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United Adding 1600 Premium Seats -- 763, A319/A320, CRJ550(CRJ700)

United Adding 1600 Premium Seats -- 763, A319/A320, CRJ550(CRJ700)

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Old Feb 6, 19, 3:39 am   -   Wikipost
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United Adds More Than 1,600 New Premium Seats to International, Domestic and Regional Aircraft; More Comfort for More Customers in the Skies
United to add 50 percent more premium cabin seats to more than 100 aircraft
United to introduce best-in-the-sky 50-seat flying experience with innovative new aircraft
CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2019

United Airlines today announced the next step in its commitment to making more customers more comfortable by adding more than 1,600 United Polaris® business class and United First seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft. Additionally, United will revolutionize the regional flying experience by introducing the two-cabin, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft to its fleet, offering customers on key regional routes more legroom, storage and amenities than any other 50-seat regional aircraft operating today.

Click here to view an infographic on United's newly reconfigured aircraft

"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," said Andrew Nocella, United's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "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."

More United Polaris business seats on Boeing 767-300ER aircraft
In the next several weeks, United will introduce to its fleet the first of 21 reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 16 additional United Polaris business seats in the premium cabin – a more than 50 percent increase in all-aisle-access seating – bringing the total premium cabin seat count to 46. The newly reconfigured aircraft will also feature 22 United® Premium Plus seats (becoming the first 767-300ER to offer this seat type); 47 Economy Plus® seats and 52 Economy seats. United will first operate the reconfigured 767 – which will feature the highest proportion of premium seats on any widebody operated by any U.S. carrier – between Newark/New York and London, offering 50 percent more premium seats in the largest premium route in the world. The airline expects to introduce all the reconfigured aircraft to its fleet by the end of next year.

More United First seats on Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft
United is also adding more United First® seats to its fleet of Airbus aircraft, offering customers greater opportunities to upgrade and enjoy a premium flying experience. Beginning this fall, the carrier will add four United First seats on its fleet of Airbus A319s, increasing the total count from eight to 12. The reconfigured aircraft will also feature 36 Economy Plus and 78 Economy seats.

Beginning early next year, United will add four United First seats on its fleet of nearly 100 Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing the total count from 12 to 16. The reconfigured aircraft will also feature 39 Economy Plus seats and 95 Economy seats. United expects to complete the reconfiguration of the Airbus A320 and A319s by the middle of next year.

Introducing the first-of-its-kind Bombardier CRJ 550
By the end of this year, United will revolutionize the regional flying experience with the planned introduction of 50 spacious, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft to its regional fleet, subject to government certification. In addition to becoming the only 50-seat aircraft in the world to offer true first-class seating, the innovative new aircraft will provide customers with a truly exceptional flying experience, including a state-of-the-art interior featuring LED lighting, a self-serve beverage and snack station for customers seated in the premium cabin, Wi-Fi and more overall legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by any U.S. carrier. Additionally, the CRJ 550 will feature four storage closets, providing customers ample room to store their carryon bags and making the CRJ 550 the only regional jet in the skies where customers will not need to routinely gate check their bags.

The two-cabin CRJ 550 will feature 10 United First seats; 20 Economy Plus seats and 20 Economy seats. The CRJ 550 aircraft will eventually replace existing single-cabin 50-seat aircraft and will bring a higher percentage of two-cabin departures to smaller cities across the carrier's network. Additionally, the innovative aircraft will enable United to offer premium seats on more connecting flights from smaller cities to the airline's overall global network, further strengthening its competitive position and emphasizing its role as an industry innovator.

United expects that its regional partner GoJet will begin operating the CRJ 550 in the second half of this year – subject to agreement on final terms and conditions – on select routes from Chicago, O'Hare followed by Newark/New York, offering customers connecting through the hub the opportunity to enjoy a premium cabin experience at every step of their journey.

Every customer. Every flight. Every day.
In 2019, United is focusing more than ever on its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers' best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today's announcement, United recently released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry and made DIRECTV free for every passenger on 211 aircraft, offering more than 100 channels on seat back monitors on more than 30,000 seats. The multimillion-dollar investment in improving inflight entertainment options will benefit the more than 29 million people expected to fly United's DIRECTV-enabled planes this year.


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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:04 pm
  #76  
 
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I just can't see how the CRJ550 and E-170SC is more profitable in the long run than just having mainline fly some 175s. Even reconfigure the CR7s to 9/24/32 to be more premium heavy and then put the 170SC into either a standard 76 seat config, flown by mainline...
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:11 pm
  #77  
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Originally Posted by ski131 View Post
Well, this would explain all those CRJ-200 torture chambers - if UA indeed will eventually replace ALL 50 seaters with this new (I am guessing) CRJ-700 variant

If I read the story right, and if all those CRJs really are on a cancel anytime basis.

Originally Posted by aviator.aero
Beginning this fall, the carrier will add four United First seats on its fleet of Airbus A319s, increasing the total count from eight to 12.
About time is all I have to say. Don't understand why the didn't do this when they slimed Airbi coach or when they refreshed FC
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
I just can't see how the CRJ550 and E-170SC is more profitable in the long run than just having mainline fly some 175s. Even reconfigure the CR7s to 9/24/32 to be more premium heavy and then put the 170SC into either a standard 76 seat config, flown by mainline...
Adding a new type to mainline is a massive investment. My guess is that they got a good deal on these and that this is just a short-term way to boost short-haul capacity that makes sense until oil prices go up, at which point they can adjust to something more efficient.

Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
The FARs require that any alcohol consumed on board be served by a crewmember (so that the crew keeps control of the alcohol and can cut off someone who is intoxicated). Self-serve alcohol would violate that regulation.
The FARs require that alcohol be served by the operator, but not necessarily a crewmember. As far as I can tell the Part 121 reg is substantially the same as the Part 135 reg, and many charter operators provide self-serve alcohol and it's fine as long as it is provided by the operator and not by the passenger. I seriously doubt that United would ever want to put self-serve alcohol on a plane (and getting that approved by the FAA might be an uphill battle), but I'm not sure that they would be prohibited from doing so by the FAR itself.

Last edited by Sykes; Feb 6, 19 at 12:31 pm
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:44 pm
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I am sorry but there are tons of negatives to this for a319/a320 for elites. Lots of fewer E+ seats wont be good as it is hard enough now to get an aisle in E+,especially close-in. And does anyone really think your upgrade % is going to increase? Really? They are going to sell those seats for TODs every chance they get before they give them out as upgrades,as they do today. Andlikely at lower prices than today (since there are more of them). Most of us who fly on OPM can't buy first class except with our own money. So we will be competing with lower priced first class seats with our mostly useless elite upgrades. And the chance for a decent seat when you don't pay for the upgrade will decline as they remove E+ seats. And it is likely easier to get more non-elites to pay for first class vs E+. So upgrades will be just as hard and there will be less E+. Can't see how that benefits anyone.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:46 pm
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I wonder how they will handle the A319s and A320s while the retrofits are ongoing over the next year. Might they only use the seats for at-the-gate upgrades until the retrofits are completed? Dedicate them to certain routes? It's bad enough when they need to swap a 320 for a 319 and downgrade people, but I imagine they would need to do that quite often if they don't just reserve them for upgrades for the time being.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:47 pm
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
It's probably not going to be self-serve booze, as a matter of course. Think a snack basket and water bottles. AFAIK regional only gets one bar cart/liquor kit which will likely spend a good amount of time in the aisle (in Y) with the single flight attendant, once the initial F service is carried out.
Agreed. Probably water and snacks, maybe some soft drinks. I don't see anything wrong with this. If the one FA serves the PDB, offers drinks to FC first, then serves the 40 other passengers, I don't think that's a long time to wait as a passenger up front if they wanted a refill on their drink, alcoholic or not. Even in the current CR7 configuration, I find service in economy to be pretty fast, as the FA usually comes up to chat with the first class flight attendant pretty early in the flight.

This is definitely a change I welcome. Though I still find their soft product lacking, especially Polaris on board lately.
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Last edited by SkiPremier; Feb 6, 19 at 12:48 pm Reason: adding
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:48 pm
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Billygreg View Post
... Can't see how that benefits anyone.
I fly the high-demand DEN-PIT route a lot, and have noticed that FC is usually less expensive a month or two out on the 20-seat 739s versus the 320s. Here's to hoping that more FC seats lowers the cost.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
So I wonder how the Emirates in-suite mini bar gets around those FARs?
Emirates is not a US airline.

Originally Posted by Sykes View Post
The FARs require that alcohol be served by the operator, but not necessarily a crewmember.
The point of the regulation is to allow a crewmember to make the (required) determination that the passenger is not intoxicated when the alcohol is served. The alcohol doesn't have to be provided by, or purchased from, the operator. The regulation allows the passenger to bring their own but they must surrender it to a crewmember who will then serve them throughout the flight. Some US airlines allowed that at one time but none do, AFAIK, anymore.

I've never worked in a 135 operation that serviced alcohol so don't know the specifics of those rules or how they are implemented.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Well, this would explain all those CRJ-200 torture chambers - if UA indeed will eventually replace ALL 50 seaters with this new (I am guessing) CRJ-700 variant

If I read the story right, and if all those CRJs really are on a cancel anytime basis.
That isn't the way I read the announcement. I understood them to mean they are going to put 50 of these new CRJ550s in service, and that all 50 of them will be replacements for 50 of the CR2s. They have almost 200 CR2s in service, IIRC.

And I think these are all existing CR7s that are going to be retrofitted to become CRJ550s...unless I am really misunderstanding something....?

I don't think this is the end of CR2s in service with United, as much as I would like that to happen.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Billygreg View Post
And does anyone really think your upgrade % is going to increase? Really? They are going to sell those seats for TODs every chance they get before they give them out as upgrades,as they do today. Andlikely at lower prices than today (since there are more of them).
If this results in more/easier P/Z fares SFOBWI that would be entirely fine with me
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
Emirates is not a US airline....
So FARs don't apply to foreign carriers serving US airports? Some Emirates flights to the West Coast spend a fair bit on time in US airspace.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:08 pm
  #87  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
UA has a press release and infographic with more details (although most have been posted earlier) -- all have been posted in the wiki, also.
Thanks for the links, WC-UA!
Wondering if more stowage on the CRJs will result in larger bins, capable to hold a standard roll-aboard?
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:13 pm
  #88  
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Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
... Wondering if more stowage on the CRJs will result in larger bins, capable to hold a standard roll-aboard?
Ths is what UA says
the CRJ 550 will feature four storage closets, providing customers ample room to store their carryon bags and making the CRJ 550 the only regional jet in the skies where customers will not need to routinely gate check their bags
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:18 pm
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Billygreg View Post
They are going to sell those seats for TODs every chance they get before they give them out as upgrades,as they do today. Andlikely at lower prices than today (since there are more of them).
I’ll be one of the people buying them, so I like this change.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:45 pm
  #90  
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the CRJ 550 will feature four storage closets, providing customers ample room to store their carryon bags and making the CRJ 550 the only regional jet in the skies where customers will not need to routinely gate check their bags
Hmmmm...the 170/175s are not regional jets?
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