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United Attempts to Lure Elite Flyers with 1,600 New Premium Seats

United Attempts to Lure Elite Flyers with 1,600 New Premium Seats
Jeff Edwards

United Airlines announced on Wednesday that the carrier will add more than 1,600 Polaris and United First Class Seats to its fleet of regional, domestic and international aircraft. Company officials say the move will involve reconfiguring more than 100 Boeing and Airbus planes as well as adding new Bombardier aircraft over the next several months.

United Airlines said on Wednesday it will dramatically increase the number of premium cabin seats available systemwide. The airline announced plans to add more than 1,600 Polaris Business Class and United First Class seats to its inventory. According to the carrier, the expansion of premium cabin offerings will involve retrofitting at least 100 aircraft currently in service.

“In an era where many airlines are adding seats to their aircraft to crowd more passengers onto the plane, we’re re-configuring more than 100 of our aircraft and doing exactly the opposite – for the benefit of our customers,” United Airlines CCO Andrew Nocella said in a statement announcing the ambitious upgrades. “From adding more premium seats on aircraft that serve some of our most traveled routes, introducing a revolutionary, best-in-class 50-seat experience or simply offering free DIRECTV on more than 200 aircraft, we are committed to making United the airline that our customers choose to fly.”

The plans include adding 16 additional Polaris seats to the airline’s fleet of Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The first of 21 retrofitted 767s are expected to enter service prior to the summer travel season. The reconfigured cabins will debut on the route between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The new configuration will also include 22 United Premium Plus seats and 47 Economy Plus seats.

The legacy carrier will also upgrade its Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. By the end of the year, United will add four first class seats to the fleet of A319 planes. The new configuration will also include a total of 36 Economy Plus seats. Meanwhile, the airline will also install an additional four first class seats on its more than 100 Airbus A230 planes and increase the total number of Economy Plus seats to 39 on those planes.

While these moves are good news for international and domestic mainline elite flyers, regional air travelers haven’t been forgotten. United says its new 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 planes will include 10 United First seats and 20 Economy Plus seats. The two-cabin regional jets will also offer additional space for carry-on items and offer “more overall legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by any U.S. carrier .”


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[Image: United]

View Comments (7)


  1. White Eagle

    February 8, 2019 at 7:54 am

    UNITED is the worst airline to ever leave a jet trail…UNITED could not care less about PAX, baggage, punctuality or any other travel item…UNITED should be avoided as the airborne bubonic plague!

  2. jaybos

    February 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    This is a nice step in the right direction. There have been several times I’ve been close to an upgrade on A139 and A320 aircraft…I hope this helps!

  3. cosflyer

    February 9, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    white eagle needs a hug

  4. TechMarauder

    February 10, 2019 at 2:40 am

    Glad to see they are mimicking Delta…AGAIN

  5. Mlloyd996

    February 10, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I understand why they are doing this, since they get a big price increase with premium seats, but they need to not punish their normal flyers. I refuse to fly any of their B772’s and B77W’s due to their 3-4-3 coach configuration now.

  6. UncleDude

    February 10, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Until they can load more Business award availability and fix the award problems with their alliance partners, they can forget me.

    If I earn Rewards flying Business I expect to be able to redeem awards in Business.

    As for First Class Partner Awards you’ve more chance on the Lottery.

  7. GoodFastOrCheap

    February 12, 2019 at 8:45 am

    United’s reputation has become so terrible that I would never fly with them–MP status or otherwise. Maybe those that are bold enough to risk being dragged and knocked out are bolder than me.

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