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United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service {Archive}

United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service {Archive}

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Archive thread -- Active thread is United Polaris - New Business Class seats & inflight service -- 3+ years after Intro

United website - Explore: http://view.ceros.com/united/polaris-business-class/p/1
from UA's Facebook stream
Only customers traveling in United Polaris business class or United Polaris Global First on international flights and customers in Star Alliance international first or business class cabins on flights longer than six hours will have access to the United Polaris Lounge.
Official Polaris Lounge Access Rules are here: Polaris Lounge Access Rules

United Polaris Business and Polaris First pax may access the Polaris lounge at connecting airports and their final destination within 24 hours of departure or arrival.

*A international J and F pax may only access the Polaris lounge at the departure airport. For purposes of Polaris lounge access, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and Guam are excluded from the definition of "international."

Seat Chart.

Press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300278706.html

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With the aspiration of making weary business travel a relic of the past, United Airlines today unveiled its all-new United Polaris business class, the airline's most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers.

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

"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. "This completely reconceived experience exemplifies the new spirit of United and the innovation, excitement and operational momentum across our airline."

Path-Breaking Design

In setting out to create a transformative business class experience, United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace. Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom, each United Polaris seat will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer's personal suite will feature a "Do Not Disturb" sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

In rethinking the international business class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris' path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In addition to the sleep-enticing United Polaris personal suites, several other amenities were designed with our customers' sleep in mind.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours**. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.'s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

Elevated Dining Experience

Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.

The airline will offer an upgraded wine experience, with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United's Master Sommelier. Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Raising The Bar With United Polaris Business Class Lounges

United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered.

The first new United Polaris lounge will open at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Lounges in eight other locations Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow will follow in 2017.

United Polaris Introduction

United will begin to introduce United Polaris on Dec. 1, 2016, with the new inflight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. The United Polaris business class seat will first take flight in December on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, as well as on Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.

United Polaris will serve business class customers flying the U.S. airline industry's most global route network, reaching more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries.

More information on the United Polaris business class can be found at united.com/Polaris.

[From [email][email protected] 11/15/2016]
Starting December 1, 2016, United Polaris Business Class service will replace United BusinessFirst service on international flights, and United Polaris Global First service will replace the current United Global First service.

Between 2017 to 2019 eight additional United Polaris lounges will open at EWR, HKG, IAD, IAH, LAX, LHR, NRT and SFO. We do not have the exact opening dates at this time. A scheduling announcement will be forthcoming.
** Flights with pajama service (for both directions)
SFO - ICN, PEK, PVG, HGH, XIV, TPE, AKL, HKG, CTU, SYD, TLV, SIN
EWR - NRT, PEK, DEL, BOM, HKG, PVG
ORD - NRT, PEK PVG, HKG
LAX - PVG, SYD, MEL, SIN
IAD - NRT, PEK
IAH - NRT, SYD
(from United Twitter feed https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyjFHZLW...jpg&name=large

{Similar Threads:
Polaris Lounge Roadmap 2017-2018 (wiki) (thread)
Polaris lounge ORD - opened 01 Dec 2016 (wiki) (thread)
SFO Lounge changes? Which will become Polaris? Shower options?(wiki) (thread)
United Polaris-New Business Class seats & inflight service and new Polaris Lounges(wiki) (thread)}


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Old Oct 13, 16, 8:05 am
  #1651  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
Are there any plans to roll out a true Premium Economy product, or is UA going to ignore what DL and AA are doing? At the rate things are going, AA, BA, AF, SK, DL and LH are all going to offer it on their TATL flights - leaving UA and KL as the outliers.
Nobody will admit it, but I have to believe it's in the works. The company is quite clearly focusing its attention on Polaris right now... it's good to see a concerted effort to get it "right".
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Old Oct 13, 16, 8:27 am
  #1652  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
Are there any plans to roll out a true Premium Economy product, or is UA going to ignore what DL and AA are doing? At the rate things are going, AA, BA, AF, SK, DL and LH are all going to offer it on their TATL flights - leaving UA and KL as the outliers.
In addition to their competition, it would also keep them aligned with their JV partners.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 3:13 pm
  #1653  
 
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Hi, I am planning to take Austrian Airline business class from O'hare to Vienna in December. I understand Austrian Airlines depart from terminal 5. I also read the new United Airlines Polaris Lounge will open near gate C16 at terminal 1 in December. Customers traveling in international first or business class cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines will have access to the United Polaris Lounge.

