Yesterday United officially announced their first 777-300ER routes. This is significant since the 777-300ER will be the first plane featuring United’s new Polaris seat, which looks like a huge improvement over United’s current business class product(s).
Specifically, United announced that the 777-300ER will fly between Newark and San Francisco between February 16 and May 4, 2017, and will then begin flying between San Francisco and Hong Kong starting March 25, 2017. There’s a good chance that United will use the 777-300ER for some short domestic hops prior to February 16, though.
We didn’t know exactly which flights would get the plane between Newark and San Francisco, though, or what fares and upgrade space would look like.
Well, United has now loaded the 777-300ER into the system, and here’s what we know:
United’s 777-300ER flights Newark to San Francisco
Between February 16 and May 4, 2017, United’s 777-300ER will operate the following flights:
UA1920/497 Newark to San Francisco departing 7:50AM arriving 10:45AM
UA443/970 San Francisco to Newark departing 1:30PM arriving 9:46PM
The flights will operate 6x weekly — every day except Wednesdays. I list both flight numbers since there seems to be a flight number switch as of March 2, 2017.
While the inaugural flight isn’t blocked in any way, fares between Newark and San Francisco just aren’t great at the moment. Economy fares are decent, but then again sitting in 10-abreast economy on a 777 isn’t exactly aspirational. 😉
Here’s an example of the one-way business class fares for this particular flight from Newark to San Francisco:
So on Tuesdays you can snag a $649 one-way business class fare, while on some Saturdays you can snag a $669 one-way fare. Other than that, however, the one-way fares seem to be more than double that.
United’s 777-300ER flights San Francisco to Hong Kong
United’s 777-300ER flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong start as of March 25, 2017, and will operate with the following schedule:
UA869 San Francisco to Hong Kong departing 1:00PM arriving 6:50PM (+1 day)
UA862 Hong Kong to San Francisco departing 11:15AM arriving 8:45AM
I’m sure it will come as no surprise, but unfortunately fares between San Francisco and Hong Kong in business class aren’t cheap, and at the moment I’m not seeing any award or upgrade space that’s confirmable (over time I suspect that will change somewhat, though at the same time San Francisco to Hong Kong is one of the more premium-heavy routes in United’s network).
Even in looking at fares out of other cities (like Colombo, Bangkok, etc.) that might incorporate this segment from Hong Kong to San Francisco, I’m still not seeing anything.
I’m sure a lot of us would like to experience the “real” Polaris sometime soon. There are some opportunities to book reasonably priced business class tickets between Newark and San Francisco, which gives you the Polaris seat but not the Polaris service.
While San Francisco to Hong Kong is a great route on which to try Polaris in terms of the experience, I haven’t yet figured out a way to get a decent deal on a Polaris seat on the flight.
Anyone have plans to fly the 777-300ER in the first few months it’s in operation?