Here Are The Details Of United’s New Business Class Product

United’s new CEO, Oscar Munoz, held an event today at Webster Hall in New York to unveil United’s new premium offering. United is completely rebranding their business class product, which will be called United Polaris.

If you’re like me and had no clue what a “Polaris” is, it’s “the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor.” Whatever that is. It’s a catchy name in theory, though I’m also not sure the average consumer will remember it. I’m not sure why it can’t just be called “business class.” 😉

Here’s the video United shared about their new business class experience:

Details of United Polaris

Here are the details of United’s proprietary new business class hard product, which consists of 6’6″ beds with direct aisle access:

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.

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The onboard soft product will also be significantly improved, as United is adding Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, mattress cushions, slippers, and even pajamas on flights of over 12 hours:

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.

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The onboard dining experience will also supposedly be improved, with gourmet chocolates on boarding, wine flights, a walk-up snack bar, and hot mid-flight snacks on daytime flights over eight hours:

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.

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United is also introducing special lounges for business class passengers in nine locations, the first of which will open in Chicago on December 1, 2016. These will feature hot meals, daybeds, etc.:

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.

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Timing of United Polaris

United Polaris will be available starting December 1, 2016, at least in terms of the soft product, as well as the lounge in Chicago. The first plane to feature the new seats will be United’s new Boeing 777-300ER, which they’re taking delivery of in December. After that the new 787-10s and A350-1000s will feature the new product. United’s 767-300s and 777-200s will also be retrofitted with these seats.

United Polaris bottom line

This looks like a really impressive new product. I’m not sure United’s new hard product is actually better than the existing top hard products out there, though I suspect they wanted a custom design which differentiated them.

The soft product improvements sound fantastic as well, in terms of the improved onboard and lounge experience. Of course the biggest point of variance will be service, which is consistently inconsistent with US airlines. There’s only so much that can be done when you have many employees who don’t actually want to be at work. But that’s the case at all US carriers.

Either way, really great job, United!

Comments

  1. I love how the first item describing the seat’s features is that it has a DND sign. A UA flight attendant’s dream come true!

  2. Good to see Oscar Munoz back in the thick of it. Got a good vibe from him from the beginning. Hopefully this upgrading of the flying experience will continue and expand.

  3. I figure these will be non *G branded lounged. Perhaps not even *A F lounges. Will the lounges be open to *A partner flights at all, even if only in J? If no I would say that is another weakening point in UAs treatment of *A members.

  4. Strange no mention of the big existing 787-8/9 fleet yet they mention the 787-10.

    Maybe a certification issue?

  5. “It’s a catchy name in theory, though I’m also not sure the average consumer will remember it. I’m not sure why it can’t just be called “business class.””

    Delta calls their “business class” Delta One. Monkey see, monkey do. Ergo, United Polaris.

    ugh.

  6. Exactly. This new product is only as good as the people operating it. And unless UA takes radical steps to weed out the bad apples from its ranks, it will continue to be considered a second rate airline.

  7. Indeed a great improvement over the current United J product.

    I’m a bit intrigued (and disappointed) about the “flights longer than 12 hours” criterion for some of the amenities, eg. slippers, pijamas, mid-flight snacks. None of the UA Brazilian routes, for instance, fall into this category. Maybe by setting this threshold UA is focusing on improvement to their Asian and Australian routes?

  8. Looks surprisingly nice and not the 2 4 2 configuration that had been floated on other blogs. Funny, after more than a decade of flying them, nearly a million miles flown I never want to set foot on one of their planes again. My initial, kind of bitter (yes I’ll admit it) response is: what took you so long? I guess better late than never. I’m glad they no longer are branding it as “Business First” (the former Continental term) as it always seemed kind of absurd to invoke “first” class in any way when talking about their current business class product.

    Good point Ben about service, I wonder maybe this will be the year the flight attendants finally get a single contract? Maybe this will start to build some good will after years of sullen service, horrible elite benefits and a laughably bad hard product. I get a good vibe from Oscar, but we fly Delta now and I can’t see changing back any time soon.

  9. So it’s a custom design manufactured by Zodiac. The fairly dense configuration (look at how close people’s heads will be) actually reminds me a lot of AA’s custom Zodiac design, but with all seats facing forward.

