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

View Poll Results: How do you feel about the new RECARO seats UA is installing?
I love them
1.84%
They are okay
9.63%
I am indifferent
6.15%
I don't really like them
20.90%
I hate them
48.36%
I've not tried them yet / no opinion
13.11%
Voters: 488. You may not vote on this poll

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

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Old May 9, 13, 10:20 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hertz 5*, National Executive, Hyatt DSC, HHonors/SPG/Marriott Gold, IHG PLT
Posts: 2,828
I really try not to constantly bash UA. Honestly, I do. Yet, for the most part, these changes lead me to doing exactly that.

-SEATS: As evidenced by the above picture, I am guessing these seats are going to be horrid, though hopefully not as bad as the Koito park benches on sCO aircraft. I thought the Y seats on the Airbi were quite comfortable as they were. At least they're not ripping out the F seats (though I agree more SHOULD be added) and bringing on the sCO F seat torture. So, a net negative in the seat arena.

-POWER OUTLETS: What can I say except: ^

-PRESUMPTIVE LOSS OF FC CLOSET: More chaos in the boarding arena and FA's (no offense to the FA's - I realize you have to store your luggage somewhere, too) storing their baggage in my overhead storage space, even though I'm among the first to board.

-New Bins: ^

-Wi-fi and streaming audio-video: Sorely needed. I fail to understand (except for the almighty $) why IFE has to go though. THIS IS A MAJOR LOSS, in my book. I highly value the audio channels, especially, for the following reasons. I always loved listening to audio, both as an excuse to drown out crying babies, annoying seatmates, etc., and a true way to relax or get in the "flight mood." Now, using a personal device, you can't do this until 10,000 feet. As a young person, I obviously travel with (several) personal IFE capable devices. My 82 year old grandpa and people of his ilk do not. I guess they don't matter to UA, though. Now, you're gonna have to have a separate iPad, iPhone, computer etc. for each member of the family to keep them entertained. No more just being able to watch a movie on the big (or personal) screen. I can't give this enough

Channel 9: Don't even get me started.

The further destruction of PMUA continues by the HouCrew. While there are some positives here, the overwhelming feeling to me is negative. I'm glad I don't fly UA anymore, as the removal of IFE and Channel 9 and addition of the RECARO slimline seats makes them no difference than WN. Except on WN my bags fly free, and the crew is way friendlier.
UAPremierGuy is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 10:21 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: ORD-LAS
Programs: UA MM 1K, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium Elite
Posts: 4,379
Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
You're welcome to look only at the things taken away; these things are always trade offs. To me, the addition of Wi-Fi blows away all of the other changes in this announcement.
They can add wifi without changing the seats.
LASUA1K is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 10:35 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southern California, GVA, SIN, LHR, BRU, CDG
Programs: UA LT GS 4.12MM (4.08MM BIS), AA EXP 1.86MM ,DL DM 1.1MM, HH LT Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 1,182
Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
To me, the addition of Wi-Fi blows away all of the other changes in this announcement.
Seriously? I guess to each his/her own! I would trade all of the technology/IFE/Wi-Fi etc in a second for a more comfortable seat. I have to spend far too many hours in airline seats and my physical well being is much more important than an overpriced (and most likely buggy) airline entertainment system! Besides, if I have to fly for work, the time on the aircraft is my time...no work!...usually I am sleeping or reading (a real book!) even if I have all the "bells and whistles" in front of me!
1KPath is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 10:38 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA 1K
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Originally Posted by LASUA1K View Post
They can add wifi without changing the seats.
^ They already are!
mgcsinc is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 10:44 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 140
Thank you for the Airbus info, Aaron.

What is the status on the much delayed 777 conversions, particularly the Oceania routes? The timing of the conversions on these long-distance flights impact booking decisions.
skiwindham is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 10:45 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 2,940
Channel 9 is probably one of the main reasons why I am at a CTI school right now for Air Traffic Control. Please, find a way to keep this on PMUA airplanes.
ual744777sta is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 11:16 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,940
I'm going to withhold judgment until I fly on one of these, but I'm thinking this is probably NOT going to be a change I'm going to love. An extra row of economy+ being a positive sounds fanciful, what are they going to put e+ after the exit row, or is this special new seat going to let them to both add a row AND keep legroom and pitch the same? Yeah I'm not going to hold my breath on that one. Between these refurbs and the 752's that they're trying to slowly dump, all the domestic sUA planes and seats (which I much prefer in both Y and F for transcons) seem to be on the way out.
Duke787 is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 11:18 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
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the new Y seats looks like the same recaro seat with the comfort package that AA is putting in their A321 transcons in coach.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/urls/newplane...itle=newplanes

except look, screens in the seat backs!

i do ride on the ones without the comfort package when i fly short range LH flights on their A319's and yeah they're not the most comfortable thing in the world, but honestly i'd take it over the koito rock slabs. if the recaro comfort seats find their way onto the 73x's, i wouldn't mind.

the power in F and E+ i guess is good, but the annoying thing is in those last minute trips when i'm stuck in E-, it looks like there's no plugs back there. often times when i'm on these last minute flights, i booked it on the way to the airport from my meeting where i was using my portable devices, both laptop and ipad. i rarely can arrive at the airport with a full charge because, well, i was using it for work. i'm not sure why they decided to stop installing power in E-. it seems odd especially since the sCO 737's with power would have it in all rows.
bob_the_d is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 11:20 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: YVR SFO EOF
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Originally Posted by 1KPath View Post
Seriously? I guess to each his/her own! I would trade all of the technology/IFE/Wi-Fi etc in a second for a more comfortable seat.
As far as I know, no one in this thread has tried the seats that UA has purchased for this retrofit. To call it as more or less comfortable than what's currently installed is silly.

