Premium Plus: United’s Premium Economy to launch in 2018

I don’t have a lot of details on this but what appears to be an internal company memo indicates that United Airlines will (finally) launch a premium economy product in 2018. The Premium Plus product is expected to launch on the company’s new 787-10 deliveries.

Introducing United® Premium Plus

International premium economy is coming.

Later this year, we’ll begin to introduce United’s Premium Plus. Available on select international flights, United® Premium Plus will give you more space, comfort and amenities. The seats will be more spacious and you’ll enjoy upgraded dining on china dinnerware, free alcoholic beverages, a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow, an amenity kit and more.

While further information – including which aircraft types and rollout schedule – is scant the one photo I’ve seen so far suggests that the seat looks a lot like the Delta Premium Select offering. Add in a Saks pillow/blanket combo similar to the new Polaris/business class kit and that starts to look a lot like a real premium economy offering.

Most telling will be just how quickly United manages to get the new product rolled out. American is moving spectacularly quickly on its premium economy rollout while Delta is just as impressive in how slow it is moving. Many European and Asian airlines are ahead of the curve on this one while the ME3 are straggling. And these days United doesn’t rate much benefit of the doubt when it comes to such rollouts; Polaris has proven a stunningly slow go.

More details and an official announcement are expected from the company in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Seth Miller has over a decade of experience covering the airline industry. With a strong focus on passenger experience, Seth also has deep knowledge of inflight connectivity and loyalty programs. He is widely respected as an unbiased commentator on the aviation industry. He is frequently consulted on innovations in passenger experience by airlines and technology providers. You can connect with Seth on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .