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Forty-six lie-flat business-class seats would make for a sizable cabin on any plane, including the behemoth A380. But United doesn’t operate the Airbus superjumbo, and you’ll now find the airline’s longest Polaris cabin on its smallest wide-body airliner, the Boeing 767-300ER.
Referred to as United’s “high-J” configuration (with “J” representing the most common fare code for business class), the airline’s latest 767-300ER sports a whopping 16 rows of business class, in a single extra-long cabin.
As American Airlines is removing business seats from some planes, United’s adding a ton — this 767 adds 16 seats over the Polaris-equipped -300ER United’s been flying since 2017, though only 45 can be sold on transatlantic flights, given that 1A is always reserved as a pilot crew rest.
The airline added a 22-seat Premium Plus cabin as well, with a 2-2-2 configuration, with the additional rows of premium coming at the cost of economy seats.
You’ll find Economy Plus just behind the Premium Plus cabin, with 47 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration there.
Then, there’s a small section of regular coach as well, with just 52 seats, also with a 2-3-2 arrangement.
Four of the economy seats are reserved as a flight attendant crew rest, too — 43A and B, and 44A and B, pictured with the curtain below — so they may not be available to passengers on certain flights.
Traditionally, fewer seats means less revenue for the airline, but United’s counting on increased premium demand on its transatlantic flights.
Just looking at the next few weeks, it’s not uncommon to see United charging $8,228 for a round-trip Polaris ticket, compared with just $601 for basic economy — a nearly 1,400 percent premium — on the exact same flights. While taxes and fees affect the economics a bit, assuming customers are willing to pay that much for a transatlantic ticket, this is a bet that’s bound to pay off. Stay tuned for the full TPG review, coming tomorrow.
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