United Introducing New Premium Cabin Partnership and Improved Design

United is trumpeting that mystery changes will be coming to their premium cabin experience.

In addition to new food, rollout of inflight internet a generation behind everyone else, and themed amenity kits, there will apparently be ‘a new partnership’ and ‘design and comfort enhancements’

About 7 years ago United launched a partnership with Westin hotels that meant ‘Heavenly’-branded blankets and pillows. It also meant to Westin features in certain lounges. That partnership went by the wayside and Delta introduced Westin-branded bedding for their international premium product. (Delta and Starwood launched a deeper relationship overall through ‘Crossover Rewards‘.)

United also served Starbucks coffee from around 1995 until just a couple of years ago. Now Delta serves Starbucks.

What’s the new partnership?

We’ll be announcing a unique new partnership soon. Check back for updates in the coming months.

I assume the ‘partnership’ isn’t related to ‘design and comfort’ (or else I’d guess some sort of hotel-branded amenities, since Delta now has that). My guess is they won’t go there simply because partnership is listed as being different from design and comfort.

So the partnership could be food and beverage related, as one example (taking a cue from Delta with Starbucks?).

As far as the inflight product?

Our product, marketing and engineering teams are reimagining the premium cabin inflight experience and finalizing a new look and feel. We’ll share more information as soon as we can, so stay tuned.

Somehow I’m skeptical that United is going to deliver a reimagined experience. That’s the sort of oversell that led them to claim that their Chicago O’Hare B18 Red Carpet Club was ‘incomparable’ back in 2008.

Nonetheless for an airline that just months ago was talking about making $2 billion worth of additional cuts and was even eliminating ketchup, that they’re even talking about inflight investments (and new smells!) is encouraging.

(HT: Flyertalk)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. As one of the designated UA cheerleaders, let me welcome the forthcoming UA rise. (I can only hope.) 🙂

  2. we flew back yesterday from BFS to EWR in the front row, the food seemed OK by American airline standards, unfortunately, i scored some butter that was off, but the Fillet Mignon was not bad, the Lilly O’Brien handmade Irish chocolates were the highlight.

    i noticed their catering truck had Chelsea United Food Services on it.

  3. United is on the move.

    Don’t want to be hanging around AA during the merger mess. The food is already bottom of the barrel there.

  4. United’s food in-flight (on mainline) is already quite a bit better than Delta’s or AAs, in my opinion.
    I’m happy that they finally get slightly better food for the UA clubs. But they’re only matching Delta skyclubs, so it still won’t be good enough- in international comparison it’s shameful how bad the clubs of US airlines are.

    The wifi on UA… well, if it worked it would be the best of any US airline, since it doesn’t involve GoGo, and has the entertainment streaming option (which means, about a hundred movies you can watch on your own device). But so far it hasn’t really been working well enough. I’m hoping that they’ll work out the kinks, and come up with a subscription model (discounted for top elites)!

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