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✨ Polaris (& PP) Retrofits: Schedule, ....

Old May 29, 17, 1:21 pm
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Last edit by: kirkwoodj
Check the current status of aircraft reconfigured (or delivered) with new Polaris seats: http://view.ceros.com/united/polaris...-desktop-4/p/3.

A Polaris Update and Polaris Mod Schedule to indicate the status of specific aircraft are maintained by those that manage the United Airlines Fleet Website.

Except for 773- and 781-operated flights, and those markets selling Premium Plus, Polaris-equipped planes have not been allocated to specific routes. You won't know until approx. 36-48 hours before departure if you'll have a newly reconfigured aircraft, and even then, it may be replaced with a non-retrofitted aircraft.

777-300ER - All 22 aircraft have Polaris (60 seats) and installation of Premium Plus cabins (24 seats) is complete.

767-300ER - As of September 2020, 31 of the 38 aircraft have been reconfigured with the Polaris seats.
- Retrofit is from 3-cabin to 2-cabin with direct-aisle-access seats. No 3-cabin 767s remain in service.
- 76A configuration is 30J/50Y+/134Y, total of 214; fleet to consist of 17 ships (former 3-cabin 767s).
- 76L configuration is 46J/22PE/47Y+/52Y; fleet to consist of 21 ships (18 former 2-cabin 76C and 3 used ships from Hawaiian).

767-400ER - [16 aircraft] None updated yet; modifications put on hold due to Covid-19.

777-200ER - As of September 2020, 46 of the 50 aircraft have been reconfigured with Polaris and Premium Plus seats.
- Configuration is 50 Polaris seats, 32 in the front cabin and 18 in the second cabin (behind 2L/R)
- Configuration is 10 across in economy, with 24 Premium Plus seats, 46 86 E+ seats and 156 E seats, with E+ in front economy cabin plus exit rows and bulkhead at 3L/R, i.e., almost the same as current pmCO planes, except with 4 seats in middle section.
- Seat map (v5) on united.com

787-8, 787-9 - As of November 2022, all 787-8/9 are converted or in mod. No chance of flying old configuration anymore.
- 788 configuration has 28 Polaris seats (20 in front cabin, 8 in rear mini-cabin), and 21 Premium Plus seats (2-3-2).
- 789 configuration has 48 Polaris seats (32 in front cabin, 16 in rear mini-cabin), and 21 Premium Plus seats (2-3-2).

787-10 - 13 787-10s have been delivered in 2020. All come with Polaris and Premium Plus cabins factory-installed. Another 19 should be added by 2024.

FAQ:
Q: Does a Polaris ticket mean the aircraft has the new Polaris seat?

A: No, Polaris is the label UA uses for long haul international business class. It is also the label UA uses for the new seats, so this does create some confusion.
All the 773s and 787-10s are 100% the new seat.
The rest of the long haul fleet in various stages of conversion, see http://view.ceros.com/united/polaris...-desktop-4/p/3

Q: How to tell if my aircraft is the new style Polaris seats?
A: If the unassigned business class section is showing orange seats or all the seats are side-by-side or there is a section for 4 adjacent seats in the middle, this is an old style lie-flat aircreaft
If the unassigned bussines class seats are dark blue seats or the all the seats appear to have direct aisle access, then you aircraft is the new Polaris seat.
You can also look at the FT maintained, United Fleet Site and crosscheck the tail number or check thePolaris Update tab

Q: How to tell if my aircraft has the new PremiumPlus (PP) / Premium Economy seats?
A: If the unassigned seats just behind business class are purple seats or the aircraft is 773 or 787-10, then yes. However, the purple color seat will only show on routes where PP is being sold.
Aircraft with PP seats are being used on some routes but are not being sold as PP. In those cases, the seats are considered to be a part of E+. In those cases, an indicator of PP sold as E+ will be if the first few rows of economy, there are just 2 seats on the sides (with the rest of E+ showing 3 seats).

Q: Will the aircraft I see at booking be the same configuration at flight time?
A: Unfortunately with the fleet in transit, aircraft swaps happen. UA tends to use placeholders until 2 days before travel and even after that last minute swaps do happen.

Q: My flight seat map shows 772 with polaris seats is it a retrofit?
A: Possibly. The flight status page shows the most accurate scheduled aircraft. If a 77W is swapped in, it will list the aircraft as 777-300ER. However, if the 772's seatmap shows blue rectangular boxes in the business class cabin instead of orange "pointy rounds", this would indicate that a retrofit aircraft has been swapped.

See also: United Future/Changed Routes w/ Polaris seats

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✨ Polaris (& PP) Retrofits: Schedule, ....

Old May 1, 22, 4:23 am
  #2611  
 
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Originally Posted by featheroleather View Post
hopefully will restore 2 lavs at door 1, the current configuration with only 6 lavs is no bueno.
sadly no change to lav configuration.
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Old May 1, 22, 4:25 am
  #2612  
 
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Actually there are 4 left in the old configuration, N35953, N38955, N45956, and N27958. All 4 of them are in revenue service, with only 1 on MOD, N24973. They definitely seem to be slowing down a bit.
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Old May 1, 22, 11:17 am
  #2613  
 
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Are these 4 being (mostly) dedicated to certain routes? Or is it a crapshoot which version youíll end up with? I am looking at a ORD-MUC flight in June and the seat map is for the old config. Itís the best timed flight, so Iíll probably book it regardless, but if there were a reasonable chance of ending up on one of the reconfigured aircraft, that would probably clinch it for me.
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Old May 1, 22, 11:29 am
  #2614  
 
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Not really, they are all over the place. Two weeks ago I had a old config B789 FRA-ORD. The aircraft had turned TLV-ORD-FRA before my flight to ORD.

