More information about our Airbus reconfigurations

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, May 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
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    UA Insider Official Representative

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    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
    As you know, we’ve already begun installing the larger overhead bins and Wi-Fi on many of these aircraft. And within the next week, the first Airbus with new seats will go into service. We’re looking at getting streaming capability up and running later this year, with 110v power installations starting in 2014.

    New seats
    The new seats are manufactured by RECARO, and you may recognize the specific model from several European carriers, who feature it on many of their mainline narrow-body aircraft. However, because we fly our Airbuses over longer stage lengths than the typical intra-Europe segment, our version of the seat will have several upgraded comfort features over the base model. These include multi-directional headrests, added lumbar support, and a different seat bottom cushion with more padding and multiple layers of soft memory foam. The literature seat pocket has been moved higher, which facilitates the above increase in knee space, and there’s a new amenity pocket specifically for personal items.

    As reported here and elsewhere, the new seats will allow us to increase the capacity of these aircraft, without compromising personal space. Although all Airbuses will see an extra row in United Economy, we will also expand the Economy Plus cabin on all A319s and many A320s (the non-ex-Ted aircraft).

    Entertainment
    Along with Wi-Fi, the addition of on-demand streaming video will become the standard for our Airbus fleet. As a result, when these aircraft go in to have the new seats installed, the traditional audio/video system with dropdown monitors will be removed. However, these aircraft won’t “go dark”—Wi-Fi will be available on all aircraft that have the new seats. In any case, like Wi-Fi the streaming product will eventually have pricing attached to it, although we do plan to offer a limited range of complimentary content until we finalize these plans.

    Channel 9
    Finally, I wanted to touch on a topic I know many of you (and I!) hold dear—Channel 9. For the moment, the move to Wi-Fi and streaming entertainment also means that live air traffic control will no longer be available in the “Channel 9” format. However, we are actively exploring options to bring Channel 9 to Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. Moreover, we remain committed to this product across much of the rest of our fleet, including all international long-haul and p.s. aircraft featuring on-demand entertainment.

    Look out for more information, including comparison diagrams and an article on the United Hub, once the first reconfigured aircraft goes into service. Still, I wanted to make sure you heard the consolidated story here first.

    Aaron Goldberg
    Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
    United Airlines
     
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  2. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Hope you have a full battery in E- to listen to ch9 and watch a video.

    Edit: Not to mention the best part of Ch 9 is when you are taking off and landing. In other words when wifi would have to be disabled.
     
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  3. bmg42000
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    bmg42000 Gold Member

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    Sounds good. Look forward to flying in an airbus
     
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  4. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Thanks for the update. Larger bins on the Airbi are much welcome. Please work to bring back the Channel 9/ATC communication ASAP. It will be much missed. 110V is great. Please bring us some monthly plans for WiFi and discounts for elites!

    While I've flown the Recaro seats in Europe, that's been on 1-2 hour flights. Hope UA will make sure they are comfortable for 5-6 hours when these aircraft are used on transcon flights.
     
  5. FortFun
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    FortFun Gold Member

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    Agree 100%. A version of Ch9 that is inoperable below 10,000 feet would be a *dramatic* devaluation. Sadly, I don't see how this can be fixed if there's no gate to gate audio?
     
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  6. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Agree with this - we need Channel 9 while at the gate, on the ramp, while taxiing, on takeoff and landing!!!! Often the best part. Sometimes we can be helpful to the FAs!
     
  7. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Call me a cynic, but I happen to believe that "actively exploring" is corporate speak for "won't happen in our lifetime." :(
     
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  8. sdm1130
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    sdm1130 Gold Member

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    I had the same thought. They said the same thing about Channel 9 on the 737s. With many of the pilots not bothering to turn the feed on anymore, I have a feeling Channel 9 is dying a slow death. :(

    Nice to see that UA didn't go cheap on the Recaro seats though.
     
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  9. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    This would explain why aside from the reconfigured sCO 764s, no other sCO aircraft has been getting Channel 9. Not even new aircraft.

    They are going to kill it off by making it so lame that no one will want it.
     
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  10. Infinite1K
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    Infinite1K Silver Member

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    I am also skeptical on whether the new seats are actually going to be as comfortable or roomy as is claimed. Also hope the extra row they are adding isn't going to cramp up the bulkhead Row 7 seats which is great fallback when you don't get the upgrades - particularly on the A319 that only has 8 seats up front.

    Now if the new seats are going to be better than what we've experienced on the Euro carriers, perhaps United could put some example seats in the various hubs so that customers can try them out for themselves.
     
  11. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    This sounds like fun (except for the channel 9 issue).
     
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  12. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    The "not bothering" factor to which you refer is some sort of union protest.
     
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  13. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    I like the current A319/A320 coach seats. If the new ones are anything like the existing 737 seats, god help us all.

    Channel 9? What's that? Isn't that the channel with music? (that's all I ever have on channel 9)
     
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  14. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    Refresh = less comfortable slimline seats, when the seats in place now are sufficiently comfortable;

    No more Channel 9, to the extent it is even offered anymore.

    Sounds like a massive downgrade.
     
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  15. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I am glad they are getting the comfort version. Same ones that AS is putting on their new 739s.
     
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  16. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    On demand wifi movie/video streaming -- will this be complimentary in first class like direct tv is?
     
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  17. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Bring on the Wi-Fi already!
     
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  18. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    +1

    I've been tending to book 737s over Airbii so that I can charge electronics and not worry about finding a power outlet first thing at a connection airport.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    They are exploring where to put a link to http://www.liveatc.net/ on the on-board wifi portal.
     
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  20. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    How about putting some more F seats in to these birds? 8 F seats on a 120 seat plane kind of doesn't make sense when you're putting 12 in to the new 70 seater E175s and sure as hell is not a good combination with the FLUDU
     
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  21. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    I have flown the Recaro seats quite often in Europe. I'm so glad that they will get extra padding and I hope that such padding addresses the comfort issue.

    My concern about these seats centers on the very bit of the design that gives more legroom - it gives less room in front of your face. Effectively, the magazine storage is put between the seat back and the tray table, which significantly reduces the space in front of your face. Clearly UA have the measurements in E+ and I don't, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the "face-space" is actually reduced in the new layout. Whilst this clearly isn't as bad as having knees jammed into seat backs (which doesn't happen anyways in E+), it will hugely reduce the feeling of space, and make long flights, when people recline their seats even less pleasant.

    Oh, and forget using a laptop - you won't be able to open it.
     
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  22. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    Now can we please get more A319/320 services on RDU-IAD... it used to be all Airbus, now it's almost all CR7 and Q400 :-(
     
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  23. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Will the RECARO seats have a different fabric pattern? Would love to see something new.

    My thoughts exactly. Just like I don't expect to ever see a decent single-malt Scotch on UA flights again.
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    They are probably very carefull and thoroughly exploring the various options before settling on one.
     
  25. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I indicated that I would applaud UA if they put in the upgraded Recaro seats. So United, I thank you and applaud you for the comfy chairs because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition...
     

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