21 July 2009

United Refuses To Put In Seatback Videos

In the column of strange and possibly bizarre behaviour, United Airlines is defending its decision not to have Seat Back Video system on its Economy Classes.

OK - having just done the great experiment (RTW in Coach/Economy/Tourist Class) - I can tell you that on a 14 hour flight you had better have a seat back entertainment system or else your passengers will get unruly and PO'd.

Now I really like the people at United. Especially since today they managed to eke out a profit in Q2. I am pulling for them to be a survivor in the current mess.

However there is just no excuse for this lack of product service.

Their VP for Pacific - Jeff Mueller is quoted in the Australian trade magazine Travel Today as saying the following:

"I imagine it will be of
importance to some
people but you need to
look at all elements of
the product."

He then is quoted as highlighting the other "attributes" of the product:

Its network in the US, membership of Star Alliance and “generous” loyalty scheme all
attract business, Mueller stated in the article. “Our loads in economy have been strong,” he added. “We have also invested heavily in lie flat beds in first and business class and refurbished the economy cabin.” He continued: “We have very
strong relationships with industry partners and corporates and have a great deal of loyalty. We see that as a very strong asset.”

So if you happen to be sitting reading this on paper or downloaded on your laptop in Y class on a UA long haul flight - I am sorry. But I really don't think that these other "features" make up for the lack of seat back video.

Common United - give the poor passengers a break.


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