Continental to adopt United’s Economy Plus
United Continental Holdings Inc has announced that it will retain United’s Economy Plus seating on United flights and expand it to Continental aircraft beginning in 2012.
“Our customers value Economy Plus and the additional personal space that it provides,” said Jim Compton, chief revenue officer of United Continental Holdings. “Customers who sit in Economy Plus are significantly more satisfied with their travel experience, as are travelers who choose other options that enable them to tailor their travel to their liking.”
The decision to maintain and expand Economy Plus across the combined fleet marks a significant step in the product integration of United and Continental.
United offers Economy Plus on all 359 aircraft and more than 150 larger regional jets operated by United Express. When the multi-year conversion process is complete, the company plans to offer Economy Plus on more than 700 mainline aircraft, including all Continental mainline aircraft, as well as larger regional aircraft. When fully deployed, the new United’s fleet will include more than 40,000 Economy Plus seats, providing more than 122,000 Economy Plus seats each day, the largest amount of extra legroom economy seating available to customers of any airline in the world.
United introduced Economy Plus in 1999, offering up to five inches of additional legroom to customers seated in the forward section of United Economy. Customers with elite status in United’s Mileage Plus and Continental’s OnePass frequent-flyer programs may confirm seat assignments in Economy Plus, when available. Customers may also purchase seat assignments in Economy Plus when making reservations via united.com and continental.com, through a reservation agent, or during the check-in process at home or at the airport.
Continental currently offers extra legroom seats and will continue to offer that option to travellers until those aircraft are reconfigured with Economy Plus seating. OnePass and Mileage Plus elite members may confirm extra legroom seats at no charge, and other customers may purchase seat assignments for extra legroom seats.
The company is continuing to reconfigure United and Continental aircraft with new lie-flat seats in first and business class - with the new lie-flat product already on 112 aircraft in the combined fleet, more than any other US-based carrier. In addition, more than 160 Continental aircraft feature DIRECTV.