United: international first class here to stay, insists CEO

By John Walton, June 2 2011
United: international first class here to stay, insists CEO

American airline United will keep international first class seats on some flights following its merger with Continental Airlines, CEO Jeff Smisek has confirmed.

It's the last piece in the puzzle to figure out what the now-combined airline will look like, and it's welcome news for travellers on the airline's trans-Pacific flights. 

United flies from Melbourne and Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco, which are among its longest flights, so first class is likely to stay on those routes.

The airline's CEO confirmed the news in a Bloomberg interview late on Wednesday.

Business class on United across the Pacific is a comfortable fully flat bed, but frequent flyers with a healthy mileage balance in the airline's Mileage Plus might consider an upgrade to first class. 

For their miles, they'll pick up wider and longer beds, more private and roomier seating areas, and the quietest cabin in the nose of the Boeing 747s that United flies across the Pacific.

Of course, there are some great seats in business class, so don't miss our guide to picking the best business class seats on United's 747s

You can also check out our recent review of the business class service from Sydney to San Francisco to find out what to expect on your flight..

Back in Economy, the new United has already confirmed that it will be keeping the popular Economy Plus seats on existing United aircraft -- and installing them on former Continental planes too. 

Economy Plus is a section of regular economy seats at the front of each cabin with a few inches of extra legroom.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 582

Now they just need to actually get around to doing something about the appaling economy class product that lives in the back of those 747's!!

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