United Reveals Seatmap For First 767 With New Polaris Seats

So far the only plane in United’s fleet to feature the new Polaris seats is the 777-300ER. These are all newly delivered planes; United already has 14 of them in their fleet, with a further four on order.

United was supposed to have further planes reconfigured already, though they’ve been having issues with Zodiac, their seat manufacturer.

What I wasn’t aware of, however, is that United has already begun reconfiguring a Boeing 767-300 aircraft. While United’s Polaris tracker indicates that the first 767-300 with the new seats will be in service in “fall 2017,” one plane is already being reconfigured, and is expected to be back in service at some point in August.

There’s absolutely a possibility that there will be further delays, given that reconfiguring the first of a specific aircraft type can be tricky, so there’s a chance they run into some roadblocks. However, if all goes well, it looks like the first 767 with Polaris seats will be in service before the fall.

United has now revealed the seatmaps for their new 767-300 that will feature Polaris seats. United’s reconfigured 767s will feature:

  • 30 Polaris seats (in a 1-1-1 configuration)
  • 46 Economy Plus seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)
  • 138 economy seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)

As a point of comparison, United’s previous two cabin 767s featured:

  • 30 Polaris seats (in a 2-1-2 configuration)
  • 49 Economy Plus seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)
  • 135 economy seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)

United has managed to reconfigure these planes while keeping the seat count the same. There will be the same number of business class seats, the Economy Plus seat count will be reduced by three, and the regular economy seat count will be increased by three.

This really shows you how dense the United Polaris seats are. While they’re a big improvement over United’s old product, as there’s direct aisle access from every seat, they’re also not the most spacious. Personally I love that each seat will feature direct aisle access and be “standalone,” but I imagine some couples traveling together won’t like the fact that there’s no way to really sit next to someone.

United hasn’t yet announced which route will first get the reconfigured 767s. There’s a chance they won’t dedicate the plane to a single route at first, given that the seat count is identical to the previous configuration, which would give them extra flexibility.

(Tip of the hat to @jmmccarthy2002 & @AirlineFlyer)

Comments

  1. United has now revealed the seatmaps for their new 767-300 that will feature Polaris seats. United’s reconfigured 767s will feature:

    30 Polaris seats (in a 1-1-1 configuration)
    46 Economy Plus seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)
    138 economy seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)

    As a point of comparison, United’s previous two cabin 767s featured:

    30 Polaris seats (in a 1-1-1 configuration)
    49 Economy Plus seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)
    135 economy seats (in a 2-3-2 configuration)

    It seems you made a typo.

  2. Seems like with the increased area Polaris seats are taking up and economy seat count remaining pretty much the same, that’ll be an increased crunch in the back on the 767, even with the removal of a few closets.

  3. So will the middle seat work the same way ? (access from both sides) or only one side ? or alternating ? The current layout kinda lacks privacy in the middle seats

  4. the density is roughly the same as the BE SuperDiamond used by AC/AA/CI. Low density + low volume is directly correlated to how easy/hard it is to play the mileage game.

    In the near future, the flagship UA jet (77W) will still be at 60J while the new DL flagship jet (359) will be at a paltry measly 32J. Everyday UA flies upwards of 160 premium seats to HKG from CONUS while DL is at a worthless 32-34 J. That’s what you get for “low density”.

  5. I’m going to venture a guess that these planes will be running United’s South American and TATL routes. Which will be welcome news to us out on the East Coast.

  6. According to The United Airlines Fleet Website (not official) N664UA has been in Hong Kong since 5/17 getting these seats installed. The seat map shown above is “Version 2”. N664UA is a legacy UA Version 1 configuration that has 6 Global first and the 30 business class seat configured 6 wide with the reverse setup. Some of the legacy UA 767’s were recently configured to 2-class with the Continental B/E diamond seat, that’s version 2. I doubt those will get Polaris for many years. They have about 14 version 1 3-class which will get Polaris first.

    Flew the 777-300 last week. It’s a nice seat, same as ANA’s business class seat only configured differently. While 60 seats in business class seems like a cattle call (think Swiss 777) it was remarkably private. If they only hired more FA’s to work the cabin it would have been great.

  7. I’ve said before and I’ll say again, if United would speed up Polaris I’d gladly switch from Delta. I do four trips a year to Asia and three trips a year to Europe. Delta’s product is better, but every year I’m more tempted to fly the cheapest fully-flat, direct-aisle business-class product regardless of airline or airline alliance. Polaris is very, very tempting but waiting until 2021 when a majority of United’s long-haul fleet have the “new” (it won’t be “new” then) seat is absurd.

  8. @ henry LAX

    77W may be UA’s flagship vs 359 for Delta but Delta will have 25 units to United’s 18. Further, Delta has 25 330neo’s on order + an already superior product to UA’s Polaris on their current 40+ legacy 330’s and 18 777’s. So that’s over 100 wide bodies with a superior product to United’s best/new product…which they can’t even get from their seat manufacturer.

    True the 767 will not be as comfortable as UA’s Polaris 767, but given the soft product advantage and the fact that the 76’s operate basically only to Europe, and it’s not a huge deal to me–particularly for those of us on the East Coast.

  9. It does look like more of a squeeze in economy and economy plus. Is the seat pitch being reduced?

  10. @Frank Doyle

    Here is the link, it’s not a United site. Independent people tracking and seems pretty accurate. Been following for years.

    https://sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/out-of-service-aircraft

    @Justin. Word is Delta is taking delivery of 9 a350s and deferring the rest for a few years. Have you flown Polaris? I’m not sure Delta has the upper hand with those older cirrus seats. And the new enclosed suits are nothing but an inferior vantage xl seat with a door. American has the best business class seat on their 787-9 and refit 777-200 in the B/E Super Diamond. Service wise Delta may still be in charge. IMO.

  11. @Justin,
    “77W may be UA’s flagship vs 359 for Delta but Delta will have 25 units to United’s 18.”

    United also has 14 787-10’s and 35 A350-1000s on order, with first deliveries starting in 2018 all of which will come with Polaris (though there are rumors the 35J order may get canceled or converted). The first 772 conversion is due to start in October and be ready January 18, with the sUA 772 sub-fleet converting first. That’s to get rid of both Global First and the 2-4-2 coffins in J.

  12. @Mark

    Thanks Mark, I was there earlier and very confused because the dates on the actual posts hadn’t been updated since 2012, but the text itself is showing 2017 dates…I wish they’d fix that!

  13. @Justin

    Delta’s new suite isn’t much to praise. They took the exact Delta One 767 seat, made it a tad bit wider and added a door. That’s all. And it will only be installed on the 777 and A350. No plans for the A330 yet and I doubt the 767 will get it ever. United on the other hand invested in a completely new premium offering with new onboard service, seats, and ground experience. Plus it will be installed on every United widebody plane. With United, you will be getting a consistent, high quality service on every widebody plane in the near future, unlike Delta where it will be guessing game on which plane you fly. Plus United has a much higher premium seat count so you can rely on more availability out of more routes.

  14. @Lucky,

    Do you know if United plan on updating their 757-200s that they use on shorter Trans-Atlantic flights? If so, do you know if they will go to a 1-1 configuration or what? Timeframe? I’m sure they are the least of their worries right now though. My wife is British and we fly the MAN-EWR and MAN-IAD (which I think is discontinued) a lot when traveling back and forth from the US and England to visit families. Thanks!

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