United’s First Refurbished 787 With Polaris To Take To The Skies

United Airlines’ first refurbished Boeing 787-8 is hitting the skies this coming Wednesday, featuring the up-to-date Polaris business class product.

The Polaris business-class cabin is now onboard the Boeing 787-8. Photo: United

What are the details?

United Airlines has slowly been rolling out its new business class product among its aircraft, with the Boeing 787-8 now the next aircraft type to be upgraded.

As published by The Points Guy, the Boeing 787-8 (tail number N27908), was set to rejoin the fleet with its facelift by December but delays to the work pushed the aircraft’s reintroduction back to next Wednesday.

The aircraft’s first commercial flight will be an overnight flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Washington Dulles (IAD), departing at 23:00 and arriving at the crack of dawn, at 06:47 AM.

According to the source, the entire flight is already sold out so you might just have to book a different leg of the same aircraft if you want to experience it. The aircraft also has the new United premium economy onboard.

How many aircraft have the new Polaris business class?

United has actually created an online tracker that shows a somewhat daily updated figure of how much of the Polaris rollout is completed. Here it is as it stands right now:

The Polaris rollout tracker. Photo: United

So far United has rolled out the new product to its Boeing 787-10 fleet (which were delivered with the product onboard), all of their Boeing 777-300ER fleet, some of their 767s and 777-200ERs and none of their Boeing 787-9s.

The Boeing 787-8 upgrade has reduced the number of business class seats onboard, from 36 to 28. This means that those trying to upgrade on points might find less availability, but trust us, it is worth the alternative…

What is the new Polaris business class like?

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

Well, you only need to look at the previous United business class to get a good understanding of why this new Polaris, or an upgrade for that matter, is a good deal.

United OLD buisness CLASS
The business class onboard the United Boeing 777-200ER before the upgrade in 2013. Photo: Alan Light via Flickr

As you can see, the old class has seats in a 2-4-2 configuration (eight across like in the economy cabin) and they are reversed in each second row like a bus! This reminds me of my economy review on United from Hawaii, with the very much ‘mass-transit’ vibe I experienced.

The old 787-8 Business Class has seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Anyway, here is the new Polaris business class:

United Polaris
It is an upgrade. Photo: United Airlines

Gone is the eight across configuration, replaced by a much more humane 1-2-1 configuration.

All seats have aisle access and their own private space, plus new LED mood lighting throughout the cabin. The upgrades can’t be understated compared to the old business class.

If you haven’t flown with United in their Polaris cabin, this is what you can expect:

A seat designed for sleep with 180 degrees flatbed that extends to 6 feet and 6 inches (78 inches of the pitch when in seat mode), plus a 16-inch screen and an insane amount of bedding designed by Saks Fifth Avenue (two pillows, bed sheet, light sheet, and duvet). Each seat has direct aisle access, although every second row has far more privacy and is closer to windows thanks to an offset layout.

The amount of bedding for each business class customer onboard the United Boeing 787-10. Photo: United

“United Polaris will change the game in international business travel with an exceptional level of relaxation and comfort throughout our customers’ journeys,” said Oscar Munoz, president, and CEO of United back when the product was first launched“This completely reconceived experience exemplifies the new spirit of United and the innovation, excitement and operational momentum across our airline.”

What do you think of the new fit-out of the 787-8? Let us know in the comments.