United Including Tons of Premium Seats to Airbus Narrowbodies, 767s, and New “CRJ-550”
United has been shifting in the direction of a premium-heavy technique. The supply extra worldwide enterprise class seats than friends utilizing comparable plane, they usually’ve invested in very nice worldwide enterprise class lounges.
Their Polaris enterprise class seat permits them to do that as a result of it provides them a totally flat product with direct aisle entry with out taking over more room within the cabin than their outdated six-abreast seats. It’s a “ok” seat that isn’t fairly as good as American’s B/E Aerospace Tremendous Diamond or Delta’s new Suites, however that doesn’t require actively avoiding flying enterprise class on United.
United has introduced a doubling down on the premium heavy method including much more enterprise class seats to a subfleet of 767-300s, in addition to including top notch seats to Airbus A319 and A320s the place they’ve had fewer seats up entrance than opponents. They usually’re introducing an all-new regional jet configuration with simply 50 seats in an plane usually outfitted with 70.
Extra First Class Seats on Airbus Narrowbodies
United will add 4 top notch seats to every of their Airbus A319s and Airbus A320s.
- A319s go from eight top notch seats to 12. They’re successfully changing a row of Financial system Plus (6 seats) with a row of First (four seats), so the plane can have two fewer seats. Nonetheless these inches have to return from someplace as an example we’ll see whether or not first is shedding an inch of legroom.
- A320s go from 12 top notch seats to 16. The plane can have the identical complete variety of seats, with Financial system Plus shedding three and coach shedding 1. Will probably be fascinating to see whether or not the additional inches in first are noticeably misplaced elsewhere.
Extra Enterprise Class Seats on Some Boeing 767s
United is increasing enterprise class on 21 of its Boeing 767-300ERs from 30 to 46 seats, together with 21 premium financial system seats.
New Premium Regional Jets – “CRJ 550”
United is introducing a brand new configuration of the Bombardier CRJ-700 (CR7) with simply 50 seats (as an alternative of 70). It’ll be referred to as the CRJ-550 and have 10 top notch, 20 financial system plus, and 20 financial system seats and can be operated by GoJet earlier than the top of the yr.
There can be 4 closets for storage, serving to keep away from gate checking of keep it up baggage.
There will even be a “self-serve beverage and snack station” for top notch passengers. Beneath 14 CFR § 121.391 flight attendant staffing is required at 1 per 50 passengers, although readers extra aware of the necessities can communicate as to whether the gross payload of the plane will make it eligible to workers with only one cabin crew.
The primary introduced route for this new configuration is Chicago – Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville). After increase Chicago routes we’ll seemingly see it working from Newark. United plans to function the plane on sure premium-heavy routes underneath 900 miles, suggestive of the dearth of want for a meal and maybe underscoring a self-serve mannequin. The airline has additionally simply eliminated one flight attendant from worldwide enterprise class.
This week Jason Rabinowitz wrote at Runway Lady that United had made its regional passenger expertise mirror mainline. My takeaway from the piece was simply that United wifi didn’t work on United’s regional jets, both (which has been my expertise). Finally nevertheless the regional strikes right here, whereas incurring tradeoffs and certain not pushed by passenger expertise targets, could also be constructive clients general.
What’s United Attempting to Be?
United cuts flight attendant staffing in premium cabins, cuts meal service on many home flights in top notch solely to deliver it again considerably amidst complaints, whereas including premium seats. United’s Polaris lounges are nicer than something I ever thought attainable from the airline whereas their premium seats aren’t pretty much as good as these supplied by opponents.
They’re going premium heavy whereas squeezing inches elsewhere, they usually had been one of many first to undertake uncomfortable slimline seats in again and have gone 10-abreast on Boeing 777s and 9-abreast on 787s in coach.
The inflight has been inconsistent as effectively, with little transfer to alter that. Even their announcement of free dwell TV refers solely to legacy Continental 737s — fairly than a plan to roll out dwell TV throughout the remainder of their fleet.
United’s technique has been to develop the airline, reversing cuts to the home community from the Smisek period, and to benefit from premium demand in well-performing hub cities like San Francisco and New York (Newark), whereas shaving price wherever they will. This transfer appears in step with that framework.