Which of United’s 767s Will Get the New Polaris Seats?
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.
Until today, United’s much-improved Polaris business-class seats have been available on just 14 of the airline’s new 777-300ERs, which are currently assigned to a small selection of United’s longest international routes. With the exception of San Francisco to Frankfurt (which launches next month), the 777 doesn’t operate any transatlantic service, which means premium-cabin passengers traveling to Europe fly a variety of the carrier’s older seats — some perfectly serviceable, others not so much.
That all changes tonight, when United launches service with its first retrofitted 767-300ER, N644UA — while the plane has been flying for a whopping 26 years, having entered service way back in 1991, United just completed an overhaul of the aircraft’s interior, making it in many ways feel brand new.
The 767-300 currently serves as the backbone of United’s East Coast-Europe fleet, operating the majority of transatlantic flights from the carrier’s Newark hub, in addition to some flights from Chicago to Europe, Houston to Europe and South America, and some domestic flights, including United’s Honolulu nonstop from Newark and a selection of shorter hops between hubs in the US.
As of September 8, 2017, the following aircraft already have the new Polaris seats or will be getting them soon:
- Already flying: N644UA (launches on EWR-LHR tonight)
- Undergoing retrofit: N648UA, N649UA
- Awaiting retrofit (currently 3-cabin): N641UA, N642UA, N643UA, N646UA, N647UA, N651UA, N654UA, N655UA, N656UA, N659UA, N660UA
So as of today, three of the 14 planes United’s planning to update are currently making their way through the process. Right now, United is focusing only on the three-cabin 767s, 11 of which are still flying with first class, business and economy cabins. All 14 should be complete by the end of 2018 — in the meantime, they’ll be added to flights currently assigned to two-cabin aircraft, since both configurations offer 30 business-class seats. The Polaris seats on the 767 are two inches narrower than their 777 counterparts, though, measuring 21 inches, compared to 23. In bed mode, the seats measure at least 6 feet, 3 inches in length, which is comparable to the 777.
These planes offer a much more comfortable ride in economy — unlike with the 777-300ER, where seats are arranged in a 3-4-3 configuration and measure just 17 inches wide, the updated 767s will maintain the 2-3-2 configuration, with each seat offering a whopping 18.5-inch width, making this the largest economy seat in United’s entire fleet. There’s power and on-demand entertainment at every seat, in addition to larger overhead bins, new lavatories and other cabin design updates.
United plans to begin retrofitting select 777-200s this year as well, however plans have not been detailed for other older members of the international fleet, including the current two-cabin 767-300s and -400s and the 787 Dreamliners.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 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.
- Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.