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Update on our Airbus Reconfigurations (Seats, Entertainment, Channel 9, etc.)

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Update on our Airbus Reconfigurations (Seats, Entertainment, Channel 9, etc.)

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Old May 9, 13, 7:28 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Just add wifi and leave the rest alone.
You mean like they're already doing on the airbii?
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Old May 9, 13, 7:34 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Just add wifi and leave the rest alone.
But the extra row generates new revenue and deleting the cabin AV reduces weight counter balancing the increased passagner count (and maintaining operating costs with increased revenue ==> profit). Makes sense to UA.
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Old May 9, 13, 7:40 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The lack of non-wifi entertainment (and what appears to be a path to no free AV) is a downer. (as is the loss of CH9) Believe or not a significant portion of the traveling public does not have wi-fi AV device.

110VAC, new bins, wifi (for internet access) ^^

new seats -- need to wait and see
I'm in 100% agreement as what appears to the loss of non-wifi entertainment as simply put, I like to listen to music (even with Ch9 on) and frankly, not having that is a big downer afaic and imho, not a good move-just like not having any music available on flights with DirecTv as there may be folks like me who as a matter of principle simply won't pay for it or folks who simply can't afford to pay for it

So with that bring said, thanks for the update but imho, more seats in the same confined space is not good no matter how you look at it
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Old May 9, 13, 7:45 pm
  #49  
 
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Flew Airbus A320 Reconfigured (Seats, Entertainment, Channel 9, etc.)

Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Well, the bins are getting a little more capacity. For 6 more passengers. That may be a wash.

PMCO fliers, test out the current PMUA a319/320 - about as comfortable an E+ experience there ever was.

A real shame that is going away.

I flew on 4/23 sjc-iah the new reconfig A320 apparently just finished minus the Wifi-streaming video (was not ready for installation -- so I relied on my iPad).
The inside cabin look and felt spanking new, with deeper overhead bins and soft blue hue cabin lighting (vs white fluorescent).
I was upgraded and the seats felt very comfortable with firm cushion back and tush support. Cannot comment on coach class seating (knee) comfort.


Originally Posted by edcho View Post
Just like the old days. Maybe they are just putting minimal investment that will get the most gain out of these A319/A320s until the new 737Max planes get here? Take out the IFE equipment and replace with Wifi = save weight. Replace seats = save weight and add pax capacity. Also, the OHB expansion looks (atleast to me) that the cover was just replaced not the bins themselves.

Last edited by npei; May 9, 13 at 9:19 pm
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Old May 9, 13, 7:59 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by npei View Post
I flew on 4/23 sjc-iah the new reconfig A321, apparently just finished minus the Wifi-streaming video (was not ready for installation -- so I relied on my iPad).
When did United acquire A321's?
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Old May 9, 13, 8:01 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
When did United acquire A321's?
- strike that, it was actually UA flight 1658 on reconfig A320 as equip swap for originally scheduled 737-900

Last edited by npei; May 9, 13 at 9:51 pm
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Old May 9, 13, 8:03 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by LarkSFO View Post
Then there would only be 36 people on the upgrade waitlist!

DL has bigger F cabins. If DL continues their current trajectory, I would imagine that UA may at some point decide that larger F cabins is something they need to compete.

I doubt this will happen in the next couple of years though.
No, there would still be 40, the other 4 seats would go as up-sells.
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Old May 9, 13, 8:07 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone,

As part of our continuing investment in our onboard product, we’re making a number of upgrades to the interiors of our Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. We recently began a new phase of installations, so I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you some additional and consolidated information on the future of this fleet.

Our Airbuses will be getting a pretty substantial refresh, including:
  • New seats in United Economy and Economy Plus, which will result in an additional half-inch of headroom an almost a full inch of additional knee space on standard seats
  • 110v power outlets in United First and United Economy Plus
  • New, larger overhead bins
  • Wi-Fi throughout
  • On-demand streaming video for Wi-Fi-enabled devices
As you know, we’ve already begun installing the larger overhead bins and Wi-Fi on many of these aircraft. And within the next week, the first Airbus with new seats will go into service. We’re looking at getting streaming capability up and running later this year, with 110v power installations starting in 2014.

New seats
The new seats are manufactured by RECARO, and you may recognize the specific model from several European carriers, who feature it on many of their mainline narrow-body aircraft. However, because we fly our Airbuses over longer stage lengths than the typical intra-Europe segment, our version of the seat will have several upgraded comfort features over the base model. These include multi-directional headrests, added lumbar support, and a different seat bottom cushion with more padding and multiple layers of soft memory foam. The literature seat pocket has been moved higher, which facilitates the above increase in knee space, and there’s a new amenity pocket specifically for personal items.

As reported here and elsewhere, the new seats will allow us to increase the capacity of these aircraft, but without compromising personal space. Although all Airbuses will see an extra row in United Economy, we will also expand the Economy Plus cabin on all A319s and many A320s (the non-ex-Ted aircraft).