  10. Polaris is a snowmobile.

    As long as they get rid of that stinky Cowshed lotion and cramped no storage 777 seats I’ll be happy.

  11. When I hear Polaris I think of the pool vaccum cleaner that sucks up leaves from the bottom of the pool. I know the name well, because 2-3 times per year a critical part fails and I have to trek to the store to buy a POLARIS part. So in my mind Polaris means “SUCK, FAIL, DIRT”. But I am sure that is not what UA J will be known for. Ha.

  12. “Bottled water available to go.”

    Dream big, United.

    Also, I get the nexus between the brand and the perception of luxury, but Saks Fifth Avenue is a department store, not a maker of fine linens, so it seems a little disconnected to me, as if they were also offering Givenchy champagne and Bose toiletries.

    (In all honesty, though, this thing has the POTENTIAL of being spectacular, and I’m a bit jealous.)

  13. Flights over 12 hours only?
    How many do they fly? Not trying be snarky, just wondering.
    So for example an 11hr 20min flight will not receive the same benefits?
    LAX to LHR, a premium route won’t use this?
    Seems a bit short-sighted, at least for now.

  14. Im surprised United went with Zodiac, given that they’ve had problems delivering seats to AA & CX and both Boeing and Airbus have threatened to leave off the list of approved OEM vendors for their planes, notably the A330neo and A350-1000. I assume we’ll see these seats installed in 5-7 years

  15. It may not be better than the “top hard product” out there but it is an enormous step up from UA’s current product. I wonder how long it will be though before it’s available on the whole fleet.

  16. This is a distinct improvement. I do wish that in larger premiumm cabins (767 and up) they would jazz up the liquor. First, offer something superior to what they sell in Y. Second, dispense with the miniature bottles – the only purpose they serve is some convenience and ensuring that one is purchasing a decent pour. In C, if a pour from a 750 ml bottle is stingy, I’ll ask for another drink.

  17. One of the rare times that Lucky writes about UA, and UA is in a new era, with a new CEO and new business class.

    Perhaps a resolution is possible with UA so that we can have Lucky reviewing UA products again.

  18. An improvement, but would be happier if it didn’t have the entertainment screen; always have my notebook which doesn’t have to suffer thru the interruptions.
    Wonder what the refit will do to the total number of seats.

  19. It’s a definitely a big improvement over the existing product, but it doesn’t look like it will outdo the best products out there today. I get why they want to do a “United-exclusive” seat, but as AA learned the hard way, that comes with its own risks. Why not go with the Zodiac seat that is proven with a number of carriers, but customize your own finishes? This seat is probably most similar (in configuration if not finishes) to the Snecma seat that Asiana, Etihad, and several of their equity partners have.

  20. Lucky could always just swap boarding passes (airside) with an accomplice and review this product. Munoz ain’t checking ID’s at the gate.

  21. “it’s “the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor.” Whatever that is.

    aka the Little Dipper, and Polaris is aka the North Star

  22. None of this matters till United fixes their FA problem. The amount of times I see their FA refuse to help people, or make it impossible to find them during the flight (even when flying in the front) is the real problem United has on their hands. New seats and meals are great and all. But when I can’t find a flight attendant for almost 6 hours (flying from EWR to HKG) because they are all hiding in the back of the plane, that’s the real problem that needs to be addressed.

  23. Givenchy champagne and Bose toiletries had me laughing in my office like a fool…that’s very accurate. Nice hard produce. For one of our major carriers it’s a nice seat. I’m sure the soft product will be a let down, but we’ll see. *Clears throat* Delta?

  24. Polaris is also known as the North Star, so named because of its use as a reference point in celestial navigation since ancient times.

    Ursa Minor is also known as the Little Bear constellation. The back end (not the entire thing) of it is more commonly known as the Little Dipper.

    Sadly, people seem to be losing interest in astronomy.

  25. This will be nice SFO – ICN. United Global First is nice, but it still isn’t up to par with Asiana or Korean Air even in Business.
    It’ll be interesting to try it out.
    As noted though, the FA’s will be what really sells this. I’ve been pretty lucky on routes to Asia, but there’s always the crabapple who should have retired 10 years that can spoil a flight service.

