United Adds More Routes With Polaris Seats to Its Schedule
United continues to take delivery of new 777-300ER aircraft with Polaris seats installed, even though the airline has reportedly had issues with its seat manufacturer Zodiac. A few months ago we wrote that several additional international cities were expected to get Polaris cabins by the end of the year, and now United has set official dates for three of those routes.
According to Routes Online, the next city pairs to see United's new 777-300ERs with Polaris seats will be:
- San Francisco (SFO) — Beijing (PEK) beginning September 6, 2017
- San Francisco (SFO) — Frankfurt (FRA) beginning October 6, 2017
- Newark (EWR) — Tokyo/Narita (NRT) beginning October 28, 2017
All three of these routes are already operated on a daily basis by United — the two San Francisco routes currently utilize a 747-400 while the Newark-Tokyo/Narita route is served at the moment by a 777-200ER. United is in the process of retiring all of its 747s, with the last of them scheduled to be pulled by the end of this year, so the opportunity to fly on them one last time is slowly coming to an end.
As far as booking Polaris seats on these new aircraft, all three of these routes are already showing the new seat maps on united.com as of their respective launch dates. As we've come to expect, low-level award space in Polaris business is generally slim to none (although as of this writing you can still find decent Polaris space on United's San Francisco-Taipei (TPE) route). Economy space is much more plentiful on these three new routes, but with a 10-across 3 x 4 x 3 configuration in the coach cabin, this is not a plane we recommend seeking out if you're flying in the back, especially on long-haul flights. However, if you do manage to score a Polaris business seat, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig reviewed the cabin when the seats were rolled out on its first flights and wrote that this is his "favorite business-class seat offered by a US airline at this moment."
If you're keeping score at home, these three new routes join San Francisco-Taipei, San Francisco-Tokyo/Narita, San Francisco-Hong Kong (HKG) and Newark-Tel Aviv (TLV) as the seven total routes that already have or will soon have 777-300ER aircraft. United expects to take delivery of a total of 14 777-300ER planes by the end of the year and ordered four more at the Paris Air Show last month, so we'll undoubtedly be seeing more of these equipment changes in the months ahead.