CHICAGO -- United Airlines plans to retrofit the overhead bins of as many as 400 aircraft in an effort do away with the need to gate-check roll-away bags.

"We will touch every aircraft that we can," United chief customer officer Toby Enqvist said.

Enqvist said that by 2023, 80% of United's mainline aircraft will have enough storage space for every passenger to bring on a roll-away bag. Most of the updates will be undertaken on single-aisle domestic aircraft. Many of those planes currently have bin space for about one bag for every two passengers, he said. 

The upgrades will also touch some international widebodies. New bins on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, for example, will expand capacity by 65 bags. 

Enqvist referred to ending gate-checks of bags as his "dream."

In a separate announcement, Enqvist said that United will begin refreshing the interiors of its 50-seat Embraer E145 regional jet fleet early next year. He said that the project would take approximately two years.

United flies its E145s in a single-cabin configuration featuring 44 economy seats and six extra legroom Economy Plus seats. 

Enqvist said the configuration won't change, but seats, lavatories and other interior elements will receive a refresh. United has 165 Embraer E145s.

The move follows United's launch of the CRJ-550, the industry's first 50-seat jet with a separate first-class cabin.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI