United Airlines Takes Aim at Business Travelers, With Walmart's Hometown in Sight

United Airlines will woo high-fare passengers by retrofitting more than 100 planes to add more premium seats on key routes.The airline also plans to start using a new 50-seat jet with mostly premium seats on some key business-travel routes.United's moves, announced Wednesday, are part of an industry trend to give more space and better service to high-paying passengers who account for a disproportionate share of airline revenue.Andrew Nocella, the airline's chief commercial officer, said executives decided that United has "a shortage of business-class seats into the premium markets, and this fixed that problem."Henry Harteveldt, an airline analyst at Atmosphere Research, said United's announcement was a bold challenge to Delta Air Lines, the acknowledged front-runner among the nation's top three carriers for its on-time performance and strong profit margins.  Continue reading...

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