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Which seat works best with an in-cabin dog? [United 767-300]

I’d never flown on a 767 before, and I still can’t decide, two days later, what I thought of the experience. What I do know is that getting a seat in at least Economy Plus is crucial for an international flight with a pet: I walked past the Economy seats on my trip to the bathroom, and the pitch was something terrible. I don’t think I could have managed to reach down to Chloe in the space available.

Happily, I was in Seat 19A, in the first Economy Plus row that works for pets (Row 17 has a bulkhead in front of it, and the spaces under the Row 18 seats are entirely occupied by gigantic boxes). The configuration (here’s a SeatGuru map so you can follow along) in the back end of the plane was 2-3-2 (and please note that we were in a two-class 767-300 — there was no separate First Class). The pairs of seats have a shared under-seat space that’s 33” wide. As you can see in this picture, I oriented Chloe’s carrier left-to-right in the space for take-off and landing:

Remember to discount the flange on the front of the large SturdiBag, since it’s not structural. The carrier ended up poking about an inch into my neighbor’s space, but he kindly pooh-poohed my apologies — and as soon as we took off, I turned the carrier 90 degrees.

Remember to discount the flange on the front of the large SturdiBag, since it’s not structural. The carrier ended up poking about an inch into my neighbor’s space, but he kindly pooh-poohed my apologies — and as soon as we took off, I turned the carrier 90 degrees.

That’s because I had to: The under-seat space in Economy and Economy Plus is essentially wedge-shaped, and complicated, on both sides of the plane, by an electronics box. At the deepest point under the seat (just behind the heels of the person in front of you), the available space is 7.5” tall. At the front of the space (that is, in the plane continuous with your stowed tray table), the available space is 13” tall. That slope is consistent across the shared under-seat spaces of the pairs of seats, except that it’s interrupted in the middle by an electronics box (occupying, more precisely, the area 14”-17″ from the wall of the plane, and 0”-6” from the heels of the people in front of you).

The large SturdiBag worked well because its top, rounded like a Quonset hut, tucked nicely into the wedge-shaped space. Our large Kobi carrier would also have worked well, but a carrier with square shoulders (like our Sleepypod Air, or our Delta Deluxe Sherpa carrier) would have stuck our more into the foot area — though, looking at my picture, I think not so much that a flight attendant would have objected.

That same wedge-shaped under-seat space was consistent across the center three seats too, but those seats did not seem to have any electronics boxes under them. The plane was filling up, so I didn’t have the chance to get precise measurements, but as you’ll see in this photo, all three spaces are very wide. Chloe’s large SturdiBag would have fit comfortably (again, oriented left-to-right) in any of them.

These are the under-seat spaces for Seats 19D, E, and F.

These are the under-seat spaces for Seats 19D, E, and F.

I’m adding this to Dog Jaunt’s ongoing series of posts recording airplane under-seat measurements, and I’m tagging it so it appears in Dog Jaunt’s ever-growing collection of pictures of carriers deployed under plane seats.

5 comments

  • Kelly

    Thanks for the informative post Mary-Alice. Last month I flew from JFK to Nice on Delta’s Boeing 767-400, where rows 16-18 are Economy Comfort. I had a C seat (aisle). The woman sitting in the middle seat next to me asked me to switch seats with her mom, who sat across from me on the aisle (B), so they could sit together. I agreed to but once I moved, I couldn’t get my Sherpa carrier under the seat. I explained to the mother and daughter why this wouldn’t work for me and they understood. There’s not a carrier out there that could have fit under the B seats due to the equipment. I don’t know if the F seats (aisle) has the same thing but it’s definitely something people flying with pets need to be inquire about. Usually seatguru.com is great about including this information but that site doesn’t include this warning information.

  • Interesting, Kelly — thank you so much! There’s such a lot of variation between the airlines and how they rig out even fairly similar planes….

  • Gery O.

    Looking at the photo it appears as if the “bench” which comprises both seats A and B is supported by only one leg…., or is the carrier “nestled” into the the curve in the leg?

    BTW, looks as if you are having a great time in Paris. This is a great time of year to visit -enjoy…

  • Thank you, Gery! I’m nearly positive it had two legs, and my own left leg is obscuring the one against the wall. I’d be completely positive except that I’m getting sick, and my thinking/memory doesn’t have its usual crystalline quality….

  • Marie O'Brient

    Does anyone have photos of the Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier actually under the seat on the plane? I am about to use it for the first time and would like to have some photographic documentation of how it fits. Thanks!

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