United, American To Offer Lie-Flat Beds in Business Class

Both American and United Airlines on Monday announced the introduction of lie-flat business class seats on transatlantic flights. United first released details of its new "United Business," which are to debut in the fourth quarter of this year-the same time as United's revamped first class cabin-with the full rollout to be completed by late 2009. The new business class seats are 6-feet, four-inches long, 23.5 inches wide and recline to 180 degrees. Other amenities to the new United Business seat are an ottoman that provides additional storage, an ergonomically designed tray table, an iPod adapter, USB port and noise canceling headphones. Seats also feature on-demand audio and video programs through a 15.4-inch video screen. Over at American, the carrier is installing the same next-generation business class product on its Boeing 777 fleet that was integrated into its Boeing 767-300 aircraft last summer. American's 777 fleet flies to the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and India, as well as other long-haul routes. The upgrades include a seat that extends to a length of 76 inches, a privacy divider, two tray tables, on-demand entertainment and more power ports. Many overseas carriers such as British Airways and Singapore Airlines already offer many of these features being implemented by United and American. Visit [www.united.com] and [www.aa.com].