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United Airlines will begin fitting Polaris business class seats to its Boeing 787 fleet later this year, with the aim of having all of the Dreamliners boasting the slick new seats by the end of 2020.
The Boeing 787 upgrade program is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, which means that United's passengers on routes from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles and San Francisco will be trading up from this...
... to this.
"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," United's Vice-President of Marketing Mark Krolick told Australian Business Traveller at the opening of the airline's new Polaris business class lounge at Los Angeles.
The well-appointed seats not only bring mod cons such as direct aisle access and increased privacy, they also put plenty of storage close at hand.
With United flying 37 of the original Boeing 787-8s and the more recent Boeing 787-9s, Krolick said "we're trying to get the reconfigurations done as aggressively as possible."
The refit will also introduce United's new Premium Plus premium economy cabin, although Krolick didn't expect this would alter the number of business class seats on the updated Dreamliners.
"That typically impacts economy seating more than it does business class seating, so I don't think the business class seat counts change much," he said.
United's newly-delivered Boeing 787-10s, along with 13 additional Boeing 787-9s slated for arrival from 2020, will all come fitted with the Polaris business class cabin.
David Flynn travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of United Airlines