737 - One Step Forward.....

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Steven Schwartz, May 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Just flew United First from LAX to EWR. It often seems that all the talk on the boards and the blogs is about the Airbus 380 and the 787 but planes like the 737 and the 757 still make up the bulk of the aircraft we usually fly.

    This flight was on a brand new 737. OK - we all know what to expect. Yes, it's newer and cleaner inside. Even the flight crew was pleasant. But I am astounded that they built a slew on new aircraft for use on transcontinental 5+ hour flights that have no video whatsoever! We flew out to the coast on AA in First and at least they gave us tablets loaded with movies. Yeah, I guess it adds some weight but this was patently ridiculous.

    OK - venting over.
     
  2. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    Not all of the 739s have rotated through MCO for their IFE outfitting. It's not really a great plan to use those on transcons, I'll grant you, but operational flexibility tends to override concerns like this in most cases. It is not the norm, but it is the way of things.
     
  3. SeaRaptor
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    SeaRaptor Silver Member

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    My assumption is that the 739ERs and 739MAX will end up replacing the 757s at some indeterminate point in the future for trans-con duty.
     
  4. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Yes, it is a bit peculiar that some of the newest planes in the fleet have no IFE. It's not just the 737-900s — there are a bunch of 757-300s in a similar situation which are fairly new (2000+).
     
  5. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Less maintenance, less weight (fuel savings), less content costs. That's the cynical side.

    The practical side says that more and more people have mobile devices with their own content that will keep them happy.
     
  6. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    All of the 753s have some sort of IFE - either overhead video or DirecTV. None of the 753s are totally in the dark with no IFE, as every one of those planes was delivered to CO with overhead video. Some of them are getting DirecTV, but the overhead video is removed when that is installed, so if you're on one of the 753s that hasn't received the DirecTV upgrade yet, it will still have the overhead LCD monitors.

    As for the 738s and 739s without IFE, the DirecTV isn't something that Boeing offers for installation on the production line. It's something the airline is installing after delivery, which is why there are some 737s with no IFE still. The timing doesn't always work out well on when one of those planes is delivered and there being an open slot at the MCO maintenance facility where the DirecTV system is installed.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    United should hire some WN comedians/FAs to permanently work on those aircraft. And perhaps seek out Whitney Houston wannabe singer among the passengers.

    Jokes aside, I always have my own tablet loaded with entertainment, so it doesn't bother me. It does strike me as odd that they can't schedule the integration of the IFE system to be right after the delivery of the aircraft (I assume they know weeks if not months in advance when an aircraft will be delivered by Boeing). But then I am just an armchair airline executive who probably doesn't have all the same information the real guys have.
     
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  8. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    I had the opportunity to talk with the vendor that installs some of our entertainment and he said that the future of on-board airline provided entertainment will soon be the thing of the past. More and more people carry their own devices with their own selections. It makes more sense, business wise, for the airline to offer plugs for every seat and eliminate the weight and service issues of the airline devices.
     
  9. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    In late 2012/early 2013, there were some new 737s being used between IAH and several Latin American destinations. They were very oddly configured with enough space in front of the first class bulkhead seats to almost add another row.

    On or about my third trip one of these things, I asked the FA what was going on with the lack of power & IFE, along with the strange seat layout. She explained that they often take delivery of some planes without a lot of options so that they can add them later. Until they can be outfitted, they are far too expensive to just sit around unused, and they liked them for Latin American routes because of their lower weight. That means more paid cargo capacity, so it's the best use of the equipment.

    Sure enough, they have all now been outfitted with power outlets and IFE. The spacing in F is back to that which we are accustomed, and the oddball configurations were very short lived.

    Personally, I would rather see them continuing to buy new equipment - even if it means a temporary decline in amenities - than fly old, deteriorating planes like one of their competitors whose initials also begin with a U. ;)
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The IFE option UA has on those planes is not available as a line-fit product from Boeing. That means they have to take the planes out of service after delivery to have the IFE installed. Obviously they don't like doing that if it interferes with the other needs for those planes actually carrying passengers. And with some of the 752s being retired this year there is less slack in the system to allow for that.
     

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