Category Archives: United Airlines

United Airlines unveils its new international travel experience – United Polaris Business Class

United Airlines made this announcement:

United logo-1

With the aspiration of making weary business travel a relic of the past, United Airlines today unveiled its all-new United Polaris business class, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers.

United Polaris Business Class logo

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

“United Polaris will change the game in international business travel with an exceptional level of relaxation and comfort throughout our customers’ journeys,” said Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United. “This completely reconceived experience exemplifies the new spirit of United and the innovation, excitement and operational momentum across our airline.”

Path-Breaking Design

In setting out to create a transformative business class experience, United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace. Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom, each United Polaris seat will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer’s personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

United Polaris Business Class

In rethinking the international business class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris’ path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In addition to the sleep-enticing United Polaris personal suites, several other amenities were designed with our customers’ sleep in mind.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

Elevated Dining Experience

Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.

The airline will offer an upgraded wine experience, with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Raising The Bar With United Polaris Business Class Lounges

United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers – that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered.

The first new United Polaris lounge will open at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Lounges in eight other locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow – will follow in 2017.

United Polaris Introduction

United will begin to introduce United Polaris on Dec. 1, 2016, with the new inflight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. The United Polaris business class seat will first take flight in December on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, as well as on Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.

United Polaris will serve business class customers flying the U.S. airline industry’s most global route network, reaching more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries. This year, United launches or resumes eight intercontinental routes, including the first-ever service between the United States and the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Hangzhou. The airline began nonstop service in late May linking New York/Newark with Newcastle, U.K., and Athens, and linking Washington Dulles with Lisbon and Barcelona. On June 1, United launched its first-ever nonstop service between San Francisco and Singapore, the longest flight by a U.S. carrier. Service between San Francisco and Auckland begins in July.

AG Over 2200 Galleries

United to add Denver – Richmond flights

United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 930968.

United Airlines (Chicago) will add daily United Express Embraer 175 service (operated by SkyWest Airlines) between the Denver hub and Richmond, Virginia starting on April 5 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

United Express-SkyWest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Prints-Lustre-Glossy-Matte-Metallic

United Airlines updates the public on CEO Oscar Munoz’s medical condition

United logo-1

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that Oscar Munoz, the company’s president and CEO, underwent a heart transplant operation on January 6 and is in recovery. A transplant was considered the preferred treatment and was not the result of a setback in his recovery. The United team wishes Oscar well during his recovery, and expects him to return to United at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter.

The company later updated the CEO’s condition:

United Airlines announced that Oscar Munoz, the company’s president and CEO, is currently recovering well following the heart transplant he received on January 6, 2016. He is still expected to return from his previously announced medical leave at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2016. Brett J. Hart will continue as the acting CEO until Munoz’s return.

In a letter to employees on November 5, 2015, Munoz stated that he expected to return full time in the first quarter of 2016. Since his heart attack on October 15, 2015, Munoz has been progressing well, with the assistance of an implanted medical device. A transplant was considered to be preferable to long-term reliance on the implanted device and was not the result of a setback in his recovery. Munoz had been cleared to return to work prior to the transplant. Since early December, Munoz had been gradually resuming company-related activities in collaboration with Hart, visiting with employees, and participating in meetings at the company’s headquarters.

Dr. Duc Pham, MD, Director of the Northwestern Medicine Heart Transplant Program, commented, “The surgical team was quite pleased with how the procedure went. The patient’s early course has been excellent, and the transplanted heart is functioning very well. We are very optimistic about his prospects for a complete recovery.”

“Given Mr. Munoz’s excellent physical condition and the rapid pace of his recovery prior to the transplant, we expect a quick recovery and a return to his duties as CEO,” said Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery for Northwestern Medicine.

“We wish Oscar well as he progresses on his road to recovery, and we look forward to his expected return,” said Henry L. Meyer III, non-executive chairman of the board of directors. “We take comfort in the prognosis for Oscar’s full recovery, based both on the report from his medical team and what we have learned about transplants from our own consulting cardiologist. We will, of course, be monitoring Oscar’s progress closely and both his and the board’s focus will be on the best interests of our shareholders. In the meantime, the board is working closely with Brett and the full executive team to continue delivering on our commitments to customers and employees.”

“I want to assure all of our customers, employees and partners that as Oscar completes his recovery, we remain focused on leading the company forward and implementing Oscar’s strategic vision,” said acting CEO, Hart.

AG Read the Real WAN

United Airlines to add a second daily flight from Newark to Brussels

United Airlines Boeing 757-224 WL N13113 (msn 27555) LHR (SPA). Image: 929798.

United Airlines (Chicago) will introduce a second daily nonstop service from its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, to Brussels, Belgium. The new service will operate next summer beginning May 5 to October 28, 2016 (both dates eastbound).

The additional Newark – Brussels flight, UA 44, will depart Newark daily at 9:30 p.m. (2100), arriving at Brussels 11:30 a.m. (1130) the following day. The return flight, UA 45 will depart Brussels at 1:30 p.m. (1330), arriving at Newark at 4:20 p.m. (1620) the same day. Flight times will be eight hours to Brussels and eight hours 50 minutes to Newark (all times are local).

Flights departing between May 5 and May 24 and between Sept. 7 and Oct. 28, 2016, will take off on Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 extra-leg room United Economy Plus seats. From May 25 to Sep. 6, 2016, flights will be on Boeing 767-300 aircraft with a total of 214 seats – 30 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 184 seats in United Economy, including 49 Economy Plus seats.

