United Airlines unveiled new first class seats for its domestic routes, fitted exclusively on narrow-body aircraft.
More than 200 aircraft, including the Airbus A321neo, Boeing 737 NextGeneration (NG), and 737 MAX will be equipped with the new seats by 2026, the airline said in a press release.
United Airlines also highlighted four key features of the new seats, which will be offered in its most premium cabins on its domestic routes.
The airline will be introducing wireless charging, and the seats will also be equipped with AC household-style outlet, and USB-C ports. “The wireless charger is located in a compartment of the armrest to give the passenger line-of-sight to notifications and free their hands and tray table,” United Airlines said in the release.
The in-flight entertainment (IFE) will become larger and more user-friendly, with the airline arguing that more and more customers “prefer a two-screen experience where they use a personal device and a seatback screen simultaneously”. The 13-inch, high-definition screens will offer Bluetooth connectivity and a remote for passengers who are “unable to reach the touch screen”.
Seats will be more spacious. As described by the airline, a larger tray table “features a built-in tablet holder and enough space for most standard laptops”. The table will also feature “authentic Italian quartzite cocktail tables and bottle holders between each seat, passengers don’t have to balance gadgets, drinks and snacks on one tray table”.
Lastly, the seat offers greater privacy, as the “large seats upholstered with vegan leather” will offer “a 11 x 19-inch divider between neighbors”. Furthermore, the airline said that “winged headrests and tray tables that deploy from outer armrests” will also improve privacy.
According to United Airlines, the seat also has a five-inch recline range, adjustable aisle armrest, and a seat cushion designed by an ergonomist that sits an inch lower and accommodates a wide range of heights.
“This new United First seat is designed around the modern traveler – more charging options, bigger spaces for devices, food, drinks and personal items and extra privacy,” said Mark Muren, the managing director of Identity, Product, and Loyalty at United Airlines.
According to Muren, as the airline continues to evolve its onboard product, it is also “upending old industry norms and anticipating future needs to accommodate the new ways people live and travel.”
United Airlines last announced an update to its first class seating in 2015.