Entertainment
Along with Wi-Fi, the addition of on-demand streaming video will become the standard for our Airbus fleet. As a result, when these aircraft go in to have the new seats installed, the traditional audio/video system with dropdown monitors will be removed. However, these aircraft won’t “go dark”—Wi-Fi will be available on all aircraft that have the new seats. In any case, like Wi-Fi the streaming product will eventually have pricing attached to it, although we do plan to offer a limited range of complimentary content until we finalize these plans.

Channel 9
Finally, I wanted to touch on a topic I know many of you (and I!) hold dear—Channel 9. For the moment, the move to Wi-Fi and streaming entertainment also means that live air traffic control will no longer be available in the “Channel 9” format. However, we are actively exploring options to bring Channel 9 to Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. Moreover, we remain committed to this product across much of the rest of our fleet, including all international long-haul and p.s. aircraft featuring on-demand entertainment.

Look out for more information, including comparison diagrams and an article on the United Hub, once the first reconfigured aircraft goes into service. Still, I wanted to make sure you heard the consolidated story here first.

Aaron Goldberg
Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
United Airlines


Sounds like the same seats AS is already installing.
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Old May 9, 13, 8:13 pm
  #54  
 
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Looks like I was wrong about the LCD's staying.

The WiFi is nice though -- and I have an iPad/iPhone, so I don't care about the "free in-flight movie."

Hmm, live safety demonstrations on the other hand...
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Old May 9, 13, 8:17 pm
  #55  
 
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I'm really surprised nobody has commented on this statement yet:

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
We’re looking at getting streaming capability up and running later this year, with 110v power installations starting in 2014.
So let me get this straight: WiFi and streaming-only IFE will be available soon, but power won't be available, and then only in F and E+, until starting sometime in 2014?

In the meanwhile:
* Thinner seats, but theoretically better padding to make them less-uncomfortable than what we've already experienced on LH, AF and WN?
* Loss of all free video IFE in all cabins
* Loss of audio in all cabins, including Channel 9
* WiFi (+1) on the Airbii, but a de-facto requirement to purchase WiFi if you want any entertainment at all?

The cherry on this sundae is that the flights where IFE really matters are the 4-5 hour flights where the Airbus operates, eg ORD-SAN. And those will be the flights where WiFi is priced the most expensively, and personal devices are least likely to survive sustained use w/o external power.

So, we can pay you the highest unit price available, to buy a service to get any IFE whatsoever, with a high probability that if we DO use it for most of the flight, our device will die before landing because there's no power until sometime in 2014?

Good plan.
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Old May 9, 13, 8:26 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Finally, I wanted to touch on a topic I know many of you (and I!) hold dear—Channel 9. For the moment, the move to Wi-Fi and streaming entertainment also means that live air traffic control will no longer be available in the “Channel 9” format. However, we are actively exploring options to bring Channel 9 to Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. Moreover, we remain committed to this product across much of the rest of our fleet, including all international long-haul and p.s. aircraft featuring on-demand entertainment.
Is it not possible to put the plane in the hangar, and just do everything to it that needs to be done. The fleets are becoming incredibly fragmented, disorganized and hit or miss. Add wifi here, later maybe change a seat, then some bins, lose CH9 for a while etc.

The 737-900's are being delivered with nothing, no entertainment at all. People are watching new planes get delivered with zero, while being told that "oh we are adding this or that". By the time you get around to getting everything on every plane, it's going to be obsolete again, and extremely fragmented replacements will begin again.

Can't you just put the 319 in, change the bin, add the wifi, add the streaming, change the seat, and then bring it back out. Then that plane is 100% done. Doing it over 6 trips over several years obviously takes longer, obviously costs more, and annoys everyone.

Rant Over
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Old May 9, 13, 8:26 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by npei View Post
I flew on 4/23 sjc-iah the new reconfig A321, apparently just finished minus the Wifi-streaming video (was not ready for installation -- so I relied on my iPad).
The inside cabin look and felt spanking new, with deeper overhead bins and soft blue hue cabin lighting (vs white fluorescent).
I was upgraded and the seats felt very comfortable with firm cushion back and tush support. Cannot comment on coach class seating (knee) comfort.
I'm confused...
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Old May 9, 13, 8:30 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Just add wifi and leave the rest alone.
I would have no objection to that, either, of course. If I had to pick between the current IFE and Wi-Fi (which I'm guessing what it came down to at UA HQ), I'd take Wi-Fi any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
That wasn't the direct choice though. The Airbus IFE was already in place. It was a purposeful choice to rip it out

New seats (more specifically an extra row, just like WN did) is likely what tipped it.
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Old May 9, 13, 8:30 pm
  #59  
 
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Sounds like United is getting more like US...

We dont have power anywhere.
We dont have IFE (they ripped that out to save weight)
We do have WIFI.

Its really not that bad. Everyone has devices that will last the duration of a transcon these days. If not, I dont know what kind of laptops youre buying.

At least our seats are super comfortable.
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Old May 9, 13, 8:32 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
I'm confused...
A few reconfig A319 /320 already were flown as early as last week April, before announcement by UA Insider on May 9
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