Corporate Traveler

United Revamps its In-Flight Experience: New Business Class & Entertainment

United upgrades first class by ridding of it altogether while implementing streaming technology that allows free access to United’s media library on personal devices.

After introducing the return of complimentary snacks for coach-class travelers recently, United continues to enhance the in-flight experience with their newest ventures. If you are thinking of traveling with United anytime beginning in July, you will no-longer have to think up new ways to escape boredom while 40,000 feet in the sky.

United introduces a new standard on all flights which will include free in-flight personal device streaming of movies, TV shows and other types of entertainment for passengers. The steaming service was officially launched in 2014, but by the end of this month, all Boeing 737s will offer free access to the streaming technology. Initial plans of the project were temporarily disrupted due to technical difficulties. Currently, United partners with Gogo Air and expects to retrofit the entertainment streaming technology to all of its fleets by the end of the month.

United promises that the range of in-flight entertainment options available to passengers will be more than satisfactory. The airline released a statement via their website confirming that they will be expanding on their existing HBO programming in addition to offering videos and concert entertainment from Vevo, the world's leading music video and entertainment platform. United’s objective is to ensure their library is jam-packed with the latest and greatest that entertainment has to offer.

Newer domestic aircrafts will steer away from the customary built-in screen seats as streaming entertainment on personal devices eliminates the need to install heavy and costly equipment in the cabin. Moreover, passengers who typically carry their own devices tend to like the personal feel of using their own equipment. Although, travelers should note there have been complaints about United requiring a download of the airline’s app before streaming in order to connect to the airline’s server.

All in the same breath, United introduces their new Polaris Business class which is set to replace the current international first class. The airline reassures its passengers that the Polaris Business class will rival and surpass the current international first class. While the upgraded international business class experience will have the same perks passengers have grown accustomed to when flying United first class, improved and added amenities will only refine the in-flight experience.

United attempts to simplify its offerings through a new cabin layout which will serve as both first and business class. Some of the noticeable changes are lie-flat seats, a snack bar in the cabin, as well as sleep assisting features.

In a press release, United stated, “based on customer feedback, we tailored that experience to focus on comfort and sleep to put the legacy of the weary business traveler to rest.”

The Polaris venture strives to focus more on the journey hence having been named after the north star.

The airline has likewise made changes to their airport lounges. New features to be expected are personal daybed cubicles, showers, along with full-service dining. These upgraded lounges will launch in nine major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Hong Kong, London, and Tokyo.

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 352 airports across six continents. Once complete, these upgrades and strong focus on improving the travel experience will only strengthen brand loyalty.

For those traveling with United before the end of the month wishing to see if free streaming services will be available, the airline advises looking at the Inflight Amenities tab under Flight Status Information within 24 hours of your departure. Polaris business class and lounges will be retrofitted beginning in the better part of the year.