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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 Aug 17, 16, 7:22 am
  #1351  
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
I count 79 763ER/764 and 12 763 for 91 - not sure what's happening with the 12 763 domestics whether they are being reconfiged, but you get the point it's the backbone of the Delta widebody fleet.

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_...aft-fleet.html
You are correct that 767s are the backbone of the Delta long-haul fleet. The 25 A359s and 25 A339s on order isn't going to change that. Nor are the 18 787s on order for which DL prominently notes they have 739 substitution rights.

By virtue of range, 763s and 764s are used on relatively shorter routes than the A359s and 777s named in DL's press release to get the suites. If anyone thinks a route of 4,000sm or so demands a suite he is likely to be less than fulfilled with the scope of the announcement. (DL has used 767s on routes of up to 5,500-5,800 miles.)

The domestic config (standard domestic first, not lie-flat business) 763s are going to be reduced sharply in number right after Labor Day. Four or five will remain (PW powered) to service high-demand domestic routes as they do today.

What DL is going to do with the 40 A330s it has today (332, 333, 333 242T) is an unanswered question. Maybe they'll see what suites to do average business cabin fares (the mix of J, C, D, I - as well as published fares) and offer the suite product more broadly.

I don't think a mix of business class seats across the fleet is a fatal flaw. AA, DL, and UA all have very large intercon fleets. What is space-efficient and offering a competitive set of amenities may not work across the full range 757-A359. Then there's the cycle of upgrades: a new seat can't be rolled out to ~120 aircraft instantly. DL has managed to offer lie-flats/aisle access on all long-haul widebodies. AA can't make that claim - it will be stuck installing last-gen seats even as Polaris and suites are rolling out.

As for my expectations, I need - need - lie flats to sleep. (A UA First suite to Sydney a long time ago was revelatory!) More privacy and storage is good. Market prices will determine what I buy.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:12 am
  #1352  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
You are correct that 767s are the backbone of the Delta long-haul fleet. The 25 A359s and 25 A339s on order isn't going to change that. Nor are the 18 787s on order for which DL prominently notes they have 739 substitution rights.

By virtue of range, 763s and 764s are used on relatively shorter routes than the A359s and 777s named in DL's press release to get the suites. If anyone thinks a route of 4,000sm or so demands a suite he is likely to be less than fulfilled with the scope of the announcement. (DL has used 767s on routes of up to 5,500-5,800 miles.)

The domestic config (standard domestic first, not lie-flat business) 763s are going to be reduced sharply in number right after Labor Day. Four or five will remain (PW powered) to service high-demand domestic routes as they do today.

What DL is going to do with the 40 A330s it has today (332, 333, 333 242T) is an unanswered question. Maybe they'll see what suites to do average business cabin fares (the mix of J, C, D, I - as well as published fares) and offer the suite product more broadly.

I don't think a mix of business class seats across the fleet is a fatal flaw. AA, DL, and UA all have very large intercon fleets. What is space-efficient and offering a competitive set of amenities may not work across the full range 757-A359. Then there's the cycle of upgrades: a new seat can't be rolled out to ~120 aircraft instantly. DL has managed to offer lie-flats/aisle access on all long-haul widebodies. AA can't make that claim - it will be stuck installing last-gen seats even as Polaris and suites are rolling out.

As for my expectations, I need - need - lie flats to sleep. (A UA First suite to Sydney a long time ago was revelatory!) More privacy and storage is good. Market prices will determine what I buy.
I agree with you here that offering a mix of suites is not a fatal flaw, many people in this thread have noted that since the suites aren't being installed on every fleet type that its not the sweeping upgrade Polaris is. But DL's A330s already have reverse-herringbone J seats, which even though they are relatively old, are still better than anything United currently offers in J, and in the case of the IPTE seats are significantly better.

The 767s are another thing, but I imagine given that DL currently have 40 A330s with a few new ones arriving now, along with the 50 new longhaul aircraft on order through the next couple years, the 767s will largely be relegated to shorter and less competitive routes than the A330s and A350s. Its also yet to be seen what upgrade plans delta has for the 767s, as in the case of Polaris there's no way United will be able to fit the same Polaris into the 767 as they are showcasing in the 777. In fact, I'd say short of the trade-off to United's setup which I personally dislike, DL's current seats are not worse than any other longhaul business setup in the 767, as the vast majority of airlines with 767s still in the fleet make use of the same Vantage seats.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:27 am
  #1353  
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Originally Posted by Agremeister View Post
Its also yet to be seen what upgrade plans delta has for the 767s, as in the case of Polaris there's no way United will be able to fit the same Polaris into the 767 as they are showcasing in the 777. In fact, I'd say short of the trade-off to United's setup which I personally dislike, DL's current seats are not worse than any other longhaul business setup in the 767, as the vast majority of airlines with 767s still in the fleet make use of the same Vantage seats.
While there has been a lot of talk about the UA 763's getting Polaris, until we see the actual design and a conversion schedule, I'm betting that there is still a chance it never happens. I was reading an article the other day about Boeing's 787 backlog not growing, and how that meant that there were near term openings in the delivery schedule - meaning airlines might be sitting on potential orders for the moment.

All of the UA 763s with IPTE are the oldest 767s, 23-25 years old. By the time the Polaris roll out is complete, the oldest will be pushing 30. Why put Polaris on an airframe that isn't long for the fleet?
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Old Aug 17, 16, 8:38 am
  #1354  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
All of the UA 763s with IPTE are the oldest 767s, 23-25 years old. By the time the Polaris roll out is complete, the oldest will be pushing 30. Why put Polaris on an airframe that isn't long for the fleet?
The 67I fleet, allegedly, is due to be among the first to receive Polaris as a retrofit, starting in early 2017. Even though the aircraft are older, I suspect United views the capex of a mod as worthwhile because the cash flow each aircraft will be able to generate over the remainder of its life cycle in a new configuration will substantially exceed that of the do-nothing option. The key to this is the 763, whether in the 76E or rumored Polaris layout, will have as many as 30 more seats (+++ revenue) than the existing 67I.

Accordingly, I don't think United really cares whether the 67Is are ultimately 76E (with the existing BF Diamond seat) or a Polaris configuration. Either way, with additional seats over the current 67I, the assets will be able to generate more money for the company such that a major mod this late in the aircraft's service life is a more effective deployment of capital than a new-build. The Polaris mod just ensures some consistency with other aircraft and the latest-gen product.

A similar argument can be made for the domestic reconfiguration of the 777-222s, even as they approach their 20th birthdays. In the current domestic revenue environment, a 350+ seat people mover might generate greater cash flow over the remainder of its lifespan than the previous mission of mostly TATL.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 10:00 am
  #1355  
 
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
The brand identity they picked is 'sleep' so it was an effective ad.

Looks like this Delta seat is the same used on JetBlue Mint for the solo seats - actually a narrower version with the console only on one side.
JetBlue's Mint product uses the regular Vantage seat, whereas DL is using the significantly wider Vantage XL. The Mint seats are actually the same seats DL already use on the 767.

Swiss use the regular Vantage in the A330 and fit it in a 2-2-1 configuration whereas SAS use the Vantage XL in the A330 which is 1-2-1.

Last edited by Agremeister; Aug 17, 16 at 10:09 am
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Old Aug 17, 16, 10:20 am
  #1356  
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Originally Posted by Agremeister View Post
SAS use the Vantage XL in the A330 which is 1-2-1.
And these have been very well reviewed. Definitely on the radar for my next TATL.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 11:54 am
  #1357  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I don't think a mix of business class seats across the fleet is a fatal flaw. AA, DL, and UA all have very large intercon fleets. What is space-efficient and offering a competitive set of amenities may not work across the full range 757-A359. Then there's the cycle of upgrades: a new seat can't be rolled out to ~120 aircraft instantly. DL has managed to offer lie-flats/aisle access on all long-haul widebodies. AA can't make that claim - it will be stuck installing last-gen seats even as Polaris and suites are rolling out.
AA's new SuperDiamond is not "last generation." It is BE Aerospace's improved version of the Zodiac Cirrus.