  26. So, when do you review this business class product? I’d say reviewing United is a bit more important for your readership than reviewing Kuwait Airways.

    😉

  27. Haven’t flown on United in years. Don’t see anything that makes me want to fly on United.

  28. Two questions:
    1) Where does global first fit into United’s future product line on these planes?
    2) Do you know if United (or any US airline for that matter) has considered the British Airways strategy of hiring a second tier of non-unionized flight attendants who presumably could be trained from the ground up and would actually be enthusiastic about their job?

  29. I think Polaris is most associated with Jetskis and Snowmobiles. I wonder if they will get sued over this name.

  30. Polaris is a manufacturer of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. As you can see they are rough vehicles and not made for comfort. The first thing that came to my mind when I read this article was that Polaris was the one developing the seat for United and redesigning their business class. What a marketing disaster to chose this name.

    As for the overall remodel, if United added a sticker to their seats that would itself already be a huge improvement over the terrible product they currently offer. So, anything will make it better but this looks like an Amtrak train. The only hope is that with this they retire what they call first class which is a joke.

    Last, only on 12+hours flights? What percentage of their flights take longer than 12 hours? Is that the only flight I can get a bottle of water? :)) Sorry UA, you really don’t get it.

  31. A nice looking product and a great improvement from the current offering. This is a step in the right direction and it’s clear that Oscar is committed to improving the airline and moving United forward, unlike his predecessor. The name however, sucks.

  32. This actually looks really nice. I’ve noticed UA’s been improving its soft product (in fact, my last flight on them had significantly better meal service than on Delta, which isn’t setting the bar high….) , and I’ve actually had some great UA FA’s.

    The soft product actually looks heads and shoulders above what else you get with the legacy carriers, and the hard product seems a notch above AA and way above Delta (possibly the worst) and UA’s old product.

    If they could introduce something like this for their PS service, they’d actually be able to compete with JetBlue Mint.

  33. Unless I’m misreading it, doesn’t the 12 hour restriction only apply to pajamas and mid-flight snack availability on overnight flights? Neither of those restrictions seem like a deal breaker and make a decent amount of sense to me.

  34. @M Simons
    You know you can turn off the screens, right?

    @Tom
    There is literally no relation between United Airlines and Polaris recreational vehicles. As such, there is no copyright infringement issue since there is no chance someone will confuse a United business class ticket with a snowmobile.

    @Santastico
    To even suggest that you thought that a snowmobile/ATV manufacturer would be designing and aircraft seat is utterly laughable. It’s as if I said that I thought a faucet manufacturer (Delta Faucets) was designing the new Delta Airlines business class seats. The comparison doesn’t hold water.

    And you didn’t read the story very closely. There are certain amenities available only on flights of a certain duration or longer, but the vast majority of amenities and offerings are available on all flights.

  35. @IRM – Nobody seems to have commented on it, but they are phasing out global first entirely. It’s stated in the FAQ on their website.

  36. The product is still a very tight 2-4-2. Looks nice though. Someone said its not 2-4-2, but it defintely is!

  37. I also would like to know the plan for implementing the hard product in 787-8/9s.
    Good point about Zodiac, scary…

  38. I don’t know what custom-designed means, but the layout is a tried-and-true one (e.g. Etihad, Iberia). It’s not as good as reverse herringbone. It feels cramped. Basically, UA couldn’t stand to give up middle seats, so they added the aisle access.

    It is true that this layout has better seats for couples than reverse herringbone.

    The main message is that UA has finally realized what a disaster its previous seats were—only slightly better than AA’s revolutionary slanty-flat seats.

  39. Product looks cool .. interesting music choice for the video(!). It’s like the guy is having a bad virtual reality dream.

