March 23rd, 2011

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United had their Investor Day yesterday and CEO Jeff Smisek spoke at length about the newly merged carrier’s plans. Key things to note:

1) More changes coming to the frequent flyer program that both customers and shareholders will like
2) Fully lie-flat seats on transcontinental (JFK-LAX/SFO and possibly more) flights. This would put United way ahead of what Delta, American and Virgin America offer in their premium cabins

3) First class will remain on international flights in some markets for “a while.” (Check out my review of the international 767 United First class here)
4) Clubs will be improving
5) Focus is on profit

Overall, it seems like they are really focusing on improving their premium product and attracting the business traveler. What this means to upgrades is still to be determined, but it’s nice to see them focusing on their product, instead of cheapening it (though they did just get rid of all meals and snacks in coach).

It will be interesting to see how American and Delta react – both of their premium products have a long way to go before they can be considered industry leading.

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