Words by Carlie Tucker
United Airlines has unveiled their all-new United Polaris Business Class. Due for official rollout on 1 December 2016, this new luxury experience will feature across the airline's Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. There will also be 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.
The announcement comes as one of the biggest product developments for the airline in more than a decade. The airline has completely re-imagined the passenger experience from 'lounge-to-landing' with the aim to create a benchmark of luxury that flyers could look to and depend on for exceptional service and comfort.
On The Ground
Polaris passengers are treated to a whole new lounge experience, with nine locations across the globe. This includes the USA, UK and Asia. Billed as "an oasis of thoughtful design", travellers can expect a spacious set-up that integrates both work and leisure stations.
There is plenty of comfortable seating, which includes private seating stations with pull-out desks. Complete with table mounted lamps and integrated AC and USB power outlets, they are perfect for finishing off that last bit of work prior to take-off. If quieter spaces is what you seek before your departure, there are rest pods with cushy loungers ideal for a powernap. There are also shower facilities to freshen up before you go.
If pre-flight nibbles are part of your travelling ritual, you'll be well taken care of in the Polaris lounges. With an expansive dining area set up, choose between a full multi-course meal or smaller chef-created plates at the buffet. Local and imported beers, top wines and premium spirits are also available to create the perfect pairing for your meal.
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In The Air
As luxurious as the lounges are, it's the Polaris cabins that are sure to make the biggest impression. The 1-2-1 configuration ensures direct aisle access for all passengers, while the ergonomically-designed seat comes complete with electronic privacy dividers and a fully customisable 180 degree recline. The latter comes in especially handy if you'd like to catch a few Zs while flying as the seat is able to transform into a fully flat bed with bedding by Saks Fifth Avenue.
Gate-to-gate entertainment is available, with an in-seat 16-inch HD monitor and high quality noise-reducing headphones. There are plenty of TV shows and movies (new releases as well as classics) to choose from. You can also enjoy your entertainment via your own device by utilising the integrated tablet holder. As far as all those little details are concerned, Polaris has you covered. Each seat comes complete with universal power outlets, a slot to store your laptop, a personal cubby and under-ottoman storage. Business Class guests are also treated to spa-quality amenities by Soho House & Co. Cowshed.
United has also reimagined the in-flight dining experience, offering Polaris guests the choice of express dining or a multi-course menu that emphasises seasonal and regional specialties inspired by your global route. illy premium Italian coffee is served as well as signature desserts and a wide selection of sweet treats. If you'd rather skip meal service in favour of a good night's sleep, do not disturb signs are also provided to let the attentive cabin crew know.