If you scroll down the homepage, you’ll see a box on the left with all the different types of alerts you can set. Here are the one-way cost for Polaris award tickets booked through Singapore: While these costs are relatively higher than United and Aeroplan, especially for trips to Europe and Asia, the ability to mix and match your transferable points (by transferring some Ultimate Rewards and some ThankYou points, for example) is a nice option to have. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This flight is operated by a 777-200ER, and we know from United’s Polaris tracker website that 37 of the carrier’s 51 772s have completed the retrofit process. United Polaris is a reinvention of our international premium cabin travel experience, offering elevated comfort and service from lounge to landing for a restful night's sleep in the air. Longer flights are attractively priced as well, with one-way Polaris awards costing the following amounts: While LifeMiles did recently announce changes to partner award rates within the U.S., these didn’t extend to Polaris, so if you can find I class availability with United, Avianca should be able to book it. Overview Polaris destinations on world map . United isn’t retrofitting its domestically-configured 772s, only the international ones. Since you’ll find Polaris primarily on long-haul flights to Europe, Asia and South America, we’ll focus on those destinations. The Points Guy will not sell your email. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. You can look at any of United’s routes operated by a 787-8 to see just how variable it is, but let’s use UA35 from San Francisco (SFO) to Osaka, Japan (KIX) as an example. Nightly Recharge™ automatic recovery measurement Discover your potential with Polar Unite, the fitness watch that helps you combine your training, recovery, and daily life for perfect balance. Unfortunately, this isn’t foolproof, as United’s 767-300ERs and 777-200s are all listed the same way (“763” and “772”, respectively). The new Polaris lounges have been a huge step up from the carrier’s tired old United Clubs and Global First lounges. The flight I booked from Doha to Male was operated by an A350-900 featuring Qatar’s excellent reverse herringbone business class seats but not Qsuite. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). A total of 21 will eventually contain the high-density premium cabin layout, complete with 46 business-class seats and 22 Premium Plus seats. Today we’re going to give you some strategies to help with that very goal. While Singapore’s KrisFlyer program has undergone some devaluations in recent years, one positive change has been the ability to book Star Alliance partner awards online without having to call. But at this point, with roughly 100 Polaris-equipped planes in its fleet, United is doing a much better job delivering on its hefty marketing promises. *Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. KrisFlyer points are also incredibly easy to earn because they are a 1:1 transfer partner of all three major transferable points currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. These lounges are restricted to passengers traveling in international Star Alliance business or first class. United’s handy Polaris tracker website (above) paints a fairly complete picture, but it’s typically a bit delayed. A Polaris business class seats on United’s 767-300ER back in February, when the world was very different. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. United’s Vice-President of Marketing Mark Krolick says that by the end of 2020, “We should have the majority of the international widebody fleet reconfigured … the only possible exceptions to that would be any aircraft that are slated for immediate retirement.”. A custom scent, curated music playlist and subtle mood lighting also come together to create a memorable sensory experience. Related: The ultimate guide to United Polaris, And of course, even if your flight is scheduled to be operated with an updated aircraft, there’s nothing preventing a last-minute equipment swap. Sign up for our FREE bi-weekly email updates. The retrofitted 767s are a much simpler story. United Airlines is also expecting 13 new 787-9 aircraft to be delivered next year. If you’re booking on something other than a 777-300ER or a 787-10, it’s a good idea to call United first to verify that Polaris seating is available on the flight you’re scheduling. In between those two extreme ends of the spectrum (with the 767-300ERs and 777-200ERs), there’s a whole lot of gray area. United is using its newest jet to give a serious upgrade to some transcontinental routes, launching the 787-10 on its premium Newark (EWR) to Los Angeles (LAX) route, with Newark to San Francisco (SFO) to follow as it takes delivery of more planes. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Savvy TPG readers were hopefully spared from some of the more unpleasant surprises and knew what airports and aircraft to seek out to get the full Polaris treatment. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. United Airlines’ Polaris business class service has won over many flyers since it replaced United BusinessFirst and United Global First back in 2016. