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United Airlines Launches Wireless Charging, First-Class Upgrades

Travelers will start seeing the new United First seat on planes this summer as the airline expects to have the new seat on 200-plus planes by late 2026

By Todd R. Berger

7.27.23 United Airlines debuts wireless charging, additional first-class amenities
A United plane at the terminal in Albuquerque, New Mexico. United Airlines launched wireless charging and other first-class amenities in mid-July. | Photo by eqroy, Courtesy of Adobe Stock

United Airlines launched in mid-July a new domestic first-class seat that includes a wireless charging station in every armrest. The new United First seat—which also features vegan leather upholstery, 13-inch seatback screens and 18-inch tray tables, Bluetooth connectivity, privacy screens, and an ergonomist-designed cushion—debuted on its first 737 in July, and customers will continue to see it roll out this summer. The airline expects the new seat to be on 200 domestic planes by 2026, including 737 NGs, A321neos, and 737 MAXs.

“This new United First seat is designed around the modern traveler—more charging options; bigger spaces for devices, food, drinks, and personal items; and extra privacy,” says Mark Muren, United managing director of identity, product and loyalty, in a prepared statement. “As we evolve the onboard experience, we’re upending old industry norms and anticipating future needs to accommodate the new ways people live and travel.”

In each United First seat, customers can enjoy the following features: charging multiple devices at once; larger, user-friendly seatback entertainment; additional space for work and relaxation; and more private, adjustable seats.

Passengers can quickly charge their multiple electronic devices at once with three types of charging docks in each seat—wireless, AC household-style outlet, and USB-C. The wireless charger is located in a compartment of the armrest to give the passenger line-of-sight to notifications and free their hands and tray table.

In addition, a growing number of customers prefer a two-screen experience where they use a personal device and a seatback screen simultaneously, so United is upleveling the experience. The 13-inch, high-definition screens are Bluetooth capable and include a remote for those unable to reach the touch screen.

Designated space for devices, food, drinks, and more make it easier for passengers to enjoy the full experience. A larger 18 x 8.5-inch tray table features a built-in tablet holder and enough space for most laptops. With authentic Italian quartzite cocktail tables and bottle holders between each seat, passengers don’t have to balance gadgets, drinks, and snacks on one tray table.

In the large seats upholstered with vegan leather, passengers will experience more privacy with an 11 x 19-inch divider between neighbors, winged headrests, and tray tables that deploy from outer armrests to reduce passenger contact. The seat features a 5-inch recline range, adjustable aisle armrest that lowers completely, and an ergonomically designed seat cushion that sits 1 inch lower to accommodate a wider variety of heights.

In addition to installing the new seats, United will update existing domestic first-class seats on more than 200 planes by 2025. United First seats on select 737, A319, and A320 aircraft will be redesigned with new seat cushions, vegan leather upholstery, and winged headrests.

united.com

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