United Airlines upped the stakes for share of the New York market with its announcement that, effective today, the airline is the only U.S. carrier offering 180-degree flat-bed seats and personal on-demand entertainment in premium cabins on every scheduled, long-haul international flight from the New York area.
United says it has outfitted 182 international aircraft with all-new United Global First and United BusinessFirst cabins. With more than 450 daily departures to more than 150 cities, United offers the most nonstop flights to the most destinations around the world from New York’s three major airports – Newark Liberty, Kennedy and LaGuardia. United also offers the most flat-bed seats and the most extra-legroom economy seats from New York's three major airports, the airline says.
“We continue to invest in every aspect of the customer experience – online, in our airports and in the air,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president – marketing, technology and strategy. “With more robust online and mobile tools, more modern terminal facilities and lounges, on-demand entertainment and a growing number of our aircraft with global satellite Wi-Fi, we are working to ensure we remain the New York region’s best choice for air travel.”
United notes it operates a major global gateway hub at Newark Liberty, the most convenient airline hub to Wall Street and Times Square and the only New York-area airport served directly by regional and national rail lines. Customers departing from or arriving at Newark Liberty can transit between the Newark Liberty International Airport rail station and United’s terminals within minutes. The rail station offers immediate access to New York Pennsylvania Station, New Jersey and southern New York State.
United also detailed $150 million in plans to redesign the airline’s Terminal C check-in facilities at Newark Liberty, install new flight-information displays, deploy a new checked-baggage screening system and complete construction of a widebody maintenance hangar.
In addition to its terminal investments and improvements to its long-haul international aircraft, United reports it is upgrading its transcontinental p.s. Premium Service aircraft that fly from New York Kennedy to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Boeing 757 aircraft will, once retrofitted, offer flat-bed premium cabin seats and Wi-Fi and personal on-demand entertainment available throughout the aircraft. The fourth p.s. aircraft to be retrofitted enters service in June. The airline anticipates completing the entire p.s. fleet by year-end.
United is also outfitting aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi, offering inflight connectivity on long-haul international flights. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi before the end of the year.
This month, United also deployed the 200th aircraft with live television, giving United the world’s largest fleet of aircraft equipped with live television.
United offers customers the convenience of booking and managing travel online and via mobile devices. The airline offers saver-style award seats for frequent flyers among the largest U.S. global carriers, according to the 4th annual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey published this month by IdeaWorksCompany. Additionally, the airline said it offers customers the ability to book and manage travel on the four largest mobile operating systems.