United Airlines recently launched its new premium economy cabin range, Premium Plus. It has been rolled out through 2019 on its long-haul international flights. This is significant, considering the carrier services more destinations than any other carrier around the world.
The latest development regarding the premium economy offer is that it will now be available on selected domestic flights using the Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The premium option for transcontinental flights will be in effect from the October 2 of this year. Simple Flying takes a look at what the seating option will mean for United’s passengers.
United Airlines’ premium economy offer
The US carrier recently introduced its Premium Plus offer on its long haul flight routes. Announced early in 2018, the staggered introduction into its fleet eventually became available to all passengers by June 2019 as general sales tickets. The seating details have previously been covered by Simple Flying, but in short, it offers passengers a number of benefits:
- Additional leg and elbow room.
- Free upgraded meals on real plates.
- An upgraded amenities kit, which also includes Saks Fifth Avenue blankets.
- Extra storage.
- A larger screen for in-flight entertainment, with noise-reducing headphones and extra power outlets.
All in all, a more comfortable flight that will be an attractive option for those who have to spend a lot of hours in the air.
Currently serviced fleet
United Airlines initially rolled out its Premium Plus option on its Boeing 777-200s(V5), with the premium economy seats eventually becoming available on the carriers’ 777-300ERs, 787-10s, and 767-300ERs(V3).
Having been in use exclusively on international long-haul flights, the airline is set to offer its latest premium economy seating on selected domestic flights, using aircraft from its fleet of 787-10s. United Airlines took delivery of the first of nine 787-10s on November 6, 2018, and remains the only American carrier the fly this Boeing aircraft.
The 787-10 offers seating for 318 passengers, with the breakdown as follows:
- United Polaris Business Class – 44 seats
- United Premium Plus – 21 seats
- United Economy Plus – 54 seats
- United Economy – 199 seats
The premium economy option has given the airline the benefit of maximizing profit on a small number of seats, and chances are that the Premium Plus will be further developed throughout the carrier’s fleet and its routes.
Which domestic routes will offer premium economy?
From October 2, 2019, United Airlines will be offering Premium Plus tickets to its domestic passengers on selected routes. Using 787-10’s 2-3-2 seat configuration, 21 seats will be available on these routes:
- Newark to Los Angeles ( 2 x daily flights)
- Los Angeles to Newark ( 1 x daily flight).
Passengers sat in these seats will have all the space benefits of the premium economy class, at a cost-point of just over $400. Depending on booking-dates, Premium Plus may be up to 50% cheaper than business class, with a fantastic range of amenities potentially on offer.
Whether every benefit currently available on international flights will be available remains to be seen, and United Airlines have been contacted to shed light on this question. With flight-times between Newark and Los Angeles around the six-hour mark, the option will surely be popular amongst frequent travelers.