United Airlines, one of the world's largest transpacific carriers, has unveiled new, and more luxurious, first and business class suites on all its 747 flights between China and the USA.
The unveiling is part of United's strategy of providing services that meet the different needs of its customers, particularly frequent business travelers. For travelers from China, preliminary service was offered in converted first and business class cabins on all United 747s flying United's Shanghai to San Francisco route (UA858) on March 29, 2010 and United's Beijing to San Francisco route (UA888) on March 30, 2010.
According to Sidney Kwok, the director for Greater China at United Airlines, the new suites in China are a reflection of United's investment in the Chinese market as well as its high regard for its most valued customers.
The renovated cabins offer a variety of innovative features, including truly flat 180 degree flat bed seats, iPod connectivity, personalized in-flight entertainment options, and a wider selection of gourmet food and wine.
The new business class seat has been expanded to become a 23.5 inches wide chair and 6-foot, 4-inch long lie-flat bed, while the new first class seat is now 31 inches wide and turns into a 6-foot, 6-inch long flat bed.
United is reported to be the first U.S. carrier to offer iPod and iPhone connectivity on its in-flight entertainment system in both first class and business class cabins, enabling customers to play their previously-downloaded individual content on the seat's flat screen TV while recharging their devices.
Both classes offer a 15.4-inch widescreen flat panel monitor with an on-demand digital system that offers 150 hours worth of movies, TV programs and video games. The new entertainment system now offers 20 channels of stored XM-branded audio, in addition to allowing passengers to create customized playlists using 30 channels of other stored audio. Both the entertainment system navigation controls and content are offered in up to 14 different languages, including English, and traditional and simplified Chinese.
Other facilities at first and business class seats include: a USB port to charge personal electronic devices such as personal digital assistants, mobile phones and digital cameras; a standard 110v power outlet requiring no adapter; an adjustable LED reading light with dimmer; and noise canceling headphones.