United has internally released its plans for how it’s going to handle the dismantling of Ted, and as usual, copies are circulating. I know that some planes have already been painted over, but that’s just the beginning. Here’s what we’re going to see. Let’s start with the biggest news.
- United will be creating another subfleet. The Ted A320 aircraft had a closet and galley removed from the front of the plane when they were converted from mainline A320s. Without those monuments, they can now fit more seats on those planes. The Ted planes will have 12 First Class, 42 Economy Plus, and 90 Economy seats. That’s 6 more seats (or one row) in the Economy Plus cabin than the existing A320s. This reconfiguration will start in March and be done by the end of 2009. It appears that these aircraft will continue to show the code “32S” while the mainline A320s show “320.”
- So far, eight of the 56 Ted planes have been painted in United colors with the rest being finished by May.
The only thing that really stands out here as problematic is the introduction of another A320 seat configuration. I have to wonder if this is the full story here. On one hand, United continues to fly two different configurations on each type of 737, and that’s a 10 year old relic of the Shuttle days (that is soon coming to an end when they’re retired). So with that mindset, is it in any way surprising that United would not bother to standardize the A320 fleet?
On the other hand, maybe management is now enlightened. Maybe we can expect to hear an announcement that a galley and closet will be removed from the other A320s in order to standardize the fleet. (You know it’s not going the other way, that’s for sure.)
[Original Photo via Wikimedia]