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Four United Routes Lose Polaris Service

Four United Routes Lose Polaris Service
Joe Cortez

If you thought you had a United Airlines route served by the premium Polaris cabin, you may want to double-check the scheduled aircraft. The Chicago-based carrier is shaking up upcoming routes, exchanging some Polaris-equipped aircraft for those not with the premium cabin.

Among domestic carriers, United Airlines’ premium cabin, Polaris, may be the most sought after for its luxury amenities. However, an upcoming shift may change the luxury for some flyers. First noted by Travel For Miles after a bulletin from Routes Online, a major shift is planned for the end of the year.

The change in aircraft may be due in part to an announced retrofit of some aircraft. In early 2019, United announced an overhaul of aircraft interiors. Australian Business Traveller reported Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft would get upgraded to the Polaris seat, while United said they would also add more Polaris business class seats to Boeing 767 airframes.

In total, four routes will lose Polaris service, while four other routes will gain the premium cabin on their airframes. Service from Los Angeles to Shanghai between December 7, 2019, and January 31, 2020, will lose the service. Other routes losing service will all depart from Newark: outbound to Barcelona starting October 26, 2019; outbound to Brussels starting February 13, 2020; and outbound to Hong Kong starting December 3, 2019.

In the exchange, three routes outbound from San Francisco and one from Newark will all gain Polaris service. Starting on December 3, 2019, the route between Newark and Sao Paulo, Brazil will gain Polaris service with the Boeing 777-300ER. From San Francisco, three routes will also get Polaris service: outbound to Frankfurt starting February 12, 2020; outbound to Shanghai full time starting February 13, 2020; and San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) starting January 6, 2020.

The aircraft shifts follows a route expansion for the Chicago-based airline. Starting later this year, the carrier announced the addition of 12 new and expanded routes from the hubs in Chicago, Denver, Newark, and San Francisco.

View Comments (4)


  1. sdsearch

    September 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Will United let you switch at no cost from flying Los Angeles to Shanghai, to flying Los Angeles to San Francisco, onto Shanghai, if you already booked the former because you thought it would have Polaris seats (are have assigned seats that were in the Polaris section)?

  2. alexmyboy

    September 24, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I would be happy with a pillow and an air mattress

  3. AsiaTravel2019

    October 16, 2019 at 8:19 am

    I cannot imagine flying all the way from Newark to Hong Kong without Polaris. The terrible flight crews based their with their horrible attitudes and awful food make it bad enough.

  4. Prof_Dr_G

    October 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    We have met the enemy, and it’s the customer

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