New United Business Class Announced - Polaris

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by ssullivan, Jun 2, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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  2. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Seats seem really tight though...with space for legs/feet even narrower than today's BusinessFirst product.
     
  3. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Are you saying this from actual experience or just photos you've seen?
     
  4. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Interesting change for UA with the abandonment of all things CO. I like the name since it takes the edge off the typical reference to 'business'. With the conference today i suspect we'll see a number of blog posts later today/tomorrow with all the trial and error of first dibs to sit. Kudos for UA for having a direction to fly forward to.
     
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  5. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Isn't it an abandonment of all things PMUA, too? Death of international first, replacement of remaining 2-4-2 business class seats, etc.

    I like the shift away from including terms like "business" or "first" in the name as well, something we've already seen happen at B6 and DL.
     
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  6. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Based on pictures/comments of similarly sized people to me in the seats in NYC today.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Overall I like it. That said, I don't expect to see it "in action" very often since I don't plan to return to 1K status (and award flights are hard to get and expensive in miles nowadays).

    That said, it's a bit disappointing to me that the event was apparently solely focussed on the improvements of the 60 folks in the front cabin of the 77W, with not a peep about those of us (me, at least) sitting behind the curtains.

    I guess I will continue to buy Premium Economy on other carriers. It has been a reasonable compromise of cost and comfort for me so far.
     
  8. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Reminds me of AA except for the walk up bar, glad to see they are going to start passing out PJ's,

    I still like 3A best.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Regarding PJs, are they going to install changing rooms or are they going to clean the lavs during the flight? On most long haul UA flights I am starting to look for rubber boots, hip waders and a hazmat suit towards the end of the flight. Can't quite imagine going into the lab with my clean clothes to change. Maybe I need to take a contortionist course at my local community college.
     
  10. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Well I'm not so impressed, eliminate first, new seats that don't look so great (IMHO)in terms of width or comfort and pajamas on flights OVER 12 hours!

    Most international airlines give them out on night flights over 6 or 7 hours so UA won't even give out an amenity that probably costs them less than $5 unless a flight is over 12 hours - either do it decently or don't bother (and this is what small percentage of their international flights at over 12 hours?)
     
  11. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I see no real substance to the fancy newness; just maximum puff
    for, my cynical side tells me, minimum expenditure. But I will
    say something in UA's favor - upstairs on HKG-SFO recently,
    the upstairs bathroom stayed clean and dry through the whole
    flight, despite half the cabin being Chinese and the other half
    being grumpy old guys who looked like they had enlarged
    prostates. And don't get on my case for stereotyping, I get
    to do that, because I'm both of these.
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think the Polaris lounges are a significant improvement over UCs.

    I'd have to test the seat to really comment on it, but even if it just offers storage and aisle access over today's seat I see that as a worthwhile improvement. Keep in mind, I was pretty happy about upgrades into the BarcaLounger seats just a few years ago.

    As for minimal expenditure, I can't imagine that it is cheap to rip out current BF seats and replace them.
     
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  13. Counsellor
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    Well, yes, but compared to United's International First Class lounges they seem to be roughly equal if not a bit down-scoped.
     
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I have only ever been to the one at SFO, and that wasn't all that inspiring. Stale looking "sushi" comes to mind. The main advantage over the UC seemed to be peace and tranquility. I'd be happy if UA was able to emulate LH's senator lounges.
     
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  15. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Most of the GFLs don't serve full meals with table service. I think LHR is the only exception there. They're also building Polaris lounges at airports that do not have GFLs today.
     
  16. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Developing an entirely new design language and branding, designing a new seat and testing it (including on actual flights with customers), redesigning all of the soft elements of the service, bringing on new partners, installing seats and other elements on board aircraft, and renovating lounges doesn't come cheap. I suspect the total cost of this launch will run into the hundreds of millions by the time it is fully completed several years from now. It is the most significant relaunch of a premium cabin at United (or Continental) in well over a decade, as previous new premium seat launches haven't really changed the service, soft goods, catering, or lounges. This is touching virtually every element of the experience.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    How did they test it inflight? Did they retrofit an old CR2 before sending it to the desert?
     
  18. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Close, but apparently it was a 747, and there were two different versions of the seat tested on board.
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Interesting. I vaguely reading something about an invitation to participate in a 747 test flight somewhere (FT?).

    Wonder what actually being in the air adds compared to a "simulator" cabin on the ground. Did they make the pax test-sleep?

    I agree, sounds like significant effort.
     
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  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Upper Class. :-:
     
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  21. Counsellor
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    I always tried to sit in the "upper class" on United's 747s. :D
     
  22. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Unfortunately at UA's normal roll out pace and my normal routings I'll be 70 before I get a chance.:oops:
     
  23. Steve GadFly
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    Steve GadFly Gold Member

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    At the launch event in N.Y., Oscar mentioned that they did invite passengers to spend the night in the new seats to see how they slept. I was part of a focus group (called Project Cobalt) at EWR last year where we were boarded into a 767 and took a simulated "flight" that had the current pmCO hard product but tested a version of a lot of the soft product enhancements that are part of this. The new linens were there to try, the flight attendants did a complete meal service, and the United club was temporarily transformed into the lounge that's being rolled out.

    It was definitely not a small (or cheap) undertaking.
     
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  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I wonder if legacy UA did something similar with the current generation of business class seats. Surely if I had been in a focus group, the first thing I would have told them is: where do I store my iPad and my other assorted knick knacks?
     
  25. Wandering Aramean
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    That would have been impressive, given that the IPTE product was unveiled in 2007 and the iPad in 2012. :oops:

    And, yes, I'm willing to bet that significant research was done with passengers as part of the process.
     
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  26. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I had access to an early version :)

    I think it was called "book" at the time.

    (BTW, the iPad 1 was released in April of 2010)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016

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