Three interesting things about United Airlines today:
1) The carrier is testing new slim seats on a single Boeing 757. Check out the following airliners.net posting. Will slim seats – the likes of which we discussed here – accommodate fat passengers? Silly question RWG.
2) United confirms it is studying connectivity solutions for its overseas flights. I know, I know…everyone is studying everything. But this is interesting insofar as United’s Star Alliance partner Lufthansa is planning to reignite its Connexion by Boeing service, and is in talks with Panasonic to do it.
3) United is in the process of updating the premium cabins of its international fleet (the 777 upgrades are on hold, however)…and yes, those premium cabins have Panasonic IFE (with iPod connectivity).
[Not unrelated aside - In light of United's connectivity studies - and upcoming domestic trial of Gogo - it makes sense to mention Glenn Tilton's speech at the 2003 World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) annual conference and exhibition. I remember Glenn said some interesting things about partnering with service providers on "win-win" revenue sharing models. I'll bet some of you remember it too! But here is the link and some key nostalgic pars:]
One of the key areas from United’s perspective is to develop the new partnerships that are going to be successful for the long term. With IFE, we think these partnerships could extend to but not be limited to:
- Settling on a common standard and technology for inflight entertainment systems;
- Driving down cost by harnessing the power of collective purchasing, something that would be helped along by the many alliances and partnerships in our industry;
- Moving away from the model where airlines simply pay vendors for services and products, and this is potentially, in our view, the most effective approach and I want to suggest why from our perspective.