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United Airlines is in the process of updating and modernizing the interiors of its domestic fleet. The first reconfigured narrow-body jet enters service today.
In June 2021, United announced its latest project called “NEXT.” The airline said that it would be investing in its domestic fleet with complete overhauls of the existing cabins. The goal is to make the planes feel more premium. This effort is a clear attempt to be more competitive with Delta Air Lines. Updates to the interior will include:
- Seatback monitors throughout the plane (13-inch screens in First Class and 10-inch screens in Economy)
- Bluetooth connectivity for these monitors (this way you can use your own headphones and AirPods)
- High-speed Wi-Fi
- AC and USB outlets for every seat
- Larger overhead bins
- LED cabin lighting
These features have been found already in the 737 MAX 8 and some 737 MAX 9 aircraft that United started flying over the past few years. Now, United is working on getting the rest of its domestic-focused aircraft in line.
Our first #unitednext retrofit begins flying today!! Be sure to be on the lookout if you’re on one of our A319 flights. With inseat IFE, larger bins, and led lighting, this aircraft will provide an amazing customer experience. https://t.co/HawMeoBtAF pic.twitter.com/Z4GV68BImJ
— Brett Albright (@brett_ual) May 13, 2023
The first plane completed is an Airbus A319 registered as N801UA. This aircraft flew to Melbourne Orlando International Airport on January 2nd to have this cabin work completed. It then flew to Roswell Air Center (ROW) to be painted. Finally, it flew to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on May 10th. It will begin flying passengers today. The pictures above look great. I love the lighting.
It looks like passengers heading to Des Moines International Airport (DSM) will be the first to experience the refitted aircraft.
Anthony’s Take: The redesigned interiors make United a bit more competitive and the refreshed, modern design provide passengers with a better experience. I look forward to flying in one of these new cabins in the future.
(Featured photo credit: Brett Albright via Twitter.)
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