So my question is:

Can I pass the security at terminal 1 with my Austrian Airline boarding pass? Ideally I'd like to get to airport early. Try the new United Polaris Lounge at terminal 1 first, then get back to terminal 5 to try Austrian Lounge before boarding.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 4:05 pm
  #1654  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
Nobody will admit it, but I have to believe it's in the works. The company is quite clearly focusing its attention on Polaris right now... it's good to see a concerted effort to get it "right".
So far all they have done is the marketing.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 4:13 pm
  #1655  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyfromDenver View Post
So far all they have done is the marketing.
From your perspective as a passenger. Behind the scenes, however, the company is, and intends to continue, placing a great deal of emphasis on teaching employees about the service and training crews in delivery. It's unlike anything we've seen since the merger, which is a good thing. Time will tell.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 7:00 pm
  #1656  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
From your perspective as a passenger. Behind the scenes, however, the company is, and intends to continue, placing a great deal of emphasis on teaching employees about the service and training crews in delivery. It's unlike anything we've seen since the merger, which is a good thing. Time will tell.
I'm truly glad to hear that United is taking their new business class product seriously. That said, if they are going to continue to ignore premium economy, that isn't going to cut it. If I have to fly TATL or TPAC, if I can confirm an upgrade at purchase on United, I'll go that route. But if I can't, I'm going to pick the carrier that offers a reasonably priced premium economy seat, because if it comes down to having to sit in a 17.3 inch wide united economy plus seat or an 18-19 inch wide PE seat with 4 inches more pitch, that's an easy decision.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 7:26 pm
  #1657  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
From your perspective as a passenger.
Of course. I buy a ticket and they set expectations. The lack of consistency continues. Again, for me, as a passenger, it's vapor ware and likely to be for some time to come. It's been great to buy a product like a TATL business ticket only to see the arrival services disappear between purchase and flight.

When I return from AKL in January in business, I expect nothing different. I don't believe training will overcome the inconsistent experiences I have had in international business and domestic first this year.

Cheer on and be sure to tell me to be grateful to have a seat on the plane and get from point A to point B at some point in time no matter what I have paid.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 7:56 pm
  #1658  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyfromDenver View Post
Of course. I buy a ticket and they set expectations. The lack of consistency continues. Again, for me, as a passenger, it's vapor ware and likely to be for some time to come. It's been great to buy a product like a TATL business ticket only to see the arrival services disappear between purchase and flight.

When I return from AKL in January in business, I expect nothing different. I don't believe training will overcome the inconsistent experiences I have had in international business and domestic first this year.

Cheer on and be sure to tell me to be grateful to have a seat on the plane and get from point A to point B at some point in time no matter what I have paid.
I don't think there's any reason to be so negative towards another poster who is simply telling you the truth. Marketing a major new initiative before it launches is normal. I don't know of any consumer-facing industry where marketing doesn't happen well before launch of a major roll-out.
At least it's not software, where actual vaporware exists. Marketing demos that never come to fruition...

Whether you think it will be good or not, the actual hard product and planned soft product improvements have been demoed, road showed, and focus grouped. They've been discussed and spec'd. We know exactly what we're supposed to get and when we're supposed to get it. And we can hold UA to that timetable and promise.

Now, whether or not Polaris lives up to the hype is an actual debate to have, and something to actually judge UA on. They've given us all the details, which means they have very little wiggle room when it comes to reality vs what they've promised. So starting very soon we'll see.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 6:24 am
  #1659  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyfromDenver View Post
Of course. I buy a ticket and they set expectations. The lack of consistency continues. Again, for me, as a passenger, it's vapor ware and likely to be for some time to come. It's been great to buy a product like a TATL business ticket only to see the arrival services disappear between purchase and flight.

When I return from AKL in January in business, I expect nothing different. I don't believe training will overcome the inconsistent experiences I have had in international business and domestic first this year.

Cheer on and be sure to tell me to be grateful to have a seat on the plane and get from point A to point B at some point in time no matter what I have paid.
The product hasn't launched yet. Your expectations are one thing (and not unreasonable) but to say that all United has done is market the product is simply wrong. That isn't cheerleading.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 8:16 am
  #1660  
 
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I have a TATL flight from IAD on Dec. 2 and will be happy to report on Polaris service, if not seats or lounge, provided they meet their deadline.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 8:53 am
  #1661  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
I'm truly glad to hear that United is taking their new business class product seriously. That said, if they are going to continue to ignore premium economy, that isn't going to cut it. If I have to fly TATL or TPAC, if I can confirm an upgrade at purchase on United, I'll go that route. But if I can't, I'm going to pick the carrier that offers a reasonably priced premium economy seat, because if it comes down to having to sit in a 17.3 inch wide united economy plus seat or an 18-19 inch wide PE seat with 4 inches more pitch, that's an easy decision.
I agree and I think a premium economy product is becoming a competitive necessity between a full-flat business class product (sans F cabin) and a dense, slim Y cabin, even with extra legroom options available. United is able to gather good insight on the product from its JV partners and I am almost certain that we'll see plans for a W product once the Polaris rollout is completed.

