28 August 2009

Seat Review - New United Business Class

Like many airlines United has tried to upgrade its product to be competitive with the best of the rest of the world particularly the Asian and the Middle East carriers.

Almost all of the US carriers have in the main have tried but not necessarily succeeded in this regard.

United is no different. So far I have been able to sample the old and new offerings of UA, AA, CO, NW - the new DL service is not really available except on the 777 LRs. So US is the one carrier I want to still try.

The US airlines are really not as good as they could be. However the current crop of products is better. UA's seat is as good as most.

So here is the review using the BOOT's standard of comfort.

For Tim Hughes's standard go here:

http://tims-boot.blogspot.com/2009/02/airline-seat-reviews-new-boot-segment.html

So plagiarizing him mercilessly - here is my review

So just for the sake of clarity - this was a long and oft delayed frequent flyer ticket.

I want to applaud United's customer service people for helping me to secure the seat.

United has had to struggle in recent years and probably more than anyone else they have a legacy environment. Again plaudits to them for trying.

The Professor's rating for United Transatlantic Business Class is a 3.5 stars out of 6 or Great Seat". Here is the detailed review

Getting on Board Score 1.0
For London United has the old now radically reconfigured BA lounges in Terminal one. They are quite nice. In my opinion as good as BA was. The choice is not as great but it wasnt as crowded as the old place was. When the full compliment of carriers is in the terminal then it may not be quite as nice.

Does it compare with the Asian Carriers - not really. But does it compare to the other carriers - yes! Its a pretty good experience, they have some things that need to be handled. The Wifi could be a bit better for example. Frankly I think the Star group have really been better at getting their alliance on the road. It really is the best alliance. (And I am not even a gold member these days).

The Seat Score 0.5
UA's product is pretty good. Interesting forward and backward rows is a little weird but it kinda works.

The seat is correctly padded and the controls work. Not too fancy - Utilitarian I would say. The screens are great. The Movies just fine. Its Panasonic's current generation IFE. Of course in flight wifi would be a big help.

The Service Score 0.5

Actually I would like to say this was good but it was - well just average and that is being generous. The flight attendants were very friendly but the product range is very shallow - so they try but they don't have a lot to work with. When times improve lets hope that they do better. Here UA us behind DL but about on par with CO and AA.

The Food Score 0.5
The menu is limited but reasonable quality. The food came at the right time and didn't have much choice. The Wine list interestingly had not a single French wine on it. Sacre Bleu! The service from London was clearly the regular flight kitchens. The Sandwiches are pretty much the same on every major long haul carrier out of LHR.

The Entertainment Score 0.5
UA has on par. It is full video on demand with a regular library of movies, TV and audio. Nice mix of recent releases and good older films. Again limited but quality. I tried it all. The one complaint I had it was the quality of the audio the noise canceling was ad hoc at best. For a new system - this should have been better.


The Professor's factor Score 0.5

I had a low expectation going into the service and was pleasantly surprised to find it was a pretty good - solid not flashy - implementation. There was no sleeper suit, no special amenity bag, nothing of any flash.

However for the Professor - these are not important to the service of a good system that works and lets me travel in peace and comfort.

1 comment:

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