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. Aeroplan is another great option for booking United award tickets since you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards as well as Capital One. As you’ll see in a moment, this means you aren’t guaranteed to get the full Polaris experience. At the time of writing, this route has had the new Polaris seats for just one of this week’s three flights, with the old 2-1-2 configuration for the rest. I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. Here are the one-way award ticket costs for Polaris flights: Aeroplan should have access to the same saver award inventory as United, and you can book directly on their website. The first is AwardWallet. However, this doesn’t mean that your flight will feature United’s new Polaris seat, or even the new Polaris lounge. Join us for a free virtual event hosted by our friends at Drift, RevGrowth Digital Advertising. When you’re training to reach a specific fitness goal, fitness trackers and sports watches can be a huge help. A Polaris Update and Polaris Mod Schedule to indicate the status of specific aircraft are maintained by those that manage the United Airlines Fleet Website. Regardless of whether you’re alone or with a friend/family member, seats D and G in even-numbered rows are worth avoiding, as they don’t provide any privacy nor do they have any window views to make up for it. A Polaris Update and Polaris Mod Schedule to indicate the status of specific aircraft are maintained by those that manage the United Airlines Fleet Website. It’s time to rethink digital advertising. While the Polaris soft product (food, service, amenities) rolled out a little early, the full experience, including the redesigned modern seats, launched in early 2017 when United took delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER. On the results page (which may take some time to load), you’ll see the bad news: on a number of future dates, including Feb. 19, 2020, UA881 appears to be operated by the old eight-across configuration, a far cry from the sleek Polaris seats. Initially United just introduced the new service as well as a new lounge, and then a few months later the first plane with the new Polaris seats came into service. Is Amtrak’s big Rail Passengers Association point bonus worth the cost? You can tell you’re on an updated plane by looking for the 1-1-1 configuration (rather than the 2-2-1 on the older layout). View list below for exact numbers. Let’s start with the good news: If you’re flying on one of United’s 21 777-300ERs or 11 new 787-10s, you are absolutely certain to get the new seats. When it comes to planes featuring the new Polaris seats, as it stands: All 777-300ERs and 787-10s have the new Polaris seats; 25 of 38 767-300ERs getting the new seats already have them, with the remaining expected to get them in 2020; 35 of 51 777-200ERs getting the new seats already have them, with the remaining expected to get them in 2020 Please view our advertising policy page for more information. While ExpertFlyer can be a great option for actually finding award inventory, we’re going to use it to check the seat map of a few different United flights so you know how it can help in your search for Polaris. We’ll start by discussing the 777s, which make up the bulk of the Polaris fleet. While some people like surprises, I’d much rather know exactly which plane I’ll be flying before I leave for the airport (as well as its tail number, recent flights, safety record and more, but I can be a bit nerdy like that). Unfortunately since then, United’s execution of Polaris service has left a … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Photo: Gabriel Leigh. It’s much more of a mixed bag when it comes to retrofitting existing aircraft with the new Polaris seats. While all of United’s international business-class seats are now branded as Polaris, only some of the carrier’s long-haul flights currently offer the complete experience, including the new seats and lounges. The airline’s current Polaris-equipped fleet actually breaks down as: Boeing 777-300ER: 21 of 21 (new) Boeing 777-200ER: 38 of 51 (retrofitted) Boeing 787-10: 11 of 11 (new) Boeing 787-9: 1 of 25 (retrofitted) I flew United 777-300ER Polaris between San Francisco and Hong Kong a couple of months ago, and had a good experience. This included opening nine new Polaris lounges around the globe. For now, your best indicator of whether you’ll be getting the full Polaris experience is still the aircraft on which you’re flying. If, on the other hand, you’re only looking to fly the most up-to-date product, you simply can’t be certain that that you’ll get a plane with the new Polaris seats. We're proud to offer United Polaris customers a chef-designed, multi-course inflight dining experience. It’s easier to search for award space if you perform an advanced search on the United website and check the box that says “my dates are flexible,” but as you can see, San Francisco to Hong Kong doesn’t have a single saver-level business-class award seat for months at a time. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. Photo: United Airlines. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. N644UA, a 767-300ER that’s been flying for United since 1991, spent four months on the ground in Hong Kong, where it underwent a complete cabin overhaul. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. You’re good to go if you’re flying a 777-300ER or 787-10, but that’s where the certainty ends. At 22 inches wide, SeatGuru says that the seats on the 772 are one inch narrower than the 77W, but when TPG Senior Writer JT Genter flew the first 772 retrofitted with Polaris seats, he said it felt the same as the 77W. This means that your “free” ticket really will be as close to free as possible, with under $10 in taxes. Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy. More and more Boeing 767-300ER and 777-200ER offer the seats as well. Fitness trackers and watches. While American Airlines quietly began opening new lounges and retrofitting existing planes without much fanfare, United took a more marketing-oriented approach. Along with the airline’s 7 787-10s (out of 14 on order), these are the only planes in the fleet where you’re absolute… CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. The Points Guy will not sell your email. For more information on the Polaris experience, you can check out the following TPG reviews: 787-10 Polaris Business Class From LAX to Newark (EWR). Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional fleet information. This brings me to my next suggestion and yet another functionality in ExpertFlyer that can help …. United has designated Newark and San Francisco as its 77W bases, using them to operate the following routes: While United launched the 77W on its flagship San Francisco to Hong Kong route, as of October 26th, 2019, the carrier will be upgrading capacity and switching from one daily 77W flight to two daily 777-200 flights. We’ve also seen United use the 787-10 to serve a few longer routes out of its hub in Newark, including Tel Aviv (TLV), Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG) and Barcelona (BCN). Thankfully United has come a long way since those early days, taking delivery of new aircraft equipped with the sleek Polaris cabin and retrofitting dozens more. Case in point: I booked Qatar’s fantastic Qsuite from Shanghai (PVG) to the Maldives (MLE) via Doha (DOH), and I specifically reserved a middle pair of seats with a double bed for me and my girlfriend. View our latest valuations here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Missing from this list is United’s (relatively young) fleet of 787-8s and 787-9s, none of which have been retrofitted to feature the new seats. If you’re willing to take the risk of ending up with the old eight-across business class seat, you should still do your research before booking. Both configurations offer 78 inches of pitch. Of course, it would have been difficult to know what 2020 would look like. While the seats are slightly narrower at 20.6 inches, the same principles hold true for seat selection. While the core design elements of the Polaris cabin are identical across the fleet, there are minor variations between different aircraft types due to sizing constraints. The other major problem is that dynamic pricing generally reduces the amount of saver-level award space available, and if United doesn’t have any saver inventory you won’t be able to book these flights using partner programs. United Polaris Lounge Houston. This means that on a given route, the exact same plane type may have a different seat configuration from one day to the next. We can see from the Polaris tracker that 27 of the 38 Boeing 767s have been retrofitted vs. only one of the 12 787-8s. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. This means that you have an almost 75% chance of scoring an updated onboard product. How to check if a United Airlines flight offers the new Polaris seats? Related: The 9 best credit cards for flying United. However, if you do find saver business-class award space (I fare class on United, just like all other Star Alliance carriers), you should be able to book it with any of the below programs. I quickly changed our reservation back to a middle pair of seats, but without AwardWallet’s help, I might have missed this important change. United has come a long way since the early days of the Polaris business class launch. Overall, of the aircraft that have been started, that’s a 62-percent chance of getting Polaris. However, the disconnect between expectation and reality created a lot of confusion around the Polaris brand and what it actually entails. Check the box for business class and click Search. Seat selection also follows a similar pattern for both 777 variants. United currently offers internet service from several providers including ViaSat on aircraft with premium transcontinental service, serving select transcontinental routes.. United Polaris pre-departure champagne. How to Earn Miles to Book Polaris I quickly logged into ExpertFlyer and, lo and behold, the five-hour regional hop to the Maldives had been upgraded to an A350 with Qsuite! The disconnect between expectation and reality created some real disappointment, especially for business-class passengers who shelled out thousands of dollars only to be seated in the infamous eight-across, “dorm-style” cabin. Due to the smaller fuselage of the 767, the Polaris seats here are 24 inches wide and have 75 inches of pitch. This means that some of the most modern birds in United’s arsenal are still sporting an older 2-2-2 layout in business class with limited privacy. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. Long before the first Polaris lounge opened or the first plane to feature the new Polaris seats completed a single flight, billboards and TV ads were popping up all over the country promising a re-imagined flying experience “from Ahhhh to Zzzzzz.”. United’s 777-300ERs feature 60 Polaris seats in a customized 1-2-1 configuration, with 28 seats in the front cabin and 32 in the rear. I load all my flight and hotel reservations to my account, and it automatically alerts me if there are any changes to my seat assignment. Polar Unite motivates you to stay consistent in your training and makes staying fit and healthy a … Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Another difference with the new Polaris lounges is their stricter access requirements. Complicating matters further is the carrier’s announcement earlier this year of a different approach to certain 767s. We’ll do our best to update this guide as additional planes are retrofitted and new routes are added. Here’s the foot space for a non-bulkhead seat, measured with a 13-inch MacBook Air: Here’s that same computer in the foot space of a bulkhead seat: If those are taken, the other odd-numbered window seats should be your next plan of attack, though be aware that 7A and 7L on both the 772 and 77W lack a window, as you can see in the below picture. Europe. Unfortunately United recently announced plans to pull its award chart for flights beginning Nov. 15, 2019, though it’s already effectively using variable/dynamic pricing for many of its flights. ExpertFlyer (which is owned by TPG parent company Red Ventures) is one of the most powerful technological tools that award travelers have at their disposal, and learning the ins and outs of this search engine is an important step towards advancing your points and miles prowess. The two-story, 28,120-square-foot lounge located in the International Terminal at SFO was designed with sweeping views of the airport and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re traveling by yourself, we actually recommend shooting for a bulkhead window seat (1A, 1L, 9A or 9L), since you’ll have more room for your feet and won’t be staring at the head of the person