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United's Premium Heavy Investment

Updated: Jan 2, 2021


Chicago based United Airlines has announced plans to greatly expand the number of premium seats available to customers. While news about United’s premium heavy 767-300 aircraft configuration has already been circulating, the carrier remained silent on the number of aircraft to be reconfigured, until today.

United will increase the size of their Polaris Business Class cabin on 21 of their 767-300ER’s (moving J capacity from 30 to 46) while shrinking the size of the economy class cabin. On these planes, United will also add 22 Premium Plus seats. The new cabin configuration adds a cross over section in the middle of the aircraft, a move which comes as a step in the right direction to both customers and to the crew who have to serve them.

United has also confirmed their intention to initially operate these premium heavy aircraft on Newark – London, but has remained silent on additional route offerings.

However United isn’t finished with simply this move. In an effort to increase award availability to customers on domestic routes, the carrier will increase the business class sections on their narrow-body domestic fleet by adding 4 premium cabin seats to their A319’s (new total of 12) and 4 additional seats to their A320 fleet (new total of 16).

But wait…there’s more!

United will launch their new 50 seater regional aircraft out of Chicago this summer! With the introduction of the CRJ-550, the airline intends to improve their regional experience, offering more first class, and economy plus seating than their current 50-seater aircraft, and a snack bar. The CRJ550 will initially operate flights out of Chicago O’Hare this summer, and Newark Liberty by the end of the year.

These are great improvements to the carrier’s product offerings, despite the airline switching to pre-plated meals in United Polaris (review coming shortly), overall the airline seems to be moving in the right direction.

Meanwhile, work on the new Polaris Lounge at Washington Dulles airport, and a few other facilities improvements is expected to begin imminently with completion expected around the end of this year.


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