United to retrofit Premium Service cabins in October

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United Airlines plans to launch its retrofitted premium service (PS) cabins in October, says the carrier.

The Chicago-based airline is updating the 13 PS Boeing 757-200s with 28 BusinessFirst fully flat seats, 40 economy plus and 66 economy seats for a total of 138 passengers, it says. It is dropping the first class cabin from the aircraft.

The 757s were previously configured with 12 first, 26 business and 72 economy plus seats for a total of 110 passengers.

United says that the new configuration gives customers more of what they want, which includes full-flat seats, inflight connectivity and inflight entertainment.

Audio video on demand will be available at every seat, says the airline. BusinessFirst seats will 15.4in (39.1cm) screens, and economy and economy plus 9in screens.

A power outlet will be available at every BusinessFirst seat and there will be two outlets for every three seats in economy, says United.

The airline announced that it would upgrade the wifi to ATG-4 air to ground technology from Gogo on its PS fleet in July. The new system will allow for peak speeds between 3.1Mbps to 9.8Mbps per aircraft.

United operates the PS fleet between New York's John F. Kennedy airport and Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The PS upgrades are part of a $550 million investment in its inflight product that was announced in August 2011.