Above: The new seat is clad in leather – the airline’s signature navy of course – complemented with champagne-colored seatback trim and stitching, and a branding tag to the side
September 10, 2015 – Domestic flyers in the US have never had it so good, with the major carriers all introducing upgraded cabin product and enhanced passenger experiences. The latest improvement in the US market is United Airlines’ new narrow-body interiors, which herald the introduction of a new, custom-designed first class seat.
The seat model is the same as found in the outgoing first class – the 6850 from Zodiac Aerospace – but United, together with design house PriestmanGoode, have made it their own by applying parts from other seats in the Zodiac range, as well as some custom features.
This evolution in the seat design is the result of the airline gathering input from its most frequent United First customers about what enhancements they would like to see in the seat, as well as inviting them to test seat prototypes. The new features include a patented tray table, complete with integrated tablet holder; genuine granite cocktail tables; additional in-seat storage, including two seatback pockets and side stowage for laptops and tablets; and of course in-seat universal A/C power outlets.
In terms of comfort, seat width has been increased from 20.5in to 21.1in, the seat bottom now articulates for greater comfort when reclining, and the headrest is now adjustable in six ways.
Above: The granite cocktail tables add a touch of sparkle and a quality feel
The cabin has also been updated, with new bulkhead finishes, new carpets and galley flooring, fancy brand panels in the entrance/galley area, and class identifier panels finished in a metallic alloy. The seat count is unchanged in the new cabins.
The overall effect is slightly sober, but high quality and on-brand, with small touches like the granite tables adding visual interest. The updated interiors will be rolled out on more than 200 of United’s narrow-body aircraft, with the debut aircraft being an A319 which will be revealed on week commencing September 14, with retrofits on further A319s, as well as A320s and many Boeing 737s and 757s following between now and throughout 2016.
“This new seat is directly based on customer testing and feedback,” said Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We designed a custom seat that incorporates the features that today’s passengers want and upgrades our cabins.”
You can take a virtual walk-through of the cabin via our video section HERE.