Exclusive: United talks new Polaris business class flights to Sydney

by James Wilkinson

United Airlines is set to send its flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft kitted out with the all-new Polaris Business and Premium Plus cabins to Sydney from San Francisco from December 5 and anticipation is building for the debut of the new products on Australian flights.

Speaking exclusively to Wayfarer, United Airlines’ Director for Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti Sales, Julie Reid, said it was an exciting opportunity for the carrier to up the ante on trans-Pacific flights.

“Starting December 5th this year, we’re excited to offer Australians an opportunity to experience United’s Polaris seats for the very first time on its daily Sydney-San Francisco route as it will provide travellers with an enhanced business class experience,” she said.

United’s brilliant new Polaris Business Class suite (and above)

“The route will be serviced by the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which also features United Premium Plus – offering customers who are looking for an option between economy and business class with more space, comfort and amenities including upgraded dining options and free alcoholic beverages.

“We continue to invest in products and services to provide our customers in Australia with more comfortable and relaxing flight experience to the United States and beyond,” Reid said.

United flight UA 863 departs San Francisco daily at 11:00pm, arriving in Sydney two days later at 09:05am, while the return takes off from the harbour city at 2:00pm, landing at SFO at 08:40am on the same day.

The new Polaris Business class all-aisle-access seats have quickly become some of the most popular in the sky and represent a huge change for United from the 2-2-2 configuration of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

United’s flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are heading for Sydney

Each United Polaris suite-like pod will feature direct access to the aisle, a 180-degree flat-bed that measures 6’6” and 23 inches wide with infinite seat recline options and one-touch lumbar support, ample storage, multiple surfaces that enable passengers to dine while working, universal A/C power as well as 2-USB ports, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen, electronic privacy dividers for seats in the center of the cabin, mood lighting and an illuminated ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.

Additionally, a new marble-topped bar unit offers customers in business class a place to grab a mid-flight drink or snack.

Throughout the aircraft, the cabin interior is comprised of bespoke branding elements as well as carpets, fabrics and wall laminates – that, like the United Polaris seat, were specially designed for United, as well as redesigned lavatories which include modern finishings and farmhouse-style sinks.

United’s new Polaris Business Class suite is a huge step-up from the current 2-2-2 offering

With a focus on providing a more tranquil journey for customers, the new cabin design features LED mood-lighting to complement sleep and assist with time-zone changes as well as textured and softer touch materials which not only provide a more premium feel, but will absorb aircraft noise and other sound within the cabin.

The aircraft also feature 24 Premium Plus seats in a 2-3-2 configuration with 38 inches of pitch, 62 seats in United Economy Plus in a 3-4-3 configuration with 34 inches of pitch, and 204 United Economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration with 31 inches of pitch.