With three reconfigured 777s now in service, for the first time ever on United Airlines, passengers in economy class have access to audio and video on-demand.
Embracing the practice of their bride CO, UA is testing out selling premium programming on the AVOD systems to coach flyers.
While I don't blame UA for seeking ancillary revenue from whatever source they can, I am uncomfortable with UA charging for what their leading competitors do not. You don't pay for "premium" AVOD on EK, SQ, NZ, LH, and QF. I don't think UA should be charging either--at least on international routes. But I also know the way many consumers think: all that matters is which carrier is cheapest. UA has no doubt thought this decision through.
Per this thread on FT, during the initial trial period pricing will be:
- $6 for flights under six hours
- $10 for flights over six hours
Passengers who do not opt to purchase the "premium" programming will still have access to several complimentary movies, television programs, and audio choices.
United Business and United First will receive the enhanced selections (likely the same selections offered already on 747s and 767s) at no additional charge.