In June 2021, United Airlines placed a large narrow body order for 270 new aircraft, comprised of 70 Airbus A321neos, 150 Boeing 737 MAX 10s and 50 MAX 8s.
This comes on top of previous orders for a combination of MAX 8-10s, as well as 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft which they plan to use as replacements for their aging Boeing 757-200s and 757-300s.
The new A321neos are expected to feature a new domestic first class product with wireless charging spots, larger 13 inch IFE displays with Bluetooth connectivity, addition privacy options including privacy wings around the headrests and center dividers.
They have also reworked the table space and tablet holder to accommodate devices as large as a laptop. Recline has been improved, and the seat itself has been lowered to make it more comfortable for taller passengers.
Unfortunately that’s where the good news ends as this aircraft is tight tight tight. Compared to American and Delta, United’s A321neos will seat 200 passengers with 20 in domestic first class (2-2 config), 57 Economy Plus seats which have a few extra inches of legroom, and 123 regular economy seats.
At the start of September, it was reported that United’s A321neos would enter service from the later part of July 2024, with bookings temporarily showing up for flights from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale, however they was later changed to a Boeing 737-900.
Ishrion Aviation is now reporting that introduction dates have been brought up significantly, with the first A321neo flights departing out of Chicago to Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale on December 14, 2023.
|Route||Service Dates/Info||Launch Flight Finder|
|Between Chicago (ORD) and Phoenix (PHX)||2x daily service from December 14, 2023 to January 8, 2024|
1x daily service from January 9, 2024 onward
|Between Chicago (ORD) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)||1x daily service from December 14, 2023||Find Flight|
|Between Chicago (ORD) and Orlando (MCO)||1x daily service from January 9, 2024||Find Flight|
|Between Chicago (ORD) and Ft. Myers (RSW)||1x daily service from January 9, 2024||Find Flight|
|Between Chicago (ORD) and Las Vegas (LAS)||1x daily service from January 9, 2024||Find Flight|
The very first flight from Chicago to Phoenix will fly as ‘UA321’, with an estimated departure time of 9:20 a.m. The airline has not officially acknowledged these route changes (at the time of publication) so the possibility remains that last minute fleet changes could still occur.
[Featured Photo: United]