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United’s launching Polaris business (and first) class in just over two weeks — December 1 is the big day! While it’ll be a few months before the new seats begin rolling out (initially only on the 777-300ER), the “soft product” will be available beginning in December, including improved food and beverage, new bedding, refreshed amenity kits and new Polaris lounges, with the first opening in Chicago on December 1.

As part of the changeover, United explained that existing reservations would be updated to reflect the new class of service — that just happened today, as you can see on this sample booking for Newark to Frankfurt:

United Polaris is now for sale.
United Polaris is now for sale.

Eventually, United will be phasing out first class, but for now it’s still available, branded as “United Polaris first” (with a lower-case “f”). It’s not exactly clear how Polaris first will differ from Polaris biz in practice — we’ll just have to wait and see.

The new branding appears to be site-wide, including on seat maps:

United Polaris first cabin.
United Polaris first cabin.

And in the cabin description as well:

United Polaris first website description.
United Polaris first website description.

It isn’t displayed on external sites, however, and that may not change in the future. For example, here’s how the new product appears on Google Flights:

United Polaris first on Google Flights.
United Polaris first on Google Flights.

As the resident TPG “United expert,” I’m especially excited for Polaris. There’s no question that United’s current business and first class lags behind the competition, despite attempts to improve catering and service. In other words, this Polaris launch is long overdue.

Will you be flying United Polaris on December 1?

Know before you go.

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