I had forgotten how spacious the old J cabin seems, though far less private..
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Old May 1, 22, 3:25 pm
  #2615  
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Originally Posted by phkc070408 View Post
Actually there are 4 left in the old configuration, N35953, N38955, N45956, and N27958. All 4 of them are in revenue service, with only 1 on MOD, N24973. They definitely seem to be slowing down a bit.
Criminal to put these on the long TPAC routes.
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Old May 1, 22, 10:54 pm
  #2616  
 
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I remember when UA was reconfiguring the sUA 3-class 763s (the old sUA, with Global First and 2x2x2 in J). IIRC these were the first of the 763s to be converted to Polaris (some of them had been configured to the sCO style prior to Polaris). When they were down to 3 or so 763s in this configuration, they isolated them all to one route, the three daily ORD-LHR round trips. When they were down to only 1, it was isolated to a specific ORD-LHR round trip.

Likewise, UA had a version of the international 772 that had the Global First suites but recliners for Business Class (opposed to Lay-Flats). As these were placed phased out and reconfigured, the final birds were placed on the SEA-NRT flights.

My point is, UA used to make an effort to isolate the final few of any fleet to avoid disrupting the rest of they system, issuing downgrades, and giving free upgrades. It's disappointing that there is no such effort anymore.
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Last edited by phkc070408; May 2, 22 at 1:41 pm Reason: Spelling Error
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Old May 4, 22, 6:21 am
  #2617  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
sadly no change to lav configuration.
Any idea how many polaris/purple/pe/e seats will be with the new configuration ?
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Old May 4, 22, 7:05 am
  #2618  
 
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Originally Posted by featheroleather View Post
Any idea how many polaris/purple/pe/e seats will be with the new configuration ?
https://onemileatatime.com/news/unit...polaris-seats/
For context, currently Unitedís 767-400s feature a total of 240 seats, including:
  • 39 business class seats
  • 70 Economy Plus (extra legroom economy) seats
  • 131 economy class seats
Once reconfigured, Unitedís 767-400s will allegedly feature a total of 231 seats, including:
  • 34 Polaris (business class) seats
  • 24 Premium Plus (premium economy) seats
  • 48 Economy Plus (extra legroom economy) seats
  • 124 economy class seats
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Old May 4, 22, 8:42 am
  #2619  
 
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Originally Posted by phkc070408 View Post
I remember when UA was reconfiguring the sUA 3-class 763s (the old sUA, with Global First and 2x2x2 in J). IIRC these were the first of the 763s to be converted to Polaris (some of them had been configured to the sCO style prior to Polaris). When they were down to 3 or so 763s in this configuration, they isolated them all to one route, the three daily ORD-LHR round trips. When they were down to only 1, it was isolated to a specific ORD-LHR round trip.

Likewise, UA had a version of the international 772 that had the Global First suites but recliners for Business Class (opposed to Lay-Flats). As these were placed phased out and reconfigured, the final birds were placed on the SEA-NRT flights.

My point is, UA used to make an effort to isolate the final few of any fleet to avoid disrupting the rest of they system, issuing downgrades, and giving free upgrades. It's disappointing that there is no such effort anymore.
United doesn't *want* to downgrade passengers... costs a lot of money and clearly there is reputational/brand damage. Believe it or not, especially true in PE, which is currently the most profitable class of service across the system. Right now, demand in all markets save for Asia is screaming back, and United was planning to be reintroducing its PW 777s by now. It hasn't been able to do so, and the 777/787 fleet is consequently stretched very thin. I understand Polaris mods for the last 4 789s are being temporarily held (we are talking weeks, not months) to enable UA to fly its schedule until the PW 772s reenter service. This also factors into the delayed launch of 764 Polaris mods and Premium Plus adds to the 76A fleet (that was also due to be underway by now).

From a utlization perspective, there just might not a good way to isolate the 4 original configuration 789s at the moment. In the span of a bit longer than a year, United has gone from a widebody glut to major shortage. Weird times...
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Old May 4, 22, 9:03 am
  #2620  
 
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I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
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Old May 4, 22, 9:47 am
  #2621  
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
I agree completely. The new layut is almost claustrophobic. The actual seats are a little nicer, but the rest of the experience seems to really be catered to a party of one.
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Old May 4, 22, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
Same - of the old configurations I found the 789's to be one of the best options (maybe with the exception of snagging an old global first seat when those were still around). Obviously when traveling alone it's preferable to have all-aisle access but it's not a bad seat and in my opinion preferable to the old LX or current LH business class seat.
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Old May 4, 22, 11:40 am
  #2623  
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
I also agree, but have found that I am in the minority

Thankfully, I find the Polaris seat to be significantly better than most all-aisle designs.
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Old May 4, 22, 11:46 am
  #2624  
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
There is no PremPlus
It requires climbing out over people
Business travel is individualized, not couples retreat
It is 2022
UA has decided to do Polaris, no turning back
And yes, it eliminates another vestige of CO

Zero nostalgia should be expected. It isnít a 747, or a plane with IFC and an IFL ground experience. It is a drab grey seat in a drab grey interior.

Taking delivery of brand new Dreamliner planes with prior Gen Biz class seats was a mistake. And weíre still paying the price on ULH routes. Unacceptable.
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Old May 5, 22, 9:17 am
  #2625  
 
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
I don't get the hate for the non-polaris B789s, its not that bad of an experience. Its far better when traveling with companions, aisles are wider and the cabin has a feeling of more space. In a few years we'll see nostalgic posts on FT about these old cabins.
Same. I actually prefer the old seats.
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