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

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

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Old Apr 28, 22, 5:35 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: dkc192
Wiki Link
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 September 2020, 6 out of 12 788s and 9 out of 32 789s (2 modded, 7 new deliveries) are in the Polaris configuration. 6 more 789s are on order and will come with Polaris and Premium Plus.
- Retrofits/mods were paused in spring 2020 to conserve capex, reports that they will resume in fall 2020.
- 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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Old Oct 19, 22, 2:31 pm
  #2701  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Wish it had more E+. That’s a lot of steerage % wise

Said differently - wish these would all go a high J config.
At least it has more premium seating, including E+, than it’s closest a/c, the 788.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 2:48 pm
  #2702  
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Originally Posted by jcturnbull View Post
Are any of these going to be going hi-J?
Very doubtful -- high-J configure was specific for high premium cabin demand international business routes -- such as EWR-LHR, ORD-LHR, EWR-ZRH, ... with business demand still down, the existing 763 High-J are likely enough for that demand. Creating more easier upgrade planes is not a great business model regardless of desires by FTers.

And more configurations makes network planning harder, so there needs to be a compelling reason. Especially for a small fleet of 764 to further subdivide

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 19, 22 at 3:04 pm Reason: airport codes
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Old Oct 19, 22, 2:54 pm
  #2703  
 
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Originally Posted by jcturnbull View Post
Are any of these going to be going hi-J?
No.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 3:35 pm
  #2704  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
My fellow MPers, our long national nightmare is over... the last non-Polaris 787 is due to GUM in about 90 minutes as I write this. It won't operate any more revenue service in the current configuration.
Time to break out the (Milk Bar) confetti (cookies)!
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Old Oct 19, 22, 3:59 pm
  #2705  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Very doubtful -- high-J configure was specific for high premium cabin demand international business routes -- such as EWR-LHR, ORD-LHR, EWR-ZRH, ... with business demand still down, the existing 763 High-J are likely enough for that demand. Creating more easier upgrade planes is not a great business model regardless of desires by FTers.

And more configurations makes network planning harder, so there needs to be a compelling reason. Especially for a small fleet of 764 to further subdivide
Pre-COVID United had plans for an even higher-J widebody subfleet (presumably 789s, as by then all 777s were complete) but that was put on hold. I assume it would have been something like a 76L for the Pacific.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 5:13 pm
  #2706  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Pre-COVID United had plans for an even higher-J widebody subfleet (presumably 789s, as by then all 777s were complete) but that was put on hold. I assume it would have been something like a 76L for the Pacific.
Interesting. How many J seats were they thinking? My guess is 60-70.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 5:50 pm
  #2707  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Pre-COVID United had plans for an even higher-J widebody subfleet (presumably 789s, as by then all 777s were complete) but that was put on hold. I assume it would have been something like a 76L for the Pacific.
Not sure what the trade ratio is but 2 more rows of Polaris and another row of Prem Plus in exchange for 5 rows of Y, something like this, would be great. Prem Plus is becoming a willing spender leisure traveler sweet spot.

Reducing Biz class in 788 was super disappointing
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Old Oct 19, 22, 6:06 pm
  #2708  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Not sure what the trade ratio is but 2 more rows of Polaris and another row of Prem Plus in exchange for 5 rows of Y, something like this, would be great. Prem Plus is becoming a willing spender leisure traveler sweet spot.
Nocella mentioned that in the earnings call today. Specifically that Polaris yields lag pre-pandemic levels, but that is more than offset by strength in the Premium Plus and Y cabins. Specifically attributable to the "premium leisure" segment.

Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Interesting. How many J seats were they thinking? My guess is 60-70.
That's probably in the ballpark. UA could do something like 64J/28W/125Y on the 789. A HGW 787-10 in a low-density, heavy-premium configuration could have even more.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 7:25 pm
  #2709  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
... . UA could do something like 64J/28W/125Y on the 789. A HGW 787-10 in a low-density, heavy-premium configuration could have even more.
What market today or the near future could support those configurations? I could see a larger PremPlus but nearly 30% Polaris Business? That will depress pricing power / become an upgraders dream.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 8:09 pm
  #2710  
 
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Our J cabin is already too large.

It is the O cabin that needs some serious expansion. 3-4 rows is simply not enough, given how popular it is.

Should be 6 rows of 2-2-2 PP on the dreamliners, and 6 rows of 2-3-2 on the 777. Increase pitch to 42 inches
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Old Oct 19, 22, 8:47 pm
  #2711  
 
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Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
Our J cabin is already too large.
Folks unable to buy walk-up J fares and, perhaps more importantly for most of us here on FT, dying on the upgrade list would beg to differ.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 9:05 pm
  #2712  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Nocella mentioned that in the earnings call today. Specifically that Polaris yields lag pre-pandemic levels, but that is more than offset by strength in the Premium Plus and Y cabins. Specifically attributable to the "premium leisure" segment.


Maybe they’re just pricing J much too high for all of these “premium leisure” travelers. My MO is to buy J when it’s reasonable ($4,500 and under). I can almost never find J transatlantic fares for under $5K. Usually it’s more like $7K+, unless you take 2 connections. PP is affordable, and (if not sleeping) comfortable. It’s a no-brainer for me on longhauls when J is priced higher than I can justify.

I’ll bet there are others who are in my boat who would be more than happy to lighten the PP loads by buying reasonably priced J.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 10:04 pm
  #2713  
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Originally Posted by SS255 View Post
Maybe they’re just pricing J much too high for all of these “premium leisure” travelers......
But thru much of this past summer and early fall, aren't J TATL premium cabins selling our and few up -graders? Why would you reduce the price? Does not make business sense? if that continues. The trick is just enough capacity and still maintain the higher prices.
Too much capacity and average prices fall, too little capacity and you hit a price ceiling eventual and lose revenue.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 10:11 pm
  #2714  
 
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I suspect the loss is attributable to much fewer full-fare travelers than before the pandemic. Premium leisure is more along the lines of advance-purchase P/Z fares, on up the discount ladder. Besides that, lots of using residual value credits and dumping large FF balances.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
What market today or the near future could support those configurations? I could see a larger PremPlus but nearly 30% Polaris Business? That will depress pricing power / become an upgraders dream.
Sorry if I wasn’t clear… I was only thinking about what UA could have done with its previously-discussed (and now shelved) “higher J” configuration. I don’t think market conditions necessarily support such a subfleet at the moment.

Interestingly, we are seeing 777s creep back into EWRLHR this winter. Frequency is reduced, but along with incrementally more J/W, it’s more than double Y capacity over a 76L.
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Old Oct 19, 22, 10:18 pm
  #2715  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Nocella mentioned that in the earnings call today. Specifically that Polaris yields lag pre-pandemic levels, but that is more than offset by strength in the Premium Plus and Y cabins. Specifically attributable to the "premium leisure" segment.
3-4 PremPlus rows in a 777HD would probably be well monetized as well.
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