On Monday night, following in the footsteps (the legroom, that is) of Delta and American Airlines, United Airlines rolled out its first jet, a Boeing 777-200ER, outfitted with a premium economy cabin. Called Premium Plus, the roomy seats offer additional privacy and amenities and will be launched officially later this year.
The first Premium Plus seats
Unlike its competitors, United has been relatively slow to add a premium economy cabin. After plans for a premium economy section were announced, the launch was originally set for 2019.
But United made a big splash on social media earlier this week by announcing the arrival of the first jet equipped with a fully-loaded premium economy cabin. Premium Plus made its first trip on Monday night on a Boeing 777-320ER from San Francisco to Paris, garnering rave reviews from the first trickle of paying customers.
The Premium Plus leather seats are a distinctive shade of deep purple and are equipped with leg rest extensions, footrests, additional legroom, and broader seat back monitors for a cozier, more spacious ride.
For a splash of privacy and exclusivity, the three rows of 24 seats are set apart by both a front and rear wall from the much-larger Economy and Polaris (business class) cabins.
What’s more, Premium Plus seats will be equipped with more opportunities for inflight work and entertainment: 3-prong power outlets with USB capabilities at every seat and larger, better-quality video monitors, for example.
The Premium Plus amenities
So, what can you expect from United Premium Plus seating in the future? In addition to more comfort and space, a nice set of small luxuries and perks will accompany your ticket.
When the Premium Plus product is officially launched at a separate pricing tier, seats will come with a luxury Saks Fifth Avenue pillow and blanket (no scratchy, thin blankets here!), amenity kits for grooming and comfort, china-plated meals with upgraded menu options, and even free beer, wine, and cocktails.
When will Premium Plus seats be available?
Even though Premium Plus has already had its invite-only dress rehearsal, if you will, it won’t officially debut until later this year.
In the immediate future, premium economy cabins will only appear on 777-200s in certain international flights. The seats will a 2-4-2 configuration in rows 20-22. Some Economy Plus seats, which are currently billed as extra legroom seats only, will come with a few extra perks until the official launch of the Premium Plus product.
United Premium Plus seats will eventually be available on 777-200s, 777-300ERs, 787-10s, and 767-300ERs. United elites can currently book those seats for free, but Premium Plus will soon have its own price point.