United Airlnes’ President and CEO, Oscar Munoz, revealed the carrier’s plans to introduce its new Polaris Business class product.
At an event, Munoz noted that an upgraded experience on United has been missing for far too long. He added that there’s a new spirit at United, still a lot of work to do, but he feels a new energy.
Munoz said he challenged the United team to be “defiantly innovative”, which he said is reflected in the Polaris product. “Travel now is like going to the dentist. So we wanted to look at how we make everything from the lounge to the landing a better process,” he said. “When looking at international business class, our research showed that a good night’s sleep was what customers wanted most.”
United worked in collaboration with a set of partners to create what it calls a transformative international business class experience. The carrier will start with building nine Polaris business class lounges that will feature comforts such as custom chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef -inspired hot meals served restaurant-style. Premium sparkling wines and spirits refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered. Access will be limited to passengers with Business class tickets.
The first new lounge will open in December at Chicago O’Hare airport, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow in 2017.
United worked with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode to develop a new front-facing business class seat manufactured by Zodiac Seats. Each seat will offer direct aisle access, a 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6’6″ of bed space.
The new business class seats will be installed starting December 1, 2016 on United’s Boeing B777-300(ER)s. It will then be installed on the 787-10, A350-1000 along with Boeing 767-300s and 777-200s retrofits.