No Mas Coach reports that United Airlines will rebrand its p.s. (premium service) transcon flights as “United Coast”, adding Boston to San Francisco to the premium market.
United Coast will include the existing p.s. service between Newark and Los Angeles/San Francisco as well as the Boston – San Francisco route. The soft product will allegedly not change, but p.s. business class currently includes:
- Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
- Amenity kits
- Multi-course meals
That’s a big step up from United’s transcon service to other destinations.
Twice I have written that United will offer exclusively lie-flat service in business class between Boston and San Francisco. Months have passed and United oddly still has failed to publicize or publicly confirm these changes. It has raised business class prices quite dramatically on the BOS-SFO route, at least signaling it is aware of the premium seats.
> Read More: United Making Boston-San Francisco Route Lie-Flat
> Read More: Lie-Flat Beds Return to Schedule Between BOS-SFO on United
As JetBlue expands its highly-competitive MINT business class offering, legacies like United are being forced to contend.
Last time I asked about the future of p.s., United spokesman Jonathan Guerin dodged an answer, stating–
We continually evaluate our products and services across all of our markets. We have not announced anything new or changing on those routes.
That was a couple of months ago. I’ve reached out to him again and will provide an update if he is able to substantiate the rumor or provide any additional information.
> Read More: United Will Not Retire 757-200s As Planned
United Coast: United Needs More than a New Name
I’m going to be bluntly honest. JetBlue MINT service blows United (and American too…) out of the water. While expanding its premium transcon market to SFO/BOS will help to keep it competitive with JetBlue, here are just a few things JetBlue does better:
- Close-door suites
- Truly fast (and complimentary) internet
- Delectable a la carte menus
- Espressos and capuccinos
Of course United offers a worldwide route network, better earning opportunities, and the Star Alliance network. Thus, you cannot just compare flight to flight. Still, if I am buying a business class ticket it will be on JetBlue. As a relatively happy United MillionMiler, that says a lot. United must do more to enhance its soft product if it wants to win.
Delta now offers premium service between Washington National (DCA) and Los Angeles and will also begin premium service between Boston and San Francisco next month. United really had no choice and will still offer an onboard product that lags behind Delta and JetBlue.
We’ll wait for the official news, but “United Coast” has a great ring to it. Based upon my conversations with people at United about the future of the p.s. name, I’d wager a guess that this is indeed an accurate leak.