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United's P.s. Fleet Future  
User currently offlinenycdave From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 547 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8904 times:

A few questions about the future of United's p.s. fleet.

First, assuming the p.s. service will be retained for the foreseeable future in the new UA, is there any chance of the fleet being expanded? It seems to be stretched horribly thin at present. Last thursday, for the second time in a year, I had my p.s. flight from JFK to LAX cancelled due to "unscheduled maintenance". Also, none of the p.s. birds have managed to make it to repainting yet. Do they not have any birds to spare at all in the p.s.-configured fleet?

FlyerTalk chatter has indicated that they might be reconfigured as J(CO businessfirst seats)/Y+/Y, instead of the current F/J/Y+. But my understanding from here was that p.s. is a valuable premium product on a high-rev route. Does having F really add that much value, and does the current p.s. F and J really meet the purpose of providing continuity for high-value pax connecting through LAX or SFO to JFK?

Regardless, the planes definitely need to be updated. I got upgraded from J to F (yay! first time!) on my way back, and I stand by my previous assessment (based on flying Y+ and just taking a quick gander up front) that the interiors are tired and starting to show noticeable wear. They are very clean birds, and the cabin staff is well above the usual UA experience, but no one would mistake them for being the latest or greatest cabin product. What birds/interiors would you put on the service, if you kept it at all?

47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8779 times:
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The p.s. flights aren't going anywhere.

They have to decide whether to try to rotate in other aircraft to take over the p.s. routes (possibly the 739ER though its a stretch range-wise) or simply update the 752's to reflect that this should be a more premium experience.

I think they'll simply upgrade the interiors on the 752's and fly em quite a while longer.


User currently offlinewashingtonian From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8591 times:

CODC10 posted in another thread today that the plan for PS is to install PMCO B/E Diamond Seats until the exit rows and then have a Y+/Y cabin. Not sure if this will be on PMCO 757s or PMUA 757s (hopefully the former so that the whole plane will have AVOD), but this will essentially be a 2-class aircraft. Which is fine...those seats will be nicer than First or Business on the current PS fleet or on American's 762s (or on Delta's BusinessElite recliner).

I'm a tad surprised they are going to go forward with that on 757s though...I would think it would make more sense to put them on 739ERs now since the installation costs will be the same.

Regardless, it will be a kick-ass transcon product...Lie-flat seat, P.S. service, AVOD, hopefully wifi...


User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8554 times:

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
(possibly the 739ER though its a stretch range-wise)

In a P.S config (F/J/Y+), would it? I would imagine that the lower capacity would equal weight savings, which would translate to range advantages. The 739ER can fly transcon in a standard config as it is (perhaps with a weight penalty during winter ops). So I'm sure it wouldn't be a stretch to see them replace (or supplement) 757s on the route, eventually.



Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26013 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8534 times:

Its already mentioned a few months back that a version of IPTE product will be made available on p.s.

btw - AA CFO today announced they plan to offer a 3 class on either the 737-900 or A321 replacing their 767s beginning in 2013.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16892 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8481 times:

Quoting nycdave (Thread starter):
What birds/interiors would you put on the service, if you kept it at all?

My Wife and I flew in First JFK-SFO-LAX-JFK last year on UA's PS service, I agree totally with your assessment that while well kept and clean the 757s interiors are dated. I think AA's announced intentions today to transition their Premium Trans-Con services to either the A321 or 739 is a precursor of UA's own transition. The best transition would be to 737-900ERs with the new Sky Interiors and the new Businessfirst seats.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
They have to decide whether to try to rotate in other aircraft to take over the p.s. routes (possibly the 739ER though its a stretch range-wise

CO has been flying 737-900ERs on trans-Cons for years, they've even flown them to HNL from LAX, so the range is not an issue for JFK-SFO/LAX. The fact that the aircraft will be in a lower density premium configuration just solidifies the range reliability even during the Winter months.

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 2):
CODC10 posted in another thread today that the plan for PS is to install PMCO B/E Diamond Seats until the exit rows and then have a Y+/Y cabin. Not sure if this will be on PMCO 757s or PMUA 757s (hopefully the former so that the whole plane will have AVOD), but this will essentially be a 2-class aircraft. Which is fine...those seats will be nicer than First or Business on the current PS fleet or on American's 762s (or on Delta's BusinessElite recliner).

I'm a tad surprised they are going to go forward with that on 757s though...I would think it would make more sense to put them on 739ERs now since the installation costs will be the same.

I believe in terms of aircraft that there are three choices;

1.) Refurbish current aircraft
2.) introduce PMCO 757s to the route, they already have AVOD. The BusinessFirst cabins would be expanded and Y+ added.
3.) Introduce 737-900ERs with the new Sky interiors and install Businessfirst seats.

