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AA's New Cabin Refresh - Has Polaris Been Left In The Dust?Are seat doors the future?

AA's New Cabin Refresh - Has Polaris Been Left In The Dust?Are seat doors the future?

Old Sep 20, 22, 1:15 pm
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AA's New Cabin Refresh - Has Polaris Been Left In The Dust?Are seat doors the future?

There is always a risk with being the first out of the gate with a new industry leading product - or at least industry leading initially - but first Delta, and now AA have introduced new business class products that seem to render Polaris obsolete.

The new AA cabin on the 787 and 321, including a retrofit to the other widebody fleet, includes privacy doors, better privacy options for the middle seats, and a more luxurious look and feel than Polaris seats, along with a new PY seat that seems to leave the UA version in the dust.

So, while competitors are upgrading their inflight hard and soft products, we only see Kutbacks and service reductions over here.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/americ...m-economy/amp/
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:16 pm
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No. Who needs doors. The present product is just fine
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
There is always a risk with being the first out of the gate with a new industry leading product - or at least industry leading initially - but first Delta, and now AA have introduced new business class products that seem to render Polaris obsolete.
Yep, the 2024 AA seat is much better than the 2022 UA seat.

Maybe we should wait until they actually have a plane in this configuration before declaring UA's offering dead?
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:24 pm
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Two points in response:

1) JonNYC has speculated/revealed that UA is considering retrofitting widebody Polaris seats with privacy doors and/or other enhancements. You also have the new Polaris seat under development for the 737 MAX 10s and A321XLRs, which is expected to be competitive with AA's (and B6's) new narrowbody seat. I can't find the tweet where he mentions this, but trust me, the rumor is out there, almost certainly in response to AA/DL adding doors to their seats.

2) It may have taken a long time to get there, but UA is working towards product consistency--all widebodies should feature the same Polaris seat within the next year (depending on the pace of 764 mods). In contrast, AA has an inconsistent product now--you have three widebody seat types, with one of them decidedly inferior to the other two and Polaris IMO--and they plan to maintain that inconsistency moving forward. The possibility of ending up in an inferior seat when booking on a 772 or 788 is a huge deterrent for me. DL also has a product inconsistency issue.

JonNYC has tweeted that he doesn't expect the 772s, which are split roughly 40/60 between the inferior and superior seats, to be retrofitted at all:

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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:25 pm
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Each airlines go through their own refurbish/upgrading projects at different time schedule. There will always be airlines get left behind, and then move ahead.

Personal preference aside, I am just glad most of the airlines are moving to flat beds in C and high tech IFE/inflight wifi in Y. Added features and improvements within each airlines are just bonus to me.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:35 pm
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Leaves Polaris in the dust? I don't see much of a difference in first, except for color scheme and a door? The premium economy product looks the same as Prem Plus with different colors.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:36 pm
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One by one all airlines are going backwards and making it harder for me to sleep in business class!
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Old Sep 20, 22, 1:49 pm
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Doors are pointless hype.

I can't comment on an AA product that is just a rendering, but I significantly prefer the Polaris hard product to anything on a Delta plane today and I have no love of herringbone designs in general, which AA looks to be. Honestly if UA could magically fix its soft product it could be a world-class carrier. The Polaris seat is excellent and even manages that in a fairly dense format, helping support UA flying vastly bigger J cabins than its competition, which is great for pax.

I'm anxiously awaiting the end of the industry pendulum swing toward shipping J pax in coffins.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Doors are pointless hype.

I can't comment on an AA product that is just a rendering,
Some on the AA board are discussing its similarity to a Qatar offering (not their flagship Qsuite), with definite complaints of its tightness at the shoulders and the feet.

I actually am a fan of reverse herringbone in most cases - the current AA 77W (cirrus, copy of CX) and 779/772 Superdiamonds are very good, as is AFs BEST seat and even DLs 330. Good balance of modest privacy with personal space. I do like Polaris as well.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:14 pm
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If it's anything like the Qatar business suite then I'd rather be in Polaris. There is a lot to be critical about with United, but Polaris strikes a really good compromise between comfort and privacy that I haven't seen matched in similarly-classed seats--it has good cushioning, adequate length, an acceptable width at both the shoulders and feet (especially on the 777), and enough privacy that a closing door really wouldn't enhance the experience much.

