The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 2 May 2018

The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.

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Bar at United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)
Bar at United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 2 May 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.

United Polaris Lounge San Francisco

It’s almost two years’ since United first announced its new business class brand Polaris. It was intended to encompass a new cabin, in-flight service and amenities, and upgraded worldwide lounges.

As has been well documented, things didn’t quite go to plan, principally due delays in retrofitting Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 aircraft with the new cabin.

United has sought to reinvigorate the Polaris brand and regain momentum with the official opening of a new Polaris lounge this week in San Francisco.

Set across two floors, the 28,000 sq ft lounge has seating for 440 passengers. Facilities include a dedicated dining room with table service, a staffed bar and all day bistro-style buffet. There are 19 different seating options in the lounge including United’s signature Polaris seat which features a privacy divider, an integrated table and personal lamp. There are also 8 shower suites and 5 private daybeds. The lounge also features art work from local artists.

United also promises to accelerate the retrofitting of the Polaris cabin with, on average, one aircraft will be added with the new seat every 10 days between now and 2020.

It should also be added that London Heathrow – San Francisco is one of the very few London routes with a good chance of experiencing the new Polaris seat. Flight UA949 from London Heathrow to San Francisco is operated with a Boeing 777-300 which is fitted with the new cabin.

United also expects to open new Polaris lounges at Newark, Houston and Los Angeles airports later this year.

North American Airlines and airports have not been known for leading the way in lounge facilities so it’s obviously encouraging, along with Air Canada’s new Signature lounge in Toronto and American Airlines’ new Flagship lounges, to see investment.

On a related note, BA’s own lounge in San Francisco has been long overdue a refurbishment and hopefully this might accelerate it.

United Polaris Lounge San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)
United Polaris Lounge San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)
Second Floor of United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)
Second Floor of United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)

BA readies for its inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Nashville

BA’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight from London Heathrow to Nashville is this coming Friday, 4 May 2018.

Flight BA will depart London Heathrow Terminal 5 for Nashville at 14:30 and arrive at 17:35 local time. There has been extensive promotion for the new direct link between London and “Music City”. The new route will operate five times weekly initially and will decrease to four times weekly in the winter. Expect extensive promotion online on Friday under the hashtag #BALovesNashville

BA’s Airbus A380 returns to Vancouver and makes its debut in Chicago

BA’s Airbus A380 began its summer season at Vancouver yesterday, 1 May 2018. It is scheduled to operate to Vancouver until Sunday 30 September 2018. The route then reverts to Boeing 747.

On an Airbus and Vancouver related note, Lufthansa also began Airbus A350 services from Munich to Vancouver yesterday.

BA’s Airbus A380 also makes its debut in Chicago next Tuesday 8 May 2018. Flight BA297 & BA296 will be operated with the A380 daily until Saturday 27 October 2018.

Aer Lingus celebrates two anniversaries

Aer Lingus celebrated two anniversaries last week: 60 years of transatlantic travel (Aer Lingus Blog) and the fifth anniversary of its partnership with JetBlue which has survived its ownership by IAG. (Aer Lingus Blog)

Also of note this week:

It was nearly ten years ago that BA suspended its flight from London Heathrow to Detroit (it is now served by Delta). The New York Times visits Detroit which has been released from budget oversight. (New York Times)

Staying with The New York Times it previews a forthcoming exhibition of previously unseen photographs of New York in the summer of 1978 at the Arsenal Gallery, Central Park.. (The New York Times)

10 reasons to visit New York in May. (Virgin Atlantic Ruby)

Norwegian goes double daily on Dublin – New York Stewart. (Norwegian)

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