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IFE On UA 747-400  
User currently offlineAC330 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 338 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

So I made a booking today using Aeroplan points to travel to Australia and New Zealand this coming winter. When consulting seatguru.com for assistance in selecting the best seat I came across a shocking piece of information that really boggles my mind. United STILL to this day offers no personal video entertainment system on it's 747-400's in economy class! In fact, it's not only the 747's. My entire itinerary except for my return transpacific flight with Air New Zealand is on aircraft with shared entertainment systems! I flew United to Australia 4 years ago and was surprised at that time when I boarded their aircraft and found no PTV's. Is this something they ever intend to address? Or are they not even going to bother updating their 747-400 fleet....or any of their fleet for that matter. Is the 777 the only aircraft they have with PTV's? I guess I really have been spoiled by Air Canada....

AC330

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejoffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 814 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

Why Don't UA's 747-400's Have PTV's In Y? (by AirVB Aug 13 2003 in Civil Aviation)
IFE On UA 744 And Airside Spotting @ ORD (by Rw774477 Apr 10 2008 in Civil Aviation)

Anyway, this topic has been done to death - I believe the F and C were recently refurbished, but UA have no plans to put IFE on the Y section of the 744 - despite using them for long flights from Australia to America, however somehow the planes always fly full!


User currently offlinetu154 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7378 times:

OH god! Here we go again!!!!!


FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
User currently offlineSamuP From Colombia, joined Jul 2010, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7184 times:

I don't have the time now, but in one of the topics discussed before it has been shown how UA's flights to/from Australia sell significantly lower than QF and VA on Y out of LAX. The only significant difference one could quote for the price divergence is the fact that UA hasn't upgraded its Y.

User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3081 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7124 times:

Quoting AC330 (Thread starter):
United STILL to this day offers no personal video entertainment system on it's 747-400's in economy class!

UA are not the only ones. For instance, world renowned partner airlines Thai and Lufthansa (airlines that are rated extremely high) didn't have PTV's in Y on their 747-400's until recently. They are both updating now, and I'm not sure how many of their planes have PTV's now, but UA aren't that far behind in that respect.

I'm sure UA is losing quite a bit of business for it. I know I have avoided TG and LH 747's for just that reason (except this summer when I had absolutely no choice as it was the only available option for reward travel).

But it is a case of relatively large one-time costs, taking aircraft out of fleet to refit them, and having this done to a fleet which may not last very long (don't know what prospects UA 744's have).

Quoting SamuP (Reply 3):
Australia sell significantly lower

I'm sure UA could sell for more if they updated the fleet to have a new, state of the art IFE system.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineicanfly From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7051 times:

The reason for this is simple - no money. In an interview in 2010, United CEO Jeff Smisek said pre-merger UA simply didn't have the money to refurbish the B747 economy class and admitted they were "unacceptable". So that was that. The hope is that the increased financial strength of the combined UA/CO will lead to product improvements in the coming years.

On another note, I've never understood some people's near-obsession with PTVs. Some of the best flights I've had over the years have been on aircraft without PTVs. Just bring a few magazines or a book and your digital music player or iPad and you'll be fine. Or why not just start a conversation with your cabin mates - the way air travellers used to?



United: please start SYD-IAH!
User currently offlinebananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1586 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6994 times:

Quoting icanfly (Reply 5):
On another note, I've never understood some people's near-obsession with PTVs. Some of the best flights I've had over the years have been on aircraft without PTVs.

I'm not obsessed, but generally I would prefer to have a PTV than not. However, I've enjoyed flying TG Y class on their 747's in the past, particularly on night flights because they usually just switch the main screen off and there is no distraction or reason to stay awake, so I sleep, something I usually find pretty hard to do in economy. On the other hand, an eye-mask and earplugs will create the same effect in a more modern cabin, with no inconvenience to anyone else.

As for United, they are updating the 747 Y class to offer streaming wifi entertainment. What I've not been able to discover, though, is if they will offer in-seat power for Y class. If not, I can't see the point as most batteries will die before the end of the long 10-14 hour flights that these aircraft routinely operate.

Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6946 times:

Quoting icanfly (Reply 5):
On another note, I've never understood some people's near-obsession with PTVs. Some of the best flights I've had over the years have been on aircraft without PTVs.

On another note, I've never understood why some people on here have a near-obsession with telling us that PTVs aren't necessary. I understand that not everyone uses them. But you need to understand that for some, they can actually make a world of difference. Reading is great, I love reading, but for some reason I can never really get into a book on a plane. Too many distractions, can't get comfortable, whatever... I just can't.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 4):
I'm sure UA is losing quite a bit of business for it.

