A friend shared the (apparently leaked) image of the United Airlines new livery before the official release. My first reaction was, “Meh”.
I’m a sentimental guy, and some would say
old old school. In my heart, I was hoping for some version of the old tulip, but I figured the globe wasn’t going away. It didn’t. While my first reaction is mentioned above, I’d say this is not bad. It is an improvement, certainly more modern looking, although to me it is boring.
Besides the name, one of the few legacies from United that remain is Rhapsody in Blue, the Gershwin song. Still fitting, especially now, with all this, well, blue. As they say, “Out with the gold, in with the blue”. For more information on the new brand strategy, visit the United Hub page on brand here.
It’s a paint job, who cares? Or, “Lipstick on a pig”
The exterior of the plane has little meaning if the service onboard isn’t good. I don’t fly United as much as I used to, but they are my backup airline. I left them after making One Million Miles and the disaster of post-merger operations in the Jeff Smisek era. Things are getting better, but I do feel like this is more empty marketing hype.
Kind of like the years-long roll out of Polaris. The Polaris lounges are lovely, but there are still more to open, and worst of all, barely 1/4 of the widebody fleet has Polaris seating on board. As of late April 2019, there are still a dozen or so 777s flying with 2-4-2 business class. (Source: United Fleet Site). United has already made multiple cuts in onboard service, from some features of the Polaris service, to less flight attendants on board. These are the things that matter, not the color of the tail. That said, I’d still like to try a flight in real Polaris Business Class…
My final thoughts on United Airlines new livery
I think United’s focus is wrong. The new color scheme is fine, if boring, but a clear improvement on a 1990s era livery. Why does this matter? Why not focus on things that effect the customer experience? Very under the radar is the changes to in flight entertainment. A new IFE system is on the 787-10 fleet, and rolling out across the fleet over the next few years. I realize this isn’t as flashy as a shiny new paint job, but I expect more customers will care about their inflight entertainment options than will even notice the colors on the airplanes tail.
What do you think about United’s new paint scheme?