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.
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