I hope that's true...but I'm not so sure. It seems that many people don't pay any attention at all to stuff like that. Besides, even if they are losing business, you're talking about the Y cabin here, so I'm not sure UA really cares.

Vote with your pocketbooks people... If you care about amenities then be willing to pay a bit more to fly a carrier that offers what you want.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4748 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6934 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 7):

On another note, I've never understood why some people on here have a near-obsession with telling us that PTVs aren't necessary. I understand that not everyone uses them. But you need to understand that for some, they can actually make a world of difference. Reading is great, I love reading, but for some reason I can never really get into a book on a plane. Too many distractions, can't get comfortable, whatever... I just can't.

It's a generational thing. Travelling as a youngster all they had was a projection screen and plastic headsets, I thought it was amazing to be able to watch a movie at all in flight.



I don't really care now though, younger people like to be constantly entertained and I would probably be the same way. I understand the distraction thing too, sometimes it is more relaxing to just watch the PTV's.



It would never make any difference for me though when booking a flight, especially if I could get a better deal 'san's ptv'



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinen92r03 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days ago) and read 6864 times:

I've done ORD-HKG a few times recently on UA. Yes, no IFE makes it a long flight, but even with IFE it is a brutal flight.

One thing I've found...59A and 59J. Best seats in Y, better than E+ due the curvature of the fuselodge. 2 seats where 3 would be. Rows 58 and 60 are similar but in 59A/J you have room to the outside for your small carryon bag and a lot of room to stretch your legs.


User currently offlinebps3458 From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 570 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6848 times:

Made the mistake of flying UA in economy from SYD to SFO return only once with our newborn son in 2006. I am one of those seasoned travellers who does not care too much about IFE not even when I travel by myself on business in business class.

The reason why I have promised myself never to step on board another UA flight were the damaged projectors that were not turned off on both long flights, so we (sitting bulk head with our son in a bassinet) were inches away from movies that played in green and pink the entire time. Needless to say the crew didn't care as they are primarily on board for your safety. Never again.

Hope you have a better experience. True to my above word, we are off to Dallas next Saturday on QF.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter


User currently offlineicanfly From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6832 times:

Quoting AC330 (Thread starter):
the damaged projectors that were not turned off on both long flights

It's unfortunate you had a bad experience in 2006, but no one is going to have that same problem again on UA. When UA's 744s were refurbished in recent years, the Y class projector screens were replaced with new LCD screens. The Y seats were also re-upholstered, but stopped short of getting PTVs.

Personally I think you overreacted by swearing never to step aboard a UA flight again based on one negative experience over five years ago. In the last 12 months I've enjoyed some excellent flights on UA. Bad flights can happen on any airline.



United: please start SYD-IAH!
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9694 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6812 times:

Quoting AC330 (Thread starter):
My entire itinerary except for my return transpacific flight with Air New Zealand is on aircraft with shared entertainment systems! I flew United to Australia 4 years ago and was surprised at that time when I boarded their aircraft and found no PTV's. Is this something they ever intend to address? Or are they not even going to bother updating their 747-400 fleet....or any of their fleet for that matter. Is the 777 the only aircraft they have with PTV's? I guess I really have been spoiled by Air Canada....

In the combined United/Continental fleet, the 747s are the only of the international fleet without the PTVs (except 757s not converted yet). The 767 and 777 fleets all have PTVs.

On domestic routes the former Continental planes mostly have PTVs (which you have to pay for) and the UA planes have shared IFE. Overall however, United is not completely behind other airlines at it is one of the only airlines that offers some form of video entertainment on every mainline plane (except CO 735s).

Quoting icanfly (Reply 11):

It's unfortunate you had a bad experience in 2006, but no one is going to have that same problem again on UA. When UA's 744s were refurbished in recent years, the Y class projector screens were replaced with new LCD screens. The Y seats were also re-upholstered, but stopped short of getting PTVs.

Fortunately around 2008 - 2009 all the maintenance items that plagued the fleet were mostly addressed. UA went from being in the bottom 10% of airlines in terms of fleet reliability back to been midpack on their Boeing airplanes due to the money and infrastructure that was invested prior to the merger. I wouldn't expect that to be as common of a problem any more, and Sr. VP or maintenance Jim Keenan would not be happy if such a problem went unreported on a flight.

With that said, the 747s in economy are no better now than they were when they were first delivered (with the exception of slightly more comfortable seats). Other airlines serve many of the 747 routes, so there are options out there. The only real benefit that UA can offer is that if you fly enough to get status (just 2 US-Australia trips in a year), then you get complimentary Economy Plus and 35'' pitch which is better than any other airline out there since it is guaranteed and free.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
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