United Re-Brands Premium-Class Cabins and Upgrades In-Flight Food and Amenities

by Staff on February 17, 2012

United Airlines is upgrading its premium-cabin services to offer customers new food and beverage options, additional choices in in-flight entertainment, and – on long-haul international flights – new amenity kits, pillows and blankets.

The United Continental Holdings, Inc. subsidiary is also re-branding its international, long-haul, premium-cabin services. United Airlines is introducing United Global First, its new international first-class service on three-cabin aircraft; and United BusinessFirst, its international business-class service on two-cabin and three-cabin aircraft.


Beginning March 3 on long-haul international flights and many flights within Asia and the Pacific, first-class customers on three-cabin aircraft will experience United Global First, with a higher level of privacy and comfort, a flat-bed seat, priority airport services and more-personal attention.

A United Airlines Boeing 747-400 bearing the carrier's new livery, adopted following its merger with Continental Airlines, is photographed at San Francisco International Airport

On most of United’s three-cabin aircraft, United Global First suites offer flat-bed seats, laptop power, USB ports, individual audio and video on demand with noise-reduction headsets, additional storage compartments and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.

Beginning in the second quarter, United will upgrade the long-haul first-class experience with new amenities, including more comfortable bedding amenities, additional in-flight food choices and new amenity kits featuring Philosophy-brand skin-care products.

United Continental also will extend Continental Airlines’ BusinessFirst service product to United Airlines, offering an elevated business-class service with new amenities.

These will include an additional entree option, for a total of four, designed by United’s Congress of Chefs. United is also changing the way it prepares business-class meals to improve the quality and taste. In BusinessFirst, the airline will also offer expanded wine selections chosen by Doug Frost, Sommelier and Master of Wine; and a new ice-cream sundae dessert option, with a choice of six toppings.

Continental Airlines brings to its marriage with United Airlines an all-Boeing fleet which includes 330 Boeing 737s (in service and on order), as well as sizable numbers of Boeing 757s, Boeing 7676s and Boeing 777-200ERs. This is a Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800 painted in the new United livery

Additionally, in its BusinessFirst cabins United will offer improved in-flight entertainment, including noise-reduction headsets; new amenity kits featuring Philosophy-brand skin-care products; and duvet-style blankets and higher-quality pillows and hot towels.

“The re-branded cabins offer premium-cabin customers the highest levels of service, every time they fly,” says Mark Bergsrud, United’s senior vice president of marketing. “We are keeping the products that our customers tell us they value the most as we continue to build the world’s leading airline.”

For customers flying on United Airlines in North America, between North America and Central America, between North America and northern South America, and on some flights within Asia and the Pacific islands, the airline will continue to offer United First and United Business premium-cabin services.

On most flights, United has revamped its premium-cabin meal and snack choices to offer customers their favorites among options previously available only on United flights or Continental flights. These include warmed, all-natural scones and cookies, made from scratch exclusively for United; warmed cinnamon rolls on breakfast flights; and pasta salads as a light snack.

Additionally, in its premium cabins United Airlines will offer premium snacks including all-natural pop chips, Emerald nuts, Clif organic energy bars, Toblerone Swiss milk chocolate and fresh fruit. It will also offer warmed nuts, presented in a small china bowl, on all lunch and dinner services; and ice-cream sundaes offered with a choice of six toppings, available on many transcontinental lunch and dinner services.

This side-on photograph gives a good idea of the 'Friend Ship' livery which United Airlines used in the 19070s. The airline's employees selected the color scheme to be specially painted on an Airbus A320 to commemorate the airline's 85th anniversary on April 6, 2011

On United Express flights longer than two hours, customers seated in the premium cabin will receive complimentary snack boxes.

The re-branding and expanded menu options come as United continues with plans to invest more than $550 million to upgrade its aircraft interiors. The airline has installed Economy Plus seating on dozens of Continental aircraft. When installation of this seating is completed, United says it will offer customers more premium-economy class seats than any other airline in the world.

United continues to upgrade its widebody fleet with new premium cabins, with more than 130 aircraft outfitted with flat-bed seats. Once the project is completed in early 2013, United will offer more premium-cabin flat-bed seats than any other airline.

Beginning later in 2012, customers will see additional improvements, including larger overhead bins on Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft – increasing the available carry-on storage space by approximately two-thirds – and satellite-enabled in-flight internet service.

United is also introducing on-demand entertainment on its transcontinental p.s. service, along with an expanded premium-cabin service with flat-bed seats.

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