By James Wilkinson
In a boost to trans-Pacific conference and incentive travel, United Airlines is preparing to introduce its new First and Business Class seats on flights from Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
United Airlines’ new first class seating
The new First and Business Class offering comes at a time when onboard product is being taken to new levels as a result of the A380 introduction on trans-Pacific flights by Qantas and the commencement of flights by V Australia — complete with Business Class and Premium Economy — at the end of February.
The new first class offering includes 180 degree, lie-flat bed seats, which include a seat size of up to 79cm wide by 198cm long and are adjustable to a broad range of positions, while the new Business Class seats recline to a flat bed.
Entertainment has also been upgraded in both cabins. In first class, with 38cm video screens, 150 hours of on-demand programming, 20 channels of stored XM-branded audio, and an Apple iPod connection that allows passengers to play their own music and videos on the seat’s entertainment system while recharging their iPod.
In related news, United Airlines is set to operate a new, daily non-stop flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles to cater for increased demand over the peak summer season. The service commences on December 17, 2008, and the last flight will operate from Melbourne on February 1, 2009.
“Traditionally, we have seen an increased demand for flights during this peak travel period,” said United Airlines’ general manager – Australia and New Zealand, Alison Espley.
“We are delighted to be able to meet this demand by adding a seasonal non-stop service from Melbourne.”