From a sales and technology perspective, a W product seems to be a more difficult implementation because it involves an entirely new class of service, not just a refined version of an existing product. AA, for instance, is re-mapping its domestic fare buckets to accommodate PE booking classes, and it appears to be a major IT project. United, of course, continues to struggle in the IT department (with the latest example barely 12 hours old).

I'd rather see United focus its energy on hitting the mark with Polaris out of the gate, and once they are satisfied with that, shift gears to PE. Execution has been United's weakest point since the merger... no need to dilute things further with another massive project (a new class of service) until they prove they can get one big initiative right.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 11:20 am
  #1662  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I agree and I think a premium economy product is becoming a competitive necessity between a full-flat business class product (sans F cabin) and a dense, slim Y cabin, even with extra legroom options available. United is able to gather good insight on the product from its JV partners and I am almost certain that we'll see plans for a W product once the Polaris rollout is completed.
I'm incredibly curious, once all the US majors are flying PE overwater, how many companies (of the shrinking number who still pay for long-haul J) will change their policies to PE instead of J. Do you have any insight into what the airline industry is thinking about this? It seems like a rather big risk for them rolling out the "new middle cabin".
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Old Oct 14, 16, 11:23 am
  #1663  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I agree and I think a premium economy product is becoming a competitive necessity between a full-flat business class product (sans F cabin) and a dense, slim Y cabin, even with extra legroom options available. United is able to gather good insight on the product from its JV partners and I am almost certain that we'll see plans for a W product once the Polaris rollout is completed.

From a sales and technology perspective, a W product seems to be a more difficult implementation because it involves an entirely new class of service, not just a refined version of an existing product. AA, for instance, is re-mapping its domestic fare buckets to accommodate PE booking classes, and it appears to be a major IT project. United, of course, continues to struggle in the IT department (with the latest example barely 12 hours old).

I'd rather see United focus its energy on hitting the mark with Polaris out of the gate, and once they are satisfied with that, shift gears to PE. Execution has been United's weakest point since the merger... no need to dilute things further with another massive project (a new class of service) until they prove they can get one big initiative right.
I would imagine that a UA PE product would also come at the sacrifice of E+.. else where is the space coming from?
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Old Oct 14, 16, 11:32 am
  #1664  
 
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
The Cathay 777 300 has 26 seats in the forward cabin

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ca...77-300ER_C.php

Cathay set the standard for Cirrus.

Air Canada is also at 26 seats

http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/77W.html

Given UA is using a more advanced design that's more efficient I'd imagine it feels at most as if one more rather than 2 seats were placed in the cabin.

Hardly 'crammed' vs the others 26 seat layouts.
Ah, I see that the 22 vs 23 vs 26-seat Cirrus layouts are based on how many lavs/closets are in between doors 1 and 2, and the Polaris footprint does seem to correspond to the 26 seat layouts on CX/AC. Nevertheless, I already find Cirrus pretty cramped in those 22-26 seat layouts, so I'm not holding out hope that cramming in 28 seats won't be noticeably worse. We'll see.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 11:38 am
  #1665  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm incredibly curious, once all the US majors are flying PE overwater, how many companies (of the shrinking number who still pay for long-haul J) will change their policies to PE instead of J. Do you have any insight into what the airline industry is thinking about this? It seems like a rather big risk for them rolling out the "new middle cabin".
I think that's part of the concern. UA and AA have immunized relationships with partners selling W products, and that should allow some insight on the extent to which premium economy cannibalizes J bookings. UA already heavily discounts J to major corporate customers, so it would not want to lose that revenue to a less-expensive product.

Originally Posted by NH_Clark View Post
I would imagine that a UA PE product would also come at the sacrifice of E+.. else where is the space coming from?
Most likely, but UA already has much larger E+ cabins on international aircraft than AA or DL. Presumably a cohort of the target market for PE, especially the segment currently flying economy on UA, is already occupying the E+ cabin, so the aim would be to move those customers into W and extract some measure of a revenue premium for it.

It might also mean the end of upgrades from standard Y to J.
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