United Is Sending Its 767s With Extra Polaris Seats to Switzerland

Jul 18, 2019

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United Airlines will bring its Boeing 767-300ERs with extra Polaris business class seats to Switzerland next year, giving flyers almost 50% more chances of an upgrade to business.

The Star Alliance carrier plans to operate the aircraft, which have 46 Polaris business class seats instead of the standard 30 seats, to Switzerland from Newark (EWR) beginning in 2020, United chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella said during a quarterly earnings call on July 17.

United serves Geneva (GVA) and Zurich (ZRH) in Switzerland from Newark, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.

Airline spokesman Jonathan Guerin declines to say which Switzerland route will see the “high-J” 767 first.

The airline introduced its high-J 767 configuration on flights between Newark and London Heathrow (LHR) in March. In addition to 46 Polaris seats, the aircraft have 22 Premium Plus seats, 45 Economy Plus seats and 52 Economy seats.

The Polaris cabin on a United high-J 767. Image by Zach Honig/TPG.
The Polaris cabin on a United high-J 767. Image by Zach Honig/TPG.

The expanded business class cabin, and smaller economy cabin, not only increases the opportunity for traveler upgrades, but creates additional opportunities for United to sell upgrades.

United will operate the high-J 767s on all of its flights to London Heathrow from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Newark by year-end, says Nocella. It introduced the aircraft on a Chicago-London flight earlier this month.

The carrier plans to operate 21s 767s in the high-J configuration, more than half of its fleet of 38 767-300ERs.

The introduction of the high-J 767 is just one of several initiatives by United to expand its premium seating offerings. Others include the installation of new premium economy Premium Plus seat on all of its widebody aircraft, including the Boeing 787-8 by year-end, and the Bombardier CRJ550 — a re-certified CRJ700 — with 10 domestic first class seats on a 50-seat regional jet.

“These aircraft, along with the CRJ550, are two initiatives focused on capitalizing on the high volume of premium demand in our markets,” says Nocella on the high-J 767s.

Featured image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.

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