United Airlines has provided Business Traveller with an update on the rollout of its Polaris business class seat, with 15 aircraft now fitted with the new product.
The aircraft (14 new B777-300ERs and one retrofitted B767-300) are currently operating on routes from San Francisco to Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing and Frankfurt, as well as from New York Newark to Tel Aviv, with the Newark-Tokyo Narita service set to follow from October 28.
No word as yet as to when the seat will be available on flights to the UK – United says that “Details of additional routes are still to be announced”.
All B777-300ERs in the carrier’s initial order for the aircraft have now been delivered with the Polaris seat, and United is now focusing on the retrofitting of its B767-300s and B777-200s, with the first B777-200 expected to enter service this winter.
The carrier’s B787-10 aircraft will be delivered with the new seat – United says it is “still evaluating our options” regarding the B787-8 and B787-9 aircraft (of which it has over 30 currently in service).
In total around 90 aircraft will be retrofitted with the seat “over the coming years”.
Note that the actual Polaris seat is not to be confused with the overall Polaris business class offering, which began rolling out last year, and which includes a revamped in-flight food and beverage offering, and new custom-made bedding.
The carrier is also set to open nine United Polaris lounges – the first debuted at Chicago O’Hare, with locations at Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles International, New York Newark, San Francisco, Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita to follow.
United has highlighted an increased customer satisfaction score for the new seat, amenities and bedding, and says that “Some of the soft products have proven to be so popular with customers that we will launch an online retail store featuring items like the Saks bedding and Soho House & Co’s Cowshed products”.
“I know our international customers appreciate the elevated inflight experience offered by our all-new United Polaris business class,” said Marcel Fuchs, Vice President Atlantic and Pacific Sales at United. “There is great excitement and operational momentum as we introduce this new product across our international fleet.”
Customers can also track the progress of the Polaris rollout on a dedicated website here.