Half of United’s Wide-Body Fleet to Offer Polaris by the End of 2019

Aug 22, 2019

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So how’s United’s Polaris rollout coming along? Heh… we’re getting there. Slowly.

More than three years have now passed since United CEO Oscar Munoz unveiled the carrier’s much-improved business-class product. This week, Patrick Quayle, UA’s Vice President of International Network, confirmed that the carrier is on track to hit a major milestone by the end of 2019.

Polaris business class on United's "high-J" 767-300ER. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
Polaris business class on United’s “high-J” 767-300ER. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

Come December, United expects to offer the new Polaris seats on half of its wide-body fleet — some 100 planes in total, including new additions, like the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, and retrofitted aircraft, such as the “high-J” 767-300ER.

The first retrofitted 787-8 Dreamliner is expected to return to service in December as well. The first 787-9 with the new seats — the longer-range version used for some of United’s most premium routes, like San Francisco (SFO)-Singapore (SIN) and Newark (EWR)-Cape Town (CPT) — will follow a few months later.

United’s “dorm-style” business class will soon be no more — except on a handful of regional 777s. Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy.

Quayle pointed out that roughly one-third of United’s existing fleet has now gone through the retrofit process — new deliveries make up the remaining aircraft. Eventually, most of United’s roughly 200 wide-body planes will offer the new seats, though some 777-200s, used for domestic and regional flights, are expected to continue operating with the carrier’s dated 2-4-2 product — not-so-affectionately referred to as “dorm-style” business class by frequent flyers.

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