United Airlines has today announced it is to introduce a new business class seat called “Polaris” on its fleet of long-haul aircraft.
The seat offers a fully flat 6′ 6″ bed and, in common with many other long-haul airlines, all seats will have direct access to the aisle in a 1-2-1 configuration. However, United will maintain the same seating density by combining inline and angled seats in the cabin.
All seats are forward-facing and each customer’s seat will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, and a 16″ high-definition entertainment screen.
United Airlines also promises significant improvements to in-flight amenities and dining. The Polaris cabin will also feature a walk-up bar for in flight snacks.
The Polaris business class seat will be first installed in December 2016 on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. It will also be retrofitted to Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 777-200 aircraft. It will not be fitted to Boeing 787-8, 787-9, Boeing 747 nor Boeing 757 aircraft (which currently operate on a number of London Heathrow flights). United is yet to specify which London Heathrow routes will operate with the Polaris cabin.
United Airlines is also rolling out nine Polaris business class lounges worldwide. These lounges will feature daybeds and pre-flight dining. A Polaris lounge will be fitted out at London Heathrow Terminal 2 in 2017.
Other locations will include Chicago O’Hare airport, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong.
This latest development does mean that all-aisle access business class seating is now becoming standard on most long-haul transatlantic airlines. The one exception being British Airways which seems intent on maintaining its primarily 8-across “yin-yang” seating in its Club World business class cabin.
United Airlines flies from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to New York Newark, Chicago, Washington Dulles, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.