After the United Polaris rollout, booking an award ticket on yet not retrofitted aircraft was relatively easy. Booking an award ticket on the Polaris cabin of a new 777-300ER however, that was a completely different story. Saver Award space wasn’t just scarce, but nonexistent altogether.
A few weeks back I wrote a post titled Is United Polaris (hard product) bookable as a Saver Award? In the post I talked about the SFO>TPE sweet spot. This is the only Polaris route that would show Saver Award space several times per month, sometimes even several times per week. Yesterday, for the first time I stumbled for the first time on an unusual 3 days with Saver Polaris Business space in the SFO>HKG route in a two week time frame. It would seem that the waters are returning to the normal level. There are also several dates available in early September. Beyond that, however, there doesn’t seem to be much more.
United has been stingy this past year when it comes to United metal Saver Business Awards, and naturally that won’t change -if anything, it’ll get worse- with the more attractive Polaris cabin. That being said it seems like the best bet is to wait to book until 1-3 weeks before travel. Unfortunate? Yes. Annoying? Yes. But, we’ll have to take what we can, and with the SFO>TPE route reverting to a 3-class 777-200 early next year, we have about 6 months to enjoy that ‘sweet spot’. Routes like SFO>LHR (which is stealing the 777-300ER from TPE), SFO>FRA, and EWR>NRT…well, I wish you the best looking for saver award space in those coveted business routes.
In other words, if you see Polaris Award space don’t wait! Has anyone seen space in routes other than SFO>TPE and SFO>HKG?