United Will Announce A Boeing 787 Order On Tuesday. They’ll Come With A New Business Class Suite.

United is holding an event on Tuesday with Boeing at the aircraft manufacturer’s facility in South Carolina. They are expected to announce a major order for Boeing 787 long haul aircraft.

These new planes will come with the same economy and premium economy seats United currently uses on their Boeing 787-10 aircraft, however business class with be a new seat – ‘next generation Polaris’ – which offers suites with doors – as noted by aviation watchdog JonNYC.

Now that United comes close to completing the retrofit of their existing business class product, introduced six and a half years ago, they have settled on a new Optima Polaris product from Safran Seats.

While United hasn’t announced details of the suite suites, I would give high probability to a more premium bulkhead row, bed improvements and slightly increased seat pitch. I would also expect larger entertainment screens and hopefully more storage. There’s been some speculation that the product could even involve heating and cooling seat options, and center seats that turn into a double bed), although it is still unknown which ideas that were discussed internally made the final cut.

When then-CEO Oscar Munoz announced Polaris business class in mid-2016,

  • The seat was a me-too, rather than an industry-leader. It was good enough, and a way to offer direct aisle access without using any more space on the aircraft than their previous six-abreast Diamond product. This was a seat signed off on by disgraced former CEO Jeff Smisek, after all.

  • But with an outstanding soft product, involving new multi-course meals, drink carts, dessert carts and wine flights. They introduced pajamas on their longest flights, cooling gel pillows in addition to a pillow at each seat, and outstanding Saks-branded bedding. The bedding, fortunately remains, but food and beverage has suffered numerous cutbacks and business cabins also now see reduced flight attendant staffing.

Current Polaris Business Class

Mere months after United announced its current Polaris product, Delta introduced suites with doors (added to all their long haul fleet except their 767s). American is going to be rolling out the same, and we’re seeing it as a transatlantic standard from British Airways and Air France it’s clear that United needs to match. And we should see the enhanced United business hard product, still dense (‘efficient’) but improved, line fit onto new Boeing 787 deliveries.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Nobody flies United Polaris for the food. It makes sense to cut back and save money there. Now if only United would require that flight attendants staffed on international flights are good. Put the bad ones on low value domestic routes out of IAH (the only hub I don’t use lol)

  2. This is great news because I am fairly certain the door will be about as effective as a mask at preventing me from getting covid while lounging in my business class suite.

  3. I used to think bad flight attendants were all old hags with chips on their shoulders, but I recently got one that was 22 years old and rolling her eyes at people. I also saw a 21 year old gate agent snapping at people. Am I the only one to miss the days when younger staff were just lazy, instead of flat out rude? F**k em, hope their 401k goes bust and they end up overdosing on some narcotic that causes them to run out onto the tarmac where they get crushed by the landing gear of one of these new 787s.

  4. Wish UA would model seat spacing line ANA ; which is super generous with leg room in biz!.

    Hate UAs cramped leg wells.

  5. Lol!! Hahaha oh @Gary Leff, your jealousy and envy shows and it’s so blatantly obvious that I can’t help myself but to Laugh Out Loud at you!

  6. I flew on BA business class recently. I hate the doors. Made me feel like I was in a coffin. I opened it and during the night “someone” closed it. I don’t welcome doors coming on UA and AA.

  7. Yuck. Too narrow, the A350 would have been a better choice.

    The gulf in quality between Delta and the other 2 US airlines is widening even more.

  8. @Weight loss

    You’re trash and nobody cares about you so maybe you should jump in front of one of those 787 on the takeoff roll

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