Delayed Seats Causing New United 777-300ERs to Collect Dust
There has been much publicity surrounding United's new Polaris product (especially the all-new seat design), which is now flying between San Francisco (SFO) and Hong Kong (HKG), and soon between Newark (EWR) and Tel Aviv (TLV). The first aircraft to be equipped with the new seats is the airline's new Boeing 777-300ER (of which it has 13 on order), but it seems like the flying public will have to wait even longer to get on board these new aircraft thanks to a seat delay from Polaris' manufacturer, Zodiac. Instead of introducing the new 777s into the fleet, United has had to put one into storage, with another joining shortly — which has apparently made United CEO Oscar Munoz 'not happy.'
This is not the first time that Zodiac has been in hot water with a US airline. American Airlines cancelled a contract with the French company last year after constant delays led to a slow rollout of the retrofits to AA's Boeing 777-200s as well as an inconsistent business-class experience.
Assuming United keeps its contract with Zodiac, the delays of Polaris seats simply means that business-class passengers will be flying without the full Polaris experience unless you're booked on one of the airline's routes that features the new 77W. But, chances are that you'll encounter an older United aircraft, potentially with the dreaded 2-4-2 configuration in business class.
Despite delays, passengers who have gotten to try Polaris out have given the product generally positive reviews. United had originally said that many routes will see the brand-new aircraft before the end of 2017, but now it looks like that plan may be in danger.