AA's new offering is flashy, but I'd rather see UA invest elsewhere like the soft product. AA's delivery/retrofit timeline also doesn't seem particularly aggressive--only new deliveries and 77W retrofits starting in 2024 (so 20 A321XLRs, 51 789s, and their 20 77Ws), with no mention whatsoever about retrofitting the rest of the long-haul fleet.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:34 pm
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AA recently announced they were killing off their international first, so I guess this is a follow-up to that.

There is nothing wrong with the Polaris seat, I would even say it is better than most of the competition not to mention someone like LH where you have to climb over someone else's legs because they don't have direct aisle access.

If we are going for Polaris improvements I am confident that the overwhelming majority of the feedback would be on the soft product. The seat and the lounges are very good.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
There is always a risk with being the first out of the gate with a new industry leading product - or at least industry leading initially - but first Delta, and now AA have introduced new business class products that seem to render Polaris obsolete.

The new AA cabin on the 787 and 321, including a retrofit to the other widebody fleet, includes privacy doors, better privacy options for the middle seats, and a more luxurious look and feel than Polaris seats, along with a new PY seat that seems to leave the UA version in the dust.

So, while competitors are upgrading their inflight hard and soft products, we only see Kutbacks and service reductions over here.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/americ...m-economy/amp/
Eh, I think that's a little alarmist. This is the natural product cycle... Polaris wasn't exactly a cutting edge product in 2016 when it was first announced, so it's no surprise that subsequent "suites" designs have passed it. Delta's D1 suites are nice, but the rest of the widebody fleet is a mixed bag. I don't think United is far behind, if at all, on hard product.

Were the shoe on the other foot, I think we'd be (rightfully) lambasting this announcement as vapor, given that it won't be in service for about 2 years, and who knows what the state of the art will look like at that time. As far as substance, I like the aesthetics of the cabins, but it's very much an "industry-standard" product insofar as nothing is particularly innovative: the WB J seat is a reverse-herringbone seat with doors, as several carriers now have. The A321XLR J seat is identical to the new Mint suite (deliberate, perhaps?). The fixed wings on the premium economy seat headrests are nice, but other than that, it will have the same dimensions as the current configuration. Overall, it's a nice product to look forward to, but very much a "safe" play. It's also notable that AA seems to be following United's lead with large international premium cabins.

IMO the biggest innovation appears to be that AA will be doing a "premium" business class seat in the first row, perhaps a mildly-differentiated product as part of their replacement for Flagship First.

United's A321XLR (and some 737MAX10) cabin will have all the same attributes: closed-door suites in J and premium economy. It's also been very strongly suggested that United's next-gen Polaris product will have doors.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Doors are pointless hype.

I can't comment on an AA product that is just a rendering, but I significantly prefer the Polaris hard product to anything on a Delta plane today and I have no love of herringbone designs in general, which AA looks to be. Honestly if UA could magically fix its soft product it could be a world-class carrier. The Polaris seat is excellent and even manages that in a fairly dense format, helping support UA flying vastly bigger J cabins than its competition, which is great for pax.
to both statements in bold. A door is just something else to break.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:51 pm
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Years ago, I thought that doors and extra privacy were a really great idea. After having flown in almost every international F configuration and many J configurations, I now understand that they are just a gimmick. The current Polaris seat is just fine the way it is. Sure, the soft product is abysmal and unreliable on UA, but I am not going to pay more for better food or privacy on another carrier. The only things that matter to me on an international flight are a comfortable lie-flat seat, a good route network and reliable aircraft. If another carrier is cheaper than UA, I will gladly take my business to them.
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Old Sep 20, 22, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Honestly if UA could magically fix its soft product it could be a world-class carrier. The Polaris seat is excellent and even manages that in a fairly dense format, helping support UA flying vastly bigger J cabins than its competition, which is great for pax.
Indeed. Ask *anyone* boarding a 763 how old the plane is, and they'll never guess it's a 30 year old plane. The wide body fleet plan is excellent - just need to wrap up the Polaris installs and they'll truly be great.

... I'll argue what you say is true right down to the CRJ-550. What a great little regional plane that turned out to be.

The A3xx narrowbodies and 737MAX's have very good F domestic seats, and if they ever get the 737 retrofit moving, we'll have uniformity there, too.

Truly, right on the cusp of a great hard product.
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