United, United, United…

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.

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8 Responses to United, United, United…

  1. Dave July 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    About the Lufthansa thing, I don’t care for it. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for fatties, but the seats are small enough as it is- more people just makes the situation even worse… I guess avoid Lufthansa if possible…

  2. Dave July 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    Opps Severe blonde moment… I meant United.

  3. RobH July 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    Off topic here, but great scoop on the CRJ flight today, Mary.

  4. Mary Kirby July 29, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks so much! Gotta keep my regional airframers beat humming :)

  5. Yossarian July 29, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Tilton’s statements just parrot what Gerald Greenwald stated when he was at United.

    Does it make sense-Yes. Good luck getting the airlines to agree to any common standard for seats, IFE,etc.

  6. John C July 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Do you know who the seat vendor for the UAL slim seats is?

  7. Yossarian July 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm #


  8. The Sarge July 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    I hear United is squeezing an extra four seats on their B757. That’s great news for fat people.

    Funny how the bulkhead artwork is the same on a number of B737s, and B757s as I see today (when my company punishes me and makes me fly United)

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