I think their best choices are options #2 and 3, the PMCO 757s would need minimal work to bring them up to standards and the 737-900ER option would be the most efficient.

Besides the aircraft the RCC at JFK T7 needs to be refurbished, it had beautiful windows that look out at a wall 6ft away. No views, and the bathrooms were very dated probably the original tiles and fixtures from when T7 was built.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinePacificClipper From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8464 times:

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 2):
.those seats will be nicer than First or Business on the current PS fleet

To be clear, F on P.S. is a lie-flat seat. J is a recliner, altho with enough recline that I can usually sleep in it just fine. Of course fully-flat in F/J would be a major improvement everyone will look forward to.

Part of the P.S. attraction is the fact that Economy is all E+. That results in fewer overall people aboard which gives the flight a quieter, less crowded appeal. It's also a nice perk for Economy travelers - E+ for the E- price. There's also no fussing about economy seat assignments at the gate when E - is oversold and people may need to split up into E+. Simple is better for a premium demand, business traveler oriented flight. Adding E - into the mix would be a mistake IMO.

As for which aircraft, the best option would be to replace them altogether with new 739ERs being delivered next year. Reliability improves, probably better fuel burn and a more modern on-board environment (Sky interior, LED/mood lighting) where everything is new. It would also provide a nice advantage (no pun intended) over AA till their new NB plane arrives to replace the 762s.

[Edited 2011-07-20 19:03:12]


Fly Beautiful :: 747
User currently offlineAussieItaliano From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8124 times:

The new management team seems to love p.s. I can't see them altering it too much. I sincerely doubt that they will change the F/J/Y+ to J/Y+/Y.

There has to be something to differentiate the p.s. flights from the regular United domestic service. Otherwise, why even call it p.s.?



LHR - The Capital of the World
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6085 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8053 times:

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 2):
hopefully wifi...

As all P.S. aircraft currently have WiFi I would guess that's a given... 
Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 7):
There has to be something to differentiate the p.s. flights from the regular United domestic service. Otherwise, why even call it p.s.?

Indeed and even switching from F/J/Y+ to a J/Y+ configuration would still be substantially different then the standard domestic product.

What CODC10 mentioned was J class taking up the aircraft forward of the overwing exits and Y+ from the overwing exits aft.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently onlinephllax From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8030 times:

The SAG contract reqires all actors traveling to/from work to travel in F. Many studio contracts also have F required travel for executives over a certain level. Bottom line, if they want to keep the contracts, they need the F cabin.

User currently offlinemetzby From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7932 times:

Quoting phllax (Reply 9):

No longer. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118027227


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33182 posts, RR: 71
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7629 times:

Quoting phllax (Reply 9):

The SAG contract reqires all actors traveling to/from work to travel in F. Many studio contracts also have F required travel for executives over a certain level. Bottom line, if they want to keep the contracts, they need the F cabin.


No longer. And UA barely holds any of the major studio contracts in the first place, which is one reason that it's fares on the route are higher than anybody else (because studio contracts equals lower, bargained for prices).



a.
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2460 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7534 times:

Quoting PacificClipper (Reply 6):
It's also a nice perk for Economy travelers - E+ for the E- price.

This is precisely why E- will return to the premium transcon service. UA doesn't enjoy much of a Y revenue premium over AA on the route, so E+ will become an upsell opportunity. Elites (plenty of p.s. pax already are) enjoy E+ seating for free, and non-elite customers who want to sit there can buy up to it, much as they can on any other UA route. Doing otherwise is leaving money on the table, since VX/B6/DL also charge more for seats with extra legroom.

Quoting United1 (Reply 8):
What CODC10 mentioned was J class taking up the aircraft forward of the overwing exits and Y+ from the overwing exits aft.

This is the information I heard and is corroborated by several other unofficial sources, including some travel blogs, FlyerTalk, and Milepoint. Where there's smoke, there's fire, I suppose.

Quoting PacificClipper (Reply 6):
As for which aircraft, the best option would be to replace them altogether with new 739ERs being delivered next year.

Presently, the plan seems to involve conversion of the existing p.s. fleet. The BF seats are already certified for the 757, and the 739ERs arriving next year are earmarked for replacing the capacity of a few older PMUA 757s coming off lease. Down the line, the 739ER or a new narrowbody might be the solution, but it's at least a few years off.


User currently offlinewashingtonian From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7426 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 8):
As all P.S. aircraft currently have WiFi I would guess that's a given... 

I wasn't sure if they were planning to do it on PMCO 757s or the current PMUA P.S. fleet...

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 12):
Presently, the plan seems to involve conversion of the existing p.s. fleet.

It'll be interesting to see if/what they put in the back re: PTVs.


User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2968 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7349 times:
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Quoting phllax (Reply 9):

I agree completely about an F cabin. Most times I have flown to and from LAX the much smaller, more private F has had a BIG celeb on board. They want that very exclusive class or off Paula Abdul will go to a studio private jet!



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6834 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7337 times:

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
They have to decide whether to try to rotate in other aircraft to take over the p.s. routes (possibly the 739ER though its a stretch range-wise) or simply update the 752's to reflect that this should be a more premium experience.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 5):
CO has been flying 737-900ERs on trans-Cons for years, they've even flown them to HNL from LAX, so the range is not an issue for JFK-SFO/LAX. The fact that the aircraft will be in a lower density premium configuration just solidifies the range reliability even during the Winter months.

Do you both honestly think that UA is going to reconfigure the 739s into PS? They already have the 757s, all they have to do is do some refreshing and it will be fine.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlinembm3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 848 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7271 times:
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Quoting CODC10 (Reply 12):
Presently, the plan seems to involve conversion of the existing p.s. fleet. The BF seats are already certified for the 757, and the 739ERs arriving next year are earmarked for replacing the capacity of a few older PMUA 757s coming off lease. Down the line, the 739ER or a new narrowbody might be the solution, but it's at least a few years off.

I have heard the same, plus a potential expansion of p.s. service to EWR to feed TATL flights. It can be almost impossible to buy a seat up front and many premium passengers look to other alternatives when told that they may need to fly coach to EWR while on their way to Israel or India. While the premium celeb and financier traffic is indeed important on the transcons, one can most certainly argue the premium international traffic has a better impact on the bottom line.

Another thought about using the 752s over the 739ers? Increase utilization via flights to LHR.



Let Me Tell You, Landing A 772ER Is Harder Than It Looks!
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16892 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7243 times:

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
Do you both honestly think that UA is going to reconfigure the 739s into PS? They already have the 757s, all they have to do is do some refreshing and it will be fine.

It remains to be seen if they are keeping the three class or going to a larger J cabin with CO's Businessfirst seats. It might be that those 757s already in PS service are replaced by PMCO 757s, if they go to the CO J seats with Y+ and Y- it would make more sense to use the CO aircraft as they already have the J seats plus AVOD.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineshengzhurou From China, joined May 2010, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

last time I flew PS was 5 years ago and I already knew that it's going to be dated soon, specially the IFE part. the J class was nice and roomy specially at the emergency exit section.


Sheng Zhu Rou
User currently onlineSonomaFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1871 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6166 times:
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Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 15):
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
They have to decide whether to try to rotate in other aircraft to take over the p.s. routes (possibly the 739ER though its a stretch range-wise) or simply update the 752's to reflect that this should be a more premium experience.
Quoting STT757 (Reply 5):
CO has been flying 737-900ERs on trans-Cons for years, they've even flown them to HNL from LAX, so the range is not an issue for JFK-SFO/LAX. The fact that the aircraft will be in a lower density premium configuration just solidifies the range reliability even during the Winter months.

Do you both honestly think that UA is going to reconfigure the 739s into PS? They already have the 757s, all they have to do is do some refreshing and it will be fine.

The 739ER is an option but refreshing the current crop of 752's seems to be what will occur. The folks who fly these routes regularly like KFitz think the aircraft themselves are fine and an update will have them in peak condition versus their main premium competition which I suppose is AA.

The 739ER will be there if any of these 752's are getting too long in the tooth/coming off lease or they wish to increase capacity or possibly expand their offerings to such places as SEA, SNA or SAN in the future.


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6834 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6118 times:

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 20):

The 739ER will be there if any of these 752's are getting too long in the tooth/coming off lease or they wish to increase capacity or possibly expand their offerings to such places as SEA, SNA or SAN in the future.

UA and Boeing are promoting the 739 as a 2 class boeing sky interior product. I don't see why they would ever make them 3 class especially when they can barely make EWR-LAX during the winter season.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently onlinephllax From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6057 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
btw - AA CFO today announced they plan to offer a 3 class on either the 737-900 or A321 replacing their 767s beginning in 2013

Not to turn this into an A vs B thread, but it will probably end up being the 739, otherwise the 321 will be flying in the mid 20's for the first hour or so in both directions. What I'm surprised about is that none of the engine manufacturers have announced a re-engine project for the 757/767 like what happened to the DC-8, but that's for an entirely different thread. All together.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16892 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 21):
I don't see why they would ever make them 3 class especially when they can barely make EWR-LAX during the winter season.

