Fly Long-Haul in United’s Brand-New Polaris Cabin For Just 40k Miles
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Who wants to go to Hawaii? To…morrow. As TPG reader Peter H. discovered, United’s flying its brand-new 777-300ER from Chicago (ORD) to Honolulu (HNL) and back, giving passengers an opportunity to experience the new plane on a long domestic flight.
At 9 hours on the westbound leg, ORD-HNL is roughly the length of Tokyo (NRT)-San Francisco (SFO), but since this is a flight from the mainland to Hawaii, you’ll need to redeem just 40,000 MileagePlus miles for the Polaris cabin, vs. 65,000 miles for the Tokyo flight — note that you’ll get regular domestic first-class service, though, rather than the full Polaris experience.
You can use your miles to fly in both directions — ORD-HNL and HNL-ORD later in the day — but you’ll definitely want to spend the extra 17,500 for the “first class” cabin in this case, since economy is arranged in a dense 3-4-3 configuration on this plane.
Availability is “wide open” on both flights, which means there are 9 or more seats available for sale and awards in both Polaris and economy class. You can also book coach and redeem a Regional Premier Upgrade to instantly confirm first class, if that’s what you’d prefer.
If you can’t make this flight, there should be other opportunities to catch the 777-300ER on a “random” route — United now has 12 copies in its fleet, and with other 77W flights yet to launch, the airline’s flying this new aircraft on a variety of domestic and international routes, instead.
For example, here’s where the plane operating tomorrow’s ORD-HNL-ORD round-trip has been over the past few days:
Of course, tracking down these planes on irregular routes is easier said than done — if your seat map has been swapped for one with the configuration seen above, there’s a good chance you’ve lucked out with the 777-300ER, though. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something to book, you can track United’s 12 777-300ERs using the links below (I’m also including an “interesting” route each plane recently flew):
- N2331U — (San Francisco-Honolulu)
- N2332U — (Newark-San Juan)
- N2333U — (Chicago-San Francisco)
- N59034 — (Newark-Beijing)
- N2135U — (Scheduled service only)
- N2136U — (Washington, D.C.-London)
- N2737U — (San Francisco-Washington, D.C.)
- N2138U — (Recent delivery)
- N2639U — (Chicago-Brussels)
- N2140U — (Denver-San Francisco)
- N2341U — (Boston-San Francisco)
- N2142U — (Recent delivery)
Have you unexpectedly scored a 777-300ER on your recent United flight?
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.