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Merger Update: Details about our $500M in onboard product improvements

Merger Update: Details about our $500M in onboard product improvements

Old Aug 21, 11, 12:59 pm
  #1  
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Merger Update: Details about our $500M in onboard product improvements

Hi Everyone, in the coming months we’ll be sharing many details about the new United – several you really care about. There are still a lot of blanks to fill in, and we appreciate you bearing with us while we lay this all out. Today, I’ll outline for you a number of investments we’re making to our onboard product (we’ll be issuing a press release as well). These particular investments total up to $500 million, and I can assure you, this is just the beginning. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Improved long-haul comfort with more flat-bed seats. In September, we’ll begin installing all-new flat-bed seats in the premium cabins on 26 Boeing 767s – 12 Continental 767-400 aircraft and 14 United 767-300 aircraft (the ones currently in a domestic configuration). These aircraft will also have audio-video on demand and in-seat power from nose to tail. As for our three-cabin 777s, these retrofits are continuing with 17 of 46 aircraft complete and another dozen added to that by year-end. All of these aircraft will have advanced in-flight entertainment in First and Business and on-demand entertainment in Economy. To date, we have more flat-bed seats than any other U.S. airline, with 124 aircraft reconfigured to date and 185 once the 767 and 777 fleets are completed.

  • More Economy Plus, and soon. This fall we’ll also begin installing Economy Plus seating on our Continental mainline aircraft. We aim to have it on 38 Continental aircraft by year end (including some of the 767-400s mentioned above) and plus another 100 by next spring. Once we’re done, we will have Economy Plus on over 850 aircraft – more than any other airline. Worth noting: when installing Economy Plus on the Continental aircraft, we’ll be taking Economy Class seats out and leaving First and Business Class cabins intact.

  • First Class and Economy Plus is coming to all 29 of our United Express Q400s. Enjoy!

  • Channel 9? Roger that. Our Channel 9 air traffic control audio channel will be added to all Continental aircraft equipped with in-flight entertainment (said another way: everything but the 737-500s). The first aircraft to get it will be our renovated Continental 767-400s, which will begin re-entering the fleet this fall.

  • Bigger bins coming to over 150 aircraft. Beginning in March 2012, we’ll nearly double the size of the overhead bins on our 152 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. The larger bins will accommodate a standard 22-inch rolling bag with wheels facing out resulting in increased space of 66 percent. At the same time, we’ll also refresh the interiors of this fleet.

  • Streaming in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi are in the works. We’re currently selecting a vendor to provide streaming video in-flight entertainment option on our 747-400 aircraft, enabling customers to access video options via their Wi-Fi-enabled handheld devices, tablets and laptop computers. This would be in addition to the audio-video on-demand currently offered in First and Business Class. We’re also continuing with our plan to install Wi-Fi on our aircraft. Last March, Continental Airlines signed a letter of intent with LiveTV to install advanced broadband Wi-Fi using Ka-band satellite technology on more than 200 737 and 757 aircraft equipped with DIRECTV. Stay tuned on this front, there’s more to come.

  • Major facelift for p.s. We’ll be doing a complete nose-to-tail renovation of our popular p.s. fleet, which serve the New York Kennedy to San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. When completed in 2013, these aircraft will be in a two-cabin configuration with 26 flat-bed Business Class seats and 114 in Economy. These aircraft will also offer Economy Plus, power ports at every row, on-demand audio and video and Wi-Fi service.
There’s more on the way, and this is just the beginning. As always, we’ll fill you in once we have the details.

Scott O’Leary
Managing Director, Customer Solutions
United Airlines
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:04 pm
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Fantastic news! Really excited about all of this. Strangely, the bigger bins on the Airbuses is one of the better pieces of news in here.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:10 pm
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Good news if these hard product enhancements are backed up by soft product ones. But then hard product can be depreciated over time on the financials and soft product is full operating expense every quarter. Sigh.

And those 767 and PS retrofits will do some nice things to yields...

Any word on when economy of the UA intl 763s that were already converted will get fixed?
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:11 pm
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very excited that e+ is coming out of Y and also to see channel 9 on CO aircraft...changes i like for sure
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
[INDENT][LIST]
[*]More Economy Plus, and soon. Worth noting: when installing Economy Plus on the Continental aircraft, we’ll be taking Economy Class seats out and leaving First and Business Class cabins intact.

