United Airlines operates a wide and diverse fleet of aircraft. They have over 770 planes with many different interior setups. You could find yourself squeezed into your 2-4-2 business class middle seat aboard an old United configured 777-200 or seated in 1-2-1 first class for the same exact cost on the same plane, as United officially stopped selling First class last year. The inconsistency has been a problem for United Airlines.

a seat on an airplane

The United Polaris concept was introduced December 2016. It was a huge upgrade to not only the seats but to the food and lounges as well. The initial rollout was painfully slow. United opened the Polaris Lounge Chicago in December 2016. The first plane with United Polaris Seats didn’t start flying until February 2017 with the delivery of the 777-300ER.

a row of monitors in an airplane

United Polaris Progress

Although there was a slow start, United has really been pushing the envelope to get planes reconfigured and lounges open. Just last week  we saw the opening of the Polaris Lounge at Los Angeles (LAX) and the last 767-300 entered the refurbishment shop for seat reconfiguration. Other open Polaris lounge locations include Houston (IAH) , Newark (EWR), and San Francisco (SFO).

a lobby with a reception desk and a chandelier

As far as the planes, the airline has committed to pulling one plane out of service every 10 days through 2020 to reconfigure them with Polaris seats, and if you follow their Polaris tracker, that seems to hold pretty true.

As things stand now:

  • All 777-300ERs and 787-10s feature the new Polaris seats, since they were delivered with these
  • 13 of 14 Boeing 767-300s have been reconfigured (#14 is in the shop)
    • Note: Only 14 of the 38 767-300 will get Polaris refurbishments
  • 13 of 51 Boeing 777-200s have been reconfigured

Notably not on this list are the International/Transcon 757-200’s, 767-400’s, and 24 767-300’s which are not due to get the upgraded interiors, due to retirement’s.

The newest members of the United Fleet have also been left off this list. The 12 787-8’s and the 25 787-9’s are used on some of the longest flights in the United Airlines network. They are configured in a fully flat 2-2-2 set up, vs the 1-2-1 of Polaris. The good news is that we now have a timeline for reconfiguration of these planes.

According a quote AusBT received from United’s VP of Marketing

  • The first United 787s should be reconfigured with Polaris seats in the fourth quarter of 2019
  • All United 787s should have Polaris seats by late 2020

With 37 planes to be reconfigured the year-long schedule should be fairly attainable as they working to get these planes in and out of service every 10 days.

a seat in an airplane

Image Via CNN

How Can You Guarantee To Fly In Real Polaris?

Right now there are only 2 ways to guarantee the new seats and that would be by flying onboard a Boeing 787-10 (781) or a Boeing 777-300ER (77W). All planes were delivered with the new Polaris seats. Be sure to check your seat map as that should help you find Polaris seats. Hopefully we will all be flying on in the real Polaris seats soon, as they are one of the best products around.

Check out Sam’s review United Polaris