United Airlines has unveiled its highly anticipated new first-class seats featuring innovative amenities, such as wireless charging stations and privacy partitions. This major redesign marks the airline’s first upgrade in nearly a decade, as United Airlines aims to enhance the passenger experience and compete for high-paying customers in the aviation industry.
The new first-class seats for domestic flights with a narrower body offer a range of improvements. Passengers will now have access to wireless charging stations conveniently located in the armrests. The seats also offer wing-shaped headrests, providing added comfort and support.
To enhance privacy, United Airlines has installed dividers between each pair of seats in a two-by-two arrangement. This ensures that passengers have their personal space, while enjoying a luxurious travel experience.
The debut of the redesigned first-class seat will take place this month with the arrival of the first United Airlines Boeing 737 featuring these new seats. United Airlines has ambitious plans to retrofit 200 of its narrow-body aircraft including the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A321neo with upgraded first-class seats by 2026.
“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, United’s managing Director of Identity, Product, and Loyalty in a press release. “As we evolve the onboard experience, we’re upending old industry norms and anticipating future needs to accommodate the new ways people live and travel.”
Advanced Features in United’s First-Class Domestic Flights
According to United Airlines, passengers also will enjoy a 13-inch screen embedded in the seat back for entertainment purposes, along with a spacious tray table measuring 18 by 8.5 inches.
United Airlines carefully considered various versions of the Safran seat before selecting the current design, said Muren. The executive told CNBC that the airline had been using the same first-class seat since 2015, but recognized the need for an upgrade to meet evolving passenger expectations. The new cushions and movable dividers at the headrest are some of the enhancements made to provide a more comfortable and personalized experience.
United Airlines’ move to enhance its first and business-class offerings is part of a broader trend within the airline industry. In recent years, airlines have been focusing on increasing space and privacy in their business and first-class cabins, catering to discerning travelers willing to pay a premium.
JetBlue introduced sliding doors in its Mint class, while Delta Air Lines began offering domestic first-class seats with privacy wings at the head of the seat. United Airlines’ efforts to modernize have faced challenges, due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. In May, Air France And KLM announced that they started to offer Basic Business Class Fares.