United Airlines launches new 'Polaris' business class seat, lounges

United Airlines launches new 'Polaris' business class seat, lounges

United Airlines will rebrand its international business class service as Polaris, with new seats and airport lounges from December 2016.

The Polaris seat is based on the proprietary Viva design from London's Acumen Design Associates, developed and styled by PriestmanGoode, and will debut on United’s new Boeing 777-300ER fleet by the end of this year.

United will also upgrade its Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 767-300 with the new seat, which will also grace the forthcoming Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

The Polaris seat has a full lie-flat bed length of just over two metres and provide each passenger with direct aisle access plus more personal space around the seat itself.

The seats are interleaved in a unique combination of forward-facing and angled versions...

... intended to maximise the room available to each traveller.

"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.

The suite-like Polaris pods include ample room for working and dining, with a 16-inch HD video screen which can be used on a 'gate to gate' basis and a clever tablet holder in the tray table.

There's also a goodly amount of storage for items you want to keep at hand.

Also part of the Polaris concept: pyjamas (on flights longer than 12 hours) and slippers...

... and custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue with plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and both a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer.

Fussy flyers can also be supplied with mattress cushions and a gel-cooled pillow.

There are even new amenity kits with eye shades, a 'calming lavender pillow mist' and Cowshed Spa products.

And the meals? Get set for seasonal menus with some uniquely regional touches for each route, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its chefs such as Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.

Those signature scooped-at-your-seat ice cream sundaes remain, of course, and on daytime flights longer than eight hours and all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Not enough? Grab a little something else at the snack bar.

Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode crafted an all-new look for the Polaris cabins.

Polaris lounges

United will also open what it describes as "an exclusive portfolio" of Polaris business class lounges around the world.

Each Polaris lounge will sport a dining area with a buffet selection and a la carte meals, and a tended bar

The Polaris lounges have been designed by UK-based PriestmanGoode and will each lounge will follow a common design plan with the most active areas at the entrance, followed by the bar and buffet, with the 'calmer' zones – including showers suites  and daybed rest pods (below) – further inside the lounge.

PriestmanGoode have also created what's called the Quad chair: a bespoke seat which mimics some of the inflight Polaris on the ground, with coat and bag storage, a pull-out table with integrated tablet holder, and AC/USB charging points.

The first new Polaris lounge will open on United's home turf of Chicago on December 1.

Additional Polaris lounges will roll out the welcome mat at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow throughout 2017.

For more on the wide-ranging and amitious Polaris concept, check out this video:

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

PREVIOUS | United Airlines is expected to reveal its next-generation business class seat this week as the centrepiece of what the Star Alliance member describes as a new premium travel experience.

The new BusinessFirst seat will debut on United’s new Boeing 777-300ER fleet which will begin flying by year’s end.

Although the design remains under wraps until United's media event in New York this Thursday June 2, indications are that the business class cabin will alternate between forward-facing and angled seats.

A floorplan reportedly of United’s Boeing 777-300ER revealed the unique layout, which will allow United to retain its revenue-wringing 2-4-2 seating arrangement of the older Boeing 777s but provide each passenger with direct aisle access.

briansumers.com
United's new business class seating layout revealed?
briansumers.com

“We are heavily focussed on creating an amazing international business class” Mark Krolick, managing director of UA’s Marketing & Product Development arm, told Australian Business Traveller last year.

United’s international premium cabin needs a shot in the arm to help the airline compete against American Airlines and Delta, both of which offer a more modern approach to business class compared to United’s Boeing 777-200 eight-across (2-4-2) business class...

… and the 2-2-2 seating of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

AusBT review: United Airlines Boeing 787 'BusinessFirst' business class 

Beyond the new seat United is also tipped to introduce a ‘sleep service’ which could include pyjamas, which are now offered on selected American Airlines and Delta Air Lines international business class routes.

