United Ups The Ante For Luxury Domestic
United Airlines claims to be the first and only airline to offer premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled transcontinental flight between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco and between New York's JFK and Los Angeles.
The airline has completed a redesign of 15 Boeing 757-200s that fly the p.s. “Premium Service” routes.
The revamped p.s. aircraft offer 28 180-degree flat-bed United BusinessFirst seats, offering up to 6'4" of sleeping space and more room for storage; 42 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats and 72 United Economy seats.
Designed to give customers an experience comparable to long-haul, international flights, United's refurbished p.s. aircraft also offer inflight WiFi along with personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat as well as power outlets and USB ports at every seat.
"Our investment in these aircraft and in the p.s. service will add greatly to our flyer-friendly customer experience on these coast-to-coast flights," said Jeff Foland, United's executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy, in a release. "This is just one more example of the many things we are doing to provide greater onboard comfort and convenience on every United flight."
United's renovated p.s. aircraft are among the many investments the airline is making to enhance its customers' experience in the air and on the ground, he says.
While United may be the only airline offering lie-flat premium seats on all its NY to San Francisco and LAX flights, Delta offers lie-flat seats on some flights to LAX and Seattle, and starting in January, American will begin to offer lie-flat seats as well, says Henry H. Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and strategist at San Francisco-based Hudson Crossing.
By the middle of next year American, Delta, JetBlue, and United will have lie-flat seats on flights from JFK to the West Coast, he says.
“When United first introduced its ‘premium service’ several years ago, it was indeed tangibly better than the airline’s standard level of service,” Harteveldt tells Marketing Daily. “Unfortunately, today’s ‘premium service’ really isn’t premium anymore.”