Lost in the outrage over a puppy that died on a United Airlines flight last week was a big slice of news on the carrier’s plans for its domestic cabin configurations. According to Skift’s Brian Sumers, the airline is thinking about expanding its premium economy product — which is only officially planned for some international routes — to the domestic sector.
Creative ways to divide passenger cabins have turned into a boon for airlines over the past few years. In addition to premium economy revenue bumps, the industry has aggressively rolled out basic economy cabins to trim back on amenities to save additional cash. Rolling out premium economy cabins into new markets seems to be a logical next step in that plan.
As to whether United actually follows through with its plans, the jury is still out. Many think that the airline’s plan to integrate Polaris premium cabins came prematurely, setting passengers up for disappointment and the carrier for embarrassment. As a result of that black eye, United’s strategy for introducing domestic premium economy may end up being more measured.
— Grant Martin
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