Scott O’Leary
Managing Director, Customer Solutions
United Airlines



Although one thing worth noting is that any type of price points have been left out of the IFE announcements (Though, I honestly would not expect to see them as a part of this announcement). Are they going towards an AVOD format that CO has where its free or are they going for one that has a small complementary selection and then additional titles for an additional fee.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:20 pm
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United to Invest in Fleet-Wide interior improvements

News release here: http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings....567&highlight=

Key Summary:

Rolling out
  • flat seats on PMUA 767-300 and PMCO 767-400. 767-400 will add E+ and Channel 9. Looks like these planes will be redployed for flights to Europe, Latin, and Hawaii.
  • E+ seats will be installed on 38 PMCO aircrafts by the end of the year. E+ will also be added to Q400.
  • A319 and A320 will receive new luggage bins and refreshed cabin.
  • Exploring possibility of streaming in-flight video entertainment system on 747.
  • p.s. reconfiguration is confirmed - due to be rolled out by 2013.

Overall positive moves.... Except i'm interested to see how they are reconfiguring the p.s. seating.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 21, 11 at 1:24 pm Reason: moved into existing thread
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:25 pm
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This is fantastic news! Thanks Scott.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:30 pm
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Fantastic news!


Finally, changes I like [inappropriate content removed by moderator]

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 21, 11 at 1:51 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:31 pm
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UACO to Invest Additional $550 Million in Fleet Upgrades

And where's the wifi? I know it's going on CO aircraft with DTV, but I'd like to see it on more aircraft. Totally uncompetitive.

Last edited by United757; Aug 21, 11 at 1:39 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:32 pm
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It all sounds great, expect for the news about the Q400s.. Even with F & E+, there's no way I'd take a chance to fly on Colgan.. Perhaps OO or G7..


Thanks for Channel 9
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:32 pm
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Umm I don't see anything I don't like.

<checks calendar>

Nope, not April 1. Odd.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:34 pm
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So for PS, there is already 26 UABiz seats so first is gone and rolling out extra E+ right? Seems like an interesting choice to axe that premium paying traffic for general.

I hope they do a facelift for other aircraft that are just getting old and run down would be nice to see some money dropped into those birds.

Anyone have insight on how exactly they will increase the bin space on a A3xx by that kind of yield?

Last edited by davef139; Aug 21, 11 at 1:42 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by dinoscool3 View Post
Fantastic news!


Finally, changes I like
p.s. 757 current configuration: 12F/26C/72Y

New configuration: 26C/114Y

So they removed 12F seats and added 42 Y seats? I'm wondering about the legroom.

Folks, good luck with p.s. upgrades, although I don't fly p.s.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 21, 11 at 1:51 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:43 pm
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FWIW the press release says $550M.

Questions below for the community since I don't expect UA Insider to address them directly.

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
[*]Improved long-haul comfort with more flat-bed seats. In September, we’ll begin installing all-new flat-bed seats in the premium cabins on 26 Boeing 767s – 12 Continental 767-400 aircraft and 14 United 767-300 aircraft (the ones currently in a domestic configuration).
Are Y seats going to be removed from the 767s or is it just going to be a very small premium cabin? Four 58" rows (to match existing six 38" rows) at 5 abreast would be just 20 seats, or less than 9% of the plane.

edit: I realize now reducing to 20 seats matches the 764 Hawaii birds, so I don't expect any Y removed.

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
[*]First Class and Economy Plus is coming to all 29 of our United Express Q400s. Enjoy!
Will F/E+ be located in the noisy front of the plane or the reportedly serene back of the plane?

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
[*]Streaming in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi are in the works. We’re currently selecting a vendor to provide streaming video in-flight entertainment option on our 747-400 aircraft, enabling customers to access video options via their Wi-Fi-enabled handheld devices, tablets and laptop computers.
Is there going to be power available on the 744 in whY or will the IFE only last as long as your battery can with an active wifi connection?

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
[*]Major facelift for p.s. We’ll be doing a complete nose-to-tail renovation of our popular p.s. fleet, which serve the New York Kennedy to San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. When completed in 2013, these aircraft will be in a two-cabin configuration with 26 flat-bed Business Class seats and 114 in Economy. These aircraft will also offer Economy Plus, power ports at every row, on-demand audio and video and Wi-Fi service.
Removing 3 rows of F and adding 7 rows of whY - has premium demand imploded on this route? What's the mix of E+/E- going to be?
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by davef139 View Post
So for PS, there is already 26 UABiz seats so first is gone and rolling out extra E+ right? Seems like an interesting choice to axe that premium paying traffic for general.
This makes sense, timing-wise as first is no longer allowed to be purchased for the [actor's/writer's?] guild and the recliner business product is not the 'standard' for C-class anymore.

With UA's announcement, AA will have to make some decisions on this soon to remain relevant in this market.
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