United Airlines Focuses On Comfort
United Airlines has unveiled a signature seat design focused on customer comfort and environmental responsibility.
The company will deploy the new seats on hundreds of aircraft that fly within the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.
The design includes multi-tonal leather seat covers, distinctive double-stitch patterns, sculpted contouring and a new United-branded tag. The seats include more ergonomic and supportive cushioning and additional seat-back storage space in United Economy Plus and United Economy.
A United representative said the new seats will be featured in future marketing efforts.
Construction of the seats use technology that makes the seats more environmentally friendly by reducing seat weight and volume, contributing to less fuel burn.
The airline introduced the design Thursday with a Bombardier CRJ700 operated by United Express carrier SkyWest Airlines. United expects to deploy the new look on its domestic mainline aircraft and on regional aircraft operated by United Express carriers.
Ultimately, the new design will be on more than 60,000 seats on more than 500 aircraft -- including, United anticipates, approximately 400 aircraft by 2015.
"Our customers will see a distinctive, consistent look on our aircraft that underscores our modern fleet and our onboard investments to make their travels more user-friendly," said Jeff Foland, United's executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy, in a release.
The airline developed the seats with global travel and transport design consultant Priestmangoode.
In September, United ranked among the top airlines in "Best Economy Class Flight Experience" in the USA Today-sponsored "10 Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards" contest. The airline has more aircraft with premium-cabin flat-bed seats than any other U.S. carrier and more aircraft with extra legroom economy seating than any other U.S. carrier.
The airline recently hosted a #unitedplanechat to answer Twitter followers’ questions about the company’s “Fly the friendly skies” brand campaign.
The United team, including members of the marketing team supporting the campaign rollout, and representatives from mcgarrybowen, the airlines’ creative agency, came together for an hour to respond to fans’ tweets.
The campaign features four TV commercials, two radio spots and a total of 26 print ads, billboards, airport signage and digital placements. The campaign is also featured in sports sponsorships and on social media channels.
One Twitter fan wanted to know how the company came up with the term “flyer friendly.” Valerie Waller, director, brand marketing, explained that it’s United’s way of defining the user-friendly experience it aims to deliver to customers every day. In a related topic, another fan asked, “Who made the decision to revive ‘Fly the Friendly Skies’?” It was a team decision guided by customer and employee research.
The Tweetchat participants wanted to know the story behind the campaign, asking how long United had been working on the launch (since the beginning of the year), how the company willl measure its success (more people flying with United, more often) and who designed the ads (the New York-based creative team at mcgarrybowen).
Asked about the motivating factors behind the campaign, United shared that one of the primary goals is to highlight recent investments in products and services.