  40. Hopefully the seat is as nice as it potentially seems – it’s easy to make it look spacious in renderings with computer generated people…

    I just hope their new design company that was used for the overall concept, lounges, new domestic first seat, etc. didn’t do too much form over function on this seat. I’ve flown on their PriestmanGoode-designed domestic First seats and they’re not very comfortable. Some features are nice but the seat itself is stiff, tray tables are so large you have to move glassware on the center tray to get it out, and the seat sits uncomfortably high for a short person…

  41. @ AJK: United and many other International carriers have a unique name for their branded Business Class product. When United introduced it’s Asia/pacific routes in the 80’s the business class was called Royal Pacific Business Class, then when the latin America and more European routes came into the fold it was Connoisseur Business Class. Continental was “very original” calling it simply BusinessFirst. Happy to see United going back and branding their business class product again.

    @ Greg: Not a certification issue – they are rolling out the new business class product on NEW incoming on-order aircraft first (the 787-10, A350-1000, and 777-300 models) with retrofits for the existing aircraft. I doubt the 747 fleet will get this as they will be phased out when the new aircraft join and would be a waste of $.

    I didn’t even know about the snowboard angle – I was thinking of Polaris Aircraft Leasing, Polaris the north star, and Polaris Partners. Last time I checked – the North Star (in the sky) didn’t have a trademark on it! Good name. Move on.

  42. @gobluetwo: Delta is a company name. So no, I didn’t think the faucet company also owns the airline. Now, call your “innovative” business class United Polaris that is very different and stupid in my opinion. You can see they don’t even use the TM (trade mark) symbol because I am pretty sure they can’t do it. If you look at Delta One it has the TM symbol after the One. Since I never fly UA and don’t plan to do it I really don’t care.

  43. @Santastico
    Still having trouble with reading what is written. I never said anything about Delta Faucets owning Delta Airlines.

    Also, you are completely wrong about the trademark issue. United currently has a pending trademark application for “United Polaris” with the US Patent and Trademark Office. I’d be willing to be that it is approved in the near future, as there is no reasonable way to confuse an airline business class product with a snowmobile or ATV.

    @Jimmy
    The statement seems to suggest that it will be limited to those flying on the United Polaris (read: Business class/Business First, possible Global First) products.

  44. So MangoMan not only beat me to the punch but also wins today’s Best Post of the Day prize.

    For those wondering, yes, Ursa Minor and Polaris aren’t exactly obscure references. Really, what do you think people did at night before there was GPS?

  45. @gobluetwo: Well, I guess you work for UA so enjoy the Polaris with or without TM. If using the name of an off-road vehicle manufacturer is how UA sees comfort and innovation I hope their marketing team get an award for that.

  46. As usual, most of you clueless dolts are completely missing the point.

    It’s pretty clear than Oscar gets it. Despite all the hate heaped on United (much of it deserved), it’s got a huge footprint, and like it or not a lot of us have reasons that make flying UA make sense – for those of us in the real world, we can’t always arrange all our travel through Singapore or Doha.

    Oscar obviously took a rational look at how UA stacks up against current standards, and guess what? He didn’t try to cut costs, he’s trying to make people actually want to fly his airline. I say kudos to him, and I wish him success. Yeah, the FAs may (and probably will) fall short of your fantasies, but give credit where credit is due: this appears to be a sea-change for UA’s premium cabins. OK, so there’s no shower, no gold-plated toilets. Maybe there isn’t 30-year old single malt or other premium touches. Come on, you snobs, get a clue: the business class experience is (almost entirely) about the seat, the flat bed, the direct aisle access. The other stuff is just gilding the lily (never mind that this blog in particular obsesses over such details in a misguided attempt to prove its credibility). United is giving you 99% of what’s important. As someone who would fly UA routes if the sleeping experience was decent, I for one am delighted at what I see here. Would I like a smiling, attractive cabin crew from SQ, more expensive drinks, a bathroom with a shower and a toilet that washes and blow-drys my bum? Sure. But look at the difference between what’s currently on offer from UA and this. You can keep grumbling and fly through Doha to get to Munich if you want, this looks great to me and I look forward to trying it out.

    And seriously – you’re an educated, functional adult and you have never heard of the North Star or the Little Dipper? Sheesh…pearls before swine…

  47. They should upgrade a Economy Plus like in other airlines, like Singapore Airlines, Eva Air, Cathay Pacific. American Airlines and Delta will have a new Premium Ecnomy, like other airlines. United has a new Business Class. Why don’t they change their Economy Plus? 38 inch pitch, wider seats, better service?

