United Airlines will introduce the system of virtually seeing the possible seat options before reserving. It will also allow the consumers to see the available features of the airplane.
On Saturday, this new mode of virtual seat map will debut on the airline’s website. However, it will only be available for one type of aircraft, new 50-seat CRJ 550 and later on be expanded to other aircrafts.
The main aim of the seat map is to “demystify” the different
types of seats on a plane, said the United’s executive vice president of
technology and chief digital officer, Linda Jojo.
United and some major airways are planning to create segmentation in their seating plan. They have been carving their cabins into different sections of seating to suit travelers having variance budget and travel tastes.
Many passengers are having confusion with the introduction of different seats, including different sections within the economy cabin, some with extended legroom and other benefit like free drinks included.
For instance, most airlines have no extra benefits with a chosen seat in the economy cabin. It is just a seat that is chosen in a desirable spot of the airplane, for example windows closer to the plane’s front and aisles. In contrast, extra legroom and in-seat power outlets come with United’s Economy Plus seats.
Jojo said that the primary goal is not to get the passengers to buy a cushier seat using virtual seat map as a tool, though “that might happen.”
“More segmented product is what we have right now,” Jojo said. “For customers to understand the difference in those segments, when they buy it they know what they bought, is really the most important thing.”
United said, different seats pricing are on the regular online seat maps and won’t be shown on the virtual seat map for now but that is being considered for the future.