Fly Long-Haul in United's Brand-New Polaris Cabin For Just 40k Miles
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?