United Airlines not only announced a new aircraft order today, but announced an ambitious goal to update all narrow-body mainline jets with modern interiors in a bid to standardize its fleet, an initiative known as United Next.
United Airlines Plans To Modernize Interiors On All Narrow-Body Mainline Jets
United’s latest aircraft order of 270 jets, a mix of Boeing 737 MAX and A321neo aircraft, will include:
- a new signature interior with seat-back entertainment in every seat
- Bluetooth technology for easy connections between wireless headphones and the seat-back entertainment screens
- USB and electrical charge ports at every seat
- larger overhead bins to provide space for more carry-on bags
- industry’s “fastest available” in-flight WiFi
- LED lighting
Rather than create a stark divergence between old and new, United plans to retrofit its existing narrowbody fleet over the next four years to achieve a uniform experience onboard for customers.
United CEO Scott Kirby noted:
“Our United Next vision will revolutionize the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel. By adding and upgrading this many aircraft so quickly with our new signature interiors, we’ll combine friendly, helpful service with the best experience in the sky, all across our premier global network.
At the same time, this move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy – we expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending and commerce.”
One of the biggest complains about flying United has been the consistently inconsistent experience onboard, particularly when it comes to seatback screens and wi-fi. Wireless internet worked quickly on some aircraft and crawled on others. Many 737s have screens at each seat while others do not…and you often do not know until the day before your flight.
The United Next interiors will not only modernize, but standardize the fleet, creating a consistent experience in which passengers can expect fast, reliable internet, plugs, and screens at each seat.
Business travelers who choose United have been waiting for years for a high speed wi-fi on United. A concrete plan has now been announced that will include screens at each seat and a modern and uniform feel across the mainline narrow body fleet.
In honor of this new interior, I think United should produce a dating show called UNITED NEXT. Five eligible singles will fly a brand new United jet to one of UA’s many exciting destinations (MCO, MYR, RSW, ECP, VPO, MOB etc.) and at each stop, a lucky bachelor/bachelorette will go on a date with one of the singles… Make it though the date, and the newly “UNITED” couple gets to go on a second date to a “luxury” resort in CUN. But if the date doesn’t go so well, the bachelor/bachelorette just has to say “NEXT,” and the unlucky single is put on an E45 back home to OMA/ICT/XNA/TUL, while the bachelor/bachelorette is back to the UNITED NEXT jet for another hot date date.
Wait, did MTV do that?
is this the same Scott Kirby that took these things out at AA? Weird. Wonder how long before AA caves and gives in.
Not to be cynical, I really like this idea especially for families who may not have a device for each kid, but didn’t it take them like twice as long as expected to roll out Polaris (and in fact still haven’t finished it)?? Will we really see this in the next four years?
Well said, Lara… this is an airline that hasn’t even completed the Polaris conversion! I am cynical.. I’d say 2030.
That is correct.
“But the Polaris rollout was delayed due to the specific seat they wanted”.
Pretty sure our current semiconductor shortage will delay United’s ability to put in monitors and their associated technology at breakneck speed.
Every 10 years new livery is introduced, plane changes new, new seats, monitors, food repackaged, service flow added, routes returned, airport upgrades, new training and hires, you get it, yes? In 5 years these seem to slowly fade away quietly with the sunset or firing of mgmt. Pax will never know the difference because there’s always a new gen of travellers. It’s biz as usual for the airlines, especially at Ual…