United unveils first class suite

United Airlines unveiled initial details about the previously announced $165 million upgrade to its international widebody fleet that includes a new luxurious United First Suite, which provides passengers with more privacy, personal space and comfort on overseas flights. The new suite was designed to be the optimal space to work, sleep or relax while enjoying the latest entertainment and exclusive amenities.

“Our premium customers have told us what would make them more relaxed and comfortable, and we’re using their feedback to shape our new first class products and services,” said Graham Atkinson, United’s executive vice president and chief customer officer. “Our goal is to improve space, amenities and services, so we can enhance the entire international premium travel experience on United, from check-in to arrival.”

The new First Suite is nearly three inches wider than the existing, popular United First Suite and reclines to multiple angles or serves as a fully flat 6-foot, 6-inch bed.

Each suite offers a cutting-edge entertainment system providing a 15.4-inch widescreen flat panel monitor with an on-demand digital video and music system that offers multiple selections of movies, TV programs and video games. United also will offer 50 channels of XM-branded audio content, delivering more than 3,000 songs and a jukebox to create customized play lists. Both the entertainment system navigation controls and content will be offered in several languages.

  Among the suite’s amenities are:


  —a 110-volt universal plug for laptop power, compatible with power
    outlets for 145 countries.
  —a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port to charge personal electronic
    devices, such as personal digital assistants, cell phones and digital
  —Multiple stowage compartments to accommodate a laptop bag and other
    personal items.
  —noise-canceling headphones.
  —an Apple iPod connector that enables customers to play their own music
    and video on their suite’s entertainment unit, as well as recharges the
    iPod unit.

United will begin introducing the luxury First Suites in the fourth quarter of 2007 and upgrade its entire 97 aircraft widebody international fleet, which includes B767, B777 and B747 aircraft.

Earlier this year, United announced its strategy to provide differentiated products and services to its premium customers. More details about United’s international travel enhancements, including upgrades to its onboard service, will be announced in the coming months.

United is the only U.S. airline that offers three cabins of service on all of its international, overseas flights. In addition to first and business services, United offers economy class that includes Economy Plus(R) seating, which provides up to five extra inches of legroom.