United now calls its international business class product “Polaris” but not all seats are created equal.
Only the 777-300ER and one 767-300ER currently have the new Polaris seat installed, a beautiful product that makes United’s longhaul business class much more competitive in an age of 1-2-1 seating.
All 777-200s and 787s feature older (but still lie-flat) business class seats. On pre-merger United’s 777s, seating is 2-4-2 in business class, a far cry from an industry leading product. Even the more spacious pre-merger Continental aircraft still do not have direct aisle access at each seat with a 2-2-2 configuration.
I fly on United often…all of you who regularly read the blog know this. But up until today I have never actually flown in the new Polaris seat, even on a domestic flight. I’ve only sat in mock-ups.
That changes today. By the time you read this, I will have just departed on a 15hr05min journey from San Francisco to Hong Kong aboard United’s new Polaris-configured 777-300ER.
I’m looking forward to the roomier seat and mood lighting. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to comparing United’s new product to the many other business class products I have tried and written about here. It’s about time. And I will be fair.
As usual, I’ll provide an initial assessment of the flight tomorrow then a full trip report in the weeks to come.