in front of you. Each of the Polaris lounges features an open and airy design, restaurant-quality a la carte dining, and an aviation-themed cocktail menu. Solo travelers will prefer an odd-numbered window seat (A or L). We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The Polaris service includes a host of improvements over the old options, including all-new in-flight dining menus, seats and in-flight amenity kits. And you never know; you might end up sitting next to United CEO Oscar Munoz and getting the chance to chat! This means that there are eight 787-8s and 23 787-9s that still need to be retrofitted. A workout tracker will make all your hard work visible – you’ll always know how demanding your workout was and how many calories you burned. According to the Polaris tracker website Dulles is the only location currently under construction, but United hasn’t shared updated opening dates for any of these lounges so it might still be a while until they open their doors to premium passengers. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. Some routes seem to get the new Polaris seats more consistently, but with barely 50% of the 772s having completed the retrofit process the odds aren’t great. United actually has a clever “Polaris tracker” on its website that shows the progress, and just like Premium Plus, they plan to add one newly equipped … It’s clear that a lot of thought went into designing these seats, which include storage cabinets, side tables, and personal lamps. Mobile Tools; Open UnitedHub.com in a new tab; Open United's Facebook page in a new tab Stay connected with United. What you’re hoping to see instead is the 1-2-1 configuration shown below: This tells you, at the very least, that this flight is currently scheduled to be operated by a Polaris equipped jet, but as we’ll talk about in a minute even that isn’t a 100% guarantee. Related: The 9 best credit cards for flying United *Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. Restaurant-quality dining. Asia. United Airlines has provided Business Traveller with an update on the rollout of its Polaris business class seat, with 15 aircraft now fitted with the new product.. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. All of United Airlines B777-300er and B787-10 offer the new Polaris Business Class product. You’ll pay only 25,000 miles, as Avianca doesn’t add a surcharge for transcontinental flights. Each seat also features a 16-inch in-flight entertainment screen. United recently became the first airline to operate all three variations of the 787 Dreamliner when it took delivery of its first 787-10. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. Except for 773- and 781-operated flights, and those markets selling Premium Plus, Polaris-equipped planes have not been allocated to specific routes. On its tracker, it states that the Polaris suite will start on the 787-9 in late 2019. You should also aim to avoid sitting in the front or back of the forward cabin, or in the front of the second Polaris cabin, since these seats are right next to the galleys, lavatories and walk-up bar. I love using this tool to manage all my travel reservations, as it keeps me from making stupid time zone mistakes or not having an important confirmation number in front of me when I need it. This well-rounded, ultra light fitness tracker helps you sleep better, train smarter, and find the balance in your life – it's your assistant on your way to better fitness. A RED VENTURES COMPANY. 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. While there are many things about the way United introduced Polaris that rightfully angered some customers, it’s nice to see an airline investing a significant amount of money to deliver a better onboard experience. Oceania. The 777-200s have been sporadically operating long-haul routes like Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Washington-Dulles (IAD) to London-Heathrow (LHR). Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. The new Polaris cabin looks very sleek and is especially blue, due in large part to the aggressive use of mood lighting. This was a “first” in several other ways as well: This is the first 787-10 to be operated by any U.S. airline, the first 787 to feature United’s new Polaris cabin and the first 787 scheduled for daily flights within the United States. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. Originally United’s plan was to reconfigure some 777-200 aircraft with the new seats this year, though they’ve been having significant issues with Zodiac , … If your primary concern is locking in a lie-flat business-class award seat on a specific date to a fixed destination, the old planes will get the job done just fine. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. If you’re not familiar with ExpertFlyer, you should start by reading this beginners guide. Solo travelers should opt for an odd-numbered window seat, while couples traveling together should pick a center D/F pair in an odd-numbered row. Elite members with Star Alliance Gold designation on their boarding passes don’t get automatic access when flying economy (as they would with regular United Clubs). The 787-10 has all 44 of its Polaris seats spread across 11 rows in a single cabin. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of different aircraft models to do this research, as the pattern is same for every long-haul aircraft in United’s fleet: 777s and 787s with the new Polaris seats have a 1-2-1 layout in business class, while those with older seats do not. NOTE: This is The Points Guy’s permanent page on United Polaris. Between frequent sales on purchased miles and two new transfer partners (American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One) it’s easier than ever before to top up your LifeMiles balance. Email if it detects a change in your flight information and ExpertFlyer will you. Since the early days of the Polaris tracker to see the fleet retrofit nine new Polaris lounges around the.... 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