Read: United Airlines considering business class pyjamas

Other creature comforts will include an improved meal service and serving Illy coffee inflight.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT 

 
David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

52 comments

  • aldrigsomandre

    aldrigsomandre

    1 Jun, 2016 08:30 am

    Eh, having never flown United, I can say that both of those seats on the 87 and 77 look absolutely horrible. The new "experience" should include table-side grilled kobe beef and a personal massage service to call that business class. So underwhelming.

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  • Andrew Lorken

    luckylorks

    1 Jun, 2016 08:38 am

    Nothing like someone else's shoes and feet within 30cm of your head as you try and sleep.  A unique experience indeed.

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  • kovsky

    kovsky

    1 Jun, 2016 10:22 am

    I won't hold my breath....

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    1 Jun, 2016 11:20 am

    If it's anything to go by what they said about their 787 flying experience, before they introduced them, then I wont expect anything.

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  • bmc

    bmc

    1 Jun, 2016 12:44 pm

    hope they upgrade the cabin crew too

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    1 Jun, 2016 02:05 pm

    It looks to me like Acumen's old "Viva" design. Acumen took it off their website but you can still find pics with google or bing image search.

    It doesn't look too bad IMO. It will fit well in 777s and Dreamliners. And it has enclosed footwells at least. Its not as generous as a Cirrus but its still a great improvement over the current seats and will be industry-competitive.

    But still, United are the airline of last resort for a reason.

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    1 Jun, 2016 05:29 pm

    I'm sorry, no.  No it won't be industry competitive.  Even American and Delta are leagues above this, and that is saying something.

    One thing I can agree on, however.  It will fit well in their 'Dreamliners' since they are already dreadful.

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    1 Jun, 2016 10:43 pm

    Agree, this new J for UA is not bad at all and finally industry-competitive now.

    Objectively, it's got all the key design features of the contemporary intercon J benchmark such as flat bed and direct aisle access for every seat.... the same benchmark that is not met by, e.g., the best J of LH anywhere or the best J of QF on say, SYD-LAX route today.  But of course, objectively is inconvenient and should not get in the way of rallying hatred towards anything UA so popular among posters here.

    Also, I find it really funny when someone here implied earlier that UA's new J is inferior because a pax's feet is only 30cm away from the head of another pax.  This person must be blissfully ignorant.....the actual physical distance between the head and toe of diff pax is more or less the same 30cm for the vast majority of J layouts used by almost all intercon carriers including sacred cows SQ and CX.  It doesn't matter whether it's fishbone or staggered type layout for J, the only thing separating head fm toe is the partition  that forms the sidewall /footwell /sidetable.

    On the other hand, I disagree with the author's claim that this layout is 8abreast.  Judging fm this seatmap(I hv seen it  about 6-7 times since it was unofficially leaked on the internet about 4-5mths ago), it's clearly a slight variation on the popular staggered 4abreast - Try this simple geometric exercise to see nd U'll see why:

    1.  Lay an imaginary straight line across any part of that seatmap @ 90 degree to the fuselage.

    2. Pick any spot/section of a seat(e.g. seat cushion) intersecting that line.

    3. U'll see the line crosses the very same spot of the seat exactly 4 times in that seatmap.......4 abreast seating layout by industry definition.

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  • Michael Harrison

    Realist

    1 Jun, 2016 04:37 pm

    Looks like United plans to discount their prices. Who would pay a premium price for this layout? And United service?

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    1 Jun, 2016 07:02 pm

    Can't wait for the improved J seat with 1cm extra legroom!

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  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    2 Jun, 2016 02:08 am

    I agree with FLX above and disagree with the author too that I don't think this is quite the 2-4-2 that it is today. If the seat map within this article is indeed accurate, it even has the seats as A/A D/D G/G L/L implying that they are marketing them as a 1-2-1 layout. You could argue that it's two 1-2-1 clusters, but I think it's a little unfair to call this 2-4-2.

