure that this is not too uncommon. Soon after that, the safety video played, and we started pushing back and taxiing. Unfortunately, again, we were taxiing to runway 36L (the same runway that we landed at on the way here), and it took about 15 minutes to taxi out to the runway.

A KLM Fokker 100 at the Observation Deck

About 30 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants came around with the drink service. With that came a small packet of actually pretty good pesto mini breadsticks. Around 20 minutes after that, they came around with the meal service. We were presented with two options: chicken or pasta (as always happens on United long-haul flights). I opted for the chicken, as chicken in economy is usually less disgusting (to me) than the pasta option. It came with a side of a small salad and (cold) bread. The chicken was pretty decent, while the side of orzo was disgusting.

]Chicken and Orzo

Then came the third course: dessert. We were presented with a strawberry ice-cream. While it was okay taste-wise, it was incredibly frozen and tough to eat. I then finished my first movie and took a short 30-minute nap (all the sleeping I can do on an 8 hour day flight in economy). Unfortunately, after the meal, the crew decided to take their seats in the crew rest area in front of my seat. This meant that they would close a curtain in front of my seat, blocking off the crew rest seats from the rest of the cabin. It was a bit annoying staring at that curtain and having a seat in front of me recline, but it was a small price to pay for infinite legroom.

Curtain In Front Of My Seat

The pre-landing snack was served. Each passenger was given both a stroopwafel, which was excellent and a mediocre turkey and cheese pretzel sandwich.

Pretzel Sandwich

Soon enough, we were almost into Washington, and the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing and told me to stow my seat back screen into the armrest.

United Boeing 777-200

We were arriving at Dulles internationally, which meant that we had to take the same mobile “lounges” back to the immigration facilities. Fortunately, this means that I got a pretty okay view of some planes on the tarmac.

We then passed through immigration easily with global entry, and our bags arrived just as we got through immigration.

Bottom Line:
I had a great flight because we got great seats, with infinite legroom where any grown person could stretch out. Economy plus is worth the extra bit of money, especially when you get such amazing seats, such as 18A and B on the 767-300. On a day flight, the upgrade options were not worth it. Overall, I have mixed feelings about the flight. The food was okay and not awful, although I wouldn’t expect anything better from United economy. The seat was comfortable enough for sitting in it for 9 hours, although I wouldn’t want to spend 14 hours in it. Satisfaction for the flight: 8/10.

For more pictures about my flight, please see the original posting of this review on my blog!
Posts: 2563
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 6:09 am

Re: Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:26 am

None of your pictures work (for me).
Posts: 1060
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:27 am

1. No pics showing
2. In accordance with pedantry lore: Despite claims, the legroom available was indeed finite. :)
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:05 pm

I'm sorry about the photos. I'm going to try to repost the images
here in my comment. I hope it will work this time!

My Aircraft
Almost infinite legroom!
The KLM Cityhopper Fokker 100 on the Observation Deck
IFE Screen
Chicken and Orzo
Curtain in front of my seat
Pretzell Roll
A United 777-200 at Washington Dulles Airport

I hope this works!
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:23 pm

Still can't see the photos. What image host are you using? If its google photos I might be able to help you.
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Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: (Almost) Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:22 pm

Update: Photos Are Up!

User avatar
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:32 am

Re: Infinite Legroom in Economy Plus from AMS to IAD!

Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:47 am

Nice trip report and pictures. I'm thinking I might spend the extra money to upgrade to premium economy on long haul flights from now on, especially on those that are overnight. I find myself getting nearly no sleep when sitting in coach.
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