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
Enqvist referred to ending gate-checks of bags as his
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
The move follows United's launch of the
CRJ-550, the industry's first 50-seat jet with a separate first-class cabin.