Between July 2 and August 17, United will fly:
- 8:30am – 5:01pm, Los Angeles – Boston, UA528
6:00pm – 9:11pm, Boston – Los Angeles, UA717
This move is interesting for several reasons:
- United ran Boston – Los Angeles with this premium ‘international-style’ seating for several days in November.
- When they have extra capacity with the aircraft to fly a roundtrip cross country flight, they seem to decide to put it on the Boston route.
- It’s fully flat seating, but with the standard domestic product and upgrade rules. Elites can get complimentary upgrades on these flights.
- Boston – Los Angeles is a high yield route compared to other cross country flights (aside from New York – Los Angeles and San Francisco which normally get these aircraft).
- JetBlue has been considering using its similar ‘Mint’ product on the Boston – Los Angeles route.
JetBlue’s “Mint” business class seat
While I expect that United’s decision to place the aircraft on Boston – Los Angeles is opportunistic as much as anything else, it serves as a test to see whether they can win business on this ultra-competitive route away Delta (2 flights), American (5 flights), Virgin America (3 flights), and JetBlue (3 flights).
American’s premium cross country seat — very similar to United’s
Although I expect it will serve only as the most modest of tests, without the ramp up of service (catering) that comes with its premium products out of New York and without converting both of the airline’s flights to premium aircraft. They can’t easily market this with only one of their two flights, the message gets muddled and too many customers would be disappointed.