Define "barely", how many flights typically divert during the Winter to refuel? 1 out 10, 1 out of 100, 1 out of 1000?.

Again in a Premium configuration , less seats, the 737-900ER will have no issues at all.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineCODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2460 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5834 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 23):

Again in a Premium configuration , less seats, the 737-900ER will have no issues at all.

Although the BF seats are quite heavy.

[Edited 2011-07-21 14:56:08 by srbmod]

User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 6085 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5728 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 23):
Again in a Premium configuration , less seats, the 737-900ER will have no issues at all.

That should be correct even though F/J seats weigh quite a bit more then Y class seats do. Also the 739ERs that UA have do not have the optional additional fuel tanks installed so there are certainly ways to increase the range of the aircraft if UA uses the 900ER on the route. That being said I'm pretty sure this will simply be a 752 refresh using the existing P.S. fleet.

Assuming a J/Y+ configuration 30/108 looks like a likely bet....I don't see Y class ever coming back to P.S.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
25 dartland : This would be unfortunate, as the small Y+ cabin (72 seats) is the best part of P.S. But still, a much better alternative to introducing Y- into P.S.
26 CODC10 : The prime competitor (AA) has nothing comparable to Economy Plus, and, as an elite member, you'd still have complimentary access to the product. Ever
27 jfrworld : I've flown on fully loaded 737-900ER's from EWR-SFO in the wintertime when fight times are between 6.5 - 7.0 hours and we never had a problem.
28 RoseFlyer : I have flown F on PS and think the spacebed seat is better than the CO business class seat. The CO business class seat is narrower. It goes fully flat
29 SonomaFlyer : Six diverts for the whole of the winter season is excellent tbh. If the economy picks up a bit more, how about bringing p.s. flights to SNA and/or SA
30 TOMMY767 : It's been brought up before to bring PS on routes like BOS-SFO/LAX and IAD-LAX/SFO and it's never happened. On routes like EWR-SAN/SEA it's best to h
31 gigneil : I had the same comment to an extent - DCA would be nice to get PS. However, DCA is the preferred airport for a large section of the DC area. I wonder
32 dartland : Definitely true, but there's more selection through the west coast. Not to mention markets like SYD and AKL where you can't go non-stop. Yes, but I'm
33 WNCrew : Since the 757 and 737 are the same upper fuselage lobe would you even notice a difference in cabin space? I don't see how. The galleys are smaller of
34 nycdave : Well, this hits on the one part of my post no one really addressed -- is the p.s. fleet too small and stretched too thin? Maybe I just have the worst
35 washingtonian : Perhaps those 2-class international 763s will be used in the future here...That would give them the premium capacity, and the additional seats in the
36 CALPSAFltSkeds : Regarding which aircraft to use on ps, it would seem there are three options. 1.) Existing PMUA 752 ps aircraft, with or without refurbishment. 2.) PM
37 gigneil : UA doesn't have much place to park a widebody at DCA right now - maybe after the US/DL shuffle AA will move out of the way. NS
38 SonomaFlyer : The PMCO 752's are maxed out right now on mostly TATL missions. Those missions are mostly thin and it might be hard justifying the jump up to the 763'
39 dartland : Indeed this is true. There are several other A.Net threads on this. It seems most people would state that 737 cabins seem smaller than 757s (includin
40 washingtonian : I think it's more likely that United will move into the current CO gates while taking a Delta gate or two, and for AA to stay where it is.
41 Post contains images PacificClipper : The P.S. service has been successful due to the unique nature of the city pairs/premium oriented demand it serves. I'm sure UA has done an analysis o
42 CALPSAFltSkeds : PMCO flies virtually all their aircraft with ETOPS. However, the PMCO 752s have AVOD, not the DirectTV that the 737NG fleet has. CO does fly most 752
43 VC10er : PS needs First. I don't think I'm alone either. I choose to fly UA PS. I have to fly ps about 6 to 10 times a year for business. Most often in F. If I
44 genybustrvlr : As a UA elite, I'd prefer that they go to a Y/Y+ cabin for the times i'm in coach. p.s. currently has the lowest pitch Y+ seats in the system. The 31
45 gigneil : I don't think they can operate their whole schedule to 5 hubs from 2 gates when they have 3 where they are and AA is, at best, a bit player in the ma
46 cslusarc : There is one fault with a two class transcon product featuring CO's new Business First Flat Bed seat -- there is a large gap between Economy and Busin
47 washingtonian : It wouldn't be 2 gates. It would be all of CO's current gates plus an additional gate or two from Delta. Does United really use 3 gates at DCA? I don
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