By comparison, Polaris is a modified version of Zodiac's SkyLounge. In Zodiac's product lineup, that seat is a lesser version of their Cirrus seat.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 12:14 pm
  #1358  
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Originally Posted by LDVFlyer View Post
AA's new SuperDiamond is not "last generation." It is BE Aerospace's improved version of the Zodiac Cirrus.
That AA seat is only new until the first flight of a DL suite or UA Polaris seat, then it's old news. AA isn't even likely to be done with those installations before Polaris and suite rollouts, either, despite announcing lie-flats on the 777s more than four years ago.

https://www.aa.com/content/images/ab...body_fleet.pdf
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Old Aug 17, 16, 12:19 pm
  #1359  
 
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Pics of the prototype Acumen seat that is Polaris
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26338759-post291.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20150908...ss-class-seat/

Edit: pics of a 2-3-2 Polaris mockup in web archive link. These photos were on Acumen's page before Polaris announcement, a sharp eye spotted and posted them, Acumen quickly took them down.

Last edited by tuolumne; Aug 17, 16 at 2:59 pm
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Old Aug 17, 16, 12:59 pm
  #1360  
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Since the termination of NRT-SIN in early June, the same 772 is flying ORD-HKG-SIN and turns around to do SIN-HKG-ORD. There has no operational impact to the scheduling or operation. Could you share your concern regarding HKS-SIN?


Going forward, I guess PMCO 772 will replace PMUA 772 on ORD-HKG-SIN and SIN-HKG-ORD. It will probably add more consistency in BF offering since both the 789 and 772 will have the same type of seats until Polaris kicks in.
Not so much concern, just interested to see how it affects ops. When the NRT-SIN flight was being run, you had options if something got delayed. I guess your backup now is back to the states via the non-stop (if there are seats).

You're right about the product, that's a definite plus.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 2:02 pm
  #1361  
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While the Delta seat looks like an amazing design on paper, and perhaps conceptually with everyone calling it a "suite" instead of what it really is, the fact remains that upgrading into Delta J, or redeeming a long haul award at reasonable cost, remains significantly harder than on UA, and will only get worse as they roll out their new seats.

I'd rather have the high density Polaris product with lots of seats for upgrades and redemptions, while remaining a competitive buy to those who purchase business class. The more I look at the seat version that sits against the window, the more I like the product and am very excited about trying it.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 2:08 pm
  #1362  
 
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Here's another thought... if sliding doors become such a massive competitive advantage for Delta, I think doors could be retroactively engineered to the Polaris design, though the aesthetics might not be so attractive...

I don't see how that would be fundamentally any different than what DL is doing with what is also a fairly high-density J seat design.

Last edited by EWR764; Aug 17, 16 at 2:14 pm
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Old Aug 17, 16, 2:20 pm
  #1363  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
While the Delta seat looks like an amazing design on paper, and perhaps conceptually with everyone calling it a "suite" instead of what it really is, the fact remains that upgrading into Delta J, or redeeming a long haul award at reasonable cost, remains significantly harder than on UA, and will only get worse as they roll out their new seats.

I'd rather have the high density Polaris product with lots of seats for upgrades and redemptions, while remaining a competitive buy to those who purchase business class. The more I look at the seat version that sits against the window, the more I like the product and am very excited about trying it.
No doubt Polaris is an excellent product, I think the differences between the DL seat and the UA seat are being a little exaggerated.

As for the capacity difference, I think its not true that the D1 J seats represent a reduction in premium cabin capacity, DL already only have 37J seats in the 777-200, so 32J seats in the smaller A350 seems about proportional to what they already have. We'll have to see how many seats UA and DL are planning to put in the 772 before a real comparison can be made.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 2:23 pm
  #1364  
 
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I think it's going to come down to the soft product.. and how well UA delivers on it's marketing hype. If they can deliver on the lofty promos AND fix their operational (delays/cancellations) issues then they have a chance ^

Any trip reports from those that have attended the invite-only events? Would love to see more pics and actually hear testimony from real-sized people on the shoulder clearance.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 2:33 pm
  #1365  
 
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Originally Posted by Agremeister View Post
As for the capacity difference, I think its not true that the D1 J seats represent a reduction in premium cabin capacity, DL already only have 37J seats in the 777-200, so 32J seats in the smaller A350 seems about proportional to what they already have.
The A359 is roughly a straight-up 777-200ER replacement in size, but in Delta's fleet it is earmarked as the successor to the 747. Currently, the 747 has 48 seats in J, and while the DL 777 is currently 37J, they were until recently 45J. So I don't think there is any question that Delta's trend has been toward reducing the size of their international premium cabins.
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