United has unveiled a new long-haul seat called United Polaris (named after the North Star), which will debut on the B777-300ER deliveries at the end of 2016. It will then be progressively rolled out in a retrofit across the whole of United’s long-haul fleet.
The carrier said it had chosen “to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace”.
The seat offers direct aisle access for all business class passengers, and features a fully-flat bed, and “up to six foot six inches of bed space”.
The seat is described by United as follows: “Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer’s personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers.”
The carrier also said that it had “conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travellers”.
United has chosen custom-designed bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, with a choice of plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow, as well as mattress cushions upon request.
United Polaris pyjamas will also be offered on flights over 12 hours, as well as gel-cooled pillows, and a new amenity kits with products from from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.
The carrier says it will make a number of enhancements in the dining and airport lounge experience alongside the introduction of the Polaris seat, as follows:
Elevated Dining Experience
“Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.
“The airline will offer an upgraded wine experience, with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.”
United Polaris Business Class Lounges
“United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers – that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered.
“The first new United Polaris lounge will open at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Lounges in eight other locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita,Hong Kong and London Heathrow – will follow in 2017.”
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