United Airlines Is Making Good Progress With The Polaris Business Seat Roll Out

In December 2016, United Airlines announced that it would be replacing its United BusinessFirst and United Global First services with Polaris business class service. Since that first announcement, the airline has been adding it to their existing fleet. Let’s see how far they’ve come since then…

Polaris was first introduced in 2016 and has been slowly implemented in existing aircraft. Photo: United Airlines

For those unfamiliar with United Polaris, the airline calls it a reinvention of their international premium cabin travel experience:

“Features include exclusive United Polaris lounges with rest spaces and high-end pre-flight dining options; a custom-designed personal onboard suite with added privacy, comfort and convenience; sleep-focused amenities such as custom Saks Fifth Avenue luxury bedding and spa-quality Cowshed products from Soho House & Co; and reimagined dining options created in partnership with chefs from The Trotter Project.”

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According to United Airlines, its plan has been to “add one aircraft with United Polaris seating every 10 days from now through 2020”. Well, this week we got some positive news. United Airlines Vice President of International Network, Patrick Quayle confirmed that the carrier is set to hit a key target by the end of 2019.

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By this December

According to The Points Guy, by December United expects to have the Polaris cabin on half of its wide-body fleet. In fact, this represents roughly 100 aircraft including Boeing 767s, 777s, and 787s.

Polaris would obviously already be installed on newer aircraft – planes like United’s new Boeing 787-10. However, passengers flying on older aircraft are left with some level of uncertainty about whether or not they’ll get the retrofit.

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Older aircraft include widebodies like the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. In February we reported that these planes may have as many as 46 Polaris Business class seats. In contrast to this, aircraft that have not had the cabin update only have a total of 30 seats in Business class.

As for the entire fleet (wide-body and narrow-body), Quayle notes that approximately a third of all aircraft have now gone through the retrofit process. However, The Points Guy article notes that some Boeing 777-200s are to keep their old, existing cabins. These aircraft operate domestic and regional routes.

New Polaris amenity kits

Earlier this year, United Airlines introduced amenity kits in several cabins. Once comprised of Cowshed skincare products, these new kits will offer products by Houston-based skincare brand Sunday Riley.

The new Polaris amenity kit features four Sunday Riley products:

  1. Lip balm with pomegranate seed oil and shea butter
  2. Face cream with a blend of all-natural botanicals
  3. Hand cream with shea butter, cocoa butter, and rosehip seed oil
  4. Facial cleansing cloth featuring peppermint extract
The new United’s Polaris Amenity Kit as of April 2019. Photo: United

International expansion

Just yesterday, United Airlines announced some brand new flights as part of an ambitious international expansion process. The new destinations include:

  • Curacao in the Caribbean
  • Nice, France
  • Palermo, Italy

Furthermore, the airline confirmed that it would continue with its seasonal service to Athens, Barcelona, Naples and Porto.

United Airlines Boeing 787
United Airlines just announced new routes as part of an international network expansion. Photo: United Airlines.

“United’s global network is a tremendous source of pride for our employees and loyal customers – we’re always looking for ways to grow and expand our network to connect our customers to more destinations around the world…These new additions help position United as the airline of choice for customers planning their business or leisure travel.” – Vice President Patrick Quayle, International Network

Have you experienced United’s Polaris class? Let us know what you think of it by leaving a comment!

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Rod Abid

It’s SOOO much better than the 6 or 8 across that they have featured in the past. The only good seat on those flights (777-200ER) is 6A because 6B is reserved for pilot rest. The Polaris lounge is brilliant. The bedding is good. And they’ve improved the food offerings. It’s not Emirates, but it’s a vast improvement over the tired old Business Class.

Croc1

I’ve been in business classes that have the 1-2-1 layout with the alternating “together-apart” seats in the middle, but I have never been stuck in the “together” part (where the 2 seats are right next to each other…as are the IFE screens). I wonder if there is any separation available between the video screens, or do you get to watch your show and you neighbor’s at the same time?

theresa jennings

the food still stink