Originally Posted by UAGLOBAL View Post
I don't see if it has been mentioned, but there is an obvious reason that the current drop down screens are being removed. United clearly wants to install these new Y seats, and if they keep the old drop down screens, they have to add an audio system in the arm rest of every seat (so you can listen) which is clearly something they do not want to pay for. This is in response to everyone on here complaining that it would be cheaper just to not touch the screens.
Yup, that's right on the money. As it stands now, the E- seats will have no wiring in them at all, as they will have no audio or power. That's a huge savings both in cost and weight (wiring is heavy).

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 10, 13 at 5:55 am Reason: merge
unavaca is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 11:22 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: ORD/EGE
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Posts: 190
I don't see if it has been mentioned, but there is an obvious reason that the current drop down screens are being removed. United clearly wants to install these new Y seats, and if they keep the old drop down screens, they have to add an audio system in the arm rest of every seat (so you can listen) which is clearly something they do not want to pay for. This is in response to everyone on here complaining that it would be cheaper just to not touch the screens.
UAGLOBAL is offline  
Old May 9, 13, 11:47 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 325
This was posted today from United.

First Airbus with new RECARO seats taking flight soon

Within the next week, we plan to begin flying our first Airbus outfitted with new, slimmer seats in United Economy and Economy Plus, which will result in an additional half-inch of headroom and almost a full inch of additional knee space for our customers. In addition to the seats and our new, larger overhead bins, we’re adding Wi-Fi and, later this year, on-demand streaming video for Wi-Fi-enabled devices throughout the cabin.
While several European carriers feature the RECARO seats on their mainline narrowbody aircraft, our version of the seat will have several upgraded features to improve the comfort offered by the base model, including multi-directional headrests, added lumbar support and a seat bottom cushion with more padding and multiple layers of soft memory foam. The width of the new seats is equivalent to the width of the current Airbus seats. The literature seat pocket sits higher on the seat, increasing knee space, and there’s a new amenity pocket for personal items.
When the modification is complete, all Airbuses will have an extra row in United Economy, and we will add seats in Economy Plus to all A319s and the A320s that we didn’t previously operate as Ted aircraft (a United sub-brand that we discontinued).
As with Wi-Fi, we will eventually offer the streaming product for purchase, although we initially plan to offer some complimentary content.
The move to Wi-Fi and streaming entertainment also means that live air traffic control will no longer be available via Channel 9, although we are exploring options to bring it to Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. We will continue to offer Channel 9 across much of the rest of our fleet, including on all international long-haul and p.s. aircraft featuring on-demand entertainment.
jetaway96 is offline  
Old May 10, 13, 12:06 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southern California, GVA, SIN, LHR, BRU, CDG
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Originally Posted by unavaca View Post
As far as I know, no one in this thread has tried the seats that UA has purchased for this retrofit. To call it as more or less comfortable than what's currently installed is silly.
Actually I have...as well as quite a few other UA FFs who were flown to a number of locations to "try" out the new seats along with a number of corporate travel "decision makers" We also had the opportunity to compare the seats to the "competition" and to the old UA seats. As others have stated, it is more comfortable that the PMCO seats but not nearly as comfortable as the UA seat it is replacing...so maybe not so silly
1KPath is offline  
Old May 10, 13, 12:07 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: YVR SFO EOF
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Posts: 4,865
Hm, I wonder if they could have an onboard Shoutcast stream of Channel 9 with an archive of the taxi and takeoff segments. That'd be pretty cool.

(Though knowing who's doing the integration of the AV system, I'm sure it'll be some proprietary format with a mandatory app required to play it...)
unavaca is offline  
Old May 10, 13, 1:27 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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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
So let me see, the main complaint about the Airbus is the small FC cabins. 8/12F. Looks like UA is not interested in fixing that. They are interested in packing in another row...

I am seriously doubtful the new seats will be better than the old.

Power will be nice, but notably that does not show until 2014, why so long? Why not do it now???

And then the free AV goes away, replaced by having to pay for content. Gee that is great. And no CH 9. We all heard a year ago it was coming to CO birds, now its going away on UA birds?

I see nothing here that makes me want to bring more of my travel back to UA, infact the opposite. The goal seems to keep driving folks away from UA by cheapening the product.
spin88 is offline  
Old May 10, 13, 2:59 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,860
Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
npei: Did the ceiling of the plane look like this?

When you have a bin like this, it slows down deplaning. With the old bins I could stand up in the aisle seat and remove my carry-on without waiting for the aisle to clear. Now I have to stand in the aisle and stop exiting passengers while I take out my carry-on.

New seats usually mean thin rock-hard park-bench like seats. More head room usually means that the seat is lower to the ground, and for a tall person the seat is more uncomfortable and more unhealthy hip joint pressure because your knees are much higher than the hip joint.

I flew Lufthansa business class in Europe and they had a horribly thin seat. Delta has a lot of hard park bench like seats. If you walk off a plane with a sore butt and back, it is not good. I will wait to make a final judgment.

Health, safety and comfort just no loner seem to be a concern of airlines.

Last edited by BF263533; May 10, 13 at 3:07 am
BF263533 is offline  

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