Like United’s existing service between Newark and Brussels, the second daily service will be part of United’s trans-Atlantic joint venture with Star Alliance partners Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss and Air Canada.

United’s current Newark-Brussels flight, UA 999, departs Newark daily at 6:35 p.m. (1835), arriving in Brussels at 7:50 a.m. (0750) the following day. UA 998, departs Brussels at 10:10 a.m. (1010), arriving at Newark at 12:45 p.m.(1245) the same day. Flights UA 999 and UA 998 are operated by Boeing 777-200 aircraft with a total of 267 seats – 50 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 217 seats in United Economy, including 72 Economy Plus seats.

From Newark, United operates flights to more than 300 destinations in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, including more than 100 served nonstop. United operates the largest and most comprehensive hub in the New York City market at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-224 N13113 (msn 27555) departs from London (Heathrow).

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

AG Read the Real WAN

Three U.S. airlines to apply for Cuban scheduled authority

The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore regularly scheduled airline services with a new bilateral agreement. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines have already stated they will seek service rights to serve Havana and other cities on the island. Charter flights will continue for now and there was no timeline given for regularly scheduled flights.

This will also mean the return of Cubana (Havana) to the USA.

In the past, when there was a bilateral agreement, Cubana along with Pan Am, National Airlines and Delta Air Lines previously flew between the two countries.

American Airlines issued this statement:

American Airlines 2013 logo

American Airlines issued the following statement on the United States and Cuba reaching an arrangement that will permit scheduled air service between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years.

“Today’s announcement is great news for our customers as it brings us one step closer to connecting the U.S. and Cuba with scheduled air service,” said American’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “As the leading carrier to the Caribbean and the leading U.S. airline to Cuba, we look forward to establishing scheduled service to Cuba in 2016, from Miami and other American hubs. We appreciate the Administration’s efforts and the hard work of the U.S. negotiators to reach this arrangement.”

Charter Service to Cuba

American has operated charter service to Cuba since 1991 with flights from Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles to five Cuban destinations: Camaguey (CMW), Cienfuegos (CFG), Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG) and Santa Clara (SNU). American has been the leader in the U.S. to Cuba market for nearly 25 years. This year, American will operate approximately 1,200 charter flights to Cuba, more than any other U.S. carrier and a 9 percent increase from 2014.

On December 12, American expanded its reach to Cuba with the launch of new charter service, offering customers travel options between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana, and providing the only nonstop service between the West Coast of the U.S. and Cuba.

Next Steps

As a result of today’s announcement, American expects to submit a U.S.-Cuba service proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation and hopes for timely approval of its proposal to enable American to introduce scheduled service as soon as possible in 2016.

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

JetBlue logo-2

JetBlue applauded a landmark civil aviation agreement that will allow scheduled air service to resume between the U.S. and Cuba.

JetBlue will submit its application for new routes to the U.S. Department of Transportation once the airline has fully reviewed terms of the agreement and has clarity on the process and timing of assigning frequencies to U.S. airlines.

Depending on the number of flight frequencies available to the airline, JetBlue is eager to offer affordable service from numerous U.S. cities to multiple destinations in Cuba.

“We hope the next dot on our Caribbean route map will be Havana, and possibly even other destinations in Cuba,” Laurence said. “Cuba is the perfect addition to the JetBlue network. Over the last several years, we have become a leader in the Caribbean with our position as the largest airline in markets like Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and an expanding presence across the region.”

JetBlue first began operating charters to Cuba in 2011 and now flies to Havana and Santa Clara from New York, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, and Tampa. JetBlue plans to continue operating charter flights with its partners as the process of assigning frequencies for scheduled service flights proceeds.

United Airlines issued this statement:

United logo-1

United Airlines issued the following statement after the U.S. and Cuban governments agreed to reinstitute scheduled air service between the two nations.

“United Airlines congratulates the U.S. and Cuban governments on reaching this historic arrangement, which will strengthen ties and economic development between the two countries. We look forward to offering service between our global gateways and Cuba as soon as we have approval to do so.”

AG Read the Real WAN

United to add the San Francisco – Nashville route

United Airlines Airbus A319-131 N840UA (msn 1522) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930677.

United Airlines (Chicago) on May 5, 2016 will add a new daily route from its San Francisco hub. The SFO – Nashville route will be added with Airbus A319 aircraft per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 N840UA (msn 1522) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG No Ads-Top Notch

AG A gallery for every airline

Mesa Airlines expands its E175 agreement with United Airlines

United Express-Mesa Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929957.

Mesa Airlines, Inc. (Phoenix) has announced the expansion of its agreement with United Airlines (Chicago) to operate three additional Embraer 175 aircraft, bringing the total number of United Express aircraft operated by Mesa to 68. In October, the Company announced an agreement for the addition of 15 new aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2016, which has now increased to 18. Mesa currently operates 30 Embraer E175 aircraft and 20 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft under the United Express brand.

 

The E175’s 76-seat dual-class configuration features 12 First-Class, 16 Premium Economy and 48 Coach seats. The aircraft has Inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, leather seating and electric outlets in First Class.

Mesa Airlines currently operates as American Eagle from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston. Founded on a mesa in New Mexico in 1982 by Larry and Janie Risley, Mesa currently operates 115 aircraft, with more than 530 daily system departures to 103 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) departs from United’s Washington Dulles International Airport hub.

United Express-Mesa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Prints-6 Sizes and 4 Finishes