  48. The new business class looks like business class in Japan Airlines Sky Suite. Looks great. I should try the new business class in United. Good job.

  49. @Santastico
    There are many things called Polaris. Cities, comic book super hero, company that makes snowmobiles, a rock band, a novel, a missile, a video game… Just because you happen to associate it with one thing does not mean that the rest of the world will. Your narrow-mindedness on the topic is telling.

    And no, I do not work for United, and have (or have had in the past) status on American, Continental, Delta, and United; and have flown on all of the big three legacy carriers this year. What I do try to be is objective.

  50. Even though I’ve been a very long time reader of this blog. I really do not know the complete details of the whole UA falling out (I don’t really care)…I have an idea and in hindsight I’m sure UA can see how shortsighted and pigheaded a decision it was.

    Ben, and a few other bloggers have power within the industry. One bad review can reverberate for a very long time, costing airliners and especially hotels lost revenue.

    We all have power with regard to reviews. I know this first hand from an extremely bad review I gave to one hotel on tripadvisor…I later found out their bookings took a steep nosedive and it was directly attributed to my extremely passionate and negative review. The fact of the matter is, reviews now DO matter from the public, and even more so from known blogs, especially luxury blogs. I’m also aware that Ben is known with BA and AA (this blog is appreciated by them)…and is spoken about.

    Ignoring the trolls and negative people on here. We all may disagree with the odd blog on here, but overall its a great travel resource and its UA’s loss!!

    Oh yeah, their new product looks good. I have no issue with the name….they love to name their business class cabins.

  51. Cool branding, literally. Pretty much everything branded as polaris or in any way with reference to the star is cool and exciting (i.e. the snowmobile company, the Subaru logo, and the awesome Volvo Polestar). Plus who doesn’t like a free – I repeat freee – bottle of water. Looking forward to trying their new product.

  52. @Jordan

    Yes, this blog has some impact but let’s not exaggerate it by saying that Ben and a few others have all the power in the industry. Most of the clientele (daily biz travelers) which the likes of UA, AA, and DL prefer are probably not readers of trip reports such as those here. Not to mention a few million readers are not considered impactful in the travel blogging industry.

  53. Interesting coming in the wake of the Business Class “fare war” that sprang up yesterday (from which United’s Star Alliance was conspicuously missing.) Perhaps they’ll launch with some promotional pricing nearer December. It’s enough that I’ll hold off trying them in October and hope for something next spring.

  54. The whole marketing thing sounds more like URANUS (pronounced your anus). In fact i could imagine those obese toxic unionized FA on boarding muffling uranus to their business customers to keep the whole intergalactic constellation theme going.
    I love that saying lipschtick on a pig but its still a pig and best descibes the service attendants on united.

  55. Polaris is the name for the North Star. Perhaps more appropriate for United is that Polaris is also the name of a class of submarines–submarines´ space is limited just like United´s seating today. Let´s hope that their new Polaris class resembles the night sky more than it rsembles a submarine´s quarters.

  56. I won’t lie. I’m ready to switch to United after seeing this. Or at least I was until I learned that it won’t be fleet-wide until 2012 — that’s six years of unpredictability. I’m sure the couple, big flagship routes will have it by mid-2017, but still. That’s a long, long time. I think it only took Delta like three years to go lie-flat in 100% of its long-haul aircraft.

  57. I fly United when i have no other choice.On my trips to Asia i strictly fly ANA and pay full price Bus.Class
    rather than be gamed by United. It cost a few thousand more but worth the assurance of a good seat
    all the way and service United can only dream of. rudy

  58. It doesn’t matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, with the destruction of Continental, they have just created a big “Ted” Airline

  59. The color scheme reminds me of Amtrak… and thats not a good thing. It’s good to see some improvement over 2-4-2 horror right now, plus some commonality will be nice. Now please put these on the Hawaii configured 777’s too.

  60. I find the negative comments laughable and clearly motivated by something beyond what was presented today.

    The facts are simple: This is an improvement on all levels over what United offers today and either superior or competitive to what the other US carriers offer. In fact it is superior (on paper at least) to the great majority of international carriers as well. No, it is not industry leading but it sure as hell is a huge improvement and may perhaps put United in a leading position for domestics (or competitive at the least).

    To complain about an airline making clear improvements is just plane idiocy. This may spur more competition which ends up being good for all end users. Who cares about the name for God sake? The name is fine if perhaps a bit genetic and superfluous but who gives a flying **** about the name? If all they did was slap a new name on the same product and offer some minor upgrades then sure, complain. But this is substantial change beyond even the new seats (which is huge enough).

    Be happy to see a major player pushing in the right direction. This helps everyone regardless of if you fly United or not.

  61. Hey Lucky –

    I’m having a hard time finding any United reviews on your website. Any reason why you don’t fly United?

  62. It really looks great – but there is no way the flight attendants attitude will be better – frankly, they hate their jobs and they hate their customers…..

    United executives need to fly cathay or Singapore, its not the process or the mechanics that make the flight, its all about the attitude.

    I used to fly UA all the time – i live in China, 300,000 miles a year, 3 million miler, and i gave up… just was no longer willing to pay for the be abused…. god luck with the new product – just get rid of the grandma’s and hire someone who wants to be there…. its a service industry people!!!!!

  63. I agree with what tbk2000 is saying but I also look at this as an attempt to move in the correct direction. If you look at what was presented there was a lot of talk about changing the culture and the attitude at United. 20 years ago United was a great airline… it really tanked after the crews lost thier pensions (which I can understand… sort of) and got even worse whith the doomed merger with Continental. But this is at least addressing that they have an issue and they are trying to improve things.

    Stating publically that they know there is an issue is a HUGE step. Then presenting what looks to be a very solid and in certain areas even class leading product is another good step. It will take time, a lot of time, but man, I am seeing progress in the right direction at United for the first time in a very, very long time.

  64. So it all starts on Dec 1, 2016…and I assume from ORD.
    So does anyone know what routes the new 777-300ER with the Polaris Biz Class will actually fly on ??

  65. Looks like a nice product. Not really loyal to any of the three big US airlines, but looking forward to this product – I hope it’s as “cool” as it looks. On a different note, is it just me or do the characters in the video resemble the main characters (the androids) from the British series, “Humans?”

  66. Does anyone know if Star Alliance Gold Status with any airline will get you access to these new business class lounges? I have with Aegean. Thanks all!

  67. Polaris has to be an improvement over current UA business offering (seat design, inflight movies, inflight meals, lounges, ammenities), which is lagging just about every competing airline. For me, now that I’m based in SF Bay Area, I’ll be flying SFO-SIN (non-stop) a lot in the future, so I’ll be comparing UA vs SIA business and economy plus to see which gives me the most bang for the buck. For a long non-stop flight like this, I put a premium on inflight comfort, inflight food quality and lounge quality (before flight).

  68. Polaris appears to be a definite improvement, but without the right people (FAs) it won’t help United’s reputation of mediocre service. I recommend forced retirement for all FAs 65 or older as a matter of safety and service. They tend to be on the long haul flights, and often they are rude and customer service is not in their DNA. At least going to Japan United needs more Japanese FAs. Continental used to have 6 and now it is only 3.

  69. I’m planning a RTW using mileage plus and possibly a paid segment. I’m flexible with time frame.

    So am I correct in understanding Dec 1 the soft products roll out and this includes amenities such as food and linen. What else? I know “hard” mean seats and associated upgrades as well as lounge conversions.

    The goal of the trip is more for flight experience than sightseeing. Goal is to experience 747 nose cabin be it F/C and preferably such as LH vs UA but I’ll take it. I’m springing for F and C and want to try LH, OZ , OS LX etc where I can ( still interested in TK as I see from the reports how good their business class is.
    Other goal includes 380, 787, 350, 747-8 . I’m not looking to cover every “like” but they are factors that will influence my routing.

    I’m looking US-Europe with 2 cities then to SE Asia , preferable BKK but I tied F even offered to willing to go via HKG/NRT etc to experience F

    Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. If what I think is the soft product I’d be more inclined to try UA Polaris and deal with current generation lie flat first/Bus seats

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