    And while I also agree that DL and AA's seats are still leagues ahead, this does close the competition slightly, and frankly from a hard product I would take this over Emirates' new 777 layout. Yes their soft product and everything else totally eclipses United, but I do think it's funny Emirates still seems to get away with minimal backlash even when they announce something that is woefully outdated; they are the masters of covering the bad with bling and selling it to the masses. United should poach their marketing executive! :)

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  • DB

    aussieboyaussie

    2 Jun, 2016 06:50 am

    A terrible airline.

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  • ok2uselane

    ok2uselane

    2 Jun, 2016 02:15 pm

    Too little, too late. IMHO.

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  • gdumas

    gdumas

    3 Jun, 2016 12:45 am

    Is it just me or those new seats look cheap and the colours old school?
    Aside from that, it is a big step forward for United. 

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  • moa999

    moa999

    3 Jun, 2016 12:59 am

    Very interesting being a totally custom design.

    Looks like another take on a herribgbone design.. Standard facing forward seat that then swivels in bed mode to take on a classic herringbone configuration.

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  • moa999

    moa999

    3 Jun, 2016 01:19 am

     

    Edit - After looking again, its actually a 1x2x1 stagger

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    3 Jun, 2016 01:23 am

    Yep. Acumen's Viva. No surprises.

    Seriously, this is a massive leap for United. Fully lie flat beds with more privacy, more amenity, direct aisle access, storage space, bedding and pyjamas on 12hr+ flights? That's actually a genuinely competitive product. The design looks nicely futuristic too. It'll fit on a huge array of plane types also.

    Sure, the branding may be a little atypical but United are at least trying something new. And I don't think they've ever tried anything new.

    United are still, well, not a particularly good airline, but they're obviously trying to get better.

    I think the real problem though is they have a monolithic "comfort canyon" between their 9/10-abreast economy and their Polaris class. Seriously, they could address this by making Main Cabin Extra a bit more Extra... i.e. 9-abreast MCE in 777s and 8-abreast MCE in Dreamliners. That plus perhaps free champagne and they wouldn't actually need a "true" Premium Economy product.

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    3 Jun, 2016 01:46 am

    While I applaud the effort... especially for a U.S based carrier...(competition is bliss), how exactly will this ""change the game in international business travel" ?

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 08:30 pm

    "...how exactly will this "change the game in international business travel"?"

    Possibly by rolling out flat bed+direct aisle access in J on key UA intercon routes where the strongest competitors offer lower seat specs/std such as LAX-SYD by QF, FRA-EWR(NYC) by LH, PEK-JFK(NYC) by CA, etc., etc.

     

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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    6 Jun, 2016 08:42 pm

    Absulutely    QF  on A380 is crappy business class   - absoulutely not better than UA BusinessFirst  PMCO style - and al least the UA PMCO BusinessFirst seats are truly flat So it is a game changer  - the LH seats Ive not even tried - which seem only marginally better than the older LH slantbeds on the A380 I was part of a trial for LH FRA-JFK a few years ago The C seats we were trialling then were like CX at least in the middle seats  Window seating for 2 with no direct aisle access 

    SQ still fly their inferior C slant beds to Adelaide  and these are a rude shock when connecting from LH F A380 to SQ A330 C   So basically all airlines are guilty of penny pinching, not just UA   At least UA and LH dont charge credit card surcharges and there is the possibility to pay in local currencies  so you avoid foreign exchange fees! 

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 10:06 pm

    "..basically all airlines are guilty of penny pinching.."

    And no doubt under the indirect instruction fm shareholders thru the board of the airlines aiming to maximize return on invested capital /share prices.

    So all shareholders/investors in airlines are ultimately guilty of seeking to maximize return on their precious money.  They should give their money away to airlines to buy the best F or J seat designs in existence for less fare or even free like gov'ts(Or taxpayers) everywhere used to do decades ago when they still owned flag carriers 100%.

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  • aldrigsomandre

    aldrigsomandre

    3 Jun, 2016 01:51 am

    This is a much welcome improvement and I may consider this when flying to the States, but I still can't help but feel that they should have introduced something new when their 787's first arrived. It's way too late.

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  • yoshnips

    yoshnips

    3 Jun, 2016 05:06 am

    A bit off the seat topic - I am not a United hater, but I haven't flown United for years because of their miserable existing long haul business class seat. The new seat looks more reasonable and I might consider flying United once the new seats are installed. Does anyone have experience with the United IFE headphones. I have found the AA headphones to be more generously sized and comfortable than others - in particular those provided by BA (another terrible 2-4-2 business class cabin to avoid if at all possible). The AA headphones fit around and cradle my ear, whereas the BA headphones are so tiny that they mash my ear against my head.

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  • AB__CD

    AB__CD

    3 Jun, 2016 11:51 am

    AA headphones are class-leading, no doubt about it. Absolutely the best headphones you can find on an aircraft in any cabin, even if you're flying AA biz, which is saying something. Bose FTW!

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  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    3 Jun, 2016 08:16 am

    In other words, goodbye Global First.  Another international airline drops long haul first class, admittedly one that really was just a good business class.

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    3 Jun, 2016 10:34 am

    Wasn't even a good business class..

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 08:04 pm

    And UA bidding goodbye to Int'l F load system-wide mostly filled by FFP redemption/not actually earning F fare for over a decade...

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  • Steve Lewis

    Taane2014

    3 Jun, 2016 08:17 am

    Is it me or is the passenger eating his meal directly of his lap? I can't see a table tray or table tray stowage in any of the pics

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  • eminere

    eminere

    3 Jun, 2016 11:42 am

    Haha now that you point it out!

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    3 Jun, 2016 12:17 pm

    To maximise space, we have introduced a business class game changing lap eating service...

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 08:11 pm

    Is U plus possibly 2 more posters aligning with your comment.

    See photo 5 fm the top for the direct overhead seat map showing @ least 3 pax using a std sized table extended fm the side wall /armrest.

    In other words, classic jumping to negative conclusion re UA so popular among posters here....almost like a sport re how many things U can identify U hate about UA....

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    3 Jun, 2016 08:28 am

    It certainly looks up to par, maybe a little cramped as far as total area goes comparing to other legacy carriers, but definitely a vast improvement.  Well done.

    However, maybe United should now focus on their 1/10 customer service and inflight catering.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    3 Jun, 2016 08:35 am

    Assuming UA retains its competitive pricing on the AU/US sector, these changes ups the potential and benefit of retaining Aegean Gold for SQ economy class travel in Asia Pacific. I believe one AU/US sector in J is suffices to retain Gold. 

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  • Kogglogs

    Kogglogs

    3 Jun, 2016 11:33 am

    This is the seat that UA's 789's SHOULD have been delivered with. 

    A great step forward. Brings UA up to at least their other US based competitors. 

    One thing I just can't get my head around, is the tapered backrest leading up to the head rest. This means little to no shoulder support as most people (at least, most men) have shoulders wider than the seat itself. I'm seeing multiple US carriers adopting this design - AA have done the same on their new trans-con domestic lay-flat seating, as have HA on their new J seat.

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 09:34 pm

    "This is the seat that UA's 789 SHOULD have been delivered with.."

    But when the 1st 787 was delivered to UA in 2012, this new J design, along with customization for UA, did not even existed(Not even as a design blueprint and in fact, still not installed on any UA aircraft as of today)......there's a chronological issue with your statement.

    I'm guessing many posters here are unaware that CO placed its 1st order for 787 11yrs ago and UA(Itself ordered some 787 in 09) inherited that order after merger in 2010.  Like normal airline practice, CO selected & COMMITTED(i.e. certain quantity of a specific seat product U committed to buy fm supplier) to the J design for 787 only a few yrs after its initial order circa 2008.  Moreover, flatbed with direct aisle access for J was still uncommon /just emerging around 2007-08.  After merger, all UA 787 on order for near-term delivery(e.g. J seats for 1st 30-35  frames) simply aligned around the same J design already selected by CO yrs ago for obvious scale+product consistency reasons.

    In a nutshell, the fundamental reason why all UA 787s(Not just 789) are delivered with their current J design is due to a decision made 8yrs ago in a diff era by a predecessor carrier which had a much much smaller intercon network and didn't even really served AU(Except CNS-GUM).

    Once committed to a seat design for large number of airframe deliveries(UA hv 787 x49 on firm order or over 6times more than QF), it's very costly for a buyer to get out of or convert the deal with supplier.

    Of course, it's always easy to criticize a decision made nearly a decade ago.....hindsight is always 20/20 perfect.

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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Jun, 2016 01:18 pm

    Good to see this from UA  The demise of GlobalFirst to/from AU was a step backwards for UA QF does not offer anything better than UA to/from USA in C  Last schlepp on QF A380 from MEL-LAX in C reminded me why I stick to Star Alliance carriers Unfortunately I even have to fly the old boiler 747 in C on QF to HKG to pick up LX F on 777 soon

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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Jun, 2016 01:23 pm

    Oh and on A RECENT AWARD SCHLEPP when I did BA F  on 777 from SYD-SIN and got to use the rancid QF F lounge in SYD (Love my LH F terminal,  F lounges at MUC and FRA LX F lounges at A and E Gates in ZRH!!!!!) BA F  is not anything better than UA new C is offering, and the presentation of the UA PJs looks suspisciously like the presentation of PJs in BA F   - is this a PriestmanGoode thing?

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 09:50 pm

    "...demise of GlobalFirst....was a step backwards for UA..."

    Actually, it's a logical step forward for UA seat product investment discipline precisely due to many folks doing similar as per your statement as below:

    "...on A RECENT AWARD SCHLEPP when I did BA F..."

    Except very few upscale(i.e. corp travel policy which still allow F) biz heavy intercon routes worldwide, F capacity is largely not earning F fare but mostly stay empty or used by FFP redemptions......about the worst justifications any airline can find to reinvest in F.

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  • ok2uselane

    ok2uselane

    3 Jun, 2016 01:49 pm

    Those seats look awfully narrow to me.  I have to agree with others, UA needs a competitive Premium Economy product to remotely stay competitive in the current market.

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  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    3 Jun, 2016 01:58 pm

    Hope that UA fits these new Business Seats on the B787-8 & -9 models as well. 
    It would bring up the standard offered on these plans but only just compared to the other US based airlines  

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  • Jonnie

    Jonnie

    3 Jun, 2016 02:31 pm

    That looks like a really premium product...seems UA is really stepping up their game on long-haul international routes. It looks like they're back in consideration for my Asia-USA hops after a decade flying Asian carriers.

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  • Arunabh Saha

    EKaviator

    3 Jun, 2016 03:48 pm

    I really applaud the minute but notable innovation in the seating layout, mixing completely forward facing seats and angled seats, in a bid to offer optimal private space. The 1-2-1 staggered configuration is also a good selection, especially with regard to aisle access. No one likes climbing over their fellow passengers. Overall, the new 'Polaris' seems to be a good premium product and a much needed upgrade over their current Boeing 777 and 787 BusinessFirst seats.

    I am slightly sceptical about United's decision to fit the Boeing 767 and 787-10 with the Polaris. Their inferior cabin width in comparison to the Boeing 777-300ER and even the Airbus A350-1000 will impact seat width. Perhaps United will change the layout to 1-1-1/1-2-1 (rows alternating between 1-1-1 and 1-2-1) in those aircrafts, putting one forward seat in the middle flanked by two angled versions in the next row. But that is just a speculation on my part.

    I am also not sure about United introducing a new set of lounges just for a specific cabin type. It appears to be unnecessary expenditure. It may be better off upgrading its exisiting facilities if wants to renew airport experience for passengers. Excluding access to United Club and MileagePlus members also seems to be a very immature decision.

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  • Peripatetic

    Peripatetic

    3 Jun, 2016 03:56 pm

    I think the Polaris concept is great. It ticks the privacy and direct aisle access boxes much better than the newly announced emirates 777 offering at 2-3-2.

    Also like that the lounges (where available) will offer a real meal preflight to maximise sleep on short night flights. 

    What I don't like is that they don't appear to be planning on rolling this product out onto the existing 787-8 and -9 that serves Australia / NZ.

    Given SYD/MEL - US is true long haul, I hope they review the aircraft serving these routes. Ironic given we used to see 3 X 747 daily. At least bring back the refurbished 777-200's with this new Polaris product if you really want to compete with QF/AA/VA

    The old CO product on the 787 is SO grim and impersonal IMHO.

    Nice to have something new to be excited about on the friendly skies 

     

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 11:10 pm

    "Ironic given we used to see 3 x 747 daily"

    How so?  U honestly believe the Trans-Pcf mkt and aircraft tech hv  NOT changed dramatically since the days when UA sent 747 x3 daily to AU?  I clearly remember it's an era when essentially only 2 players were allowed in that mkt well before today when 5 players(i.e. against 1 competitor before vs against 4 competitors today or 400% increase in the degree of mkt competition....and I don't think the mkt has grown 400% over the decades) are chasing after similar Trans-Pcf customers each with full freedom to add/reduce capacity or change fares @ will.

    "bring back the refurbished 777-200's with this new Polaris product if you really want to compete with QF/AA/VA."

    I'm guessing U're referring purely to inflight product std but not mkt share/dominace(i.e. AA or VA is much smaller than UA in the U.S.-AU mkt).  But then pls educate me in what tech aspects  are UA's current J being inferior to Skybed II deployed by QF in that mkt?

    Until then and objectively speaking, if your priority is the best J product available in the AU-U.S. mkt, U should choose AA or VA and forget about QF or UA.  Claiming UA's J is inferior to QF's J is like the pot sneering @ the kettle for being black.

    Like it or not fm the J product std aspects, there's no hurry for UA  to move to Polaris until QF move to BusinessSuites on AU-U.S. routes.

    "..old CO product on the 787 is SO grim and impersonal..."

    And U honestly believe no other J pax in this mkt think the old QF Skybed II is just as(Or even more) grim and impersonal as the old CO J product on 787?  Either way, I seriously doubt personal styling preference(i.e. nothing to do with pax comfort nor convenience level) re J seat design QF vs CO/UA has any tangible impact to overall relative mkt competitiveness.

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  • anna100

    anna100

    3 Jun, 2016 03:57 pm

    'Polaris', isn't / wasn't that a nuclear powered submarine - strange name. 

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  • SYD

    SYD

    3 Jun, 2016 09:14 pm

    It's a star. The North Star. Probably relevant to the Stary Alliance.

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 11:20 pm

    And United probably stands for ausbt.com.au posters UNITED against UA....

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 11:19 pm

    1st, others here picking on the colour scheme(Btw, that's UA's corp colours so should we really be expecting any other colors?) of this UA product.  Then now, picking on the name of the product....

    Wow, hatred of UA here really hv no bounds....may be UA murdered some Australian pax yrs ago.

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  • richard seay

    richseay

    3 Jun, 2016 09:12 pm

    POLARISING ........sorry but since when have United delivered anything truly innovative , this isn't even playing catch up. It's playing " we are sorry our old offering was so bad" ...both hard and soft but hey " look at us now" no thanks but others can tell me is this service offered at 30% less.  Ummmm look at va offering to USA .....

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    6 Jun, 2016 11:41 pm

    "...since when have United delivered anything truly innovative."

    By that std, which player in AU-U.S. has in recent yrs?

    I wouldn't dare to name DL despite the fact(Again, an inconvenient thing for posters here) that it was the 1st player to introduce flat bed with direct aisle access in J and remains as the only player to offer such product for 6yrs+ in that mkt.

    Of course, the party line here is still no U.S. airline is innovative in inflight products....

    "look at va offering to USA..."

    I hv and noticed that AA(Sadly another U.S. carrier I assume...) has beaten VA to the same game in J by 2mths earlier this yr.

    Of course, AA's J has inferior styling/colour scheme than VA's and as a result, will be non-competitive against VA.  The fact that AA has large OneWorld hubs on both ends while VA doesn't(Partner DL's hub ops @ LAX is tiny) must be irrelevant to mkt competitivenss....

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  • Herman  G

    mancho90

    4 Jun, 2016 01:27 am

    I’m not a big fan of UA at all, but being fair and objective, I think this it is a bit accomplishment for them and for the airline industry. I’m hopping that at least one of my flights in Jan 2017 will include the new 773ER we will see.

    Many people here seems to have an opinion on paper but not in reality… like have the feet of other next to your face… well every “cubicle” or “pod” have divisional walls and I haven’t flying with other’s feet on my face.  Some others mention that they are not compatible with the industry… well bad news for them because they are, you just have to fly NH, LX or OS to find out that these UA seats have some similar distribution, but with more efficiency because they can allocate more seats without compromising much the comfort.

    Try JL, NH, AC, CX, AA, BA and AF where when you are in, the sensation of space is not that great.. a bit claustrophobic like in NH, JL and BA… narrow seats with walls around everywhere…CX, AC, AA and AF have a much more feeling but still not that ‘spacious” a seat that become flat bed and you sleep or lounge with very minimalist surround and so much “plastic” not many “natural” touches.

    If you go into a long haul fleet of LX or OS, you will see in the left hand side of K seats that are positioned very similar to UA, but straight facing the front, UA reduced the space a bit more positioning some in angle and looks that a bit narrower… but that auxiliary table in “stone” gives a nice touch and they are very useful at all time.

    Like the touches of “wood” and some fabrics to warm a bit the environment and not so much plastic like AC, and the little touches in thru the cabin… very important.

    But what it calls my attention on this is what the author mention about the “Exclusivity” of the lounge for Business Class only passengers… almost like a Fist Class treatment… in the newsletter that I receved from Mileage Plus doesn’t specify… however, if that is the case it would be amazing, because I’m tired of lounges where the noise level is increasing, hard to find a seat at peak hours, and love the idea of having a full meal before flying to enjoy my airtime more to sleep or work or just lounging.

    The KEY component here would be that UA become more on-time and their people change their attitude and become more friendly and professional, without the bitch attitude that become a UA “signature” that make fly in other airline… AA and DL change their attitude time ago and their flights are so pleasant and on-time

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    7 Jun, 2016 12:07 am

    "...auxillary table in "stone' gives a nice touch and they are very useful at all time....touches of wood and some fabrics to warm a bit the environment..."

    Agree and for me, the most attractive styling touch of Polaris is that stylish little lamp above the side table.  It exudes a warm feeling(Like a side table lamp @ home) and clearly practical but uncommon even among the best J of CX, SQ, NH, OZ, EK and , QR(All SkyTrax 5* carriers).  Even QF's latest J only gives U a typical spot light.  I can only recall seeing similar design feature on the latest J of CI and the F of LH/LX.

    It's the collection of small, thoughtful design touches on Polaris that I believe UA intercon product strategy has fundamentally shifted fm its past(Well, more like 2 diff & unrelated past with 1 of CO + 1 of pre-merger UA....Polaris is the 1st truly new J produced by a merged UA).  While fellow U.S. Big3 intercon players DL and AA(Plus AC in Canada) settle with off-the-shelf J design with little to no customization, U can tell UA has spent a lot more development hours(May be not that much more in terms of manufacturing$) on Polaris.

